Author Archives: InCamera

Seven Easy Photography Tips With Simple Props

Simple props  Seven DIY Photography Tips Using Household Objects | External link - opens new tab/page

Seven DIY Photography Tips Using Household Objects
(Image from the video)

Use your imagination

You are a photographer right? Then your imagination must be one of your key assets. So don’t just use it with your shots, use it to find simple props too. Think about how you can make your shot better without buying new expensive stuff. Go DIY. Just look around your home for inspiration. Here are some tips to get you started.

Simple Props – just look around you

When we are working on our shots we often think only of the difficult shot, the ‘different’ viewpoint, or the unique perspective. With all aspects of our photography we try to bring something different to the shot. Something to make our viewers think. Something to give them a new insight.

Often ordinary things in our lives inspire a new way of looking at things. In each of our houses are many things we can deploy as simple props in our everyday photography. The video below shows us some of those things and how to shoot with them. But it is not too much of a push for us to look at other household objects as inspiring for our shots. Here is a list of the sorts of things that can help you get started on some new ideas…

  • A pile of books
  • Kitchen tools
  • A candle
  • Chess board and pieces (or other game)
  • A toy
  • Drawing pins (or any stationary)
  • Cut glass ornaments

With a little imagination you use simple props to make some extraordinary shots. I am sure you have many such items you can use for your shots.

The key to using simple props…

There is nothing extraordinary about the simple props I have listed. What will make your shots different is how you use these things. You can start very easily. Get some ideas together first as inspiration. Try these links. The phrase in quotes was entered into the search engine:

Personally I find stationary is great for photography. It definitely provides simple props to work with. Here is an example of my own…

Simple props  Bulldog clip - When you are different, make sure you stand out! | External link - opens new tab/page

Bulldog clip – When you are different, make sure you stand out!
[Click the image to see it full size on http://365project.org/

Spend a little time playing with the phrase you put into the search engine. You will quickly expand the range of images you get as examples. Draw your ideas from the pictures you see. Then set about working on how you are going to use your simple props as you make your image.

7 DIY Photography Tips Using Household Objects – the video


Uploaded by: COOPH

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Family day out – three tips to help you remember

Family day out :: Try not to take formal shots on the beach

• Family day out •
The memories are preserved better if you have relaxed shots. Don’t ruin the day obsessing about your photography – make a story. Forget the world class aesthetics and concentrate on the stuff of memories.

Capture the spirit of the day out.

The “Family day out” is one of the important bonding moments for a family. When you get to your destination the family relax and spend time doing what they enjoy. Memories are made of great days out. And, your pictures of the day make for wonderful memory-moments when you look back.

Often photogs out for the day tend to line people up in stiffly-posed formal positions. The informal clothing and location put these poses at odds with the scene. And it is not all about great aesthetics either. The family day out is more about people enjoying themselves than it is about achieving a world class image.

Here are three tips to help you get the most out of your family day out memory-shots.

Family day out – the candid moment

It’ll be fun, especially if you have the children there. So the most important thing is to get them doing what they enjoy. There is a problem though. You’ll never get a memorable family day out image if you spend the day fretting about getting it all just right.

Sometimes as photographers we get rather precious about poses, backgrounds, set up, simplifying scenes… It all has to be right. But does it really? Capturing a family scene is about your memory. Great aesthetics are one thing. Seeing your loved ones in a memory popping moment is another. So, relax your high principles – for the sake of a family memory moment.

Family day out :: candid moment

• A quiet moment at lunch •
Catch your loved ones in a candid moment. Tell a compelling story of your family day out.


There are lots of different aspects to photography. Instead of being an over-bearing photographer consider a different way. Just do something for you. You could make a great family day out miserable by regimenting them just so you can record it.

Alternatively, you could make the whole experience a vital and unique series of captures. Spend your time documenting what your family are doing. Catch them really enjoying themselves. Leave them be, spend your time getting the candid moments when they are most absorbed. That way you will see the deeper aspects of their character as well as making your shots tell a compelling story.

Capturing people doing what they enjoy

Doing what you enjoy on a day out is very character revealing. If you capture your subject in a moment that reveals their inner self then the shot is more memorable for you. It’s still in the spirit of the candid moment. Don’t interrupt them – capture them in action. It helps tell the story of the day. It also will help you remember the context of the shot and what you were doing at the time.

Family day out :: Capture your loved ones doing what they enjoy.

• Making pictures •
Capture your loved ones doing what they enjoy. It helps make the story of your family day out more compelling.

Family day out – vista shots – story continuity

As the family photog you can be happily engaged in your interest while the rest of the family pursue theirs. So don’t forget to have a good look around. There are plenty of things you can be photographing as well as your family. This is your chance to make your photographic skills come out. You can obsess all you like over the detail of things you photograph while you leave the rest of the family to have their fun.

Take in the vista too. Make sure you look at the surrounding area. Capture the things that interest you and others in your family. Think about how to put your “family day out” story in context. So make sure you take some shots of the scene and the surrounding areas or activities taking place. If you take the time to do this through the day you can build a story line with your pictures. It will make a great album for you all to remember your family day out for years to come.

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Damon Guy - Netkonnexion

Damon Guy (Netkonnexion)

Damon is a writer-photographer and editor of this site. He has run some major websites, a computing department and a digital image library. He started out as a trained teacher and now runs training for digital photogs.
See also: Editors ‘Bio’.
By Damon Guy see his profile on Google+.

A ten point plan to “think photography” all day

• Unlock your potential - think photography all day •

• Unlock your potential – think photography all day •
Almost everything has texture, pattern, depth, contrast and interest for the eye. It is a question of lighting, composition and bringing out its potential. Find ways to think photography all day to help you develop the right techniques and skills.
(Click image to view large).

Improving and learning takes thinking and practice.

Each day we should focus on doing plenty of thinking to help improve our photography skills. It does not take long and it’s fun. You can fit it into things you are doing through the day. The idea is to keep you focussed. Here is what you do to help you “think photography” during your day.

1. Think photography :: Change your thinking

Try to think photography in a positive way. Photographers need to be positive. Always look at the light side. Don’t let your mind drag you down. Ignore the negatives and obstacles. Look at the good things, the easy ways and fruitful outcomes. Practice taking time to be positive about a situation where a negative thought popped into mind. When negativity looms, think of your favourite photographic situation and picture yourself there.

2. Think photography :: Problem solving

Photography is a problem solving skill. Pick up your camera. Now find some object to photograph. Find a way for the light to come at it from a low angle and from the side. It is this basic skill that gives you the shadows and contrasts you need to give an object texture. Do this daily. Do it even if you do not have your camera. Think photography by visualising what you would do if you could photograph it.

3. Think photography :: Appreciate a good thing

Make sure that every day you find a way to spend a few minutes appreciating the aesthetics in something. Lots of things have simple texture and pattern too. Look for them and find a way to bring them out. Do this even if you don’t have a camera to hand. Just thinking about it helps you get in the right frame of mind. The picture of a lock and bolt on a garden shed above is an example. Creative lighting and exploiting texture and shadow made a picture suitable for this article!

4. Think photography :: Watch television

Watch television. Yes, that’s right. Watch TV. I am sure you will find it illuminating – literally. Some of the best lighting and photographic tricks are on TV every day. Look for them – side lighting, top lighting, rim lighting, mood lighting, pattern lighting, catchlights. There is lots more to look for. You can use your leisure moments to improve your photography. (See also: A little known idea that will help your photography every day).

5. Think photography :: Do some reading

Each day, devote some time to reading a page or two of a photography book or an article online. Gradually things will begin to come together. It will help you keep thinking about improvement and new techniques. At the time of writing there are over a thousand articles and definitions on Photokonnexion. Try one of those!

6. Think photography :: Look at photographs

See if you can look at 50 photographs each day. Ask yourself questions about each one. Why you like or dislike it? What is the photographer trying to say? What is the theme? Why is this photo published? What composition tricks have they used to draw your eye into the shot? Which forms of perspective, shadow and light have they used to create depth? There are lots of other questions. Find as many ways as you can to analyse the shots. Really try to get into the photographers mind. You will really learn a lot about you, and how you “think photography”. (See also: 50 ways to improve your photography – every day! and also: 15 great links for you to see 50 photos a day).

7. Think photography :: Go back in time

Reprise one of your old photos. Why was it good, bad or indifferent? What could be done better? What were you thinking? Is there really something in the this picture worth shooting? Ask yourself the same questions as in 6 above. Really give it a harsh review. You will learn a lot about your own style and improvement.

8. Think photography :: Give yourself a treat

Make a photographic treat for yourself every day. Think of something you can make for your still life photography. Check out an article about a new camera. Look up an old friend. Among other things tell them about your photography. Buy a treat for your evening meal. Then think about how you could cook it and present it ready to be photographed. Find lots of ways to reward yourself in the context of photography. It will help your enthusiasm.

9. Think photography :: Keep a shot-list – add to it daily

Make a list. Every day try to add a shot you want to do. Try to imagine a simple plan for how to do that photo when you get a moment with your camera. Get ideas from Google images, magazines, television, books – everywhere.

10. Think photography :: Go to sleep

Photography is a great pursuit. It is also relaxing. Before you go to sleep at night close your eyes. Then think about how it felt to make your best image. Plan how you can have another success like that. You will sleep well and have some great ideas!

Keep your day relaxed and on focus – think photography

This post is really about finding ways to spend your day doing lots of things. But in the background keeping your passion fired up. Most of these things you can do while no one else knows you are doing it. But at the same time you are learning and having new insights. Its fun to spend time doing your hobby while your boss is sounding off or while you sit at your desk. Wow! Now that is the way to think photography!

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Damon Guy - Netkonnexion

Damon Guy (Netkonnexion)

Damon is a writer-photographer and editor of this site. He has run some major websites, a computing department and a digital image library. He started out as a trained teacher and now runs training for digital photogs.
See also: Editors ‘Bio’.
By Damon Guy see his profile on Google+.

Make a new image – create a synthesis

Seaside Lady • A new synthesis on the streetart

• Seaside Lady By Paul Donohoe •
A picture from my Friend and fellow blogger Paul Donohoe  External link - opens new tab/page. He has hit the nail on the head. The added context really makes the scene. Look for ways to add to the image. Make the scene your own by creating a new synthesis.

Thinking about artworks.

A piece of work by someone else makes a great photo, or does it? Maybe, but in a way it is just a record, not a true expression of your view. Anyway, often a photo of an artwork loses something in the translation to a photo. Maybe you should be thinking of adding something to it.

Creating a synthesis

The person who created the original artwork or scene has gone to the same or more trouble you have. When you take a picture of their work you need to think about who is creating the work. A straight picture of another’s work is a sort of theft. However, in the context of the picture you can really make something of the scene – a new synthesis.

In the picture above you can see that Paul Donohoe  External link - opens new tab/page has waited to capture the lady. She is not obscuring the art work. On the other hand the slightly odd pace gives it a new feeling. It is as if she is fleeing the scene. The whole picture, art work and lady, are something new. A synthesis of the original art work and the new aspect to the scene.

A judges view of the synthesis

I have often seen great pictures of sculptures really marked down in photo competitions. They are really a record of the art work. Not the expression of the authors thought on the art. Judges don’t know what to make of that. Who are they judging the sculptor or the photog?

I once heard a judge make a great comment about how a new synthesis matters. In the North of the UK there is a beach with random statues of standing men. Each day the tide comes in and out. The men stand on the sand, stoically staring out to sea. Submerged, or not, they present a simple but powerful image of man watching the world go by. One photographer had taken a picture of one of the men. Boring. The judges comment was illuminating. He said, “When you see them standing there in the cold and wet like that you just want to warm them up. What this picture needed was a bright red scarf around the statues neck”.

On that cold and dreary morning the bright scarf would have made the picture outstanding. The addition would have make it both the expression and the art of the photographer. Yet the new synthesis would have left the statue as impressive as before.

Look to make the scene yours

No matter what you see you always present something of yourself. You cannot help but interpret the scene. When looking at the artwork of others the attention is lost from your picture to the art you are capturing. So, make the scene yours. Find a way to add something or change the scene so you are putting your stamp on the situation.

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Damon Guy - Netkonnexion

Damon Guy (Netkonnexion)

Damon is a writer-photographer and editor of this site. He has run some major websites, a computing department and a digital image library. He started out as a trained teacher and now runs training for digital photogs.
See also: Editors ‘Bio’.
By Damon Guy see his profile on Google+.

Everybody Street… a new documentary about street photography

Video

Video

Documentary released for Film Festival.

Released at the “Hot Docs International Film Festival”, Everybody Street is about the street photography art of New York. Focusing on a range of street photogs it opens up the everyday reality of street photography.

The trailer for the documentary has been released and provides an insight to what may be in the documentary. It shows some stunning shots and some powerful insights. However, it also takes a rather voyeuristic and antagonistic view of street photography. While I personally don’t aspire to that approach there are others that do.

I believe that to act as an antagonist on the street is both dangerous and unnecessary. Personally I believe in respect, contact and participation in the street scene. But I do acknowledge that there are some people that take a different view.

I think it is worth seeing this documentary and I hope that one day it will be widely available. For now I leave you with the trailer. See what you think. The video is just over two minutes.

EVERYBODY STREET – New York City

Everybody Street Trailer from ALLDAYEVERYDAY on Vimeo.

Visit the website for the documentary at: http://everybodystreet.com/  External link - opens new tab/page

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By Damon Guy (author and Photokonnexion editor)

Damon Guy - Netkonnexion

Damon Guy (Netkonnexion)

Damon is a writer-photog and editor of this site. He has run some major websites, a computing department and a digital image library. He started out as a trained teacher and now runs training for digital photogs.
See also: Editors ‘Bio’.
By Damon Guy see his profile on Google+.

Colour is Eye Action! The Colour Wheel

Understanding colour can help us bring out features of our pictures

Understanding colour helps us bring out features of our pictures. The complementary colours red and green emphasis the colour strength of red. Red is a powerful symbol of luck and good fortune in Chinese culture - emphasised here by the colours.

One of the things that I love about life is colour. It’s everywhere. As well as the awesome colours in nature there are wonderful shades of colour created by modern paints, printing and materials. To get the most from your pictures colour is something that photographers should exploit.

I wonder how many colourful scenes you walked past today? We all do it. We see vivid and rich colours so much that we miss them when they are right in front of us. Good photographers know the strength of colour and how to use it. To begin working well with colour it is a question of sensitising yourself.

The colour wheel helps us to understand the relationships between colours.

The colour wheel helps us understand relationships between colours. Complementary colours are on opposite sides of the wheel. Harmonious colours that work well together are found adjacent to each other.

The colour wheel is one way to look at colour in your pictures. Finding colour harmonies and opposites is important. Good use of colour helps us to convey our message more effectively.

In the colour wheel above you can identify some basic ideas to help you use colour in your photography. Research has shown that colour is largely a perceptual experience. That is, we all see it in our own unique way. There are no absolutes. However, humans do broadly agree on colour and there are a range of theories explaining it and what we see. Colour wheels, like the one above, are simple systems that help us see some features of colour. If you read up more about colour then you will see different representations of colour – often in different colour wheels.

To get you started thinking about colours I want you to think of two features of the colour wheel above.

First, colours that are opposite each other are known as ‘complementary’ colours. They are like that because they contain no element of thier opposite in thier make up. They throw up opposite views and feelings. The colours play off each other. They help to stand out from each other. They are distinct and strong against each other.

On the other hand, the colours next to each other on the wheel are known as a adjacent or harmonious colours. These are the ones that work best with each other. In graduated steps these colours will blend through different tones into each other. They contain elements of each others colours. They convey harmony, tonal graduations, interweaving and subtle variation.

To help you understand colours you can do a simple ‘awareness’ exercise. Pick a colour – it can be any colour you want. It could even be a colour you do not like. Note its opposite and its adjacent colours. Now you have looked at these go out and take some photographs. Start to sensitise yourself to this colour and its complements and adjacent colours. Take as many shots as you can that show harmonious and complementary ideas.

Once you are sensitised to that colour try another, and then another. Before long you will find eye-candy in a whole range of colours and you will be looking for it everywhere.

Our eyes like a bright colour. So, try to be distracted by as many bright, vivid colours as possible. Explore the way they relate to other things near them. Look at how they make things stand out from the background noise of life going on around them. Feel how they blend into the world around them – or not. In other words, sensitize your eyes to the meaning and feeling of colour – then bring it out in your photography.

Colour is about making things bright and fun. Have a whole week of colour. See if you can really get some eye action!

By Damon Guy (author and Photokonnexion editor)

Damon Guy - Netkonnexion

Damon Guy (Netkonnexion)

Damon is a writer-photog and editor of this site. He has run some major websites, a computing department and a digital image library. He started out as a trained teacher and now runs training for digital photogs.
See also: Editors ‘Bio’.
By Damon Guy see his profile on Google+.

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Google Honors an Early Photographer

Todays Google Doodle honors Eadweard J. Muybridge who is celebrated for his pioneering photography using stop-frames.

Todays Google Doodle honors Eadweard J. Muybridge is celebrated for his pioneering photography using stop-frames.


The Google Doodle today is an animation of a famous study of horses in motion. The photographer, Eadweard J. Muybridge, is best known for this work. Muybridge was engaged by race horse owner and breeder Leland Stanford. Artists had depicted horses running with all four legs off the ground. Stamford, a californian business man and horse breeder, wanted proof of this locomotion. Muybridge deployed 24 cameras to take detailed film sequences capturing the motion of horses legs throughout the galloping cycle. He produced a film strip that showed the whole range of leg positions.

Muybridge did his work for Stamford in 1872. The sequence he produced proved that all four legs did indeed leave the ground at once. Artists had depicted the legs streched out to the front and behind when this happened. Muybridge showed that the legs were all tucked up under the body at the time they were all off the ground. The position is shown in the Google screen capture above in the first column.

Muybridge was born in Kingston on Thames, UK, on 9th April 1830. He later lived in the United States. While recouperating from a serious stage coach accident he became a committed photographer. He initially focused on landscapes establishing his career as a photographer. After his success with the horse film sequences he continued to investigate human and animal movement. His work was associated with academic papers and popular books. He died of a heart attack in 1904.

His work on the film sequences is widely regarded as a precursor to modern videography. Muybridge invented the zoopraxiscope during the course of his work on movement. The moving-sequence invention was one of the earliest attempts to animate film into moving pictures. His early popular insights into movement in film are said to have contributed to the later developments leading to motion pictures and eventually cinema.