Making great people photos

Esther BeatonAustralian Geographic, Behind the Scenes, New South Wales, People Photography, Photography Lighting, Photography Techniques, Professional Photography, Quick Tips

mixed lighting opposite colours

There are so many factors that go into good “people” shots. People photos for geographic magazines are a bit different from standard portraits. Sometimes they are raw photojournalism, but usually they fall into a genre called “environmental portraiture”. I’ve done this for so long now that I’ve come to really love it. The essential elements are: a) the lighting, b) … Read More

Ambient “lighting” is easy

Esther BeatonAustralian Geographic, Behind the Scenes, New South Wales, People Photography, Photography Lighting, Photography Techniques, Photoshop and Lightroom, Professional Photography

Sometimes you don’t have to work at creating a background because you are blessed with the colours of nature. Or you’re just smart enough to go out at sunrise or sunset. Both of these pictures are pre-dawn. The colour in the sky at this time is called “afterglow” and I especially like this twilight time for the two-tone effect.  However, … Read More

Building up your lighting

Esther BeatonAustralian Geographic, Behind the Scenes, New South Wales, People Photography, Photography Lighting, Photography Techniques, Professional Photography

While on the subject of lighting, here are a couple more examples of adding colour. Using coloured flashes is one way to overcome a drab scene – and when you’re indoors, in a clinical environment, it’s always a drab scene. I like to think of it as building my scene, a bit like adding layers of colours to a blank … Read More

Take better photos with your smartphone

Esther BeatonBehind the Scenes, Digital Photography, Environment, New South Wales, People Photography, Photography Equipment, Photography Techniques

You can take great photos with your smartphone – as long as you remember two things: The smartphone is for internet use only. The quality is not adequate for print, unless it’s postcard size or smaller. This is due the the small format, i.e., the sensor in the iPhone is smaller than your little fingernail. Others may argue that you … Read More

Behind the scenes on this month’s magazine feature

Esther BeatonAustralian Geographic, Behind the Scenes, Conservation, New South Wales, Professional Photography, Wildlife Photography

Wedge-tailed eagle Raptor rehab story

This week I’m taking you behind the scenes of my current published assignment for Australian Geographic. It’s only a short feature and you can see it in the November December 2016 issue called “Raptor rehab”. Here are some notes as to how and why I shot some of the pics. I was allowed very limited access to these injured birds of … Read More

5x Growth – a Conservation Success Story

Esther BeatonBehind the Scenes, Bird Images, Conservation, Ecology, Environment, New South Wales, Professional Photography, Threatened species

Gould's Petrel chick

Several years ago, I partnered up with science writer Karen McGee to produce a feature on Gould’s Petrel for the UK magazine, Geographical. Most stories of endangered species I find confronting, but this one turned out to have a happy ending. Gould’s Petrel nests almost exclusively on a tiny bunch of rocks off the coast of New South Wales. One of them is … Read More

Don’t frame too tight

Esther BeatonBird Images, Cute Animals, Nature and Wildlife, New South Wales, Photography Techniques, Quick Tips, Wildlife Photography

Sometimes, when I’ve been judging photo competitons, I’ve had to evaluate an image where the subject in the photo is wedged so tight in the frame that you get an uncomfortable feeling looking at it. When I’ve commented that “there’s no room to breathe” the photographer usually rebuts me by saying “but I’ve been criticised in the past for not cropping tight enough!” … Read More

Happy Feather’s Day!

Esther BeatonBird Images, Did You Know?, New South Wales, On the Beaton Track

Male emu with eggs

Here’s something to make all fathers think. Be thankful you weren’t born an emu. Your lot in life would have been tending all the eggs – a dozen or more at a time (some even fertilised by rival males!) – no time to lubricate your parched throat and you would suffer dramatic weight loss. And it doesn’t stop there – you’d be tending … Read More

Big news – latest book!

Esther BeatonAnnouncements, New South Wales

Booderee National Park? Who’s heard of that? Well, I knew it as Jervis Bay National Park when I was the photographer there years ago. It was so great to be working on this book because I got a chance to re-visit some of my favourite old haunts. And it was refreshing to discover that the beauty and wildness of the … Read More