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Tag: camera settings

How to use rear curtain flash for creative photos

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How to use rear curtain flash for creative photos

Intermediate Don’t use your camera’s onboard flash… most of the time.

You already know the reasons why you want to avoid using that onboard flash. It washes out your subjects’ faces. It creates harsh and ugly shadows behind everything in the scene. It causes red eye. It is, well, ugly. In most cases, it’s better to turn up your ISO than to rely on your flash. ISO technology is leaps and bounds ahead of where it used to be, and today even point-and-shoot cameras can provide good, low-grain images at high ISOs.

So now that I’ve said that, I’ll go on to say this: when used correctly and at the right time, flash can provide your photos with interesting and cool effects. So don’t exclude it from your bag of tricks altogether.
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5 Camera Setting Tips for Shooting Great Portraits

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5 Camera Setting Tips for Shooting Great Portraits

Intermediate Portraits are one of the most common photo ops out there. As a photographer, you’ll likely be asked at one point or another by family or friends to take their photo. Some photographers are naturals at capturing people while others freeze when the person is in front of the camera. They’re not sure how to pose them, how to find flattering light, or how to make the subject comfortable. After all, why should the subject be relaxed if your brow is sweating?

Take a deep breath, relax, and read these 5 tips for shooting great portraits before you agree to the challenge of a portrait shoot.
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Photographing Air Shows

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Photographing Air Shows

It’s air show season in the US, and that means hot weather, high-decibel noise and a whole bunch of hazy photos of tiny little specs in the sky.

Air show photography is tough! Unless you’re in an airplane looking down at the performers, it can be difficult to get a great shot at an air show. But don’t worry, you don’t have to leave that camera at home. There are plenty of things you can do to get the most out of your air show visit.
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Understanding autofocus

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Understanding autofocus

Intermediate Modern camera technology has done a lot for photographers like you and me. Intelligent metering systems have made it possible for us to take pictures on the fly in changing lighting situations, without having to stop to take new readings and make adjustments. Digital technology has vastly reduced the daily expenses of photography, allowing us to take a lot more photos than we used to, thereby increasing the number of truly amazing shots we capture in any one outing. And let’s not forget the often under-appreciated autofocus. Imagine having to manually twist that focusing ring every single time you wanted to take a picture, like they did in the olden-days. But do you truly understand your camera’s various autofocus modes and how they work?
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The Magic Cloth Technique

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The Magic Cloth Technique

Advanced If you shoot landscapes – especially scenes containing water, such as waterfalls, oceans and lakes, you probably already know something about using a neutral density (ND) filter. The neutral density filter is the go-to tool for any photographer who wants to take a long exposure during daylight hours. All those stunning images of misty oceans and rivers that you’ve admired were probably taken with ND filters. But if you don’t have a set of ND filters there is another trick you can employ to capture similar images – and it’s less expensive and more flexible than a set of ND filters, too.
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Painting with Light

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Painting with Light

You’ve heard me talk a lot lately about inspiration, and about how to find great photos in boring places. Let’s say you’ve tried a bunch of those tips but would really like to break out of that whole reality box and try something completely different. Here’s an idea: get yourself a flashlight, a few glow-sticks from the dollar store and a tripod and try painting with light.
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Three Photography Basics

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Three Photography Basics

In the days before point and shoot cameras – back when SLR cameras didn’t have any automatic features at all, everyone who wanted to take photographs had to understand the basic principles of exposure. Film was expensive and you just couldn’t afford to waste a shot on a guess, so you had to really understand how your camera functioned and what settings you needed to use to ensure a correct exposure.

Today we have the great luxury of the “auto” setting, and because of that a lot of us have gotten lazy. So lazy, in fact, that there are some people who love photography, own DSLRs and consider themselves to be photographers on at least some level that still don’t understand those very basic principles of exposure. And for those of us who do have a basic understanding, a quick review is never a bad thing. Ready?
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What is program mode and how do you use it?

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What is program mode and how do you use it?

Unless you exclusively shoot landscapes and still-lifes, you know that photography is an art of capturing life in motion. People are always moving – their faces change expression, their interest shifts from one part of a scene to another, they walk away, they run off or they simply stop being interesting. If you’re going to capture that once-in-a-lifetime moment, you need to be quick. And for many of us, that means there just isn’t enough time to mess around with dials and settings.

Contrary to popular belief, though, you don’t need to go fully automatic to achieve that faster-than-mere-mortals ability to capture the moment as it happens. Fortunately, modern camera manufacturers give us a range of settings to choose from, from auto to full manual and several in between. But when should you make that switch from auto and what mode should you try first?
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What is the Neutral Density Filter?

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What is the Neutral Density Filter?

Photoshop has replaced a lot of the gadgets we used to depend on as photographers. Colored and soft focus filters are now no longer needed because their effects can be duplicated easily in post-processing. Warming/cooling filters for different types of light are also no longer useful because most digital cameras have a white balance setting that makes them completely obsolete. But some filters can’t be easily replaced with a simple Photoshop command, and one of the most practical is the neutral density filter. In this article, I’ll explain what a Neutral Density filter is, and when it’s helpful to use one.
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Some In-Camera Adjustments For An Image That Goes POP!

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Some In-Camera Adjustments For An Image That Goes POP!

What makes an image beautiful? For many, it’s color. But your camera isn’t going to give you great colors out of the box. It’s a ‘dumb’ piece of equipment. Even with all of our sophisticated computer technology, your camera is still guessing which settings will reveal the best photo. Most of the time, it’s wrong, and that’s why you get a lot of grey and washed out images when you use automatic settings. Other camera settings are much more ideal for creating heightened color contrast. Let’s have a look at them.
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Why Don’t You Tell Us Which Settings To Use?

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Why Don’t You Tell Us Which Settings To Use?

Hey guys. I just want to start by thanking you so much for your feedback on all of my articles. I’m excited that they’re helping you out as much you say they are. Over the last few years, I’ve gotten a bunch of fairly common questions. More than one of you has wondered why I don’t give out specific camera settings in my articles. By that I mean telling you exactly which aperture, shutter speed, or ISO speed setting to use to get a certain photo. Hopefully I can clear things up by explaining why I can’t do that. Rather than just being a nay-sayer, I’ll also tell you how YOU can find the appropriate camera settings to use for your photos.
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What is Exposure Bracketing?

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What is Exposure Bracketing?

If there’s one point I keep mentioning over and over again, it’s this. Automatic mode doesn’t always give you the best images. It can get very close to what you want, but because it can’t gauge the light perfectly, you sometimes end up with images that are either too bright or too dark. Your subject might have his or her face blacked out while the sunset in the background is a perfect orange. That’s why I’ve encouraged so many of you to learn manual photography. And guess what? Exposure bracketing is what I’ve been telling you to do all along.
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Some Tips For Snowy Day Portraits

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Some Tips For Snowy Day Portraits

When you think of cold temperatures and snowfall, you rarely think “hey, what a great opportunity to snap some portraits of my friends.” Most of us are a slave to the notion that cloudy weather equals bad photography. We somehow believe the color will be washed out or everything will look gray. Not so my friends. I want to challenge that idea and show you why a snowy day can yield some pretty fantastic results.
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Should I Set The Sharpness Level On My Camera?

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Should I Set The Sharpness Level On My Camera?

Your camera does a lot more to your images than you think. Just as you take a picture, your camera adjusts the white balance and the sharpness for you. How much it does this depends on the settings you give it. With that, many readers have wondered if they should even bother setting the sharpness level on their cameras. Is it worth it, or does it just end up giving you a lot less freedom later on?
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I Challenge You To Try These 5 Things In Photography

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I Challenge You To Try These 5 Things In Photography

Do you remember when you were a kid and totally afraid to jump in the water and swim? We’ve all been there. In life, some things just freak us out, and it’s no different in photography. I know it sounds strange, but we all need to be pushed sometimes. We need someone to force us to do something in a new and different way. So today I’m going to act as that person. I want you to try these 5 things.
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