Making Money from Stock Photography: 10 Best Tips to Prep Your Photos

How could you make money through stock photography?

If you are interested in making a living with your camera, the realm of stock photography could be rather profitable. A stock photographer could pick the subjects and niches he captures and the schedule he works, and it is a more flexible choice than becoming a wedding or portrait photographer. Stock photography is a cutthroat industry, and you need to produce high-quality photos with a creative and unique approach.

You could make money from stock photography.

Photos look different when seen on the internet, and there are a few steps you need to take to ensure that they look as bright and sharp as when you view them on an external monitor or a camera screen. The photographer likewise needs to be careful in protecting his photos and mitigate the risk of copyright infringement. Here is a 4-step process that could help you make sure that your stock photography images have the best chance of selling:

Get It Right in the Camera

You can avoid making basic oversights when snapping stock images. Make sure that every picture is composed and captured for maximum effect, and pay close attention to exposure and focus. You could create minor modifications in Photoshop or other photo editing tools and software later, but it would be better to do it right the first time.

You could rely on your camera’s automatic shooting modes if you are working with a more advanced digital SLR camera. Nevertheless, don’t be lax in your work and expect flawless results each and every time. Tricky lighting conditions could confuse a camera’s metering capabilities, and spectacular images could be spoilt by under or overexposure. Capturing photographs with a tripod could help ensure the highest sharpness and could draw the line between a neophyte and a seasoned photographer.

Prepping your photos is important before uploading them in stock photography websites.

If your professional camera has the functionality, always shoot in RAW mode instead of the more popular JPEG. Shooting in RAW format offers you more flexibility to rectify exposure, sharpness, and color balance of photographs. If you are committed to making a living with your camera, you have to learn how to shoot and process in RAW mode to create the best quality photos possible.

Adjust Contrast, Brightness, and Exposure

Even the most seasoned stock photographer does not get it right each time, and stock libraries and websites would only accept impeccably exposed photos. Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom is excellent for making the essential adjustments, and it doesn’t take too much time to adjust and correct contrast, exposure, and brightness. Know how to utilize the levels readings to recognize the best way to adjust and modify an image.

Sharpen Your  Stock Photography Images

Photo editing software and tools offer various capabilities to sharpen pictures, and this is also an important step in prepping them before submitting them to stock photography websites and libraries. If you have captured in RAW mode, it is then very easy to enhance sharpness and clarity with the help of the filter options.

Go Big or Go Home

Advertisers need a big version of your stock photography image.

Advertisers would typically need large versions of your images so they could edit and use them as they need to. Ensure to shoot your images at the highest resolution possible, and upload those high-resolution pictures to the stock photography library or site you are working with. Your prospective clients would be glad to have the option of purchasing different quality levels of the image, and this small touch might even end up helping you boost more sales.

Lose the Clutter

When you set your scene, ensure that your focus subject stands out. Trivial matters such as a speck of dust to a scratch on furniture might be okay in some other kinds of photography but will stand out in stock photography. Make sure to declutter your photos and take away anything from the shot you think could be distracting, or move the attention away from the subject.

Adjust White Balance and Color

Color casts are among the major reasons images are rejected by stock photography websites and libraries. You could depend on your camera to always automatically regulate white balance, but it is still necessary to get involved manually in some circumstances. If capturing photos indoors, take note of the artificial lighting color and how it mixes with the light from open windows. If you couldn’t find an appropriate camera calibration, consider processing the photos in the digital darkroom to rectify and fix unsightly color casts.

Look for Imperfections

Your photographs might look amazing when browsing through your photo album, but enlarge them to full size, and you would see a lot more. Before uploading any images on a stock photography library or site, scrutinize your photos first to ensure that there aren’t any problems with them. Even the most negligible issues could make a potential client decline from purchasing your photo.

Using a tripod could help you take better stock photography images.

Choose a Focus Topic

While it could be tempting to post a lot of different types of images to stock photography libraries and sites, your best course of action is to concentrate on shooting stock photos of a specific subject. Concentrating on a specified type of image could help you attract potential customers on the site and could turn single image purchasers into repeat customers.

Think Like an Advertiser

Stock photography is usually used in advertising. It means advertisers may want some space on the side of the image subject to add texts or logos. They might also be unhappy if there was another brand name shown in the shot. Review your photo, consider how the photo might be used, and tailor what is in front of your camera to satisfy that specific need.

Take a Few Different Shots

Take a similar photo from several different angles and with several variations. A promoter could really love an image you captured of an elderly man reading the newspaper but actually wants the focal point to be on the coffee mug beside him instead of the paper itself. If you have a scene with many different elements to it, try taking as many photos as you can. The more variation you could get, the better.

A lot of stock photography websites and libraries would apply their copyright protection to your photographs, but make it a point to always confirm this before submitting or uploading your photos. If the rules and regulations aren’t clear, you could add a watermark using Watermarquee to make sure your photos aren’t saved and used without attribution.

7 Best Tips to Do Amazing Landscape Photography

How can you do amazing landscape photography?

Whether you love snapping travel shots on vacations or wandering around charming spots near your house, landscape photography is so much more than just pointing and shooting. As with other photography niches, a lot of practice (and a little bit of knowledge) can make your landscape photography a lot better. We can also help through this article that will give several tips for kicking your landscape photography up a notch.

Learn About Depth of Field and Focal Points

Landscape photography mostly covers a lot of space from near the photographer to the far distance. There could also be an array of subjects in the scene, like trees, mountains, architecture, people, etc. You first need to decide what would be the subject of your photos or your focal point. It would be best if you learned how to take the focal point of your subject or scene and ensure that the primary subject is in sharp focus.

Theer are tips to do amazing landscape photography.

Meanwhile, the depth of field concerns how much of the main subject is in focus. For landscape photography, this would be nearly the whole thing in sight. For you to achieve this, you would have to shoot a small aperture. Nevertheless, this would cause you to slow the shutter speed lower than what could be done hand-held in a lot of circumstances.

Use the Histogram

Histograms are arguably an indispensable tool in landscape photography. As a photographer, you should try to learn how to understand and use the findings to enhance your photographs. A histogram refers to a simple graph that displays the various tonal distribution in the photos. The right side of the graph denotes bright tones, while the left side is for dark tones.

For example, if the majority of the histogram finding is heavier on one side, this could mean that your image is too dark or light (underexposed or overexposed). This is not necessarily a bad thing, and a lot of other images work ideally well either way. Nonetheless, if you see that the graph ranges beyond the right or left edge, it means that you have portions of the image with lost detail. You should avoid this from happening, and by seeing the histogram findings, you can now rectify it by either compensating for the exposure or recomposing the photo.

landscape photography

Use a Tripod

You’ll never see a professional photographer shoot landscape photography that they would feature in their online photography portfolio without a tripod. A tripod is much more than an expensive toy. This piece of equipment serves one primary purpose and offers another benefit that you may not be aware of. The key advantage most people know about is that the tripod significantly reduces camera shake from your hand holding the camera. A tripod is especially crucial with the small aperture required for the depth of field you want in your landscape photography shots.

Another benefit of using the tripod is it compels you to contemplate about the shot a more. It is relatively easy to just walk around, raise your camera, shoot a few scenes, and then proceed to the next one.  Setting up and getting the tripod in the right spot takes some time. This would slow you down and oblige you to study and analyze what you can see in the viewfinder. It will also allow you to make the necessary adjustments in the scene before you capture it.

Use the Best Light

Lighting is one of the most crucial factors in any type of photography niche, but it’s even more important in landscape photography. Keep in mind that it doesn’t really matter how spectacular the location is or how well you compose your image – if the lighting does not do the scene justice, you can be sure that the image will not come out as excellent as you expected it to. The best lighting for landscape photography is late afternoon or early morning, while the midday sun offers the harshest light.

Early morning lighting is best for landscape photography.

Part of the landscape photography challenge is your ability to cope and adapt to various lighting conditions; for instance, breathtaking landscape photos could be taken even on cloudy or stormy days. The important point is to use the best possible lighting and influence your images’ overall look and feel with it.

Think About the Composition

As you analyze the frame through the viewfinder, ponder the elements that are there and not in the frame. Are there objects in the scene you don’t like that a few inches to the right will remove? Are there objects that are not in the scene that but a little backing up a bit will include? Find where your main subject is. Refrain from placing the main subject in the centre of the scene. Putting it a bit off-centre adds more intrigue to the image.

Don’t forget about the angle, too! If you have a gorgeous sky, you could tilt your camera up a little bit to include more in the frame. However, if it is blown out or dull, maybe you could tilt the shot down slightly and lessen the visible sky. Always walk around and consider the landscape from various angles, elevations, and positions.

Shoot in RAW Format

If your camera can shoot photos in RAW format, we recommend that you always shoot photos in RAW format. They show more detail and give you more room to work within post-production without diminishing the image’s quality. Keep in mind that you can always save RAW files in whichever formats you or your client needs, but you wouldn’t be able to save JPEGs as RAW files.

Experiment with Landscape Photography

One of the many good things about landscape photography is that even though there are many rules and techniques that exist to aid composition and improve the process of capturing the images, there is and there will always be room to test and experiment.

In digital photography, taking a photo is not wasting a negative (and money), so there are enough chances to use your own style and sometimes break the rules. Even though it doesn’t work most of the time, and the image doesn’t always look great, you might capture a gem every now and then.

Landscape photography has a lot of room to experiment.

One of the most typical genres that both amateur and professional photographers work on is landscape photography. With enough practice, hard work, patience, and dedication to your art, you could shoot striking landscape photographs that you can highlight in your online portfolio. These simple tricks and tips can help you master this photography niche. Now get out there and practice. It wouldn’t be long before you bring home magnificent landscape photos.

Watermark Maker -Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best 1

 

How to choose the best watermark maker might sound difficult. It will require some effort on your part. Knowing what to look for in a watermark maker is half the battle. The other half is how easy the watermark maker works.

On top of knowing what to look for in a watermark maker, you will need to have an idea of what type of watermark you are going to use. That may require a little more time and effort on your part. It depends on what your business is, what type of product or services you offer, and how often you watermark photos, images, or other products.

For example, a realtor will use watermarks more often than a business that sells products or services. Every photo a realtor uses on the web should be watermarked; preferably with their logo at least.

What to look for when choosing the best watermark marker

Do you know what to look for when choosing the best watermark maker? Let’s discuss some really important things you need a watermark maker to do for you.

Ease of use

You want to find a watermark maker that is easy to learn and use. Do I need to install specialist software? Life is too short to spend hours having to become qualified in a particular software program.

Batch marking

Seek out a watermark marker that allows you to watermark more than one photo or image at a time so you can get the job done faster.

Features

You want to be able to change fonts, colors, opacity, and other features – easily.

Upload

Look for a watermark maker that allows you to upload multiple images or photos. Can I create the watermark directly in my browser – or will my photos be stored on a separate server?

Saving and downloading

Saving and downloading should be easy – so I can come back at any time and retrieve the watermark I have created.

Support

You need to make sure that good support is available.

Price

Depending on your budget the price is an important consideration. Can I trial the watermarking service for FREE –

such as with Water Marquee and upgrade later to a paid service should I need additional features?

Is it a subscription service – or can I pay a one-off lifetime price – providing unlimited use?

If I choose the FREE service will I need to give my email details – enabling a flood of emails I don’t want?

If you look for these 7 points, then you will be able to find the perfect watermark maker for you.

Finding the best watermark maker online

There are several online watermark makers one such online service is Water Marquee.

Water Marquee offers a batch watermark, support, a free and paid accounts option, it is easy to use and has many features. You can save your watermark and download it easily.

There are also templates that can be used. It allows you to change your font, the color, and the amount of opacity you wish to use. Start out with the free service to try it out and then you can go to the paid Pro’ Account which is extremely reasonable; just a one-time fee of less than $20.00.

Many of the online watermark sites will charge a monthly fee and while they may not be all that much per month in a year you have spent far more than $20.00. Most online watermarking sites will offer the same features and tools. Some are a little harder than others to use so be sure to try them out before you spend money for a paid account to make sure that site will work for you.

6 Tips on making watermarks

Here are 6 tips on making a watermark for your photos and images that should help you design a watermark that fits you; one that will be easily recognized by others like yours.

  • If you are watermarking photos think about the composition of the photos you take; for example is it most people, nature, animals, cityscapes, etc. You want to come up with a watermark that fits your main composition and use it on all your photos or images.
  • Make sure that your watermark is one you will stick with; changing your watermark all the time will be confusing to your clients or patrons. Think of your watermark as your branding, so that when people see that they know it is your property, your work.
  • Watermark your images at their final size. If you watermark the full-size image then scale it down to fit the space you are putting it in, then the watermark is too small to be seen or read. If you are signing your name as your watermark you want people to be able to read it.
  • Make your watermark semi-transparent (opaque) this helps keep the attention on the composition and not on the watermark. Your work is what you want to be noticed, the watermark is only a protection device for your work unless it is your signature but still the composition is what should be noticed not the signature watermark.
  • The position must be considered. Position it in a place that makes it harder to remove. For example, place part of it on a person’s leg or foot that is near a color background. Let’s say it is a person sitting on a bench and the color under the bench is a dark shadow; place the watermark on part of the foot or leg of the person and the rest in the dark shadow area. To be removed the dark shadow area may be easy but not so easy for the leg or foot area without a program designed for photos and image editing. Even then the person needs to be a pro to make it look right with the watermark removed.
  • If your camera has a copyright information setting make sure it is on. Add that information to the metadata description and the title as well. While this camera’s copyright information can be stripped by some programs and social media sites like Facebook adding it into the meta description and title can help.

Following the above 6 tips on making watermarks should help you design a clear watermark that fits your company, photos, or images; one that will become a brand for you that your customers or clients will recognize immediately.     

help protect your images and photos from theft                                                            

Conclusions

Watermarking can help protect your images and photos from theft. It is your choice whether you decide to watermark or not. If you choose to watermark follow the above 6 tips and you will be able to come up with a watermark that will be your brand. Having a watermark that is your brand makes your work easily recognizable.

You can use online watermarking services like Water Marquee to make watermarks on your photos in batches so it takes less time. They offer free and paid accounts, have many features, and good support. The site is easy to use to make your watermark with and save it.

You work hard, spending hours taking photos or designing images why let them be lifted from the web or social media without a fight.

 

Culture, People, 10 Tips for Amazing Travel Photos

 

How can you make your travel photos better?

Whether you’re travelling around the world or to the beach for the weekend, taking photos is a fun way to document your adventures.

Sharing your journey on social media or planning on taking your photography to the next level?  Whatever you decide, these tips will help to improve the quality of your photos and protect your images using a free watermark maker.

It does not matter if you are using a phone or a fancy camera, just think about how you are going to make an image uniquely yours – to create better travel photos (and possibly monetize them in the future).

Snap the needed shots, but add a twist

I’m sure that anyone who goes to beautiful Paris is mandated by law to take a shot at the Notre Dame, Eiffel Tower, and the iconic River Seine. These photos are the ones that shout, “Hey, I was actually there!” Nevertheless, if you are doing something unique and different, these are also the travel photos that people will jump over quickly.

watermark maker
My photo of the Eiffel Tower. Not bad, but not great.

 

travel photos
Finding a way to show off the scale of your subject, like this photo, is a good way to add a twist to your travel photos.

 

tips for travel photos
Placing a famous landmark in the background can force the viewer to do a double-take.


Know your exposure

To add a twist, take a shot from a different angle. Get high, get low, get close, get far, but don’t be boring. Placing a famous landmark in the background may force the viewer to do a double-take.

Most cameras have scene modes that adjust camera settings to suit shooting situations. For instance, the portrait mode tells the camera to set a wide aperture to blur the background, while in the landscape mode, it sets a small aperture to capture a lot of sharp detail. It is better to swap between these modes than to shoot in a fully automatic mode.

Shoot quickly

Candid photos of people are an excellent way to capture the vibe and energy of a new place. You want to capture people candidly when you are photographing someone. So do not linger on, get the camera ready, and shoot the scene quickly. If you are seen, and you are smiling, that’s alright: give them a  friendly wave and ask if you can snap another one.

Shoot themes

There are often small details that remind you of a particular place. In the spice market, for instance, it could be the vivacious colors, in the old Tuscan town, it could be the texture of the old walls. Whatever it is, make it a point to shoot a series of images of it. keep in mind that it is the details that you remember instead of the bigger picture.

Use selective focus

It is not enough to have a very interesting subject. It is our mission as travel photographers to make an interesting image of sometimes uninteresting subjects. We can do more than just click a picture; we can take pictures of what we’re thinking and how we feel.

We can use a wide-angle lens to overestimate what is closest to the camera or telephoto to compress the scene. If we have enough light or a tripod, we can decide to do everything in focus. Alternatively, we can choose to use a shallow depth of field and concentrate on just one element of the image, leaving the rest of it out of focus.

Shoot at nighttime

A lot of places look better at night since most attractive buildings are lit during that time. However, it’s best to snap photos while there’s still some color in the sky before it’s too dark; this will give you more stunning images with less dense shadows.

Keep the camera sensitivity (ISO) set low; this will guarantee the best  quality travel photos  with the most beautiful colors.

Use culture to your advantage

Take note of local customs and traditions. You should also study some of the customs and traditions of the location you visit. Some of the best photographs can be taken during ceremonies or on special occasions that are relevant to your destination.

A lot of experienced photographers say that this is one of the best tips for great travel photos because traditions and customs are specific to the site you are visiting, and memories are irreplaceable. If you take pictures of these special events, you’ll end up with unique photographs that show the true experience of your trip and the people you’ve met.

Silhouettes

Creative silhouettes can be shot at any time of day by looking for a camera position that puts the photo subject against a bright background and adjusts the exposure control. It is essential to have a strong contrast between the object or subject you are trying to silhouette and the background.

Do not forget the people

Make sure you get some photos of the people you’re travelling with and the people you’re encountering along the way. Many people make the mistake of just taking pictures of the scenery, and return home disappointed because they forgot to take pictures of themselves at incredible locations, or their family or friends enjoying the trip.

Travel photos.Don’t forget to take pictures of your travel companions.

Actively engaging in conversation with your chosen subject should happen before or after a photo-shoot — not during, doing so may result in unflattering images. It is better to share a quiet and tranquil human moment and let the lens peer into the window of your subject’s soul.

Environmental portraits

Photos of people in their surroundings add an essential human component to any travel stories. Professionals tend to use a medium to wide lenses for environmental portraits, with the aim of producing an image that conveys emotions and interaction with the subject.

Travelling is one of the most rewarding gifts we can give ourselves, and memories can last a lifetime. To help you remember those moments and share your experiences with others, use these tips for great travel photos to help make sure your photos that will help you relive the magic of your journey throughout your life.

Protecting your photos with a watermark maker

You’ve exerted effort and spent time taking those shots and making sure they look good—don’t let other people on the internet steal them and claim your works as their own. Protect your photos with a free watermark maker, like Watermarquee. Watermarquee is a free watermark maker that allows multiple watermarking of photos for added convenience.

Also check your relevant country for travel restrictions.

It also offers a pro watermark maker version for only $19, which allows users to upload bigger photo files to be watermarked. Check out our watermarking tips here using our favourite watermark.

Watermark Photos for Free! Best 5 Photography Hacks:

Why should watermarking be a part of your photography work?

A lot of people think that watermarks are only there to protect the copyright of their images. It is indeed one of the purposes, but it is not the only one. Watermarks could be a great marketing tool for budding, even seasoned photographers, so you need to know how to watermark photos for free.

This is something that young, inexperienced photographers frequently overlook.

Your watermark is your signature, your own personal image. And if you’re serious about photography, you need to know this: photos make a lucrative business.

It is just like you are wearing a great suit in an interview. It is great to have brilliant photos, but it is better to have a professional-looking watermark to catch complete attention.

Watermark Photos for Free! Best 5 Photography Hacks:

The Watermarking Process

What you want for your photography business is a branding process that includes generating a stunning watermark. Knowing how to watermark photos for free has two stages:

A. Designing a Watermark
B. Stamping Your Images

Let us get into the core of these phases.

Designing a Watermark photo for Free

Not every watermark is a good watermark, just as not every suit is good enough for an appointment. Visibility is not the only factor that matters when you create a watermark.

This design process needs attention to detail, like finding an interesting yet readable font. Here are a couple of ideas that will guide you to begin your photography branding process.

5 Essential Tips on How to Design Watermark Photos for Free:

  1. Use your complete name and the word “photography” below. This will ensure both professionalism and credibility as well as the brand.
    People will easily remember who took the fantastic photo they toppled upon.
  2. Apply a calligraphy font for the name and a simplistic font in uppercase for the word “photography.”
  3. Use white for the font color and have the transparency set around 40-60%. That way, the watermark will be unobtrusive but still visible.
  4. Place the watermark in the best spot. Most people put their watermark in the left or right corner of the lower part of the photo. That’s the right placement. However, if the colors of your photo do not allow the watermark to be visible, you can put it in the upper part as well. Never put your Watermark Photos for Free in the centre of the picture (unless you’re planning to sell it).

Bear in mind that the watermark must be out of the focus of the picture.

5. Create and use a branded logo. Using a logo that is identifiable to you will improve your ability to gain recognition as a photographer.

Using these five watermark designing tips, produce a transparent PNG file that can be easily applied over any kind of image. It is better if you make two PNG files: one with white and one with black colored font.

Stamping Your Photos

Before, the process of watermarking was difficult. You had to apply expensive software like Photoshop to learn complicated things like batch processing. Watermarquee is an online free watermarking service that is effective, yet simple and straightforward.

How to Watermark Photos for Free Using Watermarquee:

  1. Go to Watermarquee’s website.
  2. Click Select Photos to Watermark.
  3. Select the image that you want to watermark and uploaded.
  4. At the editor page, you can select to add a logo watermark or a text-based watermark which you will need to upload
  5. Click Save when you are done
  6. Repeat the steps above if you have various photos that you would like to watermark
  7. Once you are done, click Save to ZIP file and it will download every watermarked photo in a ZIP file to your PC.

You can then save the watermarked images on your computer. There is no limit to how many images you can Watermark Photos for Free, but the free watermarking service will only support a max of 5 images at a time.

Watermark Photos for Free

Those who do not want to complicate things can just write a watermark text and modify the size and position of the text. It is very simple with drag-and-drop options.

Watermarquee watermarking website also has a premium service that is not expensive. Water Marquee Pro users may upload any file size and any image file, such as JPG, GIF, TIF, BMP, and PNG.

The major difference is that the Pro version allows users to upload unlimited photos, and there is no limit to the size of the file. This may be a highly important feature to consider for photographers working with much more substantial resolutions.

The Pro version provides users with access to premium templates if you like something a bit more fanciful, and even to a larger font library. The Pro version costs only $19 for a one-time fee.

They can also share watermarked photos on Flickr, Picasa, and Facebook. This is a great thing knowing that social sharing is generally the best way to promote your business and photography art.

Good equipment is essential and keeping them in excellent condition with accessories like this.

The pro version of this photo-watermarking website will help you quickly and easily stamp every picture with watermarks if you go into selling your photos.

 

Mathematics in Photography: The Golden Photo

 

So how do I use math to take a ‘GOLDEN’ perfect photo?

Mathematics in Photography: The Golden Photo

Although photography is a visual art form, everywhere you look, you can find Mathematics in photography.  There are a few simple, timeless principles of composition you need to learn about for photography and to find the ‘sweet spot’.

And if you want to completely forget that they’re numbers, yeah, that sits well with me.

Before you cringe and think that this article talks about the horrors of Math (i.e. numbers), let me stop you right there! You don’t need to add, subtract, multiply or divide big numbers; you don’t even have to find the value of x (or your ex, for that matter), but do you know that there is still some aspects of math that are involved in capturing the perfect, or “golden” photo?

Do you still recall when you were back in class, and your teacher would start discussing a subject you couldn’t believe you would ever need to learn again? I know that I do.  But sometimes it’s amusing how those subjects reappear later, even if it is in a way you least expected.

Mathematics in Photography: The Golden Photo

Rule of Thirds

This is possibly one of the first principles to be introduced to photographers, but that does not mean it is just for beginners.  A few of the best images ever taken follow this rule of photography and accomplished photographers take into account the rule of thirds without even a thought-it comes so naturally.

The idea is to divide the image into nine equal squares, dividing lines between 1/3rd and 2/3rds of the way through and down the image.  In your photograph, you place points of interest along those lines and at the intersection of those lines.

Divide the image into 9 squares

Since this results in the focus of the photo being off-centre, you end up with a more engaging picture.

With the help of this technique to crop the image, even what would otherwise be a dull image can be improved and enhanced.

Mathematics in Photography: The Golden Photo
       A photo cropped to follow the Rule of Thirds.

 The Golden Number and Golden Ratio

You may think of the Golden Ratio as an advanced form of the Thirds Rule, even though the Thirds Rule is a simple way to achieve the Golden Ratio.  Keep in mind that the two are not exactly identical.

The Golden Ratio is the figure you get when splitting a line into two parts so that the greater part divided by, the smaller part, is equivalent to the entire length divided by the longer part. I know this is a bit tough to grasp, but this may help you picture it.

Golden Ratio envisioned like a line 

The “a” to “b” ratio is an irrational number, around 1.6.18 (this is called the Golden Number). If you’re making a rectangle that has an “a” width and a “b” height, you get what is called a Golden Rectangle.

photography and Maths
The Golden Ratio visualized as a line.

Ironically, state of the art camera viewfinder and LCD screens are typically equal to the Golden Rectangle, so you are using it automatically for framing when you take a picture.

Mathematics photography
   The Golden Rectangle is          built using the Golden                           Ratio

Who discovered the Golden Ratio?

Mathematics in photography

The Golden Ratio was first defined by a mathematician named Euclid, back in 300 B.C., as what he termed the extreme and mean ratio after he observed the number constantly increasing in geometry.

Much, much later, a mathematician, Fibonacci, revealed to the Western world what we now know as the “Fibonacci sequence,” in 1202 A.D.  The Fibonacci sequence is the pattern of numbers that you get when you begin with 0 and 1, and then each corresponding number is the sum of the two numbers before.

Leonardo Pisano Bigollo
Leonardo Pisano Bigollo, aka                      Fibonacci

Leonardo Pisano Bigollo, aka Fibonacci

Fibonacci was an extremely bright guy, noting that the ratio of sequential elements in the sequence asymptotically approaches the Golden Ratio (which means it never gets quite there but tends to get closer and closer).

By the time the Renaissance came along a few hundred years later, musicians, architects, artists, and many others began to pinpoint the Golden Ratio and the Golden Rectangle. They started to integrate it into their work, claiming that the Golden Number referred to God.  They thought that way, as they realized how it continued to happen in nature.  You will notice it in the honeybee family tree, in Nautilus Shells, and in a flower’s spirals.

Golden Spiral as photo composition guideline

The Golden Spiral that can be used in photo composition is created in Fibonacci tiling by creating circular arcs which connect the opposite corners of a square (which, together with its height and width, achieves the Golden Ratio themselves).   Fibonacci tiling is where you continue to create smaller Golden Rectangles within each other – the Fibonacci Sequence follows the ratio of one rectangle to another. Here is a representation of both Fibonacci tiling and Golden Spiral composition in photo:

Boat photo composed using the Golden Spiral
Boat photo composed using the Golden Spiral

Photography’s Golden Triangle

Mathematics in photography

There is also another law of photographic composition to be mindful of, to take it up a notch: the Golden Triangle.  A Golden Triangle is where two sides are of equal length (referred to as an isosceles triangle), and the other (referred to like the smaller side) is in a Golden Ratio with its side.  The Golden Spiral, Golden Triangle and Golden Rectangle all work together like pieces of a puzzle quite well.

Another excellent example of the Golden Spiral existing in nature is the pinecone.

The pinecone in this 
Mathematics in photography       The pinecone in this           picture is another great                      example
      of the Golden Spiral occurring in nature.

Thirds Rule vs. Golden Ratio

The Rule of Thirds, the most popular principle of design applied to photography, is known as reflecting the Golden Ratio of photography. Yes, the Thirds rule is said to have been developed as a simple way for photographers to locate the ‘sweet spot’ in the Golden Ratio, the point at which the human eye is first drawn to.

Whether this is how the Thirds rule came about or not, the simple nine-sectioned grid helps a photographer to make an image based on the simple-to-locate focal points at which to place the prominent aspects of a scenario.

Which is better?

Even though the Rule of Thirds fits well in photography for many cases, the Golden Ratio can often be used as a more appealing concept design. This is due primarily to the ratio allowing for a more balanced picture.

Often the Rule of Thirds, especially in landscape photography, may leave some elements of a scene in an awkward position, such as a horizon line. The simple splitting of a frame into thirds means that a horizon line will appear a little too plain.

Nonetheless, when using the Golden Ratio, the balance can sometimes seem more normal and less rigid. Application of the Golden Ratio as a way to help place attractions while creating a picture may help create an overall effect on the scene. It will help lead viewers through the scene to discover any points of interest that you choose to embed in your image. This will also provide the scene with a natural balance, something we are used to seeing in the whole of nature.

Which Photograph Rule to use?

The Golden Triangle is most useful if you need to take a picture that has a lot of diagonal lines in it.  And, as you can see, photos composed using the Golden Spiral are similar to those composed using the Rule of Thirds.  Each will lead you to push the subject of your image off-centre.

However, the lines drawn by a Golden Spiral are a bit closer to the centre of a photo.  If you’re wondering which to use, it’s usually a matter of timing.

  • If you have plenty of time to frame up your shot perfectly, use the Golden Spira
  • If you need to take the picture quickly, you can still get a great shot using the Rule of Thirds.

Using the Golden Ratio in photography

The composition can be dramatically improved by both the golden spiral and the phi grid. But how do you get a better photo of a spiral or grid pattern?

You can now learn how to use the golden ratio in photography by understanding what it is.

Step 1: Scene Evaluation 

The precise use you make of the golden ratio depends on the scene before you. There are compositional strategies to help you think about the scene, rather than just pointing and firing.

Now that you know three different techniques of composition, you have to decide which one is the right fit. To do that, ask yourself questions about the future picture that lies before you:

  • What is the picture subject matter? This is where you’re going to want your eye to lead.
  • What other elements do you need to add to the scene? Look at everything in the scene and decide whether it distracts or improves the subject.
  • Does the picture reveal any leading lines or natural curves? Leading lines work adequately for the phi grid, while essential curves merely suggest a golden spiral ratio.

Step 2: Assess whether to use the Golden Spiral or the Golden Ratio (or even the Thirds rule)

  • First, choose between the phi grid and the golden spiral. You can not reshape a straight object to fit in a spiral, so if there are great leading lines in your scene, try the phi grid.
  • If your scenario has more natural curves from a tree’s form to a cheekbone’s curve, then the golden spiral is probably a better match.
  • The golden ratio is known to be a more advanced version of the Thirds rule, but calling on the Thirds rule again is still ok. If that composition technique works best on the scene, apply it!

Step 3: Picture the overlay and shoot

  • Imagine a complex spiral placed above your picture may at first be tricky. This is a little easier to handle if you simplify the definition.
  • Next, by viewing the options in Settings, test and see which grid overlays your camera has built-in. If you have a phi-grid or spiral option on your camera, switch on that app. Most will have a Thirds rule. Even if that isn’t the guide to composition you’re using, allowing the feature is beneficial.
  • If you use an optical viewfinder (as opposed to an electronic one), when you aim and search with Live View, you’ll have to picture the map.
  • First, pick which image angle to use. You’re going to want to position the subject at the intersections of the lines with the phi grid, or in the smallest spiral part. Using the grid overlay of Rule of Thirds on your frame, approximate where the subject should be with the golden ratio technique.
  • If you have opted for the Phi Grid, position the subject closer to the picture centre than the intersection of the Rule of Thirds. If you’re dealing with that golden spiral, put the subject a little further out than the intersection of the Rule of Thirds.
  • Unlike Thirds rule, putting the topic at the intersection is not the end.
  • Modify your composition by aligning any leading lines or curves you’ve found on the available grid lines or along the spiral in the scenario.

The design is more than just using the viewfinder to crop

  • An alteration of your location will exaggerate the lines and angles. You can stick to a higher point of view, kneel or lay on the ground, step forward, move further away or move to one side.
  • Discover the possibilities of making up! Your aim is to place other elements of the scene in the phi grid, either on the spiral out of the subject or on one of the unused lines.
  • Then, shoot. If you’re uncertain (and don’t work with a fast subject) take several variations with minor adjustments in composition in between.

Step 4: Edit

It’s one thing to imagine the phi grid or golden spiral ratio as you fire, but what if you need that precise 1.618 magic number? Luckily Photoshop (and a number of other photo editors) have resources for that.

Photoshop Golden Ratio Overlays Use Golden Ratio in photography: Example photo editor context menu displaying golden ratio guide options Select the crop tool and draw a crop box over the image with the camera open in Photoshop.

  • First, press the overlay options and choose the method you want to compose: the golden ratio (phi grid) or the golden spiral (Fibonacci spiral).
  • To fine-tune your composition change the crop box. If the golden spiral is not in the right corner of the image, the cycle orientation choice can be selected from the same drop-down menu that you selected the composition tool type, or you can press Shift + O.

Then – you will have your perfect Golden Photo to watermark for free!

Photo Wall Tips: 16 Best Ways to Make an Amazing Gallery Wall

What is a photo wall, and how can you make one for your home?

A bare wall is akin to a blank canvas. There are a lot of great ways to decorate it and among the most popular methods is making a photo wall. There are practically limitless ways to display photos on your wall. Making an eye-catching photo wall using various-sized frames or adding your favorite artworks and portraits into a photo wall collage could quickly become a challenge.

How to Create a Photo Wall

The next thing to do is to set how high you want to hang your photos. Photo wall height is the notion that often goes wrong. The rule of thumb is to arrange photos at your sight line; hence, you do not need to look too low at it or up too high.

A photo wall can spruce up your home.

When you have already decided on a general spot, you could frame out that space with some painter’s tape to help you visualize the area. Look at it carefully and see if you’re happy with where it sits on your wall. You could get creative with this; perhaps you want to put your photo wall a bit off-center for a laid-back vibe. You could also create a vignette, where the photos are part of the grouping and a bit off-center.

There are actually a lot of ways you could create a photo wall and here are some tips:

Choose a Theme

Select a theme like friends, family, or vacations—and make sure your photos blend in well with the theme. Just like making your pictures the same theme, the frames must likewise share a feel even if they do not exactly match. For example, choose wood frames in different finishes, or arrange antique-looking metal frames in various shapes.

Make Photo Ledges

Place your artwork and framed photos on a set of shelves. Layer your design with different shapes, sizes, and colors to create maximum visual appeal.

Build Columns and Rows

You can arrange pictures in your photo wall in columns and rows.

Create a family photo wall with a variety of photos. Add candid shots of the children laughing, playing, and enjoying their time outdoors. Evenly place your photos in columns and rows so you could creatively turn your cherished memories into wonderful photo wall designs.

Use Foam Board

Using a wide foam board as a base, a photo wall could capture many favorite memories: watching a sunset with the kids and playing in the leaves or your baby learning to walk. Designing your layout ahead of time with the foam board enables you to organize your pictures in exactly the order you prefer.

Repurpose an Old Window

Repurpose a window with panes into a unique frame for several photographs—from snaps of your family sunbathing on the beach to travelling together. Create coherence within your design by selecting pictures in the same color palette. For added flair, outline each window pane with a similar shade of paint.

Create a Minimalist Black and White Spread

Black and white photos can add flair to your photo wall.

You can use simple photo editing apps and tools to edit your chosen pictures to make them black and white. Use the two-toned theme complete with white matting and white frames. To add personality and charm to the photo wall, arrange your pictures at varying heights, instead of in a single straight line.

Gather Your Panoramic Shots

Great for panoramic photos—like picturesque landscapes from your tropical vacation or fan-filled stadium views from your latest sports outing—shots like these that capture the whole scene can make your photo wall truly stand out. Line up a few panoramic frames for a gallery vibe. Mix and match the style and width of your frames for contrast.

Go Antique

Create an antique-look family photo wall with ornate wood and metallic frames. Try mixing shapes, like square and circular, on the same wall. Make sure to leave some open area for easy viewing.

Build A Timeline

Display your pictures in chronological order. Arrange your photographs to show your family’s growth over the years. Pick family snapshots from travels and vacations to breathe life to your photo wall.

Mix It Up

Create a mix of styles and designs in one photo wall: photo clipboards and framed art. Add in an array of photo varieties, too, like a picturesque landscape and a close-up portrait of your favorite people.

Add in Individual Shots

Create your family photo wall with blown-up photos of every family member. They could be dancing, singing or just a great candid shot of them doing anything. Bring the design together with a full family picture. Make sure to print your pictures on quality material, so the photos look clear and sharp.

Brighten Your Photo Wall With White

Select white matting frames and finishes for your photo wall, which could include a variety of family photos and candid shots from a recent holiday vacation or a walk in the park. Frame your photographs on your photo wall in a somewhat asymmetrical style to build visual diversity.

Design A Diverse Composition

Diversity can add a touch of spice to your photo wall.

The best photo wall concepts are mapped out ahead of time. This is particularly true when you add in aa variety of pieces—such as photos, hanging baskets, and clocks. Complement your wall with a central color like black or dark brown.

Have Fun Mixing Your Colors

Although a lot of family photo wall concepts are designed with similarly-colored accents and frames, you can also create a photo wall that uses a palette of neutral colors. It is made complete with unique and charming pieces like a wooden arrow, a DIY artwork, and framed family photographs.

Create A Heart Shape

Create a “lovely” collage with a heart-shaped design. Choose photographs that show ‘love,’ whether they snap a memorable vacation place or a favorite person. By organizing your pictures close together, your visitors would be able to appreciate your favorite memories easily.

Try A Non-framed Photo Wall Concept

Pictures in a photo wall do not need to be framed. Select your favorite photo styles, such as metal prints or canvas and print your pictures in the same size. Mix a range of close-ups and moving shots for a diverse design.

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