Photography Blog: Knowledge & Inspiration For Photographers

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Member Spotlight: Aidan Hughes

Aidan has always enjoyed the creative arts, but it was only a couple of years ago that he began to get serious about photography. Thanks to his commitment to acquiring new skills, he’s already taking commissions from commercial clients impressed by his growing portfolio.

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Member Spotlight: Faten Smith

For years, Faten Smith assumed that studio-flash photography was strictly for professionals only. But since joining Karl Taylor Education, Faten’s confidence and expertise has blossomed. “I love the excitement of learning new techniques,” she says.

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Member Spotlight: Andrew Ford

Andrew has loved photography for 50 years. But lately he’s taken his hobby to new heights, winning the Guild of Photographers 2021 Photographer of the Year Award. “If you stop learning, you lose interest,” he says.

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‘Yellow’ Competition Winners

From products to portraits and landscapes to reportage, we recieved a huge variety of entries for our ‘Yellow’ themed competition! Here is a look at the winning images…

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How to Set Up Your Home Photography Studio

Setting up your own photography studio is an exciting step, but there’s often a lot of questions and considerations. How big does the space have to be? What colours should the walls be? What equipment do you need and where do you keep said equipment? You’ll find the answers to all of the most common questions here, along with some of the best advice and tips from our members to help you successfully set up your first home studio.

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Hasselblad Interview 2021

In a recent live webinar I chatted to Hasselblad about my life, my work as a commercial photographer and educator, and also how my knowledge and that of other top professionals is presented to members of our education platform.

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20 Best Female Poses for Portrait Photography

Posing is something that can look incredibly simple, but it isn’t always as easy as it looks, so having some poses in mind before you start shooting can really help ensure a smooth shoot. Here are 20 ideas for female poses to give you some inspiration for your next portrait photoshoot.

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6 Cosmetic Product Photography Ideas

I’ve put together a list of six ideas that you can try next time you’re shooting product photographs. The best part? Most of these ideas don’t require much space and only need some basic equipment. They’re also a great way to practise and refine some important product photography skills while getting creative.

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Behind the Scenes: Three Days of Fashion Shoots

We’ve been busy creating a series of exciting new beauty and fashion images. It was a whirlwind week, as we managed to shoot a total of 14 different setups, including both beauty and fashion images. Here’s a behind the scenes look at what went on…

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Enlarging Images Using Photoshop Super Resolution

Photoshop recently added their Super Resolution feature to Adobe Camera Raw, which allows you to enlarge images by a factor of four. Having tried to enlarge images myself previously, I decided to test this new feature to see the results first-hand.

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Speedlights vs Studio Flash for Small Product Photography

Recently I did a live show where I photographed a pair of earphones. The main purpose of the show was to demonstrate how to photograph earphones based on our fourth photography brief assignment, but there was another lesson I wanted members to take from the shoot: that it’s not about the brand or type of lights you use, but more about your knowledge and understanding of light.

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The Best Lens for Every Type of Photography

There’s an almost endless list of camera lenses to choose from when it comes to DSLR and mirrorless cameras, so trying to determine what lens is the best for your photography can get a little overwhelming. To help you make an informed decision, I’ve put together a list of recommended lenses for different types of photography to help you decide what’s best for you.

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Product lighting techniques using minimal equipment

Not having enough lights can make product photography challenging, to say the least, but the good news is that there are a few ways you can overcome this problem. I recently shot an antique-style image of a saddle where I showed two other ways you can light creatively even if you only have a couple of lights.

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The best budget modifier for portraiture

I’ve tested, rented and owned a lot of different modifiers over the course of my career, but what would be my choice of modifier for beauty, fashion and portrait work if I only had £50 or £100 to spend? Recently I tested a large number of modifiers for a new tool we’re creating, including an independent brand modifier that cost less than £50 ($70). Surprisingly, this modifier gave great results that were comparable to the Octabox 150 and it’s even easier to transport!

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Flash duration explained

When it comes to using studio flash, one of the things that often causes confusion is flash duration. Flash duration refers to the length of time of the burst of light that comes out of a studio flash. Quite simply, it is the duration for which a studio flash or speedlite emits light for a single burst. This can vary across brands and also types of studio lights, but is always shown as one of two measurements: t0.5 or t0.1.

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Making a photography portfolio that stands out

As it’s becoming easier and easier to be a ‘photographer’, it’s getting harder and harder to make your work stand out. To help you overcome this challenge, I’ve answered some of the most common questions relating to photography portfolios and shared some useful tips to help you decide what to include and what not to include so that you can create an online portfolio that you can be proud of.

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Top 10 automotive photography tips

From cars to motorcycles, lighting considerations, angles, polarisation, space requirements, assistants and more, I’m going to share my top 10 tips for automotive photography to help you get the best results.

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Landscape photography tips to help you avoid common mistakes

Whether you’re a keen enthusiast or aspiring pro, you’ve probably shot a few landscape images in your time. Chances are you’ve also made one or two simple mistakes that you’ve regretted later. These 8 tips will help you avoid these common difficulties and improve your landscape photography.

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51 of My Favourite Photographers That Will Inspire You

As photographers, we get inspiration for our photography from all around us. Music, art, experiences… even work by other photographers. There are many great photographers out there and I’m sure I’ve missed several, but here are some of my favourite photographers whose work might inspire you too.

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Professional Studio Lighting Modifiers

Many people are familiar with standard modifiers such as softboxes or grids, but I often get a lot of questions about the specialist studio lighting equipment I use in my studio and what lights I use to create certain emotions and effects.

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How to Know if Your Photos Are Any Good

How can you tell if your pictures are any good? The difficulty in finding the answer to this is that you’re often reliant on other people’s feedback, so I found the best way is to work it out for yourself using three very specific criteria and benchmark comparisons.

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Master Long-Exposure Photography

If you have an understanding of photographic fundamentals such as shutter speed, aperture and how to expose an image, you’ve already got most of what you need to start shooting long exposures. This technique can also be used for much more than just landscape or night photography though, so if you’d like to learn how to master long exposure and take more creative images, keep reading.

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Parabolic Reflector Comparison and Budget Modifier Hack

Parabolic reflectors are one of my favourite modifiers, but due to the price of them many photographers often try to find more economic solutions compared to some of the top brands. But how do the more budget options actually perform compared to the top brands? I did a direct comparison between two different brands of parabolic modifiers and also tried a hack to try and make a cheap parabolic softbox modifier work more effectively.

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Studio Lighting Setups Using 2 Lights

There’s a lot you can do with just two studio lights — trust me, I’ve shot everything from bottle product photography to fashion photography using just two lights. I’ve put together two different examples of two-light setups for portrait photography, product photography, and fashion photography and I’m also going to explain how you could use similar setups to these for your own photography.

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The Do’s and Don’ts of Bottle Photography

If you’re looking to practice your product photography, bottles are something you can easily get your hands on if you want to try something new or refine your skills. These reflective subjects can be a challenge to photograph, with their glass surface and reflections, but there are a few key do’s and don’ts that will help you understand how to get professional results

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Lens Filters Explained

Along with a variety of lenses, spare batteries and lens cleaning cloths, most photographers will also have a selection of filters in their camera bag. But what do lens filters do? What lens filters are essential? And what is the difference between circular and linear polarisers? I answer all of these questions and also address when and why you might need filters and how they can help you get more creative with your photography.

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How to Use Flash Triggers to Photograph Moving Objects

Capturing movement photography can be a time consuming and frustrating process, and freezing that perfect moment often requires split second timing. So how do we capture those decisive moments accurately and precisely? I’m going to share my top tips for photographing motion and explore what wireless flash triggers we can use to get the perfect timing for our shots.

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Photography Brief #4 – Earphones Product Shoot

For our fourth ‘Working to a brief’ assignment, members have been tasked with creating a product shot of a pair of earphones*. All the details you need to complete the brief can be found here, as well as in the accompanying live show.

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Are LED Photography Lights Better Than Traditional Studio Flash Lights?

LED lighting has come a long way in recent years and grown in popularity, so why do most professional photographers, including myself, still prefer studio flash (strobe) lighting? To help you understand the two kinds of lighting systems and, more importantly, which is better I’m going to explain the differences between them, the pros and cons of each, and where each is best applied.