Sony’s World Photography Contest Shortlist Announced and We Can All Learn Something From Them

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“Inner Atlas” from the series “Inner Atlas” by Trent Mitchell, Australia, Shortlist, Professional, Sport (Professional Competition), 2019 Sony World Photography Awards. “Regarded as an art form, the sport of bodysurfing is one of the most primitive forms of wave riding. Historically celebrated for performances above the water surface, I felt intrigued to explore the rider’s interaction with the power of the sea from an immersive perspective below. What does it feel like to be there, moving at the perfect speed, intimately connecting with the dynamics of the sea? To ride the formless edge between fear and joy in a single breath? I discovered a physical and emotive space where man, movement and energy fuse during a journey of self-discovery and inner harmony.”

The official winners of the Sony World Photography contest will be announced out of the shortlist on April 17th. 

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Myths About Photography Insurance, Debunked

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Photo by Maria Agudo López on Unsplash

Gone are the days when you have to go to your local insurance agent and sit in their office all afternoon hashing out the details of your policy.

Also gone are the days when you have to field phone call after phone call from a far-off insurance representative to get more information about a policy in which you are interested. 

Instead, you can quickly and easily get an online quote for insurance in a matter of seconds. If you like what you see, you can buy the policy right then and there.

It’s literally a process that will take a handful of minutes from start to finish, yet it’s a process that can end up saving your business if disaster strikes!

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Basic Night Photography Tutorial

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photo by MarsYu via iStock

Really, the linchpin is the shutter speed. But if you approach making adjustments one stop at a time, taking a sample shot and examining it, and making another incremental adjustment to the shutter speed, you will simplify the process and find the sweet spot where you get the best results.

So, grab your gear, head out tonight, and put your newfound night photography skills to the test!

Wildlife Photography Tips for Bad Weather

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photo by PhilEllard via iStock

Of course, don’t let the bad weather pass without trying to use it as a backdrop. 

The deep, dark clouds of a passing storm are a perfect background for a wildlife photo. As you can see above, the dramatic clouds give this shot an added layer of interest.

The point here is that there are all kinds of opportunities for creating compelling images of wildlife when the weather isn’t all that great. Simply protect your gear, look for animals big and small, and be patient, and you’ll be in a good position to get some dramatic wildlife photos. 

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Portrait Photography Tips for New Photographers

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Photo by Nicole Harrington on Unsplash

This will help you be more intentional with your portraits. Rather than producing hundreds of shots in which the subject’s eyes are closed or they have a weird facial expression, you’ll get fewer and better shots in which the subject was actually ready for the photo to be taken.

There are plenty of other things you can do to improve your portrait photography, but these quick tips will certainly help you get going in the right direction.

Now it’s time to put these tips to the test and start rocking out better portraits!

Photography Ideas: 12 Rain or Shine Photography Projects

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Likewise, try taking portraits with a wide-angle lens instead of a more traditional 85mm lens, and explore how you might use the distortion of the wide-angle to come up with interesting portrait ideas.

Naturally, with a wide-angle lens you can incorporate much more of your subject’s surroundings, so environmental portraiture might be worth a shot.

Just beware – framing and composition are absolutely critical when shooting wide-angle portraits. For example, since you have a much wider field of view, it’s often recommended to shoot from a lower perspective up towards the model, rather than taking the shot from the model’s eye level.

Doing so allows you to capitalize on all that background for a killer shot!

For a few tips on shooting portraits with a wide-angle lens, check out the video above by Nick Scolaro.

Photography Idea #2: Photographing Faceless Portraits

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If you don’t know them well, ask a few questions, crack a well-timed joke, and you might be able to capture a genuine and hearty laugh in a photo. There are plenty of other things you can do to take better portraits as well.

Another trick to capturing emotion is to focus on the “in between moments.” Keep shooting even if the subject doesn’t know you’re shooting, and you’re likely to get some candid shots that have much more emotion than the ones in which you say “smile for the camera!” 

Get a detailed tutorial in capturing emotion in portraits in the video above by Advancing Your Photography.

Photography Idea #6: Photographing Food

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What subject is more fun than photographing with water.

I mean, you can photograph water droplets, fruit, water reflections, your kids playing in water…you name it!

What’s funny about this photography idea is the video I recommend above is from my friend Bryan Peterson. The video is over 10 years old, but it’s a goodie!

The video below is from Mark Wallace (from way back in 2011) and offers a different take on photographing with water:

I remember feeling so inspired after watching these videos all those years ago.

In fact, these videos led to hours and hours of experimenting with water, different lighting setups, and my gear.

Here’s a few photos I took back in the day that were inspired by the videos above:


Of course, you don’t need smoke bombs to create epic photos of smoke.

In fact, as Gavin Hoey explains in the video above, you can create a setup right in your own home to photograph smoke in a matter of minutes!

Give one of these creative photography ideas a try if you need a little more inspiration.

Photography Idea #10: Photographing Forms and Textures

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But as Bryan Peterson explains in the video above, backlighting can also be used to bring out the texture of a subject.

Backlighting occurs when the light source is behind the subject, so in Bryan’s case, the sunlight illuminates the seashell he’s photographing and emphasizes its form, shape, and texture.

Need more instruction on different types of light? Check out our tutorial on 10 lighting facts you need to know. 

Photography Idea #11: Photographing the Mundane

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Likewise, seek out good light – shoot during golden hour for a nice, warm glow or shoot indoors near a window so the light is nicely diffused.

Don’t be afraid to get silly with your selfie, either. Sometimes the best part of photography is simply having a laugh with your camera!

Need a New Camera Bag for Landscape Photography? This is the One You Should Buy

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In other words, this bag ticks all the boxes for landscape photographers like me.

It’s comfortable, functional, easy to pack, and weather-resistant. It holds tons of gear, is customizable to fit your specific needs, and it’s beautifully constructed for long-lasting durability.

If you ask me, that combination of features makes the Holdfast Sightseer Backpack a top choice for any landscape photographer.

All images of the Holdfast Sightseer Backpack are by Brandon Burk.

3 Landscape Photography Tips You Aren’t Using, But Should

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Photo by Finding Dan | Dan Grinwis on Unsplash 

I’m a huge advocate for learning photography and getting things right in-camera. But at the end of the day, it’s better to get the shot you want shooting full auto with no tripod than missing the shot altogether because you’re fiddling around with camera settings.

A lot can be corrected in post these days, so if you have a choice between getting the shot the “wrong” way and not getting the shot at all, by all means, do it the “wrong” way!


Wedding Photography Problems (and How to Fix Them)

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photo by kkshepel via iStock

A relative of the bride or groom is a perfect companion for you to have for group photo time. They’ll know people’s names, who’s missing, and potentially where to find them.

Additionally, your inside helper can be tasked with locating missing people and wrangling them up for photos, that way you can concentrate on taking photos. That’s what you’re there for anyway, right?!

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