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Picture This: Photographing Spring Flowers

Spring is time for macro!

Spring is time for macro!

The month of May means sunny days and flowers in full bloom, but did you know that photographing flowers is often better when the sky is partly cloudy or overcast?  Bright and direct sunlight can sometimes overpower the flowers’ colors, creating a washed out and overexposed effect. 

When it comes to photographing flowers, your unique viewpoint plays an important role your final results.  You stand before a field in full bloom, and while it’s beautiful in your eyes, the ability to translate its majesty through the lens requires a few techniques and a bit of planning.

For example, instead of standing above the flowers, consider getting low and shooting from that vantage point. Don’t shoot right away, but instead, spend a few moments taking in the scenery and contemplating which parts of nature speak loudest.  Photographing from a lower point will allow you to better capture the details in the petals and the center, the small veins in the leaves and the slight change in hue in the bloom. Filling the frame whenever possible will add more grandeur to the image and experimenting with your perspective may lead you to uncover new ways of seeing nature – and sharing it with others.

Finally, consider how much of the background you would like to include in your images as this will affect which aperture you select.  Do you want the flower to fill the frame? If so, choose a large aperture. If you prefer more depth of field and want to include the background, choose a smaller aperture. Experiment with your settings to see how this impacts your overall composition. Which do you prefer? 

So, rush to the field to enjoy the scenery but take your time as you stand in the blooms and have fun with the options in front of you.  This is where your creativity reveals itself!

If you have questions about your camera, it’s use or macro photography call us and we can set up an appointment to teach you more.  864-583-6835

 

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Fantastic Filters

Choose This Fantastic Filter

 

If you’re looking for a filter to combat hazy outdoor conditions while also protecting your precious camera lens, the ProMaster Digital HGX Filter is the ideal choice for a variety of shooting situations. This UV filter absorbs ultraviolet rays and combats variable available light and is perfect for both color and black and white photography. And the low profile anti-reflective frame helps prevent vignetting on super wide digital format lenses. The Promaster HGX UV filter is designed specifically for digital lenses, so it minimizes internal reflections created by CCD and CMOS sensors in your digital SLR.  But wait–there’s more!  This filter also includes the exclusive Repellamax® element resistant coating, which shields your lens from moisture, fingerprints, dust, dirt and other environmental hazards, ensuring your images are tack sharp.  If you have to pick only one filter (and we think that’s an unfair request), choose this one, available in a variety of sizes for your particular lens:  HGX Protection

Unlike most filters, this one has a “lifetime warranty” fro our store.  You damage it, scratch it or break it for any reason, including stupidity,and we will happily replace it.

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Facebook Photo Tip: Candids Create Conversations

While social media sites are filled with selfies and foodie shots, candid photos remain a standout favorite of friends following your feed. Candid photos of your friends, family and kids can draw more likes and comments than posed photos for a variety of reasons. Viewing a candid image feels more intimate and encourages others to comment or ask more questions. Also, there’s something about capturing an unscripted moment that draws attention in a more personal way than a posed photograph.  So, if you’re looking to have your images stand out in today’s ever-crowded Facebook feed, consider choosing a candid for your next post.
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Shooting on the Side: Making Money While Working Full-Time

 

Work as a photographer in your spare time

Work as a photographer in your spare time

Don’t worry – this isn’t an infomercial designed to sell you a guaranteed get-rich quick program.  If you’re looking to place – or keep – one foot in the photography industry while working full-time, there are a number of ways you can earn additional income (and work credits) without forgoing your current job.

For example, consider the small businesses in your area and what needs you might fill. While many aspiring photographers immediately pursue big companies in the hopes of landing a large project, the reality is that those businesses likely have their own resources lined up.  It never hurts to pursue big clients, but remember that the smaller ones may end up being your bigger payday. Small businesses with only a few employees are not likely to have their own designated marketing departments, staff photographers and other related resources. Consider how your skills might benefit their businesses and compile a list of potential clients. And remember, follow-through and persistence are key to earning new business!

Find a photographer to shadow, or work as their second shooter.  The pressure is off you, because you are not in charge, but you can still shoot.  Plus you can learn the style and goings on of the particular segment you’ve chosen to work in.  Second shooting could relieve you of a lot of the behind the scenes work of editing and putting together the final package.

Be careful though.  If you are making money, and charging people, both the IRS and SC Dept of Revenue will want their portions.  IRS will want that income reported, especially if it is more than $600. And, SC Sales tax is due on any commercial sales made in South Carolina.  Safest thing, before you start charging customers for photography, work for somebody that will pay you and keep up with the taxes.  Finally, before you start charging, contact an accountant or CPA and find out what you have to do to be in compliance of the law.

 

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Tamron Tailgate Tour

Tamron Tailgate Tour is Coming!

Tamron Tailgate Tour is Coming!

Tamron Tailgate Tour, April 25th, 2015 in the parking lot at SpartanPhotoCenter,inc, 108 Garner Road, Spartanburg

Come ​get ​inspired ​with ​Tamron’s ​Field ​Guide ​to ​Inspired ​Photography ​in ​this ​2-hour ​journey. ​Tamron’s ​Photographer ​Tech ​Team ​of ​professionals ​will ​walk ​you ​through ​the ​creative ​process ​of ​image-making ​by ​taking ​you ​to ​some ​of ​their ​favorite ​places ​to ​shoot, ​with ​detailed ​instruction ​along ​the ​way. ​We ​will ​explore ​how ​to ​analyze ​a ​scene ​and ​what ​it ​takes ​to ​capture ​a ​top-notch ​image ​as ​well ​as ​how ​to ​define ​your ​own ​style. ​This ​seminar ​is ​ideal ​for ​every ​type ​of ​photographer, ​from ​family ​photographers ​capturing ​their ​yearly ​vacation ​to ​the ​more ​serious ​photographers ​that ​don’t ​leave ​the ​house ​without ​their ​camera. ​

Event 12pm – 4pm    FREE Mini-seminars under the Tailgate Tent in specified location

12:00 – 12:45pm   Achieving Perfect Exposure
1:00 – 2:30pm   Portfolio and Image Review
3:00 – 3:45pm   Understanding Your Digital Darkroom

Sign up for “The Field Guide to Inspired Photography: See It, Capture It, Work It” 2-hour evening seminar with welcome bag only $25  Click to Register  ,  Click here for more details  or call 864-583-6835  all registrations must be online.

 

Also, stop in early for the Swap Meet.  We will have part of the parking lot blocked off for tables that can be rented to sell or trade your gear.  Click here for more details

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Free tripod tune Up, just in time for spring! March 14 to 21st!

Blogpost by Bas

Happy Monopod

We are going to be tuning up Bogen and Manfrotto tripods March 14th through March 21st, FREE of charge!

Let us check your tripod, head, or monopod before the spring shooting season kick starts! This is a great opportunity to make sure your gear is ready to go. We will test, clean and lubricate, and let you know if any repairs are needed. Any tripod, head, or monopod listed on our ManfrottoTripodParts.com or BogenTripodParts.com websites can be repaired in-house.

We will not be charging labor for the tune ups on these days, only for any needed replacement parts and return shipping, if applicable. Gear sent to the manufacture for repair is not included. After March 22nd labor returns to standard cost starting at $25, make sure you take advantage!

Bring in or send your Manfrotto or old Bogen Tripod for tune up to:

SpartanPhotoCenter, inc
108 Garner Rd
Spartanburg, SC 29303

Our return shipping charges are $ 10.00 for 3001, 3021, 190 and 055 tripods to $25 for 3036, 475, 058 tripods.  No repairs are preformed without your approval.

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50% OFF Photo Calendars

Calendars

Calendars

It is our “BETTER LATE THAN NEVER SALE !”

From December 28th until January 17th, 2015.   All Photo Calendars are 50% OFF. Any design or quantity on our website.  Click here to see our selection and create one.

Plan now for a better start to 2015 by creating a custom photo calendar that’s all about memories. Personalize it for yourself or give them as gifts to family and friends.

Choose from a variety of styles and formats. From classic wall designs to trendy Instagram styles, a photo calendar is a smart way to stay on schedule all year long. Make one today!

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Nifty 50 or Jive 35?

50mm f1.8 lens

50mm f1.8 lens

At some point in our photographic careers, we all owned a “nifty 50” or now for the crop sensor camera a “really jive – 35” should be one of you primary prime lenses.  The reason for owning the 50mm (normal view in full frame format) or the 35mm (normal view in cropped sensor format) is the field of view approximates your normal vision with one eye closed; and the aperture of the lens has a very small f-number for great depth of field control.  The low f-number is important since it controls the amount of light entering the camera. Controlling the depth of field of the focus of the lens and by extension the amount of focus, or not, of the background.  Simply the smaller the f-number the less area of focus, the more the subject is not distracted by the background since the background may be completely out of focus.  Larger f-numbers will give you greater depth of field and so you have more area that appears in focus so the subject may be as sharp as the background and so not stand out as much as compared to what is around it.

Chritstmas TreeThe “Normal” prime lens is the one you want to keep in you bag for low light situations and  extreme focus control.

Prime lenses are not as versatile as zooms.  But zoom lenses cannot match the prime lens for depth of field control and low light capability.

Have questions, call us at 864-583-8635 or email us at impossible@spartanphotocenter.com

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Top 5 tips for Nighttime and Christmas lights – Expanded

  1. Stability is not hard to find

    Stability is not hard to find

    Use a tripod- It doesn’t have to be big, but that wouldn’t hurt.  A tripod is there to hold the camera wile you take long exposures.  This will make your photos sharper, and it allows you to pay more attention to the actual setting up shot.  If you don’t see the picture you want through the viewfinder, don’t push the button until you do.  Hoping for better pictures is always different than taking better pictures.  It takes a bit more time and care in each shot.

  2. Use a shutter release or cable to fire the camera remotely.  Not touching the camera to push the button means not shaking the camera as you take the picture.  Any shutter setting below 1/30th is near impossible to get tack sharp if you are hand holding it.
  3. 121304Set your ISO low, and your aperture small.  By small I mean the bigger aperture numbers like f11, f16 and f22 that are rally the small hole in the lens.  Of course you will have to be in Manual or Shutter priority (TineValue for Canon shooters) setting for all this to work.  You are wanting longer, slower shutter speeds so the aperture can give you greater depth of field, star bursts. Long shutter speeds will also mean thet movement will be blurred, so people walking by may not even appear in the picture at all! This is not a hard and fast rule though.  High ISO and f2.8 or f4 aperture will look completely different look than if you are  at f11, f16 or f22.  Higher ISO will also brighten up the whole scene.  And, using you flash with a long exposre will give you very different effects than you might expect.
  4. Chritstmas TreeDont take “nighttime” and Christmas light pictures at night!  The best time is just after sunset, while the sky still has a bit of light and is getting darker with each shot.  If is challenging to take these shots since you can redo them now, you have to wait for tomorrow.
  5. Take your time selecting the shot, use your flash, or not, change all the settings (in combination); change your white balance from AW to TUNG for a different look.  Don’t be afraid to experiment, a few bad shots are worth the few great shots you can get.

Stop in if you have any questions, or take a Michael Lamb class on how to get better photos.

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Holiday Hours -2014

Holiday hours 2014We will be open Monday through Saturday 9am to 6pm in December.  We will be available on Sundays, by appointment only.  

We will close early, at 1pm on Christmas eve, and remain closed Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  We will reopen on Monday the 29th.  

For New Years, we will be closed on the 1st.  We will be closed the 2nd and 3rd for inventory.  We will reopen January 5th regular hours. Monday through Saturday, 9am to 6pm; closed Sundays.

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