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How To: Shoot Underwater Photos, Long Exposures, Street Photos, Concert Photos ... and more

By David Schonauer   Monday September 17, 2018


The September edition of PPD’s How-To series focuses on genres.

Want to shoot better underwater photographs? Or are you more interested in capturing concert images? How about shoot stunning images of lightning?  

We’ve got tutorials on all those subjects, as well as tip for shooting in bad weather and creating drama with speedlights. You’ll learn how to break some rules and shoot portraits with wide-angle lenses, and you'll get the basics on long exposures. You’ll even get some advice on camera settings. Are you shooting video? The your should learn to capture depth by making sure your frame is “dirty.”

1. Three Tips for Taking Better Underwater Photos

At DIY Photography, J.P. Danko has some advice for those who enjoy shooting the world beneath the waves: Tip Number One: Pay attention to the direction of the light, which is just as important under water as it is on dry land. “The difference is that it can be very tricky to actually see light under water, and also much more difficult to reliably position your models,” Danko writes.

2. How To Shoot Amazing Concert Photographs

In this video from COOPH, concert photographer Michael Agel shares his insights while working at the the Montreux Jazz Festival. Once again, light is key: Pay attention to where and how it’s falling on the stage. Look for light that’s interesting, and makes your subject stand out. Also: Learn to be discreet.


3. Capture Epic Photos of Lightning

When lightning strikes, make sure your inspiration is ready to strike too: Here photographer Hank Schyma offers tips on capturing heavenly bolts. Step one: Shooting thunderstorms usually requires longer exposures, ranging from a few seconds to even a few minutes. Because of this, you’ll need to fix your camera on a tripod. Make it a sturdy one.


4.  Important Tips for Shooting in Bad Weather

Speaking of weather: Sooner or later — probably sooner — you’ll find yourself on location somewhere when it turns dirty. Rejoice! Storm clouds means moody photos. In this video, photographer Mads Peter Iversen provides tips on making the most of bad weather.


5. 14 Portrait Tips You’ll Never Want to Forget

Amateurs who want to shoot professional-grade portraits will want to look at this tutorial at TechRadar, which starts with the basics — aperture, shutter speed and lens choice — and then moves on to more advanced techniques, from creative compositions to the use of flash.


6. Breaking the Portrait Rules with Wide-Angle Lenses

You know you’re supposed to use a longer lens — 85mm, 105mm lens or  70-200mm — to shoot portraits. In this video photographers and YouTubers Tony and Chelsea Northrup suggest going wide to give your portraits a new look.


7. Create a Film Noir Look with Speedlights

If you’d like to recreate the look of classic film noir detective movies in your photos, this video from Adorama is for you. Photographer Gavin Hoey shows you how to create a moody noir look with with four speedlights, a snoot, and a fog machine.


8. Camera Settings Explained

Here’s another tutorial that will be of interest to those looking to bring their photography up to pro level. (Frankly, pros will like it too.) Photographer Mike Browne explains camera settings and how they affect a picture. Settings don't make the picture; pictures make the settings, notes Browne.


9. A Beginner’s Guide to Long Exposures

More for those looking to take their photography to the next level: Photographer Antony Zacharias has some step-by-step tips on using long exposures at PetaPixel. Remember to frame your composition: Pay extra attention to the edges of the frame and evaluate whether any people or objects (for example vehicles) might enter the image during the exposure time. You’re also going to need a tripod.


10. Videographers, Make Sure Your Frame is Dirty

Here’s one for motion artists, though the basic ideas are the same for still photography: Increase interest in your composition by adding elements in the foreground. With video, this can add a lot of motion to the scene via a parallax type effect, while for photography, it can add depth, notes Fstoppers.

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