Photography Blog: Knowledge & Inspiration For Photographers

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Choosing the right lighting system

Choosing or even switching lighting systems can be a big decision, so I’m going to share the things I considered before switching my own system from Elinchrom to broncolor. I made the switch some years ago, but it was a decision that was long overdue. Before I made the change, there was a lot of thought and considerations, including the …

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Case study: Natural light product photography

Case study: Photographing products with minimal equipment In the past, I’ve proved that you don’t need lots of equipment to get good results and I demonstrated this again for our recent ‘Working to a brief challenge’ when I shot a product shot of a wine bottle using only natural light. When you apply the knowledge of light, you can achieve …

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July 2020 ‘Tasty’ Competition Winners

Our food photography classes have proven highly popular with our members, so for this competition we decided to see what members would come up with for the topic of ‘Tasty’. Not necessarily restricted to food photography, we looked forward to seeing the creative submissions sent in. Motivated by the chance to win a broncolor Siros lighting kit, we received hundreds …

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Why image quality is not just about megapixels

When it comes to image quality, there is a big misconception that if you want better quality, you need more megapixels. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) it isn’t that straightforward. Over the years camera manufacturers have dedicated much of their efforts to improve the number of megapixels in their latest models. At the start of …

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Mistakes to avoid when using studio lighting

Photography can be considered both a science and an art, with basic principles of physics governing the practicalities of recording light, how we direct and modify it, and also the human biological visual responses to the mood of an image. All of this together contributes to the outcome and overall success of an image. If you really want to understand …

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Wine Bottle Photography Brief

For our second ‘Working to a photography brief’ challenge, Karl has provided members with a new photography brief to execute. To take part in this challenge, please read the guidelines below and submit your image before 13:00 BST / 08:00 EDT on Wednesday 22nd July 2020. All the details you need to complete the brief can be found below, as …

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A guide to understanding studio lighting

When it comes to photography lighting, the move from natural light to studio flash is a definite step-up, but there’s no disputing the extra creative freedom it allows. Understanding the basics of studio flash lighting will help ensure a smooth transition; the same way understanding fundamentals like aperture, shutter speed and exposure will help you switch from Auto to Manual …

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How to light & photograph cars

Car photography is notoriously difficult and often requires some high-level professional equipment. In the video above I talk you through a recent car photoshoot and TV commercial we did in the studio using our new custom-built ceiling rig. Ceiling rigs, or floating panels, are commonly used in car photography as they help make an already challenging task much easier. I’ve …

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Members Picture Critique – Still Life Photography

Composition tips and techniques NOTE: Submissions will close Monday 22nd June at 12:00 BST / 07:00 EDT. How to improve your still life photography If still life photography is a genre you’ve tried or would like to try, then make sure to join us on 23rd June to learn more about what makes a strong still life image and how …

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Karl Taylor Education member wins Sony World Photography Award

When the World Photography Association announced the 10 category winners for the 2020 Sony World Photography Awards Open competition, Karl Taylor Education member Jorge Reynal did not expect his name to be placed alongside those of some of the greatest photographers in the world. But that is exactly what happened. Jorge’s striking and symbolic image of a dead fish in …

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8 Tips to help you run a successful photography business

Understandably many people are worried about their businesses at this time. It’s a difficult period for many businesses and, of course, there is a lot of uncertainty. If you have your own business, some of your questions and concerns may revolve around “Do I have enough financial security to get through this?” “Will my clients be financially sound on the …

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What you need to know about working to a photography brief

For many professional photographers, working to a brief is nothing new. But for those just starting their professional journey, the concept of working to a brief might seem a little overwhelming and intimidating. I recently provided a challenge for our members, where I gave them a set advertising brief to execute. This task provided an opportunity to experience what it’s …

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Cider Advert Photography Brief

As part of our past ‘Working to A Photography Brief – Challenge’ live show, Karl has provided members with a comprehensive photography brief*  to execute. To take part in this challenge, please follow the guidelines below and submit your image before 12:00 BST on 1st June 2020. All submissions will be judged and the winner will receive a Manfrotto 055 …

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Working To A Photography Brief Live Show

In this show Karl will be announcing a photography brief for photographers to try. During the show he will provide a visual sketch and written brief outlining a creative concept that members can try to execute as best as possible over the next month. Note: Final images should be submitted before 12:00 BST on 1st June 2020. Karl will then …

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April 2020 ‘Black & White’ Competition Winners

‘Black and white’ was a versatile theme that we felt would give our members plenty of opportunity to express their own style and creativity, and we weren’t disappointed! We once again received some fantastic submissions — everything from landscapes to portraits, architecture to animals. The winning images can be seen below, as well as a selection of ‘highly commended’ images …

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A professional guide to photographing environmental portraits

Environmental portraits are a great way for photographers to make money as they’re often in high demand by many businesses. While that may sound appealing, environmental portraits are not without their challenges. You’ll find a range of photography classes showing you how to photograph environmental portraits, but I’ve also put together this guide to outline some of the most common …

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10 Photography ideas you can do with one light

You don’t always need a lot of equipment to get creative when it comes to photography. Even if you’re stuck at home (as many of us are at the moment), there are plenty of things you can do to test your skills and develop your creativity using just one light. I’ve put together a list of 10 of our most …

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Useful subscriptions to help photographers through lockdown

The recent COVID-19 outbreak has left many photographers in difficult situations and as a result, many are having to find new ways to fill their time while carefully considering their expenditure. Low cost monthly subscriptions offer the perfect opportunity to learn new skills, update or create a website or organise your work, without putting too much strain on your finances. …

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Why a lack of photography equipment shouldn’t be an excuse

I hear a lot of negativity from photographers claiming not to have enough equipment to get good results. This is particularly relevant to product photography, but as you’ll see from my recent one light challenge product shoot — it is completely untrue. With the right knowledge, you can get top-end, professional-quality results using just one light. Yes, you might be …

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What’s new at Karl Taylor Education

With much of the world currently under lockdown, we understand that many of our members may be looking to practice their photography at home and continue their education. To help with this, we’ve introduced some exciting new content, which we announced in our recent live show (you can watch the replay for the show here). These include weekly photography challenges …

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Magazine Chat Show – What’s Coming Up At Karl Taylor Education

In this live chat show Karl will be sitting down to discuss what’s coming up at Karl Taylor Education over the coming months, including some exciting new additions. There’s been a lot of uncertainty over the past few weeks, and with many countries going into lockdown and implementing travel restrictions, many of our members may be finding themselves stuck at …

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10 Creative photoshoots to do at home

If you’re stuck indoors, there are plenty of ways you can practice photography at home and get creative with just your camera. From natural light portrait photography to simple food photography at home or one light product shoots, I’ve put together a list of 10 creative photoshoot ideas you can try at home. You don’t have to get out to …

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Common portrait photography mistakes to avoid

When it comes to photography, knowing what you should be doing is great, but knowing what to avoid can be incredibly useful too. In a recent live critique show, I reviewed portrait images submitted by members, and it soon became clear that there were a few common mistakes that many photographers seem to be making. To help you quickly improve your photography, …

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A detailed guide to creative still life photography

One of the best things about still life photography is that you can get creative and test your photography skills using almost anything you have laying around the studio or your house. You also don’t need very much equipment. And if that’s not enough to persuade you, still life images can also be a great way to make money. Still …

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Live Members Picture Critique — Animals & Macro Photography

Get professional feedback on your images For this live critique show Karl will be looking at two types of photography — animal and macro. So whether you photograph cats in the studio or cats in the wild, take full portraits of ponies or close up pictures of poodles, make sure to submit your image and join us live on 28th …

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Magazine Chat Show — Website Critique

Developing An Online Photography Portfolio After the popularity of the first website critique, Karl will once again be reviewing members online photography portfolios. He will be discussing what makes a good website, how to select your best images and what information you should include. Often the first point of call for potential customers, a photography website is the ideal place …

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Live Workshop — One Light Challenge Product Photoshoot

In this live show Karl will undertake the challenge of a product shoot using only one light, showing it’s not about how much equipment you have, but more about how you use what you do have. Product photography can be a challenging genre of photography, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create professional results with minimal equipment. Often, when thinking …

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Everything you need to know about umbrella lighting

In any photography studio — amateur and professional alike — you’ll probably find at least one or two umbrellas. These lightweight and affordable modifiers can be used to achieve a number of different results, which is part of the reason they’re so widely used. In our previous ‘Umbrella Lighting’ live show, I took a closer look at these popular modifiers, …

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4 Pieces of advice from professional photographer Rachell Smith

We caught up with portrait and fashion photographer Rachell Smith ahead of her live interview on Karl Taylor Education to find out more about her career, how it all started and what advice she has for aspiring photographers. Rachell’s interest in photography developed from an early age, and was actively encouraged by her parents. “When I was a kid my …

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Live talk show with portrait & fashion photographer Rachell Smith

Internationally renowned portrait and fashion photographer Rachell Smith will be joining Karl in the studio for this live talk show, where the pair will be discussing Rachell’s work, her career and all things photography related. The British photographer spent a lot of time with her grandfather, who was a keen amateur photographer, and it was from him that she developed …

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Live members picture critique – Portrait photography

NOTE: Due to the high number of submissions received, this critique show will be divided into two parts. How to take better portrait photographs The essence of a good portrait is one that captures the personality of your subject, and while this may sound easy, there are a few things you need to consider (lighting, backgrounds, posing etc). Ahead of …

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Lighting Control – The Egg Challenge

To demonstrate lighting control, we challenged Karl to see how many different lighting effects he could create when shooting a simple object. Following on from our recent live chat show, which centred around the topic of ‘Lighting Control’, ‘The Egg Challenge’ will see Karl put these points into practice as he demonstrates how to control light to achieve a number …

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December 2019 ‘Architecture’ Competition Winners

We brought the year to a close on a high note with our final competition for 2019. This month our lucky winner walks away with a fantastic broncolor Siros lighting kit valued at $3400! We had a great selection of submissions so it wasn’t an easy decision picking out the very best; in fact we decided to award a joint …

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Top 5 photography tips from professional photographers

From interviews with award-winning photographers to exciting photoshoots with flying liquids, our live photography shows are one of the most popular features on Karl Taylor Education. After launching the site just a few years ago, it soon became apparent just how valuable our live photography talk shows in particular were for members. These interviews offer a unique opportunity to learn …

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7 Tactics you can use to become a professional photographer

Photography is a popular choice of profession for many, but despite the perception of it being a ‘glamourous’ career, in actual fact it requires a lot of hard work, time and effort. If you ask any professional photographer for advice on how to get started, they will tell you how essential it is that you understand the basics. I’m not …

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Live Members Picture Critique — Landscapes & Cityscapes

NOTE: Submissions will close Wednesday 22nd January at 12:00 GMT / 07:00 EST. Simplistic in everything but the results, landscape and cityscape photography is a popular genre of photography for many. Breathtaking views and a chance to explore new places means both amateur and pro photographers alike often shoot landscape and cityscape images from time to time. Requiring very little …

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Live Chat Show – Lighting Control

In this live chat show Karl and Ashleigh will discuss the importance of lighting control, reviewing a number of examples and explaining different techniques for controlling light. When it comes to photography, one of the most essential things that helps make a strong, memorable image is light. Light is one of the key factors in creating successful imagery. By controlling …

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E-commerce photography in 5 simple steps

E-commerce is a booming industry, and with it, e-commerce photography. Done correctly, e-commerce photography can be a quick and easy way to make money, but there’s a few tricks to getting it right. In two recent ‘How To’ videos that I did with broncolor’s Urs Recher, we showed you an effective setup for shooting e-commerce fashion as well as pack …

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How to photograph flying food images

Levitating burgers, suspended salads and exploding tea — the craze of flying food images is taking over the food photography market. But how are these exciting images created? Photographing floating images, whether it be food or any other product, can be difficult. There are a number of challenges you’ll need to overcome, including getting the composition and positioning of your …

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Pricing calculator

Having operated a successful business for over 25 years, I’ve realized there are a few critical requirements for maintaining and growing a profitable business. However, when starting a photography business, it’s easy to get caught up and find yourself running around in circles in an attempt to keep on top of things. One of these things is often pricing. Determining …

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Motorbike Photo Shoot

When it comes to photographing motorbikes, there are a number of challenges you can expect to face. Whether you’re working outdoors on location, or in a more controlled studio environment, these steel speedsters are no easy subject. Some of the challenges you may experience include: I demonstrate how to overcome each of these challenges in this live show, explaining my …