Friday, 25 July 2014

My Top Ten Tips for Beginners

Here are my Top Ten Tips for Beginners to Photography

I have been working on a few videos lately, in these I want to share my knowledge of photography, what I have learnt and what I am still learning!

I hope this will be useful for you!

I would love to hear some feedback from you all, and if there are any other topics you want me to talk about in my videos, just say so and I'll do my best!

Monday, 21 July 2014

Portrait Session with Emjay

I met Emjay during my first year of university, one evening a few of our friends were having a flat party, we were all in the car park for one reason or another, I went over to say hi to my friends and she must have seen me with my camera so she came over and asked me to take a picture of her and her friends. When I showed her the pictures she was ecstatic with them and asked for my business card!

She came back to me a few weeks later asking me if I was interested in photographing the De Montfort Pharmacy Ball, or course I was interested! We then negotiated times and prices. When it came to the event it was a complete success, and the students loved the pictures so much I was asked to return for the next year!

I worked with Emjay frequently during my time at university, she got me my first paid event, and I wanted to say thank you to her for all the help she had given me, so I asked her if she would like to come in for a portrait session in the studio, we had always said we should do a session together but we never had the time. During my third year we both found the time and we collaborated together.

Here are some of the results.

If you want to see more work, take a look at my blog at

and check out my youtube channel too!

Saturday, 19 July 2014

How to get blurry backgrounds (part 1)

I was asked a few weeks ago by a friend who I shot a wedding for, how I got those blurry backgrounds in my images, so I thought I'd do a short video and a blog post about it, to give you guys some great tips and tricks on how I get blurry backgrounds in my images.

A blurry background is known to photographers as a shallow depth of field, this means that the subject is in focus and before and after the subject are out of focus.

There are 3 things you need to get your head around for blurry backgrounds

1. you'll get better results using a wide aperture lens such as an f1.8 or 2.8


So firstly you need your camera set up, when shooting portraits I typically use my Canon 7D and my 85mm f1.8 lens. Secondly my typical settings range from f2.0 - f3-5 and my shutter speed never drops below 1/60 (for portraits, unless I'm trying something new.)

The third thing is you need to get a good distance between your subject and the background, the greater the distance the creamier the background, another thing to take into consideration is the longer your lens the more obvious that

Monday, 14 July 2014

The Blind Photographer

I'm sure everyone has a device that captures images whether its a DSLR or Compact camera or even an iPhone, so here's a fun little experiment for you all to try!

Back in my first year at university, our lecturers set us a task, to go out for a walk with your camera and to tape up the back of the camera/viewfinder,
it is important you can not see what the camera is seeing
then to look around and take pictures of whatever catches your eye, make a few notes of what you were trying to capture with your camera and how you think they will turn out.

Then upload the pictures to your computer and make a comparison with the notes and the pictures.

Here are the pictures I captured all those years ago!

Note: I was trying to capture the leading lines with the trees in the background, I'm relatively please with this image however I would have liked to have moved the camera slightly to the right to get both lines in the picture.

I saw the wind was blowing the leaves next to the stairs so I tried to capture it, but I was too close and only captured the top 2 stairs.
I would have stepped back to get the whole of the steps in the picture.

I was trying to capture the gate, with the gate in sharp focus and the background blurred, I'm relatively happy with the picture as I did capture the gate in sharp focus and the background is blurred, but I would have preferred to have zoomed out more to get the whole of the gate in the shot.

In this image I was trying to capture the sign "Castle View" with the sky in the background, I was trying to capture the sign diagonally with the sky in the background. 

I was trying to capture a similar picture to the top image, with the leading lines in the foreground and the trees in the background, I would have taken this from a lower angle and included the tops of the trees.

I'm really pleased with this image, I wanted to capture the lock in sharp focus and the left hand side out of focus. I'm really pleased with this picture.

That's my results from the experiment,

I'd love to see what you guys capture!

Share your pictures in the comment section below!

Saturday, 12 July 2014

What an adventure...

What an adventure we've had this evening, little did we know when heading to the beach to watch the fireworks what was in store for us. As soon as the fireworks started we saw the tiniest dog run in the opposite direction, thinking "oh its just going to its owners," but after the fireworks finished we heard the owners looking for the dog, so we went to help, as we crossed the road, we saw the dog and called out for it, to our horror the dog started to cross the road and a car came hurtling down the hill and there was a thud, we all looked away but miraculously the dog got up and started running!
For an hour we were calling out for it and nothing, we were all ready to give up, but we mustered up the energy for one more quick look, we started walk down the river, and we heard a rustling, then all of a sudden the dog, came out of the darkness!
What an amazing feeling to see the dog and its owner reunited!! Miracle!!

Friday, 11 July 2014

How I capture long exposures

The difference between taking a picture during the day and taking a picture in the evening or at night is the amount of light that reaches the camera sensor, in the day time you can shoot at 1/250 at f9 because of the quantity of light. But as the quantity of fades due to the Sun setting, you need to keep your shutter open for longer to get an even exposure for your image.

How do we do this?

For long exposures you will need a sturdy tripod, (the weight of your camera and lens will define which tripod you should use), the tripod is there to remove any camera shake, hand holding an image can induce camera shake even if you have very sturdy hands, at 1-2 second exposures you will start to see camera shake in your images. Putting the camera on a tripod will remove this shake.

Secondly you will want to use a remote control (preferably wireless), the remote control is there so you do not have to touch the camera when taking the pictures, its best to set up the camera, and then open the shutter with the remote.

Lastly you will need a torch, this is mainly a personal choice for me as I want to make sure the image I am creating is in focus, so I hold the torch on the point where I want to focus and use the autofocus system in the camera.

So let me shine some light on the first two images, the first image (at the top) was taken in my first year of university, I had just bought my Sigma 10-20mm f3.5 lens and I was out in the evening just experimenting with it. The settings were 10mm at f20 at 30seconds at 100 ISO, I make it a point that whenever I can shoot at ISO 100 I do so, and as I had my tripod I had no excuse not to.

I really love the colour of the sky and the low angle of the image and the star bursts.

The second image was taken in a car, I set up my tripod in the back of a car and got my friends to drive me around for a bit, I used my friends and the windscreen to compose my shot, and underexposed slightly so they would be silhouetted against the street lights. I shot this at f22 at 30seconds at 10mm.

For this shot I set up my camera with my 10-20mm lens again, and then used a torch to "paint" the bench. I used a 30second exposure at f11. I love the separation between the sky and the trees and then the main focus of the bench. 

I shot this image a little differently than the rest, I shot this with my 24-70mm f2.8, I used f4.5 at 1/30 at ISO 200 (this was handheld) I was experimenting with some long exposure techniques. I pointed my camera up at the trees, and zoomed out when I took the picture. I am very happy with how this picture turned out, it feels like the sky is falling down.

Lastly this is a picture I captured in the Summer of 2012, this was taken just before Sunset, and I was getting shutter speeds of 1.60 and 1/50 but for the picture I wanted to create I needed a longer shutter speed. I ended up capturing this image at 1/4 of a second at f22 ISO 100, to achieve this I used a Neutral Density filter. ND filters reduce the amount of light entering your camera, they are mainly used for achieving longer exposures.

Bonus Tip!!

Set your camera to Mirror Lock Up, this will reduce any 
shakiness inside your camera.

Check Out more of my work at

and if there's anything you want to to write/talk about you can tweet me @JamilTeja

Stay Tuned for more updates!!

Monday, 7 July 2014

Portrait Session with Armina

This is another portrait session I worked on in collaboration with Tanveer (the make up artist) back in October 2012. I asked my friend Armina, who was also studying photography and video to be a model for us. The concept behind the session was to create a Autumny/Wintery scene for the session and to accentuate this by using brown colours which are the colour of leaves towards the end of Autumn.

We decided to conduct the session in the gardens near the university, thinking that it would be covered in leaves and be very colourful, however the day of the shoot it was very dark and gray, I used 2 flash guns to pour even light onto the model. In hindsight I would have added a third light to illuminate the surroundings, I would have also brought my reflector along to help light up the surroundings.

Behind the Scenes

I am very happy how these pictures have turned out, If I could change anything I would have liked to have more time with the models and experimented with a variety of different locations to achieve a better variety of pictures.

Hair and Make Up by Tanveer Khatri

Want to see how I get blurry backgrounds? take a look at this

Friday, 4 July 2014

The Landcrab Film

During my second year of college, back in 2010, my lecturer, Dan decided to reboot The Landcrab Film Festival in Bournemouth, he targeted all of the students at the college and urged them to submit their films.
He asked a few of the photography students to come down and take pictures at the event; this was my big event and I was very excited! My friends and I discussed lighting and camera settings before hand so we were prepared and our photography lecturer, Pauline also came down to support. 

A few of the Bournemouth and Poole students waiting for the films to start!

I used bounce flash for the majority of the event, and used direct flash in the main theatre due to the high ceiling. 

Everyone showing their support!

Dan and Cat throwing up their crab hands!

One of the talented film makers with their family.

The Bournemouth and Poole college students came down to support each other! 

Below is a picture of the guys who originally 
thought up the idea of The Landcrab Film Festival! 

The atmosphere of the event was one of relaxation and excitement!
Everyone was very excited to see all the fantastic films from the very talented film makers of various ages, some as young as 16!  

The event was a success, we got some great pictures capturing the great moments of the night and Dan was very pleased with our images.