Posts tagged as:

Tips

portrait-in-door-opening

This is just a quick tip how to take a great portrait in natural light, put your model in a door opening, or a step or two into it. The exact position will reveal itself as you try your way to the best light.

The opening should be in the shade so direct sunlight won’t hit your model, if you like you can always use a reflector to add some fill light to the scene. I have found that this “technique” is very useful when you want to add contrast to portraits. This applies mostly to light situations when the light outside is stronger than inside, but a light inside can add a little hair light or make the background more interesting.

That was just a quick blog post to get me going again, I have been neglecting this blog in English for too long due to a lot of reasons, mostly work. Or sick kids. But, I will try to add a few interesting posts soon.

product-photography-better-contrast-on-white-background

Photographing products on white background is something that never gets old, with all the e-commerce and catalogs and magazines, clients wants photos that are easy to use everywhere.

But with a white background the products might look flat and boring, often due to the background light that easily can wash away all contrast. Just using two pieces of black paper/cardboard/foamboard can solve that problem.

[Read the full post here…]

empty-background-from-portrait-on-location

When working with portraits on location or in the studio, I try to remember to shoot one photo of the background of the scene, without models.

Why?

It comes in really handy when (probably not if) you need to adjust the background, clean it up or remove something completely. Sometimes the client wants me to remove someone from the scene and to fill that space with guesswork is very hard. And takes a lot of time. Content-aware fill is not quite that aware yet.

[Read the full post here…]

studio-portrait-change-background-colour-in-lightroom

When I take portraits of my clients in the studio, I often end up with a grey background. Most of the time it is a white background, that I make light or medium grey depending on the subject and what I want to achieve, just by letting the right amount of light reach the background. But sometimes, background colour makes it a better portrait.

Changing background colour, or rather, adding, can be really really simple (just use the Adjustment Brush in Lightroom) if the portrait is lit in a way that takes away most of the hurdles when it comes to making the transition between the subject and the background look natural. Or natural enough for a studio portrait like this.

Rim lights and background colour…

every-customer-needs-and-wants-unsharp-and-fuzzy-photos

This is something for the checklist. I try to remember it, but forget it too often. The thing is really simple, you should always take a couple of really unsharp, out of focus, and generally fuzzy photos when you are hired to photograph on location, for example at your clients office.

I don’t know why I figured out this so late in my career, but the photo above with absolutely no focus in it whatsoever is very, very useful for most of my clients. They can use it as a background, toned down behind some text in a layout, or crop it and fill out some empty space on their web site or in their annual report.

All it takes is just a switch to manual focus, overexpose it a bit and you will produce bonus photos you can include in every delivery without a lot of work. You can either send it together with the photos they ordered, or send it later as a gift if you need to have an excuse when asking for more work.

It takes a little more work to get unsharp background that are useful for compositions (like these business portraits on fake backgrounds I have been doing for a couple of clients), but having something from your clients office beats trying to find a generic stock background.

A photo with no focus is best done in the camera, I think. You can achieve a similar effect using Photoshop and Lens Blur (or some other blur tool), but it is even faster to switch off auto-focus and compose it as unsharp. The photo above is not optimal, try getting bigger areas with no details in the photo (I think stock agencies call that copy space, where you can put text), and the image will be even more useful.

Just a tip, and for me to remember.