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Tag: Flash

Cloudy Day? Perfect for photography!

Filed in Tips by on March 28, 2014 0 Comments
Cloudy Day? Perfect for photography!

Don’t let anyone tell you that you shouldn’t take photos on overcast days. Sure, cloudy days have their challenges, but they don’t call them “nature’s softbox” for nothing. Just follow a few simple tips and your cloudy day photographs will prove to those naysayers that overcast conditions really are perfect for photography.
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Dealing with Difficult Lighting Situations

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Dealing with Difficult Lighting Situations

In the Photographer’s Perfect Paradise, the golden hour would last all day long. The light would forever be soft, your subjects would never squint and raccoon eyes would simply be markings on the face of a common North American procyonid.

But alas, we do not live in a Perfect Paradise. After all, we have to get up at dark-o-clock to take advantage of that elusive morning golden hour, and neither it nor the one in the afternoon lasts as long as we need them to. And the rest of the time, the light varies from occasionally splendid to just OK, to absolutely terrible. Can you hear those tiny violins? We photographers have it tough. Painters, they have it made. They can just paint the right light. We have to wait for it to come along. Or do we?
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What to Look for When Buying an External Flash

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What to Look for When Buying an External Flash

Until you use an external flash, it’s difficult to appreciate just how much of a difference they make. Since cameras come with a built-in flash, it’s easy to want to only that. I’m here to tell you, don’t settle for your built-in! Take a leap and pick up an external flash… you will thank me later. Built-in flashes create generic photographs; whereas external flashes do wonder for your images, especially people’s skin tone, but more on that in a bit. First, below are some tips on what to consider when buying an external flash.
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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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21 Outstanding Examples of Rear Curtain Flash

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21 Outstanding Examples of Rear Curtain Flash

Combine rear curtain flash with a slow shutter speed to capture a surreal image. The slow shutter speed will pick up a motion trail behind your subject and the rear curtain flash will freeze him or her in place at the end of the exposure (rather than the beginning, which is what most cameras do by default). This is one of those techniques that requires a lot of experimentation and a ton of wasted frames. Keep shooting, though, and you’ll be rewarded with a good handful of one-of-a-kind shots.
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How to Photograph Hummingbirds

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How to Photograph Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds are amazing creatures. Besides being colorful and often iridescent, hummingbirds are also unique compared to other birds. Depending on the species, a hummingbird’s wings move between 12 and 80 times per second (imagine trying to do that with your arms). They can fly forwards and backwards and can reach speeds up to 34 miles per hour. The smallest living species of bird is the bee hummingbird, which measures just 2 to 2 1/2 inches long and weighs less than 1/10th of an ounce.

So is it any wonder that photographers are drawn to these birds? Fortunately, with the right equipment and a little bit of knowledge about these tiny subjects, almost anyone can photograph a hummingbird.
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Tips for Summer Photos

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Tips for Summer Photos

Summer is fast approaching – in the northern hemisphere, anyway, and if that’s the half of the world where you reside you might benefit from some summer photography tips. (If not, then photographing winter landscapes might be more your thing.)

To photographers, summer is first and foremost a time of sun. Sun of course means bright, which of course means difficult lighting. You can get some great photos even in the middlish hours of the day, but you will need to keep a few things in mind. Here’s a short list to get you started.
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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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7 Tips for How to Take Close Up Photos of Nature

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7 Tips for How to Take Close Up Photos of Nature

Considering the billions of photographs out there, few of them have the tendency to stop us in our tracks and to really observe them the way close up nature photos do. There’s something compelling about the details in a micro world that isn’t always visible to the eye. There’s something awe inspiring about seeing a landscape image… the big view. But with macro photography, it’s as though we have zoomed in with a microscope or magnifying glass on a landscape photo to view the finite details.

Nature calendars are top sellers each year because of their inherent beauty that draws us in to a world that allows us to escape our own. From roaring oceans to rambling brooks to flower laden meadows nature inspires us to not only photograph it, but to observe it. As photographers, we’re lucky to find ourselves out there amongst the trees and fields and rivers finding something, almost anything, that captures our eye and lens.

This draw to nature doesn’t mean that it comes easy to photograph. It can be quite simple at times, but there are still tips worth noting, and that’s what I’m about to provide you with.
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Why You Should Own an External Flash

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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…
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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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6 Household Items To Create A Home Photo Studio

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6 Household Items To Create A Home Photo Studio

Did you know that you already have enough items in your house to build a small photography studio for yourself? Granted, it won’t be the best setup in the world. Your friends might laugh when they see how you’ve managed to rig it all together. But who’s laughing when you’re taking amazing studio portraits they could only dream of doing? If you’ve always wanted to get better at studio photography without paying extra money, look out for these six items.
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5 Photography Criticisms Your Friends Are Too Nice To Give

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5 Photography Criticisms Your Friends Are Too Nice To Give

I think I have a pretty good grasp of what people think of me. You can always tell from their engagement level. If someone is really getting into your work, they’ll offer a dozen reasons why they like what you’re showing them. If they’re not really into it, and believe me this has happened more times than I’m happy to mention, they’ll usually follow along and feign interest. You’ll hear the classic muted expressions, the half-hearted attempts to placate your ego. Here is what they wish they could have said, if only they weren’t so nice.
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Direct and Indirect Light

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Direct and Indirect Light

There are two types of light in this world; direct light and indirect light. Each of them serves a unique purpose in photography, and each has its advantages and disadvantages. Direct light is straight on, sometimes harsh and sometimes warm and colorful. For example, without direct light, the image to the right wouldn’t be nearly as colorful. Indirect light comes from all sides and completely illuminates your subject. Let’s take a moment and consider how each might be useful in your own photography.
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Is Flash Photography Dead?

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Is Flash Photography Dead?

Flashes, the age old staple of the modern photographer. They’ve been around as long as photographers have needed some kind of portable light source. But all of that might change very soon. The newest L.E.D. lights are not only inexpensive, they draw much less power than their fluorescent and incandescent counterparts. Plus, when compared to flash (which you can only see for a fraction of a second), they provide the kind of real-time feedback photographers love. Is it the end of flash photography as we know it?
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