Those of you who are interested in stock photography might want to read more about Lise Gagne, a freelancer who recently set a new record for stock photography sales. Lise has sold more than half a million photos to iStockPhoto.com. To learn some of the secrets of her phenomenal success, read this interview with her. Although she credits much of her success to a background in Web/multimedia design, most readers will also be impressed by her strong work ethic, her analytical abilities, and her sense of fun. Perhaps it is this latter skill that makes her scenes appear so happy, natural, and relaxed, attributes mentioned by several of her clients.
Most times when photographers shoot pictures, they work hard to get the exposure correct so that their images reflects what they saw in real life. At times, though, I deliberately over or underexpose for effect. In an earlier post, Creating Blackgrounds, I discussed how to use underexposure to create dramatic black backgrounds. Similarly, you can use overexposure to create other specific effects.
For example, overexposure can create a light, dreamy, impressionistic atmosphere. Edges blur, colors soften, and a light background fades to white. The subject is enveloped by light.
The tulips here look soft and delicate, even though their petals and leaves are firm. The pastel colors suggest spring, new growth, and freshness. A different exposure might have captured the shapes more clearly, but the effect would have been totally different.
As part of the film Wizard of Photography, the story of George Eastman, PBS created a timeline of the history of photography that you can view on their website. It’s covers a lot of important events in photography between 1826 and 1992.
It’s an interesting idea and a direction that all digital camera makers are obviously headed in. Every generation of digital camera will have higher ISOs with less noise than the previous batch. Now imagine just a little ways in the future when you can get the equivalent of ISO 12800 (3 stops faster than ISO 1600) with no noise. I could’ve used it today for sure. Three stops is the difference between shooting indoors under fluorescent lighting at 1600 and 200. High ISOs will never be a substitute for quality lighting but it’d sure be handy.
There’s a tutorial over at instructables for creating a large backdrop frame from PVC pipe. The tutorial says it’s for a stage backdrop or room divider but it would work just as well as a photo backdrop.