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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Startrails

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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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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The direction of Light

This week I’ll show you how the direction of light can affect your photographs Photography is all about light and the direction of light. If the light is coming from a complimentary direction, you image will look detailed and three dimensional. If it is straight on, for example in the same way as you’re taking the image, it tends to look flat and 2 dimensional. Neither is right or wrong, however, different situations will work better in different lighting directions. If we look in the same direction as the light is shining, basically where the light is on my back, all there details blend in to each other and textures are lost, the image looks flat. If we look into the direction of light, the image can work, but you just have to watch out for lens flare and a bleaching out of your photograph. When I look in a direction where the light is from the side or at an angle to the direction of the camera, it looks much better. Details and textures start to be visible and the image becomes more three dimensional. We are in the UAE at the moment, so there is plenty of strong […]

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Exposure Bracketing

This week I’ll show you what bracketing is and how you can use it to better your images. Bracketing is basically taking three, five or even nine different exposures of the same scene. What this then enables you to do is blend them together in your computer so you have details in both the darkest and the brightest parts of the image. Sometimes cameras cannot handle the dynamic range that you want to photograph. (The dynamic range is a measurement of the difference between the brightest and darkest parts of the image). So by taking multiple images of the same scene, you can then use the more powerful brain in your computer to blend these together to get the image you were hoping for. It takes a little preparation and you need to know where the bracketing setting is in your camera, but once you can access this setting, you can very quickly grab three or five images of a scene when you thing the dynamic range is too high. To get best results, you should have your camera on a tripod, but if the shutter speed is high enough and your hand is steady enough, you can do it […]

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Aperture, ISO and Shutter Speed – When to change what

This week I’ll be showing you when and why you’d want to change your Aperture, shutter speed or ISO. The three most important settings to get familiar with on your camera are Aperture, Shutter speed and ISO. Either will change the exposure making it brighter or darker, however, they also change the image in other ways. So when do you change what? Basically, as well as changing the exposure: Aperture will change the depth of field Shutter-speed will change how much or little motion blur you have in the image ISO will change how sensitive the sensor is, when the number is too high, it will also introduce “noise” into your image. Aperture If you want as much as possible in focus, get your f number higher, up to about f16. This will make the depth of focus deep and bring a lot into focus. If you want a small part to be in focus, drop the f number as low as possible. This will make the depth of focus small and can give you the power, as a photographer, where you want the viewer to look. People are drawn to what is in focus, so this is very useful. […]

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First step out of auto mode – Photography

  Today I’m going to show you how to take your first steps out of auto. There’s a lot of info in this one, but if you go through it step by step, you’ll learn so much about your camera and photography in general. If you have a modern camera, it will have may settings that you may or may not be aware of, from fully automatic, right through to fully manual. It may seem daunting but there are some easy ways to start hacking into these. So are you ready? Do this: Set the mode dial to A/Av or aperture priority. Set ISO to auto One of the reasons I suggest putting it into auto ISO is that, you’re just taking control of one of the parameters to start with. Once you get more used to it, you can start setting the ISO yourself.  Now, take a photograph. Congratulations, you have just taken your first photograph out of auto. Not that bad was it!!?? Aperture priority isn’t quite manual mode, but it is a step in the right direction. It’s kind of a semiautomatic mode. You set the aperture and then the camera sets the shutter speed and ISO […]

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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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