Premiere Bay Area Wedding Photography Blog by Trifon Anguelov Photography

1090 Clark Avenue, Mountain View, CA 94040 | (650) 930-0743 | http://www.trifonanguelov.com


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Is Using Photoshop To Post-Process Photos Cheating?


Trifon Anguelov Photography - Octopus Is a photographer using Photoshop to create composite images or alter digital images cheating the viewers?

This is the question which comes so many times on photography related forums and blogs, topic of so many Facebook discussions and debates. I have been hearing this question so many times while talking to photographers and decided that this deserves a dedicated blog entry.

So let’s first start by explaining what the argument seems to be all about. A photographer captures a digital image, then downloads the picture into his/her computer and starts a digital post-processing in Photoshop. This might include replacing the background of the image, adding additional light sources which were not in the original image, removing subjects or objects from the image, adding objects into the image from another image, combining exposures, etc. All form of digital editing used by nowadays photographers.

On one side of the debate there are the so called “purists”: photographers who believe in pure documentary style of photography and that the main purpose of a photographer is to capture the reality unaltered and unmodified. No changes to the digital images after being captured whatsoever. On the other side of the debates are the “artists”: photographers who don’t like to be constrained from what the reality has to offer and like to add their own vision and touch to each image. They believe that reality is fine by itself but the role of the photographer is to use the reality and communicate the photographer’s vision by altering the digital images.

Each side has their logic behind their choices of course. The photojournalists are trained to capture the events as they unfold, set the stage and wait for the moments to happen, communicate the truth about the moment and emotions as they really happened. While the artists are creative minds, which are bored to death to see the same images of the same subjects or objects over and over and need to express themselves, not just capture the reality.
For me, I am more of the mix from both. Capture genuine moments and emotions and use all tools available to enhance the image and bring the viewers attention to the focal point if the image. A picture needs to have a story with both interesting subjects or objects but also with refined post processing to make an impression.

Why I think so. Simple. Ask yourself: Is adding special effects to movie cheating? Don’t we all enjoy the movies with special effects exactly because they invoke certain feelings by enhancing the main story?
Is painting the walls of our homes cheating, or dressing in different clothes every day cheating? We were definitely not born with clothes or our the walls of our homes didn’t come painted with the colors we like. Are women dressing their hair and putting make up cheating? The examples, go on and on.

The point is that photographs need to be genuine and not fake. The photographs are intended to documenting the reality and it is what the photographer should do but in the same time a photographer need to be able to inspire the viewers, provoke their feelings and generate ideas. Adding digital effects or altering digital images is not a sin but a creative process in which the photographer creates their own masterpieces from what seems to be everyday reality. It’s what differentiate one photographer from another photographer. It’s what makes one picture to look different and communicate different ideas from another.

Agree, disagree, have comments or feedback? Drop me a line in the comments section and if you like this post, share it with your friends so they can also benefit from information.

Written by Trifon Anguelov

Trifon Anguelov Photography is a premiere Wedding and Events Photographer, Mountain View, CA
Photography Portfolio at: http://www.trifonanguelov.com/Portfolio/

 

 

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How to Display Camera Focus Points in Lightroom


Trifon Anguelov Photography - Chairs Every photographer knows that modern cameras use multiple focus points to allow a focus point to be selected before capturing the images. The number of focus points vary from camera to camera and the more expensive and sophisticated a camera body is, the more focus points it has. There is a dedicated auto focus sensor in each camera to allow the proper focusing. More advanced cameras even allow the photographer to group multiple focus points and let the camera select which focus point from the focus group to use for best focus.
And finally there is an fully automated focus point selection mode in which the camera selects and tracks a focus point continuously. So many great options and capabilities in modern camera bodies.
In post-processing when the images are downloaded and processes however, the focus point information (the location where the focus point was actually locked while capturing the images) is not easily viewable. Especially, when using Adobe Lightroom digital editing software. In the past a photographer had to use third party tools to load the images in order to see the focus points. But now there is a FREE Lightroom plug-in which allows to do that in Lightroom.
It’s supported on both Apple OSX and Microsoft Windows OS and easy to install. Just visit: http://www.lightroomfocuspointsplugin.com/ for installation and usage details.
I have tested it last night and works as expected. You have to be in “Library” mode in Lightroom and you need to scroll down to the very last menu option on the bottom “Plug-in Extras”. From there select “Show Focus Points” and voila, you will see where exactly your camera has focused.
Knowing the focus points helps you in a multiple ways. First, it allows you to see if you completely nailed the focus during client sessions. Second, allows a photographer to adjust and correct its focusing techniques and see the results in post-processing. So if you ever wanted to see the image focus points in Lightroom, now you have a free, easy to install and use solution.

Agree, disagree, have comments or feedback? Drop me a line in the comments section and if you like this post, share it with your friends so they can also benefit from information.

Trifon Anguelov Photography
Wedding and Events Photographer
http://www.trifonanguelov.com/Portfolio/Weddings/

 

 


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Finding Different Point Of Views To Take Your Pictures


Highlights, Texture and ShadowsEvery photographer has a style which he or she develops over the years. This includes first selecting a type of photography one enjoys and wanting to work in: portraits, photojournalism, architecture, events, weddings, engagements, maternity, children or baby photography. So many types to choose from but ultimately it comes down to how passionate one is about this type of photography and how much energy he or she is willing to put into it.

Then it comes the option of digital camera model and types of lenses. Does one pick Canon, Nikon, Sony or Fuji, Pentax? Also how much depth of field matters for the type of photography and style one already selected. Having the right equipment is an important decision every photographer has to make. it would influence the quality and look of the photographs one would produce. Not an easy or cheap choice if you ask me.

And will all the selections already made, then it comes the time for one to start practicing, getting experience working with clients and building solid portfolio. As some are better at the technical aspect of photography, this could be a quite a steep learning. Managing client’s expectations, booking appointments and advertising a business takes so much energy from the otherwise creating and pleasurable activity. Wasn’t all going to be interesting and creative, one might ask? Yes and not. Managing the business aspect of the photography business takes time and efforts.

So finally with choices made, gear available and clients coming for photo sessions, it’s all about fun, isn’t it? Well wanted to bring another point which each photographer should consider and this is: unique look and vision. Finding this secret ingredient which will make the clients whooa the images one produces. This means finding interesting compositions and creative points of view to frame the compositions. A photograph is just a framed one dimensional representation of  the reality around us. What to include or exclude, what to emphasize or what to diminish it up to each artists and creator. The reality can be shaped and represented in some many ways, which makes the portrait, wedding and engagement photography so interesting.

So what is the point of view? This is the angle from which the camera is positioned and subject appearance can be manipulated. Look from above is diminishing the subject dimensions casing it to appear smaller and shorter, while look fro below elongates the subject and makes ti appear longer. One technique which I have been experimenting with is the Dutch Angle. It creates a sense of tension and gives a dynamic look to each composition. For more on this point of view and to see examples, read this article on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dutch_angle

So in summary, photography is a very creative process and takes time to master. It requires lots of patience and time to get proficient into  and lots of efforts to constantly improve. Many factors contribute to becoming a good portrait or wedding photographer, but the good thing is that if one is committed it can only get better over time. I know I have been working to add more clients and images to my portfolio and client galleries at: http://www.trifonanguelov.com/Clients/

 

Have a different opinion, agree or disagree? Drop me a line or post your comment.

 

Trifon Anguelov Photography

Portrait and Wedding Photographer in Mountain View, CA

website at: http://www.trifonanguelov.com


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How To Photograph Corporate Headshots and Business Portraits


Corporate HeadshotPhotographing business people and business executives for their corporate headshots is always demanding. Not because of any specific digital imaging equipment or specialized lighting but because of the fast paced nature of today’s businesses. Executives are extremely busy people and the time window to arrange and take a business portrait is limited. The maximum time one can get from an executive for their portrait is usually 10 – 15 minutes max. Which means a photographer has to be able to set the shot, prepare the lighting and test the setup before the executive can appear and pose for the shot.

One technique which I am using with a good success is to have my assistant pose for me during the lights setup and adjustment process. This saves lots of time and makes it easy to roll someone into the set and work with him to get the best facial expression and body pose.

Another challenge when taking corporate headshots is the deadlines to deliver the final product is the same day if not within 2 hours. I even had clients who wanted to have their final images on the location where we were shooting within 30 minutes. And there are cases when clients call after working hours to schedule a shoot and have the images the very same day. As they say, business never sleeps and the one who does goes out of business.

And let’s not forget the preparation for the headshot session. Coordinating with the client the areas where the headshots would be taken (outdoor, indoor), logistics to bring the equipment into the area, type of lighting, etc are some of the important details a photographer has to gather. The other is to get the clients prepared with clothing, hair styling and make up.

Related: How To Prepare For Corporate Headshot Session

Conclusion:

A corporate headshot photography requires good preparation to conduct it efficiently. Corporate clients value their time and require all the necessary preparation to be completed beforehand. I hope these tips are helpful for any photographer who is looking to venture into the corporate headshot photography.

It is an exciting but demanding area. You will be working with the leaders who shape our economy and your portraits would be features online and in magazines. Good luck and be prepared.

About the Author:

Trifon Anguelov Photography is a Premiere Bay Area Wedding and Events Photography business based in Mountain View, CA. We offer corporate headshot photography services to clients in the entire San Francisco Bay Area and many Fortune 500 companies have entrusted us with their needs. Companies as: Google. Yahoo, eBay, Intel, Samsung just to mention few. . For updated portfolio, to learn more about us and book a wedding or portrait appointment, visit our Wedding and Portrait Photography Site


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When Photography Tools Are Not Enough


IMG_20140124_185046Erik Johansson’s “Impossible Photography” talk on TED is both inspiring and stimulating.

A photographer needs to have a vision and come up with a creative idea instead of just trying to be in the right place at the right time. And still, one can ask: What is the right place and what is the right time? Isn’t the right composition, light and camera settings for one completely unappropriated and uninteresting for others?

Is photography just a way to record moments in time and capture composition of random objects aligning in a certain way: sky, clouds, light, shadows, trees and mountains? Or capturing human emotions as they unveil in front of photographer’s camera? What about if there are ideas which cannot be realistically captured with a lens and a camera? How can they be implemented and shared so others can visualize them as well?

Erik’s talk provide some of the answers examples of his work. Creating very realistically looking composite images is not easy but when done skillfully it really opens one eyes to new possibilities. After all, when all tools are equal, the imagination and vision is what can set one apart of the pack.

To watch “Impossible Photography” talk visit TED’s site: http://www.ted.com/talks/erik_johansson_impossible_photography.html

Think differently, agree or disagree? Drop me a line or comment below.

About the Author:

Trifon Anguelov Photography is a Premiere Bay Area Wedding and Events Photography business  based in Mountain View, CA 94040 and serving clients in San Francisco Bay Area. You can follow him on social media (links in the top right sideblock of this blog) or check his latest photography projects on his Wedding and Portrait Photography Site