Photographing older people

Photographing older people can be a joy for many reasons. To start with, a lived-in face is usually more interesting than that of a callow youth. Also, older people are usually more generous with their time. So here are some tips of photographing older people.   I life story in every portrait It’s said that a person has the face he deserves by the age of forty. Maybe these days sixty would be more appropriate. Certainly as far as photography is concerned, the older a person gets the more of their life story will be…

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Photographing in fog
photographing in fog - colour saturation and shadows are drastically reduced

Photographing in fog

Foggy conditions can tranform almost any setting into a beautiful, mysterious or ominous scene. Photographing in fog can be hugely rewarding if you get it just right. However, there are some adjustments needed to your photo technique if your finished pictures are to capture what you actually saw with your own eyes.   Why is photographing in fog so difficult? On a foggy day, the air fills with tiny water particles. These scatter and redirect the light rays. This means that there are no hard shadows and the light appears flat. Subjects lose the '3D'…

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Photographing sunsets
Even a poor Balinese fisherman gathering supper for his family will stop to appreciate the beauty of a sunset over the sea. Don’t be afraid to point your camera straight into the light in these situations. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Photograph by Philip Dunn

Photographing sunsets

There’s more to photographing sunsets than just capturing the colour. Philip Dunn reveals how you can inject more visual appeal, drama and romance into your sunset pictures.   Composition and good camera craft Sunsets have always attracted photographers and artists, and so they should. But there’s more to capturing a photograph that demands attention than just pointing a camera at a colourful sky. It is unlikely that you will need to improve on the colour of a really good sunset, either with filters or in Photoshop. However, if you want to capture the romance and…

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Capturing the action
Precise timing has caught the exact moment when this beach tumbler's fingers have touch the sand. It's a photographer's skill that does not need 'continuous' shooting mode

Capturing the action

There’s more to capturing the action than simply freezing the movement by using a fast shutter speed and shooting at 10 frames per second. Philip Dunn explains that good action photography starts with anticipation and an understanding of your subject. It is far more important to capture the right moment than freeze the wrong one No motor-drives, or multiple-shooting modes were used when capturing the action in the picture above. It was taken on a basic Nikon F2 many years ago in the West Indies. I captured the action simply by pressing the shutter at…

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Photographing craftsmen and women
William was keen to show me the sailmaker’s palm used by his grandfather and still in use today. This was the ideal opportunity to take a close-up of his strong-work-calloused hands. I preferred this in black and white. Photography by Philip Dunn

Photographing craftsmen and women

Photographing craftsmen and women is, for me, always a joy. Call them artisans, makers, or skilled workers, these are the capable people who can create things with their hands. Practical, dexterous and accomplished, they are almost always worth photographing, and they often work in photogenic places. The sailmaker Everything about the sailmaker’s loft was purpose-built to inspire a photographer. That included William Leitch himself. He is the sailmaker and owner. A big, gentle, bear of a man with a great bushy beard and a mischievous twinkle in his eye. William is the third generation of…

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Time exposure with flash
The shutter was opened, the maroon was launched, the flash was fired and the shutter was closed. Simplicity itself. No fancy cables or wireless channels. Just old-fashioned photographic techniques that always work

Time exposure with flash

Vintage photo tricks still work today The simple photography technique of using a time exposure with flash goes way back to the days of flash powder and glass plates. And it's just as effective and worth applying today as it was then. The Victorians didn't need fancy sophisticated flash set-ups to produce great images; they had no multi-channel wireless systems or remote shutter controls. You don't need them either. All you need is a camera with a manual long-exposure setting, a good, firm tripod and a flash unit with a manual release button. Oh, you…

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Good Picture Composition
PICTURE A Where does your eye go when you first look at this picture? There are clear triangle within this composition

Good Picture Composition

HOW CAN YOU IMPROVE YOUR PICTURE COMPOSITION? How to achieve good picture composition – the first thing to realise is that good picture composition does not have to be confined to landscape photography. All pictures, whether they are photographs of people in the street, animals, portraits or still-life, will have the power to attract your viewer’s eye – and hold it within the picture - if the composition is based on sound principles. So how do you improve picture composition? Answers vary according to the subject. For this reason, hard rules, despite what some photographers…

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Understanding Light – its direction
It's not just the old man's face and beard that brings impact to this portrait. I is the strong side light. That's what is emphasizing the texture of his skin. I deliberately positioned my subject beside a small window. Photography by Philip Dunn

Understanding Light – its direction

THE DIRECTION OF LIGHT Good light is the photographer’s most vital yet least understood ingredient. It’s more important than a whole bagful of expensive gear. Let's get to grips with the direction of light. Let’s face it, you can’t take photographs without it so the more you get to grips with it the better. An understanding of light will transform the way you see and enable you to express yourself visually. It will help you highlight the vibrancy of colours, create visual mood, pick out the textures of everything from stone walls to wrinkly faces,…

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