Why not learn more about Production?

Benefits of Royalty Free Stock Music for Amateur Video Production

One of the most common problems amateur video editors run into while working on a video projects is finding a good soundtrack that will go well with their visuals This becomes a problem because there aren’t many people who are gifted in both visuals and music. Of course for those who have musical friends will not always have this kind of problem. There are also the ones who are multi-talented and can do everything from cinematography and post video production to music composition and remixing. If you are not one of the ones who has music engineers as friends or who is talented in music, should you just quit making videos with good music? Definitely not! Royalty free stock music is the answer for the ones who do not have musical friends or are not musically inclined themselves.

Royalty free stock music is becoming increasingly popular. Even professional video editors are now stating to use royalty free stock music for many of their projects because of the vast array of high quality soundtracks and how easy it is to select music that fits the project they’re working on.

You tend to save a ton of them when you opt to use royalty free stock music for your videos. When trying to find music or compose music outside of royalty free stock music, you can take anywhere from a couple of days to several weeks to find something that will work. And it isn’t just time that will be used up, your energy and drive will also be used up which would have otherwise been put to good use for the improvement of your video project. Do not be surprised if no one will want to make music for your video project for free, they will most likely ask for a significant amount of money for the soundtrack they will compose and produce for you.

Just because royalty free stock music is free doesn’t mean it should be frowned upon. But the truth is, that every royalty free stock music soundtrack you get was composed and produced by a talented and passionate musician wanting to share his wonderful talent with the world with little to not cost. It is a sad fact that the extremely talented and passionate people behind every piece of royalty free stock music are often bypassed and completed unthought-of while their works are being used by others. So the next time you’re looking for music for your video project, consider royalty free stock music!

Source: http://www.techbreaker.com/create-perfect-online-marketing-video/

Reasons Why You should Buy Stock Photos for any Kind of Published Works

A picture speaks better than thousand words. This holds true in terms of digital publications too. Blogs, eBooks, websites, e-papers, and other creative publications use pictures to make their content impactful.

Images used online are bound to licences and copyrights. When you buy photos from stock photography agencies you are protecting your work from copyright or intellectual property right infringement.

Stock photos are of low cost. These agencies have a massive collection of photographs, illustrations, vector arts, in various genres. You can find any image or illustration that suits your requirement. They are easily searchable online and downloaded for free or for a fee.

Buying stock photos speeds up your work

  • Stock photography agencies have millions of images and illustrations in various categories
  • These photographs are taken by professionals around the world
  • The quality of these pictures is very high
  • It becomes easy to sort an image you need using online tools
  • You can sort as per search filters, such as popularity and relevance
  • These images and illustrations are original and enhance the quality of your work
  • They have an extensive image and illustration library from which you can choose
  • You can receive customized customer service, pricing, and useful tips on selecting images
  • The licensing needs of your project is easily fulfilled when you buy stock images
  • Stock photography agencies also come with a free membership
  • Few of the images can be used and reused commercially for free
  • You get to see how you can use the image commercially by reading the release statements
  • You can get unique images for specialty projects
  • These agencies never compromise on the quality of the image
  • Buying stock images can save your time and money

Creative projects need stock images

Creative projects, such as maintaining a travel blog needs high quality images. It is not possible to travel around the world and collect these images. If you are a travel agency that needs high quality images of various locations, any number of images can be bought from a stock photography agency online.

They only have to search and pay for the image download it in the dimensions and format of their choice. Travel stock photos are popular amongst travel bloggers. Blogging about exotic destinations can create the desired impact on the reader when they publish relevant, high quality pictures along with the content.

Travel stock photography has gained popularity not only amongst bloggers, but also amongst various online users. For advertising and marketing your brand or product, using stock photos can generate interest in the audience. Bottom line, you don’t need a professional photographer when you have stock images at your disposal.


Stock photography agencies like Superstock provide compelling images and can be accessed globally. It only takes a few clicks to search and download the exact image for slideshow, business presentation, website, magazines, and any kind of digital and print publication.

Five Tips for Hiring a Wedding Videographer

When most people consider having their wedding captured on film, they think of hiring a photographer. However, an increasing number of couples are also hiring videographers to record their wedding so they can relive those memories whenever they wish. These five tips will help you find the best videographer to record your wedding day.

Consider Video Styles

As you start searching for a videographer, you will need to consider which style of video you want for your wedding and find someone who is experienced with that style. You will have the option of a documentary-style video in which the events are captured as they occurred in chronological order, or you can choose a more cinematic style for your video. This will include adding music and special effects to make the video seem more like a movie than an actual recording of your wedding.

Make It a Priority

Unfortunately, many couples do not take hiring a videographer as seriously as they do a wedding photographer, so they may wait too long to make their decision. Just as you would the photographer, you need to hire the videographer several months in advance. This ensures that you can hire someone who will do a good job for you, and that you will not miss out on the studio you wanted because it was booked on your wedding date. Shooting a wedding video in Sydney requires advanced planning, especially if your wedding date is during the peak wedding months of March or November.

Get Professional Referrals

When you’re looking for videographers to shoot your wedding, get referrals from people in the wedding business, because they will have worked with videographers before. Ask your wedding planner and wedding photographer whom they would recommend to capture your big day on video. However, you may not need to look too far away from the photography studio, because many studios also shoot videos as well as still photography.

Let Them Work

After you hire someone to shoot the video, let them do their job and do not micromanage the project. Yes, you want to have the best video possible of your wedding, but that is why you are hiring an expert and not letting your cousin shoot the video. Trust the videographer’s expertise and let them handle the project while you worry about making sure everything will be done on time for your wedding day.

Read the Contract Carefully

Before you sign a contract, make sure all the details you discussed with the videographer are included in it. It should include how long the videographer will be on site, how many cameras will be at the wedding, a list of what is included with the finished product, the time and location, the cancellation policy and all the fees. If something is missing, be sure to point it out, because you cannot count on getting anything that isn’t listed on the contract.

By following these five tips, you should be able to hire the best videographer to capture your special day.

The Best Online Hotel Booking

When vacation arrives, you want to visit new places that you have never visited. Regular travelers usually want to go to unique places with exotic cultural heritage and beautiful nature. Are you eager to discover new things in the new places and meet new people during your vacation? Then, Bali can be one of your choices. But to enjoy a vacation does not only mean choosing a place you want to go. You have to prepare your accommodation to ensure that you will not have to deal with unfavorable experience with anything related to your travelling: flights, hotels, local transportations, etc.

Indeed, Bali is the most visited places in Indonesia. Each year, most of tourists visiting Indonesia go to Bali. For them, Bali represents Indonesia. Bali offers a lot of new experiences for travelers, especially those who look for beautiful sites and cultural heritage.

A good accommodation is important to ensure your convenience during vacation in Bali. While there are so many choices, some people still opt to stay in a hotel. Choosing a hotel in Bali can be difficult, however, especially for people with little or no traveling experience. The most difficult task is to gather information about the most suitable hotels to stay. Thanks to internet, now you can book any hotel room from anywhere and at anytime.

Booking flights or hotels through internet is efficient. It makes your life easier. This is because you need not go to book hotel directly through any offline agent. Things you must do are opening your laptop and connecting it to the internet, looking for online booking sites, and making your order.

Are you looking for online hotel booking? Misteraladin.com is a good choice. A special thing about this site is its various packages that offer various benefits to various clients. People with different demands and purchasing power are able to choose the best package for their vacation. For example, it has Family Package for families who want to enjoy their vacations with special offers, Budget Package for people who look for low-cost hotels, Luxury Package for people with high purchasing power who want to get the best accommodation and Weekend Getaway for a perfect short vacation during the weekend. You can choose the best package for you based on your budget and preference.


Hire Professional Photographer In Mumbai To Get Vibrant Capturing Services

Rituals, overall ambience, food and set-up are essential aspects of every special event or occasion, but equally important is photography. It is an excellent process that helps you to hold the special memories for a long time. In order to get the advantages, you can hire the most outstanding and reliable photography services. Choosing the best photography service is not an easy task, because few of them do not suit your taste and individual taste. If you want to avoid the unsuitable firm, you can make proper research online which helps you to select firm like Photophatory. The most reliable and exclusive firm comes with a team of highly talented and specialized photographers who have some unique skills to satisfy your photography requirements. At this effective photography company, you can place a proper request for different photography services and easily get many amazing images clicked. Wedding photography is a daunting task, because your wedding is one of the most essential events or occasion of your life, so you can hire the best photography professionals.

Make Your Events Memorable

The smart selection helps you to get most outstanding and extraordinary photography services. It is important to check some useful aspects, before choosing a particular photography firm. The major factors include reliability, experience, service quality, types of services, innovative level, price and more. These are the most essential factors that will surely help you to hire the Professional Photographer in Mumbai. The best photographers do not miss shooting a single instant that actually matters to couples that day. They take individual care in every wedding as well as it becomes very important for them in order to understand the expectations and needs that couples have for their big day.  These kinds of specialized techniques and unique efforts help them to bring people wonderful experience.

Vibrant Capturing Services

Different photography services

The professional photography services are not only available for wedding, but also allow you to get these professional capturing services for different occasions. They offer many additional photography services such as:

  • Candid photography services
  • Engagement photography services
  • Product photography series
  • Bridal photography services

These kinds of uniquely designed service packages surely make your every special occasion or event unique and exclusive. If you like to obtain these brilliant photography services, you can hire the Photographer Mumbai. The highly effective and superior firm only selects the photographers who have qualified and experienced in the photography field, so you can hire it without any hesitation. Along with this, the reliable photography firm also specialists in both the traditional as well as candid photography in order to meet all requirements and needs. To offer these extraordinary photography services, the professionals are using a highly advanced image capturing devices and techniques. Therefore, hiring the professional and reliable photography firm is a simple way to capture all moments of your special events within your budget.

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9 creative photo ideas to try in October

As part of our ongoing series to help you get more creative with your digital camera, each month we publish some fun, seasonal, creative photo ideas to help inspire your imagination.

Along with some amazing images, we’ve also provided some quick photography tips by both amateur and professional photographers who are experts in these fields.

We’re kicking off October with a new list of exciting photo projects like indoor milk splash photography, painting cars with light, smartphone portraits, water drop worlds and much more!

9 creative photo ideas to try in October

Photo ideas for October: 01 Light paint a car

Light-painting can be used for lots of subjects. While it’s a popular technique for lamdscapes and buildings, it can also be employed to create stunning shots of cars and other vehicles.

Light-painting specialist Cristian Serrano gets great results with just a single light, as he doesn’t want to spend a lot of money on strobes.

As you can see from his shot of a beautifully lit VW Beetle, the results are impressive considering the limited kit he is using, and wouldn’t look out of place in a glossy car magazine or blog.

“I start off by working out what I want the final image to look like,” he explains. “Once I have the concept in my mind, I will move the car around until I get the right angle on it. Then I simply wait for the sun to go down, until it’s dark enough that I can start to use light-painting.”

Once the ambient lighting conditions are right, Cristian brings out a 22 x 28-inch 1,000 watt continuous softbox.

“I’ll put my camera on a tripod with a timer and set an exposure of 5-10 seconds. This enables me to walk around the car with the softbox on, and light up the vehicle nicely. I do this a few times at various angles and heights, in order to get as many options as possible.”

As well as showing off your beautiful-looking ride, this simple technique would also be a great way to create stand-out shots of any car you wanted to sell…

Photo ideas for October: 01 Light paint a car

How to put it all together

During post-production, Cristian brings the images into Photoshop and selects a suitable assortment to start masking.

“I use about three to six images for each final project, and stitching in the images reveals a perfectly lit car,” he explains. “I mask out the background to a solid black to hide the light trails and any other background objects.”

Photoshop’s Lighten blend mode can be useful for combining frames in this way, as it reveals only those areas in a layer that are brighter in colour than the ones in the layer below.

Photo ideas for October: 02 Get creative with paper

Photo ideas for October: 02 Get creative with paper

Here’s a great technique to try on a rainy day. Dan Comaniciu takes gorgeous images of coloured paper, which he teases, curves and crimps into pleasing photo compositions. It’s important to use paper that is in perfect condition, or clone out imperfections later.

Dan uses a Hasselblad H3DII-50 with the HC 120mm macro lens. He then places a 100 x 80mm Hensel softbox  behind the paper to provide just the right illumination.

Not everyone’s budget can stretch this far, but  you can get similar results with an SLR, a macro lens and a window.

Experiment with colour effects in Photoshop or similar software. Here, Dan colour-toned the image using a colour gradient and Soft Light blending mode.


How to set up your camera

Your camera’s autofocus may struggle to work out where to focus, so it’s easier to use manual focus to be sure of sharp still-life shots. Zoom into the image in magnified Live View and use depth-of-field preview to check for sharpness.

Photo ideas for October: 03 Shoot and edit a portrait on your phone

Photo ideas for October: 03 Shoot and edit a portrait on your phone

You don’t need a fast 50mm lens and weapons-grade SLR to take stunning portraits, as Ade Santora’s creative headshots, shot and edited on an iPhone, prove.

Ade begins by working out a concept, then edits the image with his arsenal of apps. “I use ProCamera for normal colour pictures and Hueless for black and white. Hipstamatic or Oggl are used for moody effects.

“My editing apps include Superimpose or iColorama for blending and masking multiple layers; Mextures and Stackables for adding textures, and also Snapseed, Photo Power and Afterlight.

“I also like to use Noir Photo to create dramatic black-and-white effects and AfterFocus to create a blurred depth of field.”

How to avoid ‘phone shake’

Having the latest iPhone and powerful apps is one thing, but ‘phone shake’ can be even more of a problem. A good solution is to mount your phone on a tripod. Joby’s GripTight GorillaPod range is another option, but there is a wide range of other supports available.

Milky Way photography tips for the first time astrophotographer

The night sky is one of the richest and most rewarding subjects a photographer can shoot, but it takes patience and skill to get it right. In this astrophotography tutorial, landscape pro David Clapp explains how to shoot Milky Way photography with the gear that you have.

Milky Way photography tips for the first time astrophotographer

Many years ago when I began to shoot with digital cameras, I became fascinated with the night sky. My original DSLR was the Canon 5D, and although this was limited in both functionality and quality, it was the making of my photography and opened the door to the world of astrophotography.

Nowadays, it doesn’t matter whether you shoot an entry-level digital SLR or use a high-end professional series body: all are capable of shooting at night-time.

The biggest problem I suffered from early on when shooting astrophotography was my camera’s limited ISO. It simply was not capable of exceeding ISO640 without excessive noise, so the idea of shooting Milky Way photography eluded me.

Most modern digital SLR’s now can easily shoot ISO3200, giving far greater accessibility to the dark skies, so popularity for shooting Milky Way photography has grown immensely.

As with all night-time pursuits, there are limitations to how much light you can see, but the camera will do a great deal to reveal a world unseen.

I originally began to shoot the sky under moonlight, where light levels were lifted just enough to illuminate the landscape.

I had a few failed attempts at shooting Milky Way photography, but they showed promise, so I quickly realised the best results occur in complete darkness, with no light source other than the galaxy itself.

Moonlight and street lighting are very much your enemy, even distant ambience, so firstly your choice of location is absolutely crucial.

Best locations for Milky Way photography

Best locations for Milky Way photography

I live near Dartmoor National Park, in southern England, yet it’s situated between three major cities. Even on clear nights, when the skies are washed with stars, an orange hue is present in every direction except vertically upwards.

After meeting an astrophotographer, he explained that dark sky areas were utterly crucial to my success, as well as low humidity, neither of which are particularly easy to find here in the UK.

Deserts are the best place to go. I managed to get some success in California’s Death Valley, in particular, but shooting nearer the equator is the best location in the world for Milky Way photography, both for star density, dark skies, low humidity and believe it or not – camera angle.

The gaseous structure of the centre of the Milky Way is far more prevalent the closer you get to the Equator, so this makes locations like Tenerife, Hawaii and the Atacama Desert the best locations for astrophysicists and budding astrophotographers alike.

So if you live in England, is there any point in trying to shoot the Milky Way? Well, the answer is yes. The first thing to do is find out where the nearest dark sky area is to you so you can eliminate glow of city street lights.

Then look for compositions that contain something geographical – mountains in particular, even coastline can be very effective as you look out towards the empty ocean.

Essential gear to photograph the Milky Way

Essential gear to photograph the Milky Way

So what exactly do we need in your camera bag to shoot the Milky Way? Is it all ‘fast glass’ and great expense? The answer is that it helps, but it needn’t be.

It’s important to get a certain level of quality glass, one that has good performance wide open, but you will be surprised at what astrophotographers will choose.

If you are looking to shoot the Milky Way as part of the landscape, which is where I suggest starting, then a wide-angle lens with a minimum aperture of f2.8 is the way to go. Place the Milky Way diagonally across the frame and if necessary light the landscape beneath with a torch.

I use a Canon 24mm f/1.4 Mark II, but I rarely shoot this lens at f/1.4… it’s an amazing optic at f/2, with less vignetting and far sharper corners than wide open.

I have also used the 16-35mm f/4L IS which is renowned for its super sharp corners, but f4 means shutter speeds will be considerably slower.

Let us imagine you have both these lenses above. If you shoot the 16-35 f/4L IS at f/4, then a typical shutter speed will be 20secs, ISO3200.

If you shot the 24mm f/1.4 mk2 at f/1.4, then the shutter speed would be much faster, just five seconds for exactly the same exposure.

This means much more light and detail can enter the camera, but as long as the optics perform well at such wide apertures.

The longer the shutter stays open, the more the earth will rotate and star trails will appear…. but there’s another problem… focal length.

Best focal length for shooting the Milky Way

Best focal length for shooting the Milky Way

The longer the focal length, shorter the shutter speed has to be to get a sharp shot. Focal length magnifies the movement of the stars min the Milky Way, so although a 50mm f/1.4 seems like another lens to head for, the extra focal length means the shutter speed has to be even shorter.

Lenses like a 70-200 f/2.8, although great for lowlight, mean the problem is compounded even further. So how did astrophotographer Esen Tunar take the remarkable and detailed images in this post? The answer is by using an astronomical tracking mount!

Using tracking mounts for astrophotography

Using tracking mounts for astrophotography

These wonderful devices can help out immensely. This means there is no longer a restriction on shutter speed and all manner of lenses can be used.

The camera and lens turn with the rotation of the earth and cancel out the star trails.

It means much longer exposures can be taken with pin sharp stars. Multiple exposures can be made, to penetrate deep into the night sky, with slower sharper lenses too.

If you’re thinking about shooting the Milky Way then start by putting it into the landscape. If you become fascinated with the night sky then invest in some quality glass and perhaps a tracking mount.

Whichever way you go, it’ll have you aiming your camera for the heavens.

8 ways to get sharp photos at night

As the nights draw in and we have less daylight available before and after work, nighttime photography is a great way to scratch your photographic itch. Follow our 8-step plan to get sharp shots in the dark.

8 ways to get sharp photos at night

1. Use a tripod
Okay so let’s kick-off with the basics. If you’re shooting at night you’re likely to be using exposures that are measured in minutes, so you need to use a tripod.

And not just any old tripod, you need a good solid one that’s going to hold your camera and lens rock-steady.

No drooping head, slipping quick release plate or flimsy legs please.  If your tripod has bolts that allow you to adjust the tightness of the leg locks (most good ones do) make sure that you check these on a regular basis and tighten as necessary.

Check that the quick release plate is fixed securely on your camera and if necessary use a coin to tighten the bolt. This is especially important when you’re shooting in upright format with a long lens because the camera is more likely to slip on the plate.

Extend the legs in preference to the centre column to get your camera at the right height and extend the upper (thicker) leg sections in preference to the lower thinner ones.

The more solid you make the tripod, the better it will hold your camera. Once you’ve composed the image, make sure that the tripod head is locked tightly.

2. Put on some weight
Many tripods have a hook at the end of the centre column to allow you to hang a weight to help keep the camera steady. If yours doesn’t have one you can hang something over the collar – your camera bag is often a good choice.

Take care though, if the weight is knocked or caught by the wind it can introduce some movement. The ideal situation is for the weight to be just touching the ground so it can’t move but still applies some downward force.

A beanbag over the camera or lens can also help dampen out vibrations caused by wind and touching the camera.

Night Photography Tips: 9 essential steps for beginners

3. Take shelter
Whether you’re out in the wilds shooting star trails or in the centre of a city photographing car lights you should try to find a sheltered shooting position, out of a strong wind or away from the buffeting caused by speeding traffic.

Shooting next to a tree, hedge wall, or ‘phone box can make a big difference to your final image.

Set up your camera correctly for building photography: activate stabilisation

4. Turn the stabilisation off
Sensor-shifting and lens-based stabilisation systems are designed to compensate for the movements that occur when hand-holding a camera. If you use it when shooting with the camera on a tripod it can move unnecessarily and introduce image blur, so turn it off.

Light painting tips: try this method

5. Find a light
Focusing can be a problem at night. If you’ve followed the rule book and turned up early, set-up the camera, composed the image and focused the lens before sunset then you’ve got nothing to worry about, but that’s often not practical.

Most modern compact system and SLR cameras have very sensitive autofocus (AF) systems, but they need some light to operate.

If you’re lucky there may be some light in your scene that you can use to give the AF system a fighting chance, but don’t just focus on a light because it’s there, it needs to be the right distance from the camera to ensure that the main subject is sharp and that the depth of field is where you need it to be.

If there’s no light in the scene a torch (flashlight to those in the US) may provide enough light to illuminate your subject and enable your camera to focus the lens.

6. Back-button focusing
By default cameras focus the lens when the shutter release is depressed. That’s fine in many situations, but when you’re shooting at night and focusing is tricky, it’s often advisable to split the focusing and shutter activation across two buttons.

If you use the back button to focus the lens, the camera won’t attempt to adjust focus when you press the shutter release to take the shot.

7. Focus manually
Manual focusing is often the only option when you’re shooting in very dark conditions, but just like the camera’s AF system, your eyes need some light to be able to assess when the subject is sharp.

In some cases activating an SLR’s live view (CSCs operate in live view full time) will make the process much easier because the camera will show you the image as it will be captured and make the scene look brighter than it appears to your eye.

Alternatively, if your lens has a distance scale you can use this to set the focus to the correct point.

What you need for painting with light: remote release8. Use a remote release and mirror lock-up
To get the sharpest possible results you need to avoid opening the shutter while the camera is vibrating following the shutter release being pressed or the mirror lifting. That means using a remote release and exposure delay or mirror lock-up.

If you’re making an exposure of several minutes, the first few seconds are pretty significant so you can usually get away with ignoring this rule.

However, it doesn’t hurt to be in the habit of using these modes and it will ensure you get every scrap of detail possible.

Silhouette photography: tips for shooting into the sun

Sometimes it is the simplest pictures that work best. And in terms of photo composition and lighting, shots don’t come any simpler than silhouette photography.

Silhouette photography: tips for shooting into the sun

Silhouette photography is when you shoot a subject with backlight so that you only show its outline. As the subject is thrown into shadow due to the position of the lighting, you can’t see texture, you can’t see its three-dimensional form, and you can’t even see its colour. What you are left with is the shape alone.

To shoot successful silhouette photography you first need to choose a subject that can be identified by its two-dimensional shape.

A strong outline is not enough: you also need to photograph the subject from the right angle to accentuate this shape. Silhouette photography of a person, for instance, works better if you shoot their profile rather than shooting them head on.

For a bigger subject, such as a building, you will need to hunt out the best angle to shoot from by walking around it, and then possibly coming back when the sun is in front of you and behind the structure.

To get clear silhouette photography, you need a subject which can be isolated against the sky or by a plain bright backdrop – it is much harder to get a silhouette of a building in a built-up area than of one that stands in an open space.

Although you can shoot silhouette photography in practically any weather, silhouettes look more impressive when shot against a deep blue sky or a dramatic scarlet sunset.

The biggest problem with silhouette photography is getting the silhouette to look dark enough. If you shoot in auto modes, your camera will refuse you to give you a perfect exposure.

You want the shadowy outline to be as black as possible, and not a muddy grey. Because of this you need to take control of the settings yourself. Here’s how to do just that…

Step by step how to shoot silhouette photography

Step by step how to shoot silhouette photography: step 1

01 Find your position
The best time for shooting silhouettes is at the beginning or end of the day, when the sun is low in the sky. You don’t necessarily need to have the sun directly behind the subject, it just needs to be in front of you. Hunt out the camera angle that shows the best outline of your subject.

Step by step how to shoot silhouette photography: step 2

02 Turn off Active D-Lighting or Auto Lighting Optimizer
By default, your camera will likely have some sort of dynamic range enhancing feature to pull more detail from shadow areas. Nikon DSLRs will have Active D-Lighting, for instance, while Canon DSLRs have Auto Lighting Optimizer. These features essentially adjust the contrast in your picture, helping you to pull maximum detail from shadows. For shooting silhouette photography, you need to turn this Off.

Step by step how to shoot silhouette photography: step 3

03 Get up to speed
Set your camera to Aperture Priority mode, and use a low ISO setting of between 100-200 to avoid noise. Set a mid-aperture of around f/8, as this should help minimise the amount of chromatic aberration (colour fringing) which can be a particular problem when shooting into the sun.

Step by step how to shoot silhouette photography: step 4

04 Exposure compensation
With the settings you have now, silhouettes will not be dark enough, so you must use exposure compensation. You will typically need to dial in a setting of between -1 to -3 EV (the more sky in the shot, the less negative compensation you will need).

Photo ideas for shooting into the sun

Photo ideas for shooting into the sun: keep it simple

01 K.I.S.S.
Keep It Simple for Silhouettes! No need to have the Taj Mahal or ET on a bike. Even a lone tree makes a great subject.

Photo ideas for shooting into the sun: turn sideways

02 Turn sideways
Victorians loved silhouette portraits, and it is a great way of photographing friends and family. Just shoot their profile!


Photo ideas for shooting into the sun: include the sun in the frame

03 Sun spot

Avoid staring into the sun, but do try include it in the frame. Reduce its brightness by partly hiding it behind the subject.

Photo ideas for shooting into the sun: use fill flash

04 Fill flash
Try a burst of flash to light up the foreground, while keeping the silhouette in the distance.

Photo ideas for shooting into the sun: use rim lighting

05 Rim lighting
If the sun is low enough, and with the right subject, backlighting can make the edge of your silhouette glow, as with these sheep.

10 ways to improve your iPhone pictures in an instant

The iPhone has the reputation for giving the best pictures amongst smartphone photographers, despite its relatively low pixel count. If you’re thinking of upgrading to an iPhone 6S or you’ve just bought one, here are 10 tips from techradar’s in-depth iPhone 6S Plus camera test that will help you make instant improvements to your photos.

But what if you have an older iPhone and you’ve no intention of upgrading? Most of these tips will work fine on older iPhones too.

10 ways to improve your iPhone pictures in an instant

01 HDR – Keep Normal Photo
The iPhone’s Auto HDR function does a terrific job of controlling highlight areas, such as skies, and keeping detail in parts of the picture that might otherwise get blown out. It can produce unnatural-looking outlines around out of focus objects, though, so go into the iPhone’s ‘Photos & Camera’ settings, scroll to the bottom and check the ‘Keep Normal Photo’ in the HDR section. That way, you’ll always have a regular non-HDR version to fall back on.

02 Tap to focus
To set the focus and exposure for a particular part of the scene, just tap on the screen. It’s so quick to do that it almost becomes second nature, and this gives you the kind of control that you expect in a proper camera. That’s not all – once you’ve tapped an area, you can drag up and down on the screen to apply exposure compensation.

03 Tap and hold for AE/AF lock

03 Tap and hold for AE/AF lock
The AE/AF lock function gives you even more control over the focus and exposure – it’s the next best thing to manual control. It enables you to get a constant focus and exposure setting even over a sequence of shots (you have to tap the screen again to deactivate it). That’s not all – it also works when shooting Pano (panoramic) images and video.

04 Perfect panoramas
In Pano mode it’s tempting to keep panning the camera to capture as wide a scene as possible – but these can be oddly unsatisfactory. Your main subject often looks rather insignificant, and superwide letterbox images are an awkward shape to look.

Instead, work out your composition more carefully and pan over a shorter distance (tap the shutter button to stop and save the panorama at any time). The best panoramas are often those that cover an angle just that little bit wider than the lens can capture on its own.

05 Square is good
The Square mode might seem like a pointless novelty that makes it hard to compose interesting shots and wastes pixels, but stick with it. Square shots have a very different ‘retro’ feel, they can force you into thinking more carefully about composition and their shape suits the square thumbnails used by many image browsing tools. Best of all, you don’t have to turn the phone to shoot horizontal pictures – iPhones are much easier to hold upright!

06 Shutter release – tap or press?
You can use the iPhone’s volume buttons as a shutter release when you’re using the Camera app, but you have to press fairly hard and this can loosen your grip and jog the camera. The on-screen button is easier to use and less likely to cause camera shake.

07 Have fun with filters!

07 Have fun with filters!
The Camera app offers a selection of different in-built filter effects and you don’t lose anything by trying them out. That’s because the filters are applied ‘non-destructively’. The iPhone captures a regular image but applies the filter effect you chose when you view it on the iPhone (or your Mac or another iOS Device). If you don’t like the filter you can go back in later and remove it or choose a different one.

08 Flare for effect
The iPhone lens is quite prone to flare when you’re shooting into the light, but you can use this for dramatic effect or to add a romantic look to portraits. A slight shift in position will change or remove the flare effect, and you can see it working on the screen as you change position. You can also try shielding the lens with your hand or a credit card, for example.

09 Video primer
The 4K video on the iPhone 6S is extremely good, but you’ll need to use the right shooting technique to get the most from it. Don’t use any sudden camera movements and don’t chase round after your subject or you’ll get horrible, jerky footage. Instead, work out what’s going to happen in your video clip, find the best place to stand, and if you need to pan to follow your subject, keep it as smooth and slow as possible.

10 Slo-mo magic
The iPhone 6S can also shoot standard HD video at an amazing 240 frames per second – this plays back perfectly smoothly, but 8x slower than normal. The clever part is that the iPhone plays back the start and end of the clip at normal speed and switches to slo-mo for the bits in between. This not only gives a very professional-looking effect, it’s editable too – you can open up the clip later and use simpler sliders to set the points at which the playback speed changes.