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Tag: lens

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

Filed in Tips by on July 3, 2014 0 Comments
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.
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Easy Steps To Clean Your Camera and Lens

Filed in Tips by on May 29, 2014 4 Comments
Easy Steps To Clean Your Camera and Lens

Let’s say you just got home from The Best Vacation Ever. You’ve got some down time, so you decide to check out all those wonderful photos you took on your trip of a lifetime. You sit down at your computer and open up the first one – it’s a lovely shot of the ocean under a deep, blue sky. But what’s that over there in the corner? It looks like a piece of lint. You’re tempted to try brushing it off but it’s not on your computer screen, it’s on your photo. Damn.

While we can clean that spot in an image editor, it’s going to be around on every one of your future images. So let’s get rid of that spot forever. Let’s talk about a little Camera Cleaning.
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Image Sensor Size: What’s the Difference?

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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.
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Fine Tuning Portrait Poses

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Fine Tuning Portrait Poses

Most of the time, when you’re shooting portraits, you want your subject to be happy with the final photo. Not all the time, because honestly we all get a little bit of evil delight from catching a misbehaving toddler in full-tantrum mode, don’t we? But other than that and maybe a few other circumstances, it’s probably safe to say that when you’re shooting a portrait the photos are not just about your subject, they are for her, too.

And let’s face it, no one wants to look bad in a photo. And let’s also face this: it’s easy to make people look bad in pictures, even when they really look very good in person. If you’re going to be shooting a lot of portraits – especially if you plan to one day make them a part of your business – you need to know the tricks to posing your subjects so that they’ll look great in those photos. Here’s how.
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5 Uses for a Wide Angle Lens

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5 Uses for a Wide Angle Lens

Most people end up with the kit lens that comes with their new DSLR. It’s a good place to start, and this lens is usually in the range of 18-55mm or an upgrade to 18-135mm. The reason for a kit lens is to give you a diverse lens that will accommodate much of your image capturing needs. However, if a kit lens is all you have, and you’ve expanded your photography skills and interest, it’s likely you’ll want a few more lenses in your bag. The type of photography you do will influence your choice for your second lens. Today, I’ll make the case to purchase a wide angle lens.
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Using (and Abusing) Lens Flare

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Using (and Abusing) Lens Flare

Raise your hand if this has happened to you: you’re out shooting some photos in the late afternoon. The light is beautiful (it’s that magic hour), your subjects are particularly photogenic and you just know you’re going to end up with some amazing pictures. Then, when you get home and review your shots, you realize that you failed to take one little factor into account: the sun.

Yes, the sun. It makes the grass green and the tomatoes red. It gives us that beautiful, natural light that can never truly be matched in a studio. And it creates lens flare.

Now if you’re like a lot of photographers, you try to avoid lens flare, and when you have a senior moment like the one described above, you probably just delete the photos, grieve for them a little and then move on. But lens flare isn’t always the disaster that your Photography 101 instructor might have told you it was. In fact some photographers regularly use lens flare as a creative tool. So instead of avoiding lens flare, how can you rein it in and make it a part of your creative process? Let’s see how!
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Why Your Kit Lens Just Doesn’t Cut It

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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.
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Take Oustanding Wildlife Photographs

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Take Oustanding Wildlife Photographs

Almost everyone who owns a camera and has at least a passing interest in the great outdoors hopes to get that once-in-a-lifetime shot of a coyote, a deer, or some other elusive wild animal. And if you’re like most hobby photographers, then you’ve probably managed to miss more shots than you’ve actually captured.

That’s because it’s hard to photograph wildlife. Not only do most wild animals not want to be photographed, they don’t want to have anything to do with you. At all. That makes them particularly difficult subjects, which is why wildlife photography can be so rewarding. So how can you take your wildlife photography from the level of That-Spec-in-the-Distance-is-a-Deer to National-Geographic-has-Nothing-on-Me?
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The art of Freelensing

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The art of Freelensing

As photographers and in turn artists, we are constantly searching for new ways to invigorate our art and revitalize our passion for it. Sometimes this need to create something new and different causes us to try out unconventional and potentially ill-advised methods. Freelensing is one of these sometimes applauded, sometimes frowned upon practices which provides visually interesting photographs that are hard to recreate in any other fashion. But it also has its risks….
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Three Best Lenses for your DSLR

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Three Best Lenses for your DSLR

The best lenses for your DSLR depend on a lot of factors. Variables such as the camera brand, camera model, types of photography you do most, and your personal preferences are all components to picking the best lenses for your specific needs. Here I’ve outlined some recommendations that take those variants into consideration. Read on, but please try not to get gear envy!
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What is Vignetting? How Can I Avoid It or Get Rid of It?

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What is Vignetting? How Can I Avoid It or Get Rid of It?

Vignetting is one of those photography occurrences that people seem to love or hate. If you’re not even sure what it is, technically speaking, vignetting is a decrease in brightness of a photograph around its edges, usually most apparent in the corners, which are furthest from the center of your photograph. The brightness of the photograph is compromised in these darkened spots, and vignetting can have a negative effect on the accurate saturation.

When it comes to photography, vignetting is often undesirable; although to some degree, its popularity is on the rise due to Instagram and other camera app filter capabilities. However, when you’re using your DSLR, you should know when it’s going to happen and how to avoid it if you don’t want the effect. Let me get to the bottom of it for you.
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The Best Lenses for 5 Common Scenes

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The Best Lenses for 5 Common Scenes

Without a lens, our DSLRs couldn’t capture an image. The big question for most photographers looking to expand beyond the kit lens that came with their camera is: what lens to I buy next?

I thought I’d shed some light on lenses in order to help you decipher the best lenses for five common scenarios (Family, Flowers, Beach, Night, Landscapes), and depending on your specific needs, you can decide which one makes the grade for your next expenditure and addition to your camera bag.
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What Specs Really Matter in a DSLR?

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What Specs Really Matter in a DSLR?

You’ve saved your pennies, make that dollars and a lot of them, and now you’re ready for a new DSLR. Whether it’s your first one or if you’re upgrading, there’s one question that remains the same: What specs matter? From megapixel ratings to ISO to sensor size to full HD video capability, there’s a lot to consider. The good news is that nowadays almost, if not all, of the DSLRs out there have most of the basics, it’s just a matter of to what extent. Sort of like when all phones were available with caller-ID and call-waiting. Those kinds of features that they bragged about even though it was the norm by a certain time period. The same holds true with DSLRs. Megapixels in the double digits are standard. Things like that. So, let’s break the specs down and see what’s important to your photography needs and what’s a given already.
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Macro Lenses

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Macro Lenses

You’d think it would be easy to find a bug or a small flower and zoom right in and photograph it. That is until you try it. Macro photography is trickier than most would think. If you want to gain those magnificent results that go with it, you need to know what you’re doing. Macro photos have a way of taking a finite world and magnifying it to a grand level that captures your attention. Quite different from landscape photography’s broad scope, it tends to amaze viewers in different ways. This photo of the frog, captured with a 100mm macro lens, is a great example of a macro photograph that makes you want to go hangout on a lily pad! For the best macro results, follow some of these guidelines.
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6 Secrets to Maintaining Your DSLR Camera

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6 Secrets to Maintaining Your DSLR Camera

Whether you’ve invested in a lower end DSLR or went all out for a top model, the need to keep your camera maintained is imperative to quality photos and the lifelong care of your camera. It’s a shame when people invest money in something and then don’t take good care of it. What I’ve found though, is that one of the main reasons for this is that most people simply don’t know how to, so they delay and delay until it’s almost too late. Doing the research and starting good habits from the day you purchase your camera will ensure your investment is long lasting. These 7 tips will clear the air for you.
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