heather schramm-lifestyle photographer

Posts tagged “photography tips

Austin Lifestyle Photography

Taking sunset silhouette photos is fun and easy.  If you use these few tips I think you’ll agree.

First you need a subject that is obvious in shape.  This photo was taken at a session I was doing for this awesome yoga instructor and I couldn’t resist as the light was getting just right.  City skylines tend to work pretty well in this scenario and I’m sure you can think of a handful of other subjects that would do too.  If I was doing a family portrait session I wouldn’t go for this shot because it would then just look like a big black blob with heads poking out.

Next, the great thing about these shots is you only need to expose for your sunset.  Once you nail your setting for the beautiful sunset those rich blacks just happen on your subject.  With that being said, just make sure you are shooting in the direction of the sun.  And your subject will be between you and the sun.

So let’s get our setting for that rich sunset.  There’s a handful of ways to get this but what I find as an easy fool proof way of doing this is to knock my exposure compensation down a bit.  That’s the button that usually has a “+/-” on it.  I typically end up going down a full -1 or even more.  For this image I lowered my aperture to f/11 which also darkened the image by letting less light in.

I will say I ended up adding a magenta filter on for this shot because I liked those hues for this client.  The only difference that made was in the upper left corner where you have the nice magenta toning it was more of a light blue.  It looked good that way too but I thought this fit better for her.  The filter definitely wasn’t necessary.

So all and all pretty easy, right?  Way easier than having to add some fill light back on our subject.

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Tips and Insights

What DSLR Camera To Buy

Canon v. Nikon

This is a dilemma I hear often, “I’m not sure whether to buy a Canon or Nikon?”.  Spoiler alert: I am not going to tell you which one to buy, instead I am going to give you some sound advice on the topic to hopefully take some of the stress out of trying to decide.  I get why people are perplexed by this choice.  After all it is a hefty investment while you are at the beginning stages of your photographic career.

In addition I am not going to give you the pros and cons or even the stats between the two brands.  First of all, you can find tons of side by side comparison charts all over the web and chances are you already have.  Another reason is the technology is constantly changing so if I were to give comparisons today chances are they would be different tomorrow.  Finally, I believe the prices of the different models along with their features are quite comparable between the two.

Now that we have covered the things I will not tell you lets take a look at the things I will tell you.  I think it is important to know you will not go wrong with either brand of camera.  Seriously, I have never heard a photographer say, ” I am a Canon or Nikon user but I really wish I chose the other guy.”.  You have big time professional photographers that are die-hard users of both competitors.  The great thing about these two is that these are the main guys out there at your photo meetup groups and within your community.  The advantage that gives you is chances are you’re going to know another photographer to borrow lenses off of.  You see, the lenses between the cameras are not interchangeable, so if you buy the Nikon you won’t be putting a Canon lens on it and visa versa.  Mind you there are many other lens brands that are specifically made for both and are wonderful.  Now that we are talking about lenses I feel I should mention good glass (referring to the lenses of course) is worth the money.  Don’t go buy a fancy camera then put an inferior lens on the front of it.  This is one of the pieces of your gear where you get what you pay for.  Now to get back on topic.  I think it is important for the camera to feel good in your hand.  It sounds obvious but sometimes its difficult to remember that when you are looking back and forth at the overviews between the two online.  Go to your local camera shop and ask to hold each of them.  It’s okay that you don’t know how to use it yet, just put it in “P” program mode or even “Auto” look through the viewfinder and press that shutter release and see which one sings to your heart.  Check out where the buttons and dials are in relation to where your hands rest, even if you have no clue what they do yet.  In not too much time once you take one of these home it will become an extension of you.  Like I said in the beginning you can’t make a bad decision between Canon or Nikon in my opinion.  Try to focus on the excitement of making one of these the start to your fun-filled future.

Sorry if this takes you back to square one but I feel like I should suggest you take a quick peek at the Sony before making your final decision.  They have some serious advancements in their technology that is cutting edge.  I wouldn’t be surprised is Canon and Nikon start mimicking some of their technology in the next few years.


Welcome to Tips and Insights

This portion of our website is dedicated to highlighting fun photography tips, tricks, and sometimes a useful gadget or two.  The info here is geared more for the novice photographer.  If you have anything interesting to add that may be helpful to others please shoot us an email and we will be happy to post it while giving you props.  After all, by working together we all improve at a faster pace, and it sure is a lot more fun.

That being said, I think it is important to note that though photography does have its own set of rules such as, “the rule of thirds”, “the golden rule”, “the rule of using AVP as your photographer” (okay, I made the last one up) etc., there are always very good reasons to break rules.  Just because they work most of the time does not mean they work all of the time.  Think of these tips as more of guidelines.  Once you learn them, think outside the box.  Some of the most outstanding photographs don’t always follow the rules.

There is however one rule you never want to break.  This rule I hold very close, and I urge you to do the same.  Are you ready for it?  Okay, here it is…Have Fun.  I know this may sound lame, but I truly believe if you’re not having fun you’re not doing it right.  It seems the camera knows when you’re not into it, because you end up with flat, lifeless photographs.  So consider this your first tip:  Always let your emotions drive your photographs.

Please feel free to give us feedback for things you may like to see in upcoming Tips and Insights as it is always welcome.  Until next time, Have Fun!

Austin Vivid Photography