Family Photography: 5 Tips for Laughing Children

5 tips for laughing children in front of your camera You are happy when children laugh, especially in photos. But laughing straight away, unfortunately children don’t just pretend, especially not when you want to. Almost at the push of a button when you stand in front of them with the camera. And we as family photographers have to be creative in order to make our little photo actors laugh naturally. In this respect, the following points could help you to conjure up a natural child’s smile on the picture. Tip 1 – involve parents Children have parents. Often they are a bit more photo-shy than the children, but I solve that very easily. I just give the parents something to do. This way you look at your children and are busy with them instead of always looking at me in the camera. I often say that too, look at your kids. Then the parents begin to smile full of love. On the one hand this creates exciting and natural situations and on the other hand, some parents know how to get their children to laugh. The parents’ own tricks sometimes surprise me, and so I have a few tricks that I like to use with other families. Tip 2 – sure instinct Which action I use best with which child, of course, also depends on the age and the child itself. In this respect, as is so often the case: a sure instinct. It’s like jokes, not everyone can laugh at the same joke. In addition, you have to deal with different sensitivities. Even with children. For example, not all children just want to be touched like that or it is the parents who don’t want someone else to just touch their children. Of course, on a photo shoot, it’s not exactly like being a complete stranger, but there are shy kids and extroverted kids. As with us adults too. Of course that is clear, but consciously observing which type you have in front of you is an important point.   Tip 3 – tickle If I was able to verify the above, spontaneous tickling helps in many cases. For some photo motifs, I like to do it myself. But it is better if the parents play along and tickle their little ones. So I have laughing children and exciting attitudes with their parents in one picture. I have to be careful that I press the shutter button and not miss the many beautiful moments because it is so beautiful to look at. But not every child likes to be tickled off, what then? Tip 4 – hop If there are two children in the family, another very successful action is to let the parents hop on top of each other with one child on each arm standing next to each other. At the beginning, the parents stand about 2 meters apart and then jump towards each other. This ensures that everyone is equally sharp. Be careful, choose a fast shutter speed, otherwise you will have lots of beautiful but blurred pictures. By now the ice should be broken and there will be no shortage of laughter. It always works great indoors and outdoors. And all family members have a lot of fun. Tip 5 – pop noises Fart noises are wonderful! Small children love that. What I always like to say to parents is to snort on the neck or stomach of their children, to make bubbles. That tickles, is funny and also sounds like a fart. Often, however, it is enough to simply imitate the sound yourself. But that laugh as they snort at each other is just priceless. So these were my tips for you guys. Of course, there are no limits to your imagination, just try it out and come up with your own funny ideas. In any case, a lot of fun cannot be avoided.

Wide angle photography – Chris Marquardt

At first glance, it seems a bit unusual to devote an entire book to wide-angle photography. But already after the first pages in the book, Chris convinced me: He reports on planning a trip where he deliberately left his zoom lenses at home and only traveled with a 24 mm lens. According to him, the best decision he has made in recent years. His really worth seeing sample pictures, which illustrate each of the content-related lesson, prove that he was right. In his book, Chris first explains the technical and creative basics of wide-angle photography and then goes into the various areas of photography in which the use of a wide-angle lens makes sense. And it makes the reader think again and again: Why does it actually make sense to use a wide-angle lens when photographing the Grand Canyon? And why does the same consideration not apply when Mount Everest is to be put into the picture? Chris also deals with special use cases such as the Brenizer method (unfortunately only very briefly and without an optimal example photo). He explains how to use a tilt-shift lens to take photos head-on in a mirror without actually being seen (vampire trick) and describes how you can use the same procedure to photograph a bridge that appears to be in the middle of the river. without using a boat or getting your feet wet. My conclusion A very nicely designed and stimulating book for photographers who want to come up with new ideas in image design and a plea for conscious and decelerated photography.

Planning and setting up a photo studio – what should you pay attention to?

Photographers who want to set up a photo studio are first looking for a suitable property. But which rooms are suitable for setting up a photo studio? And what should the technical equipment look like? Of course, the requirements are different depending on the type of shoot you want to do there and whether it is done professionally or as a hobby, but there are many similarities. location Every real estate agent knows the saying about the three most important criteria for evaluating a property (“location, location, location”). The location also plays a major role in a photo studio. Basically, a distinction should be made between photo studios that have walk-in customers and those where customers only come with a fixed appointment. In the case of the former, a location is preferably in a pedestrian zone or the like. makes sense, where many potential customers pass the shop window. If customers only come to order or are mainly served industrial or advertising customers, a location in a commercial area with good transport connections and sufficient parking spaces makes more sense. The distance from your own place of residence must also be taken into account, as this distance must be covered every time you drive to the studio. Dimensions of the room For photo studios in which people (full body) are to be photographed, a minimum room height of 3 meters is advisable, otherwise you will have too many problems hanging up the background systems. Background boards are 2.70 or more wide. So that there is still enough space for the flash tripods, a room width of at least 5 meters is required. The length of the room should be at least 6 – 8 meters, so that you can achieve a sufficient recording distance. The aforementioned dimensions apply to people photography. If cars or other things are photographed, the recommendations are of course completely different. window Some photographers like to work in daylight photo studios, in which case large windows are of course helpful. As a rule, daylight is avoided, so windows are more of a hindrance or are masked. ceiling What color and texture is the ceiling? Can I attach ceiling mounts for studio flashes? walls As a rule, the walls in photo studios are painted white, sometimes black or gray is also chosen. Any kind of color does not make sense because you get unwanted color casts from light reflections in the photos. With white walls you always have to expect scattered reflective light. If you want to avoid that, you hang the white walls with black molton or paint them black straight away. To be honest, I would feel uncomfortable in a studio painted black, so the walls in my studios have always been white. heater The rooms should be easy to heat. A comfortable room temperature is necessary, especially for models who are lightly or not dressed at all. My tip: Don’t just look to see whether there are any radiators, but also make sure that the rooms are well insulated. I was once offered a former warehouse as a photo studio that had radiators, but the walls and floor were absolutely uninsulated. In this case, you will not be able to achieve a sufficient room temperature in winter even with well-functioning radiators. air conditioning For some photographers, air conditioning in the studio is imperative. Most photo studios have little window space anyway, so that little heat gets into the room even in summer. Access A large entrance on the ground floor is helpful if, for example, a customer wants to be photographed with his motorcycle in the studio. The transport of bulky things is also made much easier. If, on the other hand, the studio is on the 3rd floor, a spacious (cargo) elevator is very valuable. Sanitary facilities The absolute minimum is a wash basin and toilet. A shower is helpful, but not essential in my opinion. costs Of course, the costs are not entirely unimportant. These include rent, ancillary costs and VAT. If a property is rented out without VAT, this is of course a disadvantage for a professional photographer because he cannot claim the VAT for tax purposes. Daylight or artificial light studio? As a rule, when you think of a photo studio, you tend to think of working with studio flashes. But a daylight studio is also conceivable. If the studio has large windows and you can do your photo shoots mainly during the day, it is quite conceivable to operate the photo studio as a daylight studio. In any case, you are more independent of the time of day and of the incident light with light guidance through flashing or continuous light. daylight In a daylight studio, you only need a few brighteners to guide the light in order to reflect the light coming in from the windows. You don’t necessarily have to use the relatively expensive brighteners from California Sunbounce, for example. Simple styrofoam sheets or the like do it too, because the sheets don’t have to be folded to save space for transport. Steady light A few years ago, permanent light systems had the major disadvantage that they produced a lot of heat and were very limited in terms of light exploitation. Today, however, LED panels and permanent light lamps are available that hardly get warm and are sufficiently bright. Only with the choice of the light shapers are you still somewhat limited compared to flashes. Flash system A flash system usually lives significantly longer than a digital camera. It is therefore worthwhile to spend a few euros more here and focus on quality. The following quality aspects are important: Mechanical stability (is the flash head built of high quality and stable or do the control buttons fall off after a few months?) Repeatability (does the flash head constantly emit the same light output or does the brightness fluctuate from picture to picture?) Color stability when the power changes (does the color temperature remain stable even if the power is changed?) Control range (How many f-stops does the control range include?) Bayonet (which bayonet is installed and are there also light shapers from other companies?) Burning time (how long or short is the burning time? Can jumping movements be frozen, for example?) Recharge time (how long does it take for the flash to be ready for use again after triggering?) Weight (how heavy is the device?) Service (can the flashes be repaired and are spare parts available?) Background system or fillet For the typical studio recordings in front of a neutral or monochrome background, either a background system for recording rolls of paper or a masonry or timbered groove is used. The use of fabric backgrounds (e.g. molton) is only useful in exceptional cases, for example when full-body photos can be dispensed with. Because Molton is never completely wrinkle-free, so you have to eliminate the wrinkles by choosing an open panel or through targeted lighting. However, this does not work with full-body recordings because the person is in the background. Make-up and changing area If you do not only take physical photos in your photo studio, but also (or exclusively) take photos of people, you need a make-up and changing area. Meeting area A meeting area / conference table is useful for customer meetings or preparatory meetings with models. kitchen If you have the opportunity to set up a small kitchen in your photo studio, that’s great, of course. Otherwise, a coffee machine and refrigerator are sufficient for cold drinks. props Some photographers have a prop store that is larger than the rest of the studio. Most of the time you will get by with a larger closet or a small adjoining room. Full equipment? My tip: Do not buy everything possible in advance. It is better to “upgrade” gradually as needed and, very importantly, dispose of any equipment that is not required. Otherwise, the photo studio will sooner or later degenerate into a junk store in which you can barely find your way around. My own photo studio My own photo studio, which I used until the end of 2018, was 55 square meters, which was enough for my purposes (portrait photography). It was equipped as follows Room size: 5 meters wide and 11 meters long Room height: 3 meters Separate changing and make-up area Meeting table (extendable) with up to 10 seats Set 1: Background role system Set 2: Modern seating area with different backgrounds Material and props warehouse Music system Graphic monitor for tethered shooting Sinks in the studio and toilets in the house Good heating options and air conditioning Three parking spaces directly in front of the photo studio The studio flash system consists of the following parts 4 Hensel Expert Pro Plus 500 Ws 2 Hensel Expert Pro Plus 250 Ws 1 Hensel softbox 80 x 100 cm 1 Aurora softbox 90 x 120 cm 1 octabox 120 cm with honeycomb 1 Striplight Aurora 40 x 120 cm with honeycomb 1 Striplight Aurora 40 x 180 cm with honeycomb 1 beauty dish Various normal reflectors, umbrella reflectors, honeycomb inserts, swing gates My photo equipment I have described my own photo equipment here: And your photo studio? Everything I’ve written is based on my personal requirements. Depending on what you want to do in the studio, it can look very different for you. Tell me what you have or will be paying attention to when setting up your photo studio. I’m curious!

Drone photography: technology, possible uses and permits

Multicopters are no longer just a small, insignificant branch in photography. Highly developed algorithms in control and sensor technology, compact and at the same time powerful image sensors and reliable gimbal technology have revolutionized the market within a few years. The step of getting a flyable copter nowadays hardly requires any more in-depth basic knowledge of model making. Not least because of this, more than 900,000 semi-professional drones were sold in 2017. But how do you get the most out of your copter? After a few years in the industry, we would like to share a few recommendations and tips that should make it easier for beginners in particular to use multicopters. Legal background With the new drone ordinance from 2017, the operation of multicopters was uniformly regulated for the first time. It is essential to consider whether the copter is used for leisure or commercial purposes, what it weighs, where exactly you want to fly and whether you are violating personal rights. You can find an illustrated overview and a detailed description on the website of the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI). A general and individual permit can be applied for from the responsible state aviation authority in your state. The control Get to know the controls at the beginning! The zest for action when unpacking is always great, but a large number of crashes are caused by pilot errors and lack of experience! The leading manufacturers provide a simulator on which you can practice. Here you can also try out which of the four possible assignments on the remote control is the best for you. Perspectives and possible applications Top down Top Down is arguably the best-known setting when it comes to drone photography. Here the gimbal is swiveled down by 90 °, whereby the camera points vertically at the subject. This creates a 2-dimensional impression of the motif, which is also the origin of the name “Flatlay”. This technique is particularly suitable for photographing high-rise buildings or forests, as these are symmetrical to one another and so interesting perspectives are created from the center to the edge. Landscape photography In landscape photography, just like on the ground, it is advisable to use short focal lengths in order to be able to locate the surroundings as a whole. The combination of low temperatures and high humidity / fog can, however, lead to the copter’s propellers freezing up! You should therefore always take a look at the weather on site to avoid the risk of falling. Quite a few spots are also in nature reserves where flying may be prohibited. Night pictures Images at night, especially of cities, have a very special charm from the air. However, long exposure times have to be used here, which is why good camera stabilization and a low-vibration drone are essential in order to obtain an acceptably sharp and at the same time correctly exposed image. Especially the latest generation of DJI copters achieve very good results and exposure times of up to 2s can be achieved without any problems. Image format and sensor utilization The apps of the drone manufacturers often offer the option to change the format of the photos. Find out in the technical data sheet of your copter what format your sensor has and choose this aspect ratio for your pictures. This is the only way to use the entire sensor and get the maximum out of your copter – you can then still crop afterwards. Iris and ND filter for drones If your multicopter has a variable aperture, you have another option in addition to the ISO and shutter speed to regulate the amount of light that hits the sensor. In various tests, however, it was found that with strongly closed apertures, the sharpness suffers particularly in the edge area. For small sensors as well as for Micro-Four-Thirds sensors, a value around F4 is recommended for the best results. If this leads to an overexposed image, the use of ND filters (gray filters) will help you to reduce the amount of light. These are available for almost every copter model from the manufacturer directly or from third parties. Here it is worth spending a little more to avoid unwanted color falsifications. Battery care and use Almost without exception every copter today flies with LiPo batteries (lithium polymer). Compared to older battery generations, these are characterized by a high cell voltage and capacity with low weight. This means that flight times of over half an hour are possible. The disadvantage of this battery technology, however, is its susceptibility to temperature, mechanical impact and overcharging. At low temperatures, the chemical processes in the batteries run more slowly than normal, which is why their voltage drops and your copter can crash. In the event of external damage or overcharging, the battery can catch fire or even explode. Therefore, it is essential to find out about the proper use of your batteries and, for example, think about preheating your batteries in winter. We hope that we were able to give you a small impression of drone photography with this article and look forward to your opinions in the comments.

Photographing the northern lights – 5 tips for your pictures

Northern lights photography – what a highlight in my “photo career” so far. In this article I would like to tell you what you need to photograph the Northern Lights. It’s actually pretty easy to answer: 1. happiness Happiness is really the most important prerequisite for seeing the Northern Lights. The weather is simply unpredictable and as long as this is the case, one is simply dependent on luck. But I don’t want to fob you off here, because you can consider many other factors to increase the chance of seeing the Northern Lights. 2. Preparation Unfortunately, it is not always possible to fly to Iceland or other polar regions at short notice, because the weather forecast has just announced a clear night … the case that you have a memory full of money is excluded at this point. Most of the time you book the flight a little earlier and the weather forecasts often do not go far enough and are too imprecise to predict the weather in your holiday week (s). But there are actually some regions where, statistically speaking, the weather allows clear skies more frequently and the probability of precipitation is lower. There are some tables for the individual regions on the Internet and so we come to the first point: simply plan a station for your stay in such a region. As far as I know, the Myvatn region in Iceland is particularly known for little rainfall. In Norway, for example, the coastal regions are more volatile in terms of weather and inland it is statistically drier. During my penultimate stay in Iceland it was mostly rainy and the sky was full of clouds. Only in the Myvatn region did the sky clear and at night it was clear with stars. For the travel period, it should be noted that you go on the hunt for the northern lights in the months between September and March. At this time the nights are dark enough to see the Northern Lights at all. 3. phases of the moon Second point , look at the phases of the moon! I keep it that way that I always prefer the new moon phases for nocturnal recordings. Without the moon, it’s just darker at night and the stars come out better. However, this point is worth discussing and opinions differ at this point. Information about northern intensity When you are there, and that brings us to point three , find out about the intensity of the northern lights in your hostel or guesthouse. If you have internet on site, you can of course do it yourself. I recommend two pages to you: I particularly like the second page because you can also see how the cloudy sky is developing at what time of day. So if you don’t have such a fixed travel plan, you can spontaneously decide differently 🙂 The second page offers information about the northern lights intensity and the current moon phase at the same time. You are now well prepared in theory, so let’s move on to practice. 4. Equipment I’ve been to Iceland twice now. The first time with a Sony Alpha 500 and the last time with my Nikon D600. My attempts to take night shots with the Sony failed miserably because the noise was so loud that you couldn’t see any stars. So we come to point four , the equipment Today’s cameras have improved significantly in terms of noise sensitivity. Nevertheless, differences between full format and APS-C cameras are clear, especially in the ISO behavior . So if you are really busy photographing phenomena in the night sky, in my opinion it is worth investing in a full-frame camera. Another important component is your lens. The basic rule here is: the brighter and the less focal length (between 14 and 24 mm focal length for full format), the better. The smaller the focal length, the longer you can expose without the stars leaving any traces on the photo. The stronger the lens, the lower you can leave the ISO value. This just makes the photos clearer. Another important part is a good tripod. You don’t believe how the wind can blow on Iceland. I was traveling with a Cullmann Magnesit 528Q , which is really bombproof and I can only recommend it! You should also think of a headlamp, so you have your hands free to set up the tripod and the camera and don’t have to hold a flashlight. 5. Place of admission We come to the last point of your preparation and thus to point five . When you are there, think about what can serve as a suitable foreground for a great northern shot and look out in daylight. At night, there is a high probability that you will not find anything, because everything outside of your headlights will disappear into the darkness. I also had to make this experience and so once I stood in front of an empty field and the other time in front of a place full of gravel and therefore three photos as it should not be:       Oh, and I almost forgot something: If you are so lucky and see the northern lights, put your camera aside and enjoy the natural spectacle. What you see then is unique and beautiful memories are at least as important as a great photo (!), Right?

Tips for better photos: the composition of the picture

“Tips for better photos” should be a small series of articles that give you an insight into how I design and edit photos. Today I would like to give you a few simple tips that will give your photos a more professional appearance without much additional effort. In my article series, however, I assume some basics, such as the correct use of your own camera. If these are not yet available, I recommend the article by Jenny on 22places: Basics of photography Today I want to start with the basics of image design . 1. Observe the rule of thirds when taking photos Often the spot setting of the autofocus tempts you to place objects or motifs in the middle. A central placement, however, looks very static and artificial. In order to make a photo look more lively and harmonious, the motif should not be placed in the middle. As a guide, there is the rule of thirds. The rule of thirds describes, as the name suggests, the division of a photo into thirds. By aligning the main motif at the intersection of the thirds, an image should appear more balanced. As an example, I have taken a photo of myself that complies with this rule and divided it up accordingly with white lines. As you can see, the two boats (my main subject) are at an intersection of the white line. The division of sea and sky is also based on the rule of thirds. One third of the picture is taken up by the sea, the remaining part by the sky. In the future, you should remember these white lines when taking pictures. Nowadays, many cameras also offer the option of showing such lines in the viewfinder or on the display. Note: Place the main motif at one of the intersections and try to align the horizon with one of the thirds. 2. Align photos horizontally In photo forums you get every photo that is not aligned horizontally, directly acknowledged with a stupid saying. The basis of every good photo should therefore be a straight horizon. For this reason I have got used to paying attention to the horizontal alignment of the photos when taking pictures. I often use the horizon itself as an orientation. Should this not be visible, I rely on my feelings or on the virtual horizon of my camera. Virtual horizon Nikon D610 (C) Nikon In freehand photography, it is often difficult to get a 100% straight image. That’s why I readjust a lot of my photos. This is pretty easy to do in Lightroom with the help of the Crop Overlay Tool . In the previous image, the option to be selected is framed in red. There you can fine-tune the alignment of the photo by entering the angle. And you see, by selecting the tool, the photo is divided by four lines. So you can also observe the rule of thirds when cropping your photos. Note: A straight horizon is mandatory for professional photos. I hope I was able to help you with my first “Tips for Better Photos” and motivate you to improve the quality of your next pictures! Do you have any other tips that you should consider when building the image? Then let us know. We look forward to hints.

Photography Ideas – Tips For Taking Wedding Photos

Photography іѕ a visual аrt. Creative photography ideas аrе important іn wedding photography. Taking photos аt a wedding venue іѕ a challenge аѕ thе activities аnd light conditions thеrе changes frоm second tо second. Hеrе аrе ѕоmе basic photography ideas fоr a beginner wedding photographer. Hоw tо prepare fоr a wedding photograph Preparation frоm аt lеаѕt frоm a month bеfоrе gives уоu great photography ideas. Getting tо know thе couple іѕ good tо understand thеіr views аbоut thеіr wedding photo album. Ask questions like, whеrе іѕ thе venue? Hоw mаnу guests аrе expected? Hоw mаnу photographers аrе hired fоr thе ceremony? Thіѕ wіll help уоu plan fоr great shots. Click here if you want to know more about Enchanted Valley Barn Weddings. Know thе wedding location Spare tіmе аnd visit thе venue tо gеt ѕоmе photography ideas fоr a wonderful click. Alѕо fіnd a position tо locate уоur ѕеlf оn thе wedding day. Check оut thе reception area аnd оthеr places оf activities like thе dance floor Photography kit Nоw уоu hаvе ѕоmе photography ideas іn mind, аnd іt іѕ tіmе tо organize уоur tools fоr photography. Make sure уоu hаvе kept уоur camera, tripod, lenses, memory card аnd portable drive. Dо nоt miss оut tо tаkе аn assistant аlоng wіth уоu tо thе wedding venue. Bе іt уоur friend оr colleague, аn assistant саn help уоu arrange things аt thе venue аnd share уоur stress. Thе wedding day hаѕ arrived аnd іtѕ tіmе fоr уоu tо bе attentive аnd tricky wіth photography ideas. If уоu аrе asked tо tаkе photographs оf thе bride оr groom getting rеаdу fоr thе wedding, bе thе fіrѕt оnе tо reach thеіr home. In thе church, position уоurѕеlf іn thе predetermined place. Dо nоt tаkе tоо mаnу photographs іn thе beginning itself, уоu hаvе a lоng day ahead wіth a number оf glorious scenes tо click. If уоu аrе required tо tаkе group shots, start wіth big groups ѕо thаt уоu саn hаvе combinations оf friends аnd relatives pictures tо stick оn thе wedding album. Yоu аrе аlmоѕt dоnе wіth thе wedding photography. Edit аnd remove redeye, cropping, еtс. Uѕе stunning creative Photography ideas thаt suit thе function аnd place. Load thе photos іn a CD оr DVD аnd deliver іt tо thе lovely couple аnd gеt уоur nеxt photography order thеrе itself. Something Old was usually a token carried by another bride at a previous wedding who has had good luck or a successful and happy marriage. This gift is about sending the previous bride’s good luck and fortune on to the present one. Something New is supposed to impart good luck to the bride giving her hope and confidence for the future. Something Borrowed is said to represent happiness that is imparted to the bride from her family and friends. Any happiness that they have experienced they offer to loan to the bride while she makes her own happy memories. Something Blue is given with the hope that the bride’s marriage will be filled with an honest and pure love, as well as fidelity. A Sixpence (Coin) In Your Shoe is said to impart a financial blessing on the marriage. Few brides dare to ignore this tradition which many consider the most important of all. I know one that did.