Editorial

Top 6 Photography Tips for Taking Beautiful Photos

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Today we want to share 6 photography tips for taking beautiful photos.  Photographs can tell more stories than words do. Thanks to photography, people can now take pictures of their memorable events and keep forever. Upon seeing an old photograph, it can take you back to the exact setting, sounds, smells, and feelings of that exact moment. Whether you’re taking pictures from your DSLR camera or smartphone, the moment is what matters. However, a beautifully shot picture makes a huge difference from a bad one.

6 photography tips for taking beautiful photos

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels

Photography is an interesting hobby that anyone can learn. If you’re fascinated with the art of taking photos, learning photography can help you take better pictures. As a beginner, you can start with a smartphone with a good camera, then work your way up to more expensive equipment if you wish to pursue professional photography.

To serve as your head start, here are the top six photography tips for taking beautiful photos:

  1. Always Start With The Rule of Thirds

It doesn’t take a professional photographer to know this first tip: use your camera’s gridlines as a guide to enhance your photo’s composition. Once you’ve set the gridlines, you’ll see that the image is broken down into thirds to generate nine equal parts. Using the rule of thirds, you should only put your subject along the intersections of these lines, and never within the squares.

Using the rule of thirds, you can establish balance on your photo and allow the viewer to interact with it organically. This is because a person’s eye will more likely see the intersection points first than the center of the shot.

  1. Give What The Scene Needs

6 photography tips for taking beautiful photos

Photo by Marcelo Chagas on Pexels

In photography, you’ll never have it figured out right from your first shot, especially if you’re working with different scenes and settings. Indoor and outdoor environments require different photographic techniques and camera settings, that’s why you’ll have to calibrate your camera. Are you shooting in low light? Do you need to take pictures of food? How can you shoot moving vehicles?

Therefore, you can utilize photography cheat sheets found here to find the right camera settings and shooting techniques that each type of scene needs. Using these guides don’t necessarily mean that you’re a bad photographer because this is how you’ll learn better. Even professional photographers carry them around whenever they need help in working with varying settings.

  1. Emphasize a Focal Point

You’re taking a picture to show something on the photo, whether it’s a person, pet, tree, or food, but always make sure to focus only on one subject at a time. The focal point of your photo, when seen by the viewers, must be the main point of interest. If you’re struggling with creating focus on your photo, ask yourself―where should my viewers focus their attention to?

If you’re working with one subject and want to explore its nature, filling the frame is a great technique. Other elements found in the negative space of the photo might distract the focus on your subject, ruining the composition. In shooting a portrait, for instance, you can fill the frame with the subject’s face instead of the entire body, making a more professional-looking photograph.

  1. Lead Your Viewer’s Eyes

Aside from the rule of thirds, there’s another essential composition technique that photographers swear by: the leading lines. In taking these types of photos, you can take advantage of leading lines to improve your composition. Leading lines are any line shapes and forms that lead the viewer’s eye into the focal point. For example, the leading lines on the road will lead the eyes to the setting of the sun found on the horizon.

Furthermore, the direction of your leading lines can change the mood of your overall composition. Horizontal leading lines reflect calmness and tranquility, while vertical leading lines are more impactful.

  1. Lighting Is The Key

Smiling ethnic woman having photo session with plants

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels

Proper lighting is an essential element of a composition, but many photographers still overlook this aspect. Lighting separates brightness from darkness, and instills the mood and tone of your composition. For every type of photo, you must ensure proper lighting for your camera to capture the details of your composition properly.

Along with arranging a good lighting setup, you should also learn about the principles of light shaping and manipulation, which can be achieved through the use of reflectors and diffusers. Shaping and manipulating the light from a source can help you highlight a subject, control the direction of light, play with colors, cast shadows for a more dramatic look, and more.

  1. Invest More On Learning vs. Equipment

Last but not the least, particularly if you’re an amateur photographer, invest your money more on learning than the photography gear and equipment. The biggest mistake that most photographers commit is splurging on expensive camera and photography equipment without having formal learning and practice. While an expensive, premium camera can take better photo quality, you can’t make use of its capabilities if you don’t have a solid understanding of the photography basics.

Takeaways

The secret to taking beautiful photos lies beyond capturing that moment. With the help of these basic photography tips, you can start your journey towards photography, if you wish to pursue one, whether it’s for leisure or career. Once you’ve built your knowledge and experience in taking photos, that’s the time to upgrade your gear to enhance the beauty of your shots.

Read more fashion and photography articles at ClichéMag.com
Images provided by Creative Commons, Flickr, Unsplash, Pexels & Pixabay

Lindsay Hearts on the Business of Fashion

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Today we want to share an interview with Lindsay Hearts on the business of fashion.  Lindsay Hearts is an entrepreneur and founder of the Foxblood fashion line.  As a former stylist, Lindsay has worked with a number of recording artists including Slash, and the members of Megadeath and Steel Panther. And her designs have graced the runways of the prestigious New York Fashion Week. In 2017, she created Foxblood – a modern, ready-to-wear line for those inclined to the darker side of fashion. We caught up with Lindsay to discuss her thoughts on fashion these days, her Foxblood line, and her new menswear line, Blackwell LA.

When it comes to designing, who is your muse?

Lindsay Hearts

The confident LA girl who knows exactly what she wants with an awesome, empowering Spotify playlist. 

Foxblood has made a name for itself in the fashion space. What has been successful for you in running an online store?

Consistency is key with photography, editing, and of course, social media. It’s important to have consistency with not only your vision, but with your voice as well. I personally think this is the fun part, where you can really gain and connect with an audience that counts. 

It’s Friday night, you’ve had a looooong week. What are you doing to unwind?

In Covid times, one of my absolute favorite Friday night activities is going to a drive-in movie. Being in Los Angeles, we’re really lucky to have about three different options to choose from on any given night. 

What are you wearing for Halloween?

One of my best friends, Morgan McVay, who owns Onyx Lash, is going to turn me into a killer clown. Then we are headed to see Poltergeist at The Greek Theater, drive-in style of course! 

Lindsay HeartsYou’re launching a new menswear line, Blackwell, November 1st. How did that come about?

I’ve wanted to start a menswear line for so long but never have, and I got lucky enough to meet the right person, in the middle of the pandemic, at a time when I really needed to be inspired to do something new. DREHAIR asked if I would be interested in making men’s clothing and we immediately got to work. It just became this very cool pandemic project to keep my brain moving in a positive and creative way.

Favorite splurge item (Saint Laurent bag, Gucci shoes)?

I feel like sunglasses are my splurge item because they can instantly transform any outfit. You could be wearing sweats and a messy bun, but with a killer pair of shades your confidence will sky rocket. 

What has been your best TV/movie discovery this year?

The Savage Fenty Fashion show by Rihanna was beyond inspiring. Listening to Rihanna talk and describe her creative process really hit home with me. I haven’t felt that connected to another brand in a very long time. I really believe everybody should watch it — it’s amazing to see the diversity she’s including in her brand that barely anybody else is doing. It should be mandatory if you own an apparel company, in my opinion. 

Where’s the first place you’re going when things get back to “normal?”

Back to New York to see my family; it’s been too long to be separated from them. New York is always inspiring, especially in the fall, and I’m really sad I can’t be there right now to see the season change.

I see you’re a plant lady. Is there a plant you’re currently obsessed with?

Anything I can propagate. I have tons of glass bottles everywhere. I literally won’t let anybody throw away glass bottles because I fully plan on growing a new little plant baby in all of them. I think my favorites are Monsteras or Vining Pothos.

Read more fashion articles at ClichéMag.com
Images provided by Creative Commons, Flickr, Unsplash, Pexels & Pixabay

Hip-Hop As A Shared Activity: How Collaboration Created America’s New Pop

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The recent rise of the collective in hip-hop has been undeniable. BROCKHAMPTON (technically a boy band, we know,) A$AP Mob, Migos, and Odd Future are just a few of the big names from the past few years. Before that, we had the Wu-Tang Clan, Run-DMC, A Tribe Called Quest, N.W.A., Fugees, and Public Enemy. Even earlier were The Beastie Boys and Salt N Pepa. And this is only scratching the surface.*

The influence of the group in hip-hop can easily be tracked, and has been, but the pervasion of the collective is not the only reason that the genre is inherently collaborative. Nor is it the cause of hip-hop’s surge in popularity and supersession of rock as the most dominant genre of music in America, according to Nielsen’s 2017 year-end report. There’s a reason why the genre has been able to consistently innovate, come out on top, define what’s cool. And the answer lies much deeper, and much further back in history, than success on streaming platforms, like Nielsen’s findings suggest.

Photo courtesy of Dorothy/”Hip-Hop Love Blueprint”

Last year, the UK-based art and design studio Dorothy released its ‘Hip-Hop Love Blueprint,’ a blue and metallic gold screen print that links together “over 700 MCs, DJs, producers, turntablists, musicians, graffiti artists, b-boys and b-girls who […] have been pivotal to the evolution of hip-hop, from pioneers such as DJ Kool Herc and Grandmaster Flash to present day chart success stories Kendrick Lamar and Drake, and global superstars Jay-Z and Kanye West.” While the website description stresses the importance of certain groundbreaking artists and events, in order to truly understand the genre, it’s important to begin by paying attention to the links.

Like in any other genre, hip-hop has its stars—the people whose music shaped the future, whose legacy remains so strong that one wrong word about them could lead to physical threats. Dorothy mentioned some, but it would be pointless to go through the whole list. What distinguishes hip-hop from other popular music genres is not the artists themselves, but the way they are constantly working together in order to create the most dynamic art. When was the last time you listened to a rap album without features? Chance’s blockbuster hit Coloring Book only included two songs without features, Drake’s most recent More Life featured British grunge rappers to explore unprecedented sounds for the Toronto-born artist, 2 Chainz’s Pretty Girls Like Trap Music hit hard by including some of the genre’s biggest names (Nicki Minaj, Drake, and Migos are just a few.) Besides a couple of stragglers (notably, J. Cole on his last two albums and Childish Gambino on Awaken, My Love!, among others,) the majority of hip-hop artists have essentially committed to this type of constant collaboration.

The way in which members of the hip-hop community engage with each other is analogous to scientists in a lab, or scholars in a field of research. This is the part where you have to bear with me for a second; all of these examples fall under the category of a shared activity. A shared activity, when loosely explained through Aristotle’s theories, comprises a shared and mutual commitment to a common goal, a mutual understanding of everyone’s individual role in accomplishing this goal, and a mutual agreement for everyone to perform his own individual role within the pursuit of this goal. If the common goal in question is the creation of a chart-topping album—like Flower Boy or No One Ever Really Dies, both of which heavily rely on featuresthen it’s difficult to argue against the fact that each participant checks off the items on this list.

One of the main benefits of a shared activity, especially when it comes to the creation of hip-hop, is the continuous engagement of its participants. If everyone is not only working on their own projects, but also engaging in the projects of others, then there is never a lack of interest or stimulation. Cue the features.

And, of course, the diss tracks. Although it may seem like the point of a good diss track is to stun the subject into silence, they usually—and unsurprisingly—have the opposite effect. Maybe therein lies the purpose. They incite a type of conversation in rap unlike that which exists in any other genre. No one ever truly gets the final word; more often than not, the challenge just sparks the creation of more music. This tradition of call-outs has existed since the early days of rap; the hip-hop rivalry phenomenon has given us hits from artists like The Notorious B.I.G. and 2Pac, Drake and Meek Mill, Nicki Minaj and Remy Ma. There were even theories that Kendrick was coming at Big Sean on DAMN. This isn’t to create a false equivalency between serious rivalries and occasional teasing, but there’s a reason why rappers seldom run out of things to say; each artist, at one point or another, becomes responsible for making sure that the conversation doesn’t end.

Another innovation that is unique to hip-hop is the rise of the producer as an artist in and of themself. Yes, bar the DIY scene, basically every artist in every genre needs a producer. But never before have producers held such distinctive roles in the creation of music that performance legends are seeking them out for their input and style. Like Jay-Z on his album 4:44, which arguably became more regarded for the producing feats of No I.D. than the rapping itself. Or everyone and Metro Boomin, who has left a mark as big as it gets on hip-hop; known for being a mainstream hit-machine, he’s collaborated with nearly every big name from Gucci Mane and 21 Savage to Drake and DJ Khaled. His tagline—“if young Metro don’t trust you, I’m gon’ shoot you,” created by Future in a collaboration with Uncle Murda—has infiltrated rap playlists indefinitely, and has kicked off its own cultural phenomenon. Or Mike WiLL Made-It, who was the beat-maker behind both Beyoncé’s “Formation” and Kendrick Lamar’s “HUMBLE.”

Even rappers who lean towards producing their own music, like hip-hop’s biggest workaholic Kanye West, rely on the idea of collaboration in order to create. One of the key features of Kanye’s music is his prolific use of samples—often of relatively unknown artists. Sampling, which is the technique of digitally encoding music or sound and reusing it as part of a composition or recording, is just one more way in which hip-hop artists take advantage of the community-like aspects of music in order to further art. By bringing in voices or sounds that otherwise wouldn’t have been heard by listeners of mainstream rap—like the contemporary classical composer Caroline Shaw, who West collaborated with on tracks “POWER” and “Say You Will”—hip-hop artists are opening up unprecedented avenues for their music.

At this point, you may be asking why this is important. There is an innumerable amount of answers, all dependent on your own experience with hip-hop, but there’s also a common thread that is woven through all of them. Historically, as a genre, hip-hop has not been given the respect it deserves. This isn’t a revolutionary statement in any sense; it’s just a recognition of the symptomatic way we view art that we do not deem to be fine. With rap taking the lead as America’s most popular form of music, it is about time that the contributions which hip-hop and its artists have made to music are acknowledged and celebrated. It is also time that we begin viewing them as more than transient blips in culture, bolstered by teenagers, social media, and streaming services. There have been dozens of articles likening Kanye West to Beethoven or Mozart, but it is important to note that he is not the only artist engaging in intellectual art-creation. He is just one of hundreds in a community of forward-thinkers and risk-takers. Hip-hop may not be a fine art, but that is because it is something much bigger; it is alive and it is growing, and it cannot be contained with four walls and a velvet rope.

*For a more complete timeline of hip-hop, check out ThoughtCo’s “History of Hip-Hop: 1925 to Now”

 

Read more Music Articles on ClicheMag.com.
Hip-Hop As A Shared Activity: How Collaboration Created America’s New Pop: Featured image courtesy of Ashlan Grey/The FADER

A Thesis Collection Inspired by OK GO’S Vvideo- “The Writing’s on the Wall”

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This amazing thesis collection by Qi Wang is inspired by OK GO’S video- “The Writing’s on the wall” which plays with our perception of dimensions by creating optical illusions using everyday objects.  The thesis aspired to engineer the geometrically patterned textiles into the zero- waste pattern-making, which on the one hand, achieving the effect of the optical illusion; on the other hand, rendering the whole collection zero waste, thus contributing to solving the problem of massive landfill waste caused by fast fashion.

Credits:
Designer: Qi Wang @qiwangggg
Photographer: Haiyan Zhang @hedyyyyyyyyyy
Stylist: Qi Wang
Makeup artist: Agnes Yun @agnes_makeupartist
Website: http://www.qiwang.space/

 

Read more fashion editorial articles at Cliché Magazine
Images provided by Qi Wang