Custom vs Stock Photos

A question to ask early on in a project is, “Who has the rights?” Copyright law protects images as property of the photographer, with specific rights as defined by contract. These usually relate to time frame, types of use, and use in photographer’s promotional materials.

“For example, if you’re shooting an ad campaign, you may want to purchase rights for a year. If you extend the campaign, however, you need to renegotiate your purchase agreement with the photographer,” notes Kim Cobb, team leader at The AVS Group. “Any models, professional or not, used in pictures, should also sign releases, and you should be aware of any time or usage restriction that may be included in the release.”

“At AVS, you have rights to use images we shoot for you for as long as you want, in any type of media. There is no additional charge for these rights,” says Cobb. On the other hand, rights for stock images vary depending on the purchase agreement. Usually stock image firms allow the user free use of an image to present a concept or rough. If the user wants to use the image in a project, though, the image

Online Photo Development

Even for a computer novice, online photo development is simple. First, find a website that does online printing and access their uploading page. First-time users of a website will probably have to download some software, which is a fairly quick process. After downloading the software, the uploading of the pictures can begin. Simply navigate the desired digital pictures into the upload box and send them. When the upload is complete, proceed to the ordering page, which allows a user to select options like the size and amount of pictures that will be ordered. Enter billing and shipping information and you’re ready to receive some pictures! While some websites differ slightly in their approach to online photo printing, this is the basic process.

The process for online photo printing isn’t the only thing that companies differ in as shipping rates and photo development prices often vary. One online photo printing company may charge 12¢ per print while another may charge 29¢. Some places might bill a customer 99¢ to ship 10 photos and another will bill them a flat rate of $2.99 no matter how many pictures are shipped. There are many factors that may play into these

Lens Madness

On the other side of the coin, my father has a lens for his film SLR that he bought over 30 years ago. It is ragged, chipped and squeaks a bit. But he won’t part with it. It was cheap(ish) but it lacks some of the functionality of my friend’s DSLR lens.

My friend’s lens is huge. I can see him coming in the distance simply because he had a large photo-rucksack on his back to hold all his equipment. It is a splendid piece of glass but requires a tripod or monopod for all but the brightest of conditions.

The lens is also white. It stands out and says to everyone “I am a lens to look at”. My friend loves it and gives him added impetus to get out there and take pictures.

My father, however, gets the same results – and has been doing for 30 years – with his rag-bag of assorted accessories, some of which are nearing the end of their useful life. His lens, although tatty, produces excellent results and gets HIM out in the field taking shots, just like my friend’s does for him.

My father’s lens

Beauty of Nature Photography

Nature photography is the photography of these things. There is a wide spectrum that is included in nature photography. Pictures of sunsets, sunrises and ocean waves lapping at the shore are all nature photography. So are the trees in the forest and beautiful flowers growing in an open field.

But nature photography can go even deeper than that, showing us parts of the world that we may not be able to see otherwise. If you live in the south, you may not see snow-capped mountains if it wasn’t for nature photography. You may not be able to see a deep canyon, a volcano, or a beautiful beach if it were not for photographs of these places.

The photographers that bring us pictures of these places give us an image of something we may never see. It’s truly an amazing gift to give.

But what if you are one of the people taking these pictures? What if you are the nature loving photographer that gives this fantastic gift to someone else? You are giving a gift to other people. But you are also doing something you love. Nature photography can only be achieved by someone who

Color in CCD

First of all, why can’t a CCD detect colors? What happens inside a CDD is rather simple: when a photon hits the CCD’s substrate, it “generates” electrons. More precisely, the photon transmits its energy to an electron in the valence band, making it pass to the conduction band. At least, this happens if the photon has sufficient energy. So, there is a threshold of energy above which each incoming photon can generate electrons. Energy is strictly correlated to the wavelength and so to the “color” of the photon. So electrons are generated regardless of the color of the incident light. For this reason, CCD is said to be “panchromatic”, although it is usually improperly referred to as “monochromatic”.

So, how come we obtain colored pictures from an inherently panchromatic sensor? The trick consists of covering the photosensitive area with a color filter array (CFA), so that each pixel is covered with a colored glass according to a certain pattern. The most used pattern is the “Bayer CFA pattern”, which consists of a 2×2 matrix repeated both horizontally and vertically:



where R=red, G=green, B=blue. The repeated pattern yields:





Zeroing in on Flash

The proper position of the flash is directly over the lens. This will ensure that any shadows from the flash will occur behind the head and body and not to one side. Of course, when shooting square format like Hasselblad, the flash can be fixed in that one position. For shooting with a rectangular format like Bronica ETR or Canon DSLR, the flash must be mounted on a swinging bar so that the flash can be positioned over the lens in either a horizontal or vertical shot.

I have determined through many tests that the ideal distance of the flash head above the lens is twelve inches. There are many advantages to using this distance. First, the unavoidable reflections on the forehead, nose, cheeks and chin are conducive to making the subject look good. The forehead reflection is positioned higher on the forehead, almost into the hair line and much diminished in strength. This leaves the flat portion of the forehead reflection free and retaining the natural color of the skin.

The shape of the nose is determined by the fall off of light along the sides and the position of the reflection on the bridge

Outdoor Group Portraits

I want you to picture yourself and your family outside on a nice afternoon. It’s Thanksgiving, a great day for a family portrait. Unless it is a cloudy day, some nice shade will produce a flattering lighting ratio for your portrait. This means that the brightest part of the picture and the darkest part are not too far apart in value for the film or hard drive card to capture. Then choose a uniform background for you portrait. A stand of dark evergreens, a barn wall, a distant lawn, or a high hedge are all excellent backgrounds. The back of the house and patio, the driveway with the parked cars, or partially sunlit woods are too busy a background for your picture.

Next find something for people to sit on: a log, a small table from the patio, a picnic bench or a patio chair. The object is to have everyone’s head at a different level. Small children are, of course already low to the ground. Seat some people at chair height, others on the ground. Sitting like an Indian is not a viable pose. Try sitting the person down on the ground with their knees together,

Light Exposure

One of the first technical specifications you may encounter when you look at camera information is the aperture. (‘ap-&(r)-‘chur) The word aperture comes from the middle English aperture and Latin apertus. Apertus is the past participle of aperire, which means to open. And this is exactly what an aperture is.

Aperture refers to the size of the diameter (distance from one side of the opening to the other) of the iris when it is open at its largest point. Aperture is measured in the units F-stop. Try to remember that the smaller the F-stop, the larger the maximum lens opening on the camera. The sensitivity of the camera to light is controlled in part by the aperture.

If you are purchasing a new camera, you should look for product with an aperture range from F2.8 to F8, while advanced photographers may need a range closer to F1.8 to F16. A large aperture means that you have more leeway with lighting conditions when you are shooting. If you have a larger possible aperture, you will be more prepared for low-light conditions. To give you some perspective, the mid-range Z650 digital camera by Kodak offers both wide and telephoto

Add Effects And Spice To Life

Photo effects can sometimes be funky like backgrounds, frames, borders, texts and animations. These effects are mainly found on photo effects websites or basic photo effects applications. But the more advanced effects are bundled in packs provided with expensive photo-editing software applications. In order to add effects to photos efficiently, one must know the wide variety of options available to him in terms of photo editing. Some of these advanced yet highly effective photo effects are the halftone effect, mosaic effect, stained glass effect, watercolor effect, blurred effect, displacement effect, silhouette effect and many more. It is difficult to imagine what proper effects can do to a photo. From creating rainbows on a clear blue sky to age-progression of a young woman up to her old age, photo editing can achieve any imaginable result.

Professional graphics designers will tell you that it is best not to tinker much with a beautiful photograph. Minimalist is the new trend. The aim of the photo-editor is to add photo effects as less as possible, so that the beauty of the original photo isn’t overshadowed. It should be kept in mind that editing is for enhancing the photograph, not overshadow it.

Steady Cameras

Hold the Camera with Both Hands

Some people think it is cool to operate cameras with just one hand. I believe the manufacturers are doing you a favor by freeing up a hand not so you can use it to eat a candy bar, but so you can use it to steady the camera. Two hands are always better than one. It sounds obvious and simple yet every time I go to record a public event I always see folks holding the camcorder with just one hand. Stop acting like an amateur and hold the camera with both hands. Your audience will thank you, maybe not verbally, but will appreciate your effort.

The Correct Stance

People are lazy, especially during long shoots. If you have the job as videographer you had better not be leaning your weight on just one leg. Stand with your feet approximately shoulder length apart with your body weight balanced between both legs. This stance is proven to improve stability in all physical activity and it definitely applies in this case as well.

Electronic Stabilization

Once again, the manufacturers are trying to help you out. If you are shooting