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2 Surprising Portrait Photography Errors

If you have been following our photography for awhile, you will know that we photograph lots of different subjects.

We juggle portraits, jumps, landscapes, animals, still life, food, nature and love photographing every single one! Although some subjects are harder to photograph than others, one of which is portraits.

The amount of time it has taken us to master our portraits amounts to endless hours with countless trail and error.

By having tested almost every different portrait angle, expression, and composition, we can teach you first hand what to do. and what NOT to do, when it comes down to photographing attractive, stunningly beautiful portraits.

We have 3 fantastic ebooks dedicated to portrait photography to choose from:

Click on the links below for details on each ebook:

Hot Tips for Outdoor Portrait Photography ebook

Modelling Tips eBook

DSLR Blueprint eBook

In the meantime, you might be surprised or even find yourself making these 2 very common portrait errors that could set you back from taking portrait we know you are capable of.

Scroll down to read what these 2 Surprising Portrait Photography Errors are.

1. Low Point of View

As photographers we are always moving around, changing composition, photographing from different angles adjusting the light etc. But the one thing we never, ever do. is photograph the model from a low perspective. Why?

Well, there are a couple of reasons for this… 1) It makes the models jaw line pretty much disappear, even with someone who has a very obvious jaw line will still struggle to keep it, if you photograph with a low perceptive, which is obviously not an ideal or attractive outcome!

2) By photographing the model with a low point of view, you also look up their nose… Hence, this type of composition is rarely considered a good a idea…!

You may not be making this error to the extent in which I have described – however, it’s easy to do it a little bit without noticing it so try and avoid it all together.

2. Head on Portraits

 

The second error portrait photographers make, are shooting portrait too head on. The ultimate goal with portraits is to make the person look relaxed and gorgeous at the same time. Photographing the model head on looking at the photographer completely straight or with no tilt of their head ends up looking plan boring like a passport photo… Which doesn’t flatter the model or give them a good jaw line.

Just take a look at the photograph above, this is a great example of how to correctly photograph a head on portrait.

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The 3 Mistakes Beginner Photographers Make

One of the things we’d all love to do, when we take up a new hobby, is to have the insider-scoop on what TO DO, or what NOT TO DO.

Wouldn’t it make it easier, if you just had those few insights, that would jump you up a few levels? Help you avoid those easy-to-make mistakes? Well then take a look at “The 3 Mistakes Beginner Photographers Make”

1. Equipment

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Most beginners focus way too much on camera equipment.

In the beginning you only need 1 camera body and 1 lens to start building a good portfolio of photographs. Don’t keep obsessing about what other equipment photographers are using. After all a good camera doesn’t take phenomenal photographs by itself; think of photography as 70% the photographer, 30% camera equipment.

If you want to know what equipment we love, then take a look at our blog post specifically on this.

1. Top 3 Lenses for Portraits – 2. Equipment FAQ

2. Framing

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In the beginning, it’s easy to frame photographs badly. You get so caught up checking the settings on the camera, you don’t focus on how you are framing the photograph to make it look the best possible.

So what we suggest is, take a couple of photographs, then check the framing on the camera and ask yourself if it looks good, or if you don’t know it looks right, keep changing it until you think it’s right.

Remember to keep thinking about the framing when you’re taking photographs and you will soon turn a bad habit into a good one!

When you’re actually taking photographs, try several compositions, and frame closely, further away, and as many combinations as you can think of. Your eye will quickly pick up the right framing, and composition.

3. It’s Art, not a Click

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Photography is about being able to capture and compose a photograph in the most flattering way possible. It’s the thought behind the photograph that makes a photograph – the planning, the combination of thought and light. The difference between a “click”, and “art”.

In some cases, photographs we take can have 20 minutes planning – even if it’s just the location, getting there, organising etc. Other times photographs can have hours and hours of thought and action behind it.

All the planning, all the thought and care behind each photograph, is similar to a painter, standing over their canvas, for hours and hours, creating a masterpiece.

Creating beautiful photographs is more than just clicking the button on the camera. So as soon as you think, and start to think of photography as a painting, with you standing over a blank canvas – that’s when you’ll begin to create really sensational photographs you can be immensely proud of.

There is a big difference between a snapshot and a photograph; you don’t just go for a walk and snap a picture of something along your way.

So start by thinking of adding 2 + 2 — i.e. if you want a beautiful landscape, find some gorgeous landscape, and add good light. The combination of 2 things, can often make a photograph.

Another example is, if you’re taking a portrait – next to roses, then try to set off the colour by adding a contrasting colour, or one which matches the colours. We very often combine colours – so if we’re taking a portrait in daffodils, then we’ll match it up by adding a cute yellow headband.

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Portrait Processing & Equipment Insight

One of the most common emails and comments I get are about processing – such as:-

– What are you using right now?

– What do you recommend for ___ type of photograph?

– What does ___ photograph look like before you processed it?

So today I thought I would share what I did with a recent photograph – from start to finish, including what equipment I used and everything else I did before uploading the final photograph.

Lets get started!

Before Processing:

The photograph below which I took of my sister, Rosanna is before any processing.

For those of you who want to know what equipment I used to take this portrait, I have listed them below:

– Canon EOS 5D Mark II

– Canon EOS 85mm f/1.2 lens

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After The Lightroom Preset

Like all of my photographs I processed this portrait in Adobe Lightroom and I used the Whipped Cream Lightroom Preset which is fantastic for portrait photography as well as animals, landscape or nature photographs etc.

This Lightroom Preset will save you a huge amount of time, and gives the photographs a totally unique, completed finish – along with many other bonuses (but I’ll let the Whipped Cream Lightroom Preset pack do the talking if you want to find out more…!)

The Whipped Cream Lightroom Preset is also available to get in The Best Sellers Pack

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The Finished Photograph

After using the Whipped Cream Lightroom Preset, I added a sunflare from The Sunflares Pack which can be used in Adobe Photoshop.

Compare the photograph below to the one above and you will see the the effect The Sunflares Pack can produce!

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Try “The Sunflares Pack”

If you haven’t already got your copy of The Sunflares Pack, which is compatible with Photoshop, Gimp, Photoshop Elements etc. Then I highly recommend you give it a try.

There is a nice and affordable pack called “Starter Pack“, which you can try, and if you want a larger pack later on, you can upgrade without paying twice (our system will email you with this option after you’ve purchased).

The benefits are endless, but just to list a few, see below:

  • They look like real sunshine.
  • They mimic sun flares and sun bursts
  • They add light to images which are somewhat dull.
  • Easy to use
  • Quick to apply
  • Work on almost any photograph – both indoors & outdoors.
  • Suitable for Portraits, Landscapes, Still Life, Nature, Food etc.
  • Large range of colours and strengths of sunflares
  • Totally unique to you as you can customize them easily (instructions to do this are in our “How To Guide”
  • Excellent High Quality Resolution for Printing
  • Suitable for winter, autumn, spring & summer photographs as there are varied sunflares for each season.
  • Suitable for client work – such as wedding photography, portrait sessions, and event photography.

The list really does go on.

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Order your copy:-

Take a look at the official The Sunflares Pack page for a lot more Before & After examples. Including full details on what’s inside the packages, what options are available to you, and the additional benefits of using a package like this.

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1 Vital Tip for Creativity by Olivia L’Estrange-Bell

Just a little over two weeks ago, I completed my third 365 Photography Project.

This photograph (below) marked the 365th day

it also marked my 1,095th day if you count my two previous 365 projects

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Here I am cantering my horse, Tigerlily without a bridle – showcasing another part of my life, where I spend a lot of time training horses with Parelli Natural Horsemanship. For non-horsey readers, being able to ride Tigerlily like this, with the same amount of control & directional-control is immensely difficult and takes years of training. 

I know, you’re thinking, “THREE?! That’s just crazy!” and it is – I had no idea I could complete one 365 project, let alone two… but three? Unbelievable.

I did a scary calculation, and realised that, these three projects combined, meant that

I had spent 1,095 days thinking about photography

and 1,095 days asking myself this same old question, day in and day out:-

“What am I going to do today?”

Each project was different, some parts were easier, some harder. However…14436550704_114f4b40c5_z

the constraints of the project meant I pushed my own boundaries, and did things I wouldn’t have thought about…

Which brings me to the point of this post… Boundaries, constraints and restrictions.

Constraints Create Creativity

First let me just say that I’m not suggesting you take on your own 365 project – but if you do want to, then I suggest getting this eBook to help you.

What I am suggesting you do, is try to look at your constraints, and love them… and if you don’t have any real constraints, create them.

How Constraints can Help you

Embrace your constraints – may they be physical, economic, or self-imposed. They will challenge you, and push you, and help you to see and do things that you may not ever do, or may have missed if you had all the freedom, equipment, and locations in the world.

Constraints are challenging, and really provocative. They make your mind stretch and work harder than if everything was handed to you on a silver platter. So, love your constraints. Embrace them. They made me better, and they will make you better. Beyond belief.

My restraint was that I forced myself to capture 1 photography every day for an entire year – and two more years thereafter.

also branched out and constrained myself to a limiting 100 Jump Photographs Project which meant I had to make jump photographs look creative and different, 100 times over.

What a challenge.

But what an achievement – it was my most popular project and almost all of the jump photographs have been used in the press, to endorse brands, products and more.13432824175_102d5a855a_z

Our Self-Imposed Constraints

We have tried NOT constraining ourselves, and have found that it’s a bit of a disaster – lack of inspiration, lack of motivation kicks in, because there’s no focus, and no real goal, other than the basic “improve” goal… which is ok, but not very provocative.

So we have stuck to constricting projects, of which are:-

  • 365 Photography Project (6 in total, divided by 3 of us – Olivia = 3, Sasha = 2, Rosanna = 1 )
  • 260 Photography Project (5 photos per week, 1 year. Sasha = 1 *in progress)
  • 100 Jump Photographs Project (No time limit, but 100 photographs of people jumping. Olivia = 1)
  • 50 Autumn Photographs (Capture autumn in 50 photographs. Sasha = 1)
  • 100 Quote Photographs Project (Inspiring quotes matched with photographs for a visual impact. Sasha = 1 *in progress)
  • 70 Summer Memories Project (title speaks for itself. Olivia *in progress)
  • 104 Photography Project (2 photos per week. Rosanna = 1 *in progress)

Along with these projects, we’ve also limited ourselves to certain photograph locations. Part of this is because of a time-constraint. We don’t have so much time that we can travel all over the country all the time – so we stuck to a few good locations, which actually helped us, because we learnt about the weather, how you can use it to impact your photographs, and get creative in one spot.

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Self-Imposed Constraints – Ideas for you

So, although it’s contradictory – constraints do help you to become more creative, and do more, even though you have less, or have less options. Whether you apply this to a location, equipment, timeframe, models… the options are endless, but the opportunity is boundless.14745913281_e05cf424c2_z

A way to impose some constraints on yourself is by doing set projects. Here are a few ideas you can work from:-

  • Theme based project, such as “Fairytale” restricted.
  • Number based project with specific subject, such as “30 Self-Portraits’
  • Consistent project, daily, weekly, monthly – such as “52 Project, 365 Project”
  • Equipment Constraints (such as a series of photos only taken with a particular lens)

Whether you restrict yourself to a certain timeframe, subject, or equipment, the idea is that by constraining yourself, you will get more creative.

Trust me, it works.

But it isn’t necessarily easy. But the results are ten times more productive, and powerful than when you don’t try this method.

Try it, and let us know how you get on.

Need help with a project you’re doing?

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If you’re about to attempt a 365 project, or something similar, as mentioned above. Or if you’re already doing one, then take a look at our 365 Photography Project eBook – it’s a guide to challenging yourself with a constraining project, whether you do an actual 365, or something else, the eBook is packed full with valuable information we have gathered over the past 5 years of project experience.

Check out “How to: 365 Photography Project” eBook.

This will really help you to avoid those sticky situations when you have no clue what to do, or what the best composition is, or what to photograph, or how to photograph something. It’s a complete guide to photography, and a challenging project.

I’ll let the page do the talking; find out what’s inside the eBook, and how it can help you, even if you don’t want to do a big project like we have – it’s a total guide to your DSLR, how to use it to the best of anyone’s ability, and how to dramatically become a stunning photography, in any field of photography.

“How To: 365 Days of Photography Project” 

http://direct.thebellsisters.com/how-to-365-photography-project

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By sharing this post you’re helping other photographers with their goals and helping us reach our goal, of helping as many photographers as we can turn their dreams into reality by helping them become better and more savvy with their photography.

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My 3 Favourite Tips for Golden Hour Portraits this Summer

It’s that time of the year again… golden hour light couldn’t be more sensational and summery!

Something about the soft, warm dreamy light makes taking portraits so much easier – everything just feels perfect. But it’s not always easy to capture the perfect light, as the golden sunlight can sometimes be so overpowering, it’s easy to create a sunlit, washed out portrait…

So here are 3 Top Tips for Golden Hour Portraits which you can implement right now – today, and capture your own golden hour portraits.

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Tip #1 – Pick the Right Lens

Picking the right lens for your portraits can make a big difference to your portraits. Mainly because certain lens lengths can make your life a lot easier, as it’s easier to focus the light, and channel it – rather than let it overpower your shot.

I would recommend lenses such as:-

  • 85mm
  • 100mm
  • 135mm

These focal length will create the same effect as the photographs in this post.

However, if you use a wider angle lens, then the sun isn’t as easy to capture, like we have done here.

My 3 Favourite Tips for Golden Hour Portraits this Summer

 

Tip #2 – Composition

The second, and most important thing you do is compose your photograph, so you get the right balance of light.

If you take a look at the portrait above, then you can see how I’ve angled the shot so the sun is coming in from one corner, and lighting up the girls’ hair. I always prefer back-lighting, as it creates a wonderful, soft, dreamy feel and embrace the warmth of the summer.

So when you go out and try this yourself, try to copy what I’ve done — place your models with their backs to the sun, and position yourself so the sun comes in from one corner.

How much sun you let in is up to you and the light you have — try angling the camera so you let a lot of light in, and then if you see the photograph is washed out by the sun, try angling the camera so there is less light coming in.

It’s a juggle between too much, and too little. But if you try my favourite technique of “too much”, and then “too little” you’ll find the happy medium.

My 3 Favourite Tips for Golden Hour Portraits this Summer

Tip #3 – Feeling

This tip is nothing to do with the technicality of your DSLR, or what other equipment you need… but something we’re renowned for. “The feeling” in our photographs. The photographs aren’t supposed to look like photographs. But rather moments, and feelings we all have, or wish for.

When you take golden hour portraits, these sorts of portraits should feel carefree, thoughtful, happy, joyful etc. but mostly, natural.

Ask your model to just pretend she / he is on their own; laugh, be playful, enjoy the warmth of the sun etc. Your goal is to try and capture the fleeting moments, whilst getting the light balanced, and focus.

It’s not an easy balancing act – but with a few trials, you’ll get it and find it easy. Just practice, and you’ll get it.

One last tip — wear clothes which will enhance the warmth vibe of the light. Such as light and pastel colours – try to ditch the dark, contrasting colours as these can cause a distraction from the overall image, and feeling you’re trying to capture.

Get MORE Photography Advice from The Bell Sisters

The 7 Things Successful Photographers Have in Common

Take the first step to becoming a better photographer, sign up to our most incredible free gift ever.

The value in this gift we are about to give you is worth £61 (that’s $98 USD), but you can get it for free today and immediately start improving!

Click the link below, then you will be on another one of our pages, where you can see exactly what’s inside our gift and download it RIGHT NOW!

Click HERE to get your Free Download

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If you enjoyed this post, share it with your friends, and other photographers by clicking one of the “Share Buttons” below; whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

By sharing this post you’re helping other photographers with their goals and helping us reach our goal, of helping as many photographers as we can turn their dreams into reality by helping them become better and more savvy with their photography.

Just click “Like” or “Tweet” or “Pin” to make a difference and inspire someone else in the world!

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Equipment & Editing FAQ with Olivia L’Estrange-Bell

 

Whenever I see a photograph I love, I always want to know more about it. Things like…

  • What camera did they use?
  • What lens was used?
  • What software did they process with?

Isn’t curiosity fun?!

Your Questions for Me

So when I receive similar questions, I try my best to answer them.

To answer the best I possibly can, I thought this blog post would do the Job. That way, I won’t miss anything out!

If I have missed anything out, leave me a comment below or email us. 🙂

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Note: this was processed in Lightroom with Whipped Cream Lightroom Preset. 

What Camera (DSLR) do you use?

I use the lovely Canon EOS 5D Mark II for most of my photography. Other times I will use the Canon EOS 1D Mark III, which I use primarily for action shots – such as my jump portraits.

Earlier on, in 2010 I was using a Canon EOS 5D, which is also super!

What Lenses do you use?

At the moment my most favoured lens is:

  • Canon EF 85mm f/1.2 L

It’s my general “go to” lens – particularly when I don’t’ quite know what I’ll need.

Also because of it’s size – not tiny, but not huge, it can fit into my handbag without too much effort. Unlike a longer prime lens, such as the CanoN EF 135mm f.20 L.

After the Canon EF 85mm f/1.2 L, I also love:

  • Canon EF 135mm f/2.0 L
  • Canon EF 200mm f/2.8 L
  • Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L
  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 USM

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Note: this is a before & after image of how The Sunflares Pack can enhance your photograph – like it did with ours!

What Software do you use to post-process (edit)?

I use Adobe Lightroom – it’s fabulous, easy to use, quick to use and the results are fabulous. I also like Aperture, but it’s my secondary choice.  

I also use Adobe Photoshop, but not nearly as much as Lightroom this is because Lightroom is a lot quicker to post-process multiple photographs.

I also love how it keeps a record of my processing. I can go back to January and see how I processed a photograph, and edit it if I need to.

If you’re starting out, I’d highly recommend it. If you’re using Photoshop, and you’re looking to save time, Lightroom really helps do the job.

The big bonus is the “Presets” section. Photoshop does have a similar section, with their “Actions”, however with Lightroom it’s so much easier to edit your photograph, even if you’re applied a preset, if you find it’s too light, dark, flat etc, it takes seconds to adjust, and you can easily go backwards or forwards to see how you changed things.

If you use Lightroom, then you should take a look at the Lightroom Presets we have spent the last 4-5 years developing and using ourselves, and which give us the results you now see in our photographs. See the full collection here:- http://direct.thebellsisters.com/product-category/lightroom-presets/

However, I do use Photoshop for any editing, such as removing objects, blending etc. I will also use Photoshop when I want to add a lovely sunflare to my photograph, which is when I use The Sunflares Pack.

sunflareimage5Note: this is a before & after image of how The Sunflares Pack can enhance your photograph – like it did with ours!

What Camera (DSLR) do you recommend?

It’s always difficult for me to recommend what DSLR to buy, mainly because ones budget is usually the challenge — and so many new DSLRs come out, I know I don’t keep as up to date as some.

I’ve only used Canon, so I can’t recommend Nikon, or another brand, but I can say that I love Canon.

So, I would recommend buying the best you can buy, within your budget. The easiest thing is just to look at Canon’s range and work with your budget. A second thing I would say is – find what you ideally want, then go to eBay. It’s amazing what you can find on there when many photographers look to upgrade, they usually sell their “old” equipment – much of which is almost brand new!

If you want tips on how to use your DSLR, download my Photography Tips eBook, or The Bell Sisters’ DSLR Blueprint, both of which will hugely help you with your technique, and know-how of your camera.

What Lenses do you recommend?

Once again, I find it difficult to recommend lenses, I feel equipment is so personal, but if I was buying my kit all over again, this is the order I’d do it in. So therefore what I recommend, based on my experience…

  • Canon EF 85mm f/1.2 L
  • Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM
  • Canon EF 135mm f/2.0 L
  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM
  • Canon EF 25-70 mm f/2.8 L
  • Canon EF 200mm f/2.8 L
  • Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L
  • Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L

If you want tips on how to use your DSLR, download my Photography Tips eBook, or The Bell Sisters’ DSLR Blueprint, both of which will hugely help you with your technique, and know-how of your camera.

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Note: this photograph was processed in Lightroom with Whipped Cream Lightroom Preset / Queen Pack.

More Questions?

If you have any further questions, please leave a comment below and I will edit this post accordingly or email you if the question is more complicated!

I hope this post was informative and helpful!

– Olivia

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Note: this photograph was processed in Lightroom, with Natural Colours Lightroom Preset, then finally edited in Photoshop, with The Sunflares Pack

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3 Great Ways To Use The Sunflares Pack

Since releasing The Sunflare Pack we have received some fabulous feedback and reviews along with a few questions asking us how best to use them on certain photographs

This blog post should help you see the many different ways you can use  The Sunflares Pack to create different effects that add more feeling and realistic depth and vibrancy to your images.

The aim of  The Sunflare Pack is to create realistic sunflare results, when there wasn’t any – or to enhance what was already there.

1. The Sunburst Effect

In the “after” image below I used a sunburst from The Sunflares Pack and then placed it in the light-gap to make it look realistic, I then added a rainbow flare in the bottom right hand corner.

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Sunburst Example Two:

Here is a another example of placing a sunburst in a photograph where there is a gap of light.

If you compare this image to the one above you, then you will see I used a much stronger, more orange sunburst. Because every photograph is different, I like to make sure to try several sunflare variations until I find the sunflare that best suits that particular photograph.

I will sometimes add a big sunburst, then a golden globe on top of it afterwards to create the perfect effect.

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 2. Create Rainbow Flares

Adding rainbow flares is very easy with The Sunflares Pack. They can look amazing when applied to photographs that already have sunlight in them or photographs with natural brightness.

Here are two examples to give you an idea of how they look and where they should be placed i.e. in the bottom corner where they would naturally appear if you got sun or lens flare from.

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sunflareimage8

 

 3. Use “The Multiply Effect”

What we mean by “The Multiply Effect” is setting the blending layer(s) in Photoshop (or any other software program which allows you to add layers to an image, such as Gimp and others) to multiply.

“Multiply” is one of the darkening modes – so if you’re using any other program, set the layer to a darken mode if the word “Multiply” is not there. 

Once you have done this, you may want to lower the opacity to make it less strong, this effect works very well for photographs with a white sky or are looking quite dull and colourless.

The Sunflares for this type of effect are included in the Queen/King Pack with all sort of shapes and colours to keep things interesting!

sunflareimage4 sunflareimage5

How To Get The Sunflares Pack

The Sunflares Pack is easily available to get on our website, and you can start with our very popular “Starter” pack if you’re nervous about trying something new. You can always upgrade at any time without paying twice.

Click the link below to get it and to see MORE before and afters:

direct.thebellsisters.com/the-sunflares-pack

1 Year 100% Satmoneyback-300x300isfaction Guarantee

We believe you will love our products and find great value in them as we do, and hundreds of other photographers around the world.

However to give you confidence in purchasing from us, we have a 100% Satisfaction or Money-Back-Guarantee which can be taken up with us in the first 12 months of your purchase.

So just like all of our products, The Sunflares Pack comes with a 1 Year 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.

For more information on this guarantee click here: http://direct.thebellsisters.com/product-guarantee/

Get MORE Photography Advice from The Bell Sisters

The 7 Things Successful Photographers Have in Common

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2 Top Tips to Capture Golden Hour Photographs & Process Them Effectively

We love taking advantage of  golden hour light which we get in the spring/summer time.

It is a great way to create some relaxing, summery evening photographs.

What you probably don’t know is, it can be pretty challenging to get the photographs to look right, the tricky part of this photography is getting the focus right along with the exposure and good processing.

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Last Momments of Sunshine

How To Get Good Focus

To get the right light, the way I angle my camera, I let in a lot of the sun rays. The sun-rays hit my lens almost directly, so when I look through my camera, I am overwhelmed by, very simply, blinding sun light.

This doesn’t hurt my eyes, but it does make auto-focusing almost impossible as the lens attempts to focus on the sun-rays, which leaves the subject (model) out of focus. So, not ideal!

Instead of auto-focus, I use manual-focus (MF). This means I have control over the focusing, however as I said, the blinding sun-rays do make it very difficult to see anything. Therefore manual-focus can be difficult as you cannot be 100% sure whether the subject is in focus 100%.

So, a lot of fiddling is required when it comes to getting good focus. 

Embracing the Sun - Day 25/365

How To Correct Exposure

Assuming I have the focus correct, the next challenge is the exposure.

When I take a few test-shots to see how the exposure looks (remember I only use manual – so I manually set the settings on my DSLR, such as Shutter Speed, Aperture, ISO and White Balance) my immediate reaction is to correct the exposure, because it  is almost always over-exposed.

However, strangely enough this is exactly what you want. But you also want to be careful you’re not overexposing too much.

Important note: if you’re photographing in these sorts of situations then your photograph will look over-exposed, your challenge is finding the balance between good over-exposure and bad over-exposure.

The Last 2013 Jump - Day 171/365

Processing Sun Flare Photographs

Once you’ve worked out how to get the correct focus, and the tricky balance of exposure, then you’ll find taking these sorts of photographs so much easier.

However, how do you process these photographs? Normal processing usually falls totally flat – the colours are all wrong and I’ve been frustrated one too many times… so needless to say I’ve found some great techniques and now find processing very easy!

Here is a list of my favourite Lightroom Presets to process sun flare photographs with:-

Rainbow Lightroom Preset

Whipped Cream Lightroom Preset (this is also available for Photoshop CS2+ here.)

Natural Colours Lightroom Preset 

These presets are designed to save you hours of time editing – but at the same time, guarantee you get the results that you would get had you spent hours of your time processing the photographs. With these processing techniques you will get the photographs perfectly processed.

It may sound difficult, which it can be, but it will get easier the more you try and the more you practice. 🙂

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The 7 Things Successful Photographers Have in Common

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3 Aspects of Portrait Photography I Wish I Knew When I First Started.

1. How To Get Good Focus

Watching the Sunset ♥

Getting the focus right for portraits can be tricky, so often I would think the model was in focus, just to find out later when I downloaded my photographs that they weren’t quite 100% in focus.

If you can’t get the focus right quickly you will probably miss out on a special moment, and get hugely frustrated as well. So when you look through your camera, and focus – give it that little bit more thought, and try to focus on something which is important. Such as the person’s eye or eyelashes… that tends to get the best results.

For more detail and tips on how to hold your DSLR, and what settings to use on your DSLR to get the fastest reaction from your camera, take a look at HOT Tips for Your Outdoors Portraits eBook direct.thebellsisters.com/product/hot-tips-for-your-outdoor-portraits-ebook/ – the tips recommended in this eBook can also be applied to indoor portraits.

2. The Right Lenses To Use

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It is essential to use the correct lenses for portraits, so you get the most flattering photograph of your model. In the beginning I tried many different lenses for my portraits, but if I had known from the start which ones to use, it would have made everything a lot easier. Plus when starting to purchase equipment, this can be a huge help.

For more information on this topic, read this OTHER blog post: My Top 3 Lenses For Portrait Photography direct.thebellsisters.com/my-top-3-lenses-for-portrait-photography/

3. How To Get Dreamy Light

Ace of Hearts

Don’t you just love portraits with dreamy, golden light? It makes the portraits look much better, warmer and with more feeling.

I often get asked how I get such pretty light in my portraits, the answer is I use “The Sunflares Pack” direct.thebellsisters.com/the-sunflares-pack/ which is a fantastic way to add warmth to a portrait, when the light was flat and dull.

I also go outside in the late-afternoon, just before the sun goes down. Usually the sun can be beautiful then in portraits, and really soften the mood.

Get a Taster of The Bell Sisters’ Products…

Take the first step to becoming a better photographer, sign up to our most incredible free gift ever.

The value in this gift we are about to give you is worth £61 (that’s $98 USD), but you can get it for free today and immediately start improvingebook

 

Click this link to download our FREE eBook & Lightroom Preset: direct.thebellsisters.com/free-7-tips-photography-ebook-and-lr-presets/

Or if you use Photoshop click this link to download our FREE eBook & Photoshop Action: direct.thebellsisters.com/the-bell-sisters-free-photoshop-action-ebook/

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Explained: How I Processed this Portrait Photograph to Make it Sunny

I always try to plan ahead and work out when the sun is going to be out so I can capture really beautiful light that gives my photographs that special feeling.

But the sun isn’t out everyday and it’s often not even in the right place or at the right time.

So, the question is: How do I add sun to my portraits/photographs?

The anwser is, I use The Sunflares Pack:  direct.thebellsisters.com/the-sunflares-pack

Our treasured “Sunflares Pack” has saved us time and time again on those dull, dreary days, or when we just want to make our portraits look more sunny and exciting!

The great thing about these sunflares is when you apply them correctly they look exactly like the sun – to the point that nobody would know it’s real or not!

For example here is a recent self-portrait I took processed with The Sunflares Pack: direct.thebellsisters.com/the-sunflares-pack/

BEFORE adding “The Sunflares Pack”

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In the portrait above you can see there is light behind me but on the left it’s dark and dull,  the trees behind me were blocking the sunlight.

Now take a look at the portrait AFTER once I added The Sunflare Pack…

AFTER Adding “The Sunflares Pack”

Spring Portrait - Day 258/365

And there you have it!

Gorgeous sunshine that looks natural, beautiful and makes the photograph come alive with feeling and happiness.

Below is the side by side before and after image of this portrait.

sunflares

Compatible with Photoshop & Photoshop Elements:

The Sunflares Pack is compatible with all versions of Photoshop, and Photoshop Elements. It is also compatible with any software which allows you to add layers to an image, such as Gimp and others.

How To Get “The Sunflare Pack”

The Sunflare Pack is available to purchase on our website follow the link for more before and afters and infomation

direct.thebellsisters.com/the-sunflares-pack

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