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Tag: tripod

Panning: Capture Motion Blur and Keep your Subject in Focus

Filed in Tips by on April 10, 2014 5 Comments
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 Your First Night Photos

Filed in Tips by on March 20, 2014 0 Comments
Taking Your First Night Photos

We all lead busy lives. The world is likely dark when you get up and has already settled back into darkness by the time you get home. Not exactly great for getting your camera out and taking some shots. Have you ever considered getting out at night to take photos? Night photography can be intimidating but don’t be afraid of the dark! Read on to learn how to take your first night photographs. Night, night baby!
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How To Shoot Photos in the Dark

Filed in Tips by on February 15, 2014 6 Comments
How To Shoot Photos in the Dark

Light! It’s the single most important element in any photograph. Without light, you’ve got no image. Without the right light, you’ve got a bad image. In photography, light is everything.

And with that in mind, I’m going to tell you how to shoot photos in the dark.

But wait, didn’t you just say that light is everything? Yes, I did. And the reason that you can still take great photos in the dark is because – with the possible exception of a very deep cave or a crevasse at the bottom of the ocean – there’s really no such thing as “dark” here on Earth.
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Motion Blur Photography

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Motion Blur Photography

Every photographer knows the anguish of a photo that’s been messed up by motion blur. It happens to all of us – you’re trying to shoot a soccer game at dusk, and as it gets darker your aperture gets wider and your shutter speed gets slower. Finally, you capture that trick shot your son has been practicing all season and, dang. Motion blur. Your soccer star’s feet don’t show clearly, and the background is a mess. The ball looks kind of cool, though.

Ah ha! That’s the part you have to hang on to. The ball looks kind of cool. And motion blur photographs can be really cool, if you shoot them correctly, with purpose, and if you shoot a lot of them.
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Tips For Long Exposure Photography

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Tips For Long Exposure Photography

Long exposure photography is something most hobbyists have tried at some point or another. Slow shutter speeds are necessary, after all, for capturing flash-free images after dark. But long exposures aren’t just for low light. Those surreal-looking photos of streaky skies and misty waters are long exposures, too. Let’s see how to take them!
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How To Photograph a Rainbow

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How To Photograph a Rainbow

So you’re driving home from work one day, and your DSLR is sitting in the passenger seat next to you. It just stopped raining and the light is amazing – so amazing that you’re tempted to pull over and take a photograph. Then you see it: a real reason to stop and take a photo. A rainbow has appeared in a nearby field, just between a red barn and a couple of cows. You stop your car and lift the camera, but for some reason the rainbow looks faint – almost non-existent – in your viewfinder. You snap the photo anyway, but the rainbow looks faint on the image, too. You look up – the rainbow still looks as brilliant as it did before, but for some reason it’s avoiding your camera. What did you do wrong?
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Capturing Compelling Forest Photos

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Capturing Compelling Forest Photos

Line is one of those compositional elements that can really make a photograph. That’s why it’s one of the six classic design elements – line can create emotion and a sense of depth. It can be the difference between a good photo and a great one.

That’s why a well-composed shot of a forest is almost always going to be a great photo. There are lines everywhere in a forest, particularly vertical lines. Vertical lines convey as sense of power and strength. They can give your viewer a sense of spirituality, majesty, wonder and infinite height. If you’re looking for a subject that can convey emotion even without the presence of human beings, this is the one.
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How to take a Perfect Panoramic Photograph

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How to take a Perfect Panoramic Photograph

Today’s point and shoot cameras have a ton of bells and whistles. If you own one of these little cameras, you may not even be aware of all of those fancy features. In fact you may be surprised to discover that your little point and shoot (or phone camera) is capable of some things that your DSLR isn’t. One of the most widely under-utilized bells (or maybe whistles) that point and shoot camera have is the panoramic mode. While you certainly can take panoramic images using a camera without this feature, it does make these shots infinitely simpler.

But what if you don’t have one of these cameras? Let’s see how to take images appropriate for panoramas, and how to stitch them together.
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When To Use A Cable Release and Remote Shutter Release

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When To Use A Cable Release and Remote Shutter Release

One of the least expensive tools in your photography tool box can also be the handiest. Ranked high up there on my list is the cable release or remote shutter release. Professional photographers know that to take the best photos with the least amount of camera shake involved, a tripod mount and a cable release or remote shutter release are must haves. That combination takes the movement of your body out of the equation when you’re shooting photos. Today, I’ll break down the difference before diving into how they’re best used and why one might be better than the other in certain situations.
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Photographing Landscapes at Twilight

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Photographing Landscapes at Twilight

You’ve heard me talk oh-so many times about that magic hour, the time just after sunrise and just before sunset when the light has that beautiful, magical quality that can transform a dull, flat scene into a stunning photograph.

What you haven’t heard me talk so much about is twilight. Twilight could be called something similar – that glittering hour, perhaps, or that surreal hour. Twilight photos are different because there’s that element of other-worldliness to them that only appears during that brief moment between day and night. Twilight can be a beautiful setting for any photo, but particularly for landscapes. Master creating twilight images and your photo collection will really be spectacular.
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Electrifying Lightning Photography

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Electrifying Lightning Photography

There are very few photographic subjects like lightning. Lightning is unpredictable, appears only for a split second and is best captured by pointing your camera at an empty piece of sky and hoping something happens. A good lightning image cannot fail to impress a viewer, though, who will probably think you got that image by engaging in some thrilling, dangerous storm chasing, maybe even in a torrential downpour while riding in an open-topped jeep across a rocky field. Yes, on the coolness scale there isn’t much that rivals a good lightning photo, except maybe a tornado.
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Photographing Mushrooms

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Photographing Mushrooms

“Fungal photography.” That’s like viral photography, right? Only slower moving and … itchier. Actually, no. “Fungal photography” is the quite literal term used to describe what for many people is a passion – photographing mushrooms. You won’t find much glamour in this little corner of the photography world. Mushroom photography can be dirty – like a growing in dung kind of dirty – and since mushrooms prefer damp, cool places seeking them out can sometimes be a miserable endeavor. But viewed through a camera lens when the light is just right, a mushroom can have beauty that goes far beyond those still-dirty button mushrooms and portobellos you find in your supermarket. Finding and shooting mushrooms can be a great challenge both physically and artistically, which, of course, is why you should do it.
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Taking Great Photos at the County Fair

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Taking Great Photos at the County Fair

Funnel cakes, ferris wheels and fun houses – what could be better than a county fair? With all those sights and lights, carnival photos should almost take themselves. Except that they usually don’t. So why is it so easy to capture blurry, chaotic and generally uninteresting shots at a carnival, and so hard to bring home photos that wow?

Carnival photography is tricky for a couple of reasons, and once you can pinpoint why your photos don’t have that wow-factor, you’ll be able to avoid those ever-present shooting conditions that create uninteresting photos even in that most interesting of settings.
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How To Create Beautiful Waterfall Pictures

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How To Create Beautiful Waterfall Pictures

One of life’s simple truths: you can’t walk past a waterfall without taking a photo of it. That would just be wrong!

But you don’t often get a chance to go back and do it over again, either, so you’d better make sure you get it right. Waterfalls are elusive creatures – and by that I mean that getting to them often requires a certain amount of effort, such as a long drive and/or a long hike. If you don’t get the right shot the first time you either have to hike in again or forget the whole endeavor. And waterfalls that aren’t secluded have the annoying extra problem of being surrounded by a lot of other people, most of whom are also trying to capture that perfect photo.

Here’s how to guarantee you’ll come home from that hike with plenty of beautiful waterfall pictures.
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Tips for great Halloween photography

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Tips for great Halloween photography

What do ghosts, goblins, and little princesses have in common? They come out after dark. You know, when it’s hard to get good pictures of them.

Halloween presents a lot of problems for photographers, because by the time all the action starts to happen that magic hour we love so much has already come and gone. But if you’re like every other camera-lugging mom, dad or hobbyist in search of a great shot, you don’t want to pass up a great night like Halloween just because the light isn’t right. There are still plenty of things you can do to get some great Halloween shots, and here’s a list to get you started.
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