This week, Chris wants to talk about using focus. Obviously, you want to focus on faces when you are taking pictures of people, but focus can be used to tell a story and if you understand why focus is important, then you can use it to direct attention properly. When you take a picture, it's your job to guide the attention of the viewer. If you don't, the photo won't be as strong about what it really is about. Focus does that.
Chris says that there's three exercises you can do to improve your skill to better asses your depth of field. 1) Use aperture priority settings, then focus on something close, then focus on something far. Take shots with each using the same aperture. Notice the difference. Shoot wide angle standing up. Then crouch down. Notice the difference in foreground. Last exercise, crop vs. perspective change. Take a picture. Then zoom in and take a second picture. And then move closer and take the same picture at the original setting. Notice the difference.
Brett makes jewelry and sells it online. She needs a good camera to take pictures of her products. Leo says that any point and shoot would work, even a modern camera phone. There are guides on how to photograph an object that will improve her sales. It should be shot with a photo softbox using lights and a diffuser. Leo likes the Canon ELPH for a camera though.
Check out Brett's website at Petsadelic.com.
Chris is back with part two on light and color and he says that we can learn from the movies we watch by studying them for the impact of light. Where is the cinematic lighting coming from to convey an emotional impact? Give that some thought. With that in mind, you can start looking around to see the direction and size of the light source and how you can use it to your advantage.
Brian is getting married and they had to cut back on using a professional photographer due to budgets. Leo says that nowadays everyone has a smartphone, so he should encourage everyone to take pictures and then post them somewhere that they can get them. He could employ a hashtag so it's easier to search, no matter what social network they post to. Facebook has the Moments app that can work well for this. Google Photos has a great solution. He could create a shared Google Album that everyone can upload to. And they don't even need a Google account to upload to it.
Chris joins us today to talk about color. With the end of Winter and coming into Spring and Summer, the colors are coming out and that means you really need to pay attention to your white balance and your color. Color is a great way to tell a story. Color Grading really makes your images and videos look more compelling and can add to the story. Accuracy isn't always the end goal. You want to be able to tell your story and convey an emotional reaction. Adjusting the color temperature and tone can add to that and give the digital medium a filmic quality.
Chris says that it becomes very easy to "fall off the horse" when you're comparing your quality of photography with others. People shouldn't be discouraged. Just be patient. It takes time and practice to develop your eye and style. That's the beauty of digital photography -- you can make mistakes and learn from them at little cost. At the beginning you're not going to be all that great as your taste vs. your quality of work is separated. But as you keep at it, that gap narrows and you eventually get there. Here's a few tips to keep you going:
Peter is going on a cruise in the fall and wants to get a really great camera. What should he get? Leo says that nowadays smartphones are really good, but they can't zoom very well. Leo likes the Olympus TG-4. It's 16MP, very durable, and has a fast 2.8 lens. Great for traveling.
Todd has a Canon 5D Mk. III and he has been shooting JPG. He's starting to shoot RAW now and needs a program to edit them. Leo says the 5D Mk. III allows him to shoot RAW + JPG. That's pretty good because it gives him the option of either. RAW gives him a lot of latitude for color correction and post processing and Adobe Lightroom works great for converting it. It also has a simple workflow.