A7Rii vs A7iii – Which one is for you?
November 8, 2018 by admin in Hints and tips, Photography 0 Comments

I’ve had these two cameras now for a while. A lot of you have been asking which one should I buy and even though the A7rii is the previous generation, its exactly the same price as the a7iii at the moment (Nov 2018), at $1,998. So I looked into the differences and similarities. Downloadable images So click on the image above to see my comparison video and then click on this link to go to the downloadable images. I’ve taken a few city night-scapes in Dubai as well as some astrophotography shots. Unfortunately I caught the cable on my external hard drive when I was backing up the astro shots (was lazy and didn’t back them up right away…..only after editing the good ones!)….. anyway, I  lost all of the raw files from that nights shoot, so they are only jpegs….but you should be able to see the similarities between the two cameras when shooting night-scapes. With the price of the A7riii being much higher, and the specs being subtly different, the A7iii seems like the one to get, however, with the release of this Camera, there seems to be a load of a7rii’s that have flooded onto the market. […]

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ISO Invariance

This week I am going to show you what ISO invariance is and why you need to know about it to get better photos. Click on the image above to watch the video. Downloadable images If you’re looking for the downloadable images to see for yourself, Click here It is a dropbox file with three folders. 2 images from the canon test, 2 images from the A7iii test and then the two images below (full res Jpegs) ISO In layman terms, ISO is basically how sensitive the sensor is to light. It is a standard set worldwide by the international standards organisation, hence the name, and it refers to the voltage that runs across the sensor. Technically; the higher the ISO figure, the higher the voltage running across the sensor and therefore the higher the amplification of the signal. Invariance Invariance basically means that there is no change. So ISO invariance means no change no matter what the ISO is. What this means In terms of cameras and their sensors, the main thing that is affected by ISO is noise…..so in theory a camera with ISO invariance will produce the same image with a low ISO as a high ISO […]

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Star trails Today I am going to show you how to take and edit star trails Now I mainly take single shots of starry skies and the milkyway in my astrophotography shots. I haven’t really tried star trails so this is my first proper go. Star trails are those images where you see the stars streaking across the sky……not that type of streaking…… You’ll need Lightroom Photoshop and StrastaX. StarstaX is freeware and is a great tool for compiling these star trails! Click here to download the program. You’ll need Lightroom and photoshop as well. If you don’t have this, click on the link in the description to a free 30 day trial. To shoot the photographs, you need a tripod and an intervalometer and obviously a camera. To get a circular pattern, find the North Star and get it on your centre line…..or if you think of a better composition, just remember the North Star will be the rotational point. If you point in other directions you can get quite cool and sometimes weird patters from slightly curved lines to waves lines….wider lenses seem to distort and bend the lines and longer focal lengths produce straighter lines (with only […]

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Don’t buy a variable ND filter if you’re a photographer

Don’t buy a variable ND filter if you’re a photographer I’ve got many different types of ND filters, from circular filters right through to soft grads and had grads on a special bracket. However when I first wanted a filter, I looked at and thought a variable ND filter would be great all in one solution. Little did I know that this really isn’t the case…. An ND filter is basically like sunglasses for your camera. There are many different types and after years of spending, I have a lot of different types. The first one I started on was a variable ND filter…..after a lot of research, it seemed like the ultimate solution to carry one slightly bigger filter around instead of a whole stack of them, as it covers everything from a 1 stop to a 10 stop and beyond! Normal ND filters are darkened bits of glass that are balanced so they don’t throw a colourcast on your image. You can get everything from a slight drop in light to a huge drop in light. Variable ND filters are different in that they have two bits of glass in them. As you rotate the outer ring, the amount of […]

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Long Exposure Noise reduction
October 19, 2018 by admin in Hints and tips, Photography 0 Comments

Does long exposure NR make that much of a difference? This week I’ll be looking at the results of using the long exposure noise reduction. A lot of cameras nowadays have a function called long exposure noise reduction. I always have it turned off as it takes the same time as the exposure to process the image, which is really annoying especially when you’re shooting with longer exposures. I’ve been wondering what this function actually does so I’m going to go for a walk around the marina here in Dubai this evening and test it, to see if it really worth the wait. It’s in now way a scientific test or at the levels of DXO testing, just me and my camera shooting from a bridge into a bay of lights. I’ll shoot a series of different shots with different settings, with and without NR on. As it is to do with noise, I’ll shoot different ISO’s (as that is the main setting that increases the noise) and I’ll shoot through the shutter speeds………..so I’ll probably need my ND filter and tripod. If I shoot up to 20 second exposures, it doesn’t make a difference, so astro shots on the […]

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How to get that Blurry Background Photograph
April 28, 2018 by admin in Hints and tips 0 Comments

This week I’ll show you how to get that blurry out of focus background look. By this I mean a shallow depth of focus where the subject is in focus and the background smoothly falls out of focus. When DSLR’s first started doing video, this was all the rage. In movies, when you have a closeup, it usually is shot on a lens that will give you this effect. And in photography, it has been around for years. You’ve just got to know how to set up your camera to get it. These are the different ways to get the effect, but when you combine them, you can really get the effect working in your favour. Now I am not going to go into the science behind this because I’d be here for hours, I’m just going to quickly go over what you need to know to get this effect working for you, when you want it. 1.Aperture  If you have a lens with a really low F number, you can get the background out of focus quite easily. The nifty fifty from canon is your cheapest way into this, but if you have a cropped sensor, this lens will […]

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Super wide photos with a kit lens

Today I am going to show you how to shoot a super wide angle shot with a kit lens.   This is predominantly for still subjects, big landscapes and scenes without too much motion. If there’s enough light, you can shoot handheld, and if there’s not, get the camera on a tripod. You’ll need Lightroom for this. If you haven’t got it go get a trial version….link is in the description: I’m using the 24-70mm on the sony, If you shoot with a crop sensor, this is similar to the 18-55mm on an APS-C. Using Lightroom’s merge, panorama function, you can stick many images together and they don’t even have to be on the same plain…… to give you that super wide angle shot. I’ll assume you have basic knowledge of Lightroom, if not, do a search on youtube, there are lots of videos on the basics of Lightroom. So these are the steps; When you find a location that is too wide for your lens, take a photo in the normal mode that you use. Make sure it is exposed correctly….I’ll be doing a video on exposure in the new year…. Look at that image and make a note […]

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The sony RX10iii Review (one year after owning it)

Today I’m going to talk about one of the cameras I’ve been using for the past year. What I like about it, what I don’t and whether or not it’s a worthwhile investment. I bought the rx10iii about 1 year ago, ready for our trip to NZ. It was a bit of a wild card, as I was used to having a 24-70mm and a 70-200mm, but I figured I’d still have my a7rii for astro and long exposure and I’d only really be using it in decent light, so I decided it was worth trying out. I’ve had it for one year now, its predecessor has come out, but is it worth the money and would it suit you? This is by far the most convenient camera I have used in a while. It uses the same 1 inch sensor that the rx100 has but has a much bigger zoom. The zoom is intact an awesome attribute, and was one of the reasons I bought it. With the full frame range of 600mm, I’ve had the chance to grab some truly different compositions that I could never have dreamt of with my old setup……not without lugging around a huge […]

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How to Photograph Waterfalls

Today I am going to show you how to photograph waterfalls. Some people like them crisp and clean, others like them smooth and silky. I’ll show you a range from smooth to crisp. If you have the knowhow, you can make waterfalls look smooth and dreamy. All you need is either an ND filter, or the inclination to go out towards dusk to get the shot. You need a sturdy tripod, and a camera with a self timer. If you have an ND filter, you can go out in the middle of the day, if not, you can still take these kinds of photos, you just have to be patient and wait for the sun to set. Without an ND filter If you like the water to be crisp and clear, you can just shoot it with a high shutter speed. The higher the speed, the more the camera will freeze the shot. Here are a selection of photos where I change the aperture from it’s widest to its narrowest. You can see as I close down the aperture, the shutter speed gets longer and the water becomes slightly smoother. If you want to get the water really smooth and […]

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How your composition can trick your light meter

This week I’ll show you how your composition can trick your light meter The light meter in your camera is a sophisticated bit of kit. It has a few different settings and each one has it’s own uses but most people will keep it in the multi meter mode. In this setting, sometimes your composition can trick this into producing a bad image. Basically, the light meter will look at the whole image and try to give you a good exposure. When there is a lot of dark parts in the image, the light meter will brighten it up and when there is a lot of bright areas in the image, the light meter will drop the exposure down. This is all well and good, but when the subject is darker than the surrounding parts of the image, it will tend to be under exposed. On the other hand, if the subject is surrounded by a lot of dark parts, it will tend to be over exposed. There are a few ways to counteract this, depending on what setting you are in. Generally, if you are shooting in Auto mode, everything is automatic, so you won’t be able to compensate […]

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