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

Rembrandt artist

Esther BeatonAustralian Geographic, Behind the Scenes, People Photography, Photography Lighting, Photography Techniques, Photoshop and Lightroom, Professional Photography, Quick Tips, Studio Photography

Rather than using colour, as in the previous post, to get rid of a busy or dull background, you can accomplish it with exposure control alone. This artist worked in her garage and the best angle of her using her jewellery press had some old storage units behind her. The easiest thing was to turn the whole background black. And … 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

Photo Tip – Plan The Shots for Your Editorial Assignment

Esther BeatonAustralian Geographic, Photography Techniques, Professional Photography, Quick Tips

Here’s a tip for covering an editorial assignment. I’ve shot features for many magazines, but my favourite is the geographic assignment, so those are the sample photos I’ll use. The key to a successful feature in a magazine, geographical or otherwise, is diversity. To achieve that: Be sure to have three types of shots: long shots, mid-range shots and detail … Read More

The Story Behind the Green And Golden Bell Frog Image

Esther BeatonAustralian Geographic, Behind the Scenes, Conservation, Cute Animals, Ecology, Nature and Wildlife, Nikon, Photography Equipment, Photography Techniques, Professional Photography, Threatened species, Wildlife Photography

It was the magic year of 2000. Everyone had breathed a sigh of relief that our computers and systems hadn’t gone haywire. In Sydney it was the time of the Olympics. Energy was high. Somehow the threatened Green and Golden Bell Frog became emblematic of this productive and heartfelt era. I was on assignment for Australian Geographic to do a story … 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

Mating Madness

Esther BeatonAustralian Geographic, Behind the Scenes, Did You Know?

Male Cane toads jump on anything that moves

You’ve all heard about the rampaging Cane Toads, right? How for the first few decades after introduction they stayed in Queensland? Then suddenly, say about the year 2000, they spread. Like the plague. They even hit the Kimberley in the west and Sydney in the south. One reason they are so rampant in their reproduction success is that they like … Read More