Category Archives: tips

Photography Trends in 2024

With 2023 behind us, it’s time to focus on 2024! And with the New Year around the corner, what’s better than looking at the biggest Photography Trends that we will get to see in 2024. If you’ve been a reader of the magazine over the years then you would know that every year in our January Anniversary issue, we feature an article on the biggest trends and predictions for the year. And more often than not, we are on point with them. Don’t believe us? Then you can read some of our previous articles from 2023, 2022, 2020.

– By Bhavya Desai

For 2024, these are the biggest trends in technology, products, features I feel will come your way:

Dominance of AI in photography

The biggest trend in 2024 will be the increased dominance of AI and its computational photography. If you remember my article from last year, that also featured the increase in the use of AI tools to execute photography. But in the year 2024, AI and its impact on photography will come into its own. This will be evident with the increased use of AI tools by photographers to increase their efficiency in everyday processes. And this spurt will be helped by mainline software giants like Adobe, Canva, etc. introducing AI features into their softwares like Photoshop, Indesign, etc that will allow users to access AI to enhance/change their pictures. The everyday use of softwares like ChatGPT, Midjourney, Dall-E have also increased phenomenally in the past year.

But what’s interesting is that the increase in the use of AI wont only be in the form of apps and software. Smart devices like phones, cameras, processors etc. will also start using advanced AI algorithms to deliver better results, pictures, making the life of a photographer easier than before. So 2024 is going to be all about AI, its tools and computational photography. Get ready because this year will be ‘Monumental for the Future of Photography.’

Rise of Contextual Photography

Ride with me for a minute! The terms contextual photography can be misinterpreted often. When I refer to contextual photography, I am referring to the trend where a picture provides a context to the viewer. With the increase in the usage of AI tools that allow us to manipulate images, there has been an increased push towards realism in the pictures as well. And with that I feel viewers will/are consuming images and content that delivers a larger perspective and context to images.

Focus on Environmental and Sustainability

And with that context the viewers are also thinking about the planet. Now when I say focus on environmental and sustainability, I don’t mean that as a genre in photography that will be the prime focus. I am referring to users/followers/subscribers of photographers who resonate with the planet and how much does their favourite shutterbug care about the environment. And this will come full circle with not only photographers, it will be applicable to people in general as well. And more specifically if photographers are more responsible of their work in a sustainable manner towards the planet.

I don’t think if I have seen any generation that cares about the planet and its environmental impact as the current one. Which is great, and in this time and era the focus isn’t just on the products that are environment friendly, sustainable, but also what he/she/they stand for.

Death of the Horizontal Picture

One of the saddest inventions of social media is the advent of vertical photos. Think of it! When was the last time you took a horizontal photo, unless you were really forced to? Personally, in the last year I also don’t remember taking too many horizontal photos either. And when I thought about this point, I went back to my library to run a check on the horizontal photos I clicked in the last year. And the result was mind boggling. They amounted to less than 10% of all my pictures.

Now it is common to take vertical pics with phones, for obvious reasons, but I find more and more photographers using their cameras also to shoot vertical pics. And I feel that 2024 is going to be the death of the horizontal images and videos (if it hasn’t already happened).

Drone & Aerial Photography – Coming of Age

This point has been featuring in my list for the past 2-3 years. And that is because the first time I predicted it, drones had just started surfacing. But every year drones have been consistently offering better features, become more affordable and have started coming in smaller packages, and 2024 is the year where you will see them make a major impact.

With more advanced features in smaller packages, use of drones especially in video content is almost a given these days. So get ready for some serious drone action.

Short Form Video Content

I am sure this isn’t a surprise for anyone. Short form content like Shorts and Reels are already becoming more popular than long form content in terms of consumption. And the year 2024 is going to be no different. Perhaps the biggest change that one will find is a shift in the mindset of the creators while creating content.

While short form content was believed to be cringe, corny, etc., it is clear that viewers are consuming short-form vertical content. And by the second half of 2023 people have realised, to get more followers/subscribers/views they also need to focus on this format. And 2024 will see a phenomenal rise in the consumption of this form of content.

Faceless Shots

The only photography style to get featured in this list is Faceless shot. As the name suggests, these are pictures that feature without a face/head. And this is I think will be a very interesting image trend in 2024. Combined with contextual photography, this trend will become a powerful medium to provide a good perspective to the viewer, while surrounding some mystery to the subject.

OnePlus 11 Camera Tips and Tricks

In this video, we explore the camera tips and tricks for the OnePlus 11. The OnePlus 11 boasts some of the most impressive camera hardware and software features in the market, and with these tips and tricks, you can take your photography and videography to the next level. Whether you’re a professional photographer or just starting with smartphone photography, this video will help you unleash the full potential of your OnePlus 11 camera. So, sit back, grab your phone, and let’s dive into the world of OnePlus 11 camera tips and tricks!

Trends in Photography in 2023

The past few years have been really unique, primarily since 2021 was majorly spent in a pandemic and the year 2022 witnessed majority of those restrictions lifted across major parts in the world. But both these years presented with a unique set of trends that were nearly on the opposite side of the spectrum. And in 2023, things are really back to the basics honestly.

Every year I do my list of trends and predictions for the year to come and if the previous articles are anything to go by, then we usually do tend to get most of them right. So what are the trends in technology and photography that we reckon are going to become big this year? Let’s find out.

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By Bhavya Desai

 

Unedited Images


While users pride on their knowledge of post processing that can truly turn an ordinary image into an extraordinary one, using editing tools, one big trend that is likely to take 2023 by storm and social media is ‘unedited images’.



There is a large contingent of users online that believe that the social media world is increasingly fake and superficial. Hence there is an increased push towards more credible work, that features more unedited images. A small portion of that trend can also be seen in advertising and commercial campaigns, where brands are also now using this strategy in order to promote self-love and positive body image on its users.

Of course when we say unedited images, it doesn’t mean that small tweaks aren’t done to make it more appealing. But these are just minor corrections to adjust colour and exposure. Personally I am also a user’s that prefers to use minimal edits, which means that you have to then spend more time shooting the right image from the get go. So unedited or raw images are likely to be a big trend in 2023.


Highlight Reels from Weddings


With a hiatus of nearly 2 years, the wedding industry has seen an unprecedented flow of work, functions, ceremonies in 2023. So much so that, even a novice photographer is booked out completely in advance. But while there are many weddings that are taking place this year, the method of content consumption has surely changed from before.


 

Gone are the days when family and friends want to look at long videos, boring images – one after the other for hours together. Today the world is more about instant consumption and Highlight Reels are the mantra! Users are now looking for highlight reels for their marriage to share instantly with family and friends that are easy to share, upload and view on social media. So this year – highlight reels in wedding photography will be a big trend.


Reels and Shorts


Undoubtedly the biggest trend that came out of the past 2 years are reels and shorts. Following TikTok’s meteoric rise in recent years, other social media platforms such as YouTube and Instagram have also aggressively started pushing short-form video content to its users.



Instagram reels and YouTube Shorts let users to publish catchy, entertaining material that has the potential to become viral. The tremendous explosion of short form video material has a cause. Our attention spans are shrinking, making it increasingly challenging for marketers to keep our attention. Indeed, according to one Microsoft-commissioned research, we are now less attentive than the typical goldfish. It is extremely difficult for still photographers to stay in the market as video media covers over, but as we can see, a large number of photographers are finally moving their step into Reels and Shorts by using creative ideas to show their images in vertical videos or by showing a behind the scenes on how they clicked the photograph to stay in the market.


Vertical Videos

If you remember, this trend was featured a few years back in one of my lists and makes a comeback to this year’s list as well. The use of vertical videos will only seem relevant to you, depending on how much video content you shoot and for what platform. Take for instance my own personal example. Up until last year I would shoot most of my videos horizontally on my phone.



But since last year, I find myself shooting more and more videos vertically, even on our personal family trips and vacations. And with the explosion of vertical video content on short-content platforms, vertical videos are a thing of the future.


AI Image Creation


The year 2022 will go down in history as an important milestone when it comes to Artificial Intelligence creating images from scratch. I still remember, nearly a decade back I would always wonder, what if I could just say something and a computer would throw up an image depending on my imagination. And while that seemed like a distant dream at that time, in 2022 it is more of a reality.



Enter DALL-E, an emerging AI image synthesizers that can now create amazing, photorealistic pictures from text to image. There are some other popular platforms as well like Mid-journey and Stable Diffusion also that do the same thing. But as seen on social media, AI has now become a trend now, well it’s not a great match to photography but in coming years it might be a great battle between photographers and AI. I can see more and more of such images being used online with humans using their better judgement to realize what might be AI generated and what would be real.

 

Authentic and Real Images


Don’t get confused by the headline that you read earlier regarding unedited images? While this might seem similar, it isn’t. authentic and real images refer to pics that are natural, candid and un-staged. Covid and the lockdown has affected everyone on this planet and definitely gave some creative and boring trends while sitting at home. Who knows why trends emerge and what influences them, but lockdown appears to have helped us all appreciate the real world. We’re no longer living in dreams since the actual world has seemed like a fantasy at times. How does this perspective affect photography? It indicates a stronger importance on realism in 2023.



So 2023 will surely see a lot more realistic view at the subject, allowing the lens to capture true moments without any fear of manipulation.


Metaverse


This trend has emerged as a regular issue in any discussion on the future of the technology sector. This area has great economic potential, with $800 billion predicted by the middle of this decade and $2.5 trillion by 2030 according to some sources. Regardless of the difficulties Meta is experiencing in developing its ambitions, the metaverse in its original form can present significant potential for businesses in terms of expanded social presence, remote working, payments, healthcare, product trade, and so on.



Many businesses are already taking use of this environment to improve their products, project a distinct brand image, or communicate with their customers. The industrial metaverse is one of the sector’s and Industry 5.0’s most fervent ambitions. The applications are vast, ranging from recording and documenting the nature of reality to analysing and enhancing data in virtual settings to attaining long-term goals while minimising costs. We are still a long way from experiencing a digital world that combines virtual and physical reality in a shared online realm. Still, technology will fundamentally alter how we work, shop, and enjoy ourselves, and we have already begun to glimpse some of its powers.


Smart Cameras to continue revolutionising photography

 

Slowly but surely the cameras of smart devices are breaking new barriers. Don’t get me wrong, these won’t ever replace mirrorless cameras. The application of a traditional camera is far more than its smaller counterpart, but the rate at which the development of the smart cameras is ongoing, it will for the foreseeable future revolutionise photography for the years to come.

 


And that is only natural since smaller cameras require more innovation and ambition to pack technology into its tiny spaces. In 2022 the cameras have already broken the entry barrier of 100-megapixel in smart devices with greater zoom capability. So it is only a matter of time when we can expect to see more.

 

Wildlife Photography Tours

 


With the lockdown lifted, wildlife photography enthusiasts and photographers have flocked parks like never before. Infact forest reserves are experiencing a high volume of demand from tours that offer wildlife as part of their portfolios during the season time. With more and more users looking to get out and shoot wildlife, one of the biggest trends this year in wildlife photography will be unique and customised tours surrounding the topic.

 

So these were some of the trends that will become big in 2023.

Tips to Improve Your Vacation Photos

Travel and holiday photography is an excellent method to preserve the memories of your most recent trips. However, with the growing popularity of travelling photographers, you may be asking how you can maintain your photographs appearing new and creatively unique. Here are some suggestions to help you take spectacular, fascinating, and aesthetically appealing vacation images.

1. Find the Best Light



Finding the ideal light is critical when photographing outside. As most photographers are aware, there are certain times of day that are great for photography. These pockets of soft light are referred to as the golden hour, and they can occur either in the morning at dawn or in the evening at sunset. Photographing your surroundings during these times will result in some stunning photographs. However, because you will most likely be photographing throughout the day, direct sunlight will be unavoidable. Even though it may be more harder to acclimatise to, you may take advantage of the sun. Instead of photographing in an open area where the sun is harsh and heavy, consider finding a pocket of shelter where the sun may shine through gently. Make imaginative use of the light and frame yourself to get the perfect photo.

2. Photograph Your Setting with a Mixture of Landscape and Portrait Shots




Whether you’re capturing nature, a landscape, or a cityscape, changing the orientation of your shots will give diversity to your vacation photos. When photographing any location that is wide and horizontally long, use landscape to generate a picture that covers the full frame. Use the portrait orientation to enhance perspective and depth when shooting a monument or landmark that stands tall rather than broad. Photographing the Eiffel Tower is an excellent example of switching views. If you are near enough to the tower to stand beneath it, a picture with a low vantage point might add a feeling of strength and majesty to the attraction. If you were to shoot the tower from a distance, such as from the Trocadero platform, you might use the landscape approach to capture not just the tower, but also the surrounding Paris metropolis.

3. Add the Element of People



It is frequently observed that holiday images are greatly affected by capturing landmarks and aspects inside a city or environment. Although photographing architecture, facades, or mountain tops is significant, a vacation photography collection should also contain images of the destination’s culture and people. People in your work may tend toward street photography rather than classic travel pictures, but putting humans in your images gives them fresh life and perspective. As much as you want to recall the magnificent Norwegian home on the river, the snapshot of the market owner who gave you fresh fruit every morning is more likely to inspire real and lasting memories. It is essential to record not only the physical surrounds of your trip, but also the life of the city and your own experience.

4. Capture the ‘Out of the Ordinary’



When visiting a prominent and well-known tourist site, it is simple to take shots of solely the well-known monuments or landscapes. Assume you are visiting Rome, a lovely city that attracts travellers from all over the world. You could be tempted to limit your photography to the Colosseum, the Spanish Steps, or the Vatican. Even though these are interesting places to see, there is much more to Rome than meets the eye. Instead, use the back alleyways and cross into the city’s peaceful parts. Witness the actual Italian culture of secret cafés, an authentic location where the proprietor hand rolls his own pasta, or children looking out from their window frames in the flats above. Capture the spirit and lifestyle of your destination’s culture, because it is frequently the unusual places that reveal a city’s full depth.

5. Use Unique Framing



Another thing to keep in mind is to be deliberate with your image framing. Just because you’ve seen a location taken from a specific perspective doesn’t imply it’s the only way to capture the image. Alter your viewpoint by taking images with full compositions, low or high vantage points, and varied distances. This is your chance to design a picture based on how you see and view the environment around you.

6. Pay Attention to Visual Design



In cities with beautiful and delicate architecture, your images will stand out. The peaks of mountains and the way they connect with the sky, much like in huge natural landscapes, will produce aesthetically appealing lines of depth and composition. Using the designs of both man and nature will help you to envisage and infuse creative aspects into your holiday shots, whether you follow the lines of your surroundings or opt to go against the grain to offer a diverse viewpoint.

7. Create a Different Perspective



Focus on capturing your surroundings from your unique perspective to guarantee that your holiday images are not a carbon copy or reproduction of an image you have already seen. Take example of Eiffel Tower as an illustration of how perspective may be adjusted dependent on the photographer’s sight. For most people, posing in front of the Eiffel Tower is a staple vacation shot. However, for the creative artist, the city provides a plethora of opportunities to depict the Iron Lady and your subject without adhering to the throng. For example, a once-unique perspective was having your subject sit on the steps of Trocadero’s downhill slant. This resulted in a line juxtaposition, with the tower standing tall and the subject crossing within the frame on a diagonal. This image was initially a fresh perspective on the monument, but it has since become in popularity among tourists. It is advisable to experiment with fresh perspectives in your photography, since you may wind up developing the next go-to angle for visitors to emulate.

8. Don’t be Afraid of Night Photography




For most photographers, shooting at night is a gamble. You’ll admit that you were always apprehensive of photography at night because of the lack of useable light. However, for other places, the city or environment becomes even more alive and astonishing after dark – examples include New York, Tokyo, and Paris, as well as natural wonders like the Northern Lights. Use external sources of lighting, like as city lights or starlight in the wilderness, to assist illuminate your frame when shooting at night. The greatest advise is to grasp your camera’s and lens’s nighttime capabilities and practise before your trip – that way, you’ll be able to capture amazing photographs from sunrise to sunset.

9. Integrate Your Personal Style




One of the most essential things to remember when photographing your vacation is to never compromise your particular style. This applies both during the filming process and afterwards in the post-production editing process. If you are not a professional travel photographer, you may feel compelled to alter your approach in order to match the mould of this market. Instead of altering your method or vision, concentrate on making shots that reflect your particular style your holiday photos should still coincide with and be visually consistent with your job. This is not to mean that you should disregard creativity or be reluctant to take chances. Just keep in mind that while you’re taking images, you want to visualise an environment that will allow you to create work that reflects your own visual style.

10. Don’t Forget the Small Details



The third piece of advice for holiday photography is to pay attention to the details. Pay attention to the aspects that form your image either shooting a street scene, making a portrait, or capturing a big landscape. These can take the form of a bright red door on a charming home, ducks lounging in the lawn, or lip stained coffee cups on café patios. Paying attention to the details will result in a visual tale for your audience, one that captures a wide range of situations where time, location, and experience combine.

New Photography Genres to Try your Hands on

The world of photography has gone through a lot evolution. From those heavy cameras and lenses to a simple 180 g device in your hand, the technology around photography changed drastically. Likewise with each new device, came new features that improved the art of photography; offering more options to be creative. Hence different forms of photography came out and a lot of new genres came to light.


So what does it mean to be a photographer in 2021? Few years back, photography was only limited to people who could afford to buy those expensive cameras and lenses. But now, almost everybody has equipped themselves with good smartphones, which have a pretty nice camera. And the technology has grown in such a way that it doesn’t require much effort to capture decent images of anything around you.


With social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook being flooded with artistic photos from regular people, it has become really challenging and tough for the professionals out there. They have to think more creatively and work beyond the normal and capture photographs which are different and commercially successful. This gave a lot of photographers to do something new and creative and their work received huge demand commercially too.


In this article we have talked about a few trends that we think are breaking the bond of the industry and are quite offbeat in their approach.



Underwater Wedding Photography

Photography is an important part of the wedding planning process. And with the advent of social media, couples and their families are leaning more towards conceptual photography to make their special day even more special. This has led to the birth of various quirky wedding photography trends and one which has recently picked momentum is underwater wedding photography.



Underwater wedding photography is the latest trend that puts the pair in some different settings to photograph their beautiful moments. Couples nowadays are really bored with those common simple poses with just married props, standing in a beautiful location. They want to take it a step further and experiment with such new trends.


Birth Photography

The rise of birth photography has been wanted by many out there, including the huge number of professional photographers who are super keen to photograph as many births as they can. It is a very tough form of photography as you are in a very sensitive environment and your mere presence can be a source of discomfort to your subject. There is nothing quite like birth photography. According to a lot of birth photographers, it is an emotion-filled, once in a lifetime chance to witness a miracle. You need to be prepared with your gear for this kind of photography and you need to manage the light of the surrounding for good shots. The operation theatres mostly have low lighting and you need to be ready for that.




Travel Photography

Cameras are getting more compact and travel friendly each day. The camera has shifted from being a luggage to an essential and hence this form of photography has boomed. Now travellers who seek beautiful scenic location to explore can share their experience with others. Social media, especially Instagram, has given this style of photography the required medium and it has picked up since. You can now spot your friends or a neighbour venturing into this form of photography as all you need is your smartphone and an internet connection. Travel photography is different for different people. Some like to photograph monuments, whereas others like to capture beautiful landscapes. However, the common element that stays is that we photographers go to a foreign or unfamiliar places and capture them. They capture the beauty of the places, and also the essence of the culture of that particular place.




Deadpan Photography

Deadpan photography, well known in the 50s, has made a major rebound and is returning to a reality based photography style. This style of photography is unmistakably impacting clients around the globe.



So what is Deadpan Photography? The portrayal of things or emotions as it is. Today’s world is world full of filters and post-processing, what deadpan photography aspires to do is to give the raw and unaltered version of the subject, whatsoever it may be (even commercial products). As social media has become an integral part of our life, people have started sharing pictures and the reviews of the product that they purchased. Instead of applying filters to glorify these products, people are now sharing images to show items and products as they are. Following the trend, even big corporates are trying to shift towards deadpan photography to build trust with their consumers. Recently Domino’s has taken this style up and they post unedited real pictures of their pizzas on Instagram


Infrared Photography

Although this genre was used before for defence purposes, infrared photography has now become really notable for professional photographers and has taken to the mainstream pop culture. You can easily find infrared photography websites and Instagram accounts displaying colourful psychedelic images. Infrared images looks similar to painting like effect and photographers are already bringing out extraordinary images from this idea. Earlier artist like Jimi Hendrix and Frank Zappa used infrared images for their album covers for a more intellectual and darker touch. Now infrared has entered into other genres too like portraits, landscapes, etc. It is not used for just the psychedelic looks anymore. It has become a big part of serious photography as well.


Photoshop tips and tricks

Photoshop is an marvelous instrument for graphic design, but there is certainly a lot to learn for photographers, and there’s always more to rule for those who are already experienced. If you’re currently working as a photographer and editor and looking to modify your skills, you probably find that time is a major restriction to improve your knowledge. If so, you will need to develop a plan to enhance your skills step-by-step in the time that you have. If you are an aspiring editor, you may have no idea where to start in order to achieve the level of success of some of the Photoshop masters that we see online or on YouTube. In this, article we’ll look at the steps you can take to increasingly build your skills using tools that are already available.



  1. Follow Tutorials

    There are number of websites or blogs or youtube videos that focus on supplying superior quality tutorials for photographers. There are a increasing amount of other websites and blogs that regularly publish Photoshop tutorials. All of these places are precious resources for enhancing your skills, whether you want to develop particular skills or just looking to modify in general. In order to take benefit of the tutorial sites that are accessible, subscribe to a a couple of sites that you like the most so you don not miss out on new ones (you can also bookmark other tutorial sites in case you want to find them afterwards). With the number of content available in market, you will never be able to work through each tutorial, and you are unlikely to have an involvement in all of them anyway. Try to select one or two per week to try on your own. For most of us, learning is a easy step when we are actually doing things ourselves, so working while reading the tutorials is necessary rather than browsing through them.



  1. Experiment

    The perfect way to learn something new is to experience it for yourself. While tutorials are helpful, you should also take out some time to just experiment on your own to see what magic you can create. You can try to apply things you have learned through tutorials, or just experiment with things you are not well-known with. Photoshop has so many various functions, features and settings that you will really need to become well-known in order to understand their potential. Experimenting will open up your creativity and help you to get more handy with Photoshop. To put the lessons you learn from others into practice by your own, you will need to do some experimentation and adaptation. There may be some tutorials that teach you precisely what you want to do, but more likely they will teach you a skill or technique that can be used, but you’ll need to set it to fit with your project or image.When experimenting, find something that suits best for you in terms of learning new tricks.

  2. Start with basics

    There’s so much to learn with Photoshop and so many outlook that it is important to get a hold of the basics before attempting to move on the advanced. Like anything else, the basics of your Photoshop knowledge is will help you in future. If you are beginner, rather than trying to follow with advanced tutorials, take some time to get your perfect hands on the basics before anything else. Start with tutorials on all of the basics of Photoshop, like the interface, the tools, shortcuts and more. Having a proper knowledge of these items will make it much easier when you want to work on advance part later. After that start to cover topics as typography, web components and photo manipulation and then you can move to advanced tutorials.

  3. Participate in groups and get reviews

    After you have learned some tutorials and you have done some experiment by your own, it is helpful to get feedback and review from other designers as well to improve of the parts which are still not perfect. There are groups of graphic designers on social media all over the place that can be excellent for feedback and review. There are hundreds of groups for designers that are not connected with a particular blog or websitewhere you can get honest reviews for your experiment. Groups are great spot to share your work with other designers or photographers who are also enhancing their own ability. You can get active by giving honest feedback to other people on their work, and you will get more result on your own work indirectly. If you are interested in a place where you can share your experiment to continue the learning activity, try some Flickr groups.

  4. Find an pro to follow

    Regardless of what field you are into, following and learning from a professional can be highly helpful, and Photoshop is no different. If you want to become a good editor, find someone that you look up to and pay close attention to their work. Fortunately, being in this field that is related to technology, it is easy to find experts online and see their work, read their blogs, and interviews.These interviews provides information about their lives and their careers that can help you in your own work and career. If you already admire someone, subscribe to their blog, search for them on social media, keep an eye on their daily uploads. If you do not have any expert you admire, concentrate on work that you like in groups, see what stands out to you, or find a particular tutorial writer that has a mode which you acknowledge. In some cases you may be able to get in touch with the particular person through their site or through profiles on social media and having a conversation with them will help you more to learn.

Tips to capture best waterfall images

Currently we’ve come that part of the season where Sun is being mean but the weather is changing on a day to day basis and its difficult to predict. The cloud play has begun after a crazy summer in India. India has already started receiving monsoons in various parts counting on the climate conditions including some places which has seen heavy rainfall within the start. The monsoons are highly awaited in India. Be it for farmers or nature lovers or people, it brings relief to the hot weather situations. Rains are beautiful no doubt, the water cleans all the dust and dirt and things around providing a new life to the surrounding. The environment looks greener and everything including the earth smells fresh. Now the rains also get during a lot of water and every water bodies get filled to the max. Similarly, canals, lakes, rivers and waterfalls look even more amazing when it’s filled with water. This month we’ll assist you with some important tips on capturing waterfall photos in India.


Shooting waterfalls is a must to-do, especially with those folks who shoot nature and landscape. Shooting a waterfall is fun and very rewarding especially if you recognize the way to get the best waterfall images. The whole idea of shooting a waterfall is to point out its is flow and motion, sometimes bigger waterfalls are visualised in wide angles to offer a thought about its vastness and size. A waterfall also will be suffering from its flow of water and particularly during monsoons where all water bodies are full and flowing. It becomes an excellent opportunity for photographers to capture images of the waterfalls. Waterfall images are often made very interesting with a mixture using lens, composition and tools sort of a ND filter or a polariser. In this article we’ll discuss some tips to form your waterfall images even better and guide you to a number of the gorgeous waterfalls in India where you can go and shoot amazing images.


To begin with capturing waterfall images, you’ll need a camera that has full manual control over the settings, be it a DSLR or a mirrorless camera. Although it’s not really necessary to possess high end gear to capture good images and your crop sensor camera is quite enough.


Using an ND filter.

ND or Neutral density filters control the mount of sunshine hitting your sensor. This becomes very helpful in situations where you’ve got to regulate the quantity of sunshine. You can do an equivalent changes with the settings of the camera also but an ND filter offers you more freedom when you would like a bigger aperture within the middle of the day. There are a couple of disadvantages with ND filters, especially while shooting landscape and therefore the time of the day has harsh and hard sunlight. In such cases there’ll be areas with high intensity light forming hotspots then the shadow areas. In such a case, using an ND filter will get lesser details in the shadow region. To solve this, you ought to consider shooting at dawn or dusk depending on the intensity and direction of the sun.


Pay attention to details just like the environment, the direction of sunshine and the the elements that you simply want in your frame. It’s important to compose your shot before you press the shutter. Employing a wide angle lens will allow you to bring more area into your frame.


Choose your exposure correctly.

If you’re fixing fully manual, it’s suggested that you to take it easy on the settings. One thing you will surely require while shooting a waterfall its the sense of motion and flow. This needs opening the shutter for a extended time for that the exposure can capture the flow of the water with the environment perfectly steady. Sometimes there is going to be a considerate amount of wind and this may cause the trees and a couple of elements in your frame to move and cause blur. This can be overcome by shooting multiple exposure and a couple of where the exposure is balanced for a faster shutter speed so that the elements can be captured steady. Later the pictures are often stacked in post-processing and a wonderfully blended image are often achieved.


Use a polariser to eliminate the unwanted reflections in the image. When shooting waterfalls, you’ll encounter variety of places where there will be tons of reflections. Reflections do look good in some situations but most of it might be unnecessary. So you’ll need to adjust the filter to get the utmost effect of removal of reflection.


Take a look at the histogram.

The histogram shows the quantity of highlights and shadows within the image and always keep the values from blowing up. An excessive amount of highlights or too dark shadows aren’t desirable as there’s tons of details which will be lost within the shadows and highlights. You have to shoot in RAW file format to permit you to fix anything that has gone wrong. But always make sure to have a glance at the pictures and fix anything directly inside the camera instead of depending upon post processing.


Use a tripod

Use a tripod to keep the camera steady, select the smallest ISO and set the aperture narrow. See the desired shutter speed if achieved or use an ND filter to get even slower speeds. The thought is to get the water in motion which can look milky after completing the exposure.



Most places and countries have some or the other waterfalls flowing. These waterfalls tend to be bigger and more beautiful during the monsoons and make incredible subjects for landscape photography. In India, there are quite a couple of waterfalls and if you would like to travel and capture some waterfalls, Google about the amazing places in India where you’ll get the simplest waterfall images.

Reasons Behind Your Unsharp Photos

Having at least some part to be sharp in every image is a goal for most photographers. But it doesn’t always turn out that way, specially for photographers who are in the process of learning photography for the first time. After all, several things can put a stop to sharp photos. The list below is not a complete list as you can find many other difficulties just waiting to blur your images. We chose only the problems that you always have to look out for.



Handheld shots for long exposures

Your arms aren’t as stable as a tripod. They shake a little, and so for handheld shots, you cannot set your shutter speed to a very low value. Telephoto lenses can significantly magnify distant subjects, but every millimeter of hand motion can mean as much as a meter-wide jump for the objects in the frame. The general rule of thumb is that you can use a shutter speed of up to [1/focal length] seconds. So with a wide, 24mm lens, you can use up to 1/30 seconds approximately, while a telephoto lens with a 400mm focal length will need a much shorter time: 1/400 second. If there’s not sufficient light for the shot, then you need to increase the ISO, decrease aperture value or use the stabiliser if your camera or lens which comes with stabilisation. When none of these options works, then you can shoot using a tripod or lay your camera on a flat surface. If there’s nothing usable around, then you can support with your hands against your body. That gives you more steadiness, and so you can use somewhat longer times. By leaning against a tree, you can improve things even more.


Times Too Long for the Action

You can keep the camera as steady as you want, but if you’re photographing humans or other living beings, their movement in images will be blurry. So, when shooting social events, you keep to a shutter speed of 1/125 second or faster than that. Or at worst at a shutter speed of 1/60 seconds, but in that case, be prepared to risk having blurring in your images. If you want to capture sports, you’ll find that even shorter shutter speeds are required. They can need shutter speeds as fast as 1/400 seconds, depending upon the sport and the photo’s style. Here neither a stabiliser nor a tripod will assist you, so if you’re shooting within a hall with a restricted amount of light, unfortunately, the only answer is a good camera and lens which works well in low light.


Not Using a Tripod

But there are also images that instantly demand a tripod. Special shots like long exposure photos of the milky way or star trail shots or panning of moving cars etc. A tripod can assist you to maintain shutter speeds that are much much longer. But to work with a tripod isn’t as easy as it might seem. We recommend you to research which kind of tripod you may require and about tripod mounts, weights and so on before investing on one.



Leaving the Stabiliser on

While it’s best to leave the stabiliser switched on in low light conditions, there are also cases where it’s best to keep it off. These mainly refer to when capturing photos using a tripod, where a stabiliser will start vibrating your whole body due to the motor. Certain stabilisers only allow you to turn it “on” and “off”, but some also provide a third choice, “on for one axis only”. This fixes the problem of panning etc when the stabiliser is on.



Leaving the Stabiliser off

Photographers many times forget to turn the stabiliser back on after shooting on a tripod. And also, sometimes they might accidentally push its physical switch while manipulating the lens, or while taking the camera out of the bag. That’s why it is best to stay alert and, if the image in the frame is unusually shaky, double-check if the stabiliser is turned on.


Low Depth of Field

Difficulty with low Depth of Field is mainly displayed in two situations. The first is when you are using a DSLR with a prime lens and an f-stop of say f/1.8 which is a great low light choice mostly. It gives you a superb optical detachment of subjects from their background by using bokehs. The trouble comes when photographing more than one subject in one frame who are standing in different focal planes. You need to keep in your mind that for images like these, you have to keep aside the block lenses or increase your aperture value to f/4 or above to keep all the subjects in focus. Otherwise, all it takes is for one subject in the group to take a half-step back or front, and they get out of focus. Another problem shows itself when you are capturing landscapes, and you want to capture both small objects and a far horizon. Sometimes even the highest f-stop isn’t enough, and the only answer is to merge a picture from two images, one focussed closer and the other farther.


Bad Focus

Sometimes the automatic focus in the camera can be faulty too. It is sometimes disturbed by small nearby objects such as bushes behind people or moving objects in the background. Bushes provide lots of high-contrast points that your camera is happy to focus on. So for such a situation, all you need to do is turn off autofocus and focus your subject using the focus ring manually on the lens. Macro shots require high levels of focussing and it is often advisable to use manual focus for the same.



A Defective or Low-quality Lens

Once we get down to minutely examining a photograph on a pixel level, there is a clear difference between an expensive, high-quality lens and a lower-quality one that is supplied with beginner cameras. If you are bothered by blurry lenses, there is only one solution: research about the lenses and spend on a decent one. After the research, you may see there’s also a difference between a good lens and a great lens. If you consistently get bad results when the reviews say you shouldn’t, it’s time to take your lens into the shop for cleaning or other defects.



Bad or Dirty Filters

A good lens is a good beginning, but you can always make it terrible with a filter. There’s no risk with good filters, but look out for low-budget ones as they can pose problems for the lens during focussing which can cause blur and even add overexposed spots on the photographs.



No Computer Sharpening

Knowledgeable photographers always sharpen their images after reducing them down to presentation size. If you just reduce the picture size without sharpening them afterward, your work will probably look unprofessional at best.

You might already be well-known with the above mentioned points, but some might be new for you. No matter what, it is good to be cautious, and, if supreme sharpness is your goal, shoot slow and steady. As soon as something seems fishy, go ahead and look into the problem. Nonetheless, for other problems, you need to understand where they are coming from and try to check if any of the above mentioned things can help you out. Make sure you do not let any dust or other particles fall on the sensor or the lens when changing lenses outdoor. Your reward will be images that are sharp and stand out from the rest.



Stop! That’s not the way to shoot! – Ethics of Wildlife Photography

I will not harm my subject!”


Every photographer should happily follow this simple rule – even when no one else is watching.


This is not a hard job for anyone, and for those with a true love, nature is always priority for them. Unfortunately, thanks to the huge numbers of photographers who now own professional photography gears, and are perpetually on the look out for nature subjects to capture and instant satisfaction after uploading the images on social media and there are examples of photographers damaging wildlife or habitats in chase of the perfect shot, which has been alarmingly common. Many of it is due to a lack of awareness and knowledge.


Whatever it might be, one thing is sure, if right-minded nature photographers get together, we can stamp out the danger of unethical photography to a large extent and it will also help the beginner generation to learn ethics. Self-regulation is the best regulation, so make sure to follow all the rules before you step into widlife.


Then, now and will


One of the most shocking chapters in the history of wildlife photography in India is the bird nest photography trend that outspread like wildfire in the early 1990s. Battling to other photographers, many photographers skilled a level of harshness and insensitivity that was terrifying. Their practice was a bit simple: they would watch around, or offer money to the locals, for finding the active nests for them. Once the nest of a wanted species was located, the photographer would go and do some gardening – a substitute for removing branches or leaves to get a proper view of the nest. With the obstacles out of the way, nesting activity would be captured from all the angles, sometimes using external flashes placed around the nest. Once the photographer was satisfied with their results, they would leave, exposing nest open to predators. Some photographers even destroyed the nest (or eggs or chicks) so that others could not take capture the image they have.


This battle was in trend for few years, until there was strong stricture from photographers and nature conservationists with a moral sense. The harmful practice finally end when nest images were banned from competitions.


Back then there were very less nature photographers in India, so any harm caused by a few unethical photographers was very less. Since there is no entry exam or test for newcomers, the annual increase in the number of wildlife photographers was tremendous. Cameras and lenses was very expensive due to custom tax duties. It was very hard to see a photographer with a 300mm lens. Film and printing was costly too. And not every photographer had a car to take off in the outskirts on weekends. The kind of budget needed to follow this costly hobby was largely limited to very few people.


But all that was transformed with economic reforms and the technology upgrade. Suddenly, beginners were able to get five-figure salary jobs straight after graduation. At the same time, custom tax dropped down, camera manufacturers started setting up dealerships in India, social media started becoming a trend, and wildlife documentaries on TV and internet lighted an tremendous thirst for travel and photography. Nature photography as a hobby increased like a boom.


While its not a crime with enjoying nature and capture wildlife, how one does it that matters. Enjoyment must always be baked with responsibility. Unfortunately in India, the two rarely go hand in hand. You will mostly see an educated person who’s the wrongdoer rather than some uneducated. And there are millions of educated people with high sound cars, but with utterly no sense of road rule and then there are thousands of educated people with the best cameras and lenses, but very less love towards nature.


Unethical photography? What’s that?


Many photographers likely don’t even think about their impact on nature and wildlife, and may take animals simply as models that exist for capturing pleasure. They don’t even think that their actions can cause stress to an animal. Simply becoming aware of the issues might make any photographer good and helpful. And those who are decent and can think properly on their next outing, and change their behaviour appropriately will be a great help.


For example if we consider one of one of the world’s rarest birds, the critically endangered Great Indian Bustard. This large bird, which is found in grasslands, is extremely shy of human interaction. When it spots a intruder even hundreds of metres away, its reaction is to hold whatever it is doing and fix its eye on the intruder. As long as it feels threatened, the bird will not feed, court or mate. As a result of the disturbing activity caused by some few photographers, the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) was forced to issue a circular restricting photography of the bustard during its mating season.


Damage to habitats can be big too, when many people and their vehicles are found on a particular location. For example, the Hesaraghatta grasslands on outskirts of Bangalore suffered high damages as a result of insensitive weekend bird photographers. Luckily, thanks to the problem being highlighted and talked about on social media and photographers, there has been a change for the better in some areas.


While it’s impossible to measure or list every type of unethical behaviour of every unethical person; awareness, knowledge and common sense are the best guides for every photographer out there. If you think that something you are doing, or are planning to do, may cause harm to your subject or habitat, back it off. It’s that simple.



The way forward


Like it or not, the craze for wildlife photography seems to be growing like anything in India. So it’s better that we work together to decrease the negative impacts. Well as of now we don’t have any ‘All-India Association of Nature Photographers’ to set rules and regulations and supervise behaviour, how do we go about controlling the practice of nature photography by every nature lover in our country? There isn’t any one way of practising it, but that doesn’t mean we should give up our responsibility to protect the nature.


The best and most important factor in changing behaviour of the coming generation might be to set a good example or inspiration. Good inspiration or role models are important in every field, and wildlife photography is not different. If you are a experienced photographer, try to be a good role model for your audience, and lead by example. If newbies are following you and have questionable practices, they will learn and assume that this is how wildlife photography is to be done, and imitate you. If you are seen having respect for nature and wildlife, not only will your respect go up, but your attitude may also put a good impact on others.


After you are experienced, you will definetely also have a lot of followers on social media platforms. Reach out to the professionals once in a week with messages about ethics in wildlife photography. Also try to share the tips with your fellow followers as well as it will make a strong belief on those who are still not aware about the ethics in field.


If you are conducting wildlife photography workshops, start and end each workshops with a strong appeal for ethical behavior when capturing nature. Make your audience take a honest pledge towards ethics. This will definitely impact those who have less knowledge or are less aware. As for those who simply don’t care about nature and wildlife, they will be automatically change their behavior when more and more photographers become humble towards nature and intolerant of unethics.


To multiply your positive effect among the younger generation, the most important thing is not to be distrustful about your knowledge to bring about optimistic behavioural change in other photographers. Here’s an example of something that all have seen in our surroundings: when a area or road is kept clean due to the efforts of some of its locals, others think before littering the place. Even if they do, there are eyes to criticise or shame them, making sure that they don’t litter again, that’s how you bringing everyone into line. In the same way, you can clean up unethical wildlife photography, if we practice together and learn what’s right.





Examples of unethical practices and how to curtail them

While it’s not possible all the time to specify ‘unethical’ in black and white terms, or point out every example.


Please note that some of these activity, in addition to being unethical, are illegal and violate various wildlife and environmental laws. If reported, they could draw in strong penalties and legal action.


Issue 1: Crowding

Too many visitors or safari jeeps gathering around an wild animal in National Park or Wildlife sanctuary, or purposely going too close to provoke a growl or a attack.


Impact:

Causes high stress, and breaks the wild animal’s natural behaviour, such as courtship, hunting and feeeding. In the case of big animals like big cats or elephants, regularly being close to them can be dangerous.



Remedy:

When you sight a wild animal, always keep a safe distance between the safari and wild animal. When you see other safari coming, take a few photographs and leave that spot. If you see any officials, drivers or photographers breaking the rules, carefully take a picture or video of this and report it to someone in authority.


Issue 2: Nest or den photography

Capturing images of mammals at their dens orbirds at their nests.


Impact:

This causes disturbance and stress in animals and they can abandon the nest or den. In the case of big cats, it forces the parents to move their juveniles to another den, which can be dangerous for them. This can also attract other unethical photographers and poachers too.


Remedy:

Avoid capturing images of nest or den. Stay away from newborns or juveniles. This also includes manipulating nest or nest area. Publishers and competitions should be very strict about accepting nesting and den photographs.


Issue 3: Playback of birdcalls to attract birds


Impact:

Wildlife survey have shown that this can cause stress to birds. The available study material advice that replying to call-playback may effect in bird energy, disturbs their territory and can lead to pair break-ups. Playing bird sounds during their mating season can confuse adults from more crucial tasks like mating, guarding the nest, and defending their territories.


Remedy:

Refrain from use of bird calls, particularly for rare and endangered birds.



Issue 4: Handling amphibians and reptiles for photography


Impact:

To start this, picking up and handling wild animals is illegal. It also causes them terrible stress. If a snake is feeding on something, the first response to handling will be to vomiting its food.

Amphibians can be infected with bacteria from your hands, which can be fatal to the individual and sometimes to the whole species in the area. Taking them out of their habitat will cause their body or skin to dry up, and can be tough to survive. Some photographers refrigerate fast-moving reptiles and amphibians in order to slow their activity for capturing images. This is extremely damaging to their body and may even cause death, not in front but after you have moved on from the spot.


Remedy:

Capture images of reptiles and amphibians in their natural habitats without handling or moving them. Work with an ethical herpetologist or guide to ensure that no harm comes to wildlife.



Issue 5: Speeding in wildlife habitats


Impact:

Driving fast to sight a animal or to exit the national park before the gate shuts, not only frightens animals but can lead in animals getting run over. Although speeding is strictly not allowed in wildlife areas, it is quite common to see.


Remedy:

Follow the speed limits. If there is no speed limit mentioned, try to keep low speeds (20 kmph) to make sure that there is decent time to stop the vehicle if an animal suddenly crosses your path. File complaints against drivers who speeds the vehicle.


Responsibility from publishers & editors

We think that it is a responsibility of publishers and editors of wildlife and photography magazines or books, as well as social media pages and Facebook groups, to ensure that their audience meet ethical standards before publishing their images. Photos that are problematic should not be accepted.


Conclusion

We believe that following these rules and sharing them with every wildlife and nature photographers will improve the well being of wildlife and natural habitats. In this field, a photographer must have a good mind and, when in doubt, nature and wildlife should always get the profit of doubt.


Let’s enjoy nature responsibly!

Smartphone photography tips for better photos

Smartphone cameras have improved a lot from beginner to professional in past 5 years, with companies pumping up the resolution, adding more lenses, and providing photo storage options that lets you snap without fear of storage getting full. Look for accounts on Instagram who is doing phone photography and you’ll soon observe that the images shot using a mobile these days are giving tough competition to cameras. If you have a smartphone with great camera, you should definitely step up your photography game. So here are some tips and tricks, along with some phone photography gear recommendations, that will take your snapshot game from amateur to professional.


First, start with a clean slate

Before you capture a single image, you have to make sure your phone is in order. Often, that means do a pre-shot cleaning. That’s the first rule for any phone photographer. While wiping your lens on your t-shirt might do the job, using harsh materials, like a shirt, or a handkerchief dipped in water, may end up harm your phone lens after a certain time. If you like to keep scratch free, use a softer cloth like a microfiber cloth which is used for cleaning spectacles or sunglasses to get rid of any smudges off your phone camera lens.


A little framing goes a long way

Framing shots needs a creative head, but that doesn’t mean you have to do everything up all by yourself. Fortunately, you can take help from your camera to assist you when it comes to framing and composing your images.

In iOS, go to Settings and click on Camera. From there, turn the “Grid” to position a rule-of-thirds overlay in the phone camera. That grid will assist you to compose your photo more perfectly, and it will also help you to keep the image parallel with any vertical or horizontal lines in your shot. On Android devices, go to Settings > Apps > Camera, and turn on “Grid Lines”.

Framing is one part of composing the picture itself and so always make sure you’re not including any distracted subjects while capturing. It is suggested to make sure that everything in the frame is there because you want to include that part in frame.


Ditch the digital zoom

Every photographer loves to get a closer look at that subject. But zooming in before you capture the image is not the perfect way to get close. Digital zoom photos are just cropped and re-sized photos, unlike the optical zoom which you can find on good cameras. Digital zoom will not only give a noisy picture, it will also cut down the resolution of the overall picture and show up any vibrations from your hands while capturing, leaving you with an bad image of your beautiful subject. It is highly suggested to avoid digital zoom as often as possible but go for the telephoto lens on your smartphone, if it has one or you can buy a external good quality telephoto lens from Amazon.


Look for light before using flash

The flash of an LED light from a smartphone is not really great to provide good images to flatter anyone, no matter how beautiful you look or how well you are posing. And that blazing light comes from a single source will make your picture look harsh, odd-coloured compared to the image shot on natural light.

Rather of depending on an smartphone flashlight to decently light up your subject, search for other light source you can use, be it the falling sun, some indoor lights, or even some candle light if you want to get creative images. If you are really at a loss for external light, you can always go for a external LED or another smartphone’s flashlight mode to give a better light outcome on the subject.


Watch out for cloud storage

Cloud storage services, like Google Photos or iCloud, can be a perfect way to capture thousand of photos without stressing over the space left on your device. But some of these storage don’t automatically uploads the highest resolution version of your pictures. If you capture lots of images then you will have to pay a monthly fee to back up all your high-resolution pictures. A cloud-based backup service is actually one of the best investments you can make as a phone photographer.

If you’re ready to loose the photo quality for increased storage space, then feel free to store only low-resolution images to the cloud. But if you want to keep every images in high-resolution, or prize photo quality above everything then storing images in their original format and paying the premium of a few hundred each month will totally be worth it.


Use a tripod or Steady yourself

If your images of the city skyline look a little shaky, or your photos during sunset seem a bit blur, you should learn about the photographer’s most helpful tool: the tripod. A good tripod is necessary, but for smartphone photographers it is not that important. Well, a steady hand is anytime better than a shaky hand, but none of them can beat the tripod’s skills. It provides you an impressive range of new types of photography styles like low light, long exposure, light painting, long exposure and many many other types. Small gorilla tripods are suitable for smartphone photography and easy to carry and you can use it with almost any phone.



Go remote with a shutter button

If you don’t like setting a timer and running into your frame and still get bad images most of the times then you really require a remote shutter. Remote shutter is an perfect accessory for capturing photos that requires a more steady hand, or any self-portraits. Tapping the click button while capturing, no matter how cautious you are, it will cause little vibrations that will affect your results. Smartphones like Samsung’s Galaxy Note series comes with a stylus pen that works remote shutter button, and can be kept in your hand or pocket when you’re ready to capture the image. Also for other phones remote shutters are small, cheap, and can connect to any smartphone via Bluetooth.



Or speak to Google on your Android phone to capture a image

Since all the android smartphone’s are already constantly hearing, waiting for someone to give a order, why not use it take selfies or photos too. On Android smartphones, you can ask Google Assistant to capture a image or selfie or timed photo and watch your smartphone open the camera app and capture the image on its own. Smartphones like Google’s Pixel can automatically detect the perfect moment for a image, be it a cute smile or a funny face, its AI-powered face detection features like Photobooth and Top Shot. Sadly on iOS, Siri will open the camera for you, though you will have to capture the image by yourself.



Experiment with exposure

Exposure can kill or cure any image, and the difference between them is wither you will showcase a subject in all their glory, or end up with a image that leaves them looking like dark shadow of their real self. Before capturing always tap on the screen to lock the focus on the subject you’re capturing. This is really useful when capturing people against the light or skies. It results in well lit images. Of course, if that’s the creative look like silhouettes or over exposed look you’re planning to capture the its a different thing.


Portrait Mode works better when there’s light

Using any smartphone’s “portrait mode”, which imitate the shallow depth of field found in images shot on cameras, will give you a more visually appealing image. This mode is amazing for taking portraits of people or when the background is cluttered. While everyone loves the look of a image from an good camera, but relying on the portrait mode too much can hurt more than it helps, especially if your surrounding isn’t well lit. Though there are some phones which work somewhat better in low light portrait mode but still can’t beat a camera.