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Monsoon photographs are definitely one of the most challenging yet rewarding types of photographs. The monsoon is here and it’s time to start taking special care of your equipments. Its not a time to forget them and keep them under lock. Believe me its one of the best times to use your cameras and get some amazing pictures .

Most photographers during the monsoon pack away their cameras in the closet. They fear the rain & prefer to play safe by not photographing at all during the monsoon. However, if you ask me monsoon presents a plethora of opportunities to photograph. If you follow some safety instructions & keep your equipment safe, you’ll return home with wonderful photographs during the monsoon.

I should mention as a preliminary note, however, that some cameras are more prone to problems from the rain than others.  Some cameras and lenses come with weather sealing built-in, which is an added protection from a minor amount of water splashing or raining on the camera. Even a small amount of water that sits in your camera or lens will almost assuredly mold.  When mold grows in a lens, it is the end of the lens.  Be careful!  Tip: One way to prevent mold from growing on lenses is to extend zoom lenses while they dry.

Without further adieu, I give you Five Inexpensive Ways to Protect Your Camera from Rain…

Keep a one-time use rain sleeve in your camera bag during monsoon

Amazon.in sells a simple one-time use camera rain sleeve for only a few bucks.  Buy one today and simply stick it in your camera bag.  Then, when the light is perfect but the weather is not, you can simply slip it over your camera and shoot without worry.

If you are looking for one of these one-time use rain sleeves, I like this one.

Use a Large Plastic Bag or Shower Cap

If you want to find a cheaper alternative than even the rain sleeve, you can also use a large gallon-size plastic bag as an impromptu rain sleeve in a pinch.  If you are traveling and need some protection from the rain, you can even use the shower cap that hotels include free in the bathroom.

Use an Umbrella

I know… shocking, right?  Sometimes the easiest solution is the right one.  If you are shooting portraiture or some other type of photography where you are holding the camera, an umbrella would be impractical; however, if you are shooting a landscape or are using a tripod, an umbrella is likely the simplest solution.

Honestly, an umbrella is often better than even a rain sleeve because it keeps the front element on your lens from getting wet.

Not only is an umbrella a great way to keep the camera dry and protected, but it also is a perfect prop for shooting in the rain.  Consider including it in the photo!

Use Silica Gels

The Silica Gel pouches that you get with your electronic gear are also very useful. They are very good at absorbing moisture. The only thing that you need to watch out for is that the Silica gel once they have absorbed as much moisture as they can, turn colour (quite literary) and once that happens, you need to re-heat them to make them usable again. As a general practice, keep a couple of silica gel pouches handy and in your camera bag.

Invest in a dry box

If you live in the tropics or where the humidity levels are always high, you should consider investing in a dry cabinet or dry box. Electronic dry boxes are fairly advanced, and can automatically control the humidity using sensors. Digi-cab is a brand commonly available in India, and is highly spoken of. Some folks pack their gear in airtight boxes with silica gel inside. I think this method is ok for places like Bangalore which have lower humidity levels all through the year.

Use these tips and your common sense to save your gear from moisture. For lighting tips you can follow our other posts. Happy clicking! 

The post How to protect camera gears during monsoon – A must read for all photographers. appeared first on Varun Patel Photography - BLOG.

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Shot you see in the banner of this article has been shot in a very tight hotel room space with one profoto b1x and , a reflector working as the background for the image. Buying your own professional photography studio can be a big investment specially for beginner level photographers. In the beginning of your photography career , when every investment matters , buying a photography studio is not a good idea. Obviously there are studios available on rent but that also effects the shooting budget . So my suggestion for all of you who does not own a studio or not planning owning one right now, is to utilise whatever resources you have and create your best images. Now the question is how ? And what you will need ?

Obviously having your own photography studio has lot of benefits, but that does not mean not having one should stop you. When I started my career as a fashion photographer, i remember shooting everywhere. I have shot on terrace, meeting rooms, hotel rooms, open spaces, everywhere. Initially, mostly i was shooting in my hall on a white wall, with the basic flash system. You can even shoot with the natural lights, but my preference is always the flashes. Because with flashes , I have more control on the direction and quality.

 What will I need to create my photography studio on location ?
  • Flash system

 You can not ignore the important of artificial lights, if you are planning to work on location. Flash systems give you good control over the ambient lights and let you create your own direction of the lights.

 Many time it happens when you are shooting on location, you needed to control the ambient lights for the exposure or may be over power them . Specially if you are shooting in the room full of tungsten lights, you do not want your flash and your ambient light mixup together and mess your white balance up for the shots. You can use any flash from those basic manual flash guns ( 40$ ) to high end studio lighting systems ( 4000$ ) . It is all about having an artificial light which you can control.

  •   Stands 

If you are a lonely wolf, working alone most of the time. Then you definitely will need lots of stands for your lighting setup. I personally feel using stands are better then using an assistant for the same. Because slight moment in your assistant’s position can lead to very dramatical changes on your final results.

  •  Cardboard paper or wrinkle free clothes 

They are very important if you are gonna create your studio on location or outdoor. Because you will not find pleasant and clean backgrounds or wall every where you go. Sometimes you really need to cover up the scene, so they comes handy. I prefer having the wrinkle free clothes along because they are easy to carry and gives clean background options. Carrying different colour options is always a smart choice .

  •  A reflector 

I always carry a reflector along, because it can work as mani light , fill light and sometimes as the background as well. So they really comes handy and also they are easy to fold up and carry.

 How to setup a photography studio ? Or what to consider while doing that ?

Now as you already know what to take along. Lets discuss what you should take care while setting your photography studio on location .

  •  Ambience

As I said before, the main problem comes in when you are setting up your studio setup in an uncontrolled lighting area. Areas like hotel lobby, factories or any other outdoor location. All these areas are filled up with some uncontrollable lights , because no one normally allows you to turn up or down hotel lobby lights just for your shoot. So first you need to decide is how much light do you really want in your images from the surroundings. Shutter speed can comes in help when you want to control just the ambience while shooting with the flashes. Turning your shutter speed up or down will just effect your ambience, if you are shooting with the flashes.

  •  Power of your flashes

Big reason why I prefer using Profoto B1x for my outdoor work is the power. It delivers unbelievable 500watts with all the functions from TTL and HSS. This comes in help where i have to shoot for balancing or overpowering the sunlight outdoors. Following shot is the best example for the same.

  • Space you are shooting in 

Your shooting space sure will be one of the important factor for your studio setup. Sometimes you have to shoot in a very tight environment and sometimes you have big empty halls. If you are shooting somewhere in a very tight space, make sure you all the lights are gridded and their light falls are in control. Because a little spill from the light can change the nature of the shadows. If you are shooting in very big spaces, you will be needing more powerful lights. So the spill is really not the problem but the power sure matters for such spaces.

  •  Available power options 

If you are using flashguns or battery powered studio lights, then you are already sorted out but if you are using the normal mono lights then you need to take in the consideration about the available power options.

GO OUT AND MAKE THE WORLD YOUR STUDIO 

The post No Studio? No Problem – Create your photography studio anywhere. appeared first on Varun Patel Photography - BLOG.

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ABOUT WORKSHOP 

I always try giving my photography workshops an edge over all other basic photography workshops happening in India. This time we thought to go a bit out from everyone’s comfort zone, and shoot something crazy and dynamic on location. So I thought why not to try some place which can offer us everything from architectures to nature. And thats the reason we finalised Udaipur city as our workshop location .

Being a fashion photographer I know the importance of getting everything perfect in one frame. And I also know that it is not as easy as it looks . From model, garments, makeup, location, lighting everything has to be perfect for getting those WOW images. So this time in our photography workshop in Udaipur, we made sure that everything is perfect so that our students gets to see some amazing shots right in their own camera. On my workshop I always make sure about one thing. The number of students. We always keep the numbers low so i can focus on each and every student and answer their queries .

LOCATION WE STAYED IN 

It is super amazing boutique hotel call “Udai kothi”. It is in the Udaipur old city and has amazing heritage frames all around in the hotel as well as outside. This hotel was my choice because it is a boutique hotel so we have less disturbance.

EQUIPMENTS USED

We were using something very professional and the most high end lighting solution. The PROFOTO systems. Srishti Digilife guys were generous enough to send us the bunch of profoto goodies for our workshop . In this workshop we used following equipments.

– 2 profoto b1x

– 1 profoto A1

– 1 profoto beauty dish

– 1 profoto deep umbrella

– Profoto Air Remote

BEHIND THE SCENE 

Fashion photography workshop - Udaipur City - Varun Patel Photography - YouTube

MODEL

We were literally blessed with this amazing model SARA OSMANOVA from KAD MODELS . She was really good with her posing and her professional skills. She also behaved as friend with everybody even after the workshop . So my decision about the model was perfect for this workshop.

OUR CINEMATOGRAPHERS & ASSISTANTS 

Darshan Shan & Sandy Patel from www.cineweddings.in are really good at what they do. Their professional cinematography and editing skills helped us document the entire event so nicely .

I should not forget mentioning my first assistant Krutarth Pathak who has been the guy who helped me during everything. From bookings to managing the entire workshop he was there . So thanks so much for being such amazing team guys .

MAKEUP ARTIST

I do not really have any words for this girl “ANMOL RAVAL” . She has skills like no one has in Ahmedabad or I would say in India. Not talking about only makeup , well she is better then everybody in the city for sure when it comes to makeup , but she also does amazing styling job . The entire looks in the photography workshop we did in Udaipur , has been planned and managed by her only . When we are working she is a super professional makeup artist and when we all are having fun , she is priceless friend so thanks Anmol Raval for being so nice and it is really a pleasure having such personality onboard for our workshops.

WARDROBE PARTNERS

Garments are always very important in fashion photography . Big thanks to our wardrobe partners for sending in their high fashion collection.

– Alyson the store

– Sublimme Culture

– MyMy

– Nautanki

LIGHTING PARTNERS

PROFOTO & SRISHTI DIGILIFE

Who has been our lighting partner for this workshop , thanks to you guys we were able to give our students the experience and feel of using the high end lighting equipments. We were able to show them the power of these systems. And i personally got so impressed with the system that I bought up the location kit and now using that in my all current shoots and really happy with quality it delivers.

 OUTCOME 
Varun Patel
is the owner at VarunPatel Photography.
He is also an educator who teaches aspiring amateurs and professionals how to improve their skills through articles, photography classes, and photography travel tours. 
He is a retoucher with more than 10 years of retouching experience. 
Varun Patel has mentored more then 300 students by now.

The post Fashion photography workshop in Udaipur – Varun Patel appeared first on Varun Patel Photography - BLOG.

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PROFOTO A1 “World’s smallest studio light” . I got to test this amazing flash during my recent fashion photography workshop. During the workshop we used the flash with both canon and nikon systems and here is what I feel about the Profoto A1.

PROFOTO no doubt is one of the leading brands in India, when it comes to photography lighting equipments. Profoto has just announced the Profoto A1,  the lighting brand’s first-ever on-camera flash. Profoto India, was generous enough to send the profoto equipments, for our recent photography workshop. So we got to try out the new PROFOTO A1 during our workshop in all the different conditions.

Profoto A1 is a flash that delivers a truly high quality of light, because it features a round head which delivers light that’s both natural and beautiful with a pleasing soft-smooth fall-off, that blends seamlessly with the ambient light . Our following image justifies the same. I shot this with the dome diffuser on with Profoto A1, zoomed to full for that concentrated beam of light on my model Sara. One of my favourite one light setup for outdoor shots.

Shot using Canon 5d Mark iii 1/1000 F1.2 ISO 100 About the Profoto A1

The A1 features both a flash and an LED modelling light. The flash can be fired at full power 350 times on one Li-ion battery charge,which takes 80 minutes to juice fully.

The flash has a maximum energy of 76Ws and a power range of 9 f-stops (2.0-10), Profoto says. The recycle time is a mere 1.2 seconds at full power, 4 times faster than other on-camera flashes on the market (according to Profoto).

The head of the A1 features a smart magnetic mount that allows various light shaping tools — the A1 Light Shaping Tools kit will include a Dome Diffuser, Wide Lens, and Bounce Card — and modifiers to be clicked on and off effortlessly. There’s also a zoom ring that allows you to make adjustments to your light spread by twisting it.

My experience with Profoto A1

PROFOTO A1 is Mercedes-Benz for flashes. It works so smooth, delivers the Profoto quality. The new A1 is styled much like most on-camera flash units, but is equipped with the powerful features of a Profoto studio head. The A1 heads are equipped with Profoto’s Air Remote TTL system so they can work in groups alongside other A1 heads or any other Air Remote studio heads from the Profoto studio head range.

 PROS

  • Faster recycling time.
  • Fast chargeable and long lasting battery.
  • Easy to use functions.
  • Putting up the accessories is simple and quick due to the magnate ring.
  • In built receiver for Air Remote TTL systems.
  • In built modelling lamp to help you focus in any dim lighting situations.
  • Great colour consistency, which will mean your workflow is faster.
  • Does not heat up even after a hardcore use.

 CONS 

  • Pricey compare to other options in the market in the competition.
  • Supports only for canon, nikon and sony systems.

 CONCLUSION 

So overall Profoto A1 is worth to invest in. Initially it might seems like a big investment to you, but when you use it you are gonna love the Profoto A1. It is reliable and will make your workflow so easy, that you can focus on other things then your lighting equipments during shoots.

Varun Patel
is the owner at VarunPatel Photography.
He is also an educator who teaches aspiring amateurs and professionals how to improve their skills through articles, photography classes, and photography travel tours. 
He is a retoucher with more than 10 years of retouching experience. 
Varun Patel has mentored more then 300 students by now.

The post Profoto A1 India – Review and field test shots by Varun Patel appeared first on Varun Patel Photography - BLOG.

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Today we are going to learn about “How to do product photography using natural lights and minimal equipments.” Product photography now a days has a boom in the market due to E-commerce and digitalisation. So every product manufacturer has to get their product shoots done on regular bases. From past few months, I been getting lot of requests from amateur photographers and small scale product manufacturers, for writing a blog on how they can shoot the product with basic equipments and lighting systems.

It defiantly helps if you have professional lighting equipments for your product shoots. As a professional product photographer you need to have the equipments, which can give you precise results. But if you are an amateur photographer starting your photography business, or a small scale product manufacturer, who is running tight on the budget. Spending on professional lights initially can be a big hole in your pocket for sure. So what you can do is utilise what you have and try to get best out of your own equipments.

For e-commerce product photography, or a basic catalogue shoot for products, you really do not need too much of equipments. I will be using just the natural lights and a pair of diffuser and reflector, to show you how you can take professional looking product shots. But before going further lets understand one thing. If you are doing photography with such minimal equipments, your out of the camera shots are never going to be very precise. To give that final look to your images you need to post process them on a good processing softwares.

 – CAMERA AND LENS COMBO

I used my canon 60D and 100mm F2.8 Lens combination. Around the entire blog you will see me using the entry level equipments. The reason is that I am writing this blog to make people understand how they can use they entry level systems also for the best outcome. Canon 60d has been my favourite camera since forever as it delivers amazing quality images. 100mm macro lens allows me to move closer to my products and capture better details.

 – A GOOD TRIPOD

 I have used my manfrotto tripod , i know it is not a basic equipment and costs more then a basic DSLR . But well what i believe is, your tripod should be as expensive as your budget supports. Because tripod is something which give you your primary stabilisation. So they have to be super sturdy. And the tripod i am using here is more like a beast and has proven itself well in all my shoots. But as a beginner, if your budget is not supporting than you can sure go for any best tripod .

 – ONE REFLECTOR AND ONE DIFFUSER

 The reflector I am using here is 5 in 1 reflector which has following different surfaces

– Black , white , silver , gold , diffuser

On the right we are using the diffuser panel

On the left we are using the silver side of the reflector

 –  A TABLE FOR PRODUCT PLACEMENT

As you see in above picture, the windows from which we are going to use the natural lights, are at a height so we need to make sure to reach that height for our product placements. So we have used a normal but sturdy plastic table for giving our setup a good height for product placements and shooting purpose.

 – A PAPER ROLL FOR BACKGROUND

For creating that plain white background we are using a paper roll here, which is a bit transparent as well. The transparency allows us to use the window light coming from the background , which helps us making the background look pure white .

SHOOTING PROCESS 

Prepare your camera 

Start by attaching your DSLR with the tripod . Once you are ready with that , adjust height of your tripod to match the height of your product placed on the table. For normal product catalogue shots , it is preferable to keep the camera height almost at the hight of your product only. A lower angle shot can be used for some campaign shots but not for catalogues.

Camera settings 

For the shots I will be discussing, my camera settings were as follow.

1/60 Shutter speed

F2.8 Aperture

100 ISO

Daylight WB

Shooting on RAW + JPEG

Understanding lights 

The very important part is to understand the lights. As we are shooting with natural lights only so we have to make sure to utilise it wisely .

As you can see here in the setup above, we are shooting in a corner of the room with two side windows. The window which is open on the product’s right side, is acting as our main light here. The window which is hidden behind the white paper roll , is acting is our background light which as making background white as much as it can.

Our diffuser on the right is diffusing the main light coming on the product , as the light ( if not diffused ) can create hot spots on the product or can reflect the window on the shiny parts. For the left side , i have shot 4 variations. For reflection i used four different surfaces white , a mirror , silver and black surface . Following are the variations .

Black card to product left and diffuser on product right Black card to product left

This will give you more contrast on the product . Even the chrome parts on the product will have the neat reflection . Good for shots where you want some high contrast look on the products .

A mirror placed on product left and diffuser on product right A mirror to product left

For a product shot where you want more cleanliness and shape on the products . A mirror will be giving you very hard light so hard shadows are expected .

White card placed on product left A white card on product left

Anytime my preference is using a white card as you can see it gives you very natural grading. On product and even on chrome surfaces it reflects well and gives amazing gradients .

White card , Black card and diffuser combo A white card and black card on product left A white card and black card product left and black card and diffuser on product right

This black cards are giving the product a good finish specially on the chrome part on the cap. Properly placed black cards will give you definition of the shapes of the products .

POST PROCESSING

I have mentioned about the importance of post processing, in natural lights shots in the beginning of this post already. Because you are shooting with natural lights only, so you do not have the control over the direction. In this shot our background is getting lit with the sun light coming from behind. So it is not spreading well on the entire background . So we have some gradients in the background . We need to get rid of those gradients plus as per my own style I have shot this image a bit under exposed. So i can recover the details back easily . So we really need to do good amount of post processing to get the final look on the image . Following are the steps I have followed for the retouching .

– Exposure correction

– Color correction

– Cleaning the background

– Product cleaning

– Contrast correction

After above steps following is the before after comparison of the final shot

So shooting product with natural lights is really easy as you saw. It is all about understanding the lights right and having some basic equipments. You can even use any camera such as your mobile or a point and shoot camera for the same. As we are not using any flashes to sync with so any camera will deliver this results . But defiantly a macro lens and DSLR will give you better outputs.

If you would like to see more lighting setups articles then do check out our following articles.

Natural light setups 

Lighting setups for hotel room portraits 

Using one flash for creating golden hours effects 

Indoor outdoor lighting setups 

The post Product photography basics – Shooting products with natural lights only appeared first on Varun Patel Photography - BLOG.

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 Working as professional photographer is very exciting. Now a days lot of amateur photographers are considering photography as career. It is fun to know that your photography hobby can get you money as a side business, or even can be your primary business. I have seen dozens and dozens of the photographers starting their photography business with all excitements, but eventually fail as a professional photographer and end up closing down. Well there can be many reasons for them not able to sustain. May be a wrong start can also lead to not being successful professional photographer. 

Before starting photography as career, a professional photographer should have gone through following steps. LEARN PHOTOGRAPHY

It is very important to have a good education before you start any business. Photography is no different then starting other business. If your base is solid and clear you can build up a good building on that. So learning from a good photography institute or college is defiantly a good start. Although there is vast knowledge available and shared online but having one mentor will defiantly help kick start your career.

I faced so many problems when i was trying to learn photography in Ahmedabad India, so to help other photographers who really wants to learn photography and make photography as career, i have started my own courses which you can find here. I have courses for different level photographers, from amateur to professionals, and many students from all over India has joined our courses and improved their photography skills with the help of our courses.

So once you have learned photography and enriched your self with the knowledge. It is now time for you to start working on creating an amazing photography portfolio to showcase your skills.

BUY RIGHT EQUIPMENTS

Now as you already know about photography and the category you want to shoot. It is right time to invest in the right gear. According to the category you want to work in, start building up your kit accordingly. For an example, if you are planning to work as wild life photographer, your kit should be focused more towards buying more tele lenses. Fashion photographers should carry variety of lenses from ultra wide angle to medium telephoto lenses, and variety of lights would be good option. For Some one shooting products all the time, should buy more macro lenses and optical lights. For architecture photography a good tilt shift lens, a sturdy tripod and next generation tethering device sounds like a good option.

LEARN BASIC EDITING

Being a professional photographer and retoucher together does has its own benefits. I really prefer every photographer should know basics of editing. Because now in digital era if you want to stay ahead of your competition, you need to have edge. Benefit of being a retoucher and photographer together is, you can create your own unique blend of photography and retouching and create your own style. Now a days clients are prefers photographers who has their unique style to the final shots. So lets say if you can be photographer cum retoucher then it will give you a jump over your competition.

PREPARE A PORTFOLIO

One of the very important thing for a professional photographer is to have a profession portfolio of his/her work. Because a well crafted portfolio can get you good number of clients and quality clients. So once you are done with your learning and buying the right kit for you, it is now time to shoot more and more everyday. This will do two things, first is you will enhance your skills by more and more practice. Second is you will start getting new pictures for your portfolio and those pictures, if marketed in right way, will get you some initial clients.

For portfolio building shots, it is completely fine to work on a lower price or on TFP bases with models and clients. As the TFP shoots will give you hand on experience on working with models. If you go and meet the agency or clients personally, my suggestion is to print your work and take along. Your printed portfolio defiantly makes big impression on clients. While preparing your portfolio make sure to add only your best work. No agency or clients are interested in looking at all images. So keep your portfolio short and very much to the point only. 

SHOWCASE YOUR PORTFOLIO

Creating a portfolio is just like putting up your card in the deck of 1000 cards. To get noticed by your future clients or agencies, you need to market your self well. For showcasing your portfolio you have got so many good options. Social media is one of the very fast and easiest way for showcasing your work to others. You can also create your own website for display. A local ad in some magazines also can get attention of niche people. Well done marketing is the key to a quick response from the clients.

The post Photography As Career – Become A Professional Photographer appeared first on Varun Patel Photography - BLOG.

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An award-winning food photographer specializing in food and beverages, Varun Patel brings an artist’s eye and a chef’s perspective to every image he creates for his clients. The food we eat and order in cafes not only deserves to be eaten, it also deserves to be photographed. 

Varun started his career as a travel photographer, and then later on to Food photography and Fashion photography. He is already shooting for so many magazines and brands for their advertising campaigns. Food photography has always been his passion. Being a food photographer, he says you need to be good at so many thing. From food styling to table preparations. You should also know about how to lit your food well.

Varun Patel’s studio has all the latest required equipments for food photography, which makes him stay a step ahead then other food photographers. Varun has 10 years experience in photo editing. So his work combines the best of photography and editing. Which makes the final image looks so professional and up to the mark. His portfolio is more towards fashion side because he is full time fashion photographer. But he also shoots food, products, architecture.

How you can book us for your food photography session?
  • Give us a call on 9898550223 or write us a mail on contact@varunpatelphotography.com
  • Freely discuss your needs
  • We will send you a quotation according to your requirements
  • Pay the advance and book your session

The post A commercial food photographer from Ahmedabad India – Varun Patel appeared first on Varun Patel Photography - BLOG.

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I have seen so many photographers ignoring the effectiveness of Natural light setups. I am writing this article to explain, how amazing portraits can be shot just by using natural lights only. My all the three setups in this article is just with natural light and reflectors. Natural light setups are easy to understand and easy to do. As there is no artificial lights required, so they are in expensive also. I will be explaining my each setup in detail for your better understanding.

If you are following my Instagram stories, I have posted my natural light setups shots there, and asked for ” Guessing the lighting setup for these shots “. And following are some screen shots with their guesses.

  So as you can see, mostly everyone is in impression of using artificial lights for these shots. In real it is just with the natural window lights only. I prefer natural light setups for following reasons.

  • It is always free, so no need to buy those expensive lighting equipments and still you can deliver amazing professional looking portraits.
  • Photographers who knows just the basic of exposure, can also shoot amazing pictures in natural light as there is no extra knowledge require for using lighting systems.
  • You shoot what you see, as natural light is always on, not like flash which turns on for some amount of time.
  • Any camera will deliver the same image, yes even your mobile can also deliver good quality images if you understand the natural lights, and if your mobile offers the Manual mode.
  • Just few reflectors and some light cutters can get you amazing professional quality images.
Now lets discuss the images Natural light & A reflector Natural light & A reflector

Above image is shot with one of our very basic natural light setups. We have used one reflector here, on model’s right. So the light coming through the window will get bounced back on to the model and will work as the main light for her. This kind of lighting setup can deliver neat clean lighting with very less shadows. Used mostly for a soft light portrait with good DOF. The background and garments sure plays very big role. My preference for such portraits is to have a lighter tone background and garments.

Backlit with black flags Backlit with black flags

Amazing this is right? This is my personal favourite from my all natural light setups. Because this lighting setup delivers amazing details and drama, which can make anyone surprise, as lot of people thinks that only studio lights can deliver such details in the images. Always remember, light is light it can be studio light or natural light. What matters is how you understand the light and use it to get what you are trying to achieve.

In this shot our subject is getting lit by the light coming from behind and there are two light cutters, making sure that none of the lights get reflected on her face. It is pretty easy setup and can be done any where right in front of the big window or a door. We have used our door lights. For this setup one particular thing to consider is a bright sunny day. If you are trying this setup on a cloudy day, then it might not deliver the same contrast as you see here in this image.

Natural light without reflector Natural light without reflector

Really ? Nothing at all ? Yes, believe it or not, this shot is simply been taken with just the natural light coming through the window. The white frames you see in the shot is because of the white grills. Which actually makes a really interesting composition. When i posted this shot on Instagram, and asked for the guesses about the lighting setup for this shot, many people said ring flashes or some particular lighting setups has been used here. But there is no such equipment or lighting setups required. Just a natural light and a good space to shoot will do the job.

Setup here is very simple. Black background to keep everything neat and clean in the background. Even any darker colour background will work for this. Wider aperture for getting that DOF separation. Black garments or any darker colour garments. And you are ready to shoot amazing portraits for your clients. Although artificial lights has their own pros. But we should never ignore the simplicity and effectiveness of natural lights.

Best thing about each and every natural light setups I have shared here is, that you do not require editing at all, or might require minimal editing if the model has significant skin impurities. My goal while shooting is always to lit the scene as good as possible so the post production time can be less.

The post Natural light setups for creating different portrait looks – No Flashes, No Studio lights. appeared first on Varun Patel Photography - BLOG.

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As you can see here in this image. Left image has no filters on, right image is with ND filter. Filers do make huge impact on your photography outcomes. Effects that filters can produce, can not be done in editing. Specially filters like ND and CPLs. In this article, I will be discussing about three main filters that i use for my photography jobs.

Camera lens filters still have many uses in digital photography, and should be an important part of any photographer’s camera bag. These can include polarizing filters to reduce glare and improve saturation, or simple UV/haze filters to provide extra protection for the front of your lens. ND Filters for getting that extra control over exposure. This tutorial aims to familiarize one with these and other filter options, that cannot be reproduced using digital editing techniques.

Filters that you can find in my camera bag are, CPL ( Circular polarising ) , ND ( Neutral Density ) and UV ( Ultraviolet ) filters. These are most commonly used filters by me. So i will be discussing about them in this blog post today. If you are beginner and starting your photography career, than you should check my following article about those 10 important things you should consider.

CPL – CIRCULAR POLARISING FILTER

One of the few things that still separates professional photographers from your average Joes is the use of filters to enhance images. It’s not that only professionals can get filters — its more that professionals, in general, know how to use them, while average consumers don’t. One of those filters is the Circular Polarizer, also known as the CPL. It is one filter that still has a clear use in the digital age, and has a very noticeable effect on an image created with it.

Removing Reflections

One of the first things people notice when starting out in photography, is how difficult it can be to take photos from the inside of a window. A polarized filter has the ability to reduce all those unwanted light streaks, that blur the subject of your shot. It can also do the same for light reflected on water surfaces.

Blue skies

Nothing helps give your landscape shot a more forboding sense of tension than a darker, more menacing-looking sky. The same could be said of shots inside where you’re aiming to create a sinister atmosphere. A good CPL filter will enable you to do just this without making the scenario look unnatural.

ND – NEUTRAL DENSITY FILTER 

The purpose of a standard photographic neutral-density filter is to reduce the amount of light entering the lens. Doing so allows the photographer to select combinations of aperture, exposure time and sensor sensitivity that would otherwise produce overexposed pictures. This is done to achieve effects such as a shallower depth of field or motion blur of a subject in a wider range of situations and atmospheric conditions.

For example as above, one might wish to photograph a waterfall at a slow shutter speed to create a deliberate motion-blur effect. The photographer might determine that to obtain the desired effect, a shutter speed of ten seconds was needed. On a very bright day, there might be so much light that even at minimal film speed and a minimal aperture, the ten-second shutter speed would let in too much light, and the photo would be overexposed. In this situation, applying an appropriate neutral-density filter is the equivalent of stopping down one or more additional stops, allowing the slower shutter speed and the desired motion-blur effect.

 

Specialist neutral-density filters

The two most common are the variable ND filters and the extreme ND filters.

Variable neutral-density filter

The main disadvantage of neutral-density filters is that to be entirely flexible in your shooting you need to carry a range of different NDs. This can become an expensive proposition, especially if using screw filters with different lens filter sizes, which would require carrying a set for each diameter of lens carried (although inexpensive step-up rings can eliminate this requirement). To counter this problem, some manufacturers have created variable ND filters. These work by placing two polarizing filters together, at least one of which can rotate. The rear polarizing filter cuts out light in one plane. As the front element is rotated, it cuts out an increasing amount of the remaining light, the closer the front filters comes to being perpendicular to the rear filter. By using this technique, the amount of light reaching the sensor can be varied with almost infinite control.

The advantages to this are that you get multiple ND filters in one package, the disadvantage is a loss of image quality caused by both using two elements together and by combining two polarizing filters.

Extreme ND filters

To create ethereal looking landscapes and seascapes with extremely blurred water or other motion, the use of multiple stacked ND filters might be required. This had, as in the case of variable NDs, the effect of reducing image quality. To counter this, some manufacturers have produced high-quality extreme ND filters. Typically these are rated at a 10-stop reduction, allowing very slow shutter speeds even in relatively bright conditions.

UV – ULTRAVIOLET FILTER 

Many photographers leave UV filters on their lenses more-or-less permanently. Many others do not. Who is right? Should you buy UV filters (or clear protective filters) for all your lenses? I assume that the UV filter being used is of similar optical quality to the lens elements themselves. This is generally true for the best multi-coated filters from good manufacturers, but may not be true for the cheaper filters. The filter blocks UV light and removes the blue cast from images taken in very bright sunny conditions. 

When shooting film, color is physically split into red, blue and green layers. However, the blue layer is particularly susceptible to ultraviolet light. In scenarios with excessive UV light — for example, a sunny day on the blue ocean, or at higher altitudes, where the atmosphere is thinner — a blue-tinted haze can result.

Modern film, however, is designed in such a way, that the effects of UV light are almost imperceptible. And digital cameras have blocks, and filters of their own to stop everything, from Infrared to UV light from interfering with your pictures. With that in mind, a UV filter doesn’t make a whole lot of sense — at least, not for the purpose it was originally conceived

But people continue to use them — precisely *because* they don’t do anything. Because a UV filter’s glass is clear, it’s suitable for protecting a lens without adversely affecting image quality. But if you’re really concerned about protection, and unsure of whether a UV filter is for you, a good alternative is a lens hood. These are the big plastic extensions, used on lenses to prevent flaring from the sun or bright lights.

We realize this isn’t a conclusive piece, and the topic of UV filters will likely be debated for years to come. The choice, simply put, is up to you. Just remember — you can always take it off.

In general, using filters can be a game changer move. Because they will produce images which are impossible to create without using the filters .

The post Using Filters. Is it really important? Learn everything about filters and the uses. appeared first on Varun Patel Photography - BLOG.

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 I am writing this just not for wedding photographers in Ahmedabad but this article is for all the wedding photographers and their clients. And specially for those clients who needs to understand the value of the wedding photographer. Recently I been to a wedding, where i saw the clients and their family treating the photographers very badly. I really felt sorry for the wedding photographers, and it really made me write this article here. So here is what happened with those guys. 

Being a fashion photographer, I never understood the hard work and efforts it takes to be a wedding photographer. Wedding photographers not only have to work under uncertain conditions. But they also have to work in a limited amount of time with out any planning sometimes. When i say wedding photographers that also means the entire team, from wedding cinematographers, to videographers to candid photographer even their helpers.

Wedding photographers are no GODS. They need time.

So, i was enjoying the wedding functions. And suddenly heard lot of noise from bride and groom’s room side. I went there to just check weather everything was going good. What i saw was there were few people, shouting on the wedding photographers, who were trying to shoot the couple’s portraits. The family member wanted to take the couple for the rituals. They were being very abusive to the photographers. I felt bad for them. Being humble the photographers really were being very calm. Now i do not understand , if you want good pictures why you are not giving them good enough time.

Then they went for the rituals, and photographers started working as everything was normal. Then after sometime, during the rituals I saw some guys (who were drunk) were coming in the frame of one photographer. He requested for like so many times to them for moving out of the frame, so he can get that perfect angle. Suddenly one guy took away that photographer’s camera and threw it on the floor. Now that really was it for the photographer. He stopped shooting and went to the team leader and explained him everything. The team leader went to the client and explained but i guess there was no solution or whatever. But my point is that why anyone would do that. The photographer was doing his job and finding a good frame. Those guys were so wrong and throwing away the camera was really a cheap move.

Dear clients, do read following to know why your wedding photographers needs respect from you guys.

Owning a good DSLR does not make you a good photographer, your wedding photographers have put up more then just the money. But as most of the clients understand the language of money only, so here is how much your wedding photographers have spend before they started their wedding photography business.

  • Take Photography Classes – 1,00,000/- Rs
  • Professional camera and professional lighting equipments – 6,00,000/- Rs
  • Legal fees and photography contracts – 10,000/- Rs
  • Softwares and computers – 1,60,000/- Rs
  • Marketing budget for their business – 1,00,000/- Rs

So a total of around 9,70,000/- is a good budget to start their photography business, and do keep in mind this is just one photographer’s budget so if you are hiring a team. They have spend lot of amount and time to learn and be in the business. So respecting the amount given and the time they spend to learn you should at least be a nice person and respect your wedding photographers.

Be a client for whom the photographer would love to work again

Being a Photographer isn’t just a job of clicking button but way too much than that. Every photographer reading this will agree this and even all the non- photographers must agree this too. Today, photography involves various aspects. Though having a DSLR makes you a photographer already, but again it’s majorly on the talent to find the scene and click the pic.

  • Understand the process and what you are paying for
  • Don’t ask for more photos than delivered
  • Don’t expect big discounts or free photography
  • Do not ever crop out watermarks
  • Unless they offer, do not ask them to do the type of photography they do not do
  • Give them proper credits on social media
  • Camera does not make the image, it is your photographers who does so respect them and be nice

My this article is mixture of my hate and other feelings, but at the same time I want to convey a message to all the clients out there. Wedding photographers are really working hard to give you what you deserve, so at least you can try to give them what they deserve and that is a huge RESPECT so please be nice with your wedding photographers. 

The post Wedding photographers, they deserve more than just the money. What they deserve is the respect and appreciation. appeared first on Varun Patel Photography - BLOG.

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