How to make the lighting in your room better for video!

This is exactly how I light my room for making a video.

I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Turn off the main room light

Room lights are on your ceiling shining down. These lights do not look very good on camera for filming a video. Start by turning them off, and have your camera on so you can see what it looks like when you turn on your other lights.

Main Filming light

Turn on your main filming light at about a 45 degree angle from your face. This light should be the brightest. I use this ring light as my main video light.

Fill Light

The fill light is to fill in the shadows on the other side of your face. This will give your face a nice even light for the video. The light should be placed on the other side of the main filming light at a 45 degree angle pointing towards you.

Front Facing light

A front facing light is not needed. I do like to use it to brighten up my face a bit more though.

The front facing light should be right next to you camera and angled down at your face. I place my front facing light slightly above the camera’s height.

The front facing light and the fill light I use are video lights.

71B9rxvwp3S AC SL1500
GVM 2 Pack LED Video Lighting Kits

LED Lights

led lights are a great way to have many different colors and brightness on the walls, ceilings, and shelves in the background of your room.

I don’t have a brand in particular to recommend. I do suggest to only buy one brand and make sure you buy enough to do the area you plan on installing them. If you buy more then one brand they might not have the same colors or hook up right.

RGB Light bars

These portable, waterproof, rechargeable, light bars are so convenient to use. I own three of them and use them daily. They last hours and don’t take to long to charge. I set them with contrasting colors to my LED light strips and it gives a lot more character to my background.

Himalayan Salt Lamp

One piece of lighting I didn’t mention in the video was this salt lamp. It adds a nice warm tone to the background and is really affordable. The downside is it has only one color.

Exposeure on the Camera

Lastly, the camera I use to film allows me o adjust the exposure while in use. I set the exposure about 3 stops lower then what the camera is naturally set at. This makes my background darker and my face nicely lit.

Interested in learning more about photography, exclusive member-only content, and early access to my content? Exclusive membership access

If you found any of this helpful drop your comment down below!

H Douglas Singer Mental Health Rockford Illionis abandoned 55

Urban Exploration Photography (Urbex) – An Ultimate Guide

Abandoned Mental Health Center Rockford Illinois
Abandoned Mental Health Center Rockford, Illinois

What is Urbex Photography?

Urbex is a form of architecture photography.

This type of photography involves entering abandoned buildings such as historic factories, decaying residences or ruins. The goal is to document the building’s decay. Capturing these photos can help preserve the buildings history if anything ever happens to it.

Urban Exploration has a couple rules.

Milwaukee abandoned factory
Abandoned Factory Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Rule #1 – Don’t break anything.

Don’t break anything refers to the building itself, as well as anything inside. As an abandoned photographer your goal is to capture creepy, cool, and unique photos.

Rule #2 – Don’t take anything.

Taking from an abandoned property may seem harmless, however, that is still considered theft. Most properties are still owned by someone and all the stuff inside still legally belongs to the owners.

Rule #3 – Don’t give out locations.

Giving out locations can lead to multiple different issues. Scrappers will want to pull out all the metal and wiring to make some quick cash. Vandals will want to destroy anything they can for “fun”. Then, the worst one, Arsonists, These people enjoy starting fires and burning down abandoned buildings are an easy target. Countless fires near me have been started for “fun” resulting in abandoned buildings being gone forever. In the Urbex community its common for explorers to trade locations with other trusted explorers/photographers

Rule #4 – Get permission if possible.

This one may seem a bit odd, however, abandoned buildings usually have an owner still. These owners end up neglecting the property for many different reasons. That being said, if you can find the property owners info you can ask for permission to explore and take photos. I have asked many owners for permission and have gotten some really cool photos without trespassing.

How to get in contact with the property owner

  • Search google for the property and find the owners info.
  • Ask anyone who may be on site for the owner
  • Ask neighbors for the owners contact
  • Look for a phone number listed on the building or any signs for the building
  • Use a property tax record app like Landgrid for iPhone.

What to say to the property owner

I recommend being honest with the owner.

Tell them that you are interested in writing a blog, maybe you’re interested in documenting the history of the building, or even that you are a photographer interested in capturing a few cool pics. If you’re open and honest with the owner they will be much more willing to work with you.

Remember the worst they can say is NO and ask you to leave.

Legal Issues

Garden hotel abandoned Illinois
Abandoned Hotel South Beloit, Illinois

Let’s talk about the legal boring stuff first. Urban exploration photography is a genre that can be illegal in some countries. Entering the property without permission is called trespassing. We do not encourage trespassing and encourage everyone to get permission first.

A few buildings have security guards, there job is to keep people from entering the building. You can always try to ask permission to access the building from the security guard on duty. They usually wont be able to grant you access, but they could point you in the right direction.

Some abandoned buildings will host ghost tours, these abandoned buildings will allow you to pay a fee to stay in the building.

Then abandoned sites, it can be difficult to hunt down and find the owner. In some cases, there are photographers who will enter anyway, usually they will enter through some kind of opening in a window or door.

If you decide to do this, just be aware that you may be arrested by the local law enforcement. If you are caught by police, never run away, always be calm and explain to the police why you were their and what you were doing. Police have no idea if you have a weapon, broke into the place, or have intentions to steal/vandalize.

Urban Exploration equipment

Abandoned Church School Rockford, Illinois
Abandoned Church School Rockford, Illinois

Equipment I recommend bringing

I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Med Kit

A med kit will help you or a partner if anything minor happens. You could be cut, fall, have something fall on you, or maybe stung by angry bees. Abandoned buildings can be in really rough shape and cause you to get hurt easily.

Door Stops

When exploring buildings, there are lots of doors that can easily lock behind you. To avoid getting locked into a room place a door stop. Then pick it up when you leave.

Gloves

Gloves are a great thing to have if you need to climb a fence, through a window, to protect your hands from rusty metal, and even mold.

Portible Photography Lights

When exploring abandoned buildings, oftentimes, they have no power and are boarded up. This makes the rooms and basements vary dark. Cameras tend to lose a lot of detail and have a hard time focusing in the dark. A couple of these lights will light up a whole room! I take them with me everywhere I go.

Chalk

Some abandoned buildings have many hallways, rooms, and even tunnels that look the same. To help yourself avoid getting lost mark the direction you’ve been with some white chalk.

Pepper Spray

You never know what you may encounter in an abandoned building, a rabid animal, a homeless guy, or someone who just wants to harm you. It’s a good idea to take something with you to protect yourself. I do not recommend taking a weapon, since it may not be seen as a tool for self defense if you do encounter the police.

respirator

Wearing a respirator is very important. Old buildings have lots of mold and asbestos in them. Breathing in those can make you sick or even cause death.

Solar Charger pack

I can’t tell you the countless times my phone has died when exploring and taking photos. Solar charging packs can charge up in the car and you can bring them in with you to give you hours of extra phone life.

Flashlight

It gets dark in buildings you may need an emergency flashlight. This is the one I use.

Safety tips

g 0 abandoned northridge mall photography wisconsin milwaukee 47
Abandoned Northridge Mall Milwaukee, Wisconsin

prep accordingly

It’s better to over prep then under prep and need something. Make sure you bring a camera, lights, batteries, fully charged phone, flash light, lots of water, food to snack on, and a mask for the essentials.

Walk with a light foot

Floors cave in on explorers all the time. Walk along the floor supports, never walk right next to other people in your group, make sure you have stuff to grab onto if possible. Never walk onto a floor that you do not trust! Keep your steps light so you don’t make a lot of noise and are less likely to cave in the floor. Be very careful on stairs too. Try to find a set of stairs made out of concreate instead of wood.

Don’t run if you see a police officer or person

Homeless people usually won’t hurt you. They will most likely ask for a smoke or some money. Make sure you let them know you’re only there to take photos and do not mean to bother them. If you encounter police. Let them know you are taking photos and have permission or didn’t realize it was private property. If they ask you to leave do so immediately. If the owner is there they may be upset with you being on there property, stay calm introduce yourself and what you’re doing. If they yell at you to leave, apologize and leave immediately.

Photographers rights

A lot of security, owners and officers may ask you to delete photos that you took on the property. You do not have to delete any images at there request. I recommend if you have an SD card to switch the card into locked mode so nothing can be deleted. You can do this by switching the little tab on the side of the SD card. If you have an iPhone, you can delete them and resave them from your recently deleted album at a later point.

Parking in front of the building

If you have permission to explore the building I recommend parking right out front and leave a business card on your front window so police can contact you if they need too.

Buddy System

Always go with at least one other explorer for safety reasons. You will be less likely to be robbed, attacked, harassed, and even safer in the event one of you gets hurt. If your phone dies having a second person means you’ll still have a phone for emergencies or as a flashlight.

Intuition

You know that gut feeling that tells you something bad is about to happen. Listen to that. If your gut tells you something is off, leave or don’t enter. Getting photos are not worth losing your life over.

How to Find Abandoned Places

Abandoned Airplanes in Wisconsin
Abandoned Airplanes in Wisconsin

ShotHotspot – Find abandoned places by location (most are demolished or not in the exact location where pinned) on this site.

The old school way – Drive around, find places with lots of broken windows, boarded up, no signs of use, falling in on itself, and condemned signs.

Google Maps – Satellite Mode, look for buildings that have clear signs of major decay from the roof tops. Add a label to save your abandoned locations on the maps.

43°1057 4 N 88°0035 4 W Google Maps Google Chrome 7 6 2021 6 13 07 PM

Google Maps – Street View, When in street view you will see boarded up windows, broken windows, and buildings falling apart.

2301 Lemp Ave Google Maps Google Chrome 7 6 2021 6 18 35 PM

Explore with other photographers – If you are known as a photographer and have been in many abandoned buildings people will trade you locations or even get you permission to explore places they’ve been.

Google Search – “Abandoned + {your city/state}” then go through all the articles to find abandoned places.

Tiktok – Search “abandonedWisconsin” or “abandonedmilwaukee” for example and watch videos under the hashtags and read comments until you find a place.

Instagram – Search “abandonedillinois” or “abandonedChicago” for example and look at photos under the hashtags and read comments until you find a place.

Abandoned Wisconsin – Facebook groups like this contain many explorers and places. (do not ask for a location on the group)

YouTube – search the city you want to explore and read through comments and watch videos. Here’s an example

Pinterest – people will save photos they’ve taken of abandoned places in the city on Pinterest

Reddit – You can find threads where people discuss abandoned places in certain cities and states. like the Milwaukee thread

Realtor – Get to know a realtor and they can let you know about abandoned properties on the MLS database. These can be both on and off market commercial and residential properties. They can pull up properties that are labeled for foreclosure, have a lot of unpaid taxes, or might have even been sitting on the market for sale for many years.

News – The news will often report on a demolition scheduled months or years before the building is taken down. These articles can be found on google.

Abandoned Testers Paint Factory Rockford, Illinois
Abandoned Testers Paint Factory Rockford, Illinois

Interested in learning more about photography, exclusive member-only content, and early access to my content? Exclusive membership access

If you found any of this helpful drop your comment down below!

INSTAGRAM MARKETING TIPS AND ADVICE FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS

INSTAGRAM MARKETING TIPS AND ADVICE FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS

Instagram is the largest social network of photos and videos of the moment. As content producers, we have to know how to make the most of the app’s features. We note below the main tools within Instagram that can be better explored by us, photographers.

Why post photos vertically?

Instagram vertical photos

One of the most important tips on Instagram is whenever possible to post photos vertically and not in square or horizontal mode, so you fill the device’s screen more, improving and valuing your photo in terms of image size and perception of details.

Everyone values vertical photos. The bigger your photo gets on Instagram, the better.

Note below the percentage that each photo fills the screen of a cell phone:

  1. 37% for horizontal photos
  2. 56% for square photos
  3. 70% for vertical photos

Carousel Posts

Tell a story with the photos and post the weddings’ situations in order in the same publication. The client will love to see an entire wedding counted in 5 or 10 photos. Use creativity).

Personal content

Post things from your day-to-day, not only regarding your work. We must not forget that the network is SOCIAL and not COMMERCIAL.

Of course, we are not talking about posting daily about your physical exercises, but occasionally showing something personal brings the client closer to you as a photographer. The client already follows several commercial profiles, all about work and end matters.

Why did the bloggers stand out? They brought informal content to the networks. Today, brands hire these influencers because they create an audience showing more of reality, not overproductions.

In this case, our tip is to keep the identity of your work, composition, treatment, etc., in your personal photos.

Stories

Instagram stories

Instagram Stories is an amazing tool for any business. Usually, we are already a wedding photo that can always tell a story. Knowing how to get more out of it can bring great results.

Promotions in Stories

Make lightning promotions in stories. Use 24 hours of the exhibition that the resource has to publicize sweepstakes, dates, and promotions to your customers.

Example:

  • Whoever closes the wedding photographic coverage until tomorrow wins the pre-wedding rehearsal!
  • 24h with promotional values ​​in newborn tests!
  • Give tips!

Is your audience made up of brides? Post decoration photos of the last weddings, and if possible, link to the complete work on your website.

Is your audience made up of mothers? Share interesting stories about children, decorating children’s rooms, etc.

Polls!

Encourage your audience to respond to things of common interest

asked questions like:

  1. When are you getting married? 2021? 2022?
  2. What do you prefer? Photos at sunrise or sunset?

But there is no point in generating engagement and doing nothing with stakeholders. Rodrigo Lana says that later he did the job of sending a private message to each person talking about rehearsals’ discounts for wedding contracts. Whoever responded already showed more interest in the photos he published; he just had to kick the goal giving attention to each one.

Backstage

One of the main contents that we see today browsing the stories is the backstage of a production. The more real the content, be it photo/video, without tricks, without treatment, the closer the client feels to his work. We love to see how things really are behind those beautiful images of finished work.

  1. Photograph the preparation of a scenario (Making of)
  2. Show the before and after a treatment
  3. Indicate Instagram profiles that inspire you
  4. Post the making of and right after that, the ready photo of that moment.

Engagement

Instagram engagement

Take the audience of your stories to a photo in your feed and increase your Instagram engagement.

Calling in stories that take your customer to comment or like a photo on your profile is a good idea to increase your likes and comments on photos.

The more comments your photo has, the more it will be organically triggered to more followers.

There is an easier way to share the photo of the feed in the stories; follow the steps below:

  1. Go to a photo you want to disclose and press the “little airplane” icon below the photo.
  2. Select the option “Add publication to your story.”
  3. The photo will then be opened in the stories if you want to add, add text, and post.

Photography mistakes beginners make

Beginner Photography MISTAKES – To Avoid To Take Better Photos

Not using the histogram

Lightroom screenshot showing a histogram with a balanced photo

Are your photos overexposed or underexposed? The histogram chart on your camera will help you understand if your photo is properly exposed. The image above is what the chart should look like for a well-balanced photo.

When taking photos your eyes can be deceiving, it’s really easy to think you’re taking a good photo until you pull it up on your computer and realize the highlights are blown out or the shadows are too dark and lose detail.

Lightroom screenshot showing a histogram with an overexposed photo

If the lines are more to the right side your image will be overexposed. When editing an image that was overexposed, the highlights in the photo will be far too bright. This is really common to do when you have a sunny sky in the background and a darker subject. The sky will typically be washed out losing a ton of detail that isn’t recoverable with editing.

Lightroom screenshot showing a histogram with an underexposed photo

If the lines are more to the left side your image will be underexposed. An underexposed image will be dark and lose a lot of detail in the shadows. When you go to brighten the image with a photo editor the shadows will be very grainy and possibly missing important details.

Not moving enough

When taking photos it can become super easy to forget to move around and take different angles. I personally make it a goal to try and find new ways to frame my shot. I’m always looking for the unique angle no one else thought about.

This mistake also includes forgetting to move things out of your picture that distracts and takes away from the image. Taking that extra minute to remove a water bottle or chair from your scene can drastically improve your photography.

H Douglas Singer Mental Health Rockford Illinois abandoned
Abandoned Singer Mental Health Center in Rockford, IL

In this photo, I wasn’t happy with the angle, so I got lower and removed a cup to make the scene less distracting.

H Douglas Singer Mental Health Rockford Illinois abandoned
Abandoned Singer Mental Health Center in Rockford, IL

Moving around your subject to capture different lighting or angles will also help you learn the best way to capture the image you want. If you’re not satisfied with your photo consider trying a few different locations to find the one that fits the best.

Not bringing a tripod

Tripods are great for two main reasons, the first one being tripods stabilize the shot. What good are your photos if they’re all blurry? I’ve forgotten to bring my tripod with me a few times and thought I was taking good photos. After I got home to edit I realized half my images were out of focus and blurry.

The second important reason to have a tripod is for long exposure photography. You cannot take photos of the night sky, dark rooms, or light painting without a tripod to hold your camera as still as possible.

tips for buying a good tripod

Ball head tripod

Joby tripod for a dslr camera

A ball head tripod will give you much more flexibility to angle the camera in almost any direction you need to. I started out with a cheap lever tripod from Walmart in the beginning, since I switched I’ve never used a lever tripod since.

Buy a tall tripod

When I first started photography I had a 5ft tripod and used it a lot. However, there were many times I needed a taller tripod to capture a shot from a higher angle. That’s why I recommend buying one that’s over 6ft tall.

Here’s the one I personally use and recommend.

I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Not taking photos for social media

camera on side showing how to take photos for social media

If you want your work to be seen as a photographer you need to be taking vertical photos. Social media posts that tend to perform the best take up as much space on the phone screen as possible. Most phones are in a 9:16 ratio. To capture a “Social Media Photo” simply turn your camera on its side when taking a photo, then reframe your shot to fit appropriately.

I personally make it a goal to shoot an image that I like vertically and then try to capture another image horizontally. Then I can have photos for a blog/video or a social media post.

Takeaway

To sum everything up, make sure you use the histogram for better exposure, move around more to take more interesting photos, don’t forget your tripod so you capture stable images, challenge yourself to take more vertical pictures for social media.

Interested in learning more about photography, exclusive member-only content, and early access to my content? Exclusive membership access

If you found any of this helpful drop your comment down below!

How To Create Your Own Photography Presets

How To Create Your Own Photo Presets For Lightroom:

Creating a Lightroom preset can be useful when you want to edit your photos quickly. It can help with the flow of your editing if you have pre-made presets that you could use for quick fixes; lighting, exposure, color correction, etc.

Sure, there are billions of different types of preset packs you can buy, but sometimes it’s better to take the extra time out of one day to make your own that is completely tailored to your style and what you need.

Keep in mind, not every photo can be used with every preset. It all varies on what’s in the photo and the conditions the photo was taken in. 

Figure Out What theme you Want to create:

a tree under the stars with a reflection

An easy way to tell what kind of presets you would want to make is by taking a look at your already edited photos. That way, you can see what sliders you commonly move around to help edit your photos. Do you bring up the exposure in most of your photos? Do you bring down a certain color to hit the sweet spot you need? Do you edit your vibrancy? 

Analyzing past photos is the best way to determine what you should focus on specifically when creating your own presets. Make a list and set it aside until you are ready to create your preset pack. 

How to Create a Preset in Lightroom?

Once Lightroom is open and running, open up the preset tab by clicking the Edit icon, then Presets. 

Lightroom presets screenshot from lightroom cc

From there, click on the Create Preset to add a new preset. The option is available by clicking the three dots in the top right of the Presets Panel. A menu then opens, here you can choose what settings you want to save. 

Lightroom presets screenshot from lightroom cc

Next, you’ll want to pick a name for your preset. Most names for presets come based on the way the photo will feel once it’s applied. Bright, eccentric, moody. Labeling your presets as Preset1, Preset2, etc., isn’t going to be very helpful. You won’t know which one is which and you may spend twice as long trying to figure it out. 

I, Matt Sloniker, add my initials to the front part of my presets. This helps indicate which ones you have made for yourself, versus which ones you may have downloaded.

Organize Your Presets for Easier Access while Editing.

If you have a certain niche for what you take photos of, this can be a little tricky. Typically, preset packs are labeled as what they may be used for. Real estate photos, boudoir portraits, and animal shots all can have very different presets and ways of editing. 

Lightroom presets screenshot from Lightroom cc

You can create a custom group for your specific presets. For example, if you do wedding photography, you can name your pack “Wedding Photography– Bright”. This can help when you are sitting down to edit photos and you have an idea in mind. Labeling your groups as something specific like that will help you in a cinch while editing. 

How to Use a Saved Preset?

Now that you have created and saved your preset, you can put it to the test. Remember, a preset just helps you get the right feel to your photos; each photo will be different and may need more adjustments.

Lightroom preset screenshot from Lightroom cc

You can apply the preset by simply opening the photo, and clicking the preset you want to use from the preset tab. There’s not much else to it unless you want to have the preset applied as soon as the image is opened. To do that, the settings for it are located in the Quick Develop module. 

If you don’t want to completely apply the preset but want to see how it would look, just hover over the preset in the list– don’t click it unless you want it officially applied! 

Say you don’t necessarily want a certain preset on a photo, Lightroom has an option that you can Undo and Revert to Original. You could also save multiple edits of the photos and sift through them later. 

An Easy Way; Using a Template!

If you are looking for an even easier way to make your presets, there’s a shortcut for it. Simply put, you can google “Lightroom Presets” and billions of options will pop up. On Pinterest, there are thousands of photos with each edit laid out on top. There are also downloadable presets that other users have created. These typically cost money, but you can also buy preset packs I created for about $10-$15.

While convenient, it’s not smart to rely on pre-made presets by other people for your individual photos. While it may look good on the examples they provided, they can make your photos not look at all like you expected. They can be washed out, or too much of a hue that doesn’t match your photos too well.

This is why it’s usually better to take that extra time and create your own presets that you would be comfortable using. Ultimately, it’s up to the editor on what they decide to do. This guide was to show individuals how to create their own, and what they can expect out of making their own. 

Summary

Adobe Lightroom presets can be great tools to use when it comes to photo editing. Making them ahead of time can potentially save you hours on editing. 

And you don’t always have to use your presets. Be adventurous. Let yourself figure out what works best for you and your workflow. 

Interested in learning more about photography, exclusive member-only content, and early access to my content? Exclusive membership access

mom 7

How To Be A Pro Drone Photographer!

DJI Mavic 2 zoom

Have you ever wondered how aerial shots come out perfectly and gracefully? And do you want to conquer the skill of capturing these photos? Of course, you do!

In fact, acing photography skills is the dream of every person that has a drone. And even if you don’t have a drone, you must definitely have hoped to buy it.

But how can you master the art of taking pro drone photos? Let me break this out for you:

15 Proven Tips to Master Your Drone Photography Easily

beach photo taken by a drone

Let me walk you through some proven yet simple tips to take your photography skills to the next level. Let’s get started.

1: Buy the Right Drone for Yourself

DJI Mavic 2 Pro Hasselblad Drone

The top-most thing that determines your drone photography is your drone. Obviously!

Buying the right drone according to your skills and expertise is the first and foremost thing that you should do. There are hundreds of drone types, and you can get perplexed by the number of choices. So what should you do?

Figure out the features you want in your drone and search for drones that lie in your budget.

Review Of My Favorite Pro Photography Drone – Mavic 2 Pro

2: Always Do a Test Drive

DJI Phantom Drone on a beach

Suppose you buy a killer camera with amazing features and spend a hefty amount of money on your drone. You come home happy, and after placing your camera on the drone, you make it soar in the wind.

But as soon as it reaches higher levels, it comes crashing down and all your equipment is ruined. What about all that money you spent?

Don’t make a mistake like this. Never! Always do a test drive before buying a drone to know if it is comfortable for you to use. Moreover, not only will this allow you to choose the best drone for yourself, but it will also save a lot of complexities with equipment damage.

3: Go Through the Instructions Manual Carefully

Instructions

No matter how skillful you are with drones, buying a new drone will definitely need some studying. You may think that each drone has the same functions. Yes, It has the same functions, but it is not the same in features and flying capacity.

Some drones have more speed and are difficult to manage, while some of them have easy controls. Save yourself from the perplexity and go through the instructions manual before you let your device fly.

4: Always Keep the Wind In Check

Wind funnel

Wind can be a drone’s worst enemy. Although many drones are breeze-resistant nowadays, it does not mean that they can withstand storms and strong winds.

As soon as the wind reaches the propellers, your drone can cause imbalance and may come crashing to the ground. Nobody wants that!

Check the weather forecast and make sure you avoid windy weather.

Adjust Your Shutter Speed According To Need

Shutter speed matters a lot! Sometimes a slow shutter speed for less windy days can be a great idea as it can capture a nice shot of the scenery that is presented in front of you.

But sometimes a fast shutter speed will help you. Try to adjust it according to your desired effect and weather.

UAV Forecas‪t‬ App

5: Keep Your Drone in Your Sight

Looking into the sky

Not having your drone in sight and suddenly losing your connection is a drone photographer’s worst nightmare. It stresses you up, and you can lose your drone.

Even though some drones have a back-to-home flight system but it is still a great risk. Always keep your drone in a place where you can see where it is going.

6: Do Not Go Above 400 Ft

Airplane flying into the sunset

As much as aerial shots are interesting, they are also risky. You may want to capture the essence of the clouds around a mountain by going higher. But you must know that going above 400ft can be a tricky job.

In the United States it is illegal to fly higher then 400ft above the structure you’re flying over. Not to mention photographers want to capture detail and the higher you go the less detail your drone will capture.

7: Choose the Shooting Mode That Fits Your Purpose

HDR photo of mountains

A drone comes with various shooting modes. You can go for HDR, RAW, automatic exposure, or any mode you want. Try to experiment with different shooting modes so you get the idea of how each one will come out for you.

Once you get the hang of it, you are ready to take your dream shots!

8: Go With the Smartphone Feed Feature

DJI Phantom Controller with screen

One of the easiest ways to get a better picture is to use the Smartphone feed feature. Why is that so?

Well, you can see where the drone is going, and you can view your shot and your frame through your attached Smartphone. It will act as a guide for your shoot, and you can easily see where you are heading.

9: Benefit From the Natural Light

Sunset in mountains

Are you tired of dull and boring photos? Do your photos need a lot of editing after capture?

No matter how much you edit your photographs, it can be no match for natural lighting. Try shooting in the natural light. Instead of taking pictures at peak noon or at night, try capturing pictures in the dusk, the dawn, and the golden hour. It can really bring a warm vibe to your photography.

10: Don’t Use Zoom

DJI Mavic 2 zoom held by women

I get it that your camera has an excellent zoom feature that allows you to get maximum depth. But you shouldn’t opt for that while drone photography.

Why? I’ll tell you the reason for that.

When you zoom in while doing photography with a drone, the movement of the drone causes bumps and irregular coverage. If the drone moves slightly, the zoom feature amplifies the disturbance, and it looks unprofessional.

11: Remember Using Composition Techniques

The composition is what makes your pictures stand out from the crowd. You can apply all the composition techniques you learned in photography—the rule of thirds, symmetrical photography, the asymmetrical composition, guiding lines, and whatnot.

All of these composition techniques can spice up your dull photos into a masterpiece.

12: Find Unique Frames

Colorful photo taken by a drone

Instead of going for a mundane and boring shoot, search for colors and vibrancy. Let me give you an example, try finding contrasts wherever you can. On the other hand, you can look for repeating patterns and abstract designs. They will not only look interesting, but they can give you a unique touch.

13: Experiment with Panorama Mode

New York Skyline panorama

Have you ever looked at a photo with a wide capture, and you think to yourself that how can someone capture this beautiful piece of art? Panorama mode can help you a lot if you want to capture something completely, but it doesn’t fit in the frame.

After a little editing, your picture can be a piece of art for display!

14: Plan Your Shoot Beforehand

planning board with man looking at it

There is no harm in just going for a flight and capture whatever your eye finds appealing. But professional photographers do not do that.

You need to plan out your shoot. What composition should you choose, what features should be used, which area will you cover, and when will you cover it. All of these play an essential role undoubtedly.

15: Practice and Practice

practice

Last but definitely not least. Do more practice!

And if you think that you have done enough practice, you should practice some more! You will not believe how much of a difference it makes when you know what you are doing.

You will have better control of your drone, your cinematography will come out smoother, your pictures will have better quality, your composition techniques will revamp, your editing skills will enhance, and you can slay a little better.

And all of this because of what? Practice!

Just stick with your passion and don’t give up. That is how you can become a pro drone photographer!

Interested in learning more about photography, exclusive member-only content, and early access to my content? Exclusive membership access

pexels ylanite koppens 1693627

11 IPHONE PHOTOGRAPHY TRICKS TO ENHANCE YOUR SKILL

iphone taking a photo of a book, coffee, and glasses

It’s a definite thing that you love the iPhone you are holding in your hand, and you would never want to replace it with any other phone. If you are an iPhone user, you must know that iPhone means good camera resolution.

And what does that mean? It means that you can get absolutely stunning photos with your iPhone camera.

Every one of us wants to make his pictures better and eye-catching. But is this even possible without a professional camera?

It surely is! You can’t just take your camera wherever you go.

That is where iPhone’s exceptional camera comes into view.

Clicking the perfect picture with your iPhone is not a tricky task if you know how to.

But relax! We got you covered completely.

Hop down to see skills that you should master today and now:

Shift Your Focus

iphone photography focus on a bus. street photography. creative photography

I know that iPhone has an auto-focus, and it works perfectly fine. But that doesn’t mean that you rely on it completely and forget to create your own focus.

Try experimenting with different objects on the screen.

When you move your iPhone to capture the screen, instead of relying on the auto-focus, try focusing on different objects.

To blur the background, you need to tap on the foreground.

Sometimes, blurring the foreground can also give an amazing effect.

I mean, isn’t that fun?

Go With The Grid

iPhone photography taking a photo of food using the iPhone grid

Let’s suppose that you are a noob and you don’t know how to position objects for capturing pictures. Well, don’t be stressed as we all were noobs someday back.

But what about the problem of placement of objects?

Is your picture coming out as scattered and cluttering?

Turn on the Grids on your phone.

Once you turn on the grids from the settings, you will see lines on your screen.

They can act as a guide for the placement of the objects, and you can even use the rule of the thirds in this mode.

Don’t Be Afraid To Try HDR.

HDR iPhone photo with beautiful sky

What does our immediate reflex do when we see beautiful scenery? We put our hand in our pocket, take out our iPhones, and click away!

That’s what most people do, and even if the pictures look good, they can never compare to the naked eye.

Why? It is because the camera does not capture the intricate detail and depth like our eyes do.

That doesn’t mean that we lose all hope.

Try the HDR mode on your iPhone.

You may have never used it, but now is the right time to try something amazing!

Once you turn on the HDR filter, you will see that each of the objects in the picture is sharpened and in detail.

Nothing can stop you from capturing the view now!

Go Crazy With Burst Mode

iPhone burst mode

Objects being blurry all the time? Is your object constantly moving? We may have a problem here.

Capturing moving objects with the perfect focus is surely a difficult task.

The images come out blurry and out of focus.

It can happen while taking pictures of your pet or kids.

But that doesn’t mean that we don’t have a solution because, yes, we do!

Make the most of your iPhone and use every feature.

The next time you are taking pictures of moving objects, try the Burst mode.

How will that be activated?

Just Place your finger on the capture button and do not release it.

It would result in continuous shots of the objects.

After which, you can select the ones you like the best. Blurry pictures? No more!

Put A Frame On It

cars on highway with city in background

Are your pictures lacking detail and intensity? No matter what position you try, do you always end up having a boring photo?

We may have a solution for that too.

You can just put a frame on it.

It may sound absurd, but it is creative for sure.

You can place objects near the camera and the focused object farther away from the camera. The closer object will act as a frame.

You can use your hand, a leaf, pebbles, or anything you want.

The creativity is up to you!

Play With Filters

Sometimes we like the picture, our focus is great, and the picture has all the intensity we need. But it still doesn’t look right.

Does it?

Try playing with the filters on your iPhone. You will see the icon of overlapping circles on the screen. Click on them and try out filters while capturing photos.

It will fix the colors for you, and you can select the desired filter.

For better contrast, you can always use the “Vivid” filter as it is surely a go-to.

On the other hand, the B&W filter will never fail to amaze you!

Give The Right Exposure

What happens when you are capturing a bright object or an object placed with the bright object?

Your picture gets filled up with unnecessary light and blurry exposure.

Ad trusts me; you do not want that for your photos.

Instead, try readjusting the exposure.

How will you do that?

Next time when you are taking a photo, try tapping on the light object and dragging down the slider beside it.

It will reduce the exposure, and your picture will come out clear and without grains.

Never Miss The Golden Hour

Golden hour iphone photography in the woods

Taking pictures of objects with the sky as a background is never a bad option.

The blue color pops out the object, and the plain view of the sky makes the image soothing and interesting with a minimalistic effect.

But is that method successful at each time of the day? It surely isn’t!

Don’t take pictures when the Sun is at its peak.

Instead, try taking pictures at dawn or just after the Sunsets.

The golden hour produces a magical hue that will make your pictures better a thousand times.

Why don’t you try it today?

Create Your Silhouettes

iPhone photography SILHOUETTE of a man with apple logo in the background

Let’s get a little creative and play with exposure a little more. Shall we?

Select a distant or close object and place it in front of a light source.

Now tap on the lighter part of the picture and drag down the exposure to almost minimum until the object in focus looks like a silhouette.

You will find this technique interesting, and inevitably you will be using it a lot once you get the hang of it.

Move-In Closer

iPhone photography closeup of an iPhone

Surely we have taken pictures focusing on the object from far away. But have you taken a shot will intricate detail and full closeness?

Sometimes we do not admire the things that are in front of our eyes.

Try taking pictures of the objects up close.

It will reveal magical and intricate patterns that will mesmerize the viewer for sure.

Steady Yourself

iPhone photography on a tripod nighttime

Do you know that there are a few things that affect your pictures without you even noticing?

No matter how many techniques you learn, you cannot click the perfect picture if you do not take care of these things. What are these?

First of all, you can never take a good picture with a shaky hand.

Steady yourself and click the pictures calmly.

On the other hand, make sure that your camera is always clean and ready.

You can also use a Tripod to steady your iPhone camera.

Even if you master all of these skills, there is something that determines your success and that is your passion for it.

If you have a passion for photography and you cannot rest until you get a blasting picture, only then will you be able to take unmatched shots with your iPhone.

Go out, explore, and capture!

Bonus: Try this Viral iPhone Photography trick

If you enjoyed this blog check out my Top Ten Viral TikTok Growth Hacks For 2021!!!

Interested in learning more about photography, exclusive member-only content, and early access to my content? Exclusive membership access

Stock photos 21

What Camera Lens Do You Need For Photography?

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

camera lens photo with blurry background

In the past few years, people were not so conscious about the camera lens, but now various cameras with interchangeable camera lenses have come up in the market that have grabbed the attention of the people.

So while using the camera, you might ask someone, “what camera lens do you need?”.

Camera lenses are available nowadays with variable price range and quality, and the type of camera lens you use determines the quality of the snap you take.

Ignoring the significance can impact the type of snap that you want to take.

Here in this article, we will guide you about “What camera lens do you need?

That can suit best to your needs.

We will do this by directly guiding you about various kinds of camera lenses, and you can decide on your own.

Without further ado, let’s get started.

Prime Lens

photo of a 50 mm lens with f1.7

These are the lens that comes up with the fixed focal length.

In simple words, you cannot change the resolution of these lends and cannot zoom in or zoom out.

My favorite prime lens is the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens aka the “nifty fifty” lens.

Many people prefer camera lenses that you can zoom.

However, there is still a high scope of these lenses as they are light and provide better optical quality.

If you are passionate about photography, a pair of camera lenses can prove to be very useful in your gear bag.

The best part?

You can enjoy much more flexibility and efficiency in low light conditions, so whenever you are out on some activity, you must keep a prime lens with you.

If you want to cover more than one different focal length, you should keep more than one pair of prime lenses in your gear bag.

Thus, although it can cover only a single focal length, it can help you focus on unique objects in lovely backgrounds.

Bonus tip: Buy a used vintage lens and get a lens adapter to save $$$. The drawback to this is they will not have autofocus.

Zoom Lens

photo of a zoom lens white and black

If you want to know about the more versatile lens, then look no further.

As the name indicates, you can easily zoom them in and out by adjusting the focal lengths.

The zoom lens can fulfill all the shooting requirements and best for this purpose.

You can achieve all the framing goals very efficiently by using the zoom lens.

Without even moving from one place to another, you achieve all the zooming goals and the artistry of this lens is quite obvious from the camera shootings.

The zoom lens I recommend is the Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 for Canon

They have variable focal length but the optical quality of this lens is not as good as that of a prime lens. Moreover, they are also not very light.

One thing more, while dealing with the camera lens, you should be even much more conscious about keeping the lens at a place.

If you shake the camera slightly while shooting, it will destroy the whole movie because it will magnify every slightest movement.

It is particularly confusing when people use this lens for ads and shooting purposes.

Pancake Lens

photo of a pancake lens in a hand

Typical focal length: Wide, Normal, Telephoto

The pancake lens I personally use is the Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 Lens

It is the type of prime lens that is used in DSLRs and Micro Four Third cameras.

If we look at the physical structure of these lenses, we immediately realize that they are much wider than the normal prime lens, this feature greatly enhances the image quality and it is due to this reason, various companies have been using these lenses in their optical products.

As discussed earlier, the main feature of this lens is to provide you with a very high-quality image.

Thus, if you have just bought a camera with an interchangeable lens, just give this one a chance and you will feel a difference.

Macro lens

macro lens

Typical focal length: 50-100mm (full-frame equivalent)

The definition of the macro lens is a bit technical.

According to a definition:

A true macro lens by definition should be able to record an image at a 1:1 scale on the sensor or medium it was shot on at its closest focusing distance.”

Still, confused?

Let’s make it simple.

The macro lens simply refers to the cameras that have the ability to capture very clear images of very small objects.

My favorite macro lens for canon is the 100mm f/2.8L Macro Lens

The revelation of all the amazing details about the project makes this lens a very adaptable choice.

People have been quickly opting for this kind of lens as it helps them take the snaps of their own choice.

The clarity of the image and all the compatibility of the macro lens are due to the magnification factor.

Thus, we can say that the macro lens has a very high magnification sector and can be used to reveal the details of the various objects.

When these lenses were introduced in the interchangeable cameras for the first time, they were extremely sensitive to handle.

Any shaking of the lens after capturing the image could lose the image quality.

Now more advanced versions have been introduced and nothing can be lost now, and shaking of the camera does not potentially ruin any shot anymore.

Medium Zoom Lens

medium zoom lens 28mm to 90mm

Typical focal length: 70-300mm (full-frame equivalent)

The use of this lens is more common for amateur wildlife and sports photography.

Here you might want to ask: How they are different from standard zooms?

The answer to this question is very simple.

They have a smaller effective aperture than the standard ones.

The good news is that they are available at quite low prices and are cheaper than the standard ones.

They are highly preferred for wildlife purposes where they can perfectly catch clear and catchy images.

Due to variable magnification and resolution, they are also used in capturing the moments in the sports.

One of my favorite zoom lenses: Sigma 50-100mm F1.8 Art Lens for Canon

Many photographers that go to the sports sites and capture catchy images use the medium zoom lens for photography purposes.

Super Telephoto

super telephoto lens

Just as the name indicates, they have superb quality and have fittings of both the zoom as well as prime ultra-fast lenses.

It is due to this reason they are capable of taking a very clear and high-quality snap even at a great distance.

Whether you are a professional or an advanced enthusiast, you can make use of these lenses and can enjoy the professional images like a pro.

Professional photography businesses make use of super telephoto cameras by doing tasks where they have to make prominent photos of anything you see at a distance.

But listen, we are not ended yet.

You should also consider the price tag as well.

They are very expensive and not everyone can afford them.

Canon has this amazing lens for a little over 9K – Canon EF 800mm f/5.6L Super Telephoto Lens

The ability to clearly capture the action at a distance has made them a premium product.

However, if you want to proceed with these lenses, it’s worth every penny.

Tilt-Shift Lens

tilt shift lens

You may have heard of the old bellows film cameras that were widely used in the 20th century for film shootings.

Tilt-shift lenses are basically the new and modern versions of bellows film cameras.

Their usage is rare nowadays as there are better alternatives available in the market.

If you do want one I’d recommend this Tilt-Shift lens for canon

Summary

A lot of types of lenses are available in the market that can help you take the type of shot you want to capture.

The choice of the right lenses also varies from person to person.

If you are a portrait photographer, your photography demands will be quite different as compared to the filmmakers.

So yes, spending on the right lens is worth every penny and you should not hesitate to make an investment in a camera with an interchangeable lens.

Now you have read about the camera lenses, what camera lens do you need?

Share your thoughts in the common section below.

If you enjoyed this article you might be interested in my review of the CANON EOS REBEL T7I

Interested in learning more about photography, exclusive member-only content, and early access to my content? Exclusive membership access

Top 10 Fail-proof ways to make money with drone photography

Madison Sate Capital Wisconsin Drone Photo

Making money as a new photographer can be a tough challenge. I know because I struggled with making any money for the first year in business.

I have personally made up to 400$ per hour doing drone photography.

Read this blog to learn from my mistakes and make some money for yourself.

Here is the review of the drone I recommend for professional photography – The Mavic 2 Pro

Here is THE BEST ACCESSORIES FOR THE MAVIC 2 PRO/ZOOM BLOG

1. Real Estate Photography

Kim Colby Homes 2552 Midway Dr. Stoughton Wisconsin

The Number one place drone photographers go to make some money is the real estate niche.

Realtors and brokers need professionally edited high quality drone photos to drastically increase the chances to sell a house.

I only recommended doing drone photography for middle class, high end. and commercial properties. The lower end houses just don’t need professional drone photos.

One really cool thing about being a drone photographer is you are more then likely going to be the only one at the property. This means you get to work in peace most of the time.

The downfall with real estate photography is most agents only sell low end homes and there is really high competition for the agents that use it. Some of them have a photographer already and some of them took the time to get licensed and do it themselves.

2. Construction Drone Photography

Commercial drone photography Wisconsin Beloit college powerhouse construction

There are construction projects going on all around you all the time. In my own city ther are about 10 projects happening all right now.

Construction projects are great because they are long term and need progress update photos of there projects.

I worked for almost 2 years with the Economic Development for my city. The constantly needed drone shot of the big projects happening around the city.

The really cool thing about these projects is you can test out your skills without being hired. Go to a project (do not park/stand/or land on the property), fly nearby it carefully, take your photos, and upload them to social media. I had a couple of projects where I took photos and got paid afterwards when the company seen the photos I took on social media.

3. Teach people drone photography

keyboard black keys white letters that says teach

One way you can make money is by teaching people how to fly a drone.

You can set up a class and teach a lot of people about what you do or how to do it.

Personal lessons can also make you $100-$200 per hour teaching someone one on one the basics or your tips and tricks.

4. Wedding Photography

Appleton Wisconsin wedding photo on lake

Weddings do hire drone photographers now!!!

They want to capture there event in every way possible and hire drone photographer or videographers all the time.

I was hired to do a video for my very first wedding and offered them some drone video as a bonus.

5. Marketing for businesses

Milwaukee Art Museum Milwaukee Wisconsin drone photo beautiful colorful sky

Businesses are constantly in need of marketing material to promote their business.

Drone photography is perfect for a lot of businesses. You can sell local shops nice drone photos of the downtown or sell bigger businesses photos of their own building.

Get creative and think outside the box.

6. Sell stock photos

Stock photos text over miller park Milwaukee Wisconsin drone photo

Selling your photos on stock photography websites can help bring in some extra money. Stock photos are photos businesses can purchase to use for marketing, ads, blogs, emails, etc…

  • Shutterstock is one of the best stock photography sites out there.
  • Adobe Stock is another great site to sell photos on
  • One of my favorite stock photography websites Pexels

7. PRIVATE INVESTIGATION and servaliance

Private investigators need drone operators to get to places they are not legally aloud to go but a drone can legally go. It also provides a lot more coverage compared to walking a wooded area for example.

Some police and fire rescue companies started using drones to help find criminals, lost people, and injured people. This has saved a ton of lives already. Check to see how you can get in on helping the fire or police department with this kind of work.

8. Tourism and Restaurant Industry

The tourism industry is constantly marketing the businesses to bring in travel.

Try providing hotels, restaurants, golf courses, local museums, historical properties, tourist attractions, and the city’s convention center.

All of these are great places to have drone photos of their properties.

9. selling presets

Lightroom presets are a quick way to edit a certain style or look onto your photos.

You can easily create these presets and sell them on a site like Sellfy

Here are my FREE Lightroom presets

10. STart a youtube Channel or blog

YouTube channels and blogs are a great way to attract more clients, brand deals, sponsorships, and money from advertising.

Review drone products, provide helpful tips, create tutorials, cover new topics in the niche.

Here’s a helpful tip, when you talk about a product make sure you add an affiliate link so people can purchase the products you recommend. This is a great way to make some extra money off of the helpful advice you put out for free.

Here’s My YouTube channel

11. Bonus ideas

  • Agriculture Drone Mapping
  • Insurance claims from storm damage
  • Get an Infrared drone and inspect leaking roofs
  • Aerial surveying
  • News Reporting

Interested in learning more about photography, exclusive member-only content, and early access to my content? Exclusive membership access

THE BEST ACCESSORIES FOR THE MAVIC 2 PRO/ZOOM

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

MAVIC 2 PRO

The DJI Mavic 2 Pro and Zoom are two amazing professional quality drones on the market. Here’s 10 must-have accessories for the Mavic 2 series that will enhance your experience.

Here is my review on the DJI Mavic 2 Pro

1. DJI Smart Controller

The DJI Smart Controller has a built in 5.5in 1080p screen with an ultra bright display so you can operate your drone in bright sunlight. The screen is about two times as bright as a standard phone screen. The Controller offers a Full HD video view transmission from the drone up to 10km (about .6 miles) away. It can easily be tucked away making it convenient for travel. The Smart controller also handles weather really well from -4°F to 104°F or -20°C to 40°C. The DJI Smart Controller has a DJI Go Share app to easily transfer your photos to your phone. The battery life is approx. two and a half hours long. The Controller even has a built in microphone and speaker so you can livestream your flights.

2. Mavic 2 pro and zoom Batteries

The Mavic Series Battery lasts about 20 to 30 min per battery. The drone only comes with one battery and that wont last you very long. I highly recommend purchasing a couple spare batteries you will thank my later. I personally have five of them and use all five when shooting for a couple projects in a day.

3. Mavic 2 series Car Charger

Since you already know the batteries do not last very long get yourself one of these handy car chargers. It can charge your batteries while you are traveling to your location. This is also great if you forget to charge your batteries ahead of time.

4. Mavic 2 waterproof Carying Case

This Mavic 2 Waterproof Hard Cover Case is perfect for protecting your drone during travel, on the jobsite, or if you forget the case on the back of your car and drive off with it flying into the road (talking from experience). My drone was returned to me safely undamaged.

5. ND Filters for MAVIC 2

Mavic 2 pro ND filters are perfect for preventing light from entering the camera. This allows you to have more control over the shutter speed and aperture settings. Simpler terms they are like sunglasses for your drone.

6. Mavic 2 Extended Landing Gear

Extended Landing Gear is amazing if you need to take off in a snowy, rocky, or grassy area. They attach to your drones arms to raise the drone up further off the ground. If you try to take off in a rocky area you will see the propellers will hit the rocks or grass if you do not have the extensions.

7. LOW NOISE Propellers for MAVIC 2

Low Noise Propellers are great for reducing the noise of your drone and do not cost you an arm and a leg.

8. Landing Pad For MAVIC 2 Pro and zoom

This inexpensive item will allow you to take off without stirring up a lot of dust and will give you a flat surface to take of on. I personally like the square landing pad more than the circle one since it is so much easier to put away and store.

9. DJI Care Refresh For MAVIC 2

DJI CARE REFRESH FOR MAVIC 2

DJI Care Refresh is a protection plan that offers accidental damage coverage for your DJI Mavic 2 drone. DJI Care Refresh (one year plan) includes up to two replacements in the first year. DJI Care Refresh (two year plan) includes up to three replacements in two years and extends the warranty up to two years from the date of your purchase.

10. Lume Cube Lighting Kit for Mavic 2

Light Cubes for your Mavic 2 Pro or Mavic 2 Zoom are great for light painting photography and night time flying. These lights are lightweight, durable, with up to one and a half hours of flight time. 360° rotation will allow you to adjust the lights in any direction.

Bonus Accessory – DJI Mavic 2 Battery Charging Hub

This is one of the coolest accessories I own for my Mavic 2 Pro. It can charge three batteries, your phone, and the remote controller all at the same time. The original charger sold with the drone comes with the ability to charge four batteries but only one of them at a time. This charger drastically reduces the weight time for a full charge on all batteries!!!

Interested in learning more about photography, exclusive member-only content, and early access to my content? Exclusive membership access