Archive for 12. Photography Skills

The Secrets to Compelling Black and White Portraits

// March 20th, 2012 // No Comments » // 12. Photography Skills

By on 19 Mar 2012 in Guides, Shooting

Black and white photographs can portray a higher level of timelessness than color images. The lack of color also gives us a better sense of the time and mood behind a portrait.  Because of these characteristics, black and white photography has maintained a strong presence in portraiture. Since the eye perceives black and white photography differently than color photography, the process behind creating compelling black and white portraits is also a little different. Here are a few pointers to get you started:

  1. Black and white photography is all about lights and shadows. These two things, when combined, create contrast. Contrast is essential to black and white photography and part of what makes it so appealing. The real task here is finding a good balance between the two. It’s true that bright whites and black blacks are key to monochrome portraiture, but don’t forget the grays. An assortment of grays in a black and white portrait will offer some much needed separation between the highlights and shadows.
  2. Shoot in RAW. By doing so, all of the images pixel data will be preserved and will give you greater control of your image in post. If your camera has a RAW + JPEG option, use that. You can then set the JPEG to shoot in monochrome which will give you a black and white image in your viewfinder, all while having the added benefits of shooting in RAW.
  3. Know what colors look like in black and white. For example, the color red will look black in a black and white photograph. If the model is wearing a red dress and you are shooting against a dark colored background, the two may blend together resulting in a dull, flat portrait.
  4. Shoot on a low ISO. This will help avoid any grain in your photograph, which could be made more noticeable in a black and white photo, namely in the shadows. If at all possible, try to keep your ISO around 160. Many modern DSLR’s default at 160 and that’s not without reason. It is fast enough for most portraiture and produces sharp, clean photographs.
  5. Utilize texture and shapes. Similar to color portraits, using shapes, lines, and silhouettes can aid in a photographs composition. These, along with textures and patterns, are made more noticeable in black and white portraits because the eye is naturally drawn to the contrast of the image instead of the detail. For example, the weathering on an tree is initially more noticeable than tree itself, because our eye first goes to the contrast created between the age spots on the wood.

Old soul by linzeeanne, on Flickr. Pay attention to the way the light and shadows seem to decorate the subject.

Tiffany Mueller is a professional music and fine art photographer. Published in various publications including magazines, art journals, as well as books, Tiffany has been fortunate enough to have been in a perpetual state of travel since her youth and is currently working on a 50-states project. You can also keep up with Tiffany via Twitter at or on her personal blog.

How to photograph soup

// May 24th, 2011 // No Comments » // 12. Photography Skills

Part #1
Includes a discussion of photography lighting equipment and photography lighting equipment techniques.


Photographic lighting and photographing food, and especially soup, is a lot harder than it looks.  Unlike photographic lighting the typical food shoot, there are a few things that limit what you can do to make soup look good. Explaining how to overcome these soup-specific photographic lighting obstacles is the purpose for this article.  After reading this, you will understand the many food photography lighting tips tricks and techniques need to successfully photograph soup. (more…)

what’s the best digital camera lens for digital food photography?

// May 24th, 2011 // No Comments » // 12. Photography Skills

Just as in other types of digital photography, in food photography, one photographer may have his or her “favorite” camera lens for shooting food, but that doesn’t mean it’s the “best” camera lens. It may just be the lens that photographer started out using, and over time, that photographer became comfortable with its look. That photographer may conclude that the camera lens she uses is the best lens for photographing food, when in fact, she’s stuck in a rut and wouldn’t even think of using another camera lens out of habit. (more…)

Jean-François Campos và chiến dịch mới của Dior

// May 11th, 2011 // No Comments » // 12. Photography Skills

Trong những bức ảnh đen trắng này, Jean-François Campos đã cho thấy khả năng duy trì sự cân bằng giữa hội họa và nhiếp ảnh.

Điểm kỳ lạ là người ta khó có thể tưởng tượng được đây lại là một bộ ảnh quảng bá cho các sản phẩm mỹ phẩm. Có lẽ, chính sự táo bạo này đã mang lại ấn tượng về vẻ đẹp hiện đại trong dáng vẻ cổ điển.


Sexy Glasses Portrait Photography

// May 5th, 2011 // No Comments » // 12. Photography Skills

We’ve all been inspired by photography in many forms, styles and conceptual ideas. It’s when photography is at its most simplistic with a single focus, is at it’s best in my opinion. I love to find great photography which showcases its subject matter as a (normally female) adult rocking some glasses/sunglasses.

Photograph: theluckynine (more…)

5 Situations When Manual Focus is Better than Auto Focus

// February 23rd, 2011 // No Comments » // 12. Photography Skills

by Darren Rowse


Digital Cameras present photographers with an ever increasing array of Automatic and Semi Automatic shooting modes. Most of these center around different ways of exposing your shots – however many cameras also give options for different focusing modes (auto, continuous focusing for moving subjects and manual).

It’s no wonder then that many photographers never make use of their camera and lens’ ability to focus manually. In fact this week I spoke with one DSLR owner recently who hadn’t even noticed the manual/auto focus switch on the side of his lens.

Image by dsevilla (more…)

How To Become a Food Stylist

// July 15th, 2010 // No Comments » // 09. Miscellaneous, 12. Photography Skills

A food stylist is a person who makes food look more attractive in a finished photograph. Stylists arrange food carefully and artfully. They must have the ability to perceive the taste, aroma, and actual dish to make food appealing.



Food stylists must train in culinary arts, just as the professional chefs around the world who have knowledge in cooking techniques and nutrition. They are resourceful shoppers and find ways to be creative with the presentation of food to make it look appealing in photographs. (more…)

Taking Professional Looking Photos Without a Professional

// March 7th, 2010 // No Comments » // 11. Special Tips, 12. Photography Skills

The Setup:

When taking your own photos, you want lots of light – but not direct light. Direct light will cause harsh shadows, which you don’t want. DO NOT USE A FLASH! Flashes wash out colors and details – and even the entire photo if you are taking close up shots. Professional looking product photos have soft shadows and a subtle background. To achieve this effect, you want soft, diffused light. You could buy a fancy “photo tent” or “light box” to diffuse the light for you… but who wants to spend that much money? What I use is a semi clear, frosted plastic Rubbermaid container. Choose a size that fits what you are photographing.

Obviously, this container method will only work for items that will fit inside the container. The frosted plastic of the container serves to diffuse the light somewhat. To do so even more, drape a layer of white interfacing over the container (you can get this at any fabric store – about $1.50 a yard.) You could also use a white sheet. I have two clip on lamps attached to the container, and another lamp in the front of the container with a piece of interfacing draped over it. Be sure to use Daylight light bulbs – they produce a much nicer light than normal incandescent (which produce a yellow cast) or fluorescent (which produce a green cast) light bulbs. You can buy these inexpensive bulbs almost anywhere. Look for GE Reveal light bulbs.

For the background, trim a piece of white matte poster board and curve it inside the container. This serves as your seamless background. You can use any color matte poster board for this – though I personally think white looks the most professional, and is also easier to work with later on.

Here is a photo of the setup I use:

The Camera:
If you can, get and use a tripod. Most people cannot hold their cameras steady enough for slower shutter speeds – and a shaky hand creates a blurry photo. You can get cheap, small tripods on places like eBay. (more…)

Adobe Lightroom Tutorial

// March 7th, 2010 // No Comments » // 06. Tutorials, 12. Photography Skills

Adobe Lightroom Tutorial (a.k.a. my dirty little secret)

Before and After

I have a confession to make… I’m actually a terrible photographer. I honestly can’t be bothered fiddling with stuff like manual focus, white balance and even a proper exposure, especially when photographing my dinner which is getting cold right before my hungry eyes. (more…)

27 Brilliant Examples Of LandScape Photography

// August 10th, 2009 // 1 Comment » // 12. Photography Skills

If you’ve been here, you must’ve figured out my passion for awesome pictures. Whether they’re HD or fantastic wallpapers, I’m always on a look out. I recently have been looking at these Brilliant landscape pictures, reminding myself, how would’ve I actually felt if I was there. And would love to share the ones I loved.

In Front Of The Lines

infront (more…)