Category Archives: How to

This section contains my assortment of articles which I have written for those who are just getting into photography. These photography tips for beginners should help my readers to enhance their knowledge of photography and get the best out of their equipment.

How to get the best from your laptop’s battery life?

Laptop Battery LifeOverview

In my photography workflow I use a wide range of machines. My main desktop is an AMD Octa-core, I mainly use that for my processor heavy tasks. However I rely more on my Laptop for day to day tasks.

My support portfolio device is a Samsung tablet and i have a blackberry mobile too. My go-to machine for quick edits, emails and social media is my trusty old Lenovo Thinkpad T410 i5 Laptop.

You will notice I have an android tablet, blackberry phone and no apple products in my office or household. I’m not a big Apple fan, just not my cup of tea.

Anyway this is my Laptop, it is relatively old first came out in 2011-12. It copes well with my custom little upgrades. I upgraded my battery to the 9 cell one which replaces the standard 6 cell one. You will see below I easily get 7.5 hours of battery life on moderate daily tasks.

I think it’s fair to say we always want to get the best from our battery life.

Here are my tips

  • Start up – Every program or service that loads up each time you boot in Windows consumes system resources, you should disable the ones you don’t need.
  • Fresh boot – once you disconnected from the power source reboot from the battery. This lets all the components in the machine know you are defiantly on battery power.
  • Dim your screen – The display on your laptop uses the most energy. When you disconnect the power cord, it’s best to dim the brightness down below half or even less than half.
BatteryLife
Power options – Dim your Screen
  • Stop programs running in the background.- All the background programs add to the CPU load and cut down battery life.
  • Take out CDs or DVD’s – Having a CD or DVD in the drive can be power consuming. They spin, taking power, even when they are not actively being used.
  • Hibernate not sleep – Hibernating a PC will actually save your current programs and completely shut itself down.
  • Don’t multitask – Do one thing at a time when you’re on battery. Set your mind to one thing only. If you don’t you’ll only drain out your batteries before any actual work gets done.

If you have a little money to spend

  • Bigger battery – Some models let you buy larger batteries. I got a 9 cell battery to replace my old 6 cell one and i easily get 7.5 hours of battery on moderate tasks.
  • Upgrade to a SSD– they use significantly less power than hard drives. Their energy efficiency can deliver longer battery life in notebooks, less power strain on system.

All these tips have worked for me, I thought its only fair to share them. They have allowed me to go out with my windows 7 i5 Lenovo T410 laptop and not worry about charging for a easy 5-6 hours (on typical uses). I am aware of other laptops out there that quote higher battery life. (Chromebook 6.5 hours of battery life). Keep in mind the Chrome OS is very limited. Its all down to how you use the laptop and tasks you do.

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How to Isolates your subjects?

It always looks amazing when you draw attention to a single element of the image and isolate the subject nicely.

You can use the isolating technique in different creative ways. Here are a few pointers on how to get started “on creating an isolated look”.

  • Look for subjects which have distance between them and the background
  • Use the lowest F-number available on your lens
  • Lights in the background give a nice background bokeh (blur)
  • Steady the camera or use high shutterspeeds

If you’re unsure on depth of field check out my explanation here (I use my collection of cars as subjects).

Here are a few photos to show you what it would look like if you truly crack the look.

Photo shot with Canon 5d MK2 with a Canon 50mm 1.8 @1.8

iso400.50mm1.8@1.8full-7244
Exhibition Catalog | Kandinsky and the Harmony of Silence – http://www.splicedesigngroup.com

Photo shot with Canon 5d MK2 with a Canon 50mm 1.4 @1.4

1.4 fullframe-7260
Birmingham Library Book Trolly

Photo shot with Canon 5d MK2 with a Canon 50mm 1.4 @1.4

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BPYC Birmingham Mela Event 2014

Photos:Zulfphotography.com

How to get Depth of Field in your photo?

Here I will cover the basics of depth of field and background photo blur. It’s something that can take a while to get your head around. I may do a more in depth explanation or a video at some point.

Depth of field refers to a part of the image which remains sharp while the remainder is out of focus (blurred out). You use selective focus to make parts of a photo stand out by changing the aperture and increasing your image’s depth of field.

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Left: Blue Maserati Coupe, Silver Nissan GTR, White BMW M1, Red Dodge Viper Convertible, 50p for scale

Your camera will only focus its lens at a single point when taking a photo. I’ve used some of my cars to help give you a visual aide to support my explanation.

In the below sample my red Viper is the “depth of field” because it is sharp compared to the background cars, which are both nicely blurred out.

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It always looks and feels different depending on your type of camera, aperture and focusing distance. There are generally two fields of view:

  • Shallow (where only a narrow zone appears sharp)
  • Deep (where more of the picture appears sharp)

Below is a set of photos shot at different apertures; it should help give you an idea of how the f-number affects the depth of field in the photo.

How to photograph cards, magazines and leaflets

One of the most important things when advertising online is making sure that you keep your marketing coherent.

In an ideal world, you’d hire a photographer; however, many startups are just individuals working alone. That’s why we have a few tips to help you get some good photos.

Use the same images on your website, business cards and leaflets. You owe it to yourself to showcase your hard work and distinguish your product from others in the market place.

You need to think about:

  • Lighting
  • Shadows
  • Compositions
  • Props

Achieve an adequate starting point for a social media strategy; shoot your business cards. Everyone has one of those, right? Below is an example of my work: a carefully placed prop sets the scene and adds an element of elegance. I was careful not to have the card facing directly into the light as this would have washed out the detail.

In the final image I was mindful not to include too many props; this can draw the attention away from your product. It’s important to capture a moment in time with your photos. Blend a range of props to create your desired emotion.

ZulfPhotography_ProductMagazinePhotography

In the above example we are portraying relaxation, drawing attention to the main subject, the magazines and flowers.
Play with light and shadows to add depth to the image, again below we play on the fact of having a coffee and a read. You will notice we stuck with a sqaure composition as this photo was used for instagram and Twitter.

ZulfPhotographyMagazine

Keep a open mind and play with layouts. You will be sure to get some stunning images.

Keep shooting,

Photos:Zulfphotography.com
Shoot: Khushboos by Chand, Oozes Couture & Asians UK Promo work

Products on white background

Product photography is all about accurately but attractively representing a product. The principal use is in catalogues and brochures, with a large proportion of product images being used in web advertising.

Drink Photography

A sweet, cold beverage which is usually made from milk, ice cream, or iced milk, and flavorings or sweeteners such as caramel sauce, chocolate sauce, or fruit syrup.