Thursday, February 24, 2011

Event Photography

The term event photography covers a range of subjects – from photographing your best friend’s wedding to recording the perfect holiday celebration. No matter what the event, there are some techniques photographers can use to make sure their shots are beautiful, memorable and special.
Tips for Better Event Photography:
1. Understand Why You Are There:
Before you go out and start shooting events left and right, you must first have an extensive understanding of why you are shooting the event that you are shooting. When I say this, I don't mean understanding the reason why everyone is there... I mean the reason why YOU are there. You are a professional photographer – Your client most likely hired you because you know how exposure works, how to shoot with effective composition, and have enough knowledge and skill to produce great photos. They know you'll be able to capture the experience of their event or have the capability to even create a distinct image for the event for future reference.

But don't be fooled, knowing why you are there will inevitably lead back to the initial thought: In order to capture the experience of the event, you must know and understand why the event is being held as well as why people are actually showing up. Having a deeper understanding of why you are where you are can dramatically decrease your nerves and level of stress, while increasing the rate at which you are able to shoot. This added layer of understanding is necessary in order to give you more ideas that may, in return, result in photos that satisfy and/or impress your client to an extent they did not expect.

2.Not Following a Script
Documenting an event with still pictures isn’t for everyone. Even experienced photographers who routinely take technically perfect, well-composed, sharp and well-exposed pictures don’t always cover events effectively.

Photographers accustomed to shooting within the predictable confines of a studio, or to calling the shots in their photo sessions, can easily lose their cool — not to mention their touch — in an environment they don’t control.

A wedding, even a well-planned one, has a tendency to not always follow the script. This plays to the strengths of newspaper photographers, who are accustomed to working alone, working fast and thinking on their feet.

3.A Newsman’s Tips for Covering Events
1.Plan ahead. Get maps, look over the day’s schedule, consider the time constraints. Plan out the travel time at events spread out over multiple locations — even if those locations are within walking distance of one another. Consider the gear you need and how this will affect your mobility.

2.Get establishing shots. At any large gathering, you should capture some images that give your audience an overall feel for the event and what kind of day it is, especially if you’re outdoors.

3.Find the humanity in the sea of faces. In contrast with the establishing shot, it’s also important to get some tight closeups of people’s faces. Find faces that communicate the tone and emotions of the event.

4.Seek out variety. You should look for variety in terms of shapes for your pictures, as well as the relative size of people in the frame. Also, be sure to get some detail shots with no people in them. The more variety you have, the easier to create interesting layouts later — whether for editorial publications, corporate brochures or wedding albums.

5.Get the big picture. Don’t get so focused on an event’s minutia that you lose sight of the big picture.

The below few images which i have taken from various Events:

Above Image, Kuwait "Youth India" launch: Keynote speech by M.T Nalappad

The above 2 images are "Another life is Possible" Campaign against drugs & alcohols

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Red-Bull Flugtag

Red Bull Flugtag is an event owned and operated by Red Bull in which competitors attempt to fly homemade size (max 10m / 30 ft) and weight (max 150 kg / 330 lbs) limited human-powered flying machines. The flying machines are usually launched off a pier about 30 feet (9.1 m) high into the sea (or suitably sized reservoir of water). Most competitors enter for the entertainment value, and the flying machines rarely fly at all.

Flugtag is the brainchild of Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz. Although the format was originally invented in a small seaside town in the south of England under the name "Birdman Rally" in 1971. The first Red Bull Flugtag competition was held in 1991 in Vienna, Austria. It was such a success that it has been held every year since and in over 35 cities all over the world. Anyone is eligible to compete in the Flugtag event. To participate, each team must submit an application and their contraption must meet the criteria set forth by Red Bull. The criteria varies with location. In the USA each flying machine must have a maximum wingspan of 30 feet (9.14 m) and a maximum weight (including pilot) of 450 lbs. (204 kg). In Australian Flugtags the wingspan is limited to 26.25 feet (8.0 m) and the weight (NOT including pilot) to 396.8 lb (180.0 kg). The craft must be powered by muscle, gravity, and imagination. Because the aircraft will ultimately end up in the water, it must be unsinkable and constructed entirely of environmentally friendly materials. The aircraft may not have any loose parts and advertising space is limited to 1-square-foot (0.093 m2).

Teams that enter the Flugtag competition are judged in three categories; distance, creativity, and showmanship. The record for the longest flight is 207 feet (63.09 m), set July 24, 2010 at the Flugtag in St. Paul, Minnesota by the team "Major Trouble and The Dirty Dixies" in front of more than 90,000 people, which also set a record for the biggest attendance for this event in any US city.

The Below images taken from Kuwait Red-Bull flugtag event.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Baby Photography

Baby pictures are wonderful, heart-warming, and brings an instant smile on a million faces. In fact, after the blessed event of making their grand entrance, parents click hundreds and thousands of baby portraits in the following 3 - 4 months. Since you're going to take baby pictures anyway, wouldn't you rather capture photographs that are spectacular?

Like most parents (and grandparents), you have probably wondered: "Why are the pictures I take of my baby just "alright," when my baby is ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE?

Some Tips on how to take the best baby pictures...
1 - Get down to their level
No, I don’t mean you should revert back to wearing diapers or sucking your thumb. I mean, literally get down to their level. Taking photos of your baby from their eye level will illustrate the baby’s perspective, rather than the adult’s. This technique will also save your child from a kink in the neck from always looking up!

2- We all have a good side
Do you ever find that when you’re summoned to participate in a group photo, you’re suddenly angling your body slightly left to hide that mommy tummy or tilting your head up a fraction to lose the double-chin? Maybe we do this because we can’t trust the photographer to take the photo at our best angle, so we try achieving it ourselves. Babies are going to have to trust us as the photographers to capture their best angle (Can you picture your baby saying, “Oh please, this angle is so not right for me, all you can see is my cradle cap!”?). Play around with different angles as you take your photos and don’t stop once you think you’ve got a good one. If you’re baby is still holding his pose, keep shooting!

3 - Time for your close up
Taking close up photos of your baby’s face will capture more detail and emotion and will have lovely results. The viewer will see your baby on a more personal level and won’t be drawn to outside distractions. Don’t only take close ups of your baby’s face, after all, your baby is full of cuteness. Try taking close ups of their itty-bitty feet, the back of their neck, their tiny hands...

4 - Lighting should come natural
Light can either make or break a photo. The best light is natural light and the best natural light comes just after sunrise or just before sunset. Bright midday light will either produce shadows on your baby’s face or cause him to close his eyes or squint – neither result is what we want. If you’re taking photos throughout the day, try moving your baby under the shade of a tree or umbrella. Alternatively, if you’re taking photos indoors, try moving towards a window to utilize the light from outside. Note that you shouldn’t have the light come from behind your baby or you’ll end up with a silhouette. The best way to learn is by experimenting. Try different lighting techniques to discover what works best for you. When you’re indoors and you don’t have the option of using outside light – try taking advantage of nearby lamps. Explore taking photos with your flash turned off to see what results you can accomplish.

5 - Consider your background
Try to eliminate background clutter. If there are too many distractions, the viewer’s attention will be pulled away from your baby.

6- A baby's ability to "pose" depends upon their mobility and strength, and that translates into age. So, remember...
•0 to 3 months: Like rag dolls. Except for laying down, they must be held for any pose.
•3 to 6 months: Beginning to hold their head up on their own. Still very limited posing on their own (No point to gleefully skip up to little Amy proclaiming: "Dear, just slip into this ballerina outfit and stand over there - we're ready for your first formal baby pictures.")
•6 to 9 months: Can kind of sit up on their own. You can pose them, but don't expect them to stay still. so use faster shutter speed, if your camera has a high speed sync for the the flash, use it....

Here are few samples, which i have taken with my own ideas and lights up technique