Take Photos Of People Like A Professional


New post from Cameron Frost

Does the idea of photographing people intimidate you even if it’s taking photos of close friends? People can often times be the easiest subjects to photograph once you get over your fear of doing something wrong with the camera. For example, photographing people can be much simpler than taking a photo of a landscape because for landscapes you might have to drive somewhere faraway in order to find a decent landscape and even then the lighting and weather must be ideal in order for the photo turn out well. However, you have absolute control over how you photograph people versus taking photos of landscapes in which you can’t control the elements.


With people as your subjects, you can control the elements of photography such as lighting techniques and positioning. You also have an unlimited number of subjects at your disposal. These subjects include your friends, relatives and friends of friends. Not to mention each of these subjects is unique and will produce a different type of photograph. You can adjust lighting, the subject’s clothing and makeup as well as location. Imagination is the key to successfully photographing people as subjects. You don’t even need to be an expert on your camera’s settings. Use your camera’s portrait mode in order to take decent photos of other people. Become an expert on your camera settings later. To improve your photography skills, start thinking like a professional photographer would. Here are some tips from a recent article:

Get to Know Your Subject. Start by building a rapport with your subject. You’ll want your subject to feel comfortable with you so that this translates into him or her feeling comfortable in front of the camera. Encourage your subject to be versatile in their movements and positions. If your subject is relaxed, then you will have more success with the photos.

Go Wide with your Lens. The reason documentary photographers and photojournalists like to use wide angle lenses is because it allows them to become intimate with their subjects. The photographer is able to move close to the subject in order to create this sense of connection between the subject and the viewer.

Try Photographing in Black and White. These types of photographs are both artistic and creative. Today, there are many notable portrait and fashion photographers that shoot in black and white.

Take Time to Learn About Lighting Techniques. Direct sun isn’t always great for shooting portrait photography because of it’s potential to cast harsh shadows on peoples’ faces, but overcast skies and late afternoon sun are better.


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How Can You Help Out At Your Local Animal Shelter?


New post from Cameron Frost

Get involved this summer at your local pet shelter in order to do something great in your community. There are so many ways to help out the local pet community including volunteering at the shelter for rescued animals. Animal shelters have estimated that they take care of 6-8 million dogs and cats each year in the US. Around 3 to 4 million of the animals are euthanized. Because there are no factual reports about how many are actually euthanized, so these are all estimates. During the 1970s, shelters had to euthanize around 12-20 million animals when there were 67 million pets in homes. Nowadays, shelters euthanize around 2.7 million animals while there are 135 million pets in homes. We have made progress from euthanizing 25% of the dogs and cats in the US to only euthanizing 3% of them. More progress can be made if we simply work on diminishing animal overpopulation.


The question we keep asking ourselves is why are there so many animals in shelters? This is mainly due to the problem of animal overpopulation when for example, owners relinquish their pets or pets are rescued from the streets and bring them to shelters. In order to prevent animal overpopulation within shelters, we need to encourage pet owners to be responsible pet owners by providing information and training on proper pet care. Another way to keep pet alive is to promote private citizens to volunteer in animal shelters as much as possible.

Below are some tips for how to begin volunteering at an animal shelter:

1. Find a shelter near you. Begin by searching Petfinder in order to find a shelter closest to your home. This way you can find a shelter by figuring out first where pets are up for adoption within your community. Get the shelter’s phone number.

2. Contact the shelter via phone or stop by. Drop into the shelter to learn more about how it operates and what the guidelines are for volunteers. Also, ask them if there are other ways to help the shelter besides volunteering in person.

3. Find out if you meet the requirements to volunteer if you are truly interested. If you are too young and the shelter tells you that you can’t volunteer because they don’t have tasks for you to complete, then this most likely isn’t true. Suggest that you can clean cages, make phone calls/ general office work, work on their social media, take photos of pets to put up on PetFinder, or even become a foster home for animals.

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Animal Rights Activists Storm Chinese Dog Festival


New post from Cameron Frost


Animal Rights organizations flocked to China to protest the Yulin Festival.

In recent news in China, hordes of angry animal rights activists flocked to the scene of a traditional Dog Meat Festival known as the Yulin Festival in the Guanxi Province which includes the slaughter of around 10,000 dogs. The festival occurs every summer when thousands of tourists and locals flock to the district in order to consume dog meat. At the festival, visitors consume traditional dog meat dish such as dog hotpot. Along with the dog meat, the festival goers drink enormous amounts of alcohol.

Although the country takes part in strange diet traditions, there is now a growing concern over public health and the public’s well-being. More importantly, there is an overwhelming concern and outcry over animal cruelty and the rights of the slaughtered dogs. Before this summer’s festival the authorities vowed to crackdown on the dog slaughtering  and be stricter on food regulations.

Days leading op to the festival, the animal rights activists staked out the restaurants and vendors serving the meat in order to try to stop the dog eating practices that China has taken part in for centuries. The activists also began many social media campaigns in order to disrupt the festival’s dog eating customs. A popular Chinese restaurant, South China Morning, complained that a few of these activists broke into their slaughterhouse and stole their dogs in order to keep the restaurant from killing them.

A separate group collected money and used their own finances to buy dogs from restaurants for as much as one hundred and eighty dollars each. This happened while a group of Buddhists recited prayers as they walked through the hanging carcasses in an area with the most slaughtered dogs dogs for sale. The tension between the activists and the diners came to a head on Saturday when the opposing groups began fighting in the street until the police eventually intervened.

An activist with Animals Asia, stated that the festival was cruel and unhygienic. Many dogs are stolen from homes after being darted with drugs which will most likely make its way into the stomachs of festival goers. All in all, although the locals promote the festival as part of a cultural tradition, most find the festival to be cruel and inhumane.


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Tips For Snapping Photos With Your Smartphone


New post from Cameron Frost

So you have a camera phone, but for some reason every time you attempt to take a photo with it, the picture doesn’t turn out well. With the latest phone technology, you should be able to take high quality images. You should take advantage of your camera phone, but don’t waste your time taking poor quality photos. If you learn a few tips, you will be able to use your camera phone to snap better photos. With only a few, slight tweaks, you can take better photos. When taking photos on your phone, remember basic photography rules.


Here a few photography tips when using your smart phone.

Use Your Lighting. Before snapping a photo, ensure your subject is facing the light source. This is particularly important when using a smart phone’s camera. Most likely, your phone’s biggest weakness is the inability to take pictures in low light. This is the main reason you’ll want your subject in good lighting.

Clean Your Camera Lens. if your photos are turning particularly blurry, then make sure you remove your phone from the case and clean the lens. You will see an immediate difference in the two pictures.

Stay Away From The Zoom Button. You can always crop a photo later, so why bother cropping while you are taking it? If you want a closer picture of a subject, you should step closer to it. Digital zoom is really the same thing as stepping closer.

Use The Flash Carefully. The flash on your camera phone can be harsh, and more than likely your phone will want to use the flash when it’s unnecessary. In some lighting situations, not using the flash will be a better idea. Snap two photos- one with flash and one without- in order to see which picture turns out better. Another tip for softening your flash is to place a piece of tissue or a white sticker over the lens. The flash will still provide light, but it won’t be so harsh.

Adjust The Camera’s Resolution. Many camera apps have options for adjusting the resolution which allows you to snap photos at different resolutions. If you just want to take a quick picture and send it someone, using a low resolution should work fine. If you want a higher quality photo, use a higher resolution.


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Now On Thumbtack.com


Ever wonder why you can buy any product online with a single click, but you can’t hire a photographer, tutor, contractor, or other local service professional without a dozen phone calls? So did we. Thumbtack’s mission is to make it dramatically easier to hire services, at the same time empowering independent professionals to grow their businesses.  At Thumbtack we know how hard it can be to find the right person for the job, let alone the right person who is available, nearby, and within budget. Instead of wasting time searching, browsing and playing phone tag, just tell us what you need. We’ll deliver you multiple quotes from our network of vetted pros within 24 hours. 

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New Exhibit Finally Succeeds in Opening at British Council Offices


New post from Cameron Frost

According to an article recently completed by The Guardian, a controversial exhibit has finally succeeded in opening at the British Council offices in London. The photography exhibit, completed by renowned photojournalist Nick Danziger, displays eighty one color photographs of a variety of subjects, from ordinary people engaging in everyday tasks, such as a trip to the beach or a day at the hair salon, to eerie commanding figures in uniform. The exhibit is entitled People and Places in the DPRK (North Korea) and will be available for visitation in the British Council in London until the twenty fifth of July.


The exhibit has struggled to make its way to the United Kingdom, particularly given the sensitivity of tensions and the relationship between North Korea and the west. From the start, Danziger struggled to get photos, often relying on his associate Andrea Rose—head of visual arts at the British Council, to distract the minders from their disagreements on how the process should be brought about. However, once the obstacles were removed, Danziger was pleasantly surprised the ease with which he communicated with his potential subjects. He found that no one refused to speak to him, and that many even spoke English. While no attempts were made to censor his photographs of his choice of subjects, he did note that several potential people did look a bit uncomfortable; when this became an issue, Danziger simply moved on, without a picture. Every image involving any form of text—including banners, posters and even a small notice in the background of a shot taken at a hair salon—was translated and checked in both South Korea and North Korea.

The issues truly started once the exhibition was in transit towards the west. The architects of the project had hoped to bring a Korean farm worker, fisherman, hairdresser and a student with them to the west, where they would attend a workshop as means of training to recreate the exhibit. However, the guests were not granted permits to travel from their own countries and the plan was, therefore, defeated. This very nearly destroyed the chances of displaying the exhibit. However, Graham Sheffield, the British Council’s director of the arts, insured its success and continues to push to communicate with Japan, China and many other national locales in the hopes of carrying the exhibit to further places in the future.


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Properly Holding A Digital Camera


New post from Cameron Frost

Often, new digital and sometimes even film photographer have issues of “camera shake” when they take pictures. Camera shake could lead to somewhat blurry images because the photographer fails to hold the camera in a steady enough position when the camera shutter is depressed. One way to eliminate this problem, particularly in low light situations, is to use a tripod when taking photos. For digital camera users, one method used is to hold the camera away from the body in order to frame the shot. Although the body is stable, the farther the camera is held away from the body, the greater the chance the body will move or sway sideways and therefore trigger camera shake.


The Digital Photography School offers a few key tips for those using digital cameras in order to minimize camera shake and its effects. The only way to full alleviate the problem of “camera shake” is to use a tripod in order to fully stabilize the camera. A simple way to stabilize the camera is by using both hands to hold it in place. Your inclination might be to shoot one-handed, but to avoid “camera shake” you should stick to holding the camera with both hands.

Tip #1: Always grip the right hand end with your right hand. Place your forefinger gently on the shutter release while your other three fingers are wrapped around the front side of the camera. Hold the camera firmly with your right hand but not too firmly to avoid shaking the camera.

Tip #2: You should usually place your left hand under the camera in order to fully support its weight and keep it from moving around.

Tip #3: By using the view finder to line up the shot, you’ll hold the camera closer to your body which will stabilize the camera’s position. When using the LCD, try not to hold the camera too faraway from your body. Tuck in your elbows and lean the camera out somewhat away from your face.

Tip #4: Lean against an object. For extra stability, try to find a large, heavy object to brace yourself against in order to keep you from swaying or to keep your hand from shaking. If your body remains still while taking the photo, the image shouldn’t come out blurry.

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