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Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Photographing Fireworks – How to Get It Right All the Time!

With the New Year just a few days away, you have the perfect opportunity to catch all those magical fireworks display on camera. But do you know how to make it work? Do you have the skills to capture all those breathtaking moments on camera? While a lot of people are not sure if they can do it right, you need to know that photographing fireworks is not as difficult as most people think it is. It’s really quite easy – if you know the tricks!
So, what do you need to do if you’re planning to photograph fireworks? Here are some tips you may need to consider:

Bring the right equipment.

When shooting firework displays, it is always advisable to use a tripod. Since you will be using longer shutter speeds to capture all those sharp images, you need to make sure that your camera remains as rock solid as it possibly can. And relying on your hands to do the job can be a very challenging one, to say the least. Just how long do you think you can keep your hands steady? It just can’t work. Period. My advise – get a tripod.
Another necessary equipment that you need to bring along with you on location is a remote release device – wheter it be a cable or an RC unit. This will help ensure that there will be no unnecessary shakes as you release the shutter.

And please don’t forget to bring a flashlight with you. It’s really hard to fumble in the dark when you are trying to adjust your camera settings, right?

Lastly, don’t forget to pack in some spare batteries and memory cards. You’ll be shooting a lot of photos so it’s better to be prepared for any eventualities.

Get the best possible view.

To do this, you may need to visit the area at daytime so that you can plan well ahead of time. Scout for areas that offer a clear view of the spectacle that is about to happen. Consider sites that satisfy the following criteria:
  • Free from all possible obstructions such as buildings, trees, cables or other people’s heads. A high vantage point such as the top of a roof or a hill will be ideal for such purposes.
  • Includes a famous historical landmark that may help enhance your shots.
  • Has a vast body of water. The fireworks’ reflection in the water can add drama to your photos!
Don’t put yourself in smoke’s way.

All fireworks produce smoke and this can get between you and that perfect shot you’re aiming for. So, find out where the wind is blowing and pick a location that is not against it. This way, the smoke won’t affect the quality of your photos and you’ll get sharper, more vivid images.

Know the perfect settings.

To capture the best fireworks display photos, you may need to consider the following camera settings:
  • Don’t use your flash. It will take the focus out of the bursts.
  • Keep your ISO low (preferably at 100) to increase your chances of getting sharper images.
  • If your camera has a fireworks mode, use it. If it doesn’t, don’t forget to keep your aperture at f/8 to f/16.
  • Set your shutter speed between 1 to 15 seconds. But if you really want to capture some really good photos, use the bulb mode.
  • You may use the infinity focus or the manual focus mode. Different experts have different opinions on this one so go ahead and see what works best for you.
Some more useful tips in photographing fireworks:
  • Keep shooting. It’s good to take a lot of pictures to increase your chances of getting that perfect shot.
  • Track your results from time to time. Make sure you’re not shooting a batch of duds.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment. Do you want to shoot from a wider perspective? Do you want to include silhouettes in the foreground? You can do these and more! Feel free to do whatever you want. Keep experimenting!
So, there you have it – the secrets to shooting perfect fireworks photos. Now, do you feel confident that you can shoot some pretty good photos this New Year’s eve? Go for it!

PS. It's one thing to learn a few tips from these articles I provide you for free but this link takes you to where you will learn how to get 'paying customers' to your photography business. Hey, but if you don't need customers, skip it!

Thursday, 1 December 2011

FREE: 11 WAYS YOU CAN IMPROVE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY

CRAFT & VISION have just released their latest e-book:  11 WAYS YOU CAN IMPROVE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY. 

It’s a compilation of articles from proven Craft & Vision authors. There’s no recycled stuff in here, no excerpts from existing eBooks. It’s all new and made with love.

This eBook is jam-packed with 11 articles that will help photographers of all levels improve what they do.

And yes, it’s free.


Craft & Vision is a collection of hands-on, practical articles written by the following photographers (David duChemin, Piet Van den Eynde, Andrew S. Gibson, Nicole S. Young, Alexandre Buisse, Stuart Sipahigil, Eli Reinholdtsen and Michael Frye).

You will gain fresh ideas and insights into improving your photographic vision and the skills required to compose the images you want to make. It is 67 spreads (as in 134 magazine pages) which makes it the second largest eBook they’ve ever produced.

Download it. Enjoy it. Tell your friends about it.




Click here to view more details

P.S. This e-book has proved very popular! There is a limited number of downloads per day. So if you can't download today, please come back tomorrow.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Trick Photography and Special Effects

This is cool stuff and it works. 

There's sooooo... much you can do with your next shoot and even apply to your existing photos here.

**You can truly amaze people with this! Wait until you see the stuff he uses as samples I'm still reeling from it....

I'm surprised it's so cheap given they also provide a bunch of good extra free stuff I've tried to describe below:

In addition to the (190 page) Trick Photography and Special Effects e-book, you get four additional bonus miniature e-books, at no extra charge:

Core Photography Fundamentals - This e-book goes over the basics concepts like aperture, depth of field and bokeh, shutter speed, ISO, focusing, white balance, how to get the sharpest photo possible, various accessories you can get for your camera, etc.

Introduction to External Flash Photography - Using an off-camera flash can be very useful when photographing people (as you know). This e-book tells you about the most popular techniques and suggests useful equipment needed to get started right away.

How To Make Money with Photography - Learn how to get your photos accepted into stock photography agencies and how to sell photos as fine art prints. (if you learn just one thing you're ahead right?)

Filters for Lenses and Plug-ins for Photoshop - This e-book reviews the effects filters and Photoshop plug-ins so you'll know how to create fun and 'trippy' effects. 

I think I was getting a little serious with photography of late so I'm pleased I found this ... it has given me ideas I hadn't considered earlier ...probably will you too!


...have fun with this one,

Krister

PS. Let me know of any good trick or special effects shots you do.

PPS. If you look around the site carefully there's a cool little pdf you can download for free too (it's worth downloading)


Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Win PhotoShop for Life!

Today I learned about this contest, and it seems pretty good to me, so I'm sharing the info ...

Here's the deal --


If you like to edit your photos, here's a contest to win what many people think is the best graphics package available.


The winner gets the current version of PhotoShop, and every upgrade as long as you're alive.
(They won't allow you to upgrade after you are dead, apparently. Sorry, but there's gotta be a limit!)

The contest is legit. I know the company offering this deal.


I've entered; maybe you'd like to enter, too. Why not?

Sign up here: http://appsumo.com/~PALB

All the best!

Krister

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Free Hasselblad Exclusive Hands-On Event

Hasselblad logo

Hands-On Exclusive Invite

Dear reader,

You are cordially invited to an EXCLUSIVE Hasselblad hands-on event courtesy of ePHOTOzine.H4D-200MS

Location: Hasselblad Studio, Ground Floor, 71 Fanshaw Street, London, N1 6LA. UK.

Date: 20th October 2011

Time: 10:00h to 17:00h; stay all day or just drop in for a while.

At this
H4D-200MS fantastic event you'll get the chance to get hands-on with the Hasselblad range! You'll be able to take photos of model Katie Green; there will be a still-life set up for you to shoot and the opportunity to view your images on Eizo monitors. Broncolor will also be on site giving lighting demonstrations throughout the day. Remember to bring your own Compact Flash card so you can keep the images you take.

It is a relaxed and informal shoot, no strings attached and no sales; Hasselblad want you to experience working with their cameras and are looking forward to an enjoyable day!


RSVP: Please respond by the 12th of October to support@ephotozine.com, with "Hasselblad invite" in the subject bar.

N.B. The first fifty respondents will also be entered into a prize draw to win a one-year Advanced website, worth £119, courtesy of foliopic.com!

See you there!

Krister 

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Making Light

Making Light by Piet Van den Eynde


New eBook Available: Making Light

MAKING LIGHT  is all about producing beautiful photographs with your off-camera flash. These practical techniques are specific to one remote flash so you can forget about all the fuss of using tons of equipment.

Learn how to fill in harsh shadows, balance ambient light, rescue fading evening light, or substitute for a complete lack of light. With the perfect blend of theory and easy-to-understand exercises you’ll gain the insight you need to rock your triggers and modifiers for both Canon and Nikon flashes. Through 9 case studies you’ll see just how simple and powerful your off-camera flash can be.


Making Light is available now as a downloadable PDF for just $5USD.


Special Offer on PDFs:

For the first five days only, if you use the promotional code LIGHT4 when you checkout, you can have the PDF version of Making Light for only $4 OR use the code LIGHT20 to get 20% off when you buy 5 or more PDF ebooks from the Craft & Vision collection. 


These codes expire at 11:59pm PST August 21st, 2011.



Making Light is a great primer for anyone who is interested in using their hot-shoe flash to make truly dynamic images. The examples are easy to follow and put into practice immediately. If you have one hot-shoe flash already, this eBook will teach you how to work some photographic magic by taking it off your camera. You'll learn about different options for triggering it remotely, where to place it, and how to balance your flash with the ambient lighting. Yes, it's one of those topics which can be intimidating, but going through this book will provide you with a dramatic improvement in learning to master your flash.


Learn practical techniques like...

  • Flash fundamentals and characteristics of light
  • 7 easy steps for setting up your Canon or Nikon flash unit, off-camera
  • A failsafe 10-step approach for shooting great photos with off-camera flash
  • How to eliminate those nasty shadows caused by your flash
  • Learn all about the basic gear for off-camera flash shooting
Remember: The downloadable PDF is just $5USD, or only $4 today if you use the discount code: LIGHT4.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

The Evocative Image


A Photographer's Guide to Capturing Mood

Andrew S. Gibson
The Evocative Image is an inspiring introduction to the processes and techniques specific to making photographs that express what we feel. With great examples, creative exercises, and insightful comments Gibson offers up his unique perspective on how he injects mood and atmosphere into his photographs. Learn more.
Where our hope for a photograph is to communicate more than just information, but to create impact and an emotional response, an understanding of some of the tools to create mood is essential. This ebook discusses interpretation, golden hour, blue hour, low light, wide apertures, long lenses, and other technical considerations that have an aesthetic effect on the mood of the photograph.
By taking our creative input into consideration we’ll be better prepared to capture the extraordinary in the ordinary; we’ll be “making” photographs instead of simply “taking” photos. The Evocative Image is Andrew Gibson’s 4th Craft & Vision title.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Food Photography: Tips and Tricks the Pros Use

by NYI Instructor Karen Schuld


Karen Schuld is an NYIP Instructor and began her career as a still-life and food photographer in New York City. Her approach is to rely on instinct plus the photographic skills she has developed throughout her career. Major corporations, such as Colgate-Palmolive Company, Revlon, and Procter & Gamble commissioned her to create looks unique to their products. She gives every shot a natural, not contrived, look. For samples from Karen, visit Karenphoto.com and Sprouts in the Hood.

One thing I have learned over the years is that it is easy for a photographer to make food look bland and tasteless. But, of course, the goal of a food photographer is to make the viewer desire the subject of your shot. Making food look appetizing requires a knack for styling, a careful eye for detail, and an ability to use light in a way that will bring romance and drama to your subject. Here are some tips and suggestions that can enable you to achieve a photograph that will whet the imagination — and the appetite — of the viewer.


While some photographers approach food shots in a static way by carefully contriving the shot, I prefer a more free-flowing, spontaneous approach to styling. As I shoot, I rearrange the food as often as it takes to get the right look. I view the plate as my canvas, and the food as my medium. Just as with any photograph, I try to achieve a design that draws the viewer's attention to my subject — in this case, the food. But, in shooting food, my goal is also to create a whimsical, playful design that juxtaposes unexpected colors and textures. For example, I toss herbs onto an entrée to add zest or include colorful fruit to achieve a more vibrant shot. The way I position myself and my camera also enhances the flow of the shot. While I sometimes shoot food large format with a tripod, I prefer shooting with my DSLR. It leaves me freer to move around my canvas and experiment with different camera positions and angles.


Food that looks fresh is appealing to a viewer; so it is important make your food look natural and not too staged. You should constantly check that your food stays fresh. Greens tend to wilt quickly. Meat can start to look exceedingly dry if you're not careful. A little water spritz can add moisture to your food, while steam can give it a "hot out of the oven" look. If you are a beginner, it can be beneficial to work with an experienced food stylist. A stylist can prepare your food so it is photo-ready and can bring another set of eyes to the set.


A good photographer always pays attention to detail. For any photograph to be successful, the photographer must select the right props and surfaces. Food photography is no exception. Choosing a special location or creating a staged environment for your subject can greatly enhance your shot. Choosing the right plate, bowl, glass or cutlery can also significantly improve the look of your shot. When you shoot food, it is important to choose a color scheme that that will complement the color or character of the food. A black background can intensify the color of a dish, while shooting on a white background will always create a clean look. Also, be aware that cuisine and culture go hand in hand, so document food by covering a region's people, markets, restaurants, and special dishes. Consider shooting a series of both close-up, medium, and wide shots that begins with the ingredients and ends with final food presentation.


Lighting is key to setting the mood for your photograph. Whether your concept requires drama or mystery, excitement or stability, you must carefully consider the lighting that will work for the situation. Use lighting you feel comfortable with. Natural light can work well with food but artificial light gives you more control over the look of the shot. A backlight with a little fill can make your food look luscious, while a sidelight can show texture and depth. It is very helpful to use a "stand in" entrée while you set up your lights, to get just the right atmosphere.


In conclusion, it is important that you spend adequate time preparing to ensure that you have the right foods, props, surfaces, lighting setup and personnel to make the shoot successful. It is essential to focus on styling and attend to all the details involved in the shot. Although there is no one right way to plan, style, light, and shoot food, always keep in mind that the end goal is to make your food look fresh, colorful, dramatic and, hence, appealing to the appetite. Your final shot should be one that stimulates the senses.

   

Monday, 4 July 2011

31 Photography Quotes by Ansel Adams


Ansel Adams photo
Ansel Adams photo
Ansel Adams was a great American photographer, most well known as a master landscape artist. Most of his photographs depict natural landscapes of the American west.  Born in San Francisco in 1902, Ansel Adams trained as a concert pianist before deciding to become photographer. He became famous for the technical skill with which he produced spectacular images of the American landscape.  He advocated straight and un-manipulated photography.  His works were exhibited all around the country, and he helped establish the department of photography at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City in 1940, and was awarded a number of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation to photograph National Parks in America.
Influential as both a teacher and lecturer, he was also an avid conservationist. He published many books of his images, and also technical and training guides to teach beginning photographers. In 1980, Ansel Adams was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which is the highest civilian honor in the United States.
Throughout his long and storied career, he also was frequently quoted about photography, and often conservation of our natural resources.  Following are some of his simple, though often deep, quotations, sourced from brainyquote.com.

  1. “A good photograph is knowing where to stand.”
  2. “A great photograph is one that fully expresses what one feels, in the deepest sense, about what is being photographed.”
  3. “A photograph is usually looked at – seldom looked into.”
  4. “A true photograph need not be explained, nor can it be contained in words.”
  5. “Dodging and burning are steps to take care of mistakes God made in establishing tonal relationships.”
  6. “I tried to keep both arts alive, but the camera won. I found that while the camera does not express the soul, perhaps a photograph can!”
  7. “In my mind’s eye, I visualize how a particular… sight and feeling will appear on a print. If it excites me, there is a good chance it will make a good photograph. It is an intuitive sense, an ability that comes from a lot of practice.”
  8. “In wisdom gathered over time I have found that every experience is a form of exploration.”
  9. “It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment.”
  10. “It is my intention to present – through the medium of photography – intuitive observations of the natural world which may have meaning to the spectators.”
  11. “Landscape photography is the supreme test of the photographer – and often the supreme disappointment.”
  12. “Millions of men have lived to fight, build palaces and boundaries, shape destinies and societies; but the compelling force of all times has been the force of originality and creation profoundly affecting the roots of human spirit.”
  13. “No man has the right to dictate what other men should perceive, create or produce, but all should be encouraged to reveal themselves, their perceptions and emotions, and to build confidence in the creative spirit.”
  14. “Not everybody trusts paintings but people believe photographs.”
  15. “Photography is more than a medium for factual communication of ideas. It is a creative art.”
  16. “Photography, as a powerful medium of expression and communications, offers an infinite variety of perception, interpretation and execution.”
  17. “Some photographers take reality… and impose the domination of their own thought and spirit. Others come before reality more tenderly and a photograph to them is an instrument of love and revelation.”
  18. “Sometimes I do get to places just when God’s ready to have somebody click the shutter.”
  19. “The negative is comparable to the composer’s score and the print to its performance. Each performance differs in subtle ways.”
  20. “The only things in my life that compatibly exists with this grand universe are the creative works of the human spirit.”
  21. “There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer.”
  22. “There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs.”
  23. “There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept.”
  24. “These people live again in print as intensely as when their images were captured on old dry plates of sixty years ago… I am walking in their alleys, standing in their rooms and sheds and workshops, looking in and out of their windows. Any they in turn seem to be aware of me.”
  25. “To photograph truthfully and effectively is to see beneath the surfaces and record the qualities of nature and humanity which live or are latent in all things.”
  26. “Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop.”
  27. “We must remember that a photograph can hold just as much as we put into it, and no one has ever approached the full possibilities of the medium.”
  28. “When I’m ready to make a photograph, I think I quite obviously see in my minds eye something that is not literally there in the true meaning of the word. I’m interested in something which is built up from within, rather than just extracted from without.
  29. “When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.”
  30. “Yosemite Valley, to me, is always a sunrise, a glitter of green and golden wonder in a vast edifice of stone and space.”
  31. “You don’t take a photograph, you make it.”

If you found this article stimulating then you’ll probably like  The Making of 40 Photographsby Ansel Adams. 

Ansel Adams: 400 Photographs Ansel Adams in the National Parks: Photographs from America's Wild Places Yosemite and the High Sierra The Ansel Adams Guide: Basic Techniques of Photography - Book 1 (Ansel Adams's Guide to the Basic Techniques of Photography)

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Review of "Photoshop Fast Track for Digital Photographers"

"Photoshop Fast Track for Digital Photographers" Review

Seller: David Peters

Summary:

"Photoshop Fast Track for Digital Photographers" is a collection of 22 videos, which demonstrate how to edit digital photos using Photoshop. Each video is a step-by-step tutorial of the most common image editing tasks in Photoshop.

Product Details:

The main product is a set of 34 instructional videos. These include 12 video tutorials for Photoshop, from  Photoshop 7 through to the later versions bundled with Creative Suite products (CS2 and CS3). Most of the videos are less than 5 minutes long. The longest video is 12 minutes and 48 seconds.

The topics for Photoshop 7 through CS2 are:

- Change Eye Color
- Change Hair Color
- Fix Underexposed Photos
- More Punch Photo
- Instant Tan
- Panoramic
- Double Chin
- Remove Red Eye
- Remove Spots and Blemishes
- Remove Unwanted Objects
- Remove Wrinkles
- Whiten Teeth

The topics for CS3 are:
- Batch Rename
- Batch Resize
- Change Hair Color
- Double Chin
- Eye Color
- Instant Tan
- Look Funny
- Look Slimmer
- More Punch Photo
- Photomontage
- Red Eye Removal
- Remove Spots and Blemishes
- Remove Unwanted Objects
- Remove Wrinkles
- Replace Backgrounds
- Selective Color
- Smooth Skin
- Soft Romantic
- Straighten Image
- Fix Underexposed Photos
- Whiten Teeth

"Photoshop Fast Track for Digital Photographers" also includes the following bonuses:

- Video tutorial images: These are the exact same images edited in the videos. The customer can work on the same images and practice the skills each video demonstrates.

- Flickr tutorials: A step-by-step guide on how digital photographers can make the most of this free site to share (and show off) your photos. There are 14 videos on Flickr alone.

Format: Online video in both Flash and Shockwave formats, which can be viewed online and downloaded into the user’s hard drive The tutorial images are digital image files (JPG).

The Flickr tutorial is in online video format as well.

Thoughts on the Product:

Whether you edit digital photos for fun or for work, these video tutorials will make the tasks much easier.

Photoshop is a powerful graphic editor, but the learning curve can be pretty steep. You could spend hours  learning everything yourself, or pay for a class. Or, you could watch these videos and learn the most   common digital photo editing tasks at your own pace.

Video demonstration is an excellent way of learning a complicated software such as Photoshop. It’s like looking over the shoulder of an instructor - but one that you can pause, rewind or fast forward as needed.

The best way to use these videos is to have Photoshop open in another window, pause the video to complete each of the steps demonstrated, and then compare your final result with that of the video. Because the
tutorial images are included, this is easy for users to do. You get instant feedback and practice.

The tutorials are for different versions of Photoshop, from Photoshop 7 to CS3.

Where to Learn More: www.edityourdigitalphotos.com


Video Review of "Photoshop Fast Track for Digital Photographers





<a href="http://www.linkedtube.com/z1nmuEwfnWQ69054ed1a92d5d7e3adb81dcd376f3ab.htm">LinkedTube</a>

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Avoid The Most 12 Common Digital Photography Mistakes


With digital cameras at their most affordable, anybody can be a photographer these days. The problem is, it takes more than a camera to take good pictures.


It takes a certain eye, a way of seeing things, to take pictures that make people go "Wow!" Fortunately, it can be learned. And the more you practice, the better you'll get at it.


If you're interested in becoming a good digital photographer, I recommend the "Shoot Digital Pics Like the Pros,", a free report.


Start by taking a look at these most common mistakes people make when taking digital pictures:


1. Not knowing your camera


If you never read your digital camera's manual and learn its features and how to use them, you won't be able to make the most of it.


2. Not using a tripod


Tripods allow you to take the sharpest pictures even in low light. Use one as often as possible.


3. Not giving the camera time to focus


Digital cameras need time to properly focus and get the right exposure. It can take a fraction of a second or a couple of seconds. Account for this when taking pictures.


4. Relying too much on zoom


Using the camera's zoom feature makes the picture grainier. Get as close to the subject as possible.


5. Taking pictures against the light


This makes the subject dark and the background too bright.


6. Relying too much on the flash


Natural light gives the best pictures, so use it as much as possible. Flash tends to make images look harsh.


7. Not taking enough pictures


It's almost impossible to take the perfect shot at one try, so take many pictures. With digital photography, this doesn't cost you extra. Try different angles and compositions.


8. Always putting the subject dead center


Learn the rule of thirds in composition, and you'll have more interesting pictures.


9. Forgetting to check the horizon


When taking pictures with the horizon showing, make sure it's level.


10. Selecting a low-resolution setting


Your camera will allow you to select different resolutions. Don't be tempted to choose a low resolution just to save on memory space. Instead, buy additional memory for your camera and always take your pictures in high resolution.


11. Trying to take too much


Don't try to include too many things in one picture, such as people and scenery. A picture is more effective when it's focused on a single subject.


12. Not using the camera


You'll never know when a good photo op will come up, so have your camera with you at all times.


It may seem like a lot to think about, but with practice, these things will become second nature.


For those who want to learn even more digital photography techniques, check out the free report, "Shoot Digital Pics Like the Pros,", It's a short but info-filled guide that will have you shooting digital pictures like a pro in no time.


Find out more about "Shoot Digital Pics Like the Pros" here:
www.learndigitalphotographynow.com

Monday, 18 April 2011

Sell Your Digital Photos

We are pleased to announce the release of the 2011 Version of the comprehensive guide to freelance digital photography, "Sell Your Digital Photos".
 
The first edition of this ebook came out in 2008 and it has gone on to become one of the publisher's bestselling ebooks
 
But "Sell Your Digital Photos" is actually more than an ebook. You receive the ebook. You get several photography bonuses. And you also gain access to their VIP area with a database of more than 400 magazines and other publications that pay great fees for freelance photography!
 
This new 2011 version has 216 pages of comprehensive information on selling your digital photos. 
To celebrate the release of this new edition we're putting it on sale for just $27.95. So if you buy it today you'll save $12 and receive everything mentioned above.
 
Get this while it's hot...and very up-to-date.
Click here
 

 

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Advanced Exposure


Your camera offers a range of advanced tools to assist and complement the built-in exposure meter
    In most situations your camera will produce perfect exposures but there are times where it may need a little help to get the best results. Fortunately most cameras offer a range of tools to help you judge and fine-tune the exposure that your camera has set. Here are a few of them.

    Histogram

    HistogramA histogram is a graph showing the spread of tones in an image, with the peaks to the left showing the darkest areas and the peaks on the right showing the brightest areas.
    In an average picture, with an equal number of dark and light areas, these peaks should be evenly distributed across the image. If your image is underexposed the peaks will be bunched to the left end, and perhaps fall off the end of the graph, while with overexposure they will be over to the right.
    Simply adjust your exposure to get the peaks nearer the centre. However, with some subjects the peaks need to be biased to one side. With a snow scene, for example, they should be over to the right. If they're in the centre it means your snow is mid-grey in tone. 
    Many cameras offer a live histogram so you can view it before shooting, rather than having to go into review mode and see it afterwards.

    HDRBracketing

    Another sure way to guarantee perfect exposures is to shoot every picture at a range of exposure settings.
    You can do this manually, of course, but most cameras have an auto-bracket feature that can do this for you. When you press the shutter it will take one at the exposure it thinks is correct, plus one or more shots either side of that, in third, half or whole stop increments (determined by you). It all happens in a fraction of a second.
    Image: Bracketing is useful for tricky metering situations when you aren't sure which exposure will produce the best result

    Dynamic Range Adjustment

    A perfect exposure is generally regarded as one that records detail in both the darkest and lightest parts of the scene (excluding high- and low-key images).
    Sometimes, though, the subject contrast is beyond the sensor's ability to record detail in both the deep shadows and bright highlights.
    Many cameras now include a Dynamic Range feature that boosts detail in the shadows and/or holds back the highlights, much like Photoshop's Shadow/Highlight feature.
    Use caution, though. Apply too much and the image will look unreal, and noise will be increased in the shadows.
    Dynamic range
    Image: The Dynamic Range feature boosts shadow and/or highlight detail

    High Dynamic Range (HDR)

    HDR
    High Dynamic Range photography, or HDR, takes the Dynamic Range adjust feature a stage further.
    It involves taking a range of shots at different exposure settings (you can use the auto-bracket for this), then using either Photoshop or dedicated HDR software to combine these shots into one image that incorporates a wider range of detail than you can get from a single shot.
    However, the effect can look cartoonish and unreal if applied too heavily. Some cameras now offer an HDR option in the camera.
    Image: HDR is a technique that involves taking several shots at different exposures and blending them together on the PC

    Thursday, 31 March 2011

    25% off the Captivating Color eBook!


    A week ago today dPS launched a brand new eBook - Captivating Color: A Guide to Dramatic Color Photography.
     
    The reviews and feedback from readers have been fantastic and so to celebrate the release of the eBook we've decided to run a little competition to give away a brand new iPad 2 to one lucky buyer of the eBook.
     
    Win an iPad
    We thought it'd be a great prize as our PDF eBooks are readable on iPads (you just upload them to your computer and then drag it into iBooks via iTunes) plus they're fun for photographers with the growing range of photography Apps and new cameras.
     
    If you buy Captivating Color before 9am next Tuesday (Melbourne Time) you'll be in the running to win a 16GB iPad 2 (you can choose which color) worth just under $500.
     
    If you are one of the thousands who have already bought the eBook you're already in the draw. This is open to people world wide to enter - we'll ship the iPad anywhere.
     
    Here's the Offer
    Also to keep things neat we're going to extend the 25% discount and bonus eBook giveaway until Tuesday also. So all in all you get:
    1. 25% off the Captivating Color eBook - worth $19.99 for just $14.99
    2. A Bonus eBook - Seeing the Light - worth $12 (but free with this purchase)
    3. An Entry into the iPad 2 giveaway
    As this email goes out you have less than 7 days to take advantage of this deal - so don't hesitate and pick up your copy of Captivating Color today here.