Travel Photography in the Real World

Many articles discuss the best practices for travel photography, and many of them, while providing worthwhile advice, tend not to take into account the fact that conditions are not always perfect for making photographs. The sky is not always blue, the crowds of tourists do not always clear a path for you to make your image, the light is not always perfect and you may not always have the latest gear. There are however some practices that you can put into place to help you create strong images when time is short and you can’t always wait for conditions to improve.

Do your homework

It is well worthwhile doing some research on your destination before you leave. This will give you an idea of what things are going to look like when you arrive. If you have an idea of what you want to photograph before getting to a location, you may also be able to research best vantage points and times to be there. This will help you plan your day and allow you to fit in more shooting than if you leave it all until you arrive and try to make it up on the spot. Although there is much to be said for simply, arriving and wandering a city to get your bearings and shooting what appeals to you, if you are short of time, you might find this a much more stressful and pressured experience and not enjoy the experience of photographing in a new place. And enjoyment is the whole purpose of photography in the first place.

Shooting in the middle of the day

So many photography instructors and books tell you to shoot in the “Golden Hours” the hour just after sunrise and just before sunset, because these times present the best light for photography. The soft golden light that is most flattering. And they are right. Using this type of light it is easier to create a standout image. There are however some practicality issues with this. If you are at a destination for only a short period of time, you can ill afford to lose any time shooting. Shooting for only 2 hours when you are at your location for only a day or two almost always results in regret for lost opportunities. That’s an awful lot of time in between to waste, and there is really no reason not to keep on shooting throughout the day. It can also help to push you creatively as you will need to come up with ways to deal with harsh sunlight or flat skies. These conditions can help in adding mood to an image if you use them to your advantage. Such as a harsh noon sun that lets you feel the heat of the day in the image by producing intense colour. Or a soft overcast day that helps to keep the detail in objects or people’s faces.

Know your equipment

Know how to use your camera without the need to think about it. When you have to stop and think about how to adjust settings, you miss moments. There are so many considerations to make when making a photograph that it can be a bit overwhelming. What is my subject? How to I frame the image? What aperture works best? Do I zoom out or in? And once you’ve decided all this, you still need to adjust the camera settings to achieve the desired outcome. And all this in a split second. So if you can make these adjustments while making the decisions and not having to take the camera away from your eye, this might just be the difference between capturing the image you see in your mind, and missing the moment. But how to practice this. It seems simplistic, but getting out there and shooting as much as you can is the best way.

Concentrate on where the various controls are and adjusting them without taking the camera away from your eye. Start with stationary subjects and move onto moving subjects. It will be difficult and a little frustrating at first, but worthwhile once you put it into practice and come away with the images that you envisioned.

We would all love to have weeks or even months to stay at a location and explore it fully and take our time to make great photographs, but for most of us it is just not practical. So to get the best out of our photography when we do travel somewhere new, we need to adapt and be flexible. Working out the best way to do this will make your next trip both more rewarding and more enjoyable.

Market Your Photography Business

Setting up your own photography business it easy, you don’t need office space in can be done from your own home. However this is not the easiest type of business to market, especially if you are new to the business. Quite often to market this type of business you need specialist contacts, and your newness to the business precludes you from having these contacts, unless of course your surname is Eastman.

Don’t underestimate the power of marketing, because it is the tool that can make or break your business. Marketing is the commercial aspect of transferring goods from one owner to another. Without this tool you are lost, but don’t despair, there are effective avenues you can explore to market your business successfully.

First of all you need to decide what form of business you are going to set up, there are only two basic types – Assignment photography and Stock photography.

Assignment photography covers jobs that you have been hired to photograph. In other words you have a specific target to photograph. An example of this type of photography is to cover Mr X’s wedding. This type of the photography is the bread and butter of photographers, however it is unlikely to win you the Pulitzer Prize for photography.

The photographs will have a limited appeal, in the case of Mr X’s wedding; no matter how technically perfect those photographs are, they are going to have a limited appeal. They are simply not marketable outside the field of the family of Mr X.

Stock photography, is exactly what the name suggest, you have a stock of photographs and you have to market them. You have taken the photographs without having a buyer. This type of photography is much more speculative, and you may waste a lot of resources. You may have to invest a great deal of time and or film, depending on whether you are using an SLR camera, or a Digital Camera. Non-professionals think these photographs occur when you are in the right place at the right time. In reality though, being in the correct place has an element of advantage, who can forget the child on fire from Napalm running out of a village in the Vietnam war; often they are a particular photograph taken out of a series of hundreds. Whilst these photographs are often more exciting to take, they can be boring as well, and you may never quite get that photograph that “Says it All”.

There are effective ways to market these stock photographs, which is wonderful for the beginner because you do not bear the cost of the marketing. There are several stock picture libraries on line. You submit your photographs to these libraries, and they then sell the rights for others to reproduce them. The price structure on this type of photography depends on its content and also where it is sold. It may go on the front page of an encyclopaedia with a print run of half a million, and it may go on someone’s private web site. There will be a different rate for the type of photograph and its market. When your photograph is sold the library will deduct a percentage of your commission for marketing and of course profit.

Most photographers when they start will combine these types of business to varying degrees. There are several ways that you can boost your marketing profile without actually spending any money. Join a local photography society is one way, another is to go to your local town hall and see if your local chamber of commerce has a group of professional photographers. Another more involved way to market your business and bring it into a higher profile with the local community is to offer to teach photography free of charge. Yes I know the chances are that you are working from home, but why not offer to do it in a local school.

The debate is still raging about SLR cameras versus digital, and it looks like it will for some time to come.

It is still fair to say that most photographers want great imaging, in a compact affordable package. Improved design techniques for the digital camera are now delivering a viable alternative to 35mm film, but one of the drawbacks to marketing this type of film, was the time consumed producing digital photographs at home. Home development often does not give a professional finish. There are now photo development agencies online which will give you great images. You upload the photographs on to your chosen site and they will print them and forward them on to you. This way you can ensure crystal clear prints to your instructions. Kodak gallery allows you to share your prints online afterwards by allowing you storage space, which means that you don’t even have to scan your pictures. Don’t forget to check out our other articles for great hints and tips for every step of your business development. Make your business work for you!

Whilst marketing is a very important aspect of the business, it does not compensate for lack of quality. Sharp clear prints sell, and others don’t. Make sure that you invest in good quality basics, such as a tripod. It is not necessary to invest in products you will use once a year, if you need them then hire them, especially when you are just starting. Even if you use digital, it is still a fact that the lens is more important than the camera. Make sure the equipment you buy is going to work for you. Extra time spent asking questions before you buy will pay dividends later, in terms of money saved. Everyone wastes money at some time or other, but being forethought and researching can reduce that substantially.

Study at Home Digital Photography Classes

For anyone interested in study at home digital photography classes, there are a wealth of options available on the Internet. From professional online photography schools to free online photography lessons, there are truly more study at home digital photography classes available now than ever. Given that digital photographs are so widely distributed on the Internet, it makes sense that so many online resources are available.

This article will guide you through the three most common options for study at home digital photography classes.

Online Digital Photography Schools

For the serious student of digital photography, there are accredited universities that now offer entire photography degree programs online. The Academy of Art University, founded and based in San Francisco, CA, is one such school that offers a completely online photography degree program.

The major curriculum is heavily focused on digital photography techniques and includes such classes as:

– Digital Photography
– Photo shop for Photographers
– Digital Production for Photographers
– Advanced Digital Printing

In addition to accredited schools that have a diploma program, there are also independent companies that offer certificates and instruction in digital photography. It is important to do some research to see if the company you are considering taking lessons from is an accredited institution that can offer a valid diploma or a private company offering instruction and certificates of completion.

Online Digital Photography Classes

If you are not looking to earn a degree in digital photography but still want to take a course taught by college-level professors, local community colleges and vocational-technical schools generally offer study at home digital photography classes either online or through other distance learning arrangements. Most four year universities also offer adult learning, noncredit courses available on the Internet or by correspondence.

Free Online Digital Photography Lessons, Tips and Articles

There are also a sizable number of free study at home digital photography classes and lessons available on the Internet. Another great thing about these free offerings is that you can pick and choose from many different classes and take the courses or read the articles on your own time.

One especially fantastic free online resource is the site http://www.shortcourses.com. Some of the lessons include:

– Using Your Digital Camera
– Digital Photography
– Displaying & Sharing Your Digital Photos

About.com also has many articles available on their site; you can either search for “digital photography” using their site search tool, or visit http://photography.about.com for general and digital-specific photography lessons, tips and articles. A Google search for “digital photography lessons” will also yield many different results for you to read and learn from.

Conclusion

Thanks to the far reach and convenience of the Internet, study at home digital photography classes and lessons are easily available for you to pursue on your own time. In addition to the resources listed above, you will find that there are many wonderful communities out there that will also guide you in your quest to learn and master the art of digital photography.

The Benefits of Getting a Photography Degree

A photography degree will give an edge to those that do not have one. The training, skills, and experience gained on top of the networking opportunities will help boost people’s careers in the field. Below are five benefits to having a photography degree.

Have the edge with a degree

Being in school allows photographers to develop a portfolio early on which will help them find a job after. Photography schools provide some of the top notch equipment for use in order to take high quality photos for portfolios.

Have access to professional quality equipment

By going to school, people have access to multitude of professional equipment. Schools are constantly updating their facility and gadgets and students have access to that. Students will be able to access these resources in school and learn how to operate them.

Get professional feedback

Photography schools will provide professional photographers as mentors to give feedback and critique work. Having a mentor, peers, and professors to constantly judge your work will help you grow as a photographer. Understanding different perspectives from different people will allow you to further your skills.

Become a well-rounded individual

Photography school will allow students to take a multitude of courses in different types of photography and other areas. Students will be able to become familiar with different concepts, styles, and techniques. This will allow students to become better rounded.

Get job placement

By being in school, there are many opportunities to get a job after school is completed. Schools may offer job opportunities to students who will be close to graduation. There may also be tons of resources for part time or internship work. The career services department can prepare students for interviews and job placements for the real-world as well.

The years people spend in college give them a mature perspective and approach to life. Aside from learning the proper way to do photography, people develop business skills that will help them become well rounded individuals. The connections and network built in school opens up connections that people wouldn’t have if they did not attend school. Some companies require a degree in order to even be considered for a job. A degree, in any discipline, is good for self-confidence, something that is vital in being successful at anything. These benefits listed above are guaranteed if students are in school. Although people may think that a degree is not necessary to be photographer, most of the benefits of pursuing a degree are the resources and network connections built while attending school.

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