Signal to Noise Ratios in Photography
February 6, 2020 by admin in Hints and tips 1 Comment

When taking a photo, you need to get a good exposure. And to get a good exposure, you need to get as much light into your camera as you can, without over exposing the shot and blowing out your highlights.  There are some exceptions to this but in general the more light you let in to your camera (as long as you’re not over exposing the photo), the better the signal you will have for the camera to build that image, however, there is a little more to it than that and the signal to noise ratio is a really good thing to understand to really have an idea of what the camera is doing and how to get the best results from it. First of all it’s good to know what noise is.  Noise is a slight variation in the colour and luminance between pixels in your photo. The greater the variation, the more it becomes visible as a texture. When you get a lot of variations in the colour, you’ll tend to see greens and reds in your solid colours. And when you just get a variance in luminance, it gives the look of a texture in those […]

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5 Bad Habits I have in Photography
September 18, 2019 by Mike in Hints and tips 0 Comments

Today I talk about 5 BAD HABITS in PHOTOGRAPHY I need to shake. I’ve been a photographer since 1996 and over the years I’ve built up some bad habits…these are my top 5 that I need to get rid of! If you would like to see more, subscribe and turn on notifications for weekly videos, hints and tips and more. If you know anyone who would benefit from this video, share and like the video. Thanks Mike mike@boxheadmike.com

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Every YouTube Tutorial I have made…so far!

Here’s a list of all my YouTube videos so far, I’ve put them into alphabetical order and into genres to make it as easy as possible to find what you’re looking for. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, get in touch and I’ll see if I can help out or make a tutorial you want in the near future.  I you find any broken links, also let me know and I’ll fix it asap. Email me at mike@boxheadmike.com Thanks! Astrophotography: 14mm vs 24mm Samyang https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0fD-IK9cUk&t=11s 4 different cameras – Astrophotography https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJT31U9ecr8 5 essential apps for the Milkyway https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqOuXu3dVEs 50mm Astrophotography with a full frame camera https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCehnFt6ZV4 7 things you need to Photograph the Milkyway https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JpU9I9d5GyA A7iii Astrophotography https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPVEEiYZQCI Astrophotography for beginners https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIJ0u4w4YU8 Crop sensor Astrophotography https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zsMxQMV28Zo&t Fast Prime Lens for Astrophotography https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=voj-SLxEGF4 Focus at Night with a Modern Lens https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sw3oQK2PwWk Light Painting your Foreground https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbCWZf2C13Q Location Scouting for Astrophotography https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMSt0O9YLAI Long Exposure Noise – Remove it from your photos https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5nNxGosY0Q Panoramas with the Milkyway https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxpGrfyAdrM Photographing the stars in 2 minutes – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6380Jx15ng Photopills https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=soxILPbOUsU Photopills vs Planit Pro vs The Photographers Ephemeris – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ooGmAX9oCCw&t Star Trails photography https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pq_3iZykbuo Stacking with Starry Landscapes Stacker https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEU9kPCwotM&t Stacking or Tracking […]

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5 Essential apps for Astrophotography
May 10, 2019 by Mike in Hints and tips 0 Comments

Now we’re firmly into the milkyway season, I thought it would be great to show you the apps I use every single time I plan and go out and shoot the stars. Astrophotography is one of those more specialised parts to photography where fast lenses, sturdy tripods and a lot of patience is needed…but if the conditions aren’t right or if you go to the wrong time of the month, you’ll drop the quality in your photographs. So check out the video above and let me show you which apps I use to make my astrophotography shoots so much easier. Let me know what you think by emailing me mike@boxheadmike.com or leave a comment on youtube in the comments section.  I produce 2 videos every week, you can expect a short quick tip video on Monday and a more in-depth tutorial on Thursday. I cover everything photography and little bits of videography. So if you want to see more head over to my youtube channel, subscribe and turn on notifications…also head to the bottom of my home page and sign up for my weekly newsletter.  Thanks Mike This is the kit I use:  Sony A7iii: https://amzn.to/2Xzq4UZ Manfrotto 050 tripod: https://amzn.to/2Xsg6Vd 25mm Batis: […]

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Time-lapse with the A7iii (firmware 3.0)
April 21, 2019 by Mike in Hints and tips 0 Comments

I had a chance to play with the interval function that has newly been released in the firmware 3.0 update. This is what I found out: Let me know what you think by emailing me mike@boxheadmike.com or leave a comment on youtube in the comments section. I produce 2 videos every week, you can expect a short quick tip video on Monday and a more in-depth tutorial on Thursday. I cover everything photography and little bits of videography. So if you want to see more head over to my youtube channel, subscribe and turn on notifications…also head to the bottom of my home page and sign up for my weekly newsletter. Thanks Mike This is the kit I use: Sony A7iii: https://amzn.to/2Xzq4UZ Manfrotto 050 tripod: https://amzn.to/2Xsg6Vd 25mm Batis: https://amzn.to/2UvhW5I 85mm Sony: https://amzn.to/2PorZZI I’ll add to this list as the months go on… DISCLAIMER: This blog contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and purchase an item, I’ll receive a small commission without any additional costs to you.

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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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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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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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