Saturday, July 4, 2015

How Tripods Help You Get Better Landscape Photos

In your landscape photography you will find that the majority is probably with a tripod. But each type of photography uses different tools. Photographers that do sports photography like to use a hand-held strategy so they can get the shot quickly. The last thing they want is to be fiddling with a tripod when they could be shooting the football player who has just won the goal for their team. Instead, they'll choose a monopod which has greater flexibility and gives them greater access to the series of shots they want.

Tripods are brilliant for nature and landscape shots. But sometimes they are bulky and cumbersome. When you are shooting your landscapes it can be a pain in the backside lugging the tripod up a mountain or a steep hill just to get to the top to get that perfect shot when the sun is just right. But as painful as this is, when you look at your photos afterward, you'll most likely say "wow, it was worth it."

One of the great things about tripods is that they allow you to capture that beautifully, gentle light you see during a sunset, just before twilight. Twilight has a sweet light, and just before that there are some pretty fantastic photographic opportunities.

You'll no doubt find that as dusk blankets the land the more photos you take the more blur you get. There's no other time of day that feels like light changes than dusk. It feels like light is just slipping through your fingers like sand through an hour glass. And its during this time that you need to keep that camera rock-steady.

If you are in the unfortunate situation of not having a tripod st this magical time you can always boost your ISO from the mid range 400 to a higher 800. This will increase the light sensitivity quite a lot. You'll find more noise that way but you can always fix this in Noise Ninja or other photographic post editing software.

To wrap it up, a key note I want to leave you with is that a tripod is not only good for dusk and for very low light situations such as getting crystal clear night shots. Anytime you want to slow down your shutter speed a tripod becomes the necessity.

Happy Shooting!

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

How To Choose The Right Digital Camera For You

Many times I've been asked what the best digital camera to get is. The response is, as you've probably heard quite a few times, "it depends on what you want to do." And what you want to do creates a need. That's all very well but how do you know exactly what you need?

Once you work out what types of digital photos you want to improve then choosing a camera will seem difficult and confusing. In the end you will have a hard time and probably end up not choosing a digital camera at all and this is not good because your digital photos will remain the same. You can certainly have a great experience in digital photography, but if you have the right camera you'll find that this experience is vastly improved.

For starters, think about the digital photographs you have taken in the past and think about your frustration with them. Are they to dark? Is the lag time too long? Is it out of focus when you try to get long distance digital photos? Or alternatively are have you tried to get digital photos that seem out of focus up close, or you can't get close enough in to your subjects?

For example I have a subscriber who just loves to take digital photographs of flowers. She's a lady in her 60's and is an avid Gardner and asked me to help her to capture the brilliant colour and detail of her carefully grown flowers. I suggested that with the camera she had been using to date, her flowers would have two problems:

Colour saturation (which creates lack of detail) and the camera would not provide her with the ability to get focused shots up close, even when the "flower" setting was on, on her digital camera. She confirmed this was indeed the problem she was having. As a help, I gave her some pointers to what may help her digital photography experience by looking at the problems in the current digital camera, then finding an active solution.

The problem was that a lot of point and shoot digital cameras may be fantastic and feel like a bargain at $200 they just don't have the digital sensor capabilities to capture to fine detail when there is a bulk amount of colour in the scene. Let's take for example a digital photograph of a yellow rose. The digital camera would not be able to distinguish the detail in the petals up close because it gets lost in "all the yellow". Because the digital camera's sensor built for the bottom end range it's not able to capture this fine detail.

My subscriber was also having trouble with her detail in focus up close. Even though she was selecting the "flower" setting, it still was not as clear up close as it could be. And due to the colour saturation in her digital photos she was having difficulty getting the clear digital images that she imagined getting in her mind. I suggested that she may want to look at a digital camera with a capability to add macro lenses. I explained that the sensor would be able to pick up more detail in the colour of the flowers if she had better lenes for the macro photography that she wanted to do. A good macro lens would give her the detail up close, and she could get in even closer than before without losing focus or detail.

In the end my lady subscriber ended up choosing a Sony digital camera with interchangeable lenses and with a better sensor. She was extremely impressed with the new digital image quality her photographs were getting. She was able to photograph the petals up very close and even capture the tiny veins in the petals of the flowers.

I recommend you do the same. Think about the frustrations you've had in the past as then find a camera to suit. Try to look first at the digital cameras that have the features and facilities you are after, and then look at the whole range. Not the other way around. Looking at every single digital camera first may confuse you; its better to narrow your search down to the features first.

Happy shooting!

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Saturday, June 20, 2015

A Digital Photography Tip - The Secret Of Clear Digital Images

Recently I've been getting a lot of questions about clarity. This leads me to the answers about lenses. You know if you do not have a good lens you do not have a good photo- generally.

The reason I say that professional SLR is much better than a prosumer camera or a point and shoot is not because of my desire to look "pro" when I take photos its because of the amount of control you have over the photo. You can control the light so much more; you can control the exposure and the general aspects of the image. And with this freedom comes the choice of getting the clarity via the lens. To gain the ultimate freedom in picture clarity first of all you need to know what lens does what.

Fixed focal length lenses

A fixed focal length lens is a lens that is on most point and shoot and prosumer cameras. They are normally an average wide angle lens. It's kind of like a "mid range quality" lens. If you then take a zoom lens and compare the two, a fixed focal lens is smaller and often has a larger max aperture. This is good, because they work pretty well in low light situations. These lenses appear clearer than zoom lenses. The only problem here is that your person or subject can appear smaller than you would like unless you move in closer.

Zoom Lenses

And what of a zoom lens? Without going into overly technical details, zoom lenses often have more practical focal lengths for digital photography. They can give you a good angle perspective for filling the frame for example. These lenses are great if you need to take shots closer when it's impossible to get closer to something.

Optical zooms lenses are the best. My advice to you would be to forget digital zoom altogether. Digital zoom is not a real zoom, in other words it's not a true representation of what's there. You'll just get more noise on your image which can't really be edited.

The problem with zooms is that they loose light the closer you get. They have lower apertures and this can be difficult in low light conditions. In some situations it's possible to use the flash and have adequate lighting, but other times you use the zoom because you are far away from the subject and the flash is only effective a few meters away.

There is no general answer to "What lens should I get?" The answer is it depends on what your camera can do and what you want to do yourself. But the more you understand what lenses do what, the better off you are of making an informed decision and get the right lenses for the job. 

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Sunday, June 14, 2015

Easy Digital Photography Techniques for Beginners

There are lots of methods to find out how to use your camera, but do these things make you a more productive photographer? The answer to that is "maybe". You see, the camera is just a tool to generate creative photos. It depends on how that tool is ultilised that determines the greatest and most stunning photographs.

Essential Digital Photography Techniques

To get spectacular pictures we first need to look at some fundamental photography techniques. The initial one I am able to share with you is find out about light. Anytime you learn about light and in what way it interacts with the direct environment then your photos will get better.

Examine shape and form- Where you place things in the photo is next. Continually consider the angles and shapes of the things you are shooting. Do they generate a balanced image that is satisfying to the eye? One method to master the techniques linked to photographing ideal composition is to see where these things guide our eye. Each time look for a balance and simplicity. Put into practice these things by taking photos of straightforward things that have nice straight lines, or curved lines and proportioned patterns. Do not have anything else in the surroundings.

A nice way to get started with this creative method is photographing architecture. Architecture is filled with lines. Take shots of walls, angles in the walls, look at where these lines direct us and the way it looks as a photo. This is great practice. This system of looking for symmetry will really improve your photography, ten fold in fact.

Easy Photography Techniques - Examining light

One of the simplest techniques I know is to examine and study light. Try this: every time you take a look at something, observe how intense the light is, what direction it is coming from, the amount of darks and lights it generates and the colour of that light. For the next 7 days, whenever you photograph something, write down what you saw and then how it appeared as a photo.

Once you have effectively understood this skill begin shooting your lines and curves. If you start taking photos in this manner you will notice that a) your technical skill increases and b) your photos begin to look artistic and a whole lot more interesting. It's not just simple to do, but a lot of fun. You will begin to feel like you are experiencing a link with light.

Your comprehension of light improves. As your appreciation improves, so do your photos. You will start to recognize what will work as a photograph just by looking at the scene in front of you. It's a fantastically positive and empowering feeling.

Better Photography Techniques

Enhanced photography techniques come with training. Practice takes time. Time needs dedication and a willingness to learn. One of the things that helped me to understand photography was the exploration of light and shape. An additional useful thing you can do is to write everything down in a notebook. Before you shoot write down notes about the light.

Ask yourself and write down the answer to:

What is the light doing?

How does it make your scene appear?

How does the light change the mood of your scene?

Next, write down:

• Notice how much light

• What direction it is coming from

• How much contrast it creates

• The colour of that light.

Then, if you are shooting in automatic, note down what the internal light meter is telling you as you point the camera to that scene. Make a note of the shutter speed and f stop it wishes to shoot at. (It will be incorrect and generally underexposed, but more about that another time.)

Then, switch your cameras mode to manual and alter the adjustments to what the auto setting just said. It will be wrong, so make sure you put the dial in the center, or slightly to the right hand side of the middle.

Subsequently, look at the lines and shape of the subjects in your photograph. Where do they guide your eyes? Are there any distracting elements in the scene that you really don't need?

Imagine that picture as a two dimensional medium and look again. Is there someone in the way? A tall tree that doesn't really look like it makes sense to be there? A lot of cars whizzing by that detracts from the drama and power of the construction? Every time ask yourself these things prior to photographing.

Digital Photography Professional Techniques

One of the greatest ways to become good at photography is becoming good at a photo editing program. Photoshop is an incredibly superb tool to have but it takes time to become skilled at it. It's very complex to the newbie so take some formal classes if you need to.

You can also learn Lightroom, which is a less complicated adaptation of Photoshop. It's less complicated to learn and you may not always need official instruction. Whichever way you decide to go, specialist methods come from not only better photography and shooting techniques but approaches in post processing.

Post processing is a term given to editing, sharpening and improving your photos in a software program. There are so many incredibly remarkable special effects you can apply in both Photoshop and Lightroom. Darkening the outer areas of a photo and increasing colour and contrast are just some of the simple functions within both programs. You can also add objects that were not there beforehand. You also have the capability to remove distracting things in the background.

These programs are dynamic for wedding and portrait photography as you can add depth to colour, generate softness for skin tones, make facial features glow and the eyes sparkle. A whole new world opens up to you after you realise what Photoshop and Lightroom can do, and, how much better your photos can appear.

You can become preoccupied for hours when you are post processing, so become skilled at good techniques. The last thing you want to do is spend 1 hour taking pictures and 6 hours editing all your photos. The faster your post processing methods are the better photographer you turn out to be.

On-Camera Flash Techniques for Digital Wedding and Portrait Photography
The worst way to use your flash in wedding and portrait photography is directly front-on. First, others detest the flash being blasted in their eyes. Secondly, the direct flash is not really designed for front on use (except if it's a unique circumstance, in which case it would be turned down to its lowest brightness.) The flash is meant for filling in the shadows.

Professionals usually have an external flash and point it up to the ceiling, to the side or position something over it to minimise its strong, white effects. I never ever use flash front-on for weddings and portraits since the light is too bright.
When we shoot with light that's bright and white on a person's face, we waste a lot of the subtle and softer details of a persons face. It makes people look horrible in photos!

Digital Black and White Photography Techniques

Techniques for shooting in black and white are no different to shooting in colour. However, on saying that, you may want to shoot black and white subjects with the intention of creating a black and white photo. That's okay too. If you feel like some really beautiful black and white photos then try to shoot items that have a naturally strong contrast. For example a white sign with black letters in front of a silver building may look really well suited. A person's face with red lipstick and intense eye make up looks great in black and white.

Digital Photography Lighting Techniques

I have covered how to assess light and how to employ the flash properly, but what about ambient light? Ambient light is the light that exists in the environment we are shooting in. Light from a window that fills a room is regarded as ambient light for example. It's vital to take note of ambient light just as much as other light sources.

Ambient light is reflected light. It's light that comes from a light source and fills up the environment without a noticeable direction. This is very critical to take note of as it determines how you photograph the scene. If you have heaps of ambient light you may have light evenly spread all the way through your photo. This is nice.

But what if that's not the effect you care for? What if you want a moody and sombre result instead? In that situation, you would try and photograph whilst the intense light source is at an angle. Using a directional light that generates strong shadows can really create a moody photograph.

The way light is contained within a scene has an effect on the way you take the photo and the capture the emotion of the photo. This is very crucial, do not forget this.

Canon Photography Techniques

I got asked last week what camera I owned. I replied a "5D Mark Two". It impressed the person I was talking too. The fact is that no matter what digital camera you shoot with you will still want to get behind the principles of good photography and get good at them. There is in fact no such thing as specific photography methods for a Canon and a set of unique tricks and techniques for a Nikon camera. It's still picture making and light is one of your most important concerns.

Digital SLR Photography Techniques

You have bigger chance to be in charge of the digital camera if it is a dslr. There are more controls and more approaches to get the effects you would like. I am not saying that it's awful to have a compact camera. I am simply saying that you have better influence over the way your photos turn out. I have seen some spectacular images come out of point and shoot cameras because the photographer recognized the best way to examine and work with light and composition.

The main reason I use a Dslr is for the reason that I require more management over my image making. I want to be able to amend my focal length and have various types of lenses on the camera if I want. I also require the chance for high speed photography if the occasion calls for it.

I also want a really fast shutter speed at times. A really fast shutter speed takes place when you use a fast lens. This will mean that the maximum aperture of the lens is pretty wide. A lot of light can come in to the lens and you have additional light to work with. You may get a fast shutter speed this way.

Dslr cameras have more controls such as a high ISO, multiple shots per second, the ability for interchangeable lenses, the functionality to have an external flash and a lot more. You will still be able to get beautiful shots with a compact camera, but soon you will start feeling limited in what you can do.

To really become good at photography it's most ideal to be taught by a person who is experienced at it. This comprehension can save you years of errors and disappointments. Learn to master light, where you place things in the photo, your digital camera and you will have the structure to be an amazing photographer.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

How To Avoid This Number One Mistake Others Have With Travel Photography

I spoke not long ago about travel photography. I'd like to discuss a particular problem with travel photography, and it's not with the camera, it's with us.

One thing that you might notice whilst travelling is the lighting differences between the place you are visiting and home. Your digital camera 'light settings' will still be set to where you came from, not where you are when you are travelling to.

Last year I went London on business and while I was there I discovered something very important. I had my trusty Sony set to an E/V of 1.0+. This really means, in English, that I had the eye of the camera adjusted to reduce some light because light here in Australia is so bright. I realised what a bright environment we live in down under when I went overseas. In a nutshell I had my camera set to 'Australian light settings', not 'UK light settings.' It's not really called a 'light setting', but I'll use that term for the purpose of simplicity.

When I got to London I looked at the viewfinder and everything looked really dark. I was confused at first but had a suspicion. So I took a few test shots to try out my feeling about what was happening. I was right I had the camera on the wrong setting for London light. My first test shots I focused the camera at the brightest part of the object I was taking and took the shot. As a result my pictures came out either too bright or too dark.

I then took the E/V up to 1.7+ and got the right shots. I got the right shots because I adjusted the amount of light that was coming into the camera. And to me, coming from such a bright place and going to London to me, seemed a darker place generally. Not bright, glary light like Melbourne. However this light is fantastic for digital photography if you have filtered light like this. In Australia we are constantly ranting "the polariser! the polariser!" But in London, at times, I could get away with not having it on the camera at all.

So please remember the first thing you do with that digital when you are travelling is to look at what you have the camera set to accept new lighting conditions. You may need to adjust the aperture if you are going from one continent and one season to another. Each season has a different light and varies from country to country. Article Source:

Sunday, June 7, 2015

The Trick To Photographing Beautiful Flowers

There are flowers and there are flowers. Not all flowers are equal in a photography sense. Some can look like they are easy to photograph, and in reality can be a pain in the neck to try and get all the detail. Others are fantastic, they look fantastic, they are easy to photograph and the picture comes out how you want! And then there are the ones that surprise you. They look average and uninteresting but get in close and you are staring at the surface of another world. All the curves, lines, colour comes out when you take the picture.

Some flowers look better very close up because of their size and detail. Perhaps with a smaller flower, it may look uninteresting from an arms length away but get it up close and it may look magnificent (Small yellow daisies, Rock Rose.)

Other flowers such as the rose really look good from any distance, mainly because they are beautiful and because we know what flower they are. But just because we already know what it is doesn't mean we need to cut corners with our photographic artistic skills.

pretty flower

Flowers are a matter of personal taste. So which one do we start with? Your favourite one is the best place to start. A beautiful as a big garden rose in bloom with the fragrance that should be bottled and sold, for example, will not only inspire you but you'll want to spend time getting a great photo of it.
Each flower, depending on size and colour, will need to be photographed differently. I would photograph a Rose differently than I would a Jasmine flower, or an Impatien.

Then I would also photograph that Rose differently at 3 o'clock than I would at 10 o'clock. I would also photograph the Rose vastly differently in the Summer time to the Winter time and again vastly differently outside to inside. I would also photograph it differently depending on how close or how far I could get to it. And depending on the type of flower I'd even ditch the colour medium and do some black and white or sepia mediums with it.

What's that I hear you say? Flowers can't look good in anything other than colour? Oh that simply isn't true! Wait till you take some black and white shots with flowers and you'll be amazed at just how well they come out.

As I mentioned there are 5 things you must do in order to get your shots of flowers looking spectacular. There have been a lot of photographs I've seen of flowers but not with the intense colour, details, patterns or delicacy that exists in real life. These things will eliminate that for you, forever.

Flower photography is a great photographic pleasure. One secret is to always shoot a simple, uncomplicated look first. It's much better to aim for 'simple' rather than cram a lot into your flower pictures. If you look at professional photos of flowers you will notice that the best ones are always the most simple. Best images are always simple and to the point.

The worst flower pictures I've seen are those with too much in the photograph. A nice bunch of flowers can be ruined by too much to look at, or not being sure what to look at. Such as a bunch of flowers and your eye doesn't focus on any one thing. You eye in act is left trying to work out what the photographer wanted you to focus on. Such a crowded picture can be quite distracting.

So if you want 'wow' shots, then use less in the shot, and go for a composition that focuses on simple shapes, lines and forms. If you are doing colour pictures of flowers, then look for the colour that stands out the most and ask yourself how you can enhance it with the tools you have on you right now.
A really good flower picture gives you the same type of view as if you were actually really there, and giving you the same feelings. Decide on your composition: visually frame your composition first.

To work out what your composition is going to be, look to the left of the scene then look to the right. If you had to capture it, where would the sides of the picture be? If you are not sure how to find the 'edge' of the photo, you can mount your digital on your tripod and start at one point and take the picture. Move it a little to the right and take the picture again, and keep going until you come back to where you started. Using a tripod keeps the camera level and you are taking in everything. You'll find a good shot out of this.

Your lens is most important for making flower photography look impressive. Have you ever taken a picture of a beautiful Rose that looks like it has not detail or true depth and it turns out flat and uninspiring? That's because you may not have the lens. Choosing the right lens is extremely important. If you're not sure what lens to get for flower photography- which are always medium to close up shots-, or what works best and you're most comfortable with, try a few different focal lengths.

 Article Source:

Thursday, June 4, 2015

People Photography Made Simple

One of the great things about taking photos of people is their every-changing expressions, moods, and look in their eyes. When taking photos of people, you can have several opportunities at once. If you sat in a room with someone for an hour, how many different photos do you think you could get? Even just a slight turn of the head, an unexpected smile or a pensive look, will each give you a great photo subject. Ask your self, what is typical of this person? The way they move? Their gestures and their facial expressions?

The most wonderful thing about 'people photography' with a digital is that you can see what the picture of that person is like on the LCD even before you take it! You can position the light in the way you want it, take the picture and if it still isn't right you can take another one until you are satisfied with the lighting. You can even do a few in black and white, a few in sepia and a few in colours, change the ISO as you go and generally have a fabulous time. Or you can just delete it there and then. You can try all this, plus shoot them at different angles, and everything between. And if you have colour filters.....well, you are only limited by your imagination.

It is always great taking photos of friends using your digital camera, because you can always show them the shots you have taken instantly. Of course they do always want to see the shots immediately. I tell them to wait, because it slows the creative process for me the photographer and it will make them too self conscious, when the best shots are natural and relaxed.

So in order to take great shots of people, you have to be artistic and natural, which is a combination of a good artistic eye, confidence in camera handling and usage, and confidence in your own ability. And attending to the technical aspects, as well, which is understanding composition and good lighting.

Taking good photos of people requires a good amount of pre-emption. You see a good photo of someone relies on their natural goodness to shine through. In order to do this, as a photographer, you need to be able to either bring this out or capture it. The best thing to do is pretend as if you were a fly on the wall and pretend that they can't see you if you are in a social situation. I have been asked to be the photographer at many social occasions because my own style of photography for people is candid. Candid is better. And when people see me and the camera and put on a posed, unnatural shot I simply turn away politely and wait until they are smiling and laughing and go back quickly and take the shot. They usually say "But I wasn't ready!" And my reply is "exactly!"

If you are in this situation of a social environment like a dinner or a party, and you want good natural shots of people, then the first thing to do is watch people for a while. When you watch people you can then establish the relationships they have, who they naturally levitate to and how they settle into a conversation. Once you have seen this, then you can mentally assess when the best time to take the picture will be. What you are doing is getting a feel for what the emotions and energy of the people is like. The energy of the people will determine your photograph. Article Source:

Monday, June 1, 2015

Simple Tips To Enhance Your Photography

Have you ever noticed how some black and white photos just stand out? And when you go to try and take the same kind of photo it just doesn't do the same thing?

There are a couple of starting pointers that I want to share with you about black and white photography with a digital camera. The first thing I can tell you is that to make a good black and white photo you must have good texture. Texture, or what something is made of, seems to be enhanced with grey scale.

Certain textures, such as natural textures seem to respond well in black and white. Black and white is all about capturing a sense of the dramatic, so if your subject has texture that is naturally dramatic, then you have the first step to a good b&w photo. Textures such as wood grain, stark metal, repeated patterns in nature such as waves or spirals seem to work well in black and white.

With black and white, try to keep some symmetry in your texture. Its easier to create stunning black and white photos when you have symmetry in your texture because it can sometimes be lost in color. Symmetrical textures in black and white are consistently beautiful and offer something the eye cannot capture as well when working in color.

Grey scale is not just the absence of color, or everything taken in shades of grey. To understand and master black and white photography with your digital you must understand the concept of grey scale.
Grey scale is a spectrum of black, lots of grey and white, like the colours of a rainbow but in a series of black and white and grey tones. You see a black and white photo is not really only black and white; it is actually lots of different shades and different depths of grey. So when we talk about grey scale it just means the way we measure tones of grey. Included in the grey scale is of course black and white.

This sounds odd to say, but when finding what looks good in black and white you can start with high contrasting colors in your every day subjects at home. Stark colours such as red, deep purples and bright yellows can make a really good starting point. With bold colours such as these, your camera will interpret them differently. It's almost as if the camera leaves out what the eye distinguishes as that particular color and keeps the intensity there. I won't go into the technical jargon now, but for now, just try experimenting on those colors. If you can't find these colors around your home, try going out into the garden and taking flowers that have these colors, or go to a nursery, plant store or public gardens.

You see black and white is not just 'no colour'. Its so much more, so much deeper then that. The purpose of black and white nowadays (as opposed to when it was the standard and people had no choice) is that it creates a sense of stillness in time, and with the right perspective, a great story.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

How To Create The Most Stunning Panoramic Photography

Understanding the way to learning how to do panoramic photography is one of the most exciting and fun things in photography. You can create thousands of photos that look beautiful on your wall or home office. It's not only a great way to practice the way you look at photography in general, but a great way to master your landscape photography skills as well.

Let's start with why panoramas were "invented". Software businesses knew that the scene was bigger than what our cameras could record. So they created a process called "stitching". Stitching is a term used to describe taking a series of photos side by side and merging them together to create one single, long and wide photo.

For panorama photography you don't need anything too expensive when it comes to cameras. You just need a tripod, clear lighting and some software. My favourite software to stitch my panoramas is called "Panorama Maker Pro". Nowadays they have version 6 available. You can even trial it for a short period of time to decide whether or not it is suitable for you.

I have created a lot of panoramas with the software. Once complete you can clearly see how it beautifully elongates a photo. This works fabulously for landscape photography. When you want to photograph your scene and do not have a wide or ultra wide angle lens, creating a panorama is good fun.

How To Take Panoramic Photos- Here is how you position the digital camera

There's one thing to make panoramas, and another thing to actually take them. There is a particular way to shoot panoramic shots and it's less difficult than you are probably thinking. Okay, so let's start.

Let's start with photographing a landscape shot. Choose the scene you want to photograph. Make sure your landscape has nice lighting and there are no strong shadows across your scene, it will make it a lot easier to stitch if you have a clear and open scene.

Set your digital camera up on a tripod. Keep the digital camera securely fastened and able to move about from left to right or right to left only. It's crucial that you allow the tripod to move horizontally. If your tripod slips downwards as you are taking the picture you make risk having your photo blurry and the software will be unable to stitch correctly.

Don't shoot into the sun. Have the sun behind you. It is better to shoot at the end of the day, or the start of the day. The light is nicer, softer and so much more gentle at the start and end of the day. The colours are deeper too.

Creating Panoramic Photos

Choose manual setting and place the camera in the direction of the part of the scene you want to expose properly. Now keep the digital camera on those modes the whole time. Let's say you have the camera at 1/250th of a second and F20, 100 ISO. You've decided that you want a certain part of the picture to be well exposed and these settings will do it. That's good, keep them that way and don't change the settings at all.

Once you have chosen your settings, now take a succession of photos, one after the other. Turn the camera from left to right, for example. Make sure you leave a section of the scene as overlap. Your stitching software needs to overlap something.

What Kinds Of Things Can You Make a Panorama From?

Fast moving subjects may not work- depending on the light. Begin with motionless subjects. Landscapes with a nothing but blue sky and a mountain range are good subjects to begin with. Nothing is fast moving so the software should not have any concern stitching your scene together. Let me explain.

If you are shooting with a shutter speed of /125th of a second and the subjects is fast moving, like water for example, then you may not have a fast enough shutter speed for the motion of the camera and the water. In one photo the water will be at the top of the rock and the next photo the water will be half way down the rock.

When the software tries to stitch two irregularities together it will not be able to form a complete picture. You must always keep the shot without movement so the software can stitch the image in exactly the same spot. It will then make photo 1 the same as photo 2. There will be no difficulties and the two photos will come together nicely.

However, on saying that, if you have loads of light and a fast shutter speed you must to move the camera sooner than the water is moving. In other words, you need to move super fast to make sure you position your digital camera in a way that the stitching will match up.

If the water is moving at 1/250th of a second, then you need to move at 1/500th of a second. You need to move the camera from left to right, faster than the water. But for now, start with a single picture without movement of any kind. Keep your mind on a stationary subject. It's simpler in the beginning that way.

What Other Scenes Make Great Panoramas- There are heaps of ways to make your photos wide and big.

Mountain ranges are not the only types of things that look good as panoramas. Once you have mastered the shutter speed and speed of motion for photographing a series of pictures, why not attempt a waterfall. Once you have mastered this method of panorama taking, you can work to produce panoramas in any direction. Not only do horizontal panoramas work but so do squares (tiles- two at the upper section of the photo and two at the bottom of your image, and so do vertical scenes.

I took a sequence of shots at Katoomba National Park in New South Wales, just a couple of hours drive out of Sydney, Australia. I did what was referred to as a "tile." The shot comprised of 6 photos; 3 bottom ones of the scene and 3 top ones of the scene. I was very careful not to overlap any sections of the water because I was unable to shift the digital camera quickly and have a fast shutter speed. My overlap points were rock instead of water.

Why did I chose this? This was due to the sunlight dipping behind the mountain. I used a very high ISO to compensate for the light decrease. I knew it would be okay to do this as my camera wouldn't overexpose anything in shadowy lighting like this. I was fortunate, the shot turned out well.

Creating Your Panorama as a Final Picture- Placing your panorama together

Once you have taken a series of shots from left to right, say 5, simply upload the photographs to your computer. Open up the Panorama software program. Then, once you are in, select the photos you want to work on. You will be able to follow the instructions pretty well when you are in the program itself. If your panorama works well, you should see a big scene. It is astonishing to see, for the very first time, that your photos have now become one and you are looking at a big photo- exactly the way you saw it with your own eyes. It's a stunning thing to experience.

Making panoramas is a superb way to not only become skilled at the art of photography but helps you look at scenes in a different way. You will have a fresh appreciation and excitement for landscapes especially.Don't just stick with landscapes. Once you grow more familiar with the progression, try creating photos of trees, water, oceans (remember your light and shutter), roads, and even pathways. Everything I have pointed out seems like a landscape scene, but if you do additional shooting you will find you can create a panorama out of just about anything. It's so much fun to do!

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Saturday, March 7, 2015

How To Use A Digital Camera - Working Out The Basics

There are many great advantages of learning how to use a digital camera, even a point and shoot, or compact digital camera. Simply because you do not have an slr doesn't mean you won't be competent enough to take amazing images. The elegance about small compact cameras is that you can take them any where, slot them in your pocket and when you see something worth photographing, you can straightforwardly point and shoot. When you understand a few handy methods, you can then begin getting stunning images.

In order to photograph stunning photos you need to take a few things into reflection before pressing the shutter. As much as the digital camera has some fabulous technology, it can only prove as a rough road map for you, instead of taking the photo for you. It's you who photographs a beautiful picture due to artistic and technical skills, not the camera.

On the days when you have a few moments to assess what result you are going will get you will be thankful that you stopped and really looked closely at what scene you are about to photograph. It is always through this evaluation and awareness that takes you to a higher level in your photography.

To start, let's check out the essential mechanical foundations of your compact. Shutter speed and aperture. Every photograph consists of a combination of shutter speed and aperture. To appreciate this wholly think of your shutter speed as the measurement of time the lighting has to fall on to the camera sensor and then be closed out again. The aperture is the amount of lighting that the shutter lets inside. Shutter is about shooting at the right moment and fstop is about the quantity of light.

When you have a lens aperture that is quite big, you will discover you have a quicker shutter speed time. This is so that no overabundance of light floods in to the sensor and provides you with overexposed photos. (Photos with too much light can ruin your shot). Aperture and shutter speed continually work collectively. Once you become more positive in your camera and your skills and competencies, you will be capable enough to work out the ideal blend of both. Once you get the perfect combination you may be able to advance your photography in leaps and bounds.

What about the shooting modes on the digital camera? There are a few work modes you can use on your camera. Most of the time you will probably shoot in auto. I suggest to try out the other adjustments if you can.

"SP" is shutter priority function. It means that the digital camera will pick what it believes the best shutter speed is for your photo. "AP" means aperture priority. It will decide the aperture for you as you decide the shutter speed. You may also find a selection of other scene modes such as Portrait, Landscape, Night and Sport. When you place your dial on any of these shooting modes it means the compact will try to find the best combination of shutter and aperture for these conditions you have chosen.

These diverse adjustments cause different things to take place within the digital camera itself. Portrait mode sets the camera to have a fuzzy background. Landscape sets the digital camera to be able to get sharp focus in the distance. Night Time mode sets the camera to have a very slow shutter speed and Sports mode tells the digital camera to have a very quick shutter speed. Within all of these settings you are unable to manipulate the light sensitivity (called ISO), and at times won't be able to use the flash. (Based on what compact you have.)

Working to get the most ideal image sharpness you can is the ideal way to take shots. It's imperative to be on familiar terms with what kind of subjects needs what kind of focusing. For example, a close up picture of someone's face needs sharp, close focusing. A water fall tumbling over a mountain edge will require sharp focusing all the way in the distance. (This scale of focusing is called depth of field.)

To ensure that your shots are in focus where you want them to be, you will see a little circle come up in your view finder or lcd screen. When the photo is in focus the small dot will show. Some cameras don't have a dot but may beep quietly when the shot is in focus and it's time to take the photo.

It's important not to lose the focus and risk blurry images. But it's easy to do when you are just starting out. This is why compact camera manufacturing businesses created a helpful little function called "Auto Focus Lock". This mode allows you keep the focus on your subject while you get the most ideal place, then you can shoot and still keep the sharp focus.

Otherwise you can point the camera, hold the button down half way (don't push it yet) wait for the camera to beep, then take the shot. By doing this you will also be holding the focus. This has advantages because you don't have to recall to take the auto focus lock off. You can just move on to the next photo.

Always keep in mind to examine your lighting, before making the photo. Check to see which mode you love photographing in and take the photo accordingly. Happy shooting!

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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Discover How To Take Sharp, Clear and Wide Landscapes With A Regular Lens

Have you ever questioned what is so special about photographing in 24mm? Or, have you ever thought about what focal length is good for landscapes is but in no way been completely sure what it is? The truth is that there are many angles you can quite easily shoot at. Each time you change focal length in or out, you will be affecting the overall look and sense of your photo. Let's look more intimately at the 24mm approach. Why is it so good?

There are many benefits of photographing at 24mm. I use a beautiful Canon L series lens at 24mm for landscapes. The best 24mm lens is one that will be likely to continually supply you with an adequate range or width. Any Canon 24mm lens (or Nikon 24mm lens) has the ability to get rid of the dreaded "warp" that comes with subjects photographed too close with the ultra wide lenses. If you are unfamiliar with what this means, simply head to the Internet and search for a few wide angle pictures of tall structures taken up close with lenses less than 17mm. In some landscape photography situations it can work well, and in others it does not. Now and then, when you taking photos at an ultra wide position, the landscape you are shooting can look like it's bulging in the middle. If this happens, then why not try photographing at 24mm?

When photographing landscape photography we want to aim for "large", but not "bending" in the center, as some ultra wide angle lenses can produce. This is where the wonderful 24mm focal length comes in. It generates a wide scene without appearing unnatural or bulges at the heart of the photo. Not only is it a good overall length to take photos at, but you can photograph at 24mm to create panoramas. What I mean is 24mm makes for a beautiful single photo AND it can be a perfect shooting length to stitch numerous single photos collectively to capture a panorama.

You see if you took a handful of photos photographed at 17mm or less, and stitched them as one, you may certainly see an uncomfortable bulge. This is what happens when ultra wide shots are stitched to make an individual panorama. Unless you are trying to generate a fisheye effect it will not work suitably. When shooting with 24mm this awful effect does not happen. We are left with a wide angle good enough for a single photo and just right to create a series of pictures for a panorama.

To get a better idea of the quality of the average 24mm wide angle lens, ask yourself does the photo have a sensible perspective? For example, do you notice any unnatural warping or bulging in the horizon line or along the forefront? No, we can't. That is more often than not a sign that the 24mm focal length is just right for the purpose.

Is this 24mm lens generally "wide enough"? Yes it is. And the beauty about this focal length is that we can bring three single images at 24mm and generate a gorgeous panoramic scene. Some lenses that are ultra wide, such as the 17mm or less, can bulge a composite a lot.

You can photograph a succession of photos taken from the same perspective and using a tripod to ensure good results. Then use Panorama Maker Pro 6 photo editing software to merge or stitch the images together into a single frame. You will discover that 24mm is most ideal because it does not bulge the panorama in the middle as a 17mm series of photos would.

Once you stitch your 24mm photo sequence together then look to see if the image is effective because of the additional surroundings at the edges. The answer is going to be relative because it has to do more with personal fondness and the intention of the photographer.

Once you have stitched a handful of 24mm photos together to construct a sole panorama, sit back, and take a good look at it. You will find that it looks like a realistic scene.

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Saturday, January 31, 2015

Digital Photography On Vacation

Going on holidays or vacation to get away provides one of the best digital photography opportunities that must not be missed. Most people take the usual digital photography "snaps" without really looking an examining their environments first.

The normal holiday digital photographs are taken with hard light over exposing parts of the picture, and the digital image is always the same. One or two people standing near a monument with the usual holiday clothing's the same ting over and over again.

If you want to get interesting digital photography opportunities then firstly the thing to do is not do what everyone else does! So let's looks at ways you can make you digital vacation photos interesting so that you can use them to hang on the wall or give away as postcards when you get back, or greeting cards. Ahh, what the wonderful world of digital photography can do for the soul!

Firstly the get your digital photography really interesting and stimulating when going on holiday is to research as much as you can about the area you are going to, and, the season you are going in, and what the temperature is likely to be. This is called digital photography preparation; not just holiday preparation.

Discover what things you will be likely to visit. Are you going to a fairly established area, such as old churches that have been around for centuries and you are aiming to get your digital photography experience reflecting the beauty and the art work in these old buildings?

Or perhaps you are having an action holiday with hot summer days, beaches, hotels, lying by the that case then your digital photography will be a completely different experience. Your digital photography needs will be very different and require different things.

If you perhaps want to do a bit of both; churches in Rome then Hawaii on the flight back then you have an even more interesting set of digital photography requirements. Most digital photography professionals may take two cameras, one digital camera for one scene or situation and a traditional camera with film for another situation. But being an enthusiast, you don't have to go to that length; there are some things you can do.

The reason I say to investigate further about what it is you really want to see when you are on your vacation is to see what kind of light you will be working with. If you are going to see some beautiful European churches in winter time then the light will be very different from the light on a beach in summer time in Hawaii. Digital photography is the type of activity that requires you think about what you are doing first. Always think about your digital photography in this way because light can be very different in other places and especially if you are going to a different season.

Good luck!

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Sunday, January 4, 2015

How To Avoid This Number One Mistake Others Have With Travel Photography

I spoke not long ago about travel photography. I'd like to discuss a particular problem with travel photography, and it's not with the camera, it's with us.

One thing that you might notice whilst travelling is the lighting differences between the place you are visiting and home. Your digital camera 'light settings' will still be set to where you came from, not where you are when you are travelling to.

Last year I went London on business and while I was there I discovered something very important. I had my trusty Sony set to an E/V of 1.0+. This really means, in English, that I had the eye of the camera adjusted to reduce some light because light here in Australia is so bright. I realised what a bright environment we live in down under when I went overseas. In a nutshell I had my camera set to 'Australian light settings', not 'UK light settings.' It's not really called a 'light setting', but I'll use that term for the purpose of simplicity.

When I got to London I looked at the viewfinder and everything looked really dark. I was confused at first but had a suspicion. So I took a few test shots to try out my feeling about what was happening. I was right I had the camera on the wrong setting for London light. My first test shots I focused the camera at the brightest part of the object I was taking and took the shot. As a result my pictures came out either too bright or too dark.

I then took the E/V up to 1.7+ and got the right shots. I got the right shots because I adjusted the amount of light that was coming into the camera. And to me, coming from such a bright place and going to London to me, seemed a darker place generally. Not bright, glary light like Melbourne. However this light is fantastic for digital photography if you have filtered light like this. In Australia we are constantly ranting "the polariser! the polariser!" But in London, at times, I could get away with not having it on the camera at all.

So please remember the first thing you do with that digital when you are travelling is to look at what you have the camera set to accept new lighting conditions. You may need to adjust the aperture if you are going from one continent and one season to another. Each season has a different light and varies from country to country.

Have a great day. 

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