Conducting research for a music video or photo shoot takes a tremendous amount of time, but it's worth every minute that you spend on it. This is an article and video on how I created the video for Dalton Rapattoni's first single, HEAVEN.

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Underwater photography advice for iPhone. Image by Adrien RF

Underwater photography advice for iPhone. Image by Adrien RF


Summer is in full swing and everyone wants amazing pictures at the pool and beach with their iPhones. How many can take excellent underwater photographs with their iPhones. With our 8 simple tips, you will have the best chance of capture those underwater memories for years to come.


  1. It's obvious, but we have to say it. Consider safety underwater, on the surface and around the site. You should never put anyone's safety in jeopardy for a photograph.
  2. Use the brightest part of the day to take your pictures. The overhead midday sunlight provides beautiful rays and gives you the best chance of a vibrant photograph. The closer you are to the surface of the water, the better because that's where the majority of the light rays are. If you do not have enough sunlight or travel deeper underwater, you can consider a diver's flashlight torch to help you.
  3. Avoid flash because you will have a high chance of capturing little particles that can obstruct your photograph. It's not a clean light underwater. You should aim for continuous lighting. The Diver's Flash Light Torch is great, sun light is wonderful, or any LED light that' for underwater. 
  4. Consider the 6 feet rule. Shoot everything within 6 feet. Anything more and you will get blur in your pictures. You'll have a lesser chance of getting the eyes in focus or just having anything clear no matter how hard you focus. Stay close to your subject!
  5. Don't zoom in. Shoot wide and if you must, crop later in post production or just get closer to the subject. Getting closer will give you a better images from the beginning. 
  6. Take more images from below the subject. You'll get the beautiful sun rays behind them, and it's more natural. To have someone swim underwater on their back isn't that graceful and it shows in the photographs.
  7. Invest in a real underwater case for your phone. Those phones cost a lot! Treat the with care and tempting as it may be, avoid the ziplock bag. It will break, maybe not the first time but it will!  Here are a couple great options for low priced camera casing from Amazon.

    There is the Joto Cellphone Dry Bag ($4.99) which has excellent reviews and there is also something on the medium-pricey side from FitVision ($29-$65). It's a little more expensive but a very worthwhile investment. 
  8. With underwater photography you should rely more on quantity than on land. You'll take many photographs before capturing a good one because the variables are great. You have moving water, less light, more blur, you have to swim AND take pictures, and so much more. Take it easy on yourself, and know that you'll take many pictures before finding the perfect one! You'll also want to take many so that you have options once on land and reviewing your pictures.
Great and afford underwater iPHONE case for photography. (JOTO)

Great and afford underwater iPHONE case for photography. (JOTO)

FitVision underwater iPhone case 

FitVision underwater iPhone case 



Toning originates from the days of film photography and darkroom processing. During the early stages of the medium, printed images were delicate and prone to fading from physical touch, atmosphere and light even after development. Photographers wanted to increase the longevity of their black and white images and as the medium evolved, toners were introduced to the darkroom printing process. By using chemical toners such as sepia, selenium and gold, they were able to replace the silver in the print for longer-lasting results.

Using such toners however, did come with a compromise. Images were tinted with a small amount of colour. Sepia toning gave images a yellow/brown tint, while selenium introduced a blue or purple tone and gold produced prints with a blue tint. If you applied gold to a previously sepia toned image, it would give a red tint. Soon these colours played an important role in portraying emotion and atmosphere into the finished print.

Aside from the colour tints and additional time required to incorporate these toners, using such chemicals in a darkroom did prove rather hazardous. Fortunately for us, like many other traditional darkroom processes, toning can be easily replicated in software such as Adobe Lightroom.

Convert to mono first

The starting point for most black & white toning effects is a finely tuned monochrome conversion. Use the B&W Panel in Lightroom’s Develop Module to convert to mono. It gives you control over the brightness of different colours. Alternatively, try the in-built black & white presets within Lightroom’s Preset Panel.

After converting to mono, there are essentially two ways to colour tone your black and white images – the Split Toning and Tone Curve Panels. To find out how and learn some other tips and tricks, James Paterson explains all you need to know in this video…

Originally posted here


Watch this video because what he says is true. Develop your style!

1. Develop your style. What makes someone stop and recognize your photograph is your style
2. Stop making excuses. Get resourceful and use what's available on the internet.
3. Be efficient with your time.

I abbreviated but the video is worth watching. 


We originally posted this as a great way to give your mother a gift (Mother's Day), and people told us it's great for any holiday or gifting occasion. We've put together a tutorial that will cost you less than $8 and many of the items you already have at home. This is a great way to showcase your photography. It's a great way to sell your photography at art walks or just awesome hand-made gift for those you love.

Check out this video, and if you learned something please subscribe to our Youtube Channel for more tutorials.


You can make great money by photographing products for commerce websites. We made a quick tutorial for one of our favorite tricks. I saw this done on a commercial for a new perfume, and wanted to bring it to our viewers! Of course I adapted the project to something everyone can dow with household products. If you enjoyed it, please click SUBSCRIBE on our youtube channel.


As a photographer, you know you need a professional photography website. Sure, as a place to showcase your photos online, but also a place where you can market yourself as a photographer. Without a website, people won’t take you seriously—and the client’s experience begins when they first see your work. 

The good news is that these days, there are many easy-to-use options out there—so if you’re not a developer, no need to worry. But there’s still a lot to keep in mind. To help you get started, we’ve put together a list of 10 tips for putting together a professional photo website.

1. Keep your images front and center when picking a site. As a photographer, you should pick a provider that puts images first. Look for themes that highlight images, options to create galleries, and sites that don’t have tons of restrictions on where you can put photos.

2. Quality over quantity. When choosing which photos to include in your portfolio, err on the side of less. When potential clients are looking at your site, you don’t want them to have to dig around or scroll forever to find what they want. Choose the photos that you feel truly represent your best work. Not sure which photos to include? Run your portfolio by a few other people—an outside perspective can be super helpful. As our content editor Alejandro Santiago says, “As photographers, we often fall in love with our photos. Ask a trusted peer who can offer a more subjective opinion to help you edit the photos in your portfolio.”

Sample of big image and clear links

Sample of big image and clear links

3. Focus on your strengths. Don’t feel compelled to include everything you’ve ever taken a photo of. Unless you’re truly a master of every style of photography, post images that show off your specialties. If your focus is on wedding photography and portraits, then your landscape images might not be the best thing to include.

4. Make sure your website reflects your aesthetic and style. Do you take minimalist photos with lots of clean lines? A sleek theme may be a good fit for your website. Are your photos dynamic and full of color? Pick a layout that gives you the option to show tons of photos at the same time, or highlight each one to show off all the detail. Or don’t follow these rules at all—the main thing is that you take the time to make sure the website reflects your own style. Think about the websites you visit, and how their look informs your opinion of them. Your website is an opportunity to build your personal brand, so be sure your logo and look is consistent with everything else you put out in the world, from your social media pages to your business cards. 

5. Include an online store. If there’s an online store right on your website, it’s possible for you to make back the costs of your website through the items you sell alone. Many photographers use online stores to sell presets and prints. You can also give clients the option to pay for photo shoots online or sell tickets to your upcoming workshops—they can easily add these items to their online shopping cart and check out with a credit card. People are used to ecommerce, so including this option is a great call.

6. Register a custom domain. This is a must. Many sites now even offer options to help you set this up, so don’t worry if you’re not super tech-savvy. A custom domain may not be free, but it’s worth the extra dollars to look put together and professional. Bonus points for something that’s not too long and is easy to remember.

7. Make your contact info easy to find. Don’t make potential clients dig around for your contact info; make it prominent. And don’t forget to include all your social links. If your audience can click through to follow you on Instagram or get your latest tweets, you’re more likely to stay on their radar. 

8. Write a blog. This isn’t a must—but it’s a great way to let your personality shine through or to provide extra details about what you do. People like stories! Not sure what to write about? Give a photography tour of a neighborhood or city, show the behind-the-scenes of a shoot, or write about what inspires you. It’s also a good place to share new skills you’re learning or images from a new photography style you’re trying out (which you may not want to include in your portfolio).

9. If you do custom shoots, think about getting a website with a client proofing feature. There’s nothing more frustrating than messy communication—or dealing with unnecessary extra messages just to figure out which images, exactly, your client liked from all the photos you painstakingly uploaded to a file sharing service. If your clients can review and download your work directly from your site, it’s easier for everyone to keep track of everything. Make it a seamless process.

10. Keep it updated. You don’t have to revamp your website all the time, but make sure your information is accurate. Be sure to add new projects or clients regularly.

What are your best tips for creating a professional photo website? What are some of your favorite photographers’ websites? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Orig article from 500px  Kaiva Brammanis  



Lightning storms are one of the most spectacular forces of nature and showing powerful images of lightning strikes can be challenging.
So here are few tips to get better lightning shots:

Find a Lightning and Find a Good Spot

Finding lightning to photograph can be really tough. The best way to find out if there will be a lightning or not is to check your local forecast at the official weather service website of your country. It also helps to read the weather forecast at your local TV news station’s website.
In order to find a good spot I would recommend visiting few places near your home before it starts getting dark, so you have enough time to decide where you want to photograph the lightning.
Once you found a nice spot you can concentrate to prepare everything else.


Protect your Gear and Yourself

When you are about to shoot a lightning it is really important to be aware that the conditions are unpredictable and dangerous. Lightning safety involves several easy steps that anyone can do. For example never stand directly under a tree and generally avoid tall isolated objects like poles and light posts. Furthermore avoid wide-open areas, including sports fields and beaches and don’t stand next to metal fences. When we have thunder we will automatically get some rain to come along with it, therefore I would recommend protecting your camera with a rain cover.

Stack Your Lightning Shots

If you are lucky enough to capture several lightning strikes from the same point of view you have the possibility to stack all your lightning images in Photoshop, this will allow you to show all your lightning strikes in one photograph.

Use a steady Tripod

If you want to take breathtaking lightning images a tripod is just a must. Taking an image of a lightning while you are using your camera handheld won’t work, because while shooting a lightning you usually will use a long shutter-speed. And even the slightest bit of camera movement will result in a blurred picture. So look for a steady and robust tripod in order to receive high qualitative images.

Use a remote shutter release

A camera remote shutter release is used to avoid camera motion, especially if you have set a long shutter speed. They are actually not very expensive, you will pay about $5 – $20, depending on which camera system you are using and there are also wireless remote shutter releases which will be more expensive than a standard remote shutter release.

Keep your ISO low to avoid digital Noise

Keeping your ISO low always help to increase the clarity and sharpness of your image, because the higher the ISO the more grain and noise you will have in your picture. Always try to set your ISO as low as possible in order to make the lightning stand out more. It is not necessary to use a high ISO number when you are about to shoot a lightning. Just put your camera on a steady tripod and long exposures will not matter anymore, because as long as your camera is mounted on a tripod you will receive sharp and clear images. Furthermore if your camera supports live view, you should turn it on. It will help you to get more control over focus, because live view allows you to easily zooming in on the live image 5x, 10x or more to test your image sharpness.

White Balance

If you shoot RAW, which I recommend for lightning photography, white balance actually is not as much of an issue since you can fine-tune the white balance for each individual image afterwards in Lightroom or Adobe Camera Raw. Simply use the auto white balance setting if you are unsure about which white balance mode you should choose.

To sum up here is what here is what you will need:

  • Camera
  • Wide angle lens
  • Tripod
  • Remote shutter control
  • Camera rain protection

Original story here by Julian Rad

All images by Larry Pollock:


Favor broad lighting over short lighting. Broad lighting is when you light the side of the face aimed toward the camera. Short lighting is when you light from the far side of the face. Broad lighting in this instance sends the angle of reflection off a way from the camera. Short lighting often puts the camera right into the path of the reflected light. 

Orig article referenced here


Barbara Palvin being photographed in Curacao Janine Berey

Barbara Palvin being photographed in Curacao Janine Berey

High-profile shoots rely on complex lighting setups, which in turn rely on a large team of assistants. For the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, photographers tend not to use any lights at all. Instead they work with available light modifying it with strategically placed light modifiers such as a scrim and a bounce.

A scrim is a large silk screen that resembles a giant fly swatter. It is placed between the sun and the model to soften sunlight. This reduces the sun a quarter-of-a-stop of light or a half-of-a-stop depending on the thickness of the material. SI photographer James Macari uses a scrim “if [the model] has recessed eyes and the sun is coming up to minimize the harshness of the light.” At times scrims are essential to reducing shadows, but are also used for stylistic reasons. “I like definition in the face," says Macari. "But obviously flat light prints better. It’s what sells in the commercial world. But with what we’re selling they have to be fresh looking.”

An assistant hold a skrimm above Rose Bertram Janine Berey

An assistant hold a skrimm above Rose Bertram Janine Berey

Scrims are quite large, generally 6x4.5 or 8x10 feet. They can be quite cumbersome to use and can turn into sails if turned in the wrong direction on a windy day, causing them to snap.

Assistants and photographers should also be aware of the shadow scrim’s can create. "You’ve got to be careful with the shadow," says SI photographer Ben Watts. "It creates a square shadow which you want to camouflage in with other shadows like palm leaves or retouch out.”

But scrims are often only half of the battle. While scrims reduce the intensity of the light, reflectors can help add light and contrast into the shadows areas like the face and the eyes. There are a variety of bounce materials, each with different shine qualities. The most common are white, silver, and gold. Each photographer has their own preferences. For James Macari it’s old silver reflectors. “I don’t use any gold. I prefer to use a silver bounce. I also use old bounces because they’re weaker.”

A reflector (on the right) bouncing gold light into model Hannah Ferguson

A reflector (on the right) bouncing gold light into model Hannah Ferguson

It is worth noting that beach shoots also provide quite a few natural reflectors. Sand and water can bounce a significant amount of light into the subjects. Macari prefers to shoot without any light modifiers at all when the light is perfect. That approach worked so well for his shoot with Ashley Graham it ended up on the cover of last year’s issue.

Using scrims and reflectors might be essential but the true trick is in the timing. On a typical SI shoot, James Macari wakes up at 3 AM, starts shooting around 6 AM until 10 AM. He then edits and quickly naps before shooting again at 7 PM to around 10 PM. The photographers and tireless photo staff lead by MJ Day maintain that breakneck schedule for ten to 18 days a few times a year. “It is a dream job sure, but it sure can run you down," says Macari.

Article Originally Posted Here
Written by Josh Raab


Photoshop is every photographer's favorite tool and it's used as a verb in many situations. For the most part every photoshop update has the exact same tools. For that reason this shouldn't matter which version of PSD you have. Just get to know the tools and practice with each one.

Here it is... you use this icon to
move things. Shortcut "V" -
that's about it. 

When you want to zero in on an object, the marquee tool is a good option. You can create a round shape, single column, single row or rectangular shape. You can even make a perfectly square image by holding down the shift key when you drag. It's one of the most used and useful tools, very basic actually. When I'm working with a the brush tool, I will sometimes use the marquee tool to set my boundaries if I don't have a steady hand. 

*Did you know that if you click COMMAND + T, you'll be able to further distort the shape? Try it out. 


I had two gifts around December. The first was to photograph the daughter of legendary singer, Annie Lennox and of course dirty windows and some rain to make the perfect filter. Using the soft light created by the dirty on the studio window, we had the chance to create a beautiful haunting image of Lola Lennox by utilizing the dirt on the windows. 

Watch the Youtube video from our Instagram Stories. The informative and instructional Instagram stories will always live on the Youtube Channel for everyone to reference. 


Carmen Electra, Photographed by Walid Azami

Carmen Electra, Photographed by Walid Azami

When I had the Carmen Electra project, I wanted to capture her in a variety of ways other than a bikini or lingerie. We dressed her in a beautiful tight dress that still revealed her toned body but the intent was to focus on her face and personality. Of the numerous looks captured that day, but the tropical Carmen is one of my favorites because of the simplicity.

To me, simple is timeless and the best.

How would I give Carmen Electra (over 40 magazine worldwide) something "simple" but stylized? Also how would we do it without a huge budget and not a lot of time?

The solution was simple. I want strong light and strong shadow. I want to give the illusion of tropical without showing the sand, water, or palm trees. I wanted to stay on budget and on Carmen's brand. Here's what we did: I asked my assistant to find a couple palm fronds from nearby trees. I would use them to cast a shadow that is universally understood as tropical.

Carmen Electra Photoshoot, Walid Azami

Carmen Electra Photoshoot, Walid Azami

The morning of the shoot, I ran over to the garment district in Downtown LA and purchased a vinyl alligator print cloth. I'm not sure what anyone else wanted that for, but for Carmen I wanted an alligator print wall that would not only give texture, but help us bounce some light back on her. In addition the print created a shiny background with the harsh lighting, which helped us achieve nightclub vibe, perhaps something on the beach. Any dull textures and I feel the effect wouldn't translate. I also picked a bold alligator print because she's a bold woman, and she has a wild side.

Finally I used a 1K Fresnel light to illuminate Carmen. The tungsten clearly has a very warm temperature and because of that I photographed her at a lower/cooler temperature on my camera settings. This helped me balance my image and helped me avoid an orange subject. Additionally, I balanced the colors in post (Lightroom). With a strobe, I wouldn't see the shadows the palm fronds created. I need to see the shadows while I photographed her, so I could ask my assistant to raise them up if they were near her face. With a continuous lighting source I can see where the shadows dropped and how Carmen would look. A harsh light also made the shadows pronounced. If we had a softbox or similar, you couldn't make the shape of the palm fronds and it would lose the tropical feel.

The 1K tungsten came with another set of problems. How do I photograph Carmen without the harsh light making her eyes water? For that I relied on timing and giving her plenty of rest. For example, I would count " (click click click) OK close your eyes!"

That was our recipe! We shot for 3-5 seconds, and let her rest for about 10 seconds. 




Adventure photographer Benjamin Jaworskyj gives us 5 great tips for learning more about Lightroom. Everything from getting yourself more screen room to seeing where you are overexposed with the click of one button. Check it out!

Follow Ben's blog here


Unlike most photographers, Jason Page creates his images in complete darkness. After experimenting with long exposures of the moon reflecting over the sea, he became interested capturing movement within his nightscapes. After discovering light painting, Page began to work with creating figures and objects using nothing more than strokes of light. In the following tutorial, he explains his process as well as tips on perfecting the strategy:

You will need:

  • Flashlight with Opaque Light Writer
  • Flashlight with color filter of your choice


  1. Find an environment with little to no light. Have the model wear dark, tight fitting clothing.
  2. Set the shutter speed on your camera to BULB mode.
  3. Pick a position for your model that’s easy to maintain. Minimizing the amount of movement in your subject will create a clearer, more cohesive figure in camera.
  4. Beginning from the bottom of one leg, trace over the model’s limb with the light writer by quickly alternating from one side of each limb to the other, gradually working upward toward the thigh. Keep the flashlight close to the body to add definition to the curves of the figure as much as possible.
  5. Once you’ve reached the waist, work back down the leg that hasn’t been illuminated. After reaching the foot, turn the flashlight equipped with the light writer off. Quickly bring the flashlight back up to waist. Turn the flashlight back on and work up to across the torso and arm.
  6. Use the same technique of turning off the flashlight when jumping to a new part of the body that has not yet been traced. When all parts of the body have been traced, go over areas that you’d like to completely mask out by light two or three times more.
  7. When you feel that your figure has been properly outlined in light, have them move out of the scene. Use a flashlight equipped with a color filter to highlight any surroundings in the environment. Use a filter over the flashlight to block out any unintentional light streaks and implement more control in lighting.
  8. Turn off all lights and release the shutter. Your composition is complete!

Using Page’s technique, no post processing is necessary to attain incredible results. After some practice tracing physical figures and objects, it’s even possible to move on and “create” new features inside of your image with streaks of light.  Your mind and equipment’s battery life are the only real inhibitors that stand between you and a vibrant, surreal image—even in the dead of night.

Find original article here. Follow Jason on Instagram 


Flash photography is a unique look that is not complimentary to every subject. Worst subjects for flash photography? Newborns! However it can be several for wrinkles or face blemishes, and it it's rough on eye glasses, etc... A simple and effective way to filter the harsh light is using a common party piece, a white balloon. When external flash units cost up to $900 it’s no wonder why people come up with incredible DIY solutions. Russian photographer duo “Koldunov Brothers” have just demonstrated how a simple balloon can greatly improve your photos.

The trick is to hold the balloon against a built-in flash light. It acts as a diffuser and smoothens out any harsh beams. You can even use different color balloons to experiment with different tones of light. The best part? The cost of this awesome hack is practically $0. This Russian duo is constantly uploading useful photography-orientated content, so check out their channel if you’re looking for more tips.


Chip Phillips

Chip Phillips

Setting an image’s ideal white balance doesn’t have to be a complicated task, especially with the user-friendly software and cameras available today. The following is my quick and simple approach for dealing with the white balance within my own images.

The first step is getting the white balance close in-camera. On my Canon, the auto white balance setting works the best and gets me closest to the ideal. With this setting, my camera adjusts the images’ white balance whenever the light changes. Because of this, I don’t have to constantly make manual adjustments. This setting may not work for everyone and depends on your equipment and personal preference, but it’s been working well for me for many years.

The next step occurs after the image has been imported into Lightroom. One of the first things I do to an image in Lightroom is address the overall white balance. There are a couple of basic concepts that I keep in mind. For an image shot in daylight, I usually want a fairly neutral white balance. As an example, look at the following image.

If I click on an area where all of the RGB percentage values are close to 50%, I neutralize any color cast within the image. I usually don’t want much of a color cast in these types of images so this is a Lightroom adjustment that I often make. My camera usually does a good job of setting a decent white balance under these circumstances so I don’t need to tweak the settings too much.

For a sunrise or sunset image, I almost never want to neutralize the white balance. As an example, look at the following image shot during a sunset.

The pink clouds overhead were casting beautiful pink light on the scene. Because of this, I don’t want to neutralize the white balance. If I click on a place in the image where all of the RGB values are close to 50%, this is what it would look like:

The image has lost that beautiful pink glow and now appears flat and a bit lifeless. In this case, I would leave the white balance “as shot” and make some minor tweaks to the blue/yellow and green/magenta slider to fine-tune things and get them exactly where I want them.

That is pretty much all there is to it. I find that I can work faster not having to constantly tweak the settings in my camera while shooting and the “auto white balance” setting does a very good job of giving me a great starting point for most images. I hope this article helps simplify things for you and gives you some new tools and ideas to apply to your own shooting process in the field and in the digital darkroom.


Original Story here

Spokane, Washington based photographer Chip Phillips began his relationship with photography in 2006 when his father gave him his old Pentax Spotmatic film SLR camera. Chip was immediately hooked, and soon made the transition to digital. Given his lifelong love of the outdoors, he naturally made the progression to focusing on landscape photography. A professionally trained classical musician, Chip performs as Principal Clarinet with the Spokane Symphony Orchestra, and is Professor of Clarinet at Gonzaga University. Chip’s images have been published in various books and magazines, including Outdoor Photographer, National Geographic, Popular Photography and Imaging, Digital Photography, Digital Photo, and Digital Camera Magazine. In 2009, Chip won first and second place in the landscapes category of Digital Camera magazine's Photographer of the Year contest. Chip is proud to be a founding member of PhotoCascadia, a group consisting of some of the top landscape photographers in the Pacific Northwest.  Website | Facebook | 500px