Some Important Tips to Ace Documentary Photography

Some Important Tips to Ace Documentary Photography

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Documentary photography is a type of photography that follows a single story or topic comprehensively over time, as opposed to photojournalism’s real-time coverage of breaking events and news. By understanding stories of injustice, you can capture the attention of your audience with your images. However, it is not the easiest form of photography since it calls for a specific set of skills. Here we will be looking at the top 3 tips that will help you ace documentary photography with flying colors.

1.     Do Some Research

Before doing anything, hit your local library or the internet to gather all the crucial information related to your subject. Before heading out to shoot, you must familiarize yourself with the topic that you are planning to tackle.The research will give you a good understanding of the subject, which in turn will help you come up with creative ideas.

2.     Keep it Natural

Documentary photography is usually all about naturally-occurring events, or real-life reportage. However, it may also be an artistic, amateur, or educational pursuit. To maintain the ‘natural’ effect, get into the life of your subject’s and capture what comes naturally and what just happens. Avoid creating something that is not part of them, but just be there when something important happens.

3.     Capture the Essence

Documentary photography is all about telling stories through emotions and faces. So be prepared to shoot a lot of close-ups that will accentuate the subject’s surroundings or the environment. Exhibiting your subject’s face, particularly the eyes, will help you narrate a story and also give your audience a chance to talk about a lot of things, which is one of the main purposes of this type of photography. Remember to take permission from the subject before taking their close-up shots.

With patience and practice, you will soon be able to master the art of storytelling through documentary photography.

How to Ace Portrait Photography

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Portrait photography can be defined as taking photos of a person or group of people in such a way that their facial features become the strongest part of the image. The background is kept out of focus and the subject that is being photographed is in focus only. An image that is displayed in portrait mode is taller than it is wider. It is used to take images of tall objects and also for personal portraits.

There is no doubt that this type of photography has more sentimental as well as personalized value. But, is it easy to do it? One thing you should know is that there are no hard and fast rules associated with this type of photography. It is an artistic effect so you should not be scared to experiment and to be creative. However, there are a few things to keep in consideration.


In order to create the depth effect which is significant in portrait photography, the subject should not be too far. In fact the distance of 2.5 meters or less is recommended. The background needs to be relatively further away. As the gap between the subject and the background becomes wider so does the depth effect. For instance, if the subject is standing against the wall there will be no such effect.


The results were found to be better in natural light rather than artificial lights indoor. Digital cameras and smart phone cameras have portrait mode, providing some additional lighting filters known as Portrait Lighting. This feature is not very reliable but gives nice results with little effort. Some of the experts suggest that you should try to find the shade and the sun should be behind the subject to provide light at the back. Soft, diffused light gives a real popping effect.

Aperture Adjustment

A wide aperture setting (f/2.8-f/5.6) is best to capture a shallow field depth, nicely blurred background, and a subject that is prominent. Some lenses used specially to make portrait photographs have even wider maximum apertures.

Shutter Speed

For best results, shutter speed should be higher than your effective focal length. It will also help you get away when shutter speed is slower using a wide angle lens. It is advised to use anti-shake system, which is a built-in feature in some cameras. If this feature is built-in the lens then the effect can be seen in the viewfinder.


A 70-200mm f/2.8 telephoto lens is amongst the best tools being used to create eye catching portrait photographs. It helps you to zoom in closer so as to focus more on the subject to help reduce distractions in the background.

So, here you go. There aren’t any difficult rules and techniques to look for. With these basic tips and a lot of experimentation, you can ace portrait photography.

Abstract Photography

A Guide to Getting Started with Abstract Photography

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Abstract photography is unlike most other types of photography where rules, such as accurate focusing and composition hold no value. An abstract photographer uses his imagination to create stunning works of art, which basically involves using different patterns and colors, with no true meaning or clear subject. Here we will look at 5 tips that will help you get started with abstract photography.

Understand the Basics

Abstract photography has 3 essentials: color, form, and curves.

  1. Form refers to the object’s shape. It acts as the structure upon which an abstract image is created.
  2. Color basically draws the viewer’s attention. Furthermore, it stimulates the viewer’s perceptual system.
  3. Curves can help add detail to the image and thus spice it up a little. This is because curves regulate the movement of the viewer’s eyes.

Creating an Abstract Image

One of the simplest ways of fashioning an abstract image is with water and your camera’s shutter together. Shooting water with a slow shutter speed when the sun is low in the sky will give your image much more striking colors. Similarly, using a slow shutter speed to shoot a flag gusting in the wind will also give you an abstract image. The secret to keeping abstract photography eye-catching when using your camera’s shutter is to crop closely. Fill in the view finder with the blurry image. One of the best cameras for abstract photography is Canon 5ds.

Some forms of macro photography can also be seen as abstract. Close-ups of plants, flowers and other plant life will make amazing abstract subjects. Similarly as with shooting water, full scale modified works ought to be trimmed firmly and the picture ought to have a shading topic. Some road lights can likewise make phenomenal conceptual photos. A good abstract photography tip is to not neglect the tone of the object in focus, which is basically all its lights and dark. Continue shooting photos, and keep playing with the colors until you have mastered the art of abstract photography.

flat lay photography

Dominate Instagram with Flat Lay Photography

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Don’t you love those pictures of tables taken from above? A desk with a notebook and a cup of coffee. A kitchen with several ingredients. It’s undeniable: those photos look great. The style is called Flat Lay Photography and, in a few steps, you can master it!

First things first: clear your table. Think of it as a white canvas. It’s up to you to choose what you want in your picture.

You can add your pieces one by one, as long as they as they add to the narrative of your photo. Pick two or three central objects that should get the attention and place them using the rule of thirds.

But that’s not enough. Remember a great picture needs great composition. Take some other secondary objects related to the main ones, and place them on the borders of your frame. They won’t seem as important, but they’ll add to the story and help create that magic effect of the flat lay photography style!

That’s it! Well, almost. With the tips I mentioned you’ll be able to take some good flat lay photos, but they won’t look as great as those you’ve seen on Pinterest. Don’t worry: I’ve got some more pro-tips for you.

If you want your pictures to really stand out, there are some rules you should follow. Think as an artist. You don’t want to pick the objects on your frame randomly: a great way to improve your photos is to pick a color scheme.

Another cool tip: let your objects breathe. Don’t jam your table with everything you find. Experiment with empty space and you’ll soon realize that in photography less is more!

Finally, you want to use natural light. Although studio lights might seem like a good idea, natural light will add soft shadows to your photos. Those shadows help the objects interact with each other and give that extra touch.


How to Improve Your Outdoor Photography

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Lighting is probably the most crucial aspect in outdoor photography, but you can assume your outdoor photos will not require a lot of lighting because of the availability of loads of beautiful, natural light. Although, you are welcome to spend

Outdoor Photography

hours experimenting with shutter speeds, post-processing, filters and HDR mode, on most occasions these quick-and-simple tips will make your outdoor photographs more vibrant and appealing:

Avoid Direct Sunlight

Direct sunlight is just too harsh on most occasions. Without diffusion, it will trigger incorrect white balance and unsightly shadows in auto-mode. Moreover, when you are outdoors, direct sunlight in your subject’s face will trigger them to squint and they will not be able to do much about it.

Use the Camera’s Flash

There is a common misunderstanding that a flash is only for indoor portraits when you don’t have sufficient light, but this is not true. Flash can be used for evening out the subject, filling in natural light and reducing any unwanted shadows. In fact, when you use flash and natural light well together, it can produce a great balance that creates plenty of warmth in your portraits.

Focus on the Eyes

This is amongst the most vital elements of portrait photography. We will not delve into the fine details of focal lengths and aperture here. A person’s eyes are easily the most crucial feature of their face and you should always focus on them during outdoor photography sessions. Completely overlooking them and letting them get out of focus is a crime.

Background is Important

Even when you are concentrating on the subject, you can’t let your background fall to the edge or wayside. If you don’t notice it, just a single unsightly or unpleasant background feature can easily ruin your photographs. Be on the look-out for random twigs, leaves, power lines, and signs.

Yes, we agree that Photoshop can fix almost anything, but do not make your post-production more tedious than it should be. Always attempt to achieve photographic results that are almost perfect right off the camera’s memory card. It will make you a better outdoor photographer.

Nature Photography Tips

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Nature Photography is a very broad subject. It covers everything from the tiniest insect to the immenseness of the outside. Any of nature’s beauty that can be seen by the eye can be captured by the camera. Although nothing beats viewing nature’s wonders in person, a skilled nature photographer can produce images that will be enjoyed. Photographing nature involves more than just pointing the camera and shooting. It not only necessary to know your equipment, but you also must know your subject. A good nature photographer studies his subject in detail.

Nature Photography Requires Preparation and Planning

The subject, be it insect or animal, must be studied in advance of the actual shooting. For instance, if it is a bird, study its nesting and eating habits. If it is an animal when does it come on the scene and what are its habits? Some shots may require weeks of study and waiting.

Whatever the subject you must consider light, and its effect on color, texture, and contrast. You must know the effect of the light on varying subjects at various times of the day. Mid-day light can be hard to handle due to high contrasts. Both early morning light and evening light are warm, but the morning light tends toward yellow, and the evening light tends toward red. The effect of various types of light on your subject can be enormous. As you can see, you must capture your shot at the most advantageous time of day.

Great Nature Photography of Landscapes Requires Attention to Detail

If you are shooting landscapes include something in the foreground that will give perspective. Including something in the background as well will give depth to landscape pictures. Such shots will require a small aperture to give focus to both the foreground and background. Some subjects require a certain perspective. Small items require that a shot be made close in-very close. It is hard to get too close. Your object should fill the frame. Many new nature photographers shoot and then find that their subject is barely visible. Getting in close will remedy this.

Sometimes there is no way to properly fill the frame without good telephoto equipment. If you are photographing without such lenses get in close, then get closer. The only way you can get too close is if your image overlaps the frame. With some small items that is hard to do.

Nature Photography and Your Equipment

To get nice sharp shots use a tripod. It is particularly necessary to use a tripod if you are using a telephoto lens. In the absence of a tripod prop the camera against a hard stationary object such as a tree or a rock. As in any type of photography, composition is important. Most subjects should not be placed dead center of the shot. Experiment with differing placements choosing whatever placement looks best.

Nature Photography and Taking Good Notes

Whatever type of nature photography you like best, experiment with shutter speed and f-stops. This will give you experience and a better understanding of your camera. Keep a journal of the settings you use for various types of shots under various conditions. You will then be able to reconstruct the effect you want for future shots. Nature Photography requires a love of nature. If you have this you are already on your way to getting good photographs.