How and why, shooting RAW photography
January 18, 2018 by Mike in Hints and tips, tutorial 0 Comments

Shooting in RAW may seem really daunting, but it’s not that bad at all and it will actually help you produce better photographs in the long run.  If you are doing any kind of work on your photographs in a program such as Lightroom, capture one, DxO OpticsPro, or one of the other great processing programs, then you might as well be shooting in RAW. These are the benefits: More latitude in post processing If you’re slightly out on the exposure, there’s much more information in the RAW file so you will be able to bring it back to what you wanted in the first place, recover highlights and recover shadows You control the sharpness, and push it further. You don’t have to worry too much about white balance It has a ton of information when it comes to white balance. I tend to set it to what I think it should be (unless I’m filming) and then tweak it afterwards. Better images All in all you’ll be separating the photographing and editing so you’ll end up with better photographs. When you shoot Jpegs – the camera tends to do all the sharpening, colour profiling, etc for you so you […]

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Travelling with Camera Gear
January 11, 2018 by Mike in Hints and tips 0 Comments

These are 7 tips for travelling with camera gear It seems as thought the airlines are always trying to clamp down on something…..I used to be a professional kitesurfer and travelling with kit in the early 2000 was a pain and there would always be a threat of not getting kit on the plane. Nowadays, it has been scaled all the way down to hand luggage. The annoying thing is that you’re only allowed 7kgs on some airlines but you’re not allowed to purchase any more weight allowance for hand luggage….they’ll just chuck it in the hold…..which is less than practical for camera gear. Cameras are getting lighter but I usually have about 15kgs on my back….so once agin, like in my old kitesurfing days, its a case of running the gauntlet to get kit through the journey. I have many different bags, from peli cases through to day bags. Even though the pelican case is rack solid….this always draws a lot of attention…..and always gets weighed. So Ive found there are ways to tip the odds in your favour. These are 7 ways I get my kit through checkin and onto the plane. 01. Consider taking less and more […]

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An introduction to long exposure photos (without an ND)
January 3, 2018 by Mike in Hints and tips, How to, tutorial 0 Comments

Today I am going to show you an easy way to get into long exposure photography without an ND filter. Now this won’t get you those classic daytime long exposure shots but it will teach you all about long exposure photography and how the settings change as the amount of light drops going into the camera. Long exposure photography is similar to night time and astrophotography, so hopefully you’ll get lots of value from this lesson. All you need is a camera and a tripod, a few hours before and after sunset in a safe place and a bit of knowledge behind your menus in your camera. Also First of all, you need to set up the camera properly. This is more of a learning exercise than a photo capturing session but if you go somewhere interesting, you could easily get a great image. It will also show you how the light changes from day to night. With long exposure, the clue is in the name. It’s all about shutter speed and how long it is open, the longer the shutter is open for, the longer the light streaks are and the more smooth and dreamy water and moving clouds become. So […]

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3 Questions to ask yourself every time you take a photograph
December 14, 2017 by Mike in Hints and tips, How to 0 Comments

This week, I show you three questions to ask yourself after you’ve taken the shot If you ask yourself these three questions, and the answer is yes to all of them, then you have a good image. If you get into the habit of doing this….it’s a way of identifying problems in your photography and solving those problems. Is it clear? Is it exposed right? Do you like the composition? If yes to all three, you’ve got a good image. 01. Is it clear? Is it in focus and tack sharp? There are two ways to have a blurry image. 01. – if it isn’t focussed correctly, it’ll be blurry.   02.  – if the shutter speed isn’t high enough to cope with shooting handheld, then you’ll get motion blur. Motion blur tends to be sideways motion and focusing is a fuzzy issue.   If it is motion blur, get your shutter speed higher and then compensate with either raising your ISO or opening up your aperture…or shoot from a tripod, if the situation allows it. Now focussing is subjective but just think, is the subject in focus where I want it to be? Just make sure you have your focussing […]

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Shooting the stars
November 27, 2017 by Mike in Uncategorized 0 Comments

Shooting the stars, or astrophotography, is one of those specialist sides to photography. You don’t need to have fancy kit, but it does help. As there is very little light about, the camera needs to be good at low light capture and your lens needs to be as fast as possible….and if you’re photographing the milky way, or trying to capture shooting stars, you’ll need as wide a lens as possible. I shot my first astro shots with the canon 350d and the 10-20mm sigma, they didn’t come out that well, but I was hooked and wanted to get my image quality better and wanted to get some milky way shots. Now I shoot with the A7rii (I haven’t upgraded the firmware and I am not going to as apparently the update automatically reduces what it thinks is noise…..and it seems to think stars are noise….) This is know as the “star eater” upgrade…..The A7rii is great in low light and gets great shots of the stars. Lenses I use two different lenses, the samyang 14mm f2.8 and the Zeiss Batis 25mm f2. So With the samyang,it is a really wide lens, and surprisingly sharp for the price I paid […]

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5 Ways To Make Your Photography Life Easier
November 9, 2017 by Mike in Hints and tips, How to 0 Comments

Sometimes it’s the little things in life that matter. Those small things sometimes seem so insignificant and could be washed over or missed, but when you take notice and really dig deep, it’s these things that make you stand out form the crowd. In photography, there are things that annoy me, like ridiculously small batteries in the sony cameras, and memory cards that don’t have a little built in voice warnings saying “I am full” or “back me up idiot” or “don’t hit that format button!” But, until these things are invented, there are a few things we can do, to make our lives easier. These are my 5 tips for you. Some I use now and then, and some I do everyday! Like the elastic band trick…..this has saved me so much time!!!   01. Use lens and camera covers to hold your memory cards Need somewhere to stash your memory cards? Put them in your camera sensor cover, and then put the back lens cap on this to give you a little pouch to safely store them in.   02. Use hats to protect your lenses If you have a few lenses, they might roll around in your bag…. […]

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Scouting a Photography location
November 3, 2017 by Mike in Hints and tips, How to 0 Comments

Scouting a location When I’m shooting in a new location, or I want to find new places to photograph near home, there’s nothing better than getting out and about. I search on google maps for things that stand out, I look to see what other photographers have captured in the area to get inspiration and then we go out hiking, up in the mountains, along beaches, etc, and find the things we’ve seen on line. Step 1 When searching on google, look for things you might find interesting….you have to use your imagination a little here, but any big standout features can work. Step 2 Find out what other photographers have captured in the area. This might seem like you’re copying others, but you need to learn your craft, and what better way than to learn off others. When you learn to play an instrument, you pick your best songs, find a “how to play” video on YouTube and then learn to play it. Once you get good enough and know the principles…..and want to take it to another level….you start to write your one songs. Photography is the same, learn from the best, and then make it your own! […]

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Customising Your Sony Camera
November 2, 2017 by Mike in Camera setup, How to 0 Comments

Customising Your Sony Camera (A7 and RX10) This is aplicable to the sony a7ii, a7sii, a7rii and the rx10iii. (for the RX10iii scroll down past the A7 settings to the RX10iii section) I’m I suppose what you’d call a hybrid shooter. I shoot both video and photographs, so I’ve come up with the following setup for my camera to make it as easy as possible. The Sony menu system is one of those anomalies in the world where common sense seems to have been thrown out the window, however, it doesn’t have to be all that bad. Now this isn’t an in-depth guide on the menus, there are tonnes of those of youtube. This is just a quick setup of the essentials to get the things I use in a place where I can access them quickly and efficiently. There are basically three different customisable areas:   A7Sii Dials So the main settings you want access to are ISO, aperture and shutter speed. On the A7 cameras you have three dials, so it make sense to put these three settings on these dials. ISO on back dial, Shutter on back top dial and aperture on front finger dial.   On […]

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A Bag for the Zhiyun Crane
October 25, 2017 by Mike in Hints and tips, How to, Travel 0 Comments

This is a quick post to show you my camera bag and how I set it up to hold my Zhiyun Crane, fully assembled. If you don’t want to read about it, you can check out my youtube video about it below: Now the Zhiyun Crane is an awesome gimbal, but a pain to pack away. I used to take the handle off, but this meant from taking it out of the bag to being ready to film took a minute or two and to be honest was a bit of a hassle. Now with this bag and the way I’ve set it up, the zhiyun crane version 1 squeezes in fully assembled. It also holds a second camera and a whole load of other lenses and equipment I might need during the day. I can have a camera on the gimbal at all times now, if I want to film, I can whip this sucka out and if I need to photograph, I just undo the quick release and get it on the tripod. One of the other great things about this bag is that it has an opening hatch on the top; you can stand the bag up between […]

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The Supermoon 2016 – Dubai
September 13, 2017 by Mike in Uncategorized 0 Comments

Photographing the moon is pretty straight forward; all you need is a long (very long) lens, a tripod and of course a camera. The moon also is pretty bright, so to get the best exposure, your shutter speed has to be a lot faster than you think. As well as this, if you don’t have a huge telephoto lens, it’s worth getting a point of interest in the shot, to give it an environment to sit in. After a bit of research, I found there would be a few different places to get some good shots of the moon as it rose from the horizon, from Mushrif Park to The Palm. As I only had the canon 70-200mm I figured it would be best to head out to the Palm and get the iconic Burj Al Arab with the moon. I use an app called moonseeker to work out where it is going to rise at. I normally find this to be ok, but this time it seemed to freak out and not give me an accurate location to shoot from. (Next time, I’m taking a compass). Tip: With a compass and the Moonseeker app, you will be able to […]

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