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Posts Tagged ‘Photography Tips’

Dawn Over Vejer de la FronteraVejer Bursting With History

Vejer de la Frontera is a hilltop town in Andalucía in the south of Spain. It is located around 10 km inland from the coast and 200m above sea level. As the town is perched on a rocky hill, it is easy to see the Atlantic Ocean and even on a clear day Africa in the distance.

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

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

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.

I love to get out of the house to go shoot photos. And I love to just pick the camera up and start shooting with out having to think too much about what setting my camera is on. This is because I know how I left it from the last time I used it. But how can I remember that?

Usually when I am on a photo shoot I am really into what I am doing and by the time I have finished I am really tired and just want to put my camera away. Over time however, I have trained myself to remember to do a few easy things when finished photographing to be ready for the next photo session. These are now my personal “default settings” that I know my camera will be on when I next pick it up.

7 Things To Remember When Finished Photographing

1. Set Camera To ISO100

ISO100

There are three crucial components to creating every exposure…

ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed

When taking a photo either in automatic or in full manual mode, there are three crucial components to creating every exposure. ISO, Shutter Speed and Aperture. Each component influences the other and reducing one component means increasing another. When using automatic, the camera decides the setting for you, however if you want to take control and have more creativity with your photography, it is a good idea to understand how the exposure triangle works and switch to Manual or Semi Manual. This is Part 3 of a 3 part series of blog posts on the exposure triangle.

Part 3: Shutter Speed

There are three crucial components to creating every exposure…

ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed

When taking a photo either in automatic or in full manual mode, there are three crucial components to creating every exposure. ISO,  Aperture and Shutter Speed. Each component influences the other and reducing one component means increasing another. When using automatic, the camera decides the setting for you, however if you want to take control and have more creativity with your photography, it is a good idea to understand how the exposure triangle works and switch to Manual or Semi Manual. This is Part 2 of a 3 part series of blog posts on the exposure triangle.

Part 2: Aperture

There are three crucial components to creating every exposure.

ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed

When taking a photo either in automatic or in full manual mode, there are three crucial components to creating every exposure. ISO,  Aperture and Shutter Speed. Each component influences the other and reducing one component means increasing another. When using automatic, the camera decides the setting for you; however if you want to take control and have more creativity with your photography, it is a good idea to understand how the exposure triangle works and switch to Manual or Semi Manual. This is Part 1 of a 3 part series of blog posts on the exposure triangle.

Part 1: ISO

In photography as in art, sport or with any other discipline, there are certain instincts we have built in to us and perhaps that is why we are drawn towards our chosen area. Sometimes these instincts are helpful and other times a hindrance. Below is a list of 3 instincts to master that don’t always come naturally when it comes to photography and also 2 instincts to forget. Unfortunately these instincts better forgotten do come naturally to most of us and they can really hold us back from getting more out of our photography. This said, we can unlearn them and teach ourselves the correct ways to go about our photography, master those and make them instinctive.

3 Photography Instincts To Master

 1. Composition – Rule Of Thirds

Rule of Thirds

The human eye is truly amazing. We are able to see millions colours irrespective of whether we are inside or outside, candle light or daylight. As we are used to this we really take it for granted. Cameras on the other hand are a lot more limited than we think. Time and again when looking back at photos we’ve taken, the colours don’t seem to be how we remembered them when we were there taking the photo.  This is really noticeable when taking photos indoors with different light sources.

Seta

For people interested in nature, autumn is a great time to get out and get amongst it. It’s a perfect time of the year for the landscape photographer as the days are getting shorter, the light is not as intense and the sunsets can last a lot longer, giving more opportunity to catch that perfect shot. Not only that, but in many gardens and parks there are some very interesting things going on. From the changing colours of autumn leaves, to autumn flowers bursting with colour.

Mushrooms Are On The Menu

5 Steps To Keep Photography Fun

For most of us photography is an enjoyable pastime. We shoot photos of family and friends, the odd selfie, landscapes and even that beautiful sunset overlooking the neighbours tiled rooftop with TV antenna included!

Yes it’s lots of fun taking happy snaps, but it’s not until later when we look at them on the computer that we realise that the photos we took don’t really look much like what we hoped they would. We start feeling discouraged and begin to doubt that photography is fun after all.

Hello and welcome to my photography blog

My name is Simon Pratley, I am really passionate about photography and I would like you to be passionate about it too. I want to help you to understand more about photography, so I have set up this blog to share some of my tips and views on photography and on post production.

Whether you are using a camera phone, a compact camera, or a DSLR, I will explain techniques that everyone can apply to their photography to keep photography fun, like the way it is meant to be. I will do my best to not make anything too complicated and explain things clearly when using technical terms. If ever you need any clarification, please let me know. read more

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