Set The Destination Before Taking Shoot

Teleporting you from your home to a tropical island in the blink of a lens!

To many people Photography is simply one person with a fancy camera pressing a button and getting paid lots of money for it. You often hear people complaining, saying things like: “It’s so easy! Anyone can press a button; I don’t see what all of the fuss is about.” – Well, I think it’s safe to say that people like that really do not have a clue what they are talking about.

Of course anybody can take a picture! But it takes a certain level of patience, dedication, skill and good taste to be able to successfully capture a moment. There are so many different factors to take into consideration when taking a photograph at a professional level. For example a wedding photographer is going to require a certain level of social and interpersonal skills if they are to truly be at the top of their game – Someone that can make people feel more at ease, bring them out of their shells and encourage them to laugh and joke around in a natural manner. If you have some quiet stranger pointing a camera at you and not saying a word it can be a little unnerving.

For those who specialise in landscapes a certain level of patience is required. This is where photography becomes much more than somebody simply pressing a button! Some of the most incredible and breath-taking photographs required a great deal of dedication. Those perfect sunrises don’t capture themselves! Somebody was up before the sun, waiting patiently for the opportune moment to capture our beloved solar-riser in all of her glory.

It’s no wonder that Thailand (also known as ‘The Land of Smiles’) is such an incredibly popular location for photographers, both professional and amateur alike. Bangkok for example is one of the most fascinating capital cities in the world! From the stunning five-star high-rises that lay astern the rundown shanty huts – to the bustling, chock-a-block traffic and the vibrant street market stalls, to the variety of Buddhist temples scattered all around town. There is so much character and beauty to be seen in the streets of Bangkok and again; it requires a certain knack and a keen eye to really capture it in all of its authenticity! Many tourists who pass through Bangkok only stay a short time and usually around the Khao Saan Road or Downtown Sukhumvit locations, but the city is vast beyond imagination and there is so much more to explore.

But it’s not all about the big cities and the busy streets! In fact, one of the most exciting aspects of photography is that there is no limit to what you can achieve. A brilliant photographer goes after what they truly feel passionate about and being in the big city is not for everyone. For others they prefer to be outdoors amongst nature capturing the birds while they soar above the emerald green mountains of Phuket or the water-buffalo while they graze in the fields below a gentle, amber sunset.

There are so many stunning and exciting places to see in this world and a photographer’s role is to capture them and share them with the rest of the world. Are you fascinated by travel and culture? Then perhaps you should try your hand at photography yourself and start snapping away when you next go on holiday. Capture your travels in the most profound way and build a beautiful album of perfect memories for you and your loved ones to share. That is the essence of destination photography and videography – to be able to transport people from their homes to a stunning waterfall in the heart of Phuket, or to one of its stunning limestone cliffs that rise high above you while sea-canoeing around Phang Nga bay at the mere snap of a button!

 

Avoid This Mistakes During Shoot

Do this simple test below. For each bad habit, give yourself a test score.

01. LEAVE THE CAMERA AT HOME

The best camera is the one you have with you – even if it’s on your smart phone. Not every photo you take is photography competition material, or is of commercial value. Regardless, a huge megapixel count and optimum lens quality on a DSLR is useless if left at home.

02. RELY ON A SINGLE MEMORY CARD

Those little storage cards are hugely expensive, but the temptation to be frugal will bite you on the bum. Murphy’s Law states that your memory card will fill up precisely when you’re shooting that ‘money shot’; when the light is right; or when the entire group is all smiling at you. The remedy? Buy more memory cards.

03. DON’T BACK UP YOUR PHOTOS

I know a friend who fills up a memory card with images, then buys another, fill that up, then buys another – a dangerous habit! He recently confessed he’s lost some of his precious photos. Personally, I have experienced the pain of having a hard drive fail, losing more than a year’s commercial photography work. To be super-secure, you really should store your photographs in three different locations.

04. CHIMP

Constantly checking your images on the LCD display is called chimping. Nothing wrong with it, except if you’re into street photography, or at a wedding or party. You may miss that decisive moment, as you’re too engrossed in the perfectionistic tendency of chimping.

05. SHOOT FROM EYE LEVEL

Amateur shutterbugs tend to hold the camera at head-height. However, this will produce predictable results. When shooting in a location, learn to ‘work the scene’. Drop to your knees, or even lie on the ground, searching for fresh angles. An aerial perspective can be stunning. Remember that the best tool of composition is your feet.

06. FAIL TO CONSIDER THE BACKGROUND

Look for a simple background behind your subject. For example, avoid having a telephone pole (in the distance) that appears to protrude from a person’s head. If you have a long lens, you can employ a narrow depth-of-field to blur the background. This will isolate your subject from the clutter beyond, achieving a degree of separation.

07. CENTRE THE SUBJECT

Ignore the rules of composition at your peril. If you want your photos to stand out, learn and use the Rule of Thirds, rather than place your focal point bang in the middle, like most folks do, (in blissful ignorance). Or, add dynamic by tilting your camera at an angle. Don’t forget to try different types of framing: portrait orientation versus landscape orientation. Or even a really wide panoramic crop.

08. SHOOT ONLY IN BRIGHT DAYLIGHT

Confession time… I am guilty of this. Because I trained back in the bad old days of film, when strong light was necessary to capture good images, I became a fair-weather photographer. Also, I used compact digital cameras for a decade, which were hopeless in low light situations. So I was infatuated with clear, blue skies, as cloudy skies often washed out into a white haze.

However, under a harsh, midday sun, shadows are short and therefore objects do not look three-dimensional, lacking form. Human subjects may squint into the sun, or blink. Worse, they may have an ugly ‘sun-dial’ effect under their noses! Better to pose people in the shade.

Landscapers should learn to work with softer, diffused light – this is mandatory for waterfall scenes. Thunderclouds overhead will introduce a sense of foreboding that blue skies cannot. Golden hour lighting will exude warmer tones and longer shadows.

09. DON’T READ THE CAMERA MANUAL

Same old story: you buy a new camera, put the box away and the camera’s manual stays inside the plastic bag. Perhaps you were too eager to use your new gadget. Well, now it’s time to dig out the manual, and attack it with a highlighter pen.

Be methodical, and diligently work through each function of your camera. You may find features you didn’t know existed!

10. SHOOT ON AUTO

If you haven’t read the camera manual, your photos may suffer from the restrictions of shooting in Automatic mode. Modern cameras are amazing, and can produce great results on Auto, but not consistently. Better to take control yourself. Learn the semi-automatic shooting modes, such as Shutter or Aperture Priority. Then, if you are brave, try shooting on Manual.

11. THINK THAT POST-PROCESSING CAN FIX ANYTHING

This is a lazy habit to fall into. It’s much better to get a shot right in-camera, including the correct exposure, as blown-out highlights cannot be retrieved later. Another consideration is ensuring that the horizon is straight, or you will lose the edges of your image when rotating then cropping it on a computer. Use the 3×3 grid on your LCD display, or a spirit level fitted on the hot shoe.

If you shoot landscapes, buy some ND and ND Grad filters. The most useful filter is the Polariser, the effects of which cannot be replicated using software. Finally, it’s better to do a bit of gardening, removing distractions from a scene, than be forced to clone them out in Photoshop – tedious work!

12. SHOOT ONLY JPEGS

JPEG files are compressed. Unfortunately, this narrows the dynamic range of your photographs, and changes the colour, according to the camera’s presets. This can’t be undone. Shoot using the RAW file format, as this is more forgiving. RAW allows you the latitude to correct exposure and colour, as well as sharpen the image, on computer software. Think of RAW files as digital negatives, that need processing and fine tuning.

13. POST TOO MANY PHOTOS

We all take poor pictures, badly exposed or blurry… but there’s no need to inflict these on the unsuspecting public! Carefully select only your best images, then process these on the computer.

Also, display a variety of images on social media, or online galleries, but limit these to 3-5. Essentially, don’t submit minor variations of the same shot.

So, what’s your score? How many bad habits can you identify with?

Tick these habits and tally up your total.

SCORING

1-3 habits. Wow! You are disciplined, and must have done a few photography courses.

4-6 habits. Not bad. But there is room for improvement.

7-9 habits. Don’t despair; there’s still hope for you.

10-13 habits. You need professional help!

 

Guide To Take Awesome Shots

CHALLENGE A PHOTOGRAPHER

Ever tried giving the same camera to a professional and “casual” photographer? You will be surprised with the results, and how different the photos look like in the hands of a professional.

If you are thinking “good camera plus a professional equals good photos”, well no. This is where I shall break the myth that anyone with an expensive camera is a good photographer.

Well you see, it’s really all about the photographer, and never too much about the gear. A good photographer looks at things in a different way, and that is what we call the “photographer’s eye”. Once you learn to see things that way, your photos will never be the same.

HOLD YOUR HORSES

How cool is it to learn “the secrets” of taking good photos? Which, is really not too difficult to get started… you do not need an expensive camera either. All you need is a good eye, and planning the shot before taking the photo.

Let me get started with something called “snapshot” and “composed shot”. Most people will causally whip out their camera, and just take a photo of what they see. Good photographers don’t just do that. They plan and design the photo before they take a shot – a “composed shot”.

You, my dear reader, if you want to take better photos, you have to learn to design your photo before going trigger happy. Don’t worry, it’s not rocket science. At the very basic, you have to learn to look out for 3 basic things – colors, lines and shapes.

COLORS

Since the dawn of time, we can all agree on one thing. We humans are attracted to colorful things, and we react differently to colors. I shall not go deep into the study of colors here, which will end up in a tearfully long and boring bible of colors.

I shall give a few tips on how to use colors instead:

  • Avoid overwhelming dull colors… like a grey sky and grey city, or murky waters with grey sky.
  • Some clashing colors can be beautiful, for example, an orange sunset with blue sea.
  • Add a drop of red in a sea of blue, or vice versa. Put a sunflower against a grey sky, a single red apple in a sea of green apples… you catch the drift.
  • A splash of colors can be messy, but also be sometimes interesting. For example, different colored balloons in the air.

LINES

Where are the lines in a photograph? Look carefully and you will notice.

  • A tree or tall building in the photo creates vertical lines.
  • A horizontal line in a photo of sunset on a beach.
  • Roads can cut across the photo frame, creating diagonal lines.

Photographers play with these lines in clever ways.

  • Vertical lines tend to cut the frame. Image a photo with a box full of red apples on the left, and a box full of green peppers on the right.
  • Horizontal lines are the easiest to use – look at all the good sunset photos all over the world… but note where they put the horizon. It’s mostly in the middle or 1/3 into the frame.
  • Diagonal lines tend to lead your eyes. For example, roads may lead to an interesting Ferris wheel.

SHAPES

Shapes are terribly similar to lines. Put them in the right places, and you get an awesome photo.

  • Squares and rectangles makes the photo look “stable” and “restful”. Well, you can think of a sunset horizon photo as two big rectangles… With the sun as a circle somewhere in the top rectangle.
  • Circles are attention grabbing in a photo, especially big ones. Yep, for example, the sunset.
  • Triangles almost have the same effect as an arrow. “The look here” effect, I call it. They can be tricky and fun though, you can try putting a few cucumbers together to point at a banana or something…

PRACTICE AND PRACTICE

Here comes the end of my short guide. It may not be easy at first, but the more you practice these in your photos, the easier it becomes. So go out, have some fun and take some epic photos.

 

Benefit Aerial Filming And Photography For Business

Today, aerial filming and photography is becoming very popular. Before, it was only used for movie production as it is very costly. However, businesses see an opportunity in aerial filming and photography today that they can use for their advantage. Due to the advancements in technology and the increase in the number of companies providing drone video services, aerial filming has gained traction not only among filmmakers, but also among businesses who want to produce videos for their marketing and advertising.

If you are planning to use your video to increase customer engagement, increase sales conversions, or improve brand appeal, adding aerial shots to your videos offers a few unique advantages. If you own a real estate agency, aerial videos can help you show prospective buyers an unparalleled view of the properties you are selling. This is because of the unique perspective offered by these videos.

Buyers can have a clear idea of the shape, size and layout of the property which would otherwise be difficult or impossible to do with conventional shots. If you own or manage a resort, an aerial video is a great way to show potential guests the amenities and features of the resort. You can post videos or photos on your resort’s websites or social media pages so that guests can have a greater appreciation of your resort.

Additionally, construction companies can benefit from aerial videos and photos in a wide variety of ways. For one, if the client wants to see the progress of the building construction, an aerial video can provide a unique perspective of the work that has been completed and what needs to be done. Finally, your company can use aerial videos and photos for special occasions. These videos and photos can then be used later on for future advertising campaigns.