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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5 Tips to Take Care of Your Camera
February 9, 2018 by Mike in Hints and tips 0 Comments

This week I’ll show you 5 ways to take care of your camera Most of the time, your camera will be sitting quietly, waiting patiently for you to have the time to get it out and use it. So, get a comfortable place for it to live!! This will keep it  safe! The last thing you want is your camera sitting around on your desk waiting for you to knock it over, spill a drink on it or drop something on it. And…..if its in your bag, it’s ready to go, so if you want to go out and shoot, all you do it pick up your bag and go!! Use Proper cleaning fluids, a microfibre cloth and a blower Your lens will get dirty and you will get bits of dust and dirt on it. Make sure you have a lens cleaning kit and a blower to get rid of any dirt and debris. Then, learn how to clean it properly. Use the blower to get rid of any sand grains and bits of dirt and diet that could scratch your lens, and then use a cleaning fluid with a proper microfibre cleaning cloth to get it spotless! Use […]

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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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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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