Category Archives: Tips

Shravan Gupta :Street Photography

Street Photography is one of those kind where you will find more hobbyists rather than professionals. The prime reason behind this is because it is so much fun. Most street photographers are there only because they want to be there. They want to do it. It is a different kind of experience all together. As Thomas Leuthard says, “Street photography is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.

But this awesome fun-filled kind of photography has it’s own obstacles too. And you get to know more about them as you keep shooting. But once you master these obstacles, nobody can beat you. Below I have listed down a few such points that I have learned from my personal experience and can recall at this moment. Hope they are of some help to you, the next time you go out on the streets.


#1… Do not think twice!

If you see a frame in front of you that can build up into a nice story, don’t think whether you should shoot it or not. Coz even if you waste a second to think, the moment may just go away for ever. Shoot first and think later.

#2…Do not stop for too long!

Always try and notice your subjects from a distance and also plan your composition. By the time you reach him, you should be totally ready to just lift your camera and release the shutter. The problem with standing in the middle of the street is that firstly you’ll get pushed by people (if it’s a busy street) and everyone will get irritated. Secondly, your subject will also become aware of your presence and you’ll never get that awesome candid shot. So if you don’t make it at first go, just move on. Remember, there is a huge world waiting for you. One gone is none gone.


#3… Do not make eye contact!

Never ever make eye contact with your subjects. Not before the shot, nor after. Look at every possible thing around him, but never at him. Looking eye to eye with a person will only either freak him out or freak you out. In either case you are not gonna get your shot.

#4… Do not look back!

Once you shoot your subject and you are walking away from him, do not look back to check if he noticed you or if he is calling you or anything. Your looking back might just lead you to having to delete one of your best pics of the day.


#5… Do not exclaim!

By that I mean do not bring the widest grim on your face showing how over-whelmed you are at capturing the awesome scene. Carry a very stoic look on your face throughout your shoot. That will keep you off unnecessary conversations. Of course you can rejoice when you are done shooting or back home.

#6… Do not keep looking at your LCD!

Very very important point to keep in mind for all Digital shooters. Never keep looking at your LCD screen. Doing that will firstly make people suspicious of you, secondly you will miss the awesome moments that happen when you are busy engrossed in your screen, and thirdly you will fall into a garbage dump or maybe bump onto a pole, or worse, bump onto another person.


#7… Do not use a big camera or lens!

Although this point is not absolutely necessary to follow, but your common sense will tell you that the bigger gear you carry, obviously the more attention you catch, and that of course is the last thing a street photographer would want.

#8… Do not shoot Manual!

This is another point which is very subjective. Manual mode shooting is something an amateur fashion photographer can afford to experiment with, but not a street photographer on the street. Infact there are a number of professional street photographers who don’t shoot Manual. The best choices available are Aperture-Priority mode (Av), Shutter-Priority mode (Tv), or Program mode (P). For these shooting modes you only decide the depth-of-field, or the shutter-speed, or the ISO value respectively, and the camera gets the other settings in place to give the perfect exposure. Fiddling with Manual mode will only get you to lose those precious moments which otherwise could have been excellent shots. And remember, at the end of the day, what matters is your shots, not which mode you shot in.


#9… Do not be scared!

This is something that I mentioned in one of my earlier post too. And I mention it once more here because this is of prime importance. You need to have self-confidence and build up your courage if you plan on doing street photography. Remember, it’s only a notion that people have in their mind that any person they shoot will come and beat them up. That happens only once in a million times. Atleast I personally never experienced it, and nor have I heard of someone I know to have experienced it. Get you guts and go and shoot. And by the way, at times you might just be lucky enough to be greeted with a smile too. People are not all that bad after all.

#10… Do not get into arguments!

In continuation to the previous point, if incase you happen to be really unlucky and somebody stops you and asks you to delete the pic, just do it. Do not get into any kind of argument. Delete it and get moving. No pic is more worthy than your life. And I’m not aware as to where you live in and what kind of people are there. And anyways, if you are intact, then there will be a million more opportunities for you to get much better pics. Don’t sob, and move on in search of your next frame.


I’m not an expert, and thoughts may vary from person to person. But these are some of the things that I learned from my experience, and thought that sharing it with you people may benefit you in some way. If you liked and enjoyed the post, then please do share it in your circle. And as always, I’m completely open to feed-backs irrespective of whether you have something to say for or against this post. So feel free to comment.


Shravan Gupta Tips For Successful Street Photography

Travel light and bring the right lens for you.

Don’t carry too much equipment. Choose one lens and stick with it. I have a small cross-body bag I use for film, lipstick and essentials, but keep my camera around my neck or over my shoulder. Choose your camera wisely. After a whole day, certain cameras become very cumbersome to carry—if you are serious about walking the streets—so plan the equipment in advance. A comfortable camera strap is a must. I find the best ones have neoprene cushioning at the neck. Take your camera everywhere with you so it starts to feel part of you. Your lens choice is very important. I find that prime lenses, such as 35mm or 50mm, give me sharper images than a zoom lens. I like to get closer to my subjects, rather than rely on a zoom to get me there —that almost ruins the intimacy of street photography. Start with a 50mm or 75mm, gain confidence and get closer from there.

Color versus black and white.

I like to simplify my photos to give more focus to the subject matter. I find that while I love color for portraits and conceptual work, black and white gives me a cleaner and more simplified image. There are so many images, ads, other people and cars on the streets, it can get very confusing to the eye in a color image. Sometimes a color image is necessary, especially if one is shooting in a place like Times Square, for example, or in a colorful place like India. Pay close attention to the background and how it may enhance your picture.

Steal a moment.

Watch people’s behavior and body language. Anticipate moments before they happen, such as a couple about to kiss. Follow human interactions, watch people. Stand in a spot for an hour, or in one specific area. Wait for a moment to happen, rather than search the streets for it. Try to be invisible.

Look for multiples.

Often I find multiples or repetition interesting in a shot, so look for scenes with this type of rhythm. For example, during fleet week in Manhattan, the sailors were walking the streets in groups, as were the four marines in the photograph below. Parades and protests are also great places to find good street scenes.

Freeze frame.

Streets are bustling places, full of people going about their daily lives—often in a hurry. Make sure your shutter speed is fast enough to get sharp shots even during movement. Street photography is something that requires fast reactions and fast shooting. Metering exposure in such situations (and to not miss a shot) can be hard. Very often I can guess the exposure, or perhaps use the “sunny 16” rule. Try to experiment with your camera settings and utilize the Shutter Priority mode to keep that shutter speed fast, or perhaps the Aperture Priority mode, if you want to remain more in control of your depth of field. The important aspect of street photography is to be fast and ready at all times.

It’s also interesting to try slower shutter speeds on the street and capture movement. Blurred vehicles, people running or panning shots can be just as intriguing as in-focus ones.

I caught you!

In my last B&H Insights article, I referred to catching people through my portraiture. In my street photography work I refer to it in a slightly difference context. The joy of street photography (and also the hard part) is that you want to capture a moment without the person even knowing you are there. It’s more about being unobtrusive and subtle than interacting with people. However, very often, the subject will notice you taking their picture. That moment of the subject first catching you is quite telling. I find that moment to be extremely real.

Don’t be afraid.

Street photography requires confidence. Act like you should be there. Don’t be afraid of confrontation. I have been yelled at many, many times but it’s all part of the experience. Explain yourself. Be polite, smile and say sorry if somebody is offended you took a photograph of them. Offer to e-mail the photograph. It takes practice being comfortable in this style of photography, but the results are very true to life and worth it.

All images in this article are © Sara Louise Petty.

Sara Louise Petty is a New York-based fashion designer and most importantly, mother. Always a lover of photography and the arts, she picked up a plastic toy Holga camera and started to experiment with analog photography. Although the Holga produced (and still produces) some of her most moving images, she moved on to 35mm and medium-format cameras.

Shravan Gupta Tips for Photographing Children’s Parties

We know that photographing your children while trying to run the party, prevent accidents and maintain your sanity is a difficult thing.
That is why we have scoured the internet to bring you our Top 10 Tips to help you out!
Here are our secrets to successfully capture your child’s party memories so that they -and you- can relive the moments afterwards!


Planning the Shoot

1. Prepare and set the scene for your key moments

Make a list of moments you want to capture; the blowing of the candles, opening of presents, party games, etc. Where do you want these to occur? How do you want these areas to look? Where will guests be sitting, and where will you be taking photos? Considering these questions early on can help you plan and best achieve the shots you desire.

2. Capture the party details

Taking photos of the party details will help tell the story and set the context, not to mention capture evidence of all your hard preparation work! You may like to shoot close-ups of the decorations, the food, the cake, the presents, even the invitations and cards. A good tip is to photograph these before the guests (and the commotion) arrive, it will never look quite the same!

3. Include various angles and types of shots

Create a mix of wide angle overall shots contrasted with close-up shots which fill the frame, to really capture the action and invite viewers to feel a part of the experience. Try standing on a (stable and safe) chair for an alternative view. Make use of the panorama feature on your camera if you have one, or try advanced lens effects like the fish-eye or tilt-shift if you feel adventurous. By the way, angling your camera is not a sin – be creative!


Working with Children

4. Take time to allow children to feel comfortable around you

It is not easy to be natural when there is a big camera lens in your face… children might be scared, shy or distracted. Take some time to show kids what you are doing, let them look through the lens/screen and show them photos you’ve already taken. Ask some questions, tell some stories, play some games and you’ll be buddies in no time!

5. Get down to their level for a ‘Kids-Eye perspective’

To make yourself even less scary, crouch down to their level – a very simple but often forgotten move! Taking photos from this level provides a ‘kids-eye perspective’ of the party, making them appear natural and comfortable in the photos.

6. Capture real smiles and genuine emotions

Posing while saying ‘cheese’ does not lead to natural smiles or good photos. Try engaging with kids by making them laugh with funny faces, silly noises (‘blowing raspberries’ is a winner!), and playing games like touching your nose with your tongue or crossing your eyes. You can take photos of both the funny faces and the real laughter that follows!


Technical Tips

7. Find the light

Especially important if you are using a phone camera is to ensure there is plenty of light, preferably from natural sources. Position the group near a window or place lamps around the activity area to enable clear crisp photos. Use flash as a last resort, as it can ‘wash out’ colour.

8. Still and steady focus

With so much activity around you, it is tricky to keep a steady hand to take crisp photos. Use a small tripod or create a makeshift one out of a nearby prop, and make sure the stabilizer mode is switched on if your camera has one. Select the focal point to keep your desired subject sharp whether it is in the foreground or the background, allowing you to play with the composition with ease.

9. Use continuous shooting mode or ‘burst’ mode

If your camera has this feature available, use it to photograph a sequence like blowing out the candles or unwrapping a present. Again, this helps to tell the story, and you have more chances of capturing that perfect moment.


What’s the 10th tip you ask? Well isn’t it obvious? 🙂

10. Create a PastBook album with your photos!

Congratulations, you have survived your kid’s party, you remembered all our tips and now you have a magnificent collection of party photos. You may have already uploaded to Instagram or Facebook as you were shooting to share with your friends, and gotten heaps of likes and comments. Now it’s time to log in to PastBook, select a timeframe or album, and in a few clicks your album is ready for download, sharing and printing.

So easy, it’s……. child’s play!

Shravan Gupta:Wildlife Photography Tips For Beginners

Highland Cow Gear

A interchangeable lens camera is best but you can use a compact with a long zoom too. If you’re using a a camera the can use numerous lenses take a longer lens with you so you can work from a distance that doesn’t make the animal feel uncomfortable. However, you may get away with using a shorter lens if you’re visiting a zoo or are taking photos of ducks and other birds in your local park. If you have to shoot into the sun a lens hood will shade your lens and a monopod or beanbag will help steady your camera. To reduce reflections when shooting through glass and to reduce the amount of bounce light so that textures and tones in fur stand out more, pockets a polarising filter. An ND filter won’t be out of place either.

Where To Go?

You can find information on nature reserves and other locations where wildlife can be found on the internet on sites such as those run by the Wildlife Trust and RSPB. You’ll be able to find out what reserves are near you and also what wildlife you can expect to see. If you want to photograph more exotic creatures pay a visit to a zoo where there will be plenty of opportunities to shoot wildlife shots. Petting zoos/children’s farms and butterfly houses are two more locations where you’ll be able to get close to your subjects. Many animals are more active during the morning or late afternoon while around noon, particularly if it’s a warm day, they tend to go to sleep so keep this in mind when you’re planning your day.


When it comes to nature reserves, you can go one day and end up with nothing and return a few days later to find the water’s brimming with wildlife. The same can be said for zoos too, a really busy day can mean you’re fighting to get close to the animals and end up with hardly any shots or the animals may all be hiding inside. Of course you can’t control this so you just have to keep your fingers-crossed and try another day if you’re unsuccessful. Getting your camera out too quickly can startle the animal you’re photographing too and they can decide not to return for some time. So, to stop this happening, get your gear out and just watch until they’re used to you then take your shots. Try and not appear too threatening and don’t make any sudden movements.


Gloriously sunny days may seem perfect conditions for a visit to the zoo but the light is often too bright and can cause deep, harsh shadows. Flash can fill in the shadows but as this can scare animals using it is often not advised. If you’re at a zoo, where you’ve paid to get in, it’s worth checking what you can and can’t do at the entrance on your way in. A slight covering of cloud, as long as it’s not raining, gives you the perfect conditions to shoot some wildlife shots in as the clouds act as a giant softbox, diffusing the light so you end up with shots that have even tones and are exposed well.

Focus On One Subject

If you’re focusing on one subject make sure the eyes and face are sharp and throw the background out of focus with a wider aperture to stop any distracting backgrounds pulling attention away from your subject. Foliage, particularly when it’s blurred, makes a great, uncluttered background, especially when you’re focusing on something small such as butterflies and ladybirds.

Fill the frame with your subject as this will give your shot more impact and it can disguise your location so no one has to know you were taking your shots at the zoo. Just make sure you don’t amputate any limbs by accident by doing so. If in doubt don’t zoom in as far and crop the scene once you’re back at home in front of your computer.

Try to avoid shooting down as this can distort features instead get down low, to eye level if possible, to create a more dynamic shot.

To freeze movement you’ll need a quick-ish shutter speed (animal depending) and if you’re panning to follow them, try somewhere between 1/8sec to 1/30sec to blur the background but leave the animal sharp. Of course what speed you need will again differ from animal to animal.

If birds in flight are your target, you’ll need to get the focus locked on your subject straight away and use continuous focus as you pan to keep them sharp. To freeze their movement in air or when they’re splashing on the water try a shutter speed of around 1/500sec but if you want to be a little more creative try blurring the motion of the wings with a slower speed of around 1/30sec.

Leafcutter AntWider Shots That Put Them In Context

If you pack your wider lens you’ll be able to shoot a few wider shots of the nature reserve, lake, pond or zoo enclosure you’re photographing. Look for repetitive patterns such as Flamingos stood in a lake or amusing shots such as monkeys sat in their climbing frames. If you’re at a zoo take care not to get other visitors in your shot – try and get to the front of the enclosure if you can and if there’s no wire fencing or cage in your way, use a small aperture to ensure everything from the front to the back of the frame is in focus.

Cages And Fences

Unlike nature reserves, zoos are full of cages to keep you and the animals safe. Although they’re there to protect you and the animals shooting through wires and bars can be annoying, especially if they get in the way of your shot. You need to make sure that the face of the animal you’re photographing is lined up with one of the gaps, pick a wider aperture and wait for the animal to move back from the cage. By doing so the fence will be thrown out of focus and, hopefully, you won’t notice it. Inside you have glass fully of finger prints to contend with. To minimise reflections attach a lens hood or hold your hand to the side or above the lens. You may also need to switch to manual focus as cameras can be fooled by glass. If the glass is shaking from people touching it you can either wait for them to move on or use a slower shutter speed to minimise the shake. Just have your support handy in case the speeds drop too low.


No matter where you’re shooting your wildlife shots you need to have a good look around the viewfinder to make sure there’s nothing in the background that will distract the viewer. This could be an ice cream van at the park, a litter bin at a nature reserve or other visitors at the zoo. Keep an eye out for poles and other objects that can look like they’re growing out of the top of your subject’s head too.

Indoors and Outside

Make sure you check your white balance when you move from indoors out and vica versa. You also need to give your equipment chance to acclimatise when moving between places that differ in temperature otherwise you’ll end up with condensation on the front of your lens which will make your shots hazy.

Shravan Gupta :Posing Ideas for Girls

f you ask a subject to stand in front of a pretty background and pose for you, you’ll generally end up with two problems (well, there’s probably plenty more than two, but these two are BIG problems): 1. a stiff posture, and 2. both shoulders facing directly at you. A stiff posture makes for an awkward looking photo, and a straight-on standing pose that shows both shoulders evenly makes your subject look wide, which isn’t the looks most of us are going for. Standing photos are hard to pull off if you’re not a model. This is why I often photograph girls sitting, leaning against something, or even lying down. All these activities cause your subject to shift her weight into a more natural and flattering position than standing directly facing the camera. Here are some examples:

When you ask your subject to sit while you stand, it will cause her to look up at you. This will make her eyes appear bigger and her face look slimmer (and who doesn’t like that?). Just make sure she keeps her chin fairly low, so she’s looking up at you with her eyes instead of tilting her whole face upwards.

You can also crouch down to photograph a sitting subject on her eye level. Girls are generally pretty flexible, so you can ask them to sit cross-legged for a cute, relaxed photo.

Always ask your subject to pull her legs in toward her body when photographing her sitting on the ground. If she sits with her legs out in front of her, her feet will be quite a bit closer to the camera than the rest of her body, making them look really large. But if she pulls her knees up and wraps her arms around them, she’ll present a much nicer picture.

Have your subject sit backwards on a chair for another relaxed pose. She can rest her arms on top of the chair, which solves the problem of what to do with her hands (since girls don’t generally look good with their hands in their pockets).

Here’s a similar example, except this time the subject is standing, not sitting. She still has her arms resting on a bar in front of her, which gives her a relaxed stance. Additionally, she’s leaning in toward the bar a little, which keeps her from looking stiff. You’ll notice that I was standing a little below her eye level when photographing her – this works fine with girls and young women, but won’t be the most flattering pose for ladies who (like me) might worry about some double chin action going on…

As I mentioned before, you never want to photograph a girl standing straight toward you with her arms crossed over her chest – that can be a great pose for boys because it’s fairly masculine, which is the exact reason you want to avoid it with girls. Instead, photograph her from one side, asking her to turn her head slightly to look at you. If her arms are crossed her hands should end up near her chin instead of her armpits.

Here’s another example of asking your subject to lean slightly toward an object for support. Having her tilt her head toward the wall she’s sitting against keeps her posture looking natural.

Another very flattering pose for girls, especially high school age girls, is to have the lay down on the ground on their side, holding their head up with one hand. This pose works well for full body shots, especially when you have a really nice background.

It works equally well for head and shoulders shots. Be sure you get down on the ground as well – you camera should be right at your subject’s eye level. Ask her to place her hand on her head, not her cheek, for the most flattering look.

Here’s another option for a lay-on-the-ground pose. If your subject is actually on the ground, you’ll need to be on the ground as well. A picnic table makes this pose a little easier to photograph.

Remember to get full length, half length, and close-up shots in each position. Again, be careful about how the hands support the face – you don’t want her hands to smoosh her cheeks, so under the chin is a good choice.

This is a really fun, glamourous pose that works well if your subject has long hair. You’ll need a tall stool or step ladder to get this shot. Set your stool just out of the frame above the top of her head, climb up, and lean over so your camera is directly above her eyes.

If you do a good job posing your subject, she’ll feel more comfortable being photographed, and you can both enjoy yourselves. Talk constantly while you take pictures, asking questions and telling stories. Be ready to snap photos when your subject starts laughing or improvising her own poses – you may end up getting the best photos of the session.

Tips for Beginner Photographers

As a new photographer, these are some of the ideas that have helped get me going. Update: Also check out our Digital Photography Tips for Beginners Page.

1. Don’t go crazy buying the most expensive equipment right away.

It’s possible to get very nice photos with an inexpensive point and shoot. See these examples on Flickr. The more photos you take, the more you’ll know about what kind of camera to get when it’s time to upgrade.

2. Consider a tripod.

On the other hand, an inexpensive tripod is worth getting, especially if you have shaky hands like mine. When I got a tripod, my satisfaction with my shots skyrocketed. For even more stability, use your camera’s timer function with a tripod (read our introduction to tripods).

3. Keep your camera with you all the time.

Photo ops often come when you least expect it. If you can keep your equipment relatively simple – just a small camera bag and a tripod – you might be able to take advantage of some of those unexpected opportunities. Or, if your phone has a camera, use it to take “notes” on scenes you’d like to return to with your regular camera.

4. Make a list of shots you’d like to get.

For those times you can’t carry your camera around, keep a small notebook to jot down places you’d like to come back and photograph. Make sure to note any important details, like the lighting, so you can come back at the same time of day or when the weather’s right. If you don’t want to carry a notebook, send yourself an email using your cell phone with

5. Don’t overlook mundane subjects for photography.

You might not see anything interesting to photograph in your living room or your backyard, but try looking at familiar surroundings with fresh eyes. You might catch an interesting trick of the light or find some unexpected wildflowers in your yard. Often a simple subject makes the best shot.

6. Enjoy the learning process.

The best part of having a hobby like photography is never running out of things to learn. Inspiration is all around you. Look at everything with the eyes of a photographer and you’ll see opportunities you never noticed before.

7. Take advantage of free resources to learn.

Browse through Flickr or websites like the Digital Photography School Forum for inspiration and tips. Also, your local library probably has a wealth of books on all types of photography. If you’re interested in learning about post-processing, give free software like the GIMP a try.

8. Experiment with your camera’s settings.

Your point and shoot may be more flexible and powerful than you know. Read the manual for help deciphering all those little symbols. As you explore, try shooting your subjects with multiple settings to learn what effects you like. When you’re looking at your photos on a computer, you can check the EXIF data (usually in the file’s properties) to recall the settings you used.

9. Learn the basic rules.

The amount of information about photography online can be overwhelming. Start with a few articles on composition. Be open to what more experienced photographers have to say about technique. You have to know the rules before you can break them.

10. Take photos regularly.

Try to photograph something every day. If you can’t do that, make sure you take time to practice regularly, so you don’t forget what you’ve learned. An excellent way to motivate yourself is by doing the weekly assignments in the DPS Forum.

11. Don’t be afraid to experiment.

If you’re using a digital camera, the cost of errors is free. Go crazy – you might end up with something you like. You’ll certainly learn a lot in the process.

Shravan Gupta: Pet Photography Tips


Pets fill very quickly their place in our hearts and families and we enjoy having their pictures framed on our desk or wall! However taking pictures of your best friend is not always easy. Pets, unlike humans, do not understand what we are trying to do and won’t just pose for the camera! Here are 9 tips that will help you help you get the most of your photo session

1. Use Natural Light

If possible always use natural light when taking your pet in picture. Avoid flash, as flash burst can, not only cause red-eye, but also frighten the animal. Instead try to go outside or, if it is not possible, in a room well lit by a large window.

2. Keep the Eyes Sharp

Having sharp eyes is important in any kind of portraits photography. As they say, “Eyes are the Window to the Soul” and pets eye can be very expressive. So make sure to focus on your pet’s eyes and keep the tack sharp


3. Go to Them

It is very important that you pet feels comfortable and at ease, so instead of forcing him to come to you go to him. Most important is to get down to his level; We all know how a dog looks when viewed from above, this is the way we always see them. Show us the way they see world! Sit on the floor or lie on your belly and remember to shoot from HIS eye level or below.

4. Give Value to their Character

You know your pet better than anyone else, and a successful picture is one that conveys the character of its subject. If you have a lazy cat show him yawning, if your animal is of a playful type show him in action performing his favorite trick.


5. Go Macro

Put on that long lens and fill the frame with your pet’s face and fur, close up shots often make beautiful animal portrait.

6. Surprise Them

One of the most difficult things is to let your pet hold still. An easy trick is to let him play quietly and, once you have everything ready, let someone call for him or whistle. This will surprise him and caught his attention and you will have a few seconds to capture him in a nice and alert posture


7. Schedule your Session

If you are longing for a formal pet portrait shot, try to schedule the photo session when you’re animal is somewhat sleepy or has just woke up it will be much easier to keep him still then. If you want a more dynamic shot then pick up a time when your pet is energetic. If he is sick it is better to just postpone it for another day.

8. Be Patient

Pet photography requires a lot of patience. No matter how excited your furry friend is, if you are patient enough, he will end up by relaxing and you will have the opportunity to get a decent shot.


9. Experiment

Take your time and enjoy the session, try different approaches, angles and compositions. Shoot a lot you will have time to worry about the results later.

You have a tip that I forgot to mention here ? Make sure to share it with us