Tag Archives: Quick Tips

Your Sports Shooting Needs This

Spring sports are well underway and for those who have kids, spouses or friends playing competitive sports, the field of play is ripe with storytelling opportunities. Make sure to have a quality monopod to help you capture the action and be in position for the best shots.

For example, the ProMaster Professional MPV432 Monopod is the ideal blend of form and function. Small enough to help you infiltrate any crowd but tough enough to withstand the elements and demands of sports photography and videography, the MPV432 Monopod is a great portable solution for getting stable, smooth video with your camera or camcorder. Featuring an ultra smooth ball joint base with a compact retractable stand for firm footing on any surface, it’s also perfect for nature photography. Get ready for the season by picking up yours here: Wholesale Photo Cafe Monopods

Shooting Old-School: Cross Processing

Did you know that one of today’s most popular effects has its roots in the days of shooting film? Cross-processing, a technique that is experiencing popularity in fashion photography, on Instagram and on countless blogs, was originally an effect created when the film developer took negative film (C41) and processed it as a positive (using E6 chemicals) or vice versa. Today, the stylized look is enjoying a revival and can be mimicked through the use of online editing tools such as those in Photoshop.

In essence, the effect will combine strong warm tones (yellow) with blue shadow tones. In film days, the final results could vary based upon the types of film used and the balance of the chemicals. To create this style digitally, try making adjustments using the Curve tool in Photoshop or Lightroom. Making changes to the tonal ranges in each of the red, green and blue channels will show the impact of such adjustments and you can tweak each channel accordingly. There is no right or wrong way to create this effect – the joy is in the experimentation – so feel free to get carried away!

If you’re searching for a way to bring a fresh style to your images with a nod to classic photography, cross-processing effects may be the perfect fit.

Lens Protection 101

Bergen County, NJ- You’ve invested in a quality DSLR, so make sure your lens is properly protected from scratches, dust, fingerprints and other elements that can compromise your photography.   The ProMaster Digital HGX Protection Filter is a crystal clear colorless filter with advanced anti-reflective coatings designed especially for use with digital imaging sensors. The REPELLAMAX™ element resistant coating provides security and protection, making sure your images are as sharp as possible. Come by the store and pick up yours today! Learn more: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MspoTAkim1I&list=PLOdial9dwmRAuVqoZyzyL72LJRjDn5dJ5


Thanksgiving Photo Tips from Debbie Riggs of Pure Photography

Bergen County, NJ-  Debbie Riggs, owner of Pure Photography in Abilene, Texas, is a professional photographer specializing in children and family portraits. We felt her expertise made her the perfect person to turn to for advice regarding family photos. We asked Debbie for a few tips to make the most of this year’s Thanksgiving gathering.

Here are a few of her favorite quick tips:  If there’s time to coordinate clothing, send out a message for ideas of what to wear.   “Notify everyone ahead of time and give them three colors to choose from for their outfits such as berry red, brown, gold and jeans. Let each family show their own style/personality in what they choose and yet you’re not having to match exactly.”   This technique is helpful because it gives members a range of possibilities and keeps everyone from looking exactly the same.

“Plan on taking the family portrait outside about an hour or so before sunset,” she says.   Photographers know that the ‘golden hour’ is ideal for most shooting situations so it’s worth the effort to gather your loved ones outdoors for a quick family photo.

Her final recommendation? “Hire a professional photographer!” In all seriousness, if you have family traveling from a fair distance, having a professional come to shoot a family photo would be a gift to share with all your loved ones. It can also take the pressure off of the host family, allowing them to simply enjoy capturing the moment.

To learn more about Debbie Riggs, visit http://www.pure-photography.com

Giving Thanks for Fabulous Family Photos!

Bergen County, NJ-  Thanksgiving brings the promise of food, football and family. For many, it’s a most favored holiday and it’s easy to see why. When families gather together to celebrate, we want to make sure we’ve taken plenty of fabulous photos to remember this special gathering.

Here are some of our favorite tips for making sure the snaps you shoot are cause for celebration:

Fifteen-Minutes Will Save Frustration Later: A few days before family arrives, spend a few minutes getting your gear in order. If you have images on your memory card, transfer them to your primary computer, verify they transferred without incident and reformat the camera card. Charge your camera’s battery and, if you have an external flash, make sure it’s charged with new batteries and is in working order. Also, double-check that your lens cleaning cloth is in your bag. One rogue fingerprint can kill an entire series of shots. We have some quality cleaning products for your camera bag here.

Also, remember to revisit how to use the timer function on your camera. After all, you don’t want to just take the photos – you’ll want to be in them as well!

Learn Your Lighting Situation: If the Thanksgiving feast is being held at your home or at a nearby relative’s house, scout the most likely areas to shoot family photos. What lighting options are available? Are there large windows nearby to lend available light? Does the room have a low ceiling and few light sources?

Surveying the possible posing locations and studying lighting can greatly improve your success rate when it comes to shooting quality holiday photos. You’ll have a sense of where the best lighting is located and can bring additional lighting if needed. You’re also much more likely to get cooperation from pint-sized subjects if you have all the tough stuff figured out in advance. All you’ll need to do is pose and shoot!

Showcase Your Storytelling Skills: Do you have an idea of what you’d like to capture this holiday season? For example, maybe the all-day cooking marathon in the kitchen always brings a smile to your face. Thanksgiving photos aren’t solely for the dinner table presentation, although that particular shot is certain to be a favorite. Document the interactions between loved ones – the offhanded laughs, the shared smiles and the candid conversations exchanged throughout the day. The outdoor football game, the long walk after an amazing meal and the kids playing in the yard are all great opportunities to create Thanksgiving memories.

Picture Perfect Posing: Getting everyone to cooperate is particularly important when large groups and small children are involved so your careful planning is about to pay off! When your family members know that you’ve put a bit of thought into the process, they’re more likely to realize it should be a quick and painless event!

For posed group portraits, you’re more likely to get cooperation from family earlier in the day. For elderly family members, make sure posing includes a comfortable chair for them to sit and place others around them according to height. Younger kids can sit cross-legged on the floor in front. Getting engaged smiles is an easier task if you stay connected to them. One accessory that can assist you in staying connected is a remote shutter release. It’s one of the most helpful accessories you can keep in your camera bag for shooting family portraits. Our selection of quality remote releases is priced perfectly for your budget. Consider our selection here.

Share the Love: With so many choices online, sharing your family photos has never been easier. Just make sure to get copies to all the family members involved. For example, some grandparents have a Facebook account while others prefer to have hard copies, so take care to send a set of printed photos if they aren’t comfortable viewing images online. Upload your photos for us to print here.

Photographing Fall Foliage

Bergen County, NJ- The season’s vibrant forests filled with leaves changing colors beckons us to spend a day outdoors with camera in hand.  Taking time to enjoy nature can inspire us in several ways and influence our photography in positive ways. Each time of day offers advantages and challenges, but many pros agree that shooting in the late afternoon – when your shadow is taller than you are – is a great time to photograph the great outdoors. Early mornings are also excellent, although you’ll need to decide if morning dew adds to your composition or simply complicates things.  And don’t let overcast skies deter you, either – the clouds can help emphasize the vibrancy of leaves and other changing foliage.


Posing Quick Tip

Bergen County, NJ-  While teenagers across the world may revel in taking ‘selfie’ photos, many of us tend to hide whenever a camera lens comes out. We are often most critical of ourselves, especially in photos, but with a quick tip or two, we can take a bit of angst out of posing so that your smile will be an authentic one.

The worst pose is one that positions your body squarely in front of the camera. We often know which side is our ‘best side,’ so angle your body accordingly for the photo. This can be done subtly without any big announcement; simply tilt your body at an angle and, if possible, bend your elbows so there is a bit of open space between your arm and your body. Photographers use this popular posing tip because they understand that creating pleasing portraits includes the ability to use body angles advantageously.


3 Ways to Pick the Perfect Gear Bag

Bergen County, NJ-  While many of us are guilty of tossing our digital cameras and equipment inside a large tote or backpack, deep down we know that we should be taking better care of our gear. The right bag provides a number of benefits including proper padding to absorb shock and to protect from bumps and drops, and keeping all your accessories and chargers in one place so they aren’t lost before your next trip. There are so many designs to choose from, and it can get a bit overwhelming at times, so let us help you narrow your focus. Here are a few tips to help you find the right gear bag for your needs:

Consider Your Gear: Take a quick mental inventory of your equipment. Do you use a point-and-shoot camera or do you switch between a point-and-shoot and your DSLR depending on the situation? How many lenses do you have? Are there accessories that you own that you often forget to bring with you such as filters, flashes or lens cleaner? How often will you need your laptop with you during a shoot or travel? Do you want to keep everything streamlined—including your laptop– in one bag or do you have a laptop bag you already use for this purpose? Thinking about all your items as a group will help you get a better idea of which bags will make the cut.

Include Room to Grow: If you’re like many photo enthusiasts, you’ve got a wish list of accessories and other items you’d like to own one day. While there’s no reason to purchase a bag that far exceeds your current needs, ponder getting a slightly larger size if you are considering additional purchases of equipment this year.
What’s Your Style? It’s important to consider your preferences when choosing a bag. Some people find that a backpack style is the perfect design when needing to carry a substantial amount of gear comfortably while others prefer a messenger style designed to lay flat on the hip and that distributes weight off the shoulder. Still others would prefer something that blends into a work environment and looks more like a traditional briefcase.

How Will You Use Your Bag? Will your camera bag often be considered a carry-on for airline travel or do you need something capable of handling additional items when out hiking or outdoors? Do you need a smaller model that lets you travel light? Or, is it best to have a rolling hard case to help you navigate train and airport terminals?

When it comes to keeping your gear protected and organized, the right bag can make all the difference. We’ve got a number of different styles for you to consider ranging from small messengers to full-sized carryalls.  Check out our selection here or come in and try some out for yourself.


Life’s A Beach: Fill Flash Quick Tip!

Summertime means beach fun and frolicking, and it also means fantastic photos that will serve as a reminder of those adventures long after they’ve ended. Beach photos can be tricky, however, in that the sun can work against us. For example, strong sunlight can create harsh shadows, but using your flash can help combat that issue.

Most people (rightfully) assume that the flash should be used in an absence of light, but in cases where harsh shadows fall on the subject, a fill-flash can eliminate the issue of darkness under the eyes, nose and chin. Just remember that the flash needs to be only a few feet from the subject to be effective!

Creating Drama with Backlight

Backlite golf

Bergen County, NJ- Professional photographers know the ability to evaluate light’s direction and strength–and how to effectively work with what you have–separates the amateurs from the experts. This developed skill requires us to slow down for a few moments to consider the surroundings and then determine how to use the light to its maximum advantage.

Some photographers shy away from shooting in backlight, which is essentially when the sun or other primary light source is behind the subject. Backlight does pose a few more obstacles than sidelight or front light but it can also create effects simply not possible with more even and ‘safe’ standard light.

Dial Up the Drama: One of the best things about backlight is that it creates a dramatic contrast with your subject. Whether the subject is a wall, a woman or a wave, backlight lends a unique emotional impact.. You can play with silhouettes and shadows by adjusting your subject and your camera angle. Don’t shy away from casting shadows on all or part of your subject’s face as this technique can create a compelling vivid image.

Emphasize the Edges: Backlighting is an excellent tool for creating contrast around the edges of a subject or object. For example, backlighting can heighten any item with an interesting silhouette or circumference. A woman’s hair can appear wild in the wind while the shadow shields her face, creating an air of mystery. You may have to adjust your position slightly to create the effect you envision, but this is part of experimenting with the craft.

Fun with Flowers: One way to understand the impact of backlighting is to photograph flowers or foliage. If possible, position the lens underneath the flowers and shoot with the light overhead. You’ll notice the way the light impacts the fine veins of the flowers, the edges of the petals and how the light spilling between the petals impacts the overall composition. Backlighting doesn’t mean a complete blackout of the subject, which this experiment will demonstrate. Backlighting can bring out a different aspect that escapes other lighting situations.

Never Fear Failure: Backlit images are something that amateur photographers often shy away from, but there is nothing lost through experimenting. In fact, there is much to be gained. Don’t be afraid of failing. You might try this technique a dozen times before you get something you like. That’s the price of mastery–putting your hesitation aside and trying new techniques. You’re not shooting film–the delete key is free–and every session gives you valuable experience that you simply can’t get any other way. Keep trying and experimenting and you’ll soon find your backlit images will go from simple to stunning.