Light Trick

Have you ever noticed how a person’s ears sometimes glow in portraits when they are backlit?
Because ears are more transparent than the rest of our bodies, they tend to catch and diffuse any light that is shining through them, kinda like the way a softbox works. To that end, you can imagine how silly it would look if the subject of a portrait had two tiny, glowing softboxes on each side of their head. You can see why glowing ears just aren’t that desirable in portraits. If you’ve ever spent time in Photoshop trying to fix it, you will be grateful for this little tip.


The little hack is not technically done “in camera”, but it is definitely along those lines and is an excellent tool to know about.
If you have a roll of gaffers tape laying around, you will not need to purchase any new equipment. Simply grab a little piece of the tape and stick it behind the subject’s ears before you start shooting.


It will block out light from shining through and save you some aggravation during post production. Just be careful so you do not press it on to hard or get their hair in it for obvious reasons.
It seems like black electrical tape may also work well and not be so sticky, If the skin was a little oily, there might be some difficulty getting it to stick at all.

How To Find Your Voice


It is not just enough to be good you have got to find your own unique voice. The question is how?

Focus on what interests you
This may seem obvious, but there are still a lot of people who go about this all the wrong way. They ask themselves, “What field of photography has the most demand right now? What area will be the most lucrative?” And then they go out and try to fit themselves into that picture.
But you will never be as successful doing this as you could be taking pictures of what interests you.
Why? Because when you are interested in something, you will enjoy it more. You will go out of your way to portray it in a good light. You will be more creative and want to try new things. This is so important and yet most people do not even think twice about it.

Ask yourself: “How could I do this in another way?”
If you are serious about photography, you should always be taking pictures of what you are most passionate about. But it is also just as beneficial to try new things and take pictures of different subjects, too. This does not necessarily mean forcing yourself to take pictures of things that you are not interested in, but finding ways of taking pictures of anything in such a way that you find it interesting. It pushes you to always stay fresh and always continue learning and growing. Reading books and taking classes is fine, but I believe that the best teacher is firsthand experience. If you are continually searching for new subjects and new ways of photographing them then you are keeping yourself on your toes, and you work will never become stale.
Passion and excitement are the fires that fuel brilliance, and in order to keep that flame stoked you will need to look for ways to keep your own interest pulsing within you.

Avoid the creativity killer
Contrary to popular belief, reading more books and taking more classes does not always make you a better photographer. Do not get me wrong; they can be incredibly helpful tools that help you learn and grow to an extent. However, there is a point that most photographers reach where studying and learning stops being helpful and becomes counterproductive. How do you know that you have reached that point?
When you find yourself critiquing and criticising your work more than you are simply enjoying it.
Photography is not supposed to be perfect. There are technical tools that we can use to improve our photographs, but they are only that: tools not rules. Just like people, photos are technically imperfect and yet that is what makes them so beautiful. Each photo is an impression of a moment in time that will never again be recaptured. And only you, from your unique viewpoint, have the ability to take that picture.

Take photos every single day
Most photographers believe that searching for the problems and imperfections is not just the best way to improve, but the only way to improve. I disagree. Although this can be helpful to an extent, it is way more beneficial to just go out and take photos.
In fact, this is the best way to get good at anything: do it. Over and over and over and over and over again. By doing it, you train yourself to see the beauty in things and intuitively find the best angles. You get to the point where you do not even have to think about it any more because it comes so naturally.
Take hundreds of photos. Do not limit yourself. Yes, you can ask yourself as you are taking the picture, “How can I make this better? How can I frame this in order to enhance the features that I want?” But in this day and age, there is no excuse not to take a photo if something catches your eye. With a digital camera, there are no negative consequences for filling up your memory card.

Do not worry if you “miss” opportunities
Photography is not how many shots you get or miss, it is about how many you take and keep taking. I have missed thousands of great shots and screwed up thousands more. I take more “bad” photos than good, and though I do feel disappointed sometimes when I really wanted to get something and it did not work out, I always shrug my shoulders and say, “hey, it was not meant to be.” Then I get out my camera, and go take some more pictures.

Take photos because you love to and for no other reason
The most important thing you can do to improve your photos and find your unique voice is to HAVE FUN!
Is it really that simple?
When you are having fun and trying new things and exploring and enjoying yourself, you are naturally more creative. Ideas will occur to you that you never thought of before. Things will naturally fall into place. Having fun is the key to being good.
Taking beautiful photographs is something that comes from the heart, not the mind. So many photographers spend all their energy researching the perfect equipment and collecting fancy lenses and filters. They strive for the technically perfect photo, and if they do not achieve it they criticise their own work and hide it away.

Get inspired!
Do those things that feed your soul eat delicious foods, read inspiring books, spend time with creative people, listen to music that transports you to a whole new world. It is often in those moments when you are simply enjoying life that the best ideas occur or you have the most wonderful photo opportunities.
Those very things that inspire you are often hints and nudges in the direction that you could take your photography to move it to the next level.

Ditch And Switch

For most of my years as a photographer I have owned a digital camera and I love it. But there are many situations that it has either been too big to carry with me or I just do not have it with me when that perfect shot came along.
As technology has changed so rapidly, owning the best camera that you can afford with the most amount of megapixels soon becomes very old and usually within the first year of owning that camera another one comes out, not necessarily bigger but technically better.
A few years ago I made the switch from PC to Mac and though it took nearly 6 months to get my portfolios just how I wanted them in both iPhoto and Aperture I still used my digital camera for photo shoots.
Aperture was great for tethering but sometimes could be hit or miss if I was using wireless over cable, however one thing it never could do, was if was out on location I would have to rely on several SD cards to store my days shoot.
On every shoot I always had my iPhone with me and it was not until the iPhone 4s came out and more recently the iPhone 5s, that the possibility of actually using my iPhone as the camera to do the shoot.
My iPhone 5s is with me wherever I go and I have made a conscious decision to ditch and switch and to now use my iPhone as my only camera.


I did a small test with a fellow photographer who only uses his DSLR and told him one photo was taken with my digital camera and the other with the iPhone 5s and could he tell the defence between the two images.  It was really surprising how he looked at both photos and immediately said, “without a question of doubt this photo was taken with the digital camera”. I questioned him as to why? He replied “the quality of that shot could only have come from a digital camera, no phone gets it that crisp”, he was shocked when I told him that he was praising the iPhone 5s photo.
It just goes to show that my trusted iPhone, that incidentally I do upgrade regularly can keep up with my photo needs and if anything has now become a two fold purchase both for personal and now professional.
I have no question of a doubt that the iPhones camera will never be good enough to certain photographers who require lenses longer than their arms but for the type of work that I do it is perfect.  The advantages of using the iPhone camera over a digital camera when it comes to backing up work, well the iPhone wins hands down.  Now I have every photo I take not only on my camera roll but also stored almost immediately in my iCloud photo stream, it is like tethering but with Apple’s twist on it.  I now can be anywhere in the world and know all my photos are safely stored ready for when I get home to edit them or as they are stored in the cloud, nothing is stopping me pulling them back down to use them on my iPad and edit them in any one of the vast array or iOS photo editing applications.
When it comes to upgrade time then I know that selling my old iPhone will not be a problems as with making most of my money back as it seems that Apple products keep their value even when newer models come onto the market.
2014 for me brings a new era to my photography career, I dare say the only convincing that I might need to make are with new and possibly old clients and the attitudes it brings when I turn up with just my iPhone and not a bulky camera.
Here is looking in the eye of creation dead on and slapping it about a bit.

UK Copyright

In the United Kingdom, there is no copyright office for artists, writers and other creators to register your work and even watermarking your work is not always effective as work is increasingly becoming digital and with that, those who want to steal you work can use ways to remove a digital watermark. So if you want to copyright something in the UK, you do not need to fill out a registration form or pay a fee to have your work protected. According to the UK Intellectual Property Office, copyright is an automatic right that occurs as soon as you create something. The key to this automatic right is that the work you have created must be in a tangible form.
It is really easy to do and so cost effective compared to our overseas counter parts who have to pay for the same privilege and some times it involves legal fees, which we all know can really mount up.
Here is how you do it.
Put your creation in a fixed, or tangible, form. For example, if it is a poem that you want to copyright, then put it on paper. Or if it is a song, then put it on a CD. Take the fixed form of your creation and mark it with the copyright symbol, a “C” in a circle, along with your name and the year of creation. In instances, such as a CD or DVD, just write on the actual CD or DVD. Use special delivery post to send yourself a copy of the creation, which you should leave sealed. With special delivery post, there is a clear date stamp on the package. This can be useful if you have to go to court to prove ownership of the creation.
And there you have it, your work is now protected and all for only a few pounds. I find sometimes that I am wanting to copyright a whole project and you can use the same method to do just that, the only difference is to put all of your project in the same envelope and set it out as a complete project, in effect acting as one piece.