•  

Tag: camera equipment

Image Sensor Size: What’s the Difference?

Filed in Tips by on April 10, 2014 3 Comments
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.
Continue Reading »

Why Your Kit Lens Just Doesn’t Cut It

Filed in Tips by 6 Comments
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.
Continue Reading »

How To Take Beautiful Bird Photos

Filed in Tips by 4 Comments
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.
Continue Reading »

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

Filed in Tips by 1 Comment
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.
Continue Reading »

Tips For Long Exposure Photography

Filed in Tips by 4 Comments
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!
Continue Reading »

How To: Using a Circular Polarizer

Filed in Tips by 3 Comments
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.
Continue Reading »

Tips for Underwater Photography

Filed in Tips by 0 Comments
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.
Continue Reading »

Infrared Photography

Filed in Tips by 2 Comments
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.
Continue Reading »

Will Android cameras replace the point-and-shoot?

Filed in Tips by 0 Comments
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?
Continue Reading »

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

Filed in Tips by 0 Comments
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).
Continue Reading »

Shooting in the Snow

Filed in Tips by 2 Comments
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.
Continue Reading »

Why You Should Own an External Flash

Filed in Tips by 0 Comments
Why You Should Own an External Flash

Almost every modern camera comes with an on-board flash, even the higher-end DSLRs. You may wonder why, since almost every modern photo taken with an onboard flash is ugly: blown out highlights, red eye, harsh shadows and that characteristic look that screams “flash photo!” So why do manufacturers insist on including an onboard flash on cameras that are generally marketed to people who should know better? Let’s find out…
Continue Reading »

Taking Landscape Photos at Night

Filed in Tips by 1 Comment
Taking Landscape Photos at Night

When you think about your favorite landscape photos, the images that come to mind are probably classic shots of forests, mountains and natural rock formations. And they are probably daytime images, too, with an occasional sunset and sunrise thrown in for good measure.

We don’t really see a lot of landscape images shot at night, which is actually a bit surprising when you think about it. Because nighttime landscapes can be quite stunning, if you know the right tricks.
Continue Reading »

Improve Your Photography with Unusual Photographs

Filed in Tips by 1 Comment
Improve Your Photography with Unusual Photographs

If I had to guess, I would say that 99 out of 100 hobby photographers never bend their legs. It’s not so hard to see why – human beings view the world mostly from one or two perspectives: standing up and sitting down. Occasionally we will also lie down in a place other than our beds or the sofa, but for the most part everything we see comes to us at a perspective of somewhere between five and six feet off the ground.

So most photographers don’t think about finding other angles, because the angle from which we view the world most of the time is so familiar and comfortable. But the sad truth is, it’s also boring. When you walk past that favorite city landmark and snap a photo of it, the chances are really good that your photo will look exactly like the last thousand photos that the last thousand photographers took of that same landmark–unless you spent some time thinking about your subject and how you could capture it in a unique way.
Continue Reading »

How Android Phones Will Change Photography

How Android Phones Will Change Photography

Once upon a time, our cameras were big heavy things with interchangeable lenses that we lugged around in bags. OK, for some of us this is still true, but for much of the general population digital cameras are going the way of, well, film cameras.

There’s always been something of a divide between point-and-shoot cameras and “serious” cameras like SLRs. But today that divide is less about the capabilities of a professional camera over its weaker cousin the point-and-shoot and more about one thing and one thing alone: portability. It pains me to say it, but the point-and-shoot is catching up and it’s doing so in the guise of the smart phone.
Continue Reading »