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Tag: camera equipment

15 Tips to Boost Your Zoo Photography

Filed in Tips by on October 2, 2014 2 Comments
15 Tips to Boost Your Zoo Photography

For many of us, the zoo is the closest thing we are going to get to going on safari. If you know what you’re doing, you might even be able to take photos that look like you are on safari without the price tag of a vacation in a foreign country. Likewise, photographing in a zoo will allow you to get shots of animals from all over the world in a single day instead of needing to take several trips. Photographing animals in the zoo also produces some interesting challenges. Here are some pointers to help you get the most out of your day at the zoo.
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Pointers for the Perfect Self-Portrait

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Pointers for the Perfect Self-Portrait

Are you guilty of an occasional selfie? Most of us are. It’s true, we are a selfie-obsessed culture but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Self-portraits have a long history as part of an artist’s journey of self-discovery. They give us a way to try out new techniques, fail in privacy, learn, grow and adapt as photographers. They are also a way to chart how we physically change over time. Here are some items and practices that help me achieve the self-portrait I set out to create.
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Ask David: Should I purchase an off-brand lens for my camera?

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Ask David: Should I purchase an off-brand lens for my camera?

Off brand, or third-party lenses, have both perks and pitfalls. Some photographers will swear by third-party lenses, while others swear they are not as sharp or reliable as a proprietary lens. The first and probably the most important advantage of an off brand lens is the price. Quite often, third-party gear companies make lenses that are similar in capability to those produced by major camera companies at a fraction of the cost, especially when you get into higher end or more specialized lenses. For example, a Canon 24-105mm f/4L USM lens retails for about $1100, while a very similar lens by Sigma retails for $899.
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Pros and Cons of Extension Tubes

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Pros and Cons of Extension Tubes

Do you want to take extreme close-ups? Whether it is flowers, insects, coins, or any other variety of things, how can you get closer focus than your lens alone allows? I have discussed other aspects of macro photography in previous articles. This photography niche is fun to explore but is very expensive if you purchase a macro lens. There are other options like using a close up lens or lens reversal tricks, but there is also a simple addition to your camera equipment called an extension tube. Read on for the pros and cons of this option.
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Image Sensor Size: What’s the Difference?

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Image Sensor Size: What’s the Difference?

Intermediate If you use a photo printing service, such as the one offered by your local drugstore, you may occasionally (maybe even frequently) get photos back that don’t look the same as they did when you shot them. I don’t just mean color and exposure (which can often be wrong when you use a commercial printing service), I mean decapitated heads, scenery that’s missing important elements and crops that just look, well, wrong. Why does this happen?

It happens because of your camera’s sensor size, and the fact that your commercial printing company didn’t print your image with the same aspect ratio as your file. But let’s back up a little.
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Why Your Kit Lens Just Doesn’t Cut It

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Why Your Kit Lens Just Doesn’t Cut It

Intermediate The title of this article may fill you with worry or anger or frustration. Did you invest in a nice, digital camera only to find you still have blurry, dull photos? There may be operator problems involved but your lens could also be the culprit. You most likely spent upwards of $500 on a DSLR camera body and now I am telling you the kit lens it came with is not all that hot. Unfortunately that is the truth but don’t throw in the towel yet. You can still use your kit lens while working towards the purchase of a relatively low cost but much higher quality lens. Yes, such a thing does exist! Read on to find out some options that could greatly improve the quality of your photos.
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How To Take Beautiful Bird Photos

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How To Take Beautiful Bird Photos

We have all seen amazing photos of birds. Birds in flight, birds staring right back at us, birds ready to strike their prey. Whether it is a hummingbird or a golden eagle, birds are magnificent, majestic subjects for photos. Unfortunately though birds have this advantage called flight, and they don’t often hold still to get their picture taken. With decent equipment, some tricks of the trade, and a lot of practice you too can take beautiful bird photos.
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Should I rent a DSLR to see if I need to upgrade?

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Should I rent a DSLR to see if I need to upgrade?

Buying a new camera body is a big commitment and often time requires selling your current camera in order to have the funds to purchase a new one. The upgrade can be intimidating even if you’ve done it before. Our cameras become our best friends. Much like the relationships we foster with people, the connection you have with your camera is built over time as you learn its individual idiosyncrasies. So why not ‘try before you buy’ with your next camera.
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Tips For Long Exposure Photography

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Tips For Long Exposure Photography

Long exposure photography is something most hobbyists have tried at some point or another. Slow shutter speeds are necessary, after all, for capturing flash-free images after dark. But long exposures aren’t just for low light. Those surreal-looking photos of streaky skies and misty waters are long exposures, too. Let’s see how to take them!
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How To: Using a Circular Polarizer

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How To: Using a Circular Polarizer

Modern digital cameras are capable of transforming almost any scene from ordinary to extraordinary. With the right tools and the right knowledge, you can actually create an image that is even more impressive than the scene you saw with your naked eye. Your camera’s settings are designed to help you achieve this, as are software packages such as Photoshop Elements. You can also use any of dozens of little tools and tricks to add that little bit of interest to your image that can go a long way towards transforming your photos from plain to amazing.

One of the most important of these tools is the circular polarizer. A circular polarizer is a screw-on filter that could almost be described as a pair of sunglasses for your lens.
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Tips for Underwater Photography

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Tips for Underwater Photography

Underwater photography used to be out of reach for the hobbyist. Equipment was expensive and specialized and the process was impractical – film cameras could only shoot 36 photos at a time, which meant that a diver would have to constantly resurface to change rolls. Back in those days, looking at underwater photos in the pages of National Geographic was about as close as the average Joe could get to being an underwater photographer.

Today, improvements in camera technology and the advent of digital cameras have meant that underwater photography is something almost anyone can try. And as far as the expense goes, you can choose to spend a lot of money or you can choose to be conservative – big bucks are no longer a requirement.
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Infrared Photography

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Infrared Photography

If you’ve studied and practised photography for long enough, you know that a great photo is one that gives the viewer a unique perspective on the world. That can be done in many different ways–by choosing a unique subject, by taking the photo from an unusual vantage point, by carefully selecting depth of field or shutter speed, or by experimenting with camera equipment such as filters and special lenses.

One way to almost guarantee a photo will make people stop and take notice is to try your hand at infrared photography. Now, if you’ve ever spent time watching scary movies you’ve probably already seen infrared in action – apparently that’s one way to spot a ghost – but you may not be familiar with using infrared (IR) to capture less frightening scenes, such as landscapes. And you don’t have to go shopping at the Catch-A-Ghost Emporium either, nor do you have to spend a truckload of money on high tech equipment. You can start capturing great IR photos, in fact, for around 100 bucks – with the understanding of course that if you get hooked on it you might want to make further investments.
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Will Android cameras replace the point-and-shoot?

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Will Android cameras replace the point-and-shoot?

A little while ago I wrote about the Nikon Coolpix S800c, the Android-powered camera that is essentially a smart phone/point and shoot hybrid. The S800c is now part of a revolution – sort of. It might be more accurate to just call it a pioneer, like those first airplanes that weren’t particularly safe and really couldn’t cover much distance, but showed great potential for the future – if only designers could get past all those bumps in the road… err, sky.

The S800c isn’t the only bird in the sky: Samsung released its Galaxy Camera late last year, and Polaroid has just announced the iM1836, which has the distinction of being the world’s first Android-based camera with interchangeable lenses. So now that there is actually a smattering of choice in this marketplace, is it a good time to jump on the “smart camera” bandwagon?
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Ask David: When Do I Use the Different Reflector Colors?

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Ask David: When Do I Use the Different Reflector Colors?

If only you could control the weather. Whip up a little wind to make your model’s hair move. Conjure up a cloud or two to diffuse that awful direct sunlight. Make the rain that’s ruining your photo shoot go away until tomorrow.

Well, there really isn’t much you can do to stop the rain or create wind in the middle of a wheat field, short of packing a circus tent, a fan and a gas generator in your camera bag. But you can change the light, even on one of those dreadfully bright afternoons. And it’s easier than you might think: just bring along an inexpensive set of reflectors (and, if you can, someone to help you position them, though in a pinch you can use a tripod or just figure out creative ways to prop them up).
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Shooting in the Snow

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Shooting in the Snow

There’s nothing like a snowy day to inspire your inner photographer. Snow-capped peaks, the sunlight reflecting off ice crystals, kids throwing snowballs at each other – almost everything about the snow begs for photographs. But wait! You can’t just grab your camera and start shooting. Snow creates tricky conditions for photography, and if your photos are going to adequately capture the natural beauty and winter fun of the day, you need to be armed with more than just your camera and a pair of fingerless gloves.
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