That Editorial Photographer Now Wants to Capture You Candidly!

Any art form, that is well preserved so far, has taken its own undue time to evolve into what it is today. Take photography for instance, in less than a century, the artistic capture of events has slowly molded itself into a more mainstream career very recently. Where fashion and commercial photography have been the booming rivulets of mainstream photography, editorial photography has been around for awhile. Yet, in comparison with the former two, editorial photography seems to be facing tougher times.

In a surprising disclosure, many photographers are now pursuing the candid nature of editorial photography full-fledged. Recent statistics about professional photography suggest a high demand for editorial photographers for varied reasons. An editorial photo shoot is one of the most common and widely applicable forms of photography, especially, deployed in press and magazine purposes.

A little shift from the regular trend, many photographers are now giving a creative and trendier curve to the editorial photography genre. What makes editorial photo shoots so popular with the shutterbugs and masses alike is the fact that, unlike commercial and fashion photography, it isn’t about any selling pitches to advertise a product or a high-profile lifestyle. It is about communicating a topic through your pictures, your shots. Most freelancers, amateurs start as an editorial photographer for a base.

Editorial photography emerged as a by-product of journalism. Images that supported the theme of the editorial copy, or at the very least, said what the words were insufficient to imply. It is needless to say that an image is worth a thousand words. And that is why editorial photography is important; yet it is not so booming. A lot of creative thought and effort needs to go behind an editorial shoot because a photographer has to replicate what the content reflects through his compositions. The very mood of the article piece needs to be captured perfectly in order to support the editorial well.

So unlike other professional formats of photography, editorial photo shoots come with a lot of creative freedom; which is a breather from following client briefs and working in a stipulated framework! That’s why we are experiencing an influx of photographers into editorial streams in the recent times. Somewhere back in time, a noted editorial photographer had urged local people to come forward for editorial shoots. The photographer had various themes in mind that he wanted to capture through his lens, so he floated open invitations to people around to incorporate as much genuineness as possible in his photo shoots.

Most common people get ready to shoot themselves by photographers. That brings more sincerity and authenticity to a photographer’s work.

The latest to hit the stand is news from a photographer who is compiling editorial shots of all residents in his city who previously hailed from other nations. He plans to put up an exhibition of his multi-cultural, diverse-ethnicity-depicting shoots in an exhibition later to commemorate the Cosmopolis streak of his city.

Photography – The Benefits of Using a Tripod

Camera technology has advanced so much that just about anyone can take good photos. Not necessarily great photos, because that’s more to do with composition, subject matter, the effective use of light and shadow etc. However, if there’s one item that helps in taking better shots, it’s the humble tripod. Many of us believe that a tripod is nothing but an extra item that helps us stop camera shake. With high ISO capabilities in new cameras, with increased shutter speeds particularly in low light conditions, then why do we need a tripod? This article looks at the many different ways a tripod can make us better photographers or at the very least, increase our capabilities in using a camera.

The most obvious use of a tripod is that it affords stability to the camera and avoids camera shake by the operator in those situations where longer exposure times are necessary. Not many of us can hold a camera steady much below 1/60s shutter speed, so we have no chance of avoiding camera shake when the exposure time could be seconds or minutes or sometimes hours in length. Examples of these times are:

  1. Night shots: star trails, firework displays, moon shots, cityscapes, and vehicle movement where blurring the lights is sought.
  2. Motion blur: waterfalls, sports action, and ocean wave movement.
  3. Low light conditions without the use of flash.

We all like to produce photos which are as sharp as we can get. The tripod assists in obtaining clear focus, especially if we use timer delays or remote shutter releases, as even when pressing the shutter button can cause the camera to shake.

Talking about timer delays, the tripod is a boon when making delayed action movies. Several hundred or thousand individual photos of an object are shot at predetermined intervals and run together to give those amazing movies of flowers opening, cloud movement or of decaying objects. The camera not only needs to be steady but to be in the same position for each shot. The tripod is also pretty useful in setting up a group with you in it as the photographer, using the timer delay on the camera.

If you are taking panorama shots or action shots where a steady panning motion is needed, the tripod is a must. A tip I picked up along the way was to use a large elastic band on the arm of the tripod head. Pulling on the elastic band, when panning, reduces any jerkiness of movement which produces a good over all result.

If you are into HDR dynamic shots, and many photographers are today, you will need a tripod for auto bracketing. This allows you to take several identical shots of the subject at different exposures. When you process the shots in your favourite image editing software, they can be combined to produce those wonderful shots where everything is dynamically exposed.

I am an ardent macro photographer and there is nothing more frustrating than trying to get a really small object into focus, such as insects on flowers. All too often, the insect eyes are in focus but other areas on the insect which are marginally further away, are too blurry. To overcome this I use small aperture settings to give a large depth of field which in turn means slower shutter speeds. A tripod comes in handy in these situations. I also use sliding bracket attachments where the camera sits on the bracket and where I can finely adjust the camera movement in two planes. I can produce some really finely focused images this way.

One way that a tripod is useful, and not necessarily in an obvious way, is that it gives us time to compose our shots instead of taking instant hand held snap shots wherever we are. While this has its place in photography, we sometimes need to slow down, stand back and fine tune our composition to be able to produce dramatic landscapes, for example.

Another less obvious use of a tripod is camera placement. Being able to capture low level shots or greater than head level can be achieved with a tripod, without having to lie on the ground or climb a step ladder.

Tripods are also versatile in that they can also double up as light stands, microphone stands, stands for reflectors or flash units. I have even heard of one photographer use a tripod as a weapon to defend himself from a vicious dog!

A final note is that if you find the tripod a bit of an encumbrance to carry around, have you considered a monopod? These can double up as a walking stick and are nearly as good as tripods. There are other tripods on the market which fold down to the size of a ruler and snap open in the fixed leg position when needed.

Tripods are therefore a wonderful accompaniment to our camera equipment and we should all be encouraged to make more use of them.

Digital Photography – What Are Pixels?

Once upon a time artwork was created with pigments, paints, inks, and dyes. Real tangible things in a real tangible world. But as we are moving into the digitial world, the common material in artwork is shifting to a digital form… the pixel. Whether your digital creations are photographs or Photoshop creations or illustrator artwork, any digital art piece is composed of pixels. But what are they really?

The word pixel is actually short for picture element. So in a very literally sense, a pixel is one of many minute details, or elements, creating the whole image. Every photograph or digital art piece, is made up of pixels. They are the smallest unit of information that makes up a picture. The more pixels in an image, the larger and more detailed the artwork most likely is.

The number of pixels used to create an image is often referred to as the ‘resolution’. The best digital cameras have the highest pixel count because they produce a higher-quality image. Because if you remember, the more pixels you have available, the more precies and detailed your image can be.

In colour images a pixel is typically comprised of three color components known as RGB (red, green, blue) or four color dots, known as CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black). Most digital forms of art are saved as RGB since that’s how screens are programmed to read the colors and project the light. But most professional printers will use the CMYK format because your standard printer is set up to print with CMYK pigments.

Regardless of whether you are using RGB or CMYK, when these colour dots converge, they build coloured pixels. So if you have red and blue pixels resting near one annother your are likely to see a purple hue in the larger image.

These days we often focus on Megapixels more than on the idea of individual pixels. A megapixel (MP) is 1,000,000 pixels. In addition to it’s reference to the number of pixels in an image, it also expresses the number of image sensor elements in digital cameras or the number of display elements in digital displays. For example, a camera that makes a 2048×1536 pixel image typically uses a few extra rows and columns of sensor elements and is commonly said to have 3.2 megapixels or 3.4 megapixels.

In most digital cameras, the sensor array is covered with a patterned color filter mosaic containing the red, green, and blue we discussed earlier. This set up allows each sensor element to record the intensity of a single primary color of light. The camera interpolates the color information of neighboring sensor elements, through a process called demosaicing, to create the final image. These sensor elements are often called “pixels”, even though they only record 1 channel (only red, or green, or blue) of the final color image.

It’s also important to note that a camera with a full-frame image sensor, and a camera with an APS-C image sensor, may have the same pixel count, but the full-frame camera may have better dynamic range, less noise, and improved low-light shooting performance than an APS-C camera. This is because the full-frame camera has a larger image sensor than the APS-C camera, therefore more information can be captured per pixel. A full-frame camera that shoots photographs at 36 megapixels has roughly the same pixel size as an APS-C camera that shoots at 16 megapixels.

So while a pixel itself may be very small, without them we would not be able to make up the whole. Each pixel helps bring detail and life to an image. The more pixels you have the more detailed the art piece you can create.