Month

November 2015

Ep 49: Talking crop: How to crop portraits

Great photography is not just about the lighting, posing and technicalities of the camera. It’s also about the cropping. A well cropped photo can make the difference between a good image – and a great one. So what do you need to know about cropping to ensure that your pictures are great? Gina and Valerie discuss everything you need to know about cropping – including why it’s important to crop “in camera”, when to do so in post-production, Gina’s golden rules of cropping, how to crop with confidence and how to ensure that you get the balance right in all your shots. #ginachallenge #goodcropbadcrop Click play to listen to the podcast or find it on iTunes here. If you don’t use iTunes you can get the feed here, or listen to us on Stitcher radio. Show notes Useful link: 6 Photographers Capture Same Person But Results Vary Widely Because of...

5 Habits that will improve the quality of your portrait photography

Over the last 25 years, many of the ways I light, shoot and edit my photos have changed and evolved but the following three habits have remained consistent. I continue to use these habits as part of my shooting protocol because I have seen first hand how they work for me. 1. Shoot RAW I know, I know shooting RAW is a complete pain in the ass; it creates extra work, the files are huge and take up valuable space on your hard drive but the results are totally worth it. Shooting in RAW gives you so many more options for post production and will definitely take your photography to the next level. You have far greater control over colour balance, highlight retrieval, tone and shadow details. Got a great shot you overexposed by 2 stops? Shooting in RAW means you can rescue much of the missing data. If you’re not...

Ep 48: How to build your profile as a photographer

So now want to get more clients, gain recognition for your work or build your photographic business. Or maybe you just want to increase your profile as a photographer, even if it’s just a hobby. In this episode, the tables are turned and Gina interviews Valerie on how to build your profile as a photographer. Valerie regularly mentors creative entrepreneurs and teaches workshops on how to build your profile and grow your business. You’ll discover what to write in your bio, what kind of website you need at different stages of your photography, how to use social media, what to avoid, and much more. Click play to listen to the podcast or find it on iTunes here. If you don’t use iTunes you can get the feed here, or listen to us on Stitcher radio. Show notes Shout outs Michael Brewer Listener question Hello Gina, how you goin? Please explain...

What are the 4 essential items every great photographer should use?

Your eyes, heart, mind and personality. Above: I photographed this sunrise over Sydney Harbour earlier this year. The most common question I’m asked is: “What gear do I need to take the best photos?” Whilst there is no doubt that certain lenses will help you take technically better photos and certain cameras will help you take higher resolution images, I believe that these are not the most essential qualities to taking great photos. Whenever I eat a great meal my first thought isn’t “Hmm, I wonder what kind of oven this was baked in?” or “What knives the chef used to slice the ingredients with?” Great meals are not created because a chef used great tools. Great meals are created because of the way he or she combines the ingredients and prepares and serves them. The best and most expensive tools in the world will not guarantee the best and...

Wide or long? Why lens size matters

I photographed all these images as headshots to show how different focal lengths distort facial features. At 24mm the facial features look like a caricature, which is probably why this is the preferred focal length of many photographers who photograph comedians. A focal length of 50mm has the least distortion and is the closest representation of what people really look like, which is why this is the focal length of choice at passport offices. A focal length of 200mm compresses facial features and is the most flattering, making this focal length a favourite amongst portrait and fashion photographers. Ever wondered why you look so bad when Jan at the passport office takes your photo? Aside from the fact that she gives really poor direction, it may also have to do with the fact that she’s working with the most unflattering focal length. Your choice of lens makes a huge difference...

Ep 47: Get smart! How to take great shots using your smartphone

You don’t need a fancy big camera to take great shots. Sometimes, all you have is your smartphone. How can you take awesome photographs with the little device in your pocket? In this episode, Gina and Valerie discuss how you can make the most of your smartphone, how to pick the best light, what to avoid, what apps you should check out and much more. #ginachallenge #smartphoneonly Click play to listen to the podcast or find it on iTunes here. If you don’t use iTunes you can get the feed here, or listen to us on Stitcher radio. Show notes Listener question Kunal Prasad “I need advice from you all regarding studio photography. When selecting a backdrop, how do you decide the color of the back drop … whether it should be contrasted to the subject’s clothes or if should be it be a grey/white or black. What color clothes...

Look Ma, no flash! How to create beautiful portraits using daylight

L-R Michael Veitch, Samara Alana, Chris Sebastian I’ve got a confession to make: I used to think shooting portraits with only daylight was cheating. Seriously. I believed that all great portraits needed to be lit with flash otherwise they were just snapshots. Pros used flash, daylight was for amateurs. All my portrait sessions were lit with flash. Main light, fill light, hair light, background light. I used every tool in my toolkit because the more lights, I used the better the shot. Right? Boy, was I wrong on this one! I was such a gearophile-tech-head that I never even bothered to notice what the daylight was doing. I wanted to manufacture my own light just like McDonalds manufactures its own burgers. My shots were like a Big Mac. They were consistent, reliable, and over-processed. And they left me feeling empty. It wasn’t until one of my flashes misfired that I...

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