Photography Blog: Knowledge & Inspiration For Photographers

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April 2020 ‘Black & White’ Competition Winners

Here are the winners of our ‘Black & White’ photography competition. ‘Black and white’ was a versatile theme that we felt would give our members plenty of opportunity to express their own style and creativity, and we weren’t disappointed!

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A professional guide to photographing environmental portraits

Environmental portraits are a great way for photographers to make money as they’re often in high demand by many businesses. While that may sound appealing, environmental portraits are not without their challenges. I’ve also put together this guide to outline some of the most common challenges you may face and explain how you can plan for a successful shoot next time you’re commissioned to shoot these artistic portraits.

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10 Photography ideas you can do with one light

You don’t always need a lot of equipment to get creative when it comes to photography. Even if you’re stuck at home (as many of us are at the moment), there are plenty of things you can do to test your skills and develop your creativity using just one light. I’ve put together a list of 10 of our most popular photography classes that you can try yourself at home.

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Useful subscriptions to help photographers through lockdown

Low cost monthly subscriptions offer the perfect opportunity to learn new skills, update or create a website or organise your work, without putting too much strain on your finances. Here’s a list of useful software for photographers you may find useful during this time, including photo editing software, website hosts, marketing tools, general admin and others.

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Why a lack of photography equipment shouldn’t be an excuse

I hear a lot of negativity from photographers claiming not to have enough equipment to get good results. This is particularly relevant to product photography, but it is not necessarily true. With the right knowledge, you can get top-end, professional-quality results using just one light. Yes, you might be able to get even better results with two, three, or even four lights, but what you have to understand, and what I repeatedly find myself having to explain, is that it’s not about what equipment you have, but rather how you use that equipment.

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What’s new at Karl Taylor Education

With much of the world currently under lockdown, we understand that many of our members may be looking to practice their photography at home and continue their education. To help with this, we’ve introduced some exciting new content.

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10 Creative photoshoots to do at home

If you’re stuck indoors, there are plenty of ways you can practice photography at home and get creative with just your camera. From natural light portrait photography to simple food photography at home or one light product shoots, here’s a list of 10 creative photoshoot ideas you can try at home.

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Common portrait photography mistakes to avoid

When it comes to photography, knowing what you should be doing is great, but knowing what to avoid can be incredibly useful too. To help you quickly improve your photography, I’ve summarised the key points to keep in mind when shooting portraits and explained how to avoid the most common problems.

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A detailed guide to creative still life photography

Abstract images of fruit; colourful collections of books; styled sets of stationery… If you’re looking to get creative with your photography and make the ordinary seem extraordinary, then still life photography is probably for you. One of the best things about still life photography is that you can get creative and test your photography skills using almost anything you have laying around the studio or your house. You also don’t need very much equipment. And if that’s not enough to persuade you, still life images can also be a great way to make money.

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Everything you need to know about umbrella lighting

In any photography studio — amateur and professional alike — you’ll probably find at least one or two umbrellas. These lightweight and affordable modifiers can be used to achieve a number of different results, which is part of the reason they’re so widely used.

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December 2019 ‘Architecture’ Competition Winners

Here are the winners of our ‘Architecture’ photography competition. We brought the year to a close on a high note with our final competition for 2019. We had a great selection of submissions so it wasn’t an easy decision picking out the very best; in fact we decided to award a joint third place prize because we simply couldn’t separate the winners (and we felt like being generous).

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7 Tactics you can use to become a professional photographer

With over 20 years experience as a professional photographer myself, it’s safe to say I know a thing or two about what it takes to make it as a pro. To help you make a success of your own journey, I’ve broken down the seven key things you need to do to help increase your chances of success.

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E-commerce photography in 5 simple steps

E-commerce is a booming industry, and with it, e-commerce photography. Done correctly, e-commerce photography can be a quick and easy way to make money, but there’s a few tricks to getting it right. Whether you’re shooting fashion or products, I’ve outlined a few important guidelines that will help you produce the best possible results simply and easily.

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How to photograph flying food images

Levitating burgers, suspended salads and exploding tea — the craze of flying food images is taking over the food photography market. But how are these exciting images created? As with most studio shoots, these images can be divided into four distinct stages: pre-visualisation, preparation, lighting and shooting. Each of these stages is crucial if you’re to get the best result possible.

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Motorbike Photo Shoot

LIVE PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP
Motorbike Photo Shoot
Recorded live on 19th December 2019
Now available on replay
In this live show Karl will undertake the exciting task of photographing a motorbike live in the studio.

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Pricing calculator

Determining what to charge for your photography can, at first, seem quite confusing. But once you understand how to work it all out, you’ll come to see it’s actually quite logical. If like me, you’d like to spend more time shooting and less time doing the maths, here’s a useful tool to help you keep track of the hours that need to be billed each week. Knowing this will really help you stay on track and adapt as your business grows.

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Top tips for creating stunning black and white photos

If you’ve ever tried to convert an image to black and white, chances are you’ve ended up with a flat, dull photo with none of the original contrast. This can be incredibly frustrating, especially for photographers who are new to Photoshop. To help you create stunning black and white images, I explain the key things to understand when shooting for black and white and also share my preferred method of converting images to black and white

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September 2019 ‘Technology’ Competition Winners

Here are the winners of our ‘Technology’ photography competition. The winner this month received Karl’s Long Exposure Filter Kit valued at over $500. Second and third place received a Lee Filters Big Stopper and Karl Taylor Color Effects & Technical Lighting Packs respectively. Congratulations to our winners and well done to all our members on their great entries.

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A closer look at some of Jonathan Knowles’s most iconic work

When leading advertising and still life photographer Jonathan Knowles shot the O2 bubbles, he never imaged the series of 10 images would become quite as iconic as they have. Ahead of his live talk show, we asked Jonathan to tell us a little bit more about this famous series and some of his other work.

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How to resize images

After spending hours planning and styling your shot, getting the lighting just right and adding the final touches in post production, the next step is to upload your images to your online portfolio or social media. Part of this process is resizing your images for web. Here I answer the most common questions when it comes to resizing images and break down the simple steps for resizing images in Photoshop (as well other popular photo editing softwares).

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4 ways to Burn & Dodge in Photoshop

Arguably some of the most valuable tools in Photoshop, burning and dodging refers to darkening or lightening areas of an image. This technique can be used to enhance your imagery by creating three dimensionality and guide the viewer’s eye. Here I look at the different ways to burn and dodge in Photoshop and when to use which. You can also watch how to apply the different methods in our Burning & Dodging Photoshop class.

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Photographic backdrops and how to make your own

Photography backgrounds are a key part of any image — they can make or break your photo. Choosing the best backdrop material is crucial, but knowing which one to use can be tricky. To help you make the most of your image, I’ve outlined some key points to think about when selecting a background and included two DIY photography backgrounds that you can easily make.

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Top 10 commonly asked photography questions

Whether you’re a new photographer just starting out or have a few years of experience to your name, chances are you’ll have found yourself asking similar questions. I answer the 10 most commonly asked photography questions here.

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Photography pricing – How much to charge for your photography

As someone who’s done it for over 20 years, trust me when I say running a successful photography business requires more than just talent. It requires hard work, dedication and business savvy. Knowing how much to charge for photography is just one of the hurdles you’ll have to overcome if you want to make it, but it can be challenging (especially for photographers just starting out) so I’ve outlined some important points to help guide you.

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June 2019 ‘Beautiful Light’ Competition Winners

Here are the winners of our ‘Beautiful Light’ photography competition. With a Broncolor Siros Lighting Kit up for grabs, the competition was fierce and this fantastic prize will allow our winner to create their own beautiful light – whenever and wherever they want.

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Splash photography — How to photograph liquid splashes

Splash photography is exciting, fast-paced, messy and creative — what’s not to love? If you’ve never tried splash photography before or if you’re looking for a few useful tips or new ideas, then this is the place to be. I explain the equipment, lighting, important photographic concepts and also share a few creative ideas for you to try.

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How to photograph the moon: 4 simple tips for you to try

The moon is a beautiful and fascinating subject to photograph, but determining the right exposure and the best composition can be a challenge. To help you get even better photos, I’ve outlined four simple tips in this blog post. I explain what to consider when it comes to when and where to photograph the moon, what equipment you’ll need, how to compose your shots and share some go-to settings to help get your started.

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Portrait photography lighting ideas — Three creative ways to use three lights

From soft, angelic lighting to darker, more contoured lighting, there’s no end to how creative you can be using three lights for portrait photography. If you’re looking for some creative three light portrait ideas, I’ve put together three different setups you can add to your arsenal. These setups use only basic modifiers and show effective techniques that can help add three dimensionality to an image.

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Portrait lighting setups — Two light setup ideas

When it comes to portrait photography, whether you’re using one light or four, you can get some fantastic results just with a little creativity and the right knowledge. Here you’ll see how to use just two lights with a variety of modifiers to get some amazing portraits.

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Portrait photography — Three creative one light portrait lighting setups

Looking to create a beautiful soft light portrait image? Or perhaps you want something more dramatic and moody? Even if you’ve only got one light, with a little creativity you can get a variety of different results.If you’re looking for some inspiration, I’ve put together three easy studio setups that use only one light with basic modifiers.

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Photography equipment — What professional photographer Ben Thomas has in his bag

Hasselblad master Ben Thomas joined us for a live talk show, where he also shared his go-to equipment and touched on the post production processes he uses to achieve some of his signature images. Many of our members were particularly interested in what equipment Ben uses and his post production process, so I’ve put together a quick summary of his equipment, travel tips and software choices.

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Camera lens buying guide: How to choose the right lens

Lenses are an essential piece of photographic equipment, but with so many options available it can be difficult to know what it all means and how to choose the right one. Here I explain different types of lenses, how to choose the best one for you and why it’s worth considering buying second hand.

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Which DSLR camera to buy: A guide to buying the right camera for you

There’s an endless range of DSLR cameras on the market at the moment so if you’re trying to decide on which is the best for you, this article will help you cut through some of the chaos and confusion to reach a decision you won’t regret. So before you head to your nearest camera store, wallet in hand, there’s a number of very important factors to consider.

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Composite photography – Top tips for Photoshop compositing

Composite photos, which are defined as two or more images blended together to create a final image, makes the process of compositing sound quite simplistic, but the truth is that it’s far from easy. The following tips will make creating your own composite image much more straightforward.

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Become a fashion photographer: Top tips & creative ideas

Fashion photos are a popular genre of photography, but for those starting out it can seem daunting — where do you source outfits, how do you pose your model, how do you get the best lighting? To help you get started I’ve put together this guide to answer some of the most commonly asked fashion photography questions, including how do you become a fashion photographer and what equipment is best for fashion photos. I’ve also provided top tips, some fashion photography lighting setup examples as well as some set ideas.

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March 2019 ‘Motion’ Competition Winners

‘Motion’ was the theme for our March 2019 competition and we were excited to once again give away some great prizes to our members. First prize up for grabs was a Manfrotto 057 Carbon Fiber Tripod while second and third place winners received a Lee Filters The Super Stopper and Lee Filters Filter Foundation Kit respectively.

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Top product photography tips

When people ask me about product photography, the most common questions I get asked are things like “What is the best camera for product photography?” Or “Which is the best lens for product photography?”. The reality is that the most important thing you can have isn’t the top camera or most expensive lens — it’s a good understanding of light.

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3D modeling for photographers

3D modeling and CGI are incredibly relevant to photography nowadays and many photographers are questioning whether it’s worth their time to learn this new skill. I’ve put together a basic guide to getting started with CGI and how it can be used hand in hand with photography.

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Light meters and why I don’t use them

My stance on light meters is one that can often spark fierce debate, and you’ll quickly notice that I never use a light meter when shooting. I’m not saying you can’t use them, I’m only here to explain why for me they are a waste of money and can negatively affect creativity.

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December 2018 ‘Red’ Photography Competition Winners

With the big prize of a Canon 5D Mark IV up for grabs, the competition was fierce for our December competition. As the theme was ‘Red’, it was quite open to interpretation, which meant there really was a wide variety of images to choose from. It was great to see the creativity of our members really coming out.

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Ocean pollution awareness campaign

As a keen diver, based on the island of Guernsey, ocean pollution is a subject I feel very strongly about. So when I was approached by a local charity to create eye catching photographs for an awareness campaign, I was eager to help. The Karl Taylor Photography team dedicated a weeks’ worth of time to the project, conceptualising and creating images that were made using thousands of pieces of litter collected from just 2km of the coastline over the past month.

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How to focus stack in Photoshop

I’ve had a lot of members asking me what focus stacking is, when to use it and how to focus stack images in Photoshop. Here you’ll find the answers to all those questions and learn how, using Photoshop, you can get the whole of your image sharp in just a few simple steps.

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October 2018 ‘Macro’ Photography Competition Winners

View the October 2018 ‘Macro’ Photography Competition winners on Karl Taylor Education. For our October competition we were transported into the close up world of Macro photography. Prizes included a Lee Filters Foundation Kit, a Lee Filters Big Stopper and a Lee Filters Long Exposure Kit.

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Viktor Fejes: Life as a professional retouch artist

Viktor Fejes took the first steps towards a career as a retoucher at the age of eight years old, but it wasn’t until years later that he realized that’s where life would take him. Read more about his career as a professional retoucher ahead oh his live shows on Karl Taylor Education here.

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Portrait Photography: How to take better business portraits

As a commercial photographer business portraits are still a regular feature in my calendar. Here I’ve outlined the key elements to ensure you’re able to successfully tackle a business shoot, including lighting setups, posing your subject and recommended camera settings and lenses.