January 26, 2012
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This useful article from Digital Picture Zone gives good advice about what to think about when buying a tripod.
“A tripod seems to be one of the most basic types of photography accessories since it’s basically a stand that’s used to keep your camera steady. However, there are a few details you should be looking at before buying one as they are all different.”…..MORE
If you are local to Oxford my recommendation is get over to Morris Photographic, now in Chipping Norton and see their extensive range
October 19, 2011
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Last night I completed part 2 of our Understanding Your DSLR Camera course, this is the stage where I teach about exposure and use the exposure triangle to explain the relationship between aperture, shutter and ISO. This article on the ever brilliant Lightstalking site will do it for those of you not in my class last night.
Getting a new DSLR can be quite an overwhelming experience for a new photographer. All the knobs and buttons seem to do a thousand different things (and they do), but the dirty secret of photography is that at its core, knowledge of the exposure triangle is what will make your new DSLR really sing. If you know how the exposure triangle works, then you essentially know the basics of how your photographs will turn out and you can build your skills with the manual functions of your camera from that solid basis.
The biggest benefit of having an advanced DSLR is that they allow manual control over most elements of the photographic process in terms of what’s happening in the camera. But having that control means that it is of great benefit if you know what elements you need to control and what they do. Let’s take a look at the three absolute essentials that make up the exposure triangle – ISO, Shutter Speed and Aperture.
October 9, 2011
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Most photography uses extremely fast shutter speeds, only allowing light into the camera for a fraction of a second, but when longer exposures are used there can be some remarkable results. Static objects are revealed in heightened detail, while anything moving becomes a blur.Long exposure photography entails using a long-duration shutter speed to sharply capture the stationary elements of images while blurring, smearing, or obscuring its moving elements.
The ability to take long exposures requires a user to use a tripod for optimum results (of course, some people prefer the hand shake look). The use of a tripod is essential because the inability for the human hand to stay still is truly remarkable. No matter how good you get, it will be very hard to hand hold a 1 second shutter release without very noticeable blur. As well as a tripod (or monopod in some cases could work), a photographer should make use of the timed shutter release. This will allow the user to set the shot up, and set a timer to release the shutter. Most cameras have the option of one or more timed shutter releases, for example my Canon 40D has a 2 second and 10 second wait. I usually use the 2 second release as this gives you just enough time to get your hands off the camera to not bump the shot. This is even more important on longer shutter times.
The technique of ‘light painting’ is the use of a long exposure while moving a light through a dark scene, recording the light source’s path, or shining light onto objects in the frame to highlight them. Enjoy the great examples below and get out their and experiment with your camera taking long exposures. by Dustin Betonio ….…..more here
October 5, 2011
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This article describes a problem I see with many beginners pictures, holding the camera still will help but there are other ways to improve the sharpness of your pictures where the problem is due to camera shake. I was only talking about this last night to a class attending one of our DSLR courses
“Camera shake is the cause of many blurry photos and a frustration to new photographers. The photo can be perfectly framed, in focus, but still not sharp. At the core, the result of this is a shutter speed that’s too slow. But when is a shutter speed too slow and how can you help avoid it?”…..more By Mike Panic at Lightstalking
June 14, 2011
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From Chase Guttman at Lightstalking
“In nearly all types of photography, controlling movement can be beneficial to telling your photographic story. Often times to tell your story most simply, you must avoid motion blur. One of the most common mistakes beginner photographers make is taking shots that are unintentionally blurry. Essentially, there are five main reasons why your photos may not be sharp . Below, we’ll focus on the ways to correct the most common causes.”.…more
Angel - KGB
May 16, 2011
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This is a really useful article from Jim Harmer at Improve Photography. Regularly in the classes I teach I find people who are so absorbed by shallow depth of field that they fail to see that some of the most important parts of their image are out of focus.
“I get it. Depth of field is fun to play with and makes our pictures look amazing, but I’m here to say that more of a good thing is not always better.
Look at the image featured on this page of my beautiful wife, Emily. The depth-of-field adds to this image to make her stand off the page; however, this image suffers from too shallow depth of field. The depth of field was only about two inches in this picture because I used an aperture of f/1.8, a 50mm lens, and I was only two or three feet away from the subject. You can see that part of her face is out of the plane of focus, and that is a bit distracting. What I really wanted was to make her completely in focus and just blur out the background. You might not be able to tell this on the small preview of the image, but it’s obvious if you click to make it big. This post is for those of you who always crank the aperture down to the lowest number available.”…interested?...more
Too shallow depth of field – Jim Harmer’s mistake
Capturing movement in images is something that many photographers only think to do when they are photographing sports or other fast moving subjects.
While there is an obvious opportunity in sports photography to emphasize the movement of participants – almost every type of photography can benefit from the emphasis of movement in a shot – even when the movement is very small, slow and/or subtle. more here from Digital Photo School
I photographed this beautiful launch with bridal party at a wedding In Henley some years ago. This was pre-digital so no chance to take a shot and review it, as often with film, seat of the pants stuff. In general you can make some assumptions and something moving about the speed of a boat on the river probably needs a shutter speed of between 1/30 to 1/60 and car doing 30mph would probably need 1/60 to 1/125 Read the tutorial from digital photo school and give it a try
January 21, 2011
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I have posted about this before but as it is the core of what we do as photographers I feel it is worth giving it another airing. Exposure is the gathering in of the correct quantity of light so that our images are neither too light or too dark. Our controls are the aperture and the shutter plus the ISO, these work in conjunction with the light meter in the camera. Understanding this relationship and the impact ut has on your images is fundamental to being a photographer. This article from Digital Photo School is pretty good at explaining this so have a look. If you would like to understand more you might be interested in our DSLR courses or one of our 1 Day DSLR Workshops
January 20, 2011
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I noticed as I drove home last night that it was a full moon again, strange how it happens with such regularity, anyway it was so bright I started thinking about making images just by the light of the moon. I quickly realised that in any town or city there might be too much light pollution to just use the moon as a light source but that might not be a great disadvantage. At this time of year if there is a full moon it usually means it is going to be cold and it was last night so I put the idea on hold but this morning I wished I had been more hearty and put up with the cold. So researching how best to achieve pictures by the moon I found some interesting sites with tutorials and tips that if you are interested might help.
This is one site that you might want to look at, a blog by The Discerning Photographer and this site lists phases and times of moon rise from what seems to be most locations in the world Time and Tide
There are obviously some absolutes, take a tripod, use either a remote release cable or use the self timer function, set the maximum aperture your camera has and work around the 30 second shutter speed, you can use the ISO settings to increase or decrease exposures, start off at about 400 ISO and see how that does. Using such long shutter speeds will eat up your battery and as it is so cold this will also reduce battery capacity so you may need a spare or two depending on how long you plan to be out, also take a torch/flashlight. This site offers a string of tips and although it is primarily written for film users all the relevant information can be applied to digital capture this is another link you might find useful.
Photographing by moonlight can easily spring some fascinating results that are as unexpected as beautiful, movement somewhere withing the images, whether clouds or water adds to the dreamy, ethereal quality of the image and on clear nights and long exposures you may capture star movements.
Perhaps the most famous moon lit image is Ansel Adams Moon Rise Over Hernandez, New Mexico, this must have inspired many to get out after dark
This link gives more insight into the creation of this image and asks questions that you will find interesting.
December 14, 2010
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The idea of having a subject in a totally dark room and the camera on a tripod with the shutter open and painting the subject with light from a torch/flashlight is not new but the opportunities with digital to check your results immediately and make changes to exposure and/or the light painting process to correct problems makes it much more simple than working with film. This article from Light Stalking gives basic instructions, this is a fun way to make pictures and can lead to exciting visual discoveries and one way you can continue to photograph even if the weather outside is not conducive. Here is another article from diyphotography with additional ideas and information