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Tag: camera settings

Twelve Mistakes Rookies Make

Filed in Tips by on June 11, 2015 0 Comments
Twelve Mistakes Rookies Make

No one is born knowing how to use a camera. Every single photographer you know from amateur to professional at one time picked up a DSLR (or an SLR) camera, turned it over awkwardly, looked at all those buttons and thought to himself, “How the heck do I use this thing?”

Rookie mistakes in any field are usually pretty predictable. That’s because they’re honest mistakes, and it’s pretty easy to see how the unschooled and unpracticed might end up making them. Even if you’ve come a long way since the first time you held a DSLR, it’s worth reviewing this list so you’ll know which mistakes you’ve moved past, and which ones you may still be making (don’t worry, your secret is safe with me).
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Why You Should “Get It Right In Camera”

Filed in Tips by on June 5, 2015 2 Comments
Why You Should “Get It Right In Camera”

I know, you spent a bundle on the latest piece of post-processing software. Your most over-used photography phrase is, “I’ll just fix it in post”.

It’s not surprising, really, and you’re not the only one. After all, post-processing has given us some really wonderful tools. We can make images sharper. We can clean up noise. We can fix underexposure and overexposure. We can adjust white balance. In a sense, we’ve kind of made things too easy on ourselves. Because that phrase “I’ll just fix it in post” is on a lot of photographers’ tongues, not just yours.
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Metering 101: How To Use Your Camera’s Metering Modes

Filed in Tips by on May 28, 2015 2 Comments
Metering 101: How To Use Your Camera’s Metering Modes

All modern consumer-level cameras come equipped with a light meter. And a good thing too, because without a meter photography would be at best, a game of educated guesses, and at worse, a festival of complete and utter frustration. But if I had to guess, I’d say that this most-important piece of photography equipment is probably the most taken-for-granted of anything that comes equipped on a camera. You change your shutter speed, aperture and ISO pretty regularly. You probably also change your white balance setting and your focusing mode. But you may not pay a whole lot of attention to your meter.
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White Balance 101 – How to Get It Right

Filed in Tips by on May 6, 2015 4 Comments
White Balance 101 – How to Get It Right

Until you started taking photos, you may not have even been aware of such a thing as white balance. That’s because in the real world, white balance is a function of your brain. Our brains are pretty good at white balance, actually, so good that many photographers have to train themselves to consciously understand what our brains just do for us behind the scenes, every single day.

However, your camera isn’t as smart. Fortunately, there is an easy way to make sure you don’t get a color ‘cast’ in your photos.
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How to Bracket without Auto-Bracketing

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How to Bracket without Auto-Bracketing

Our cameras are wonderful tools. They can measure the available light and use that information to make a good guess about what settings are required to get the highlights, shadows and everything in between pretty close to the way it was in real life. As photographers, we rely on our cameras and metering system to do this job – without those metering systems, we’d have to use our eyes and brains to figure out the right shutter speed and aperture combination.

But here’s the thing: all that wonderful technology still isn’t good enough to guarantee perfect results every single time. Your camera does a pretty good job of most of the time But it can’t account for all those different variations in light that might happen in unusual situations.

That’s where bracketing can work well. Today, we’ll look at bracketing, why it works, and how you can bracket your own images without needing to let the camera do it.
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Shooting Modes Explained: What M, AV, TV, P, and B Really Mean

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Shooting Modes Explained: What M, AV, TV, P, and B Really Mean

Good news, you’ve got a fancy new camera. Bad news, you have no idea how to use it or what any of the settings do or mean. Making the jump from a point and shoot to a DSLR requires you to embrace a massive learning curve. Below is some information to demystify the shooting modes and help you differentiate each mode from the others.
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Understanding Your Camera’s Settings

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Understanding Your Camera’s Settings

You finally did it. Goodbye point and shoot cameras with fixed lenses, bogus “digital zoom” and little idiot-proof icons in place of real settings. Goodbye sub-par images and limited functionality. You’ve finally entered the world of DSLR photography.

If you’re like a lot of people, the euphoria wore off as soon as you picked up your DSLR’s manual. That thing is like a brick with pages. Flipping through it is an exercise in uselessness and sitting down to read it is something you might have time to do after retirement.

So, maybe you put the manual away and sheepishly set your camera to “Auto.” And maybe that’s where it’s been ever since.

Today, I’ll show you what the most common settings on your camera do, and how to use them effectively.
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Panning: Capture Motion Blur and Keep your Subject in Focus

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Panning: Capture Motion Blur and Keep your Subject in Focus

If you enjoy sports and other fast-moving things, then you’ve probably spent some time marveling at the amazing photos some photographers manage to capture of fast-moving subjects. You know the ones I mean: a sharp subject against a streaky, blurred background. A photo that says “speed.”

You may even have tried to capture a similar image. And unless you tried again … and again … and again … you probably came away from the experience frustrated and disappointed.

That’s because this technique, which has the deceptively simple name “panning,” is extremely difficult to master. And even photographers who have mastered it still get it wrong some of the time–maybe even most of the time, depending on how challenging the subject is. But I’ll show you the tricks to give yourself a better-than-even chance!
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Taking Captivating Photos in the Rain

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Taking Captivating Photos in the Rain

Let’s say you’re headed out to the beach to take some photos of the surf. You check out the weather forecast on your smart phone and learn that torrential downpours are expected for most of the afternoon. Do you A) stay inside and play Mahjong all afternoon or B) reschedule your trip, then play Mahjong all afternoon or C) pack up your camera and rain guard and go anyway?

If you avoided answer C, then you need some tips on rain photography. Because most hobbyists will answer A or B (or some variation thereof), and most have no idea how many great shots they’re missing.
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5 Situations To Use Your Camera’s Program Modes

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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.
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High Burst Rate Explained

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High Burst Rate Explained

Have you ever attempted to take photos of a fast moving subject and failed miserably? Sometimes the moment you release the shutter is not quite the moment you actually wanted to capture. An advantage of a DSLR over a point and shoot is the quick reaction of the shutter to your finger. Even with responsive shutter release it is not always quick or timely enough to get the most important shot. You may snap away only to realize you barely missed the game winning goal. Wouldn’t it be nice to increase your odds of getting a great shot? Using high burst rate mode is a way to take multiple shots with one push of a button, improving your odds of nailing it.
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Shooting in Burst Mode

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Shooting in Burst Mode

If you learned how to take photos on an old fashioned SLR camera, complete with $8-per-roll Kodak film (not counting processing fees), then the idea of shooting in burst mode (called “motor drive” in those days) was probably terrifying. Unless, of course, you had financial backing from the newspaper you were working for, or a wildly successful photography business, or maybe you just inherited a small fortune from a wealthy uncle and could afford to burn film.

Lucky for us modern digital photographers, the days where lots of shots meant lots of money are gone. Today most DSLRs (and many point and shoots, too) can shoot in burst mode, which means you can increase your chances of capturing that amazing shot without having to spend your inheritance on film.
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Continuous Focus Mode

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Continuous Focus Mode

Getting the action shot can be difficult. It goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyway) that it is typically harder to take a great photo of a moving subject than a stationary one. It’s the bottom of the 9th and you snap a picture just as your son steals home for the win. You may think your shot is a winner only to find your son is actually a blur, and you didn’t really capture the moment like you hoped. You can switch solely to landscape shots or take up tortoise photography, or you can learn how to photograph a moving target more effectively. There is a simple change you can make to your auto focus settings to do just that.
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Five Surprising Uses for your Camera’s Self-Timer

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Five Surprising Uses for your Camera’s Self-Timer

Most modern cameras have a self-timer feature. You might know this feature best as that setting that allows you to actually be in the photo as well as your subjects. This is particularly great for photogra-moms and/or photogra-dads. You know, the person in your family who is always behind the camera and never in the photo. The person who, as a result, is so absent from the family album that viewers wonder if she or he actually comes along on any of those family outings.

Self timers are great for those family photographers because they allow the person behind the camera to get in front of the camera. But did you know self-timers have other uses too?
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How to fix (or just avoid) Distracting Backgrounds

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How to fix (or just avoid) Distracting Backgrounds

Have you ever snapped what seemed like a great picture only to discover that there was something in the background that slaughtered your otherwise perfect shot? Maybe it was a person wearing bright colors doing something incredibly boring, like feeding a parking meter. Maybe it was a photobomb, and not the good kind, either. And then there’s those non-animate background distractions: tree branches that seem to grow right out of your subject’s head, or signs directing the whole neighborhood and everyone who sees your photo to the nearest laundromat.

Yes, backgrounds are important. And to the extent that they can actually turn a great shot into something terrible, they can sometimes be even more important than your subject.
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