•  

Archive for February, 2014

March Photography Dash Starts on Saturday

Filed in Blog by 2 Comments
March Photography Dash Starts on Saturday

Have you registered for the March Photography Dash yet?

The March Photography Dash follows on from my wildly popular February Photography Dash. In the February Dash, over 700 participants together photographed and shared over 6,000 spectacular images during the month. At the same time as learning heaps about their camera.

By taking part, you will take your own photography skills to new heights, have loads of fun, and have the opportunity to share your creations with fellow photographers from all around the world.

Continue Reading »

Breaking the Rules: Ignoring the Rule of Thirds

Breaking the Rules: Ignoring the Rule of Thirds

I’m not going to say, “Rules were meant to be broken”, because everyone already knows that. Besides, it’s such a cliché. So I’ll just say that in photography, the word “rule” doesn’t mean the same thing as at means, say, in politics. Not that it means anything there, either.

In photography, rules are like pirate code: they’re really more like guidelines. You can break them, but you need to have a good reason. So to help you along in that goal, I’d like to welcome you to my series on breaking photography rules, starting with the grand master of all photography rules, the rule of thirds.
Continue Reading »

Mastering Panning: Photographing Moving Subjects

Mastering Panning:  Photographing Moving Subjects

I am just going to lay this out there right from the get go: panning is not easy! You must be willing to experiment to master this technique. What is panning, you ask? Well, simply put panning is a technique in which you move your camera along in the same direction and speed as the moving object you are photographing. The result is a relatively clear, focused subject with a blurred background. This is different from simply using a slow shutter speed to create motion blur because the subject itself is in focus. Slow shutter speed is key though, so muster up some patience and read on to find out about this cool technique.
Continue Reading »

Camera Basics: Exposure Compensation

Filed in EV, Tips by 5 Comments
Camera Basics: Exposure Compensation

This topic may sound dry as a bone but exposure compensation is one of those things I wish I had figured out a lot earlier in my photography experience. As a beginner photographer I was just excited to get out and use my camera, so I basically got it out of the box, put it in auto mode, and began taking pictures. That was great for a while but soon I was itching to have more control and use more of its functions. The next step for me was Aperture Priority mode. It allowed me to start taking more control over my camera, without the complexity of Manual Mode.

And that’s where exposure compensation comes in handy. This valuable tool allows us to shoot in aperture priority mode but still fine tune the exposure! Awesome, right? Read on to find out how.
Continue Reading »

Fine Tuning Portrait Poses

Fine Tuning Portrait Poses

Most of the time, when you’re shooting portraits, you want your subject to be happy with the final photo. Not all the time, because honestly we all get a little bit of evil delight from catching a misbehaving toddler in full-tantrum mode, don’t we? But other than that and maybe a few other circumstances, it’s probably safe to say that when you’re shooting a portrait the photos are not just about your subject, they are for her, too.

And let’s face it, no one wants to look bad in a photo. And let’s also face this: it’s easy to make people look bad in pictures, even when they really look very good in person. If you’re going to be shooting a lot of portraits – especially if you plan to one day make them a part of your business – you need to know the tricks to posing your subjects so that they’ll look great in those photos. Here’s how.
Continue Reading »

Photographing Small Animals

Photographing Small Animals

We have all seen them – images like the ones in a National Geographic spread of oversized fly eye balls or gorgeous butterflies. The kind of photos that make you stop and marvel. Are you interested in taking close-up photographs? Do you like nature and want to learn how to photograph it? Small animals are a great place to start for someone that appreciates detail and beauty and doesn’t mind getting down and dirty a bit.

Let me be clear that by small animals I mean really small. I’m not talking hamsters and bunnies but snails and insects. Those critters that can go unnoticed but are everywhere and have unique beauty particularly when photographed close up. The beauty of starting with small animals is that you don’t need to go on an exotic safari; your subjects are in backyards and parks all over the world. It is amazing what you can discover when you get down and view the world from the perspective of a bug! Read on to learn about this field of photography that opens up a whole world of tiny subjects to be photographed!
Continue Reading »

Capturing Personality in a Photo

Capturing Personality in a Photo

The day of the family photo shoot arrives. The lighting is perfect, your camera settings are spot on, and the composition is perfect. You direct everyone to look at the camera and “say cheese”. You rush home to find an SD card full of stiff looking people with lots of teeth and all the personality of a driver’s license photo. What went wrong?

Sometimes we get so hung up on the technical aspects of portrait photography we forget about the subjects themselves. With visions of aperture and shutter speed dancing in our heads, we forget our job is to capture the essence of that person. We need to help them look natural and take a picture that reflects who they are. How do you do that? Read on for tips on capturing your subject’s personality.
Continue Reading »

Moving the Focus Point

Filed in Focus, Tips by 1 Comment
Moving the Focus Point

Getting consistently sharp photos can sometimes be a challenge, and it might be the most important challenge that beginning photographers have to overcome. Although things like contrast, color saturation and white balance can be tweaked in post-processing with a little know how, a blurry photo is a blurry photo. You can make it look a little better, but you can never really make it sharp.

The key to fixing a blurry image, then, is to avoid taking blurry images. Fortunately your DSLR is a very sophisticated machine, and it gives you a lot of tools to help you take sharp photographs. Let’s look at a few methods for choosing your focus point.
Continue Reading »

How Changing Aperture Changes Other Settings

How Changing Aperture Changes Other Settings

Your camera has three primary settings that are interconnected: aperture, shutter speed and ISO. You can’t adjust one without adjusting the other, because each one is fundamental to the way your camera captures light, which is ultimately what it uses to make an exposure. Smaller apertures mean slower shutter speeds, or higher ISOs. Larger apertures mean faster shutter speeds, or lower ISOs. So how do you work out what settings to use?
Continue Reading »

Photographing the Elderly

Photographing the Elderly

The elderly members of our communities are some of our greatest assets. They have seen the roar of change, the cruelty or war, the upset of recession, and the power in our humanity at work. Photographing them gives us a chance to capture the history they have witnessed and participated in but there are some distinctive challenges that are paired with reaping these benefits. Here are some tips to make photographing elderly people an overall smoother experience.
Continue Reading »

5 Situations To Use Your Camera’s Program Modes

5 Situations To Use Your Camera’s Program Modes

Any self-professed “real” photographer will tell you to turn off your camera’s auto mode and stick with manual. Manual mode gives you more control over your final image. Manual mode is what the pros use. It’s true, sort of. Manual mode does give you more control over your final image, and in many situations it’s better than using your camera’s auto setting. It’s certainly preferable to that fully automatic setting, where you don’t have any choice over basic things like aperture and shutter speed.

But I’m here to say that manual mode is not always best. And I’ll tell you why.
Continue Reading »

How To Shoot Photos in the Dark

Filed in Night, Tips by 8 Comments
How To Shoot Photos in the Dark

Light! It’s the single most important element in any photograph. Without light, you’ve got no image. Without the right light, you’ve got a bad image. In photography, light is everything.

And with that in mind, I’m going to tell you how to shoot photos in the dark.

But wait, didn’t you just say that light is everything? Yes, I did. And the reason that you can still take great photos in the dark is because – with the possible exception of a very deep cave or a crevasse at the bottom of the ocean – there’s really no such thing as “dark” here on Earth.
Continue Reading »

23 Outstanding Photos Shot in Darkness

23 Outstanding Photos Shot in Darkness

There’s something really magical about taking photos in near-darkness. A nighttime landscape takes on wonderful, sometimes eerie, sometimes surreal, often beautiful qualities that you just can’t duplicate during the day. Near-dark photography takes a lot of patience and guesswork, but when all that patience and guesswork pays off the reward is an amazing image that may not look exactly the way you imagined it would. And that’s a good thing. For some inspiration, here are some outstanding photos that were shot in darkness or in low light
Continue Reading »

How Shutter Speed Affects Your Photos

How Shutter Speed Affects Your Photos

Now that you’ve got a pretty good handle on your camera’s scene modes, you’re also starting to develop an understanding of the basic principles of photography – the ones that are going to take you from the land of snapshots to the land of technical excellence. You’ve already seen these principles in action, now it’s just time to define them and look at how you can fine tune them to create the images you want.
Continue Reading »

Using EXIF Data to Improve Your Next Shot

Filed in EXIF, Tips by 0 Comments
Using EXIF Data to Improve Your Next Shot

Now it’s time to get technical. Want to impress your friends and family? Or possibly make their eyes glaze over? Master the art and science of EXIF.

Of course EXIF is about more than just impressing/boring your friends and family. EXIF can make you a better photographer. In fact, it’s one of the most important tools beginning photographers can use to help develop and refine their work.
Continue Reading »