BrickHouse Photo School

Tips, Tricks and Reviews for Photo Hobbyists

Posts Tagged ‘ideas

Great Ads Use Great Photography

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I love advertising/commercial photography. It’s one of the most creative forms of photography there is and in today’s marketplace, advertising photographers have to be in fifth-gear all the time.

While you may not be an ad shooter and may not even aspire to be, you can get some great ideas looking at the work. Here’s a look at some of my favorites.

tylenolad
Product: Tylenol
Advertising Agency: Vale Euro RSCG, México DF, México
Photographer: Juan Salvarredy
Published: December 2008
Tagline: There are some questions that are such a headache.

dramaminead
Product: Dramamine
Advertising Agency: JWT, Venezuela
Photographer: Claudio Napolitano
Tagline: Go around the world without the world moving you around.

sonyad

Product: Sony Alpha900 DSLR
Advertising Agency: Sparkfury Creative Consultants, Singapore
Photographer: TEO Studio
Published: August 2008
Tagline: Capture the truth with a 24.6 megapixel Alpha900

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Olympus Posts Finalist Images and Kicks Off Public Voting for ‘Photographer of Tomorrow’ Contest

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I will often publish media releases related to photography on this blog in order to help keep you informed. These media releases are created by the respective companies. I edit the releases for space as needed.

Olympus today unveiled the 20 finalist images for the second annual Photographers of Tomorrow contest, commencing the public vote portion – which is new this year! The contest is designed to inspire students enrolled in top photography programs across the country. This year’s theme is “YOUR WORLD: The Art of Technology Through Your Eyes” and all images were captured using E-System products. The 20 finalist images were chosen by award-winning Olympus Visionaries, professional photographers Larry C. Price, Maki Kawakita and Nick Kelsh.
dslr_photocontest_top
While many students participated in the contest, there can only be one (popular vote) winner. Through May 15, 2009 the public is encouraged to visit www.olympusamerica.com/yourworld to vote for the student who best captured the innovation or technology that had the greatest impact on his/her life.

“The Photographers of Tomorrow contest is a way for the next generation of pro photographers to showcase their work nationally, build their portfolios, and be recognized by their peers and critiqued by some of the world’s most accomplished photographers,” said John Knaur, senior marketing manager, Digital SLR, Olympus Imaging America Inc. “The online popular vote is a great way for fans to view unique photography and to support young, gifted photographers.”

In June, the winner of the public vote will be announced and will receive an Olympus E-520 kit. Additionally, one grand-prize winner chosen by our esteemed judges will receive a $5,000 scholarship and an Olympus E-3 camera, ED 12-60mm f2.8/4.0 SWD Zoom lens, ED 50-200mm f2.8/3.5 SWD Zoom lens and gadget bag. The Grand Prize winning student’s professor will also receive a matching Olympus E-3 outfit.

The Olympus E-System is designed with revolutionary features that expand the frontiers of digital photography. Based on the Four Thirds Standard, Olympus offers 100 percent digital lenses for edge-to-edge sharpness in a durable, yet portable design. Olympus pioneered Full-Time Live View, Dust Reduction and other technologies for DSLRs, leading where others have followed.

New E-System cameras provide easy-to-use Art Filters, Multiple Exposures and Multi-Aspect Shooting (built right into the camera) for capturing creative images on the go – without being tethered to a computer and editing software. Proof that Olympus technology combines innovative features with intuitive product design to enhance what you see and what you can do.

This year’s finalists include students from the Art Institute of Colorado, Hallmark Institute of Photography, Pellissippi State Technical Community College, Texas A&M University at Commerce and the University of Missouri. Complete rules and regulations are available at www.olympusamerica.com/yourworld.

About the Judges

  • Larry C. Price – A two time Pulitzer Prize Winning Photojournalist, Price has published photographs in Time, Newsweek, U.S. News and World Report, and National Geographic among others and has worked as an industry leading photojournalist and a photo editor at many of the country’s top newspapers and newswires.
  • Maki Kawakita – A rising star in the global photographic scene and known for her “Kabuki Pop” style, Kawakita divides her time between celebrity portraiture, commercial work and a personal series she calls “Makirama.” She has photographed numerous celebrities and pop and style icons including Beyoncé, Missy Elliott, Hillary Duff and many more. Kawakita’s Japanese, American and European influences shape her style and creativity, making her one of America’s most coveted fashion photographers.
  • Nick Kelsh – One of the world’s top photographers, shooting for many of the “Day in the Life” series of books, and a renowned family and commercial photographer, Kelsh has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show and has written numerous best-selling books including Siblings with Anna Quindlen and How to Photograph Your Baby. Kelsh is best known for his radiant, engaging, black and white images of children and babies.

About the Olympus Visionary Program
Established by Olympus Imaging America Inc. in partnership with some of today’s most talented photographers, the Olympus Visionary program is dedicated to creating superb digital images with the help of Olympus’ digital cameras and lenses. Olympus Visionaries span all fields of photography and work in a diversity of styles and subject matter, but they are united in realizing their creative vision through digital photography. The Visionaries use Olympus digital cameras in their daily assignments and personal work; participate in speaking engagements and appearances; and provide Olympus with input into equipment development. The Visionaries include several Pulitzer Prize-winning and Magnum photographers, as well as internationally-renowned photographers who have photographed assignments around the world.

Sports Photography Isn’t Always About the Action

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Sports photography seems to be one of the more frequent topics I am asked about and for good reason. Many parents have children who participate in athletics and being active parents, they want to capture their child’s activities in photographs.

While lacking much action, this photo would be acceptable to hang on any wall or e-mail to relatives. Without the proper gear, sports photography - especially capturing action - is tough. So, work within the limits of your gear. (Photo Credit: Jeremy W. Schneider)

While lacking much action, this photo would be acceptable to hang on any wall or e-mail to relatives. Without the proper gear, sports photography - especially capturing action - is tough. So, work within the limits of your gear. (Photo Credit: Jeremy W. Schneider)

Unfortunately, these parents lack the photographic equipment (a basic sports photography setup for pros would set you back more than $10,000 not to mention the experience and training it takes to make good sports images) so these parent/photographers become discouraged because the images they have are not the Sports Illustrated-quality images they envisioned.

Sometimes the quiet moments of sports helps express emotion without the action. This photo was taken at a track & field event in Mesa, Arizona. (Photo Credit: Jeremy W. Schneider)

Sometimes the quiet moments of sports helps express emotion without the action. This photo was taken at a track & field event in Mesa, Arizona. (Photo Credit: Jeremy W. Schneider)

There are some options. First, I guess you could buy the equipment, enroll in some classes and start working hard to become good at sports photography. The second option is to hire a photographer to photograph your child’s sporting events – it’s not cheap, but you should get some high-quality results or, finally, you can do yourself but within the limits of your current gear.

If you lack a telephoto lens and a camera that will capture images at a high frames-per-second rate (above 5 fps would be best) there are still things you can do to help capture images worthy of hanging on the walls or e-mailing relatives.

Predicting Action
First, you can attempt to predict the action. If you know where the subject is going to be you can prefocus on that area and make an image when the player/subject enters the frame. It takes a lot of trial-and-error but it is possible. If you’re using a DSLR or an extremely high-end point-and-shoot camera, this may be a good technique to try.

Waiting for Breaks in the Action
You can make good images during breaks in the action. For instance, when the coach is talking to players, during a water break or when there’s a timeout. Let me advise this, however. If a player is injured, it’s common courtesy among photographers to put down the camera.

Good luck and keep shooting!

Candid Moments Can Make Lasting Memories

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There are times when all the posing in the world just doesn’t make a photo pop. You try every trick in the book and nada – it just ain’t working.
So, what do you do? Wait.

I had tried several things to get a good image of this New Mexico JROTC group but nothing worked. So, I just moved away from them - they were too busy paying attention to me - and just waited. When I no longer held their attention, they went about being themselves and it shows through their facial expressions. (Photo Credit: Jeremy W. Schneider)

I had tried several things to get a good image of this New Mexico JROTC group but nothing worked. So, I just moved away from them - they were too busy paying attention to me - and just waited. When I no longer held their attention, they went about being themselves and it shows through their facial expressions. (Photo Credit: Jeremy W. Schneider)

Patience seems to be one of the hardest things to teach new photographers. Most of them want to shoot, shoot, shoot and shoot some more (spray-and-pray is what we call it). Unfortunately, when the camera is constantly clicking, the subject or subjects get more tense and less likely to allow their true selves to shine through.

If you can’t get a posed photograph to work, there’s nothing wrong with just letting the subject go back to doing whatever it is they were doing before and you – the photographer – sitting there with the camera ready to capture a candid moment.

Candid photos does not mean bad photos. It just means that the subject wasn’t posed and just being themselves. Candid images can be made well and can add more depth to an image than any posed photograph ever could.

Here’s some tips on capturing good candid photos

Stay out of the way – just blend into the environment and let the subjects do what they do naturally.

Be ready – just because you SEEM relaxed and inattentive doesn’t mean you are. Be ready to capture the image when it happens.

Use the largest aperture setting you have available – a larger aperture setting reduces the depth-of-field and causes the background, which may distract from the subject, to blur keeping the focus on the subject.

Good luck and keep shooting!

Tips and Tricks: Look for Facial Expressions in Sports Photos

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I don’t pretend to be a know-it-all sports photographer. It’s an area of photography in which practice makes perfect but through my career – especially while working in photojournalism – I have had many opportunities to photography sporting events.

The eyes have it. Look for emotion in sports images. (Photo Credit: Jeremy Schneider)

The eyes have it. Look for emotion in sports images. (Photo Credit: Jeremy Schneider)

One of the more frequent complaints I hear from both students and photo hobbyists who photography sports is their images lack a certain “punch.” So here’s a little tip that my help: Look for emotion.

I’ve said it before on this Website … emotion is the one element a photograph needs to communicate and it holds true in sports photography as much as it does for portrait work.

Sports, fortunately, are ripe with expressive moments. It just a matter of catching the right look, the right facial expression at the right moment. It takes time, patience, practice and the right gear to do so.

Keep your eyes open and stay focused on the game. Once you get the “rhythm” of the game down, then you’ll be able to predict when the action – and emotion – will occur.

Good luck and keep shooting!

Written by jeremyparce

April 13, 2009 at 5:36 am

Why You Need A Shoe-Mount Flash

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The majority of people who visit this Website are amateur photographers, photo hobbyists and students interested in pursuing photography as a future career. With that audience in mind, I try to bring articles with general appeal.

One of the main questions I get asked is about flash photography or using artificial light sources to make images. For lack of a better word, those who write me are “afraid” to use artificial – or flash – lighting because they don’t understand it and they often have taken photos with flash and had bad results. With that in mind, I am going to begin a section on flash lighting. Look for more posts to come in the near future.

With an external flash, you can direct where you want the light to go - or where you don't want it to go. Hard lighting from the side gives this image a unique look. (Photo Credit: Jeremy Schneider)

With an external flash, you can direct where you want the light to go - or where you don't want it to go. Hard lighting from the side gives this image a unique look. (Photo Credit: Jeremy Schneider)

External flash units are beneficial for numerous reasons. First and probably the most important, they allow you to become more creative in lighting. You can play around with the light and get more interesting – and more professional looking – results. Secondly, they allow you to shoot in low-light conditions. Finally, they reduce the limits on your photography. You’re no longer a slave to the sun. No lighting? No problem, you’ve got a flash.

One problem you may be having is simple: you’re using the built-in flash on your camera. You probably have a popup flash on your DSLR and have used it as your main source of strobe lighting. That’s a mistake. While good for fill light, a popup flash is often too narrow. Many times, you’ll see washed out colors in close up subjects or huge cast shadows, which are equally unappealing.
If your camera has a hot shoe mount on top, which if you’re using a DSLR, it does, you are able to attach what’s called a shoe-mount flash.

Although there are great third-party flash units (Metz comes to mind), I recommend purchasing a brand-specific flash because it syncs with all the features the manufacturer has developed.

For Nikon users, I recommend starting out with the SB-600 AF Speelight unit. It’s a great flash to begin with. Canon users should start with the Speedlite 430EX II and for Olympus users, the FL-50R is the right choice.

In future postings, we will discuss various techniques you can use with your shoe-mount flash that will help your photos look better.

Good luck and keep shooting!

Photo Critique 10: ‘Waiting for the Magic Bus,’ by Carla B.

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I love critiquing photos. It’s the best way to learn and get new ideas for photo shoots. Today, we’re going to critique an image made by Carla, my friend in Miami, Florida.

"Waiting for the Magic Bus," Carla B., Miami, Florida

"Waiting for the Magic Bus," Carla B., Miami, Florida

General Overview:
Carla, although you do great portrait work, I really like when you leave your “comfort zone” and try something different. The concept for this image is great … it’s an image that really makes the viewer create a story. You give great visual clues and set a nice tone with the image. I think you have a great eye for visual storytelling.

It’s important to give your viewer the ability to let their minds go off the beaten path and dream up a story behind an image. I believe you’re well on your way to doing that with this image.

Good job.

Improvements
Here are a few improvements I will suggest: First, remove the lights that are popping through in the background. I think it’s a little too distracting.

A quick edit removing the lights in the background and playing with the color. (Edit by Jeremy Schneider, photo credit: Carla B., Miami, Florida)

A quick edit removing the lights in the background and playing with the color. (Edit by Jeremy Schneider, photo credit: Carla B., Miami, Florida)

Secondly, I would add a little more light to the subject. An off-camera flash placed to the viewer’s right and directed at the subject would have helped a little.

Finally, I think I would have toned the colors a little more to mute them, with the exception of the red. It might look a little better if all the colors were muted and the red bus station frame popped.

Carla, keep up the good work and keep pushing yourself OUT of your comfort zone and try new things.

Thanks for the submission, good luck and keep shooting!

If you would like to submit a photo for critique, e-mail us at submissions@brickhousephotoschool.com.

Written by jeremyparce

April 5, 2009 at 5:04 pm