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Posts Tagged ‘Camera Tips’

It’s been a while since I last blogged, so I thought it was time to post another post! In the past I have given tips about photography and explained about camera settings etc. Now I am going to start to tell you about the photos I have taken and how I took them. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.

Pink Sky Over Freshwater Beach


Located on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, Freshwater Beach does not receive the tourist crowds as much as other Sydney beaches. The name originally comes from a freshwater stream that once ran down to the beach and into the sea. The stream may no longer be there, but the beauty of this beach still remains.

This photo was taken on the southern end of the beach looking north at sunset. As the tide was fairly high and the waves were breaking over the rock

Photography is an art form that allows you to create images with the camera that your eye can’t recreate naturally. Light, distance and time can be manipulated to create images that look dreamlike. There are many different techniques that can help you achieve your creative goals. One of these techniques that is most satisfying and fun to do is creating light trails. This is a technique that is not at all difficult and can produce fascinating images.

How to Create Light Trails

Light trails are most typically created by head and tail lights on cars, trucks and road traffic. Though photographing moving boats, aeroplanes and trains can also have good results. The best time to take photos of light trails is just after sunset or into the early evening. Photographers refer to this time as the “Blue Hour”. It is typically the time of the day where everything has a beautiful blue colourcast (this blue hour also happens just before sunrise). In the evening, photos taken after the blue hour won’t show as much detail in the sky as it will be too dark. Also typically the later in the evening it gets, the less traffic there will be to photograph.

What to look for when making light trails

To make light trails you need to look for a busy road or intersection, or at least somewhere where traffic is passing consistently with it’s lights on. You also need to consider your composition and what will appear in the bac

In photography the terms to be ‘open’ or to be ‘closed’, don’t refer to a photographer’s personality! What these terms refer to are the settings the photographer uses on a camera when taking the photo. But to be more specific, these terms refer to the setting of the lens, its aperture. Understanding this is the key to getting better results when taking your next photo.

Have you ever noticed and wondered why in portrait photos, the person being photographed is often the only part of the photo that is sharp and everything else is out of focus? That’s because the photographer used a wide aperture. On the other hand, often in landscape photos, everything seems in focus from the foreground to the background. This is because the photographer used a closed aperture. Sounds confusing?

The aperture controls what is known as the depth of field. Depth of field means how much of the photo is in or out of focus and is measured in f/stops. This is covered in more detail in my other blog post The Exposure Triangle: Part 2 Aperture. When taking a photo it is well worth considering the aperture and what impact changing it can make o

Image Stabilisation or Vibration Reduction, is a mechanism used in many modern high end compact cameras, DSLR cameras and DSLR lenses to help in the reduction of camera shake. The natural pulse in the photographer’s hands when taking hand held photos in low light situations is usually what causes camera shake. The result is a blurry picture.

Image Stabilisation

Photography is a static medium and differs from other modes of art such as video in that our image doesn’t move. However if we use our imagination, it is possible to give the illusion of movement in a photo. There are several techniques that can give this feeling, all of which require a longer exposure time than we are probably used to. By taking control of the shutter speed we can achieve very creative results and have a lot of fun doing it.

Over the past 20 years technology has advanced at lightning speed. During this time there have been many huge advances in cameras and camera equipment. These days all cameras have auto focus, LCD screens so you can see your photo the instant it was taken and some cameras can even add data to the photo to give an exact GPS point where the photo was taken in the world.

Why It Is Better To Shoot Black & White Photos In Colour

Looking back two decades, the majority of people were unaware of the evolution that photography was about to undertake. In the 1990’s photographers were still using film to take their photos. There was the choice of shooting film in traditional black & white or shooting in colour unless you opened the camera and changed the film roll. Back then as nobody knew any differently and so everyone was happy to shoot in one medium or the other. Fast forward 20 years to where we are today and the vast majority of people using cameras are only using digital. Film has been left as a distant memory, used only by diehard traditionalists or young art students discovering film for the first time.

The Wonders Of Modern Technology

On

While there are many forms of photography, some styles that are forever changing are urban and street photography. The street is full of exciting photography prospects, day, night, sun or rain. If you are lucky (or unlucky) enough to live in the city, there is always something going on that can create an interesting subject. So grab your camera and let’s go play in the street!

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To improve with photography, it’s very important to practice taking photos as often as we can. Realistically though, in our busy lives we often aren’t able to reach for our cameras and practice as regularly as we would like to. There are ways however to improve our photography that don’t need our camera in hand but only in mind. Here are 5 ways to be a better photographer without even taking a photo.

Know Your Camera

Regardless of whether you are using a camera phone, compact camera, mirrorless camera or DSLR, having a clean lens will give you the clearest image possible with your camera. A grubby lens with fingerprints, dust and smudges will result in poor images and a lot of frustration. Correct maintenance of your camera and lens is easy and well worth the effort.

Lens Cleaning Made Easy

One form of photography that I really enjoy is long exposure photography. I find this kind of photography pleasing to view and also a lot of fun to create. Longer exposures allow the photographer to express movement in the final image. If the exposure is long enough, it can give the illusion of flattening out the ripples and waves when photographing water or can create wispy clouds when incorporating skies into the photo. Longer exposures are most often used in landscape photography, architectural or astral photography.

Longer Exposures Expressing Movement

Longer exposures work by allowing the camera’s shutter to stay open for an extended time. So if taking a photo where there is moving water or a cloudy sky, a longer shutter speed will capture more movement and make for a creative shot. Exposures from ½ a second, to 5 seconds, to 5 minutes are common. However unless you are a real enthusiast or pro photographer with neutral density filters, which reduce the amount of light entering the camera, the best times of the day to do long exposures are early in the morning or late in the afternoon/evening when there is less ambient light.

The trick to creating an engaging long exposure photo is to make sure to have a static element in the frame, otherwise the long exposure will look like a blurry photo. If taking a photo of water, rocks or a pier could be used the static element and therefore the w

Is That Bokeh Or Just Plain Old Blur?

The word bokeh comes from the Japanese word for blur. In photography though it is more than this, it’s the quality of the blur. There are certain elements however that determine if it is bokeh, or just plain old blur.

Have you ever looked at a portrait photo in a magazine, book or online and been amazed by the soft out of focus and blurry background. This is usually the result of focusing on your subject and using a wide open aperture. Or in other words, an aperture with a low f/ number. A wide aperture helps to isolate the subject and throw the back ground out of focus. As a rule anything from f/4 and lower will create this effect. Having said that, the lower the f/ number at say f/2, the more the background will be thrown out of focus and look blurry.

There is one thing that we often overlook in photography and it is especially common for people who live near the coast…

Moisture And Mould

MouldWe like to think we take good care of our camera equipment by keeping it in our camera bags and making sure we protect it and that everything is safe and secure.  But moisture is something that can penetrate almost anything. Camera bags, drawers, wardrobes and even boxes are not safe. If left unnoticed, it is surprising how quickly moisture can start turning into mould. If this occurs inside your camera body or lens, the result can be devastating.

Unfortunately it happened to one of my lenses, a Sigma 18-200mm. Admittedly it wasn’t a lens I used a lot. At first the mould started appearing unnoticed inside my camera lens. I wondered why my photos were blurry. I just couldn’t get them sharp. I tried cleaning the lens thinking there must be a smudge or something that I hadn’t seen. I had a good look at the glass, but everything seemed fine. Frustrated, I put the lens away and started using another one.

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