суббота, 22 марта 2014 г.

Create a cool profile avatar.


Impress your friends with a fun self-portrait.

Self-portraits are becoming increasingly popular in the modern world. This is especially true when it comes to social networking sites, as most require you to upload a photo of yourself to be used as your profile avatar. This picture is often the first thing that people will see when browsing your networking page, so why not get creative and try capturing something that's a little bit different?

For some people, the idea of taking a self-portrait might be slightly daunting. This is usually because we're so used to being behind the camera that the idea of posing for our own shots may seem alien at first. But in practice, it's actually a lot of fun, and with yourself as the main subject of the picture, it's something that you can try out whenever you like.

One of the biggest benefits of digital photography is that it allows us to perform some digital trickery using editing software. One great example of this is creating a portrait within a portrait. This requires taking a
photograph of yourself holding a large photo frame and then using editing software to cleverly copy the image inside of the photo frame over and over again so that it resembles a never-ending tunnel of images. The result is one that's truly mesmerising and makes for an interesting profile picture on social networking sites. What's more, the great thing about this technique is that you don't need any expensive or sophisticated photo equipment either; it can be done using just about any type of camera, including a simple point-and-shoot or even a cameraphone. You will need a tripod, however, to set your camera up on, or alternatively you can rest it on a straight, flat surface.

To find out how to shoot, edit and share your own creative avatar now, just follow along with our simple step-by-step guide below and we'll show you everything you need to create your very own mind-bending picture-in-a-picture self-portrait.

Choose a location

Using a location with a chair or bench is a good idea as it will act as a marker, so you always know where in the frame to be. It’s also handy if you’re holding a heavy frame as it means you can take the weight off.

Set up your tripod

Using a tripod will allow you to take the shot and be in the photo at the same time. Once you've set your camera up on a sturdy tripod, frame the image, making sure you leave enough headroom to fit in the photo.

Select Aperture Priority

Set the camera to Aperture Priority (A or Av) and dial in an aperture of around f5.6 - this should nicely blur distractions in the background. Don't worry about the shutter speed as the camera will set this for you.

Focus the shot

Place the picture frame roughly where you'll be sitting and focus on it by half depressing the shutter button. Afterwards, switch to Manual Focus (MF) to prevent it re-focusing when you take the shot.

Use the self-timer

Activate Self-timer mode to give you enough time to get into position once the shutter button is pushed. Alternatively, you could ask someone else to push it for you or use a remote shutter release.

Take your image

Fully depress the shutter button and get into place for the photo. Review the shot on the rear screen and make any compositional changes that you need to make. Carry on taking photos until you're happy.



Edit Construct your picture-in-a-picture in Photoshop

Duplicate the layer

The first step is to create a duplicate of the image on a new layer in the Layers palette (Window>Layers). Do this by Ctrl/ right-clicking the Background layer, choosing Duplicate Layer and then clicking OK.

Resize to fit

Head up to Edit>Free Transform, then click and drag one of the corner tabs to resize the layer to roughly fit the photo frame. Holding Shift while you resize will make sure that the layer stays in proportion.

Move into position

If the layer isn’t in the right position, click and drag in the centre of the image and move it into the right place. If you need to make further size adjustments, you can also do this now.

Rotate the layer

Move your mouse to the outside edge of one of the corner tabs, then click and drag to rotate the layer until it matches the angle of the frame. Once the image roughly fits the frame, hit Enter to confirm.

Tidy up the edges

Click the eye icon next to the top layer in the Layers palette, then grab the Polygonal Lasso tool and trace the inside of the frame. Go to Select>Inverse, then press Delete before going to Select>Deselect.

Repeat until complete

Click the eye icon next to the top layer to reveal it again. Now simply repeat
steps 1 to 4 but duplicating the top layer instead of the background. Keep doing .

Share Upload your image as your Facebook profile picture

Log in to Facebook

Open up your web browser and type www.facebook.com into the web address bar. Type in your log-in details at the top and click Log In. If you don’t have an account, create one using the Sign Up section.

Go to your page

Once you’ve successfully logged in to your account, head up to the top-left of the window and locate your current profile picture. Next to it you should see your name - click on it to visit your personal profile page.

Edit your profile picture

Hover the mouse over your current profile picture in the top left-hand corner of the window and you’ll see the Edit Profile Picture option appear. Click on this and from the list of options, select Upload Photo.



Rule of thirds.

Use gridlines to help you frame your shot.

The rule of thirds is perhaps the most popular compositional technique, as it is very easy to master. It involves imagining a nine-section grid over your scene and using the lines to help you position your subject. It
is suggested that you place the main focal point over one of the intersecting points of the grid, as this is where the viewer's eye is likely to be drawn to first. If you are taking a landscape photo, then you can also use the
horizontal lines of the grid to position the horizon in either the top or bottom third. If you're struggling to picture the grid, many cameras have a gridlines display function that you can switch on and use instead.

Where should I put the horizon? Top tips for composing landscapes.

Top of the frame.

If the foreground is the most important part of the scene, position the horizon in the top third of your photo to draw attention to it and remove any expanse of dull sky.


Bottom of the frame.

If your vista has an interesting sky, position the horizon in the bottom third of your photo to show it off, but be sure not to cut out any important foreground detail.

Middle of the frame.

If the sky and foreground are equally important, position the horizon along the centre. If your scene is reflected in a lake or river, this will also help to create symmet


Easy tricks for better composition.

Discover how to capture eye-catching shots in any genre.

Composition is one of the most basic skills of photography, and yet it is often the secret to turning a good shot into a great one. It refers to what you choose to include in your photo and how you position it within the frame. A visually pleasing composition should typically be simple and engaging, showing off your subject in the best way possible. There are a few tried-and-tested rules that you can use to help you decide what to include and where to place it.

Although we call them rules, they are actually more like guidelines, as the way you frame your shots is ultimately a matter of personal opinion. However, these rules come in useful as a great starting point for when you get stuck and can also help to inspire you when you’re looking for something to shoot. Then if you decide to bend or break them, you can follow your own artistic instinct to decide what you think is best for the shot.

Unlike modes and settings, composition is a technique that can be applied no matter what camera you are using, whether it’s a DSLR or even a cameraphone. It can also be used with any photography genre, as many of the rules we will show you over the next few pages can be applied when shooting anything from landscapes to action. If you don’t get it quite right in-camera, we’ll also show you how to recompose your image using editing software.



Never miss an action shot with Dot Sight. The new Olympus SP-100EE has an innovative feature.

One of the latest cameras to be launched by Olympus has a particularly handy function for photographing wildlife and sports. The SP-100EE’s built-in Dot Sight helps you keep track of moving subjects in the frame, even when you are fully zoomed in, so that you won’t miss a great shot opportunity. The Dot Sight is featured on the camera body, rather than being an optional and bulky accessory, and automatically pops up above the viewfinder when you switch the camera on.

The camera’s 50x optical and 100x digital zoom will also help you get fantastic close-up shots of far-off subjects, while the 24-1200mm focal range is versatile enough for shooting a range of different scenes. The deep, textured grip on the front of the camera makes it very comfortable to hold for long periods of time, and the single-finger-operation control dial allows you to change your settings quickly and easily. Inside the camera is a 16MP CMOS sensor, which promises high-resolution images, and built-in image stabilisation is on hand to keep shots sharp even at full zoom.

The Olympus SP-100EE has an RRP of £350/$400. Olympus has also launched a new feature-packed CSC, the OM-D E-M10, and a super-tough compact camera, the TG-850. For details on these other new releases, head to our website, www.photoforbeginners.com.