•  

Tag: camera equipment

What Filters Work Best?

Filed in Tips by on July 23, 2015 0 Comments
What Filters Work Best?

Buried deep within my closet is my collection of screw-on filters. I have warming and cooling filters for adjusting white balance, I have a red filter that can be used to increase the contrast in a black and white image, I have a yellow filter for darkening a black and white sky, I have special effects filters that soften images, add starbursts and do other cool things that were actually popular back in the 80s. I haven’t dragged that box out in years and haven’t really had a need to, either. Why not?
Continue Reading »

Ask David: Why does aperture decrease when zoom increases?

Filed in Tips by on July 21, 2015 3 Comments
Ask David: Why does aperture decrease when zoom increases?

You’re the proud owner of a new lens. It’s a pretty awesome lens, if you do say so yourself. It zooms all the way out to 300mm, and down to 70mm, which means you can use it in a lot of situations – from photographing those birds in your backyard trees to capturing great candid shots of your kids playing on the lawn below them. But you just noticed something about that brand new lens – the aperture doesn’t always stay where you want it to. Why?
Continue Reading »

What You Need to Know About Zooming

Filed in Tips by on July 20, 2015 0 Comments
What You Need to Know About Zooming

If your DSLR camera came with a lens, it was probably a “kit” zoom lens. Kit lenses are great for beginners. The ones that come bundled with most DSLRs typically have a very good range of zoom, usually somewhere in the range of 35mm to 70mm. Most hobby photographers don’t need to move much beyond that range of zoom for the majority of what they do with their cameras. But even if you love your kit lens and you never, ever plan to leave it, you do need to know a little bit about how it works and what it is capable of. With that in mind, here is your primer on zoom lenses.
Continue Reading »

Choosing a Tripod

Filed in Tips by on June 5, 2015 1 Comment
Choosing a Tripod

A lot of photographers just don’t like tripods. If that’s you, I can certainly sympathize. Tripods are a pain. And once you’ve got your camera and tripod firmly planted in one spot, you don’t have a lot of incentive to undo everything and then move to another spot. But despite all their drawbacks, you really do need a tripod.

Without a tripod, you’ll miss out on creative motion blur images. You’ll also have no wonderful, unique low-light photographs, no landscapes with killer clarity and depth of field, no light painting. Without a tripod, you’re limiting yourself far, far more than you are when you use it in any one location.

But not all tripods are the same. So let’s find out what features are available that might actually be of use (or not) to you, personally.
Continue Reading »

What You Should Know About Lenses

Filed in Tips by 2 Comments
What You Should Know About Lenses

Before you bought a DSLR you didn’t really need to know a whole lot about lenses. Your point-and-shoot camera came with a lens already attached, and there really wasn’t anything you could do to change it. You probably knew how much zoom it had, and if you paid attention to the specs you may have also figured out what that meant in millimeters. But if your knowledge didn’t really go any further than that, well, no one can blame you.

Now that you have a DSLR, though, it’s a lot more important to know something about not only the lens that you bought with it, but the other lenses that are available to buy once you decide it’s time to expand your arsenal.

Now as it turns out, there’s a lot to know about lenses. A lot. It’s not just a matter of wide-angle vs. telephoto, there are a lot of other things to take into consideration as well. But let’s start with the basic stuff, and that’s lens classes.
Continue Reading »

Nine Fun Uses for a Fisheye Lens

Filed in Tips by 2 Comments
Nine Fun Uses for a Fisheye Lens

Fisheye lenses are cool. What’s not to love? With a fisheye lens, you can get fun, quirky images unlike pretty much anything you can get with any other kind of lens. And the’re surprisingly affordable too. Let’s look at nine ways to create unusual images with a fisheye lens.
Continue Reading »

How to Choose Your Next Camera

Filed in Tips by 5 Comments
How to Choose Your Next Camera

I bet you thought you only needed one camera. Ah! I’m sorry, but that’s not true. You can get by with one camera, but there’s no such thing as a camera that can be everything to everyone.

Now, having said that, depending on who you are and what your photography style is, you will probably find that the camera you’ve chosen is good enough for most situations you find yourself in. But have you ever wished you could take your camera with you on the ski slopes, or that you could walk fearlessly out into the waves, camera in hand? Have you ever got so sick of lugging around your DSLR on a long hike that you fantasized about stashing it inside a tree trunk and picking it up again on your way back to the car? Have you ever been somewhere mundane, where you would never dream of taking a camera, only to find yourself cameraless as something really photoworthy happens?
Continue Reading »

Gifts for Photographers this Christmas

Filed in Blog by 2 Comments
Gifts for Photographers this Christmas

The holiday season is finally over, and now you can put aside all that gift-buying stress and settle into the new year.

Wait, you mean it’s the holiday season again, already? How did that happen?

Yes, it is true, the months have flown by practically without you noticing and it’s now time to shop for the holidays again. You’re a photographer, so you likely have friends who are also photographers. If not, you probably enjoy getting gifts yourself (who doesn’t?) but you may not really have any ideas about what you might want this year. Whether you’re in the first category or the second category, I’m going to make this easy for you. Because at the rate at which the holiday season comes and goes, you need all the help you can get.
Continue Reading »

15 Tips to Boost Your Zoo Photography

Filed in Tips by 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.
Continue Reading »

Pointers for the Perfect Self-Portrait

Filed in Tips by 0 Comments
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.
Continue Reading »

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

Filed in Tips by 1 Comment
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.
Continue Reading »

Pros and Cons of Extension Tubes

Filed in Tips by 3 Comments
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.
Continue Reading »

Image Sensor Size: What’s the Difference?

Filed in Tips by 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 9 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 »