Applying Digital Make Up Tutorial

Trying out different make up looks for the same shot isn’t always possible due to time commitments but PortraitPro’s digital make up can create realistic looking make up within a matter of seconds.

before and after newCheck out this tutorial below to see what PortraitPro can do for your images.

Untitled-3 Open your image up in PortraitPro, the software will identify the face, but you may need to zoom in and adjust the lips as we will be applying lipstick.Untitled-4 Now that you have marked up your photo, click the Reset to Original Image under Presets on the right hand side.Untitled-5Click on the Make Up Controls tab on the right hand side.

Turn up the Lipstick slider to 100.Untitled-7 Click on the block color to get the full choice of lipstick colors to chose from.

Click OK once you have picked your color and move the Shine and Coverage sliders to where the lipstick looks best.Untitled-8Work your way down the rest of the make up settings using the sliders and choosing your preferred shade.Untitled-9You can pick the level of application that you want and how it is applied. Above we have  applied Smokey eye shaped eye-shadow in a shimmer effect.Untitled-10Once you are done with all the make up, go down to the Hair Controls tab.Untitled-13Click on the View and Edit Hair button and adjust the hair selection if needed. All the hair wants to be covered.

Click OK once you have finished.Untitled-12You can adjust the shade or color of the hair and adjust the sliders until you have happy with the result.

Then click on the Go To Hair Tidying Mode.Untitled-14Adjust the sliders, they don’t have to be up very far to see the results.before and after newYou have now created a completely new look, download your free trial now!


 

Common Mistakes to make with Portraits

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A good Portrait can say a thousand words, but your portrait can easily be ruined by overlooking one of the following:

  • Don’t shot with a wide angle lens.
  • Make sure you are focusing on the whole face, including the eyes.
  • Pay attention to what your background is, you don’t want it to be distracting from the Subject.
  • Shot at the Subject’s eye level.
  • Lighting – try not to shot in direct harsh sunlight.
  • Depth of Field – don’t go too shallow or deep.
  • Don’t zoom in – Step closer to the Subject.
  • Posing – Make sure to direct the Subject as most people find posing unnatural.
  • Taking too many photos, quality over quantity.
  • Don’t overtweak the photo in editing after you have decided it’s done trust yourself.
  • Use PortraitPro for your editing to get the most flattering image of your subject within minutes.

Download your free trial now!

Getting that Perfect Sky

The sky is a massive part to any great landscape, a grey sky will lower the effect of the whole landscape.

A few tips to remember when shooting landscapes:

  • White Balance – correct for the type of weather
  • Shot in RAW if possible
  • Timing – right time of day and good weather
  • Equipment – Camera gear, Tripod and spare batteries

Sadly we don’t always time for the right weather to get that great sky. Well LandscapePro can help with that. Our sky replacement couldn’t be easier, check out the tutorial below.

Untitled-1Open your image up in LandscapePro.Untitled-2 Label your photo with the Labels on the left and click Continue.Untitled-3The software with mask the area, though you might need to change this a little with the Pull and Smart Brush tool on the left.

Once you are happy with the masking click Continue.Untitled-4Click on the Sky tab, scroll through the sky’s and click on ones you like.Untitled-5The sky is completely replaced with the new sky, this sky is called Noon 4.Untitled-6Now click on the Whole Picture tab, chose the Sharp preset and lower down the slider on it to about 1/3 on.Untitled-7The last step now is to improve the water slightly, play around with all the presets adjusting their sliders to find out what is best for your photo, this is Improver about half way.before and afterClick on image above to see the massive improvement a good sky can have on a photo.

Download your free trial now!

 

Perfecting Your Storm Photography

Weather photography can look breath taking and astonishing, this is through post processing is where you really bring the picture to life.

Here are a few things to bare in mind when shooting a storm:

  • Pack light
  • Stay safe
  • Shoot in RAW
  • Use a tripod
  • Use a filter, to protect the lens UV is a good one to use for this

Check out the tutorial below to see the amazing results that LandscapePro can have on your weather photographs.

before and afterClick to see the dramatic difference.Untitled-1Open your image up in LandscapePro and mark up your image then click on Continue, the software will identifying everything but you will need to just refine the areas using the pull and soften tools to get the best results.Untitled-2Under the Global Presets Tab chose the the Focus Preset lowering the slider down quite low.Untitled-3Now under the Whole Picture Tab click the Contrast Preset, once again lowering down the slider to low.Untitled-4  For the Sky Tab, click over to the Sliders Tab as we don’t want to replace the sky.

Turn off the separate clouds from the atmosphere (look closely at your clouds to see if it looks better on or off).

Turn up the Dehaze slider just slightly and for the Contrast turn it up about half way (though keep an eye on your clouds).Untitled-5Under the Grass Tab select the Lush Preset and turn it down to about 1/3 on.Untitled-6For Lighting, play around and see what works best for your picture you can move the Black Sun around the screen.

Low Preset works best for this image.

Now all that is left to do is save your image.shutterstock_657822304lpsmall

Download the free trail of LandscapePro 2 now to perfect your Storm photographs!

 

Capturing Animals in Motion

Animals in motion always look amazing in magazines with the colors popping out of the page but if your photos don’t live up to this, don’t worry just follow these tips and tutorial to get your images looking magazine ready.

  • Keep your shutter speed really higher, to make sure your images don’t come out blurry.
  • Know your camera, this may sound simple but makes all the difference.
  • Don’t try to have the perfect framed photo, this can be done in post processing, it is more important to get the image. Don’t zoom in too close, you might cut out part of your image, but you need to zoom in so your animal appears sharp enough.
  • Use a Tripod or rest your camera on a flat surface to prevent any camera shake.
  • Use continuous focus mode on your camera, so your image stays in focus.
  • Shoot in Shutter propriety mode.
  • Shoot in continuous mode.

Check out the tutorial below to  get the colors to really stand out in you photographs.

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Open your image up in LandscapePro.Untitled-2

Label your image then click Continue.

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The software does a reasonably good job of identifying what is what. But you will just need to correct and refine it using the Pull tool, in order to get the best results.

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Once you have finished, click on the Soften button on the left and go over the edges of the fur, this softens the edges where the animal meets the background that helps when applying presets to the image.Untitled-6

Click Continue, next comes up marking where the horizon is, if like mine you don’t have one, just click Continue again.Untitled-7

Click on Global Presets tab, select the preset called Improver, lower the slider until you think it looks it’s best. Untitled-9

Next click on the Animal Tab and scroll down to the Preset called Improver, lower the slider down to near the bottom.Untitled-10

Click the Ground Tab and chose the Preset Warm and adjust the slider accordingly.Untitled-12

The last step is to go to Depth and select the Preset Subtle and lower the slider quite far down.before and afterClick on the image to see bigger.

This was super easy to really big out the colors in your image and give it that great look.

Download your free trial now!

 

How to Stay Productive Working From Home as a Photographer

shutterstock_424196902 smallStaying proactive whilst working from home can be difficult, also trying to separate working and relaxing time is hard to separate. Check out these tips below to help.

  • Get dressed in the morning and planning out your days, setting times to do set tasks is super helpful at keeping you proactive.
  • Having a home office is a great idea if you have the room, ideally a separate room is best, so you can go into a separate space just to focus on your work. Closing the door so you don’t get distracted and limiting your coffee breaks.
  • You can pick the times of day you want to work, so if you are a night worker, then work at night rather than during the day, though have your phone on during the day so your clients can contact you.
  • Declutter your work space, try to keep the top of your desk and empty as possible so there won’t be any distractions.
  • Set yourself a list of goals to work towards – make some really achievable and some that you will need to work towards.
  • Don’t work so hard that you are exhausted, have breaks throughout your day taking time to relax, try to only work during the hours you set yourself.
  • Read books on subjects that inspire you during your breaks and when you aren’t working to help keep you inspired and refreshed.
  • Table lamps are better to help you just concentrate on one thing, rather than the room light.
  • Don’t try to rush your work, take your time to make sure that you are always happy with the work, working on more than one project at once is a good idea, to keep your mind refreshed.
  • Most importantly remember to not stress out, take time for yourself and be passionate about the type of photography that you do.

Don’t forget to check out our software PortraitPro, to help you save time post processing your images. Click here to download a trial today!

 

Interview with a Pro – Blake Verdoorn

Canadian Lake Small Canadian Lake – Blake Verdoorn

If you saw our recent LandscapePro 2 tutorial, you’ll already be aware of the work of up-and-coming landscape photographer, Blake Verdoorn.

At only 23 years old, his work has already been published by National Geographic Travel, Photographer’s Forum, and many more. We were thrilled to get an interview with Blake to learn more about his experiences and ambitions…

How old were you when you got into photography?

I picked up my first camera about 3 years ago when I traveled to Alaska with my Grandfather. My parents wanted me to bring a camera along so I could document the trip. At the time, I thought nothing of it. Nor did I have any experience or knowledge of photography. I remember coming home and really being taken back by the images I had captured. Again, I knew nothing about composition, DoF, etc., but something about those images resonated with me. They still do. Fast-forward a year, I decided to buy my first camera. I was 21. I’m 23 now and it has been one heck a ride since that decision.

What inspired you to start?

I have always had a deep passion for the outdoors. Living in Dallas, Texas, it’s always incredibly special to get the opportunity to venture out and experience this beautiful world. After come back from Alaska, looking through the images from the trip, something clicked. I remember sifting through landscape images from professional photographers after that trip thinking, “I want to be able to do that. I want to bring home stunning photographs like this”. So I began dedicating all of my time to learning. At the time, no one close to me was really understanding why or what I was doing. I don’t come from a necessarily artistic family, so to branch off and do something unique and different had friends and family questioning. They still are. I don’t think they’ll ever stop. I question myself too. It’s good. I reminds me that what I’m doing matters.

Big Bend SmallBig Bend River, Texas – Blake Verdoorn

You’ve traveled to some really amazing places and met people from different cultures, what has been your most inspiring experience so far?

I’ve got two really great experiences that I’ll never forget. In 2013, I had the opportunity to backpack Europe (I don’t have any photos from that trip because my camera was stolen). During that trip we met an Australian named Sam. She was staying at the same hostel in San Sebastian, Spain. Whenever we leave for these big trips, about to meet people from all over the world, you develop this idea that these people are somehow vastly different from you because they grew up on the other side of the world. I remember going to dinner with her and the group of friends I was with and talking, getting to know each other. It was there that I realized she was no different than us. We had the same stories of love, hurt, triumph, sadness, loneliness, fears etc. We grew up listening to the same music, playing the same sports and going through similar motions as kids and students. So here five guys were, from Dallas, Texas, laughing and sharing about the complexities of life with a girl from Sydney, Australia, in San Sebastian, Spain. It was an incredibly beautiful and humanizing experience.

Secondly, was about a year ago when I was photographing in New Zealand. My cousin and I had taken a gondola to the top of a mountain in Queenstown to photograph the sunset. Up top was another group of photographers doing the same thing. Max and Sam (different Sam) were both from Germany, touring the South Island on a photo expedition. Similar to Spain, we began talking and getting to know each other. This time, it was much more about the photography community. We were talking gear, styles, techniques, software; we talked about the frustrations and inspirations of photography, but mostly about the joy it brings us in our lives. Again, it made the world feel very small. The same idea in Spain, that people, with seemingly vast differences, can come together so quickly over shared passions and a love for beautiful images. The world of photography is massive, but instances like this make you feel like the community is much tighter knit than we think it is.

In meeting with people from all around the world and hearing their stories about upbringings,  their dreams, fears, and emotions, I’ve found that we are all much more similar than we thought we are—sometimes scarily similar. If you just take the time to get to know someone, you’ll find that everyone is the same.

Which image are you most proud of? Which means the most to you?

I’m most proud of a shot that I took when hiking through Glacier National Park in Montana. This particular shot has won a couple awards and has been published in a couple of photography books. We had decided to do a hike called Scenic Point. It was a high-elevation hike up the mountains that overlooks Two Medicine Lake. We knew we didn’t have a lot of time so we hurried to the peak. The sun began to set on our way down and we were met with a breathtaking orange and red sky that was reflecting off the lake way below us. It was an absolutely stunning view.

Glacier NP SmallTwo Medicine Lake – Blake Verdoorn

An image that I took of my friends outside of Monument Valley means the most to me, simply because it captures my friends so well. We wanted to remake the scene from Forrest Gump when he is running and finally decides to turn around. That scene was filmed at mile-marker 13 driving towards Monument Valley from Utah. So we got out of our cars, pitched our most bearded, Tom-Hanks-esque, friend to play Forrest and the rest of the friends were his herd of followers. It’s significance is a deeply personal one. It’s a great reminder of those guys, how much they mean to me, and the fun we have had together travelling the world.

What would you say is the hardest part of landscape photography?
What is the greatest reward?

Landscape photography, like any genre of photography really, is its own monster. There are so many things that are specific to landscape photography that don’t really have to do with any other genre. Lens selection, composition, light type and availability, etc. Sometimes it gets a bad reputation because anyone can travel to Alaska or Yosemite and take a pretty picture. There is no denying that one. However, you can always tell the difference between someone who takes a picture of Yosemite Valley and someone who photographs Yosemite Valley. The hardest part specifically is really just the getting there. More often than not, you have to totally beat yourself up to get a shot. Whether that is a sunrise you don’t want to wake up for, or a hike that is a little too difficult (especially with 10 extra pounds of photo equipment). What really great landscape photography takes is a whole bunch of extra time. A lot of these professional landscape photographers will wait for hours for the right light and the right conditions. Most of the time, I don’t have that kind of time. So it requires much more inventive ways to get great shots. The second hardest part is simply the money. Landscape photography (with exception) has little money to be made. Unfortunately, that is just the truth. If you want to make a living off of landscape (which I don’t), good luck and let me know how you did it because I’m still trying to find out.

The greatest reward is when you just beat yourself up to get to where you want to be, and you look at that tiny little screen on the back of your camera and you think, “yes”. There is always this feeling of certainty once you get the shot. With all the unknowns that lead up to getting the shot, it’s great to be able to look at your result and think, “wow, this is gorgeous”. I always make sure to get my shot in camera, then take a mental shot for the memory. I always hate when I return home and realize I was so busy shooting I forgot to look at my subject with my actual eyes…

It isn’t always a “yes, this is the shot” type moment though. I have plenty of shots where I went home thinking I didn’t have anything only to find a image that is breathtaking. Those are equally as rewarding. They are like little surprises just waiting to be unveiled.

You photograph landscapes but also portraits and wedding photography, what different approaches do you have to take to these different genres?

The biggest difference is lens selection. I would never shoot a landscape with a 35 or 50 mm f/1.4 lens. I suppose you could. And you would probably get great results. But it’s just not practical. My only overlap in lens selection is the 70-200. I love shooting landscapes at 200mm. When you compose it right, you get this dramatic compression that makes mountains tower over you foreground. To me, that is so much more majestic than shrimpy little mountains in the background of a wide-angle shot.

Mountain Tops - RMNP smallRocky Mountain National Park – Blake Verdoorn

The other difference is paying attention to light. The way I look at light is significantly different in weddings and portrait than in landscapes. When I’m photographing people my only thought is, “find soft light”. When shooting landscape, there isn’t much you can do to control your subject and the light that shines upon it. Obviously changing the time of day changes the light on a mountain. But if I’m hiking and shooting at the same time and limited by my time in a park, my only control is how I compose. So I try and find interesting foregrounds, natural frames, leading lines, etc. to dominate the image rather than beautiful light. If I have the chance to photography a landscape in beautiful light, then great! The perfect storm! But like I said, that isn’t always the case though. My three main landscape lenses are: 24-120 f/4, 70-200 f/2.8, and 15-30 f/2.8

If you could travel to anywhere in the world for a photo-shoot, where would you go?

As cliché as it sounds (and I hate that it’s even cliché), it’s Iceland. I have been trying to get there for four years now and have yet to have the opportunity. It’s driving me crazy. There is some much wild, untamed and forceful beauty there. It’s somewhat of a bummer that it is kinda photographed out. But that doesn’t deter me. I don’t care.

I would love to go back to Africa for a safari. I was there when I was a child and remember being blown away by a photographer’s images of the animals that we were getting to see. I’d love to go back with a monster lens and have a blast shooting those other-wordly animals.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?

I am getting ready to go to graduate school to study Journalism and Advertising. I really hope to get more into videography and filmmaking and start shooting documentary.

The greatest think that I am lacking right now is a cause. I shoot because I enjoy shooting. There is nothing wrong with that, but I want my images to stand for something. I want people to see my work and think, “that is more than just a pretty picture that’s the voice of (insert cause here)”. So that’s what I hope. I feel like I have “found my calling” in photography, but I need to find my calling within my calling if you will.

I hope to be running a production company one day. I think it will happen. I just need to be patient. I have plenty of time. I hope to be married, probably have kids. Own a house. Make more money than what I do now. Have some resemblance of a stable life. I need to add that in-case my family reads this.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone looking to start photographing landscapes, what would it be?

Invest in good equipment. Good equipment and good lenses make a big difference. While I am a proponent of “it’s not the camera, it’s the camera-man”, there is also “it’s kinda also about the camera”. I will get better results with some primo glass on a full-frame camera than if I shoot on a entry-level kit lens and crop sensor (that being said, my favorite shots were shot on a kit lens, entry level camera, so I just debunked my own point).

Shoot all the time. Even it’s it’s not landscape. The reason I started shooting weddings and portraits was because I loved to shoot but couldn’t shoot landscape all the time. So I filled my time with other stuff I could shoot. The more you shoot the better you’ll get. Just like everything else in life.

Don’t expect to make any money off of landscape shots. I have yet to make a dime off of any of my landscapes. There are people all over the world making a living off of landscapes but it’s really hard and really competitive. So if you love traveling and love photographing, than make it a personal quest to get better. Who knows where it will lead you.

Lastly, have fun. If you’re beating yourself up because your images aren’t as good as professionals, than you take the fun out of it. Use professionals as inspiration and motivation to get better, but don’t get down because your images don’t look like theirs.

Thank you Blake for taking the time to talk to us. You can follow Blake’s adventures and see more of his work on his website and via Unsplash.

Building Your Photography Portfolio

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Whether you are just starting out or have been a photographer for years, continuing to work on your portfolio is important. Keeping your portfolio up to date with only your best images, shows you in the best possible light.

The first step before deciding on your images is to decide who your target audience are. Who you are aiming your portfolio at? Consider what it is your audience what to see and tailor your portfolio to them.

Show only your best work, this might seem quite straight forward but if it seems like your portfolio is quite short, it is tempting to add in more images to pad it out. Don’t as less is more, also put your best work at the beginning and end, start and finish strong.

Make sure your portfolio flows and that there is a similar style all the way through.

Don’t use images that need explaining, you need the images to be self-explanatory.

Think about what format you want your portfolio to be in, online or in book form or both. Take your time to decide exactly what you want the look to be, especially if you decide to do print. Deciding on the size you want the images to be, and how you want the book to look.

If you are just getting started as a photographer offering to do free work in order to get an image you really want for your portfolio.

Go through your portfolio at least a couple of times a year to add new things and remove older ones that aren’t as good as the new ones you are adding.

Getting a second option, before making your portfolio final, get a second option ideally to someone who would be your target audience. Get them to give you their absolute honest option.

Lastly do not forget to make sure all your images are post processed to keep them looking at their best, download a free trial of PortraitPro, PortraitPro Body, LandscapePro and Smart Photo Editor to see how our software will work for you and cut down your editing time.

LandscapePro 2 Tutorial – Sky Reflections

This week we’ll be looking at one of our other products, LandscapePro 2.

LandscapePro is an intelligent, easy-to-use and powerful tool for outdoor photographers. Whether you’re looking for simple color corrections or total transformations, LandscapePro puts dozens of intelligent controls at your fingertips.
To join in with the tutorial, download the free trial and head on over to Unsplash and download the example image. This image is provided by landscape and wedding photographer Blake Verdoorn. We’re hoping to score an interview with him in the next few weeks so look out for that in an upcoming post!

Don’t forget to share your results with us via our Facebook page.
If you have any questions or need assistance, our customer support team will be happy to help.

Want to Specialize in Wedding Photography?

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It is wedding season once again and if you are thinking about specializing in wedding photography now is the time to start. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

When putting together your portfolio, only include weddings, yes you might have some other amazing shots but they won’t interest your prospective clients, and it reinforces the point that you specialize in weddings.

As a specialist, your prices will/can increase, to decide on your price have a look around at what other specialist wedding photographers charge and also what you think you are worth.

Going the extra mile – As a specialist you should really go that extra mile and make them feel special. Gifting the couple a free extra (such as a photo book or big canvas/print) when handing over their photos, makes their experience with you that much better. This will mean they will keep you in mind for anniversary photos and recommend you to people. Obviously this will be reflected in your pricing if you feel you an charge enough in your local area.

Creative shots  – Think/do a few creative shots that will really work and show the couples personality, the more you do the more knowledge you will get and knowing what will and won’t work. A little different from the usual wedding photos.

Marketing – This is key to growing your business, try to set aside some time every week to work on marketing.

Plan out – Plan ahead what shots you want to take, keep an eye on the weather forecast, know where you are shooting, visit before the wedding or if you can’t look online at photos and see what is around, bear in might what the couple want, they might have some clear ideas of what they want, do theirs but also some of your own.

Candid photographs – Only show the couple the good ones. Naturally happy and smiley, don’t just shot the ceremony, shot the bride getting ready, waiting at the altar, literally everything you think will give the couple that little bit extra and make it that more special when they get their photos.

Turn over time – When telling them how long until the photos are ready for them, don’t underestimate, there is nothing more annoying, give yourself plenty of time so you will be done early and they will see it as a nice surprise and feel valued.

Back Up your photos – I’m sure this goes without saying but back up your photos on the wedding day and on your finished images.

Post processing – Do not show any photos until you have edited them, this might seem like an easy one but the couple will be eagerly awaiting the images they might ask to see the unedited so they know what there is. It is best to make them wait for the perfect images.

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PortraitPro and PortraitPro Body is a perfect companion for you, try out a free trial now to make the Bride and Groom look their very best.