Using The Elements Of Visual Design To Create Your Best Photos

I follow a number of excellent photographers across the few photo sharing sites on which I’m most active (Tumblr and Instagram).

Yet no matter how incredible a photo one of these photographers posts on any given day, it almost never fails that I see someone come along and leave a comment along the lines of, “Nice snapshot.”

This annoys me.

Some might presume it’s the brevity of the comment I have a problem with. Nope. Unless I’m specifically looking for a detailed critique, I don’t care how many characters someone’s comment is.

What annoys me is that anyone could see such a beautifully crafted photograph and refer to it as a snapshot. There’s nothing wrong with snapshots — they certainly have their place.

But to consider the creative expenditures involved in making, for example, a great environmental portrait and write it off as a snapshot just seems shortsighted to me?

While I don’t disregard the element of luck in photography, really good photos more often than not contain one or more of the six elements of design.

You may not be able to do anything about insular comments on social media, but if you want the personal satisfaction of knowing your photos are more than snapshots, try incorporating the elements of design in photography…it’s easier than you think.

1. Line

The most basic of design elements, line is also the strongest. Line is the fundamental concept upon which all the other elements of design rest.

Lines can be horizontal or vertical, curved or diagonal, wide or narrow; they can be used to create rhythm, establish boundaries or provide perspective.

While lines most often serve to lead the viewer’s eyes toward the main point of interest in a photo, lines can themselves be an effective photographic subject.

The Shape of Things

2. Shape

A shape is essentially a two-dimensional object and it is the basis of how we learn to identify everything around us — circle, square, triangle, etc.

Moving beyond the fundamentals, we discover that shapes aren’t restricted to basic geometry; shapes can also be free-form and abstract. Regardless of its exact nature, a shape works best (artistically speaking) when its edges are well-defined.

By incorporating elements of design in photography, one of the most effective and creative ways to accomplish this is by creating silhouettes.

When backlighting a subject in such a manner, you create robust contrast between it and its surroundings; no matter the utter lack of detail, that subject will be easily identifiable solely by its shape.

Avian Night

 

3. Form

In the simplest of terms, form is the three-dimensional progeny of shape; a circle, square and triangle might each find its analog in the form of a sphere, cube and triangle respectively.

Just like shapes, forms can be geometric or abstract.

Forms, due to their three-dimensional nature, are accentuated by side lighting. Side lighting tends to create the ideal balance between light and shadow in such a manner that amplifies the topography of the subject.

tines

4. Space

Shape + Form = Space. That’s a pretty easy formula to remember, isn’t it?

In the terminology of design, there are two types of space: positive space, and negative space.

Simply, positive space refers to the subject itself, the main area of interest. Negative space is the total area surrounding the subject/area of interest.

Take a look at the image below. If you are seeing a vase you are looking at positive space; if you are seeing two faces, you are looking at negative space. Space can be used as an innovative compositional tool.

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Image courtesy Michelle Bailey via Flickr

5. Color

Color is distinguished by three central characteristics: hue, intensity and value (or hue, saturation and luminance, as you will more often find them labeled in photo editing software).

Hue is the name of a color (red, green, blue).
Intensity or saturation refers to how bright or dull a color is.
Value is a measure of the relative darkness or lightness of a color.

Colors, depending upon how they’re arranged and what attributes they exhibit, bear significant implications for a photo’s emotional impact and overall visual weight.

Bold colors are typically interpreted as visually striking; subtle colors tend to highlight the softer aspects of an image.

Individual colors can be used to convey a particular feeling or idea:

  • Red = warmth or anger.
  • Green = freshness or tranquility.
  • Yellow = happiness or optimism.

To get even more creative, take the time to study the color wheel and learn about color relationships such as complementary colors and analogous colors.

Ad Time in Williamsburg.jpg

6. Texture

Texture is the “look and feel” of an object in a work of art. Given that photography is a visual medium, texture is a much more abstract concept than in some other art forms.

But that doesn’t mean texture can’t be rendered in an effective fashion in photography. It is important to know that the effectiveness of texture in an image hinges primarily on lighting.

Lighting for texture, however, represents a unique challenge in the sense that both harsh light and soft light can accentuate texture; you will need to learn which objects benefit most from either type of lighting.

Hike Up Pike Street

Summary

Good photos occasionally happen by accident. As a rule, however, good photos are the product of forethought, pre-visualization and the application of some degree of design.

Incorporating design elements into your work isn’t difficult; it’s worth taking the time to learn the basics as presented here — how each one impacts another, how each one impacts your photo.

Once you’ve done that you will find it a cinch to put multiple elements together in a wide variety of creative ways to produce work that will enthrall all who see it. Utilizing the elements of design in photography is a surefire way to take your photography to the next level.

Further Resources via Lightstalking.com

A Review Of The 500px RAW App For iOS Devices

With the release of the Apple’s latest iteration of its mobile operating system, iOS 10, come many changes, upgrades and new features that, as usual, will delight some and frustrate others.

This time around mobile photographers should generally find themselves delighted with the fact that the iPhone can now shoot and process raw image files.

It is by no means a new feature in the wider world of mobile photography (Android phones, for instance, have boasted raw image processing for some time now).

But, as raw file capability makes its splash for iPhone users there is sure to be a rapidly growing supply of apps designed to exploit this newly integrated power. One such app is RAW by 500px.

On the Move with Big Bertha

You probably know 500px as a sleek professional-oriented photo sharing/portfolio hub accompanied by a pretty capable mobile app that allows users to post, view and comment on photos.

But, 500px’s RAW app (a free download) looks to add new dimensions of functionality to their mobile enterprise by introducing an all-in-one camera/editing/marketplace app. So how does it all work out?

Here’s my take on the 500px RAW app, so let’s dive in…

The Camera Itself

Upon opening the open you are greeted by the camera. There are two modes:

  1. Auto
  2. Manual

Mode is indicated by a “switch” to the left of the on-screen shutter button; auto mode is green and manual mode is blue. Calling it manual mode is sort of a stretch; it consists of a focus slider on the left, an exposure slider on the right and toggles along the bottom for flash, timer (3 seconds or 9 seconds) and composition guide (a rule of thirds grid).

This certainly provides more control than auto mode, but not by much. It would be nice to be able to at the very least, dial in shutter speed.

To its credit, the app is intuitive, snappy and relatively quick to focus; all this, combined with the fact that the camera always pops up first when you launch the app, suggests the designers placed great value on getting you shooting as quickly as possible.

And that’s a good thing.

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The Model Release Form

The next feature in our 500px raw app review. A right swipe from the camera app will bring up the model release module.

500px already has a standalone model release app, but they have now integrated it into the RAW app, a move that further solidifies the idea of RAW being a one-stop solutionfor mobile photographers.

Simply tap on the large + sign to get started creating your first model release; what you will find is the standard 500px release form, including all the necessary fields for both photographer and model to fill out and a signature box where the model can sign using a stylus or a finger.

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The Library & Editor Functions

One left swipe from the camera module reveals the library. Here is where all the images you’ve shot with RAW are stored. You can also import images from the iPhone’s camera roll.

Tapping on an image will bring the editing options. On the bottom left you have a crop tool with several useful ratio presets.

Next, you’ll encounter an icon that looks like a group of sliders; tapping it will allow you to delve into a deeper set of image editing tools — Exposure, Contrast, Color temperature, 
Sharpening, etc.

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You can even make individual adjustments with the hue, saturation and luminance sliders, something that should resonate with those accustomed to desktop image editing software.

All of the provided editing features are seamlessly incorporated, easy to use and are highly effective with raw files, particularly when it comes to adjusting highlights and shadows.

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You can save your adjustments as a custom preset or use one of the 12 included presets to spice up your photos.

While RAW provides a powerful image editor, those using anything smaller than an iPad will struggle to make detailed edits. Seeing as editing on a small smartphone screen can be tricky to get accurate edits done, 500px could help alleviate this problem by adding the ability to pinch-to-zoom while in editing mode.

Street Commerce

 

 

Back on the main editing screen, you will find the sharing option, indicated by the familiar upwards arrow. You can add a title, description, and keywords and upload your photo to 500px.

You can also attach a model release and submit to the 500px Marketplace.

Photos taken with 500px RAW are not automatically saved to your phone’s camera roll; you have to do this via the contextual menu (the last icon on the main editing screen).

Attention to Detail

 

Assignments Feature

500px, taking a cue from the success of their online Marketplace, has included an “assignments” section in the RAW app.

The purpose of this feature is to put photographers in contact with brands and buyers who might be interested in their work by alerting users of on-demand assignments.

The service isn’t live as of this writing, but if you’re interested in participating all you have to do is tap a button and you’ll be alerted once assignments are available.

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Summary

Some have championed the arrival of raw file capture and editing on the iPhone as being akin to “having a DSLR in your pocket.”

While this may be overstating things a bit, it’s hard to dismiss the creative implications of having a pocketable yet competent camera capable of capturing and processing raw files.

There is not one specific aspect of 500px’s RAW app that blows away other similar apps (especially when it comes to the camera).

However, taken as a whole, RAW could very well represent a singular solution for many mobile photographers (street photographers in particular) due to its versatility, speed and ease of use.

Take That

 A Few Notes

  • Raw capture is possible only with the rear camera on the iPhone 7, 7 Plus, 6S, 6S Plus, 5SE, iPad Pro 9.7”.
  • I’ve been testing RAW on an iPhone 6S Plus; the app will run on older modelssuch as the 6 and 6 Plus, though you may encounter speed issues and won’t be able to capture raw files.
  • Apple’s stock camera app does not capture raw files.
  • Raw files are saved as DNG format.
  • All images included here were captured and edited with 500px RAW.

Further Resources via Lightstalking.com

Check Your Pocket: You Already Own an Awesome Street Photography Camera

Mobile devices rule the world. There’s no judgment of any kind built into that statement, it’s just a slightly hyperbolic expression of something I’m sure we’ve all come to realize and accept.

Cell phones are no longer relegated to actually being used as phones; they’re gaming devices, remote controls, maps, books, compasses, movie screens — everything, even cameras. Especially cameras. Making street photography something more mainstream.

Some might complain about tiny sensors and subpar lenses and proclaim these as reasons they’ll never rely on a mobile device for their photography — totally legitimate reasons, depending on one’s particular photographic needs and standards.

Unfortunately, mobile devices are too often dismissed as being useless as serious cameras. But these devices have plenty of “serious” uses, especially if you’re into street photography.

It doesn’t matter what brand or operating system you’re partial to; your mobile phone has the potential to serve as a worthy street shooter. Here are some tips, ideas and reminders to help you get the most from your mobile device/camera for street photography.

Smaller Is Sometimes Better

Shallow depth of field isn’t generally much of a concern to street photographers, who tend to prefer getting a lot of a scene in focus as means of providing context. Mobile phones are perfect for that.

The small sensor and wide angle lens mean you don’t have to worry so much about f-stops and critical focus. You are essentially free to point and shoot and you’ll likely end up with an in-focus shot with the “ideal” amount of depth of field.

This, however, does not give you a license to disregard the fundamentals — you will still need to confirm focus and you are still responsible for creating a meaningful composition. No camera will do that for you.

I Swear

Don’t Touch The Touchscreen

Touchscreens are awesome, except when they aren’t. Using a touchscreen seems to be second nature these days and many people expect every electronic gadget/device to have one; there are even those individuals who express disappointment in otherwise amazing ILC cameras if they don’t have a touchscreen.

I would suggest, though, that there are times when a hard button works better. Instead of tapping the screen to fire off a shot, you can use one of the physical buttons located on the side of your phone (usually the volume buttons).

  • First, and most importantly, using one of the side buttons often provides more stability; this may not be as much of a problem on smaller phones, but if you’ve got smallish hands and a bigger phone you may find trying to reach the onscreen shutter button to be a shaky experience.
    Using a physical button will eliminate much of that shakiness.
  • Second, using a physical button provides a tactile experience; the benefits of this could be entirely illusory, but that doesn’t really matter. Does it? Occasionally, how something feels is the only thing that counts. If clicking a button on your cell phone in some way makes you feel like you’re having a more traditional photographic experience, then why not go for it?

Peace in a Page

Use Apps And Add-Ons

I’ve covered a number of great mobile camera apps in the past. Apps are a great way to expand the functionality of your mobile device’s camera; the stock apps and functions are certainly useable but downloading a couple of third-party apps can really boost the user experience.

There are camera apps that provide manual controls (ProShotCamera+); there are apps to shoot exclusively in black and white (Black and White CameraBlackCam).

Additionally, using an image editing app will allow you to take your mind off trying to get the perfect shot in-camera; now you can just shoot and edit right on the spot if you wish. There is a healthy selection of editing apps to choose, including top entries such as Lightroom Mobile (see Jason Row’s review here), EnlightSnapseedVSCO and the ever popular Instagram.

If you’ve ever felt left out while other photographers talk about what lenses they’re going to buy next for their DSLR/mirrorless bodies, you will be happy to know that there are lenses available for cell phone cameras (Schneider OpticsOlloclip and Photojojo produce some of the more popular mobile device lenses).

Yes, you can get telephoto, wide angle, fisheye and macro lenses for your mobile device. Not all of these will be relevant for street photographers (but then again they might if you’re the creative sort) but it’s good to know you have these options at your disposal.

Spidey Sees You

Final Thoughts

If you always have your phone with you, that automatically means you always have a camera with you. No, it’s not going to outperform a dedicated camera in most technical aspects but you don’t necessarily need it to for street photography.

If street photography is about capturing candid moments in public spaces while remaining inconspicuous, then your camera phone fits the bill perfectly: it’s small, lightweight, easy to handle and blends right in with everyone else and their cell phones.

With thoughtful, refined technique and the right apps/accessories, your camera phone just might become your go-to street photography camera.

(All images taken with an iPhone 6 Plus and edited with Lightroom Mobile and Enlight)

8 Essential Tips for More Interesting City Shots

Shooting in urban environments is both fun and challenging: you are presented with the opportunity to engage in a wide range of photographic styles — street, architecture, documentary, candid — while the hectic pace of city life requires you to be especially nimble and efficient. Shoot and move or risk raising the ire of the locals.

Is it possible to be both creative and technically proficient when shooting under the weight of big city bedlam? Of course it is. Here are a few ideas to help you with that.

 

Shoot in One of the Semi-Automatic Modes

Aperture priority and shutter priority aren’t methods of “cheating” and using either one doesn’t diminish your worth as a photographer. If your goal is to get the shot, especially in a fast moving environment, shooting in one of these modes is going to make it that much easier. When the lighting is good or when you want to blur out the background or when you’re shooting a static subject, aperture priority works best. But if you’re looking to freeze the motion of the rapidly moving people and vehicles around you, using shutter priority will help you keep things nice and crisp. Shutter priority is also the preferred mode for panning. But if you’re a grandmaster of manual mode photography, by all means keep doing what works for you.

Ready to Rush

Treat Cityscapes the Same Way You Would Landscapes

Cities are perfect for…you guessed it…cityscapes. In principle, photographing cityscapes isn’t much different from photographing traditional landscapes. One of the most commonly cited compositional guidelines is to avoid centering the horizon, which is a great tip to follow. But the close proximity of impressive architecture to bodies of water that characterizes many cities means that you can, in fact, have some fun with symmetry.

The Island 2

Shoot Vertical

Portrait orientation isn’t just for human subjects. Skyscrapers ascribe a vertical nature to cities, so shooting in the corresponding orientation will provide a certain sense of depth and scale to the scenes you capture.

citydrive

Shoot Wide

On the other hand, shooting wide allows for a more encompassing view in which you are able to include environmental elements that hallmarks of the city in which you’re shooting.

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Include the People

The people of any given city are one of those environmental elements that you will definitely want to include in your photos, as they provide character and give a sense of the style and culture of a city.

Destiny

Get a Bird’s Eye View

Perspective is important. And getting away from shooting everything at eye level can really spice up your images. Observation decks, buildings with rooftop access, and even helicopter rides are plentiful on cities around the world. Take advantage of the views.

Stop & Go

Look for Textures, Shapes, and Patterns

Cities, no matter how much they tout their modernism, are a fascinating mix of old and new, a mishmash of diverse aesthetic stylings. Thus, you are likely to encounter all sorts of interesting textures and patterns to photograph; you’ll find them on the ground, on buildings, on signs — everywhere, really.

A Good Day to Dance

Keep Moving

I mentioned it at the beginning and I’ll mention it again: you need to shoot and move, or at least make sure you’re well out of everyone’s way. Stopping dead in your tracks in the  middle of a sidewalk at 4:00PM in downtown Manhattan is a bad idea.

Walkup

Above all, enjoy your urban adventures!

How The Importance of “Thrill” in Photography Has Been Forgotten

We all read a good deal of information about the technical components of photography hoping to perfect our photos or, at the very least, make them look as good as the images we’ve seen produced by our favorite photographers. I am quite sure that, when assessing our own work, many of us have a mental checklist of things that need to satisfy us before we’re willing to label our work as being suitable for others to see.

  • Composition: check.
  • Exposure: check.
  • White balance: check.
  • Focus: check.

But have you ever found yourself successfully reaching the end of your checklist, yet still feeling somehow dissatisfied by your photos? I believe something similar happens to us all at some point and may even be an intermittently recurring problem, which is wildly frustrating. You first instinct might be to re-check your checklist; not a bad place to start but the “problem” may not even be an item that appears on your checklist in the first place.

Think back to when you first started out in photography. Were you doing it just for fun? Were you any good at it? If you weren’t very good, how much did that bother you? Not to say that you didn’t have any desire to improve, but what drives so many new photographers is the sheer thrill of photography. You’ve yet to become transfixed on some otherworldly idea of perfection. Despite the technical deficiencies that accompany much of the imagery produced by novice photographers, the thrill and sense of adventure one feels is undeniable.

F-StopNo, “thrill” may not be a quantitative characteristic, but quite often it is the intangible things that matter most. Recall what your very first camera meant to you. While a camera is indeed a tangible, material item, what your first camera represented in relation to your creativity matters so much more than what kind of camera it was. Your first camera was intimately tied to the thrill you experienced each time you clicked the shutter button; your first camera represented freedom and adventure and it stoked your curiosity, compelling you to rediscover the world and all the interesting things and people in it.

Unfortunately, what happens along the way for far too many once bright-eyed enthusiasts is that they gradually morph into “serious” amateurs or jaded professionals who seem to have lost the thrill of photography. They become equipment oriented and spend more time in front of a computer screen reading reviews than they spend behind a camera making photos. They anguish over the bit depth associated with a particular camera and obsess about all the varied aspects of photographic theory, perhaps in an ultimately futile attempt to be the best.

Caring about your gear and understanding the technical aspects of photography aren’t bad things. The problem is an overemphasis on such things can easily poison the purity of photography you experienced when you didn’t have to worry about clients or equipment upgrades or monitor calibration. When photography becomes a hassle or a routine, is it any wonder that you would have a hard time getting excited about it?

BeyondNot a single great photo exists because someone simply read about a great camera and then decided to buy it. Great photos happen because people with cameras go out and make them. There are those who have, for various reasons, grown weary of the idea that the best camera is the one you have with you. But, at the most primal level, this couldn’t be more true. In this sense, your camera should be an afterthought; your primary concern should be experiencing a moment and then using your camera to communicate that experience.

It’s all about the thrill of photography. If you’re finding yourself dissatisfied with your work and can’t seem to find anything lacking on your checklist, ask yourself if you’ve lost the thrill that photography once provided you. Just for a moment, forget about trying to create the perfect photo, forget about trying to make a buck, forget about the potential for recognition. Just do it for the thrill.

3 Ways to Deal with Distracting Backgrounds

I imagine it’s a scenario that plays out quite often: you take inventory of your gear and realize you don’t have two really important pieces — off-camera flash and a backdrop of some kind (muslin, seamless paper, etc.).

So you resort to what you deem to be the next best option — take your portraiture outdoors.

It’s a perfectly logical and feasible option that can really open up creative potential for your portraits, but outdoor portraiture also has the potential to foil some of those lofty ideas you may have originally held, especially when it comes to getting good backgrounds.

If you’ve taken up outdoor portraiture and have found yourself struggling to achieve non-distracting/less distracting backgrounds, you’ll be happy to know that the solutions to your frustration are super simple and won’t cost you a dime.

1. Micromanage the Background

When you decide to shoot in the great outdoors you kind of have to take what you’re given – and sometimes, particularly in urban environments, what you have to work with is less than ideal.

Your job as a portrait photographer is to work the scene, not to let the scene work you. This means paying attention to detail; virtually any scene you encounter will have the potential to work for you. All you need to do is break the environment down to its very best elements.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a building facade, a tree or a graffiti covered wall; there’s always a small area of potential. Locate that area of potential, position your subject accordingly and get your shot.

You Belong to the City (color)

2. Blur Out the Background

Shooting wide open refers to taking a shot with your lens set to its largest (widest) aperture. This, in turn, creates shallow depth of field — you can keep your subject’s face in focus while blurring out the background. There are, however, a couple of points you will want to keep in mind in order to get the best results from this method.

It may not be possible to use your lens wide open in a bright outdoor setting without severely overexposing the shot. If you can’t get your shutter speed high enough to get a proper exposure, you can use a neutral density filter to help decrease the amount of light entering the lens.

Be sure to place your subject a good distance from the background; if there isn’t sufficient space between your subject and the background you won’t really see any blur.

You can further help maximize background blur by using a longer focal length, which will take better advantage of the compression effect. An 85mm focal length will produce more compression than a 50mm focal length; 200mm is even better.

Park & Chill

3. Blow Out the Background

A third practical but creative way to handle a distracting background is to overexpose it a bit. It’s easy to accomplish. Position your subject in front of a well-lit background (something as simple as a white wall can work wonders) and meter for the subject’s face (use spot metering if your camera has it).

The end result will be a blown out background with your subject being the center of attention. A quick reminder: make sure you don’t meter for the background or you’ll end up with a silhouette.

Jackie light

My Final Thoughts

Some photographers prefer to do their portraits outdoors; others resort to working outdoors due to financial or space constraints.

No matter what might compel you to take up outdoor portraiture, you must be aware that you are going to encounter challenging environments; you may save money on traditional studio equipment but you’re going to have to expend some time and effort overcoming cluttered/unsightly backgrounds.

Fortunately, it’s not a terribly difficult thing to do. While the ideas presented above represent specific solutions, the overriding point is to use the environment to your advantage – use light, shadows, angles and even less-than-perfect backgrounds in a creative manner.

And after you’ve captured your shot, apply that same creativity in post-processing; some resourceful cropping can be especially helpful for improving busy backgrounds.

Three Cool Options for Awesome Photo Prints

On those occasions when fellow photography enthusiasts have managed to pull me into their park bench conversations about the craft we share a love for, one of the topics that inevitably comes up is how different things were before the digital age.

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To the mind of some, digital photography has devalued the images we capture. This ideology may be primarily the result of the proverbial generation gap, but I can empathize with such a sentiment because I do believe there is some truth to it. Most of the photography we see from day to day is viewed on a screen. I have no problem with that; as long as I’m seeing beautiful photos, I’m happy.

But I do love the printed image and every chance I get, I try to cultivate that same appreciation in others. I think it is a disservice both to viewers and makers of photography to minimize the impact and specialness of a printed photo.

But even forgoing all the enlightened, philosophical stuff, printed images are fun, exciting, and a great way to decorate your home. I believe all photographers should make prints, even if it’s just for your own gratification.

A high-quality paper print will probably satisfy most, but if you want to kick things up a notch, there are some intriguing options available for your consideration.

Acrylic Prints

Acrylic prints are often touted as the cutting edge, high-end choice for photographic print products. It’s difficult to argue this assertion. Acrylic (perhaps better known by one of its branded names — Plexiglas, Lucite or Perspex) prints are manufactured as either direct prints or photo prints.

A direct print uses a flatbed printer to print your image directly onto the acrylic. Your other, slightly less expensive option is to have a traditional paper print mounted and overlaid with acrylic. Acrylic will emphasize the depth, clarity, and vibrancy of an image; some even describe it as having a “3D-like” effect. The visual impact is more prominent with direct prints, but you can’t go wrong either way.

Generally speaking, any type of photo works well with acrylic but color images provide the greatest impact. For portraits or photos with more subtle tones and colors, you may want to seek out a printer that offers acrylic with a matte finish. This way you will get all the benefits of a glossy acrylic finish but with minimal glare and reflections, which also means you can safely hang your art near bright light sources.

Other Side of a Dream

Metal Prints

There was once a time when a nondescript machine sprayed dyes onto the surface of a sheet of prepared metal and that was what passed as a metal print. Today, the best metal prints are created using high-grade brushed aluminum onto which an image is applied via dye sublimation process; your photo is essentially baked into the aluminum.

The result? Images that are super sharp and dripping with vibrance and saturation.

Most printers offer a variety of finishes and coatings — a glossy glass-like finish; a non-reflective, non-glare finish; a coating that provides a metallic sheen; a coating that keeps the image looking like it would on white paper. You can also get metal prints in different shapes (squares, circles, hearts) and even have your signature engraved into the print.

Metal prints are lightweight, durable, and will provide a modern, graphic, minimalisticappeal to your images and decor.

zazzlehead

Canvas Prints

Canvas is hardly a new medium. However, once the exclusive domain of painters, canvas has become a popular print medium in the photography world. The overall aesthetic of canvas prints is notably more subdued than either acrylic or metal prints.

While it’s not difficult to find printers who offer a gloss finish for their canvas prints, most people tend to prefer the classic matte look and feel (it is, in fact, a uniquely tactile medium) of canvas. Canvas is also a forgiving material, as it can effectively “hide” noise/grain without compromising image sharpness or color. Of course, any type of photo can work on canvas but landscapes and portraits are particularly good choices.

If you’re considering canvas prints, you’ll love the timeless, quintessential, seamless look that’s sure to add a touch of class to any room.

Empire State

Final Thoughts

Canvas, metal, and acrylic are just three of the print media options available to photographers. One kind isn’t objectively better than another; while it is true that certain photos may look better on a particular material, it really becomes a matter of personal preference.

With a variety of shapes, sizes, finishes, coatings, and other embellishments at your disposal, you can easily customize your print project to suit your tastes.

What’s most important to remember is to enjoy the process of getting your best/favorite photos off your screen and transforming them into something more tangible. Liberate your photos; rescue them from their digital abyss and give them the treatment they deserve. You will be glad you did.

 

Originally featured on Lightstalking.com