Jul 2014 16

We have such amazing members who are creative and inspiring. This week we want to turn our spotlight on member Terry Cloud. Terry works for a professional hockey team and turns all of the team’s broken hockey sticks into frames to showcase his Adoramapix prints.

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Terry was kind enough to show us this DIY along with the steps on how to achieve this look.

Start off with a hockey stick.

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I use a low profile back loading frame to build frame around and then to put into hockey stick frame at end.  You also need 4 corner brackets, a frame hanger and some athletic tape.

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 Measure the outside of the picture frame and mark the measurements onto hockey stick to cut.

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Using a circular saw set at 45degrees, cut all the pieces and sand edges if needed.

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Assemble frame loosely and place corner brackets in place.  Drill starter holes and then screw them into place.

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Once all four corners are secure, I use athletic tape to cover the seams on the edges.  Plus, it’s a hockey stick, and they have this tape on them when in use, so it makes sense.

Measure on top of frame to find center and screw your frame hanger in place.

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Once frame is assembled and tape is on, I place the other frame inside of it.  It fits securely but I still use four screws to hold it in place inside the hockey stick frame.

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Thank you Terry for this fantastic DIY. We can see this as the perfect way to showcase your Adoramapix photos of your favorite hockey players.

Jul 2014 15

This is the fourth installment of our 5 Common Photography Mistakes series.  Today, we look at not fully understanding the rule of thirds in photography.

According to Wikipedia ” The rule of thirds is a “rule of thumb” or guideline which applies to the process of composing visual images such as designsfilmspaintings, and photographs.[1] The guideline proposes that an image should be imagined as divided into nine equal parts by two equally spaced horizontal lines and two equally spaced vertical lines, and that important compositional elements should be placed along these lines or their intersections.[2]Proponents of the technique claim that aligning a subject with these points creates more tension, energy and interest in the composition than simply centering the subject would.”

As seen in the image  below, by Courtney Slazinik of Click it up a Notch, where your subject is placed in the fame makes all the difference in the world. ruleofthirdsBelow, Courtney give us some easy to understand methods on how to make sure your images have impact using the rule of thirds.

Jul 2014 03

Each Thursday, we carve out a little niche in the internet world on our blog to talk about all things photo book related. This week we have something special with a change in our Pix Publisher software.

GLOBAL CHANGES

Hold on to your hats, we’ve added a long awaited change to our pixpublisher editor – the ability to make changes to your entire photo book at once. In other words, if you wanted to make a change such as replacing all text in your photo book from Arial in black to Times New Roman in red, you can now do so with a single mouseclick.

Why is this a big deal? Well, let’s say you’re making a wedding album and you like one of the wedding templates we offer, but the colors used in the template don’t match your wedding colors. Using the old method, you had to go through the whole book clicking on every piece of text, every background, every sticker, changing them appropriately. Now you can change the whole book in moments. Here’s how it works.

 COPY SETTINGS

The first way to do it is using the new Apply to All option. This works like a copy/paste to your entire book. In other words, change your object to the settings you like, then click Apply to All and every other object of the same type in your book will be changed to the same settings.

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BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR

Be aware, this will change all instances of that type of object to the exact same settings, which can sometimes have unexpected results. For example, say you had a black and white themed wedding template and you select some black Arial 22pt text and change the font to Carla Thin and click Apply to All. You may be surprised by the following results:

1.       Even though you only changed the font, all the settings were copied. Thus, if your photo book has some black pages with white text on them, the white text will also get changed to black, making it essentially invisible against the black background.

2.       If some of the text in your book is a different size – such as a larger point size on the cover title, and smaller point sizes along the spine and in paragraphs of text, all of those will get changed to 22 point as well

So, be careful when using the Apply to All because it does in fact copy all the settings from the selected object and applies them indiscriminately to all the similar objects in your book.

So what happens if you want to change a font without changing the colors or size throughout your book? That’s where the global settings menu comes in.

Along the left edge of your screen you’ll see a vertical row of tabs. Click the bottom one marked Settings. On the panel that opens you’ll see three categories:

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a)      Text

b)      Photos

c)       Stickers

These options will allow you to make changes to those types of elements throughout your photo book.

For example, if you would like to change just the font throughout your photo book without changing any of the other settings, you can do so here.

When you apply a change in the global settings menu, only the specific setting you change is applied.

We hope you enjoy this latest change. It should save you a lot of time when making sweeping changes to your Adoramapix  photo books and it certainly makes it a lot quicker to modify our templates to match your personal vision.

 

Jul 2014 02

Now that it’s summer it’s time to hit the open road. If you are looking for instagram inspiration, look no further than our top 10 inspiring instagram travel photographers. This list was compiled by the help of our own members and who they follow.  These are in no particular order.

First up, one of our favorites is Trey Ratcliff. Trey is a wonderful and inspiring photographer. He shares his passion and experience with other photographers. You may know him from his website called Stuck in Customs – the #1 travel photography blog on the internet. His instagram images are an extension of  his blog and you won’t go wrong adding him to your ig feed.

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@michaelchristopherbrown blows me away with his behind the scenes look into third world countries and conflict. His images are real and portray courage and strength.  His images are a wonderful contrast to those travel images we see that only showcase beautiful surroundings with little to no human element.

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According to @KirstenAlana  ‘s about section on her website Aviators and a CameraKirsten is a photographer, content creator, digital marketer and conference speaker who has built a good portion of her career around experimentation with mobile technology, instructing at offices such as the AOL headquarters, the Apple Store UWS and at conferences like TBEX, TBU, TBE and Traverse. She spent a decade as a professional portrait and wedding photographer before turning her lens to travel. What I love about her ig feed is that even the meals she posts leave me wanting to try these dishes from around the world. 

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It seems Canadians take our breath away with their travels. @alexstrohl ‘s images draw you in with their leading lines and landscapes. It’s no wonder we check back daily to see what new adventure he is taking us on.

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The reason I really love @mevallieres instagram account is that all of her photos are authentically from her iphone. Again, she is the reason for the saying, the best camera is the one you have with you.

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According to his bio, @fosterhunting is a nomad surfer who travels the country in his 1986 Volkswagen van. His Instagram photos capture moments from his adventures on the road, building fires at campsites in the Sierras and catching waves in Baja. What’s not to love about living vicariously through his ig feed?

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She’s young and Australian and she travels the world and documents it @worldwanderlust. Brooke Saward’s mission is to inspire, inform and intrigue with her travel blog and her instagram account.

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Photographer Carin Olsson of @parisinfourmonths left her home to follow her dreams. Originally she was to be in Paris for only four months, however she just couldn’t leave this magical city.

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You can follow the adventures of Jill and Kyla of  @ourwildabandon. They are based out of Canada but their adventures take us around the world.

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Last not but not lease is @jontaylorsweet. I was able to meet Jon in May at a meetup and his generous and amazing spirit is evident in the photos he takes throughout the NorthWest.

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Who are some of your favorite instagram travel photographers? Feel free to leave a comment!

 

-written by Michelle Libby for Adoramapix from suggestions from our members

Jun 2014 30

The 4th of July is just around the corner and that means lots of fun, family and fireworks! Now is the time to grab your camera and get creative with sparklers. Guest blogger Matt Kennedy of Matt Kennedy Photography gives us his insights in to capturing that “spark” between the bride and groom.

One of the latest trends in wedding photography has been late night sparkler photos. I’m sure you’ve seen a few of these floating around Pinterest, and some of your bride’s may have even asked you to do some for their wedding! Even if that hasn’t happened yet, it probably will, so you need to make sure you’re ready and capable of getting your couples what they want.

To be successful in photographing sparklers and bridal couples, you’ll need to keep a few things in consideration while planning for the wedding day. Here are 5 tips to making sure you get the best sparkler photos possible, and then also a little bonus video with 5 more tips for you at the end!

1 – TIME OF DAY

In order to get great sparkler photos, it’s important that you can have your shutter open for a long enough time to run around like a maniac and draw everything you want to draw, while also leaving time to pop a flash! This means that it has to be pretty dark when you do your sparkler photos, so planning the timeline in a way that allows for you to have the couple for 10-20 minutes when it’s dark out is a must. If you don’t have an area and time where it will be very dark, then you’ll have to do more short exposure shots where your shutter is open for 1-5 seconds instead of 10-30 seconds.

I always go through an ideal timeline with my clients at our first meeting, and at that meeting I describe how and when I would suggest they do sparkler photos if they want them. It usually ends up being about 15-30 minutes after the first dances that we get to sneak out and do some sparkler photos.

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2 – KNOW YOUR SETTINGS

Mastering your camera is your job. You’re a photographer, so learning how to manipulate the settings on your camera to achieve the image in your mind is a critical skill. When it comes to sparkler photos there are a few things you want to make sure that you remember.

Sparklers are millions of little bursts of light, just like a flash, so that means that ISO and APERTURE do affect the brightness of the sparkler in your image, while shutter speed does not affect the brightness of the sparkler in your image. However, whatever the sparkler is lighting up (ie. your clients as your come close to them) is being lit up as if it were from an ambient light source rather than a flash. This means that if you hold the sparkler next to them or yourself for too long, ghosting will appear, so move fast!

Start with the settings: 20sec, f4.5, ISO 200 and take a test shot. Analyze the photo and see what needs to be changed to get the background how you want it. Then take a test shot with a sparkler in it and see what else needs to be changed to get the mix between the background and the sparkler perfect. Then take a test shot with sparklers and ending the shot with a pop of your flash in hand. Adjust your position or the intensity of your flash until it exposes the subject properly.

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BONUS FLASH TIP

Use your flash in manual power mode and have it in your hand while you’re running around with the sparkler. Once you’re out of the frame, have a place to safely drop the sparkler (remember, this is fire on a stick) and then run back into the frame (or have an assistant run in with the flash) and pop the flash on the couple. You can also setup a flash on a stand if it is out of the frame (or inside the frame if you care to photoshop it out) and pop it with a trigger. It’s best to have it off of the camera and not relying on rear-curtain sync, but rather hitting the manual flash button to light your subject.

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3 – COME WITH IDEAS

Your couples have probably seen these photos on Pinterest and have ideas of what they want, make sure you find those out so you can at least get one of them before you move on to your original ideas. Think of new ways to compose your shot, pose your couple, and light your images so you have fun with this and don’t just become a copy cat. Share your ideas with them, and allow them to share their ideas with you, then choose a few that you know you can nail, and at least one that will challenge you!

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4 – USE MORE PEOPLE

Sometimes it’s fun to incorporate the wedding party into these shots, especially for the short exposure shots. Just remember, the sparkler drawing is the hard part, so you’ll have to coach them to get it right. Sometime I will take upwards of 50 photos of one type of shot just to get the letters right.

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5 – WHITE BALANCE

Most sparklers are gold in colour, so when you combine a sparkler with a flash you will see a big difference between the colors lighting your subject. Remember to always white balance so that your subject is the proper colour so they look natural. Consider using a CTO gel on your flash so that you can closely match the colour of your flash with the colour of the sparkler. If you’re only using ambient light and sparklers in the photo, then adjust your white balance to the colour of the sparkler so that the couple is the right colour in your image. There’s nothing worse than a blue wedding dress because your white balance is off!

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I have an online workshop available for Sparkler Photos, and hundreds of photographers have taken the course and are now making great sparkler images all the time. This can still be a differentiating factor for you as a photographer in the eyes of couples, so take some time to consider how this can help you with your marketing as well! If you would like more info on the online course, you can click on the link at the bottom of this article

I hope these tips will help you get great sparkler photos, and if you would like more instruction and help with this and many other things, please take a look at my online courses available HERE.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR A COUPON CODE FOR 10% OFF SPARKLERS AT BUYSPARKLERS.COM.

Oh, and just so you have a little bit more to go on, here’s a special video with 5 more tips!

Thank you Matt!

blogguest
Matt and his wife Carissa  hale from Vancouver, Canada and they have been shooting weddings for 7 years. They have shot all over the world in places like Canada, US, Cuba, Italy, Mexico, and hope to shoot in Brazil next! Matt has been a presenter at CreativeLive, WPPI, United, and many online webcasts, as well as a writer for FStoppers. They have online workshops available for purchase, and have been largely involved in the Shoot & Share community. They have been published in many online blogs and in print magazines across North America and Australia.


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