Friday, 11 August 2017

Friday, 14 July 2017

Taking better photos; step 11

Tip 11:
Use warm up filter, polarizing filter or an ND filter to enhance the your final image. If you don't have any filters, use Photoshop's or other editing software's pre-sets to achieve your final result.

I enhanced the sky in Lightroom for the image below;

Bhupinder Ghatahora
Ghatahora Photography

Friday, 7 July 2017

Taking better photos; step 10

Tip 10:
Follow a shooting plan, always check:
* battery level
* metering mode; centre, spot or multi metering mode
* exposure; check in the view finder that the scene is not over or under exposed
* compensation; decide if you need exposure compensation
* find the best viewpoint
* roughly check exposure and framing before pressing the shutter release
* use filters if needed for that particular shot
* check camera is focused on the right spot
* wait for the right moment before shooting

Bhupinder Ghatahora
Ghatahora Photography

Monday, 3 July 2017

Simple steps to take great High Street Photographs

Taking photographs of the High Street is one of my favourite subjects, simply because its fun and easy to capture the mood.

Here are a few points to keep in mind when taking the photographs:

  1. The right camera settings on both SLRs and Compact Cameras
  2. If allowed, use a tripod. Keep in mind that many places will not allow the use of tripods.
  3. Plan where to take the High Street photographs.
  4. Time - is it a day time shot, or a night shot. 
  5. Think about composition, how to include people in the photograph, leading lines, colour, close-ups etc.
  6. Exposure - if taking photographs at night, it's always best to over and under expose the shot by 0.3. (use this as a guide only, adjust according to your image) Every camera will have a '-+' symbol.
  7. Final finished image — before I take any photographs, I always think about how I want the final finished image to look. If it's going to be in colour, sepia, b/w or do I need to add noise/gain in the final image to create the mood and atmosphere.
Settings for Compact Cameras

Use 'Landscape' Mode (it will give you the maximum depth of field)

Use 'Sunset', 'Fireworks', 'Night' Modes (every camera is different, please check your camera manual to see which mode gives a slow shutter speed. Use these as a guidance only)

Set SLR cameras on either Aperture Mode or Shutter Mode.

Here are some photographs of High Street Photography

1. Photograph the High Street at light to capture movement and lights.

2. Photograph people on the High Street to capture mood and emotions, choose wide angle to shoot the whole high street.

3. Photograph interesting shop signs
This photograph was taken in Leicester

Shop sign

4. Photograph buildings
Building on the High Street

5. Photograph interesting structures on the High Street

6. Photograph events happening on the High Street.  Olympic torch relay - Basingstoke 2012 (below image was taken with a compact camera)

7. Move closer to your subject and focus on the detail, either on shop windows, signs or shadows

Hope this articles assists you in taking better and interesting photographs of the High Street. A High Street could be anywhere!

Bhupinder Ghatahora
Ghatahora Photography

Friday, 30 June 2017

Taking better photos; step 9

Tip 9:
Use the right ISO; use lower ISO to have maximum detail in your photograph or increase the ISO to create moody and atmospheric shots in low light conditions.

ISO increased for the below photograph

Bhupinder Ghatahora
Ghatahora Photography

Friday, 23 June 2017

Friday, 16 June 2017

Taking better photos; step 8

Tip 8:
Be creative and use slow shutter speed to show movement, i.e. trailing traffic lights, panning fixed subjects.

Bhupinder Ghatahora
Ghatahora Photography

Friday, 9 June 2017

Taking better photos; step 6

Tip 6:
Bracket your images:
* take photos of the same scene at different settings
* use camera's 'auto-bracketing',
(add photo or diagram)

Correct exposure
Correctly exposed

Bracket exposure +1

Bracket exposure -1

Bhupinder Ghatahora
Ghatahora Photography

Friday, 2 June 2017

Taking better photos; step 5

Tip 5:
Use exposure compensation to have more control on your images
* _____-2_____-1_____0_____+1_____+2_____
* a plus (+) will make the image brighter
* a minus (-) will make the image darker

The image below has been underexposed slightly to darken the trees

Bhupinder Ghatahora
Ghatahora Photography

Friday, 26 May 2017

Taking better photos; step 4

Tip 4:
Use wide aperture to isolate the subject from the background:

* use f2.8 to focus the main subject and blur the background

Bhupinder Ghatahora
Ghatahora Photography

Monday, 15 May 2017

Before & After - quick editing in Lightroom

I always take photographs in RAW format, it is still necessary to edit these photographs for best results.

Before adjusting:

One foggy morning
Below are the steps taken to edit the above photograph.
  • Convert photograph into black/white
  • Exposure 0
  • Contrast 0
  • Highlight +5
  • Shadows -30
  • Whites +30
  • Blacks -2
After adjusting:

Use the above setting as guidelines, always have keep an eye on the image while adjusting to see how these adjustments effect the final image.

Bhupinder Ghatahora
Ghatahora Photography

Friday, 12 May 2017

Taking better photos; step 2

Tip 2:
Look at the edges of the viewfinder:

* framing the shot, look out for trees coming out of peoples heads, bins at the sides of the frame, lamp posts etc.. in landscape photography

* main focus interests, keep the main subject in the frame

In the photograph below, the white horse is the main feature of the final shot; the idea was to show the white horse and it's surroundings.

Bhupinder Ghatahora
Ghatahora Photography

Monday, 8 May 2017

How to use one light set-up for portraits

Light is the most important element in photography. The subject has to be lit well to give it the three dimensional feel and most importantly to enhance the mood if that’s what you as a photographer wish to achieve. I love dramatic lighting and that’s how I light my subjects.

Basic lighting for a portrait is to position the main light to the right side of the camera pointing downwards from the model’s face. At this stage look at how the light falls on your subject – look out for shadows under the nose and under the lips.

You can add a fill-in light on the other side of the face at a lower power to fill-in the shadows.

However I have just used one light on the below photograph, the main light is positioned approximately 40 degree from the camera.

Lighting diagram for the above image:

Below is the lighting diagram for the next image that I took. The camera and the model both remain at the same position. I have only changed the angle of light in order to achieve the desired look.
Lighting diagram 2

The model is looking towards the light, with her head slightly down, so the hair also catches the light. The main light is positioned at approximately 45 to 55 degree from the camera. The light stand has been moved slightly higher in order for the hair to catch the highlights.

The final image and the setting that I used: - F-stop f6.3, Exposure time 1/60, ISO 320.

Bhupinder Ghatahora
Ghatahora Photography

Friday, 5 May 2017

Taking better photos; step 1

Tip 1:
Take sharper photos by:
* holding the camera steady;
* using a tripod where necessary, i.e. long exposure and low light conditions
* controlling your exposure settings by using Aperture, shutter and ISO settings

A tripod was used for the below photograph

Bhupinder Ghatahora
Ghatahora Photography

Monday, 1 May 2017

How to take photographs of flowers

It is possible to take good flower photographs with a compact camera also and not just with a SLR.

Compact cameras often do not have interchangeable lenses like SLRs, but the macro and zoom facilities on most compact cameras will allow photographing subjects in close-up as well as distant.

The first step is to know your camera; it is your greatest tool in creating your master piece. It is also advisable to read the camera manual to familiarise yourself with its basic and advanced functions.

I have often been told by novice/beginner photographers that the manuals tend to be complicated with terminology that tends to be alien to them. My advice to them is to start with the basic controls such as ‘Program Mode’, then move to the advanced features as ‘Aperture/Shutter Priority’, bracketing and others that may be unique to their camera.

Every compact camera should enable you to have some control over the aperture, shutter speed, the ISO, exposure compensation (+/-) and finally focusing. Some compact cameras will allow the user to take full control over the focusing using the ‘manual’ mode.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when photographing flowers.

The main control on a compact camera for close-up photography is the “Macro” button (often with the symbol of a flower). This enables you to focus closer to the subject and also blurs the background, keeping the flower sharp. The camera automatically sets the aperture and the shutter for you, so you don’t have to worry about the exposure, allowing you to just focus and press the shutter release.

Now I will briefly touch on the Aperture Priority (AV) mode. When in this mode, the camera will set the shutter speed to give you the right exposure. This mode is very useful as it allows the user to determine what part of the subject and background to keep in focus and what to blur by choosing the desired aperture. In close-up photography, it if often advisable to blur the background, as it draws the eye on the main subject when viewing the final photograph, therefore having an out of focus background is not considered bad.

When the camera is set to Aperture Priority, if the lowest ‘f’ number is selected, then the area nearest to the focus point will be in focus and the remaining picture will be out of focus. When the highest ‘f’ number is selected, the focus point and the area before and after the point is all in focus. If ‘f’ numbers between the lowest and highest is selected, then through practice and experience you can determine what to keep in focus and what to blur.

Red & Yellow tulips

Water lilies

As well as the aperture mode, the Shutter mode (TV) is also important. This mode can be used when you are unsure of what aperture to choose and its great for capturing movement in the flowers caused by any wind.

Selecting a slow shutter speed of 1/30 or 1/15 will capture the movement in the leaves on the trees and flowers creating a ‘ghostly’ effect, whilst shutter speed of 1/60 or above will freeze the movement without blur.

I hope this very brief insight into flower photography assists you in your photography. 

Bhupinder Ghatahora
Ghatahora Photography

Friday, 28 April 2017

Increase ISO if not using a tripod

Exposure: due to low light, exposures will be long ranging from 10 seconds to 90 seconds. Use a tripod to avoid camera shake, or alternatively change the ISO on your camera to 800 or higher to minimise camera shake.

Bhupinder Ghatahora
Ghatahora Photography

Monday, 17 April 2017

Before & After

The photograph below was taken on a very foggy morning.

Below are two photos showing before and after



Lightroom adjustments:
Preset - blue filter:
exposure: 0
contrast +25
highlights -50
shadows 0
whites 0
blacks -7

Customised the blue filter setting form the above
exposure: 0
contrast 0
highlights -100
shadows -14
whites -12
blacks -7

Bhupinder Ghatahora
Ghatahora Photography

Friday, 14 April 2017

What aperture to use for Night photography

When using the Aperture Priority mode, set the aperture at f11 (the camera will automatically adjust the shutter speed). Use a tripod to avoid camera shake.

Bhupinder Ghatahora
Ghatahora Photography

Monday, 10 April 2017

How I photographed this image

I placed the soft box behind the sandals
  • sandals were placed on blue satin with some glass beads around the sandals
  • white reflectors were placed on either side of the sandals
  • camera mounted on the tripod
  • aperture; f11
  • shutter speed; 1/60
  • exposure compensation; +0.3

Bhupinder Ghatahora
Ghatahora Photography

Friday, 7 April 2017

Camera settings for Night photography

Use Aperture Priority mode or Manual mode on cameras. Cameras which do not have the Aperture Priority or Manual mode will often allow selecting different scene settings, such as ‘dusk/dawn’, ‘nightlight’ or ‘sunset’ modes. Please choose which suits you and your camera best.

Below image photographed using a compact camera set on 'Night mode'

Bhupinder Ghatahora
Ghatahora Photography

Monday, 3 April 2017

How to photograph smoke in simple steps

It is very easy to take photographs of smoke; I have provided the following tips as a guide to create stunning images. For this project, I have used my DSLR with off camera flashes and also a small compact camera with its built-in flash.

Equipment needed:

Compact Camera or SLR with manual focus
Off camera or 'built-in' flash
Incense sticks
Plate to catch all the hot ash from the incense sticks
Black velvet or similar material ( a black card will also work if you don't have any material)
Photography Gels
Black card or paper to block (flag) unwanted the light

Important: Photograph indoor in a well-ventilated room (not to breezy) to avoid smoke build-up. When working with smoke, you must take regular breaks as the smoke will begin to accumulate in the room which can be a health hazard.

Setting up the shoot

I have used a DSLR for the following shots. Pin the black backdrop on the wall or alternatively as I did, rest it on the sofa.

The off camera flash is loosely wrapped at the head with black paper. This avoids the light to fall back on the backdrop and also this keeps it directed on the smoke.

The incense stick is placed between the camera and the backdrop. I hand held my camera for better flexibility, but if you wish to use a tripod, by all means do so. As I will be using a fast shutter speed, I can get away without using a tripod.

Camera settings (fully Manual on SLR):

Set your camera on Manual mode.
Set shutter at 1/125 or 1/250, this is a common setting that will sync with your flash.
Set aperture on f8 or smaller like f16 or f22. This will maximise the depth-of-field.
Set ISO on 100 or 200
Use Manual focus as the auto-focus function may struggle to latch onto the smoke.

(Tip to assist focusing. Place an object behind the incense stick and make sure it is touching it, manually focus on the object, then remove it when it is in focus).

Light the incense stick and place the flash fairly close to the smoke.
Once the above setup is complete, take the photographs. Adjust the flash accordingly to see where it gives the best result.

Tip: Do not look through the viewfinder because you will not see the full length of the smoke patterns. Follow the smoke with your camera and try to capture the interesting shapes. If you don't have manual settings on the camera, set the camera on Shutter Mode 'TV' and increase the ISO to 320 or 400, this will give you an aperture nearer to f8.
The following three photographs were taken by manual focusing on smoke. The camera was set on Manual mode, aperture f10 and shutter speed 1/125.

Try to see when the smoke makes unusual shapes and take the photograph.

When too much smoke is accumulated it can create an atmospheric effect or may look messy (see below):

The following two photographs have been taken on 'Shutter' mode. I set the shutter speed to 1/125 and the camera selected the Aperture.

Photographing smoke is really fun, try being creative with your images.

The following photographs have been taken using two off camera flashes; one was fitted with a light green coloured gel. The camera is set on manual mode just as before

Red gel is used on the below image:

 Blue gel is used on the below image:

Using a Compact camera:

If you are using a compact camera with a built-in flash, follow the above setup and select the ‘Landscape’ mode on the camera.

Tip: It is important to cover the built-in flash with a piece of tracing paper so that the light is diffused, this will avoid 'hot spots' on the backdrop.

Bhupinder Ghatahora