Digital Photography Tutorial

O n l i n e c o u r s e s fo r b e g i n n i ng a nd ad v a n c e d p ho t o g ra p h e r s & P h o to g r a p h y t i ps pe r s u bj e c t

Digital photography is attracting more and more interest. With the prices of digital cameras dropping, the interest only grows. But better cameras and more megapixels don·t mean that automatically the result will be a good photograph. It·s not only the camera, but how you (the photographer) approach the subject and environment, and if you can get your vision into the picture. It is an art of selecting. From three-dimensional scene that changes in time, to a static two-dimensional image. Selecting the subject, selecting the point of view, selecting the best photo from the series of photos that you made, selecting the import parts of the photo and select ways to attract attention to that and to reduce distracting elements. It is good to know the options where you can choose from. With that, good hardware and good skills can really help. For many point-and-shoot photographers a good photo is rare and happens by accident. ´Why doesn·t my photo has that impact. My colleague with a comparable camera did the same holiday travel trip as me, but did make photo that were more beautiful, more shiny, and really had a ¶wow!· factor in it. I try over and over again, but can·t figure out why most of my photos don·t have that.µ For that, photography is a skill as well as an art. This Digital Photography Tutorial is intended for people who want to get more out of their photography. Not only for the more experienced photographers, but also for the beginners. It is about making better photos. It will give you hints for the what might make an interesting photo possibilities to get out of a scene what is in it. This site is not too much concerned with the technique of the hardware, but about using it to get better photos. Making better photos doesn·t have to stop when the shutter is closed again of pressing the release button. In the digital age the possibilities only begin there. Making better photographs by avoiding flaws« The way of making photos better is basicaly pretty simple: avoid flaws, and keep or strengthen the good elements of the image. Quite simple isn·t it? Better photos in the first place can be obtained by avoiding, removing or correcting flaws. Flaws unconsciously give away that the picture is made by a novice and demolish the quality at first sight. Reducing those flaws can greatly improve your collection of photos. See the Photography tips for beginners page for some tips on avoiding flaws. One important and generic (general) flaw is that a photo has to much distracting elements in it. Elements that distract the eyes of the viewer away from the important parts (the main subject) of the photo, and elements that don·t add to the scene. There are many ways to approach this. At dptutorial

we will give you a wide range of options on the adding and removing accents page. In some cases you can correct or remove a flaw afterwards with postprocessing, but it is often better to avoid the flaw when shooting the picture in the first place. For example you should hold your camera straight when shooting a horizon. You you could still mend it afterwards by rotating the photo digitally with imaging software. However this implies some slight loss of quality and sharpness, and losing slices of the edges. «and having strong points Still you don·t have a good photo if it is without flaws. Another important part is to have plusses in your picture, strong points that make it interesting (see the oddities and extremes pages). The art is to get those in when taking the picture, and bring them forward and reinforce them. If there nothing interesting or special in a picture, in subject, expression of a model, mood, form, story, colors, contrast and they cannot be brought forward, you should question if this is the right photo to keep in your collection. It doesn·t mean you have to wait till something exceptional happens before making a picture. Even from seemingly uninteresting simple things, a valuable interesting photo can be made. Something that promotes the photo from uninspired photo into picture that has impact, a mood, a meaning, or message. And finally as always: Break The Rules. The ultimate way for an interesting photo is to let it differ from what people expect from photos, or what they have seen before.

Photography tips for beginners
Before going to our own ideas from dptutorial (with oddities and extremes), you should know there is a pretty standard list of useful tips. Here what we think that every beginner should learn as basics and every advanced photographer at least should keep in mind: y Choose a subject or message of your photo. If there is no clear real subject, nothing of graphical interest and no mood to convey, it is probably not an interesting photo. Remove things that don·t add to the photo. Especially if they detract from the central message. Don·t only know what to include, but also what to exclude. Find a simple background and look for balance. In this example the hand of the woman below and the colorful yellow and blue shirts are distracting elements. Waiting until the hand is gone and standing a few steps more to the left, so the people in the back are out of the frame, would both improve the photo. y Don·t be afraid to zoom in or get very close. The most common mistake is that photos are taken from too far away and that there is just too much environment


that doesn·t add to the message. Filling the image with the subject underlines what the intended subject is, and removes cluttered background. It achieves simplicity. y Don·t automatically center your subjects. Beginning photographers massively center their main subjects on their photos. This is not illogical because the photographer aims at the subject with the camera viewer. If you rather place the subject outside the center it will often result in a more dynamic composition. Experiment with that. A popular guideline is the rule of thirds. Imagine the frame divided into thirds, both vertically and horizontally, like a tic-tac-toe board. Then place the subject on or near one of the lines or intersections. This is called the rule of thirds, or the ¶golden mean·. However don·t follow this rule slavishly. Remember that the eyes are most important for people and animals. When zooming in and the head fills the image, the rule of thirds applies to the position of the eyes.


Be sure to hold your camera level. It will break the strength of your photo if the horizon appears with an apparent angle. Sometimes photo opportunities appear in a split second, and you have just no time to control the angle of your camera. When at home your photo appears to be tilted, no problem. With imaging tools it·s easy to level the photo afterwards. However this gives a small loss in image quality. So practise your reflex to hold your camera level in the first place. y Eyes are exceptionally important. They tell the story. When photographing people and animals everything else can be hidden or cropped out: the mouth, the nose, the hair. But the eyes must be visible. In addition, the eyes have to be tack sharp. Unsharpness of the eyes will hurt the attraction to the eyes, and with that the quality of the photo. If the eyes are not sharp, the photo doesn·t look sharp.


Watch the distance with flash. Don·t bother using flash over 30 feet away. Most non professional flashes just completely don·t function at this distance or greater. Flash works best with nearby subjects. When taking a scenery of a bridge at some distance, flash won·t help. Instead of flash, use longer exposure times and a tripod or, if necessary, a higher iso setting. When photographing multiple people with flash, be aware that persons that are close will be

Some examples of the broad possibilities include: . lamp posts and other objects behind the subject that can ruin your photo. This will enhance your the overall quality of the album enormously.An unusual pose or expression of a model .A photo with a clear intentional tilted angle . y Make a selection of your photos. Directly after taking a photograph. But adjusting the settings of the camera to capture the whole full range of luminosity without over or under exposing can be quite a struggle.A photo taken with the camera not at eye level. It is something that does not conform with the expectation. complete with all the flawed versions of the same scene. Image tools can light up the darks and make the tonal visible. Also avoid objects in the background that visually merge with the subject because they have the same color. Introduction to oddities For us. Place a link to this page on your webpage or webblog. y [?] Did you find this useful? Don·t keep it for yourself alone. . the photo is over exposed. Don·t put all your photos. Make a critical selection of your photos. Let the subject be free-standing.illuminated by the flash much more than persons further away. This makes photos dynamic and vivid. So if you want all of them as prominent. Under exposing is also unfortunate. If the histogram is pegged against the right end. The tree growing out of the subject·s shoulder or head is a classic photographic syndrome. however with some or even considerable noise. an oddity can be defined as just anything that is slightly or more out of the ordinary.Not the subject itself but (also) a recognizable depiction like a reflection or shadow of the subject .Frozen movement of an subject in the air . what people are used to see or think in every day life. and share this with others. Just be sure not to overexpose. The bad ones harm the attention that the best ones deserve. The information of over exposed parts of the image will be lost definitively and can·t even be recovered by imaging tools. When it happens. reposition yourself or the subject. have all at the same close distance from your camera. but the camera much lower. As you position yourself for the photo look out for power poles. Adjusting levels afterwards with an imaging tool will be the rescue. y As a rule make use the full range of luminosity: from completely dark (black) to completely white. When pegged against the left hand. reading the histogram can be helpful. keep the very best. in your (online) photo album. how usually things are viewed. it is under exposed. On the other side don·t over expose with digital camera·s.

Lazare· of Henri Cartier-Bresson has multiple oddities in it. Oddities can make the viewer curious. totally twisted. A tremendous range of oddities has already been used in the history of photography. ¶Hey. A very successful oddity can even be intriguing. A remarkable photo isn·t only unusual compared to real life. something strange is going on here. something is not fully normal.The worlds best and famous photos often have one or more oddities in them. while it is obvious he should be moving. but it is not quite obvious what it exactly is. and the jump is supported by the dancing figure on the poster in the background. But if you want to. They create tension or leave something to the imagination. You don·t have to go completely wild and freaky. It is not usual for a street to be flooded. That might become clear by looking better at your photo for a second time. The jumping man is frozen on the photo. A bit unusual and close background. As an example the very famous photo ¶Behind the Gare St. but also an upside down reflection of him. Find your own style and be creative. but is also unusual in photography. or out of the world and cry out loud for attention. consciously or unconsciously. In addition it looks like he is almost walking on the water. and in the far background. People often don·t see at first glance that you used a low camera position below normal eye level. Not only the running man is shown. One would expect air or tree tops. you can. You can see many examples of oddities on the examples page. and in: Landscape photography tips Baby photography tips Aerial photography tips . Oddities trigger something in the mind.· It is often quite an achievement to have a fraction of the precious attention of the viewer.

As opposed to extremes. but dramatically high. Place a link to this page on your webpage or webblog. . but a lot. Introduction to extremes We call an extreme anything that far surpasses the standard or what is rare.[?] Did you find this useful? Don·t keep it for yourself alone. Also. Examples of extremes are: . They can bring a wow-factor to a photo. it should be said there are limits. That fire is hot is not strange and well-known. and share this with others. but excessive and sharp details on your photo. .Not rather high. Now the concept what you can pursue is clear. And that is an important start for a good and interesting photo. but abundant emotion. extremes don·t have to be an oddity. so your photo isn·t overlooked easily. but likely you won·t climb it every year. The huge London Eye Millennium Wheel Extremes bring drama or visual impact. but 180 degrees.Not some details. They attract attention. Standing on the top of the Mount Everest is probably an extreme.Not a little cold. . An oddity will become simply weird or bizarre when taken to the extreme. .Not a bit slanting. . or slightly uncommon. but excessively cold. Extremes are related to what we called oddities. Not a little. oddities are only uncommon. it·s no oddity.Not some emotion. But the very high temperature can be called an extreme.

It about the mixture of ingredients that makes the photo. Place a link to this page on your webpage or webblog. worthwhile photo. and share this with others.Hunting to photograph a near extinct bird is not advisable and must be discouraged. You can see examples of extremes on our examples page. The photo is over exposed or under exposed. We can use the same structure as on our other pages: flaws. we don·t think it·s nearly as important in making good photo·s as other aspects like selection (with the selection of the point of view. Introduction to exposure While exposure is a central interest for some. There is digital noise: . oddities and extremes. But capturing a beautiful. composition and story will make a lasting classic. and at the bottom of the ¶tips per subject· pages: Landscape photography tips Baby photography tips Aerial photography tips [?] Did you find this useful? Don·t keep it for yourself alone. So a few words about exposure. cropping and timing) and creativity. There is motion blur. but with great lighting. Flaws with exposure When making pictures. Considering exposure the flaws can in short be summed up by: y y y y The picture is not in focus (where it should be). but not so common bird with all the details remarkably visible. either by the subject moving. will get warm attention. Having a photo with not so excessive extremes. the first thing you want to do is to prevent flaws. or camera shake.

The photo is not over exposed neither under exposed. the smaller the lens opening. to a sunny afternoon with loads of light. but may also be out of focus to attract more attention to the part that is in focus (this is what it is about for an intermediate and advanced photographer). Keep in mind that the larger the f-stop number. y y y For the exposure. An exposure time of only 1/3000th of a second lets the light through very short. so in total more light reaches the sensor. The amount of light captured by the sensor is a result of some basic mechanisms: y The higher the brightness of the scene. An aperture of f/22 is very small opening for the light to get trough. There is no unwanted (digital) noise. y The higher the ISO-speed. means a wider opening in the lens. You can change it with each photo. and 1/15th or for example 4 seconds is long. the more light reaches the sensor.8 is very wide open: . Not the right combination of these factors would create over exposure (a too bright picture) or under exposure (a too dark picture).The other way round. so in fact you have an extra factor you can easily play with. Other parts of the photo may be in focus. is in focus (this is what it is all about for a beginning photographer). due to limitations of the sensor of the camera (sometimes called the ¶CCD·). Pretty logical. ISO-100 is not very sensitive (but high quality) and ISO-1600 is very sensitive. The right amount of light must be captured by the sensor of the camera. y A bigger aperture.0 or f/2. so more light reaches the sensor. There is no unwanted motion blur. the ¶right· exposure would mean: y y Everything in the picture that should be in focus. four correlating factors come into play: brightness of the scene. y A slower shutter speed means a longer time of exposing light to the sensor. aperture and ISO-speed. an aperture of f/4. shutter speed. This ranges from a photo at night without flash. A big advantage of digital cameras in comparison with analogue cameras is: you don·t have to change film rolls to change the ISO-speed. the more sensitive the sensor is for light.

and let the camera evaluate what it thinks it is the best exposure time. So here are boundaries. aperture and ISO-speed given the lighting conditions. With digital SLRs you can set or prioritize the factors. A right combination of these factors has to be chosen at the moment a picture is taken. so there is less focus on only a part of the photo. This might be wonderful in landscape photography where every detail of the landscape might be the part of the whole scene. it will try to expose the night time photo like it . A longer exposure time brings a smaller aperture and a longer depth of field. but less effective in portrait photography where you want to bring attention to the subject. and vise versa. Because a camera doesn·t take into consideration the difference whether it is night or day. But that is not all. If you choose ¶exposure time priority·. you could increase the ISO-speed of your camera. and not the background. perhaps up to unacceptable levels. But that also increases the noise. First you set the ISO-speed. And that is very practical.These four factors are interrelated. you choose the exposure time. too much light would be captured. If you choose ¶aperture priority· (or ¶Av·). At night a photo doesn·t have to be as bright as in clear daylight. And the camera can even change the lighting conditions« by using the flash! Things to consider are: y To shorten the exposure time. So a good way is to start with a ISO-level where the noise is minimal or at least acceptable. For example from minimal 1/60th of a second to minimal 1/15th of a second. and the camera the aparture. If one is increased. Having an image stabilizing option on your camera reduces the effects of camera shake. meaning more things will appear ·sharp· on the photo. you can set the aperture. y So the usual method is taking the right exposure as starting point (cameras work like this). A camera that is capable of capturing at high ISO-speeds with little noise is a clear advantage. so another must be decreased. This can move the boundaries regarding the factor ¶exposure time·. and let the camera computes the corresponding exposure time. y y A shorter exposure time brings a bigger aperture and shorter depth of field. But this can mean that distracting elements on the photo will be more in focus and therefore be even more distracting. With an automatic program setting you let the camera do the judgement. and let that determine the other factors. Most Digital SLRs have settings to over expose or under expose: ¶exposure compensation¶.

and the less important background out of focus. knowing what is ¶normal·. by setting the exposure compensation to -1 or even -2. having the subject in focus. y Motion blur can also be a wonderful thing. what·s it·s really about (not the f-stop numbers): y Bring the attention to the subject. suggesting motion dynamics: Oddities with exposure But hey. But at night things are in fact dark. So now for the creative part. The viewer has the idea that the subject must be moving fast. y Removing the dynamics of a very fast moving subject (like a running horse or falling water) by capturing only a split second. that gives room for some opportunities for oddites as we presented in our introduction to oddities. Especially the eyes are important to be in focus. . so why let it expose in the ¶correct· exposure like daytime? So consider under exposing daytime.

or afterwards (with more control) with photo editing software. With good eyes. y y Draw attention to a different part of the picture than what is expected. the exposure time must be long enough to create motion blur. That·s odd« y y You can deliberately over expose or under expose. the fixed background shows motion blur. with heavy blurring is in fact a bit odd view of the world. So a photo with a short depth of field. like a racing car.but it is frozen. this results in having the moving subject sharp and without motion blur. nearly everything that you see is sharp. Using the panning technique: follow the movement of a subject. For this. the depth of field of your vision is pretty long. with your camera. If executed well. If you photograph a racing car with a very short exposure . At shooting time. Viewing the normal world with your eyes. and the parts of your vision not in focus are not very blurred. while oddly.

former opposites shaking hands. To have impact. Adding and removing accents The raised eyebrow of a spectator. like with macro photography.time. If there is visual clutter in the picture. Place accents on the main subject Two commonly used and proven ways in photography to point to the main subject are depth of field (DOF). and secondly that must be heavily prominent. and the impact is gone before you know it! With placing and removing accents. Extremes with exposure y An extreme short depth of field. Extreme long exposure times: [?] Did you find this useful? Don·t keep it for yourself alone. and the rest a pinch to even completely out of focus. Depth of field is used by having the point of interest perfectly in focus. attention flows to irrelevant portions of the photo. The area in focus in immediately concieved by the viewer as what would be the main subject. and highlighting the subject. So in the first place the photo must provide such a main point. the eye of the viewer must be directly drawn to the main point of interest of the picture. it looks like it·s rather standing still on the track. and all the excitement of speed is gone. For the photographer it would be a bit . y y Extreme over exposing. the waterfall in a mountain forrest. Place a link to this page on your webpage or webblog. That·s not normal in the regular world. you can give vital direction to a photo. and share this with others.

Not only a red subject in blue environment can count on a lot of attention. or even blacked out completely. Difference in color temperature. Blue colors convey cold or calmness. Like a colorful car on a grey street. In a portrait the eyes are most the most vibrant. A green ball will have a striking appearance between ten blue balls. there are much more posibilities to place accents! To name some possibilities to make the main subject stand out from it·s environment: y y Difference in color. A subject more colorful than the environment. This can also be added afterwards with photoshop. orange. strength and dynamics. Warm colors like red. In black and white photography highlighting the important in a photo is used frequently.inconvenient if that is not what he wants to be the subject. gets interest. yellow. y Difference in saturation. Elements that don·t add to the scene are darkened. . So are highlighting and depth of field the only ways? No. But adding a pinch color or desaturating the environment a little could prove to look unforced and very effective. and the eye will go to the green ball first. Making the photo black and white leaving the subject in color could be seen as a bit worn-out photoshop trick. More ways to place accents A part that differs from the bigger or remaing portion of the picture. and are often highlighted. Warm colors convey a mood of fire. brown strongly contrast with cold colors (colors derived from blue). just to make the subject stand out better. but also something like a blue ball on a red surface.

A subject that ranges from dark to light really stands out from a relatively flat environment. in a fairly flat environment. One step further: artificially blur what is outside the subject. but also improve the contrast and vigour of the photo as a whole. . Difference in brightness. This creates a blurred background. Difference in dynamics. Anything light stands out in a dark environment. When using the sharpening functions of photoshop. Skip the pictures when they look dull in an different direction. An example of this is panning: following a moving subject (like a car) with a relatively long shutter time. A variant of leading lines are the looking directions of people in the image. ¶Dodging· was obstructing light to reach areas. or what we prefer for a more natural look: the levels. If the main subject gets only a tiny slice of one twentieth of the space. consider not applying it for the whole picture. Enhancing the differences between the subject and environment not only point out the subject.y Difference in level of contrast. or better eighty percent. levels or curves function in combination with a layer mask or selection can do the trick. The contrast. but confining to parts that are the subject of the photo. The combination of warm and cold colors can be magnificent. Use Composition Composition is another key factor in leading to the main subject of a photo. Or the other way round: a subject with motion blur in a static environment gets attention. using adjusting layers with masks in Photoshop can really enhance a photo. Apart from size and characteristics. and therefore darkening it. However size isn·t everything. So hence the directive: step closer or zoom in! Give the subject at least one fifth of the image. for example by holding a piece of cardboard in front of the area. Anything dark stands out in a light environment. Choose the moment where they gaze at the subject. Consider placing the main subject with the rule of the thirds. Photoshop offers several options for this: brightness/contrast. y y y So if the subject isn·t prominent enough. the positioning is relevant. This can be achieved with Photoshop by adjusting contrast only in the area of the subject alone. Difference in sharpness. keeps the subject sharp. An environment with motion blur versus a sharp subject. it can disolve in the picture. Besides that there is a ¶Burning· function: a legacy concept from the analogue darkroom ages where ¶burning· meant exposing more light to an area. and when performed well. It is compensated if the main subject is sharp and bold red. Use leading lines that direct the eye to the subject.

we also know some ways how to reduce attention. Blend the distraction elements into the environment: y y y y y Desaturate. Apply the desaturation function locally to the distracting element and turn a screaming yellow into a pastel color or grey. Keep it natural With photo editting you should keep in mind to keep natural feel of the picture. In the example above. and the environment is desaturated to some extent. Use brightness. Possibly in combination with some desaturation. the approach is to lessen their influence. to darken or to lighten that area. Select the distracting element and possible some of its surroundings. take a standpoint that looses the distracting elements from of the picture frame. Remove accents on distracting elements All areas of a photo are competing. Don·t overdo adjustments that would make the picture look artificial. Select the distracting element. by using a bigger aperture of the camera lens. Now we know how to attract attention. the most simple and best method is just to omit those screaming distracting elements. Or with postprocessing. If you can·t omit them. or afterwards with blurring. If possible. the traffic sign and car behind are darkened completely. .And finally: use a frame around the main subject to add attention to it. If there are irrelavant parts of an image screaming for attention. When taking a photograph. and in the levels function slide the upper or lower output level more to the middle. and keep it well balanced. just crop the distracting elements out. Blur the background. that will hurt the main subject badly. Reduce the sharpness. Adject the hue to change the color of the element to match it better with the surroundings. Something has to be done in defense. Reduce the difference in color. Lessen the difference of the distracting element with its immediate surroundings. Reduce the contrast. and in the levels function change the input levels. Remove colorful toys in the background from sight.

Let·s go to practice . The photo will be transformed to black and white. First the street in the bottom is overexposed. To give you a first quick grasp of the concepts: ¶Layers· are based on the editing filters you probably know. This can all be done in Photoshop with the concept of ¶Layers· with ¶Masks·. especially their faces. ¶Masks· are like selections that determine for which parts of the image the filters are applied. and more attention will be given to just the couple. for example the filter for adjusting the brightness of a photo. the overexposing of the street will be fixed. On this page we will use this photo to explain adjusting the photo locally. But Layers have some advantages above that.Local adjustments with Photoshop However an interesting photo. and that is taking away attention from the couple. Secondly the faces are a bit dark. we will discuss that later. there are some minus points with this photo. We are going to make a correction to this photo that will provide a step by step explanation of how to adjust pictures locally with Photoshop.

Turn the photo into black and white (by adding a layer) First we will make the picture Black and white with a Hue/Saturation Hue/Saturation (2) . . You will have something like: Now we will start with the editing.jpg) to your harddisk.In bottom of the layers window. for working with layers in Photoshop. If it is not visible.For the best conception of this lesson.pull the Saturation slider completely to the left. the best way is to have the ¶Layers· window visible. and open it in Photoshop. to -100 . in the Photoshop-menu ¶Window· check ¶Layers· (or press F7 instead).dptutorial. save the photo above (www. press the little round with a black and white half (1) . Then.

Like above: again press the little round with a black and white half OK We have added a new layer: a Brightness/Contrast layer. . so nothing special Brightness/Contrast . But what is the use of Layers? Please wait for some next steps« Deal with overexposing (by adding an adjustment layer«) The street at the bottom is overexposed. But now you have done it by adding a ¶Layer· to the OK You maybe have made a picture black and white before.the picture will be darker now .pull the Brightness slider to the left to about -50 . So what would help is to decrease the brightness.the picture will be black and white now . .

The mask (the box in the upper right marked with the red box) of the Brightness is white. and the picture will turn light again . and the people are even more invisible. But now have a new problem: the complete photo is dark. the masks turns white again .press ctrl-I (this means ¶Inverse the mask·). you will see the effect In the end it should look like: .ctrl-I once again and the mask turns black. . The mask will turn black.If you press ctrl-I again. Here·s how it works. So what we want is to restrain the darkening to the street only.« and adding a mask We treated the overexposing of the street now by making it darker.

If you don·t see the brush settings of (3). in the Photoshop menu ¶Window· select ¶Options·.in the brush settings (3). the Brightness function is applied and the picture is darkened .and the street on the picture will turn darker on the same place This is because the mask tells where to apply the decrease of Brightness . First we choose the paintbrush tool with a white color: . This will have set the painting color to white (1) .Where the mask is you paint you will see that the bottom of the mask will be white .Now we will apply the darkening only to the street. the Brightness function is not applied .choose the paint brush tool (2) . and then make the settings. Now we have the right ¶x·.paint the street with the paintbrush . choose a diameter of about 30pixels and a hardness of 0%. This is by painting the bottom of the mask white. so now we can use it: . .press ¶d· (that means ¶default·: white and black) .Where the mask is white.

if you made a mistake and painted too much white: press x (to switch the painting to the color black) and paint the mistakes black again (or all together make it black again).paint over the faces and hands of the couple.again choose the paint brush tool .Again press the little round with a black and white half . Then press x again (to switch .choose a diameter of about 10pixels and a hardness of 50% . Still it can be enhanced more. . Give the faces more contrast (another adjustment layer with a mask) The picture has improved a lot.Congratulations.pull the Contrast slider to the right to about +30 .press OK This has increased the contrast of the whole picture: Now we going to apply it locally only to the faces and the legs .press ctrl-I. We will apply another layer that do this.pull the Brightness slider to the right to about +20 . To let the faces of the couple and the legs of the woman more attention. we make a subtle change. What we have done is making a local adjustment! The over exposing is replaced by a bit more Brightness/Contrast . and the legs of the woman . This will make the mask black .

Layer offers non destructive editing: . This is the great thing about next to the Hue/ Saturation layer so the layer will be visible again (1) . Continue to paint in white. change the Opacity to 38% (2) The layer has only 38% of its ¶power·. Try color again (switching of a layer and opacity) One question could into mind: what would the picture look like in color? . .on top of the layers window.the painting color white). so the picture is not black and white completely. The eye disappears. and the picture will be in color again. you can always alter the areas where the filters are effective The colors are a bit harsh. but desaturated only a can switch on and of filters you applied earlier . meaning that the desaturation-layer is not visible. We have made a subtle editing masks. so we decide to desaturate only a little One way is by letting the (de)saturation layer only partly do its job: .click on the ¶eye· symbol next to the Hue/ Saturation layer (that is (1) in the image below).

Then we use parts of this copy. For this there are no adjustment layers. To see that it is on top of the ¶Background· layer you maybe you have to scroll the Layer window down a bit. First make a copy of the original layer with the picture: .You don·t have to change the settings.Add sharpness locally (with a duplicate layer) Finally we end this session with some sharpening only parts of the image. . just click on ¶OK· Now the new layer ¶Background copy· is created.A ¶Duplicate layer· window appears . We apply the sharpening on a copy of the original layer with the the Photoshop-menu ¶Layer·select ¶Duplicate layer· .select the layer with the name ¶Background· (make the bar blue) .

.For Amount choose 300% .8 .We will apply some sharpening to the layer ¶Background copy·. including the environment like the bench the couple is sitting on.For Radius choose 0.Click on ¶OK· The ¶Background· layer is hidden. .In the photoshop menu ¶Filter· choose ·sharpen· and then ¶unsharp mask·. The ¶Background copy· layer is sharpened making the complete picture is sharp. . with no sharpening.For threshold choose 0 . and has stayed as it was.

Press on the little grey box. But the sharpness is a little too harsh. we can fine tune it afterwards: .As before. we will remove the sharpness of the ¶d· and ¶x· to set the painting color to white .Set the opacity of the ¶Background copy· layer to 70% . The attention will flow to the people. below (1) . we will add one: . but leaving the bench. in the brush settings. With layers. just as we wanted. with the white round.To direct more attention to the ctrl-I to make the mask black . and because the ¶Background copy· doesn·t have a mask at all. Again we will use a mask.Paint the couple. This will make the couple sharp.choose the paint brush tool .A white mask is added to the layer ¶Background copy· (2) . choose a diameter of about 30pixels and a hardness of 0% .

We are done!

To clarify our concepts of oddities, extremes and accents, we give a few examples based on some well know historical and modern photographs. In fact, many of the finest famous photographs can be attributed with these three concepts. Jacques-Henri Lartigue - Grand Prix de l·A.C.F. Made in 1912, at the Grand Prix of the Automobile Club of France, the young Jacques-Henri Lartigue took a photograph that displays the speed of the technological age. This photo has some very nice extremes, oddities, and accents.

Oddities: - The wheel is not a normal round wheel, but an unusual elliptical form (this was a result of horizontal plane shutter of the camera). - The figures in the background don·t look like normal persons, but rather strange shades. Extremes: - The photo wonderfully shows the high speed of the racing car. Accents: - While the two drivers are sharp, all the rest is blurred by the motion. This strengthens the feel of motion. - While the wheels are bending forward, the public is bending backward.

André Kertész - Meudon This photo taken in 1928 in a suburb of Paris by the Hungarian-born photographer André Kertész.

Oddities: - It is unusual to see a train from an angle from below, riding above a suburb. - The man in front is pretty misterious. Extremes: - The photo shows the great height of the viaduct. Accents: - Two main objects in the photo, the dark train as well as the people in front, are emphasized by their darkness compared to the surroundings.

Horst P. Horst - Mainbocher Corset In 1939 Horst P. Horst took this famous photograph of the Mainborcher Corset in the Paris Vogue studios. Oddities: - A corset is not very comfortable, yet the woman sits elegantly and relaxed. - With a corset always two are involved: the woman wearing it, and someone who laces it. So where is the second person? Extremes: - The corset is an extreme clothing accessory, forming a very small (wasp) waist. Accents: - The photographer uses highlights and deep shadows. - The corset and the laces are the lightest parts of the photo and therefore emphasized.

Dennis Stock - James Dean on Times Square Dennis Stock photographes James Dean in 1955, a few months before his tragic death in an automobile accident.

The subject itself is extreme: one of the greatest legends of the 20th century.The massiveness and the extreme cold of the glacier. . Oddities: .Beneath James Dean a strange figure. Spencer Tunick . . his reflection. Extremes: . with heavy rainfall and soaked streets.Oddities: . Extremes: .Aletsch Glacier In 2007. he looks taller because of the low shooting angle and the shadow. Accents: . walks along with him.While he is was not particularly tall.The installation uses a big crowd of the 600 volunteers. .James Dean is forms a dark silhouette in a light environment. .Standing nude in an icy environment can be called peculiar. Spencer Tunick made this installation with volunteers that took off their clothes on a glacier in the Swiss Alps to call for action against climate change.The weather is extremely bad. attracting all the attention.

Oddities: . First. take multiple exposures lasting longer than 20 seconds. Second. landscapes don·t move an inch. setting it to the right height. Third.The drummer German artist Loretta Lux uses a combination of photography. or a boat tranquilly floating on the river. with a cloud moving on for five minutes letting the sun shine through the right way. indicated by a blinking highlight warning from your camera. just take another shot. there could be additional dynamic elements in the picture. Accents: . the light will change during the day. that emphasize the red drum. and control almost everything to perfection.The head don·t seem to match the proportions of the body. .Loretta Lux has toned down the colors. But don·t landscapes change at all? Well. painting and digital manipulation to create her surreal portraits of young children.The positioning of the volunteers emphasizes the structure of the glacier. That gives you the opportunity to set up a tripod at exactly the right spot. the clouds can make a big difference. . . could make vivid spectacle. . yes they do. like an eagle flying in the air.The humans with (warm) skin color stand out well in the white surroundings and the (cold) blue sky. Landscape photography tips While most people and animals won·t sit still for a second.The picture raises the question to the viewer: is this real? Extremes: . Also with The Drummer (2004) she transforms a child portrait into a new reality.There seems to be no room for the body between the drum and the wall.The pose is extreme firm and static. If one shot fails miserably with exposure. Loretta Lux . . A dull scenery.Accents: .The child looks very intense into the camera.

If your image wants to convey the beauty of nature. makes a diagonal that brings some dynamic in the image. y Watch for repetitions in the landscape. Then the really interesting parts of the photo can get lost in the overall picture. don·t automatically use a wide angle lens and try to include everything in your photo. It is very awkward to have a landscape photo with the horizon tilted. . and frame your photo accordingly to simplify the photo. When walking closer they can make a fine foreground. But human elements don·t always have to ruin a landscape photo. and visible human figures walking around can point out the vastness of the scenery. just wait 2 minutes till that red car has driven away. that let·s the viewer wonder why it hasn·t fall yet. Try to find a spot where that traffic sign at the center of the landscape stands right behind a tree. Instead choose an interesting part of the scene. y Remember to have the camera horizontal. A living tree bending over so much. in fact there are quite some.Flaws to avoid with landscape photography y While a broad view can be interesting. Mist above a lake can hide the horizon and take away the expected clear distinction line between the lake and the sky. When possible try to get rid of that. y Sometimes there are strange objects like dead trees with curling branches. Mist can create a calm or mysterious atmosphere. y Weather is of great help with oddities. Curly roads could be excellent leading lines. y Oddities with landscape photography While you probably won·t expect many oddities with landscape picture. human constructed elements like a shiny red car or a white fence might well spoil the mood.

Extremes with landscape photography When looking for extremes. Normally you can·t see sun beams. If the camera is switched to auto exposure. landscapes are the natural place to be. y y The landscape can also extraordinary parts. Besides that they can be used as a focal point. Show the height of mountains. . vertical lines will converge. So be sure that your camera is exactly horizontal by using a level attached to the hot shoe of your camera. Ultra wide panoramas with an ultra wide angle lens or by stitching multiple photos together in the digital darkroom gives a fascinating view with giant impact. heaps of snow making it a drastic different scene. like very steep mountains. And of course rainbows are a colorful addition. This will make it very difficult in the digital darkroom.y y y Lakes can generate marvellous reflections of trees and mountains. y y In freezing winter there is ice on the lakes. sun beams create an orchestra of diagonals. but when clouds break. Manual exposure can prevent that. People or objects with familiar size can be used to emphasize the scale of the photo. an unusual rotated extra view of subjects. the different shots can have a different exposure settings that have to be adjusted afterwards. the vastness of a flat landscape. If you want to stitch multiple photos together if there is any tilt to the camera.

The surrounding is seldom important for a baby photo. an imaging tool on your computer is a rescue. Try to limit the range of colors on the photo. choose simple. But with using oddities and extremes with photographing babies the photo may be very interesting for an even broader audience. Have your camera ready. Babies are a wonderful subject to capture. For the best photos. they are cuddly. Flaws to avoid with baby photography y Their huge eyes are even more important than with photographing adults. light and solid-colored clothing. y Babies are quite unpredictable in their behaviour and motion blur can spoil the party. The background should be kept simple. and your relatives isn·t always interesting for outsiders. They are cute. unless you want to introduce that on purpose of course. A special moment is lost before you know it. Get different y y y y . When using a wide angle lenses avoid distortion. commonly very colorful baby toys. but require skill and patience taking a good photo. Not cluttered with chairs. And take a lot of photos to choose the best and sharpest ones. Remember that the sweet memory for you. It may even make a winner for a baby photo contest.Baby photography tips They are the most photographed subject in the world. Patterned or heavily colored clothing can distract from the baby·s face and eyes. You can try the red eye reduction function on your camera. Zoom in or get close. Just throw the mediocre and bad photos away. Try to get those eyes sharp. and a big aperture to freeze the moments. or other children running through the view. Use a high iso speed. Avoid red eyes by not using flash at all using lots of natural light when photographing by taking photos outdoors or nearby windows. If that doesn·t work well or not at all.

be careful. but for example only her legs. With young babies it even suggests the way they see the world. From above. where is the rest? On the other hand it will place all the focus on that part of the body. but some luck. Like a baby with big adult shoes. Show the world not from the perspective of an adult. from behind. This will evoke the unconscious though: hey. that doesn·t match what a viewers think of a baby. the tiny fingers. Not photographing the baby. Capture the baby showing an adult facial expression or behaviour. Baby photos to the extreme Show the extremes: y The miniature proportions of the baby. Of course. y Props. Hey. This is emphasized by comparing it to the proportions of the hand of the father or mother. Or even more extreme: rotating the resulting image. y Baby having fun in peculiar place. big sunglasses. but as a giant. y Do the opposite: don·t show the baby as a small creature. or only his hands. You don·t have to go as far as Anne Geddes to make an interesting picture.Some possibilities for oddities with baby photography are: y Leaving parts out of the image. y Blurred backgrounds work really well with babies. or blur the background afterwards with an imaging tool. but of the baby. that·s odd. what viewer might have overlooked. If you are lucky enough to photograph identical twins you don·t even need the mirror to give the photo an unexpected edge. Don·t show the whole baby. or a funny shirt. More experimental could be an exploring baby crawling a mirror on the ground. or some help from photo editing software will help. This will not be quite easy. y Show motion blur in the background with a sharply captured baby running around. Remember that a sharp face and eyes are important for a striking image. but the colorful toys that make up the world of the baby. y y y y y . The wonderful tiny feet. Use mirrors. Never was conscious of perspective on the world. Even ordinary props can become very funny with a baby. Use a long lens with a big aperture. It simplifies the surroundings. y Try photographing from another angle. Photograph the baby assuming a strange pose.

a helicopter. Shooting though the plastic results in less sharpness and y . An image stabilizer has become a popular feature in photo cameras. the vibration will shake the camera and your pictures will be blurred. but that is just a start. When sitting in a private plane you are subject to movements and vibrations. Flaws with aerial photography The basic photography can be learned on the ground. Without a clear topic. whether photographing from a commercial aircraft. but there are many aspects that are specific for aerial photography. and share this with others. However is it is surely no sinecure to capture that fantastic view in a photographic image. By adding image stabilization. aesthetics and creativity your photo won·t shine. Silly to sad. Show the formidable softness of the sheets of the baby Capture the abundant emotions of the baby. Aerial photography is a world on it·s own. a balloon. [?] Did you find this useful? Don·t keep it for yourself. Preferably photograph on a clear and smooth day. Get as close as your lens will allow. grouchy to mischievous.y y y y Heavily dirty because of partly failed food consumption. a private plane. huge distress. y Haze is another special and big problem with aerial photography. Happiness. If you touch the window or any part of the of the plane. Do an extreme close up. Many plane windows are Plexiglas and with heavy scratches. your shots improve immensely. an ultralight or even doing radio controlled (rc) aerial photography or kite aerial photography. Don·t let your arms or your camera touch the aircraft. Don·t only get close. y A daunting problem with photographing from a small plane is vibration. Place a link to this page on your webpage or webblog. a glider. Aerial photography tips Flying high in the air offers an incredible view of the world. A polarizing filter can help to improve contrast. Aerial photography asks for an abundant amount of technique and practical considerations.

Show certain structures in landscape or cityscape and exclude what is not relevant. Search for a clear subject in the picture. or at most a few topics.reflections. Oddities with aerial photography . shoot with the camera straight through the window. Then the warm and low sunlight creates long shadows. But don·t touch the window with your camera because of the vibrations. switch off auto focus. This will spoil your nice photo. Watch for the position of the sun. some forest. When flying in a private aircraft. instead of at an angle. Manually focus to infinity or switch to ¶landscape mode·. and vague horizon. First of all a window seat is needed. like a tall building. the view will be obscured by the wing or blurred by the engine exhaust. y y y Don·t forget the most important: your photograph must present a clear topic. a lake or colored agricultural field. If you are on a commercial flight. and ¶everything· will be included in the view: merely a chaotic combination of unclear miniature. The best lighting a probably the hours after sunrise and before sunset. since the subjects on the ground are several thousand feet away. choose your seating. And if you are too close to a wing. because often a distinct and inexorable horizon is within the frame. The subject must be clear and big enough on the photo not to disappear in the rest. Be aware that it can get cold inside. When you are taking a photo from your own house be sure there is no rubbish in your garden. Zoom in when necessary or get closer if possible. y y With aerial photography holding it is even more important to hold your camera level. Make use of shadows. the view will be very broad. This will avoid the camera focusing on the window glass. So do some selection. etcetera. Your photo will look flat if you have the sun directly behind you. indistinguishable houses of several villages. When you are flying high. see if there are possibilities to shoot through an open window. y When possible. If it is not possible to shoot through an open window.

Attach the camera to the wing of your the private plane. Black and white is great way to learn important fundamentals of photography. Use a ultra wide angle.Aerial photography gives an unusual perspective of the world with surreal toy-towns or landscapes that can·t be seen from the ground. We love it. glider or ultralight aircraft. B & W photography tips At dptutorial we like black and white photography. or when the sky is red at sunset. or even a fish eye to capture even more. Extremes with aerial photography You can take your aerial photos to the extreme: y y y Show the extreme size of mountains and the fabulous extensiveness of the landscape. y Show the unusual shapes of the earth. So there you scored one or two oddities already. but you grab and hold the attention of the viewer. . But you have more oddities in your photo. y y y Use the mystique of mist and clouds above the earth. and using radio control make a picture of the aircraft itself with you in it. Indian Summer. of even upside down. That gives an odd first reaction for the viewer: was someone out there hanging in the air taking the picture? Of course not. Shoot the earth with unusual colors of snow. Make a picture when your plane is at a great angle.

Black and white photography gives you creative and artistic options. You can play with the channel mixer. gradations of gray and contrast between darks and lights. Therefore the black and white format requires a different view when taking photo·s. telling a story and showing the forms and structures. The photographer has to focus on the graphic elements instead of colors. maybe even limited to specific parts of the photo. With street photography in a city this is often the case. shapes come forward and the different shades become apparent. shapes. The great photographer Ansel Adams once said µThe negative is comparable to the composer·s score and the print to its performance. with emphasis on the subject. but it is far less prominent . You can adjust the photo make a wonderful black and white photo. You can convert to black and white to remove an abundant and mismatching chaos of colors in the background that inhibit the attention to the real subject. Each performance differs in subtle ways.Black and white photography is about texture. With a bright and overcast day often results in a white sky on the photo. Color photos often hide those aspects behind the surface of colors.µ. With black and white in digital photography this has entered a new era with more possibilities for the performance then ever. lines. Flaws with black and white photography Flaws white: are a bit different from color photography in black and y Black and white photography could be the salvation for flaws you would have with a colored version of your photo. In color that sky looks washed out and boring. Converting a color photo to a black and white photo is not limited to applying a filter to the photo with saturation set to zero. lines. those fundamental facets of texture. When the colors are removed. tuning levels and curves.

contrast. composition and forms. Apparent distracting object in the background with lots of contrast can be flattened by reducing the contrast there. tonal range. In black and white they convert into similar shades of grey and the distinction is lost. y You can bring additional deviation in the monochrome image by bringing in « color! You can make photo made today have an old-fashioned look by giving it a sepia and white. For landscape photos. So if you decide to make a black and white photo these must be available more than sufficiently in the picture. If the face is blasted by copious flash. then there is nothing left. Oddities with black and white phtotography y Black and white photography is itself an oddity. Some say that there is something sexy in black and white photos. In color a red ball object is visibly very distinct from green grass. With a color photo you could frequently get away with it. while a warm red filter a warm look. That·s odd. y One of the of the critical skills for black and white photography is understand the way colors translate into black and white tones. This will give a little stir to the viewer. y And if there are flaws left on a photo that is converted to black and white. they can be fixed relatively simple. Distracting and dark structures in the background can be eliminated entirely by squeezing those parts wholly into black. and therefore reinforcing the subject of the photo. Not with black and white photography. y The direction and amount of light must be right to add shadows to bring forward the structure. people they know from the present on an ancient photo? A blue color filter will give it a different cold look. in color this would be unpleasant and look unnatural. It remains popular choice for weddings. you still have control how different colors are transformed to grey tones. The light and shadows shouldn·t become harsh too. and skin color is different from a blue sky. When shooting in color and converting it to black and white with photo editing software. Frontal light is often not very helpful. Or use . If it is too little. textures. It creates a timeless and romantic look and heightens depth and emotion. although you can go pretty far with black and white. What might be boring when shot in color could become fascinating when captured in black and white. another is highlighting or darkening specific parts of the photo afterwards. sideways light is. Black and white photography is also often very excellent for portraits. The portrait becomes a more pleasing image when converted to black and white. and forms of objects. In the old days of film camera. if the sun is low. and the black and white photo becomes weak and dull. y A black and white photo relies heavily on structure. the structure is embellished. One method is using the channel mixer. this was done in the dark room with overexposing (·burning·) the specific area with the enlarger. It shows the world in a little abstract way that the naked eye normally doesn·t see. In the digital age this is done with levels or brightness and a mask.

The contrast can be far more extreme than with color photography. If you can see light spot on the remote control. the exposure times will be very long. While pushing a button on the remote control watch the LCD screen or make a photo. Completely white or completely black areas are no problem. While there is color in the monochrome image. Because the filter is very dense.some uncommon and unexpected colors in photography like green and purple. With near infrared photography you can·t capture the thermal radiation. Far infrared waves are thermal. . so you·ll need a good tripod. Trees become white. To actually make near infrared photos you just have to place a filter before your lens that blocks all visible light and passes infrared light. y Infrared photography (IR) gives us complete different view on the world. With a photo editing software like Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro. you can transform that to a beautiful black and white image. Near infrared (NIR) light is closest in wavelength to visible light. This is sometimes called a cold mirror filter. That needs specialized equipment. and the sky black. Far infrared is further away from visible light and closer to the microwave region of the electromagnetic spectrum. Point a TV or DVD player remote control to your photo camera. You can easily test of your camera can capture near infrared light. Extremes with black and white photography With black and white photos you can easily go to extremes. the focus still is on the graphic elements. When you have made the photos. the heat we can feel. your camera probably can make near infrared photos. you won·t be surprised that the photos will appear to be « red.

Learning about Exposure ± The Exposure Triangle by Darren Rowse 183 del. 3 Metaphors for understanding the digital photography exposure triangle: . In it Bryan illustrates the three main elements that need to be considered when playing around with exposure by calling them µthe exposure triangle¶. Most importantly ± a change in one of the elements will impact the Twitter StumbleUpon Digg Bryan Peterson has written a book titled Understanding Exposure which is a highly recommended read if you¶re wanting to venture out of the Auto mode on your digital camera and experiment with it¶s manual settings. written a post on ISO the measure of a digital camera sensor s sensitivity to light 2.icio. The three elements are: 1. This means that you can never really isolate just one of the elements alone but always need to have the others in the back of your mind. Shutter Speed the amount of time that the shutter is open It is at the intersection of these three elements that an image¶s exposure is worked out. Aperture the size of the opening in the lens when a picture is taken 3. Each of the three aspects of the triangle relate to light and how it enters and interacts with the camera.

Now imagine that you¶re inside the room and are wearing sunglasses (hopefully this isn¶t too much of a stretch). If it¶s bigger more light gets through and the room is brighter. Ok ± it¶s not the perfect illustration ± but you get the idea. Shutter Speed is the amount of time that the shutters of the window are open.Many people describe the relationship between ISO. There are a number of ways of increasing the amount of light in the room (or at least how much it seems that there is. Aperture and Shutter Speed using different metaphors to help us get our heads around it. . Aperture is the size of the window. Let me share three. you could increase the size of the window (increase aperture) or you could take off your sunglasses (make the ISO larger). You could increase the time that the shutters are open (decrease shutter speed). The longer you leave them open the more that comes in. Your eyes become desensitized to the light that comes in (it¶s like a low ISO). A quick word of warning first though ± like most metaphors ± these are far from perfect and are just for illustrative purposes: Photo by Liisa The Window Imagine your camera is like a window with shutters that open and close.

Now getting a suntan is something I always wanted growing up ± but unfortunately being very fair skinned it was something that I never really achieved. All I did was get burnt when I went out into the sun. The longer you spend in the sun the increased chances of you getting a tan (of course spending too long in the sun can mean being over exposed). Shutter speed in this metaphor is like the length of time you spend out in the sun. Apply a high strength sunscreen and you decrease the amount of sunlight that gets through ± and as a result even a person with highly sensitive skin can spend more time in the sun (ie decrease the Aperture and you can slow down shutter speed and/or decrease ISO). Keep in mind that changing each element not only impacts the exposure of the image but each one also has an impact upon other aspects of it (ie changing aperture changes depth of . In a sense your skin type is like an ISO rating. In many ways it¶s a juggling act and even the most experienced photographers experiment and tweak their settings as they go. Update: A third metaphor that I¶ve heard used is the Garden Hose (the width of the hose is aperture. As I¶ve said ± neither metaphor is perfect but both illustrate the interconnectedness of shutter speed. Sunscreen blocks the sun at different rates depending upon it¶s strength. Aperture is like sunscreen which you apply to your skin. the length that the hose is left on is shutter speed and the pressure of the water (the speed it gets through) is ISO. aperture and ISO on your digital camera. Bringing It All Together Mastering the art of exposure is something that takes a lot of practice. Some people are more sensitive to the sun than others.Photo by Sanchez Sunbaking Another way that a friend recently shared with me is to think about digital camera exposure as being like getting a sun tan.

The great thing about digital cameras is that they are the ideal testing bed for learning about exposure. ISO 2.field. changing ISO changes the graininess of a shot and changing shutter speed impacts how motion is captured). Shutter Speed Read more: http://www. You can take as many shots as you like at no cost and they not only allow you to shoot in Auto mode and Manual mode ± but also generally have semi-automatic modes like aperture priority and shutter priority modes which allow you to make decisions about one or two elements of the triangle and let the camera handle the other elements. What is the best setting to choose? Should I always choose the lowest one?¶ Thanks for the question Grant. Before I attempt to answer it let me give a quick definition of ISO: . A lot more can be said about each of the three elements in the exposure triangle.icio. Aperture Twitter StumbleUpon Digg Grant (a reader of DPS) asks ± µI¶m confused about ISO Settings in Digital Photography by Darren Rowse 0 del. Check out other relevant posts on the topic at: 1.

The lower the number the lower the sensitivity of the film and the finer the grain in the shots you¶re taking. The same principles apply as in film photography ± the lower the number the less sensitive your camera is to light and the finer the grain.What is ISO? In traditional (film) photography ISO (or ASA) was the indication of how sensitive a film was to light. It was measured in numbers (you¶ve probably seen them on films ± 100. (you can see larger sized images of both shots here for the 100 ISO and here for the 3200 ISO) 100 ISO is generally accepted as µnormal¶ and will give you lovely crisp shots (little noise/grain). 400. 800 etc). In Digital Photography ISO measures the sensitivity of the image sensor. 200. I¶ll illustrate this below with two elargements of shots that I just took ± the one on the left is taken at 100 ISO and the one of the right at 3200 ISO (click to enlarge to see the full effect). . Higher ISO settings are generally used in darker situations to get faster shutter speeds (for example an indoor sports event when you want to freeze the action in lower light) ± however the cost is noisier shots. Most people tend to keep their digital cameras in µAuto Mode¶ where the camera selects the appropriate ISO setting depending upon the conditions you¶re shooting in (it will try to keep it as low as possible) but most cameras also give you the opportunity to select your own ISO also.

Churches etc. 2. Increasing the ISO can help capture the scene. For example ± if you bumped your ISO up from 100 to 400 you¶ll notice that you can shoot at higher shutter speeds and/or smaller apertures. I want little I¶m using a tripod and my subject is stationary I will generally use a pretty low ISO rating. I don¶t have a tripod and/or my subject is moving I might consider increasing the ISO as it will enable me to shoot with a faster shutter speed and still expose the shot well. Light Is the subject well lit? Grain Do I want a grainy shot or one without noise? Tripod Am I using a tripod? Moving Subject Is my subject moving or stationary? If there is plenty of light. When choosing the ISO setting I generally ask myself the following four questions: 1. Of course the trade off of this increase in ISO will be noisier shots. However if it¶s dark. I purposely want grain. Read more from our Digital Photography Techniques. Photography Tips for Beginners Category Read more: http://www. Experiment with different settings and how they impact your images today. 4. Situations where you might need to push ISO to higher settings include: y y y y Indoor Sports Events where your subject is moving fast yet you may have limited light available. ISO is an important aspect of digital photography to have an understanding of if you want to gain more control of your digital camera.When you do override your camera and choose a specific ISO you¶ll notice that it impacts the aperture and shutter speed needed for a well exposed shot. .many galleries have rules against using a flash and of course being indoors are not well lit. Concerts also low in light and often no-flash zones Art Galleries. Birthday Parties blowing out the candles in a dark room can give you a nice moody shot which would be ruined by a bright flash.

Introduction to Shutter Speed in Digital Photography by Darren Rowse 0 del. I¶ve previously looked at making adjustments to ISO and now want to turn our attention to shutter speed. The three main areas that you can adjust are ISO. Aperture and Shutter speed. . In film photography it was the length of time that the film was exposed to the scene you¶re photographing and similarly in digital photography shutter speed is the length of time that your image sensor ¶sees¶ the scene you¶re attempting to capture. What is Shutter Speed? As I¶ve written Twitter StumbleUpon Digg Photo by Hughes500 Previously I¶ve introduced the concept of the Exposure Triangle as a way of thinking about getting out of Auto Mode and exploring the idea of manually adjusting the exposure of your shots. defined most basically ± shutter speed is µthe amount of time that the shutter is open¶.

These are used in very low light situations. Bulb mode lets you keep the shutter open for as long as you hold it down. This is because anything slower than this is very difficult to use without getting camera shake. Some cameras also give you the option for very slow shutter speeds that are not fractions of seconds but are measured in seconds (for example 1 second. The bigger the denominator the faster the speed (ie 1/1000 is much faster than 1/30). 10 seconds.Let me attempt to break down the topic of ³Shutter Speed´ into some bite sized pieces that should help digital camera owners trying to get their head around shutter speed: Photo by konaboy y y y y y y Shutter speed is measured in seconds or in most cases fractions of seconds. 1/60. As a result you ll usually have the options for the following shutter speeds 1/500. If you re using a slow shutter speed (anything slower than 1/60) you will need to either use a tripod or some some type of image stabilization (more and more cameras are coming with this built in). when you re going after special effects and/or when you re trying to capture a lot of movement in a shot). 1/30. 30 seconds etc). 1/250. Shutter speeds available to you on your camera will usually double (approximately) with each setting. 1/125. 1/8 etc. Camera shake is when your camera is moving while the shutter is open and results in blur in your photos. If . This doubling is handy to keep in mind as aperture settings also double the amount of light that is let in as a result increasing shutter speed by one stop and decreasing aperture by one stop should give you similar exposure levels (but we ll talk more about this in a future post). When considering what shutter speed to use in an image you should always ask yourself whether anything in your scene is moving and how you d like to capture that movement. 1/15. Some cameras also give you the option to shoot in B (or Bulb ) mode. In most cases you ll probably be using shutter speeds of 1/60th of a second or faster.

The rule of thumb to use with focal length in non image stabilized situations) is to choose a shutter speed with a denominator that is larger than the focal length of the lens. As you change shutter speed you¶ll need to change one or both of the other elements to compensate for it.another thing to consider when choosing shutter speed is the focal length of the lens you re using. For example if you speed up your shutter speed one stop (for example from 1/125th to 1/250th) you¶re effectively letting half as much light into your camera. For example when you re taking a photo of a waterfall and want to show how fast the water is flowing.y there is movement in your scene you have the choice of either freezing the movement (so it looks still) or letting the moving object intentionally blur (giving it a sense of movement). Longer focal lengths will accentuate the amount of camera shake you have and so you ll need to choose a faster shutter speed (unless you have image stabilization in your lens or camera). The actual speeds you should choose will vary depending upon the speed of the subject in your shot and how much you want it to be blurred. Shutter Speed Bringing it Together Remember that thinking about Shutter Speed in isolation from the other two elements of the Exposure Triangle (aperture and ISO) is not really a good idea. In all of these instances choosing a longer shutter speed will be the way to go. There are times when motion is good. Photo by flamed y y Motion is not always bad I spoke to one digital camera owner last week who told me that he always used fast shutter speeds and couldn t understand why anyone would want motion in their images. or when you re taking a shot of a racing car and want to give it a feeling of speed. or when you re taking a shot of a star scape and want to show how the stars move over a longer period of time etc. For example if you have a lens that is 50mm 1/60th is probably ok but if you have a 200mm lens you ll probably want to shoot at around 1/250. To freeze movement in an image (like in the surfing shot above) you ll want to choose a faster shutter speed and to let the movement blur you ll want to choose a slower shutter speed. However in all of these cases you need to use a tripod or you ll run the risk of ruining the shots by adding camera movement (a different type of blur than motion blur). To compensate for this you¶ll probably need to increase your aperture one stop (for example from f16 to f11). The other . Focal Length and Shutter Speed .

Before I start with the explanations let me say this. I¶ll write more on bringing it together once I¶ve written a post in the coming week on the last element of the Exposure Triangle ± Aperture. I¶ve previously written about the first two and today would like to turn our attention to Aperture. .alternative would be to choose a faster ISO rating (you might want to move from ISO 100 to ISO 400 for example).com/shutter-speed#ixzz1IvGzHXWK Introduction to Aperture in Digital Photography by Darren Rowse 19 del.icio. I¶ve largely focussed upon three elements of the µexposure triangleµ ± ISO. Shutter Speed and Aperture. If you can master aperture you put into your grasp real creative control over your camera. changes in it can mean the difference between one dimensional and multi dimensional shots. In my opinion ± aperture is where a lot of the magic happens in photography and as we¶ll see Photography Tips for Beginners Category Read more: Twitter StumbleUpon Digg Over the last couple of weeks I¶ve been writing a series of posts on elements that digital photographers need to learn about in order to get out of Auto mode and learn how to manually set the exposure of their shots. Read more from our Digital Photography Techniques.

f/5.¶ When you hit the shutter release button of your camera a hole opens up that allows your cameras image sensor to catch a glimpse of the scene you¶re wanting to capture.f/8. You¶ll often see them referred to here at Digital Photography School as f/number ± for example f/2. The aperture that you set impacts the size of that hole. Moving from one f-stop to the next doubles or halves the size of the amount of opening in your lens (and the amount of light getting through). f/4. The larger the hole the more light that gets in ± the smaller the hole the less light. It seems the wrong way around when you first hear it but you¶ll get the hang of it. Photo by Adam Clutterbuck Depth of Field and Aperture There are a number of results of changing the aperture of your shots that you¶ll want to keep in mind as you consider your setting but the most noticeable one will be the depth of field that your shot will have.f/22 etc. One thing that causes a lot of new photographers confusion is that large apertures (where lots of light gets through) are given f/stop smaller numbers and smaller apertures (where less light gets through) have larger f-stop numbers.What is Aperture? Put most simply ± Aperture is µthe size of the opening in the lens when a picture is taken. Aperture is measured in µf-stops¶. Keep in mind that a change in shutter speed from one stop to the next doubles or halves the amount of light that gets in also ± this means if you increase one and decrease the other you let the same amount of light in ± very handy to keep in mind).8 is in fact a much larger aperture than f/22.6.8. . So f/2.

. This is a very shallow depth of field and was taken with an aperture of f/4.Depth of Field (DOF) is that amount of your shot that will be in focus.8 shot (2nd one) has the left flower in focus (or parts of it) but the depth of field is very shallow and the background is thrown out of focus and the bud to the right of the flower is also less in focus due to it being slightly further away from the camera when the shot was taken. The first picture below (click them to enlarge) on the left was taken with an aperture of f/22 and the second one was taken with an aperture of f/2. It can be a little confusing at first but the way I remember it is that small numbers mean small DOF and large numbers mean large DOF. Small (or shallow) depth of field means that only part of the image will be in focus and the rest will be fuzzy (like in the flower at the top of this post (click to enlarge). The f/22 picture has both the flower and the bud in focus and you¶re able to make out the shape of the fence and leaves in the background.5). Large aperture (remember it¶s a smaller number) will decrease depth of field while small aperture (larger numbers) will give you larger depth of field. You¶ll see in it that the tip of the yellow stems are in focus but even though they are only 1cm or so behind them that the petals are out of focus. Large depth of field means that most of your image will be in focus whether it¶s close to your camera or far away (like the picture to the left where both the foreground and background are largely in focus ± taken with an aperture of f/22). Aperture has a big impact upon depth of field.8. The f/2. The difference is quite obvious. Let me illustrate this with two pictures I took earlier this week in my garden of two flowers.

Go outside and find a spot where you¶ve got items close to you as well as far away and take a series of shots with different aperture settings from the smallest setting to the largest.The best way to get your head around aperture is to get your camera out and do some experimenting.icio. In this case you¶d choose a large aperture (small number) to ensure a shallow depth of field. Photography Tips for Beginners Category Read more: http://www. On the other hand in portrait photography it can be very handy to have your subject perfectly in focus but to have a nice blurry background in order to ensure that your subject is the main focal point and that other elements in the shot are not distracting. I hope that you found this introduction to Aperture in Digital Photography helpful. Some styles of photography require large depths of field (and small Apertures) For example in most landscape photography you¶ll see small aperture settings (large numbers) selected by photographers. You¶ll quickly see the impact that it can have and the usefulness of being able to control aperture. Macro photographers tend to be big users of large apertures to ensure that the element of their subject that they are focusing in on totally captures the attention of the viewer of their images while the rest of the image is completely thrown out of Understanding Exposure by Brian Peterson ± a Reader Review by Darren Rowse 44 del. Read more from our Digital Photography Techniques. This ensures that from the foreground to the horizon is relatively in Twitter StumbleUpon Digg .

He also includes some exercises throughout the book to help you practice what you have just read. If you are really into the technical side of photography. to beginning and intermediate photographers. a good example shot often reinforces what you have just read. This book apparently was written for film cameras then tweaked to add digital. Particularly helpful is his inclusion of exposure settings and lenses used for each image. this is the one that stands out as the most helpful. Thanks for going to the time to write this review Saralonde! Book Rating: 4/5 Of all the photography books I have on my bookshelf. as well defining exposure. The book includes many pictures that illustrate his concepts quite well. something I had long ignored. and believe me. A few small caveats: y y y y y I wish he would include ISO along with the other settings next to his pictures. These are not just pretty pictures to show you his abilities as a photographer. special techniques. which is why I like photography. . This book will help you with composition. An interesting section deals with what he calls the ³Who Cares?´ apertures. He does not really discuss ISO until the end of the book. It will help you analyze why his shots turn out the way they do and give you a starting point for shooting similar types of pictures. depth of field and other aspects of photography. Don¶t let the dry title fool you. Some of this information would not be helpful to those with a point and shoot. Also helpful to me was a discussion of the depth of field preview button. and a discussion of film vs. but you want sharpness and contrast for your shot. lighting and shutter speed. digital. The book is divided into these three topics. but practical. Easy to read and straight-forward. It will take the fear out of moving from the point and shoot modes to the creative modes of your camera. It is the first one I recommend to new photographers and it is one that I refer to when I need a bit of a refresher. Peterson lists these as the f/8 to f/11 settings that you should use when depth of field is not critical.This reader review of Brian Peterson¶s Understanding Exposure was submitted by one of Digital Photography School¶s beloved forum moderators ± Saralonde. Not much discussion of the use of flash. This is a book written mostly for people with slr cameras (film or digital). photography¶s basic triumvirate. This is not a highly technical book and any technical points are well-written and easy to understand. I have quite a few. Being a visually inclined person. you might find this is not as mechanically inclined as you d like. Understanding Exposure offers the basics of aperture.

If you are an intermediate photographer. My problem is that I have a point and shoot camera that doesn¶t have the ability to change aperture and shutter speed manually. Study this book (and your camera¶s manual) and you will be well on your way to becoming a better photographer. I would especially like to have more control .Who is Understanding Exposure For? If you are a beginner. it will help you to sharpen your skills and move you to the next level. Book Rating: 4/5 Read more: How to Control Aperture and Shutter Speed on an Entry Level Point and Shoot Digital Camera by Darren Rowse 0 del. this is the book for Twitter StumbleUpon Digg thanks for your recent articles on aperture and shutter speed.icio. If you are a beginner who is serious about learning to improve your photography skills.00 (US)? Buy Understanding Exposure at Amazon. this book will help you understand the basics of exposure and help you take your camera off full automatic mode. they were really interesting. What more can you ask for $15.

Really you have two main options. Learn to live with your point and shoot and learn how to trick it into doing what you want. macro . Ultimately you¶ve got a digital camera that was designed largely to be used in Auto mode where it makes the decisions about what settings to choose. Alternatively look at a more advanced point and shoot. white balance. movie (for more on shooting modes see this previous post). exposure etc. If you¶re looking to upgrade you¶ve got two main choices ± a DSLR or another point and shoot with more manual control (read this tutorial on making the choice between DSLR and Point and Shoot cameras). Having said this ± even the most basic entry level point and shoot digital cameras these days come with a variety of shooting modes which give you the photographer the ability to tell the camera what situation you¶re shooting in and what type of photo you¶re hoping to take. If you go for a point and shoot look for something that at least has aperture priority or shutter priority modes. 2. Probably the best bet if you¶re after complete control (in more than just aperture and shutter speed) is to go for a DSLR which will let you add a variety of lenses. . Of course this option is going to cost you financially. portrait . While you can do a few things to µtrick¶ your camera (see below) you¶ll be limited in the exactness in the settings it will choose.of aperture and depth of field ± is there any way I can do this without upgrading my camera? Submitted by Susan. These days even some of the more basic point and shoot cameras coming onto the market come with manual or semi-manual control. landscape . 1. Upgrade your camera The first of these options is probably ideal if you want real control over the settings your camera uses for aperture and shutter speed. Good question Susan ± it¶s one I¶ve had a few times of late so you¶re not alone as a Point and Shoot user wanting more control over your settings. If you don¶t have the budget for this ± read on. The most common shooting modes include sports . shoot in full manual mode (in most cases) and have lots of control over other elements such as ISO.

us Twitter StumbleUpon Digg Over the last few weeks we¶ve been looking at different elements of exposure and how to move out of the . If you re looking for a wider depth of field (ie everything in focus) shoot in Landscape mode where the camera selects small apertures in this mode.Understanding and using these modes gives you a little more control over settings like Aperture and Shutter Speed as each of them will trigger different settings in your Aperture and Shutter Priority Modes by Darren Rowse 5 del. If you re looking for a fast shutter speed choose Sports mode as in this mode it s assuming you want to freeze fast moving subjects.icio. You write in your question that you¶d like more control over Aperture and Depth of Field. start saving for your next digital camera! Enjoy this tutorial? Get more free tips by subscribing to Digital Photography School. Read more: http://www. I¶d encourage you to shoot in two modes ± µPortrait¶ and µLandscape¶. y y y y If you re looking for Shallow Depth of Field (ie your foreground and background blurry) shoot in Portrait mode as this will trigger your camera to choose a wider aperture. Of course none of these modes allow you to get specific about the settings your camera chooses but they do give you a bit more control than you might think you have. You could try shooting in Night mode (if your camera has it) but this mode will also fire off a Try covering your flash up and you might get the result you re after. If you re looking for a slow shutter speed you ll have more of a challenge as most cameras don t have a an automatic mode that naturally chooses this. If you¶re still thirsting for more control.

They give you some control over your settings but also ensure you have a well exposed image by the camera making some of the decisions on settings. Let me explain each separately: Aperture Priority Mode (often it has a symbol of µA¶ or Av¶ to indicate it¶s selected) In this mode you as the photographer sets the aperture that you wish to use and the camera makes a decision about what shutter speed is appropriate in the conditions that you¶re shooting in. A Quick Reviser We¶re looked at how the three elements of the exposure triangle impact one another. This is particularly the case when it comes to aperture and shutter speeds. Photo by carpe icthus . In the opposite way if you increase the length of time your shutter is open you decrease the necessary aperture that you¶ll need to get a well exposed shot. We¶ve looked at Aperture. Now that we¶ve looked at the theory of how changing these elements impacts an image I¶d like to move into how to use them by examining two shooting modes that many digital have on them that allow you to take a step away from the automatic settings that you might be spending a lot of time in. As a result you will need a shorter shutter speed. As you increase the size of your aperture (make the hole that you shoot through bigger) you let more light into your image sensor. Shutter Speed and ISO and have discovered what each of them is and what impact changing them will have on your images.µAuto¶ mode on your digital camera. The two shooting modes are Aperture Priority Mode and Shutter Priority Mode. Priority Modes Aperture and Shutter Priority modes are really semi-manual (or semi-automatic) modes.

4 ± as in the example to the right) and let the camera choose an appropriate shutter speed. For example if they want to photograph a racing car but want to completely freeze it so there is no motion blur they¶d choose a fast shutter speed (say at 1/2000 like in the first shot below) and the camera would take into consideration how much light there was available and set an appropriate aperture. Once you get much slower than this level you¶ll need to consider using a tripod.When would you use Aperture Priority Mode? ± if you remember our tutorial on aperture you¶ll see how the main impact that aperture had on images was with regards to Depth of Field (DOF). If instead you wanted to photograph the car but have some motion blur to illustrate how fast the car is moving you might like to choose a slower shutter speed (like the second shot below which has a shutter speed of 1/125) and the camera would choose a smaller aperture as a result. When would you use Shutter Priority Mode? ± in our tutorial on shutter speed we talked about how the main impact of different shutter speeds was how µmovement¶ would be captured in your images. If they want a shallow DOF (for example in the shot to the right which has the flower in focus but the background nice and blurred) they¶ll select a large aperture (for example f/1. If they wanted an image with everything in focus they¶d pick a smaller aperture (for example f/22) and let the camera choose an appropriate shutter speed (generally a longer one). As a result most people use Aperture Priority Mode when they are attempting to have some control in this area. Shutter Priority Mode (often has a symbol of Tv or S) In this mode you as the photographer choose the shutter speed that you wish to shoot at and let the camera make a decision about what aperture to select to give a well exposed shot. As a result most people switch to shutter priority mode when they want more control over how to photograph a moving subject. Also if you¶re photographing a moving subject your shutter speed will impact how it¶s captured and a slow shutter speed will mean your subject will be blurred). When choosing an Aperture keep in mind that the camera will be choosing faster or longer shutter speeds and that there comes a point where shutter speeds get too long to continue to hand hold your camera (usually around 1/60). Photo by jamalaly .

Read more from our Digital Photography Techniques. In Aperture Priority Mode take some shots at the largest aperture you can (small numbers) and see how it blurs the background (but also increases the shutter speed) and then head to the other end of the spectrum to take some shots at the smallest aperture you can (large numbers) to see how it keeps more of your image in focus. Don¶t be frustrated if your initial shots are not what you¶d expect ± it takes practice to get your head around these modes. This will ensure that you¶re likely to get at least one shot which meets your need. to head out with it and to experiment. But keep in mind that when you do master them you¶ll have a lot more creative control over your shots.Photo by dacorsa Keep in mind that as the camera chooses different apertures it will impact the Depth of Field in your image. As you use them you need to not only think about the setting that YOU set but also keep an eye on the setting that the camera selects for you. Photography Tips for Beginners Category . In Shutter Priority Mode play with fast and slow shutter speeds and see how that impacts DOF. It¶s really worth learning this. The best way to learn about Shutter priority and Aperture Priority modes is to grab your camera. Particularly watch how the camera makes changes to compensate for your selections and what impact it has upon the shots that you take. Practice As you can see ± Shutter and Aperture Priority modes do give you more control over your images but they do take a little practice to get used to. I find that when shooting in Av or Tv modes that it¶s often best to bracket your shots and shoot a number of images of the same subject (where you have time) at different settings. This means if you choose a fast shutter speed to freeze your fast moving object that it¶ll have a narrower DOF. Switch to Av or Tv and start playing with the different settings (taking lots of shots as you go).

. So for those of you who have been avoiding White Balance ± let me introduce you to it.Read more: http://www. Why would you need to get the color right in your shots? You might have noticed when examining shots after taking them that at times images can come out with an orange. Fluorescent lighting adds a bluish cast to photos whereas tungsten (incandescent/bulbs) lights add a yellowish tinge to Twitter StumbleUpon Digg White Balance is an aspect of photography that many digital camera owners don¶t understand or use ± but it¶s something well worth learning about as it can have a real impact upon the shots you take.icio. The reason for this is that images different sources of light have a different µcolor¶ (or temperature) to them. I promise to keep it as simple as possible and keep what follows as useable as I can: At its simplest ± the reason we adjust white balance is to get the colors in your images as accurate as Introduction to White Balance by Darren Rowse 0 del. yellow etc look to them ± despite the fact that to the naked eye the scene looked quite normal.

The range in different temperatures ranges from the very cool light of blue sky through to the very warm light of a candle. We don¶t generally notice this difference in temperature because our eyes adjust automatically for it. Shade the light in shade is generally cooler (bluer) than shooting in direct sunlight so this mode will warm things up a little. Adjusting White Balance Different digital cameras have different ways of adjusting white balance so ultimately you¶ll need to get out your camera¶s manual out to work out the specifics of how to make changes. You ll find it works in many situations but it s worth venturing out of it for trickier lighting. Tungsten this mode is usually symbolized with a little bulb and is for shooting indoors. Daylight/Sunny not all cameras have this setting because it sets things as fairly normal white balance settings. So for cooler (blue or green) light you¶ll tell the camera to warm things up and in warm light you¶ll tell it to cool down. Manual White Balance Adjustments In most cases you can get a pretty accurate result using the above preset white balance modes ± but some digital cameras (most DSLRs and higher end point and shoots) allow for manual white balance adjustments also. Flash the flash of a camera can be quite a cool light so in Flash WB mode you ll find it warms up your shots a touch. Cloudy this setting generally warms things up a touch more than daylight mode. Preset White Balance Settings Here are some of the basic White Balance settings you¶ll find on cameras: y y y y y y y Auto this is where the camera makes a best guess on a shot by shot basis. . It generally cools down the colors in photos. especially under tungsten (incandescent) lighting (such as bulb lighting). Having said this ± many digital cameras have automatic and semi-automatic modes to help you make the adjustments. However a digital camera doesn¶t have the smarts to make these adjustments automatically and sometimes will need us to tell it how to treat different light. Fluorescent this compensates for the cool light of fluorescent light and will warm up your shots. So unless the temperature of the light is very extreme a white sheet of paper will generally look white to us.

I¶ve done this with the following two shots. . This manual adjustment is not difficult to do once you find where to do it in the menu on your camera and it¶s well worth learning how to do it. Then I took a second shot with this setting and got the following result ± which you¶ll see is a much truer color cast than the first image. You can do this by buying yourself a white (or grey) card which is specifically designed for this task ± or you can find some other appropriately colored object around you to do the job. The light in my room is from three standard light bulbs and as a result the image is quite warm or yellow. The first shot is one of some books on my wife¶s bookshelf taken in Auto White Balance mode. After taking this picture I then held up a piece of white paper to my camera to tell it what color white is.The way this is used varies a little between models but in essence what you do is to tell your camera what white looks like in a shot so that it has something as a reference point for deciding how other colors should look.

us Twitter StumbleUpon Digg This week I did an informal survey on a few of my digital camera owning friends and asked them to nominate which shooting modes that they most commonly use on their digital cameras (they use a range of point and shoot and DSLR digicams).com/introduction-to-white-balance#ixzz1IvIROz35 Digital Camera Modes by Darren Rowse 9 del. In fact three of the people I questioned responded by asking µis there any other non Automatic mode?¶ As a result I¶ve decided to take a run through the basic shooting modes that most digital cameras have (both point and shoot and DSLRs have most of these).Read more: The results of this little survey didn¶t really surprise me ± Automatic Mode was the overwhelming response from both beginner and the more advanced users alike (a little surprising to me).icio. Automatic Modes Automatic Mode I suspect no one will need any introduction to this mode (as it seems most digital camera owners use it). While this is pretty basic information for many readers I hope it will be helpful for those right at the beginning of their digital photography journey who are yet to venture out of Automatic Mode. Auto mode tells your camera to use it¶s best judgement to select shutter speed. . aperture.

Landscape Mode This mode is almost the exact opposite of portrait mode in that it sets the camera up with a small aperture (large number) to make sure as much of the scene you¶re photographing will be in focus as possible (ie it give you a large depth of field). particularly those with points of interest at different distances from the camera. Lastly ± a tripod is invaluable in macro shots as the depth of field is so small that even moving towards or away from your subject slightly can make your subject out of focus. (I¶ll write a full tutorial on Macro Photography in the coming weeks). insects or other small objects. When you use macro mode you¶ll notice that focussing is more difficult as at short distances the depth of field is very narrow (just millimeters at times). Keep your camera and the object you¶re photographing parallel if possible or you¶ll find a lot of it will be out of focus. however you need to keep in mind that you¶re not telling your camera any extra information about the type of shot you¶re taking so it will be µguessing¶ as to what you want. You¶ll probably also find that you won¶t want to use your camera¶s built in flash when photographing close up objects or they¶ll be burnt out. Portrait Mode When you switch to portrait mode your camera will automatically select a large aperture (small number) which helps to keep your background out of focus (ie it sets a narrow depth of field ± ensuring your subject is the only thing in focus and is therefore the centre of attention in the shot). With some cameras auto mode lets you override flash or change it to red eye reduction. Macro Mode Macro mode lets you move your closer into your subject to take a close up picture. It¶s therefore ideal for capturing shots of wide scenes. focus and flash to take the best shot that it can. It¶s great for shooting flowers. As a result some of the following modes might be more appropriate to select as they give your camera a few more hints (without you needing to do anything more). Portrait mode works best when you¶re photographing a single subject so get in close enough to your subject (either by zooming in or walking closer) so that your photographing the head and shoulders of them). At times your camera might also select a slower shutter speed in this mode (to compensate for the small aperture) so you might want to consider a tripod or other method of ensuring your camera is still. .ISO. Different digital cameras will have macro modes with different capabilities including different focussing distances (usually between 2-10cm for point and shoot cameras). This mode will give you nice results in many shooting conditions. Also if you¶re shooting into the sun you might want to trigger your flash to add a little light onto their face. white balance.

Night mode (a technique also called ¶slow shutter sync¶) is for shooting in low light situations and sets your camera to use a longer shutter speed to help capture details of the background but it also fires off a flash to illuminate the foreground (and subject). cars. Night Mode This is a really fun mode to play around with and can create some wonderfully colorful and interesting shots. Most new digital cameras these days come with a movie mode that records both video but also sound. Movie Mode This mode extends your digital camera from just capturing still images to capturing moving ones. When photographing fast moving subjects you can also increase your chances of capturing them with panning of your camera along with the subject and/or by attempting to pre focus your camera on a spot where the subject will be when you want to photograph it (this takes practice). The quality is generally not up to video camera standards but it¶s a handy mode to have when you come across that perfect subject that just can¶t be captured with a still image. Keep in mind that moving images take up significantly more space on your memory storage than still images. Other less common modes that I¶ve seen on digital cameras over the past year include: y y y y y y y y Panoramic/Stitch Mode for taking shots of a panoramic scene to be joined together later as one image. wildlife etc. pets.boosts saturation to give nice bold colors Semi Automatic Modes . Sports mode attempts to freeze the action by increasing the shutter speed.Sports Mode Photographing moving objects is what sports mode (also called µaction mode¶ in some cameras) is designed for.for shooting firework displays Kids and Pets Mode fast moving objects can be tricky this mode seems to speed up shutter speed and help reduce shutter lag with some pre focussing Underwater Mode underwater photography has it s own unique set of exposure requirements Beach Mode another bright scene mode Indoor Mode helps with setting shutter speed and white balance Foliage Mode . If you use this mode for a ¶serious¶ or well balanced shot you should use a tripod or your background will be blurred ± however it¶s also fun to take shots with this handheld to purposely blur your backgrounds ± especially when there is a situation with lights behind your subject as it can give a fun and experimental look (great for parties and dance floors with colored lights). It is ideal for photographing any moving objects including people playing sports. Snow Mode to help with tricky bright lighting at the snow Fireworks Mode .

You might also choose a slow shutter speed in lower light situations. You would use this mode where you want to control over shutter speed (obviously). Program mode is similar to Auto but gives you a little more control over some other features including flash. white balance. Of course you also need to have some idea of what you¶re doing in manual mode so most digital camera owners that I have anything to do with tend to stick to one of the priority modes. Read more: http://www. white balance. flash etc. For example when photographing moving subjects (like sports) you might want to choose a fast shutter speed to freeze the motion. Choosing a larger number aperture means the aperture (or the opening in your camera when shooting) is smaller and lets less light in. It gives you the flexibility to set your shots up as you wish. Program Mode (P) Some digital cameras have this priority mode in addition to auto mode (in a few cameras Program mode IS full Auto mode« confusing isn¶t it!). This means you¶ll have a larger depth of field (more of the scene will be in focus) but that your camera will choose a slower shutter speed. Check your digital camera¶s manual for how the Program mode differs from Automatic in your particular model. Small numbers means the opposite (ie your aperture is . ISO etc.Aperture Priority Mode (A or AV) This mode is really a semi-automatic (or semi-manual) mode where you choose the aperture and where your camera chooses the other settings (shutter speed. Aperture priority mode is useful when you¶re looking to control the depth of field in a shot (usually a stationary object where you don¶t need to control shutter speed). aperture. In those cameras that have ISO. Shutter Priority Mode (S or TV) Shutter priority is very similar to aperture priority mode but is the mode where you select a shutter speed and the camera then chooses all of the other settings. On the flip-side of this you might want to capture the movement as a blur of a subject like a waterfall and choose a slow shutter speed. Fully Manual Mode Manual Mode In this mode you have full control over your camera and need to think about all settings including shutter speed. ISO etc) so as to ensure you have a well balanced exposure. depth of field will be small and your camera will probably choose a faster shutter speed). white balance.

Understanding Histograms
by Darren Rowse
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³I was flicking through my camera¶s menu today and came across a little graph labeled µhistogram¶. What is it and should I take any notice of it? Is there such a thing as the ideal histogram? What should we be aiming for?´ ± Brent
What is a Histogram

Histograms are a topic that we could (and probably should) spend a lot of time talking about but let me give you a very brief answer to get you through in the short term. Histograms are a very useful tool that many cameras offer their users to help them get a quick summary of the tonal range present in any given image. It graphs the tones in your image from black (on the left) to white (on the right). The higher the graph at any given point the more pixels of that tone that are present in an image. So a histogram with lots of dark pixels will be skewed to the left and one with lots of lighter tones will be skewed to the right. The beauty of a histogram is that the small LCD display on your camera is not really big enough to give you an great review of a picture and you can often get home to find that you¶ve over or under exposed an image. Checking the histogram can tell you this while you¶re in a position to be able to adjust your settings and take another shot.

Some Examples of Histograms

Let¶s look at a couple of examples of histograms on shots I¶ve taken over the first year of my son¶s life (it¶s his birthday this week so we¶re going through some shots). Compare these two shots and their corresponding histograms:

The above shot has a lot of light tones ± in fact there are parts of the shot that are quite blown out. As a result on the right hand side of the histogram you can see a sudden rise. While there are quite a few mid tones ± everything is skewed right and with the extreme values on the right hand side indicate an over exposed shot.

This second shot has a lot of dark tones. This is partly because of the black and navy clothes in the shot ± but also because it¶s slightly underexposed shot. The resulting histogram is quite different to the first one ± the values are skewed to the left hand side.
Is there such a thing as a good histogram?

As with most aspects of photography, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and there¶s always a lot of room for personal taste and different ways of expressing yourself as a photographer. There is no such thing as the µperfect¶ histogram ± different subjects and photographic styles will produce different results. For example taking a silhouette shot might produce a histogram with peaks at both ends of the spectrum and nothing much in the middle of the graph. Taking a shot of someone at the snow will obviously have a histogram with significant peaks on the right hand side«. etc Having said this (and to generalize) ± in most cases you¶ll probably want a fairly balanced shot with a nice spread of tones. Most well exposed shots tend to peak somewhere in the middle and taper off towards the edges.
Using Histograms While Shooting

So now you know what a histogram is ± grab your digital camera¶s manual and work out how to switch it on in playback mode. This will enable you to see both the picture and the histogram when reviewing shots after taking them. Keep an eye out for histograms with dramatic spikes to the extreme ends of either side of the spectrum. This indicates that you have a lot of pixels that are either pure black or pure white. While this might be what you¶re after remember that those sections of the image probably have very little detail ± this is a hint that your image could be either over or under exposed. The histogram is really just a tool to give you more information about an image and to help you get the effect that you want. Having your camera set to show you histograms during the view process will tell you how your image is exposed. Learning to read them will help you to work out whether you¶re exposing a shot as you had hoped.
Another Example of a Histogram

Lets finish this tutorial by looking at one last example of a histogram:

icio. It¶s still not perfect and I¶d do a little post production work but it¶s a much more evenly exposed shot and the histogram reflects Twitter StumbleUpon Digg . Read more: http://www.You can see in this shot a much more even spread of Pre-Focus to Combat Shutter Lag by Darren Rowse 26 del.

. Of course the camera needed a moment to focus and the resulting small delay while it did so was labeled ¶shutter lag¶ by my friend.Image by Aloberyn My first foray into digital photography was with a small Canon point and shoot camera. One of the reasons that I suspect many still think they suffer from shutter lag is that they don¶t allow the camera time to focus. I realized this earlier in the week when out with a point and shoot user and watching their technique. In the first few shots that I took with my new point and shoot I realized that pressing down the shutter release didn¶t mean that the scene that I was looking at would be captured just the way I saw it ± there was at least a 1 second delay before the shot was taken. In fact the only camera that I¶ve tested with any significant lag has been my new camera phone (the Nokia N95 ± which has a 5 megapixel camera in it ± but which is annoyingly slow to use). Most point and shoot cameras these days will not have a noticeable shutter lag. however I still get asked about it a lot. I immediately fell in love with the medium due to being able to take large amounts of shots at no cost. being able to see shots immediately after taking them and the ease at which I could use the images in different ways. They would see a scene ± lift the camera to their eye and immediately hit the shutter in one jerking movement ± expecting an instantaneous result. However there was one one aspect of digital photography that I immediately began to hate ± shutter lag. Most modern day digital cameras have cut down the annoying shutter delay/lag problems significantly.

digital-photography-school. Having said this ± today I want to use a term that I doubt many beginner digital photographers would be familiar with. Read more: http://www. Perhaps the best way to talk about it is to show you the EXIF data associated with a picture I took this morning of my son (any excuse to show him off). Having said this it¶s not a complicated concept and one that is very useful. His ¶shutter lag¶ was gone ± all he needed to do was learn about pre-focussing. The way to do this is to frame the scene and then push your shutter release down half way. I showed my friend this simple technique and he was amazed at how exact he could get the timing on his point and shoot camera. It is stored when you take images in JPEG format (or TIFF). Once you¶ve done this ± continue to hold down the shutter release half way down until the moment you want to capture the scene ± when you¶ll press the shutter the rest of the way.icio. Almost all camera manufacturers support EXIF and whether you know it or not your camera is likely to be recording it with your image file. EXIF stands for µExchangeable Image File¶ data and it is the information that your camera stores with you image file that tells you about it. The term I want to unpack today is EXIF data. Here¶s the shot: .us Twitter StumbleUpon Digg I promised when I started this site that I¶d do my best to keep it as untechnical and jargon free as possible.If you¶re wanting to capture a moment in timed to the smallest delay possible it¶s worth prefocussing your camera on the scene ± before you want to take the Using EXIF Data by Darren Rowse 0 del.

The last way of viewing EXIF data that we¶ll talk about is via your image editing software. 3.The EXIF data associated with this picture can be found in a number of ways. It will then give me an array of information about the image including shutter speed.0 today (for Mac) so in this software I go to the µFile¶ menu then choose µFile Info¶. aperture. When i choose the EXIF option I get this: . date and time of shot etc. On my Canon DSLR I do this by hitting the µinfo¶ button while in preview mode. I¶m using Photoshop Elements 2. This allows me to view two types of information about the image µgeneral¶ and µEXIF¶. Firstly if the image is still stored on a memory card in my camera I can view it there. Another way to look at an image¶s EXIF data is to right click an image file and clicking µproperties¶ (if you¶re on a Mac click µget info¶. 2. 1. Here¶s what I get when I do that on this image on my Mac: It doesn¶t show all of the EXIF data but does gives some good basic information.

You will find different cameras and different photo editing programs will mean that the EXIF data displayed will vary (older cameras stored less information) but most will give you the basics of your . the resolution.0 and see that next time if I want bigger depth of field that I should use a smaller aperture (f/5. ISO and aperture and if I scroll down it will even tell me what focal length I was using (105mm). EXIF data is very useful for a variety of reasons ± the main one being that it allows a photographer to compare shots to find out what I did right and wrong in them. the time and date of the shot. For example I might look at the image above and think to myself µgee I wish I¶d had a larger depth of field and had not only the hand but the face in focus¶. the shutter speed.6 or more). Similarly I might look at the ISO and think it was too grainy and see it¶s at 400 and could have perhaps been pulled back to I could then look at the aperture f/4. Using EXIF data is probably not something you¶ll do with every image but especially when you¶re starting out in digital photography it¶s a worthwhile feature to play around with and to keep in mind as you seek to improve your photography. Read more: http://www.You can now see some of the information about the image taken including what camera I was using.

.us Twitter StumbleUpon Digg Have you ever been photographing a subject with tricky lighting or lots of variation between bright and darker areas but were not sure what exposure setting to go with? One way to work in such situations is to manually play around with your exposure control and take a series of shots ± the problem with this is that it takes time and if you are photographing a changing environment (for example a sunset which changes from moment to moment) you can lose µthe moment¶ while you get things right. By selecting it you can quickly take three shots (usually three) at different exposures without having to manual ly change any setting s betwee n frames.Automatic Exposure Bracketing (AEB) by Darren Rowse 53 del. You can see an example of this below When you select Automatic Exposure Bracketing the camera will choose one exposure (based upon what its metering thinks is right) and then it will take one other shot on either side of this best guess (one over exposed (as in the left shot above) and one underexposed (as in the right shot above)). Most DSLRs (and some more advanced compact cameras) come with a feature called µAutomatic Exposure Bracketingµ (AEB) which can be useful to learn how to use in such situations.icio.

I generally start with a µ1 stop¶ variation and work from there. Check out your manual to see how AEB works on your digital camera. For example you might want a big variation between your three shots and would select a µ2 stop¶ gap or you might only want a slight variation and choose a µhalf stop¶ gap. Read more: http://www. Each digital camera has a different way of selecting AEB. If you¶re in single shot mode the shots will take as you depress the shutter three times. some like Nikon¶s D70 have an accessible button on the back (marked BKT) while others (like Canon) have an AEB setting in their menus. Alternatively using AEB in shutter priority mode will keep the shutter speed at the speed you select and tell the camera to vary the exposure by changing the aperture in your shots.This way you end up with the three images in a series with exactly the same composition but at different exposures for you to select the best of later on. Using AEB in Aperture Priority mode will all you to choose the aperture you want for the shot and telling the camera to make the variations in shots by varying shutter How to Hold a Digital Camera by Darren Rowse 121 del. Most will allow you to change the variation between shots by different ¶stops¶. PS: to give you a little more control in Automatic Exposure Bracketing mode you can use it ether in Aperture Priority Mode or Shutter Priority Twitter StumbleUpon Digg . If you have the camera in burst mode (continuous shooting) the three shots will be taken if you hold down the shutter for a burst of three shots.icio.

Most cameras these days have some sort of grip and even impressions for where fingers should go so this should feel natural. Exactly how you should grip your camera will depend upon what type of digital camera you are using and varies from person to person depending upon preference. While it can be tempting to shoot one handed a two hands will increase your stillness (like three legs on a tripod being better than one). The positioning of your left hand will depend upon your camera but in in general it should support the weight of the camera and will either sit underneath the camera or under/around a lens if you have a DSLR. Use your right hand to grip the right hand end of the camera. Use a strong grip with your right hand but don¶t grip it so tightly that you end up shaking the camera.Get Free Weekly Digital Camera Tips via Email One of the common problems that many new digital (and film) photographers have is µcamera shake¶ where images seem blurry ± usually because the camera was not held still enough while the shutter was depressed. Adding to camera shake is a technique that is increasingly common with digital camera users of holding the camera at arms length away from them as they take shots ± often with one hand. Tripods are the best way to stop camera shake because they have three sturdy legs that keep things very still ± but if you don¶t have one then another simple way to enhance the stability of the camera is to hold onto it with two hands. . This is especially common in shots taken in low light situations where the shutter is open for longer periods of time. your other three fingers curling around the front of the camera. Even the smallest movement of the camera can cause it and the only real way to eliminate it is with a tripod. There is no real right or wrong way to do it but here¶s the technique that I generally use: 1. While this might be a good way to frame your shot the further away from your body (a fairly stable thing) you hold the camera the more chance you have of swaying or shaking as you take your shot. (keep in mind our previous post on shutter technique ± squeeze the shutter don¶t jab at it). 2. Your right thumb grips onto the back of the camera. Your forefinger should sit lightly above the shutter release.

lenses with image stabilization and of course tripods can all help ± we¶ll cover these and more in future posts. If you¶re shooting using the view finder to line up your shot you¶ll have the camera nice and close into your body which will add extra stability but if you¶re using the LCD make sure you don¶t hold your camera too far away from you. Gripping a camera in this way will allow you flexibility of being able to line up shots quickly but will also help you to hold still for the crucial moment of your shutter being open. then take the shot and exhale. It¶s amazing how much a body rises and falls simply by breathing ± being conscious of it can give you an edge. Read more: 4. Shutter Twitter StumbleUpon Digg .3. One last note ± this post is about µholding a camera¶ in a way that will help eliminate camera shake. hold it. The stiller you can keep your body the stiller the camera will be. Another quick bonus tip ± before you take your shot take a gentle but deep breath. The other method people use is the exact opposite ± exhale and before inhaling again take the shot.icio. It¶s not rocket science ± but it¶s amazing how many people get it wrong and wonder why their images are blurry. If you have to stand and don¶t have anything to lean on for extra support put your feet shoulder width apart to give yourself a steady stance. Tuck your elbows into your sides and lean the camera out a little from your face (around 30cm).com/how-to-hold-a-digitalcamera#ixzz1IvKIJjwI Shutter Release Technique by Darren Rowse 0 del. Alternatively use the viewfinder if it¶s not too small or difficult to see through (a problem on many point and shoots these days). Of course each person will have their own little techniques that they are more comfortable with and ultimately you need to find what works best for you ± but in the early days of familiarizing yourself with your new digital camera it¶s worth considering your technique. Add extra stability by leaning against a solid object like a wall or a tree or by sitting or kneeling down. There are of course many other techniques for decreasing camera shake that should be used in conjunction with the way you hold it.

He wrote: ³Thanks for your tip on using the Continuous Shooting Darren. Someone once told me that it¶s the same principle with shooting a gun (not that I¶m too familiar with that). I use it on my DSLR regularly but have one problem ± I always end up taking more shots than I want to. I know the problem you have because when I first discovered continuous shooting mode on my old film SLR I had the same problem and could quite easily go through a 36 exposure roll very quickly (an expensive problem).com/shutter-release#ixzz1IvKSx0Xy How to Avoid a Dirty DSLR Image Sensor . The way I got over it was to practice shooting in burst mode without any film in the camera. The best advice I can give when taking a shot in continuous mode (or in any mode for that matter) is to work hard at gently applying pressure to your shutter button rather than jabbing at it. Lastly ± don¶t press the shutter with the very tip of your finger ± rather use the flat part of it so that the end section of your finger is almost horizontal at the time of releasing the shutter (as pictured). This will help you to have as much control as possible and will also reduce camera shake. Rather than jabbing at the trigger and pulling yourself off aim you gentle squeeze it to keep the gun steady. I put my finger down on the shutter button and before I know it I¶ve taken a whole heap of shots. Any suggestions?´ Thanks for the question Harold ± unfortunately there¶s no easy answer to this problem except to use the old adage ± µpractice makes perfect¶.digital-photography-school.In response to my weekly newsletter yesterday Harold (a subscriber) sent me an email raising a problem he had with using the continuous shooting mode that I wrote about yesterday. two. Using this technique with a camera will give you more control in continuous shooting mode to take the amount of shots you want and will also have the added benefit of keeping your camera still and reducing camera shake. As I did that I learnt how much pressure it took to take one. Read more: http://www. three or more shots. Of course with a digital camera you can practice as you go without having to pay for unneccessary shots.

by Darren Rowse 19 del. The reason for these marks is that you¶ve almost certainly got dust on your camera¶s image sensor. . Turn camera off before changing lenses. These spots and blotches appear on all your shots in exactly the same Twitter StumbleUpon Digg Photo by davidtrent If you¶ve got a DSLR you¶ve probably had the experience of uploading your photos onto your computer after a long day of photography ± only to find that there are dark ¶spots¶ and µblotches¶ on your pictures. They might be less noticeable on backgrounds with lots of detail (and more noticeable on plain backgrounds (like blue skies ± especially when you have a small aperture) ± but they¶re there in all your shots (the picture to the left is one of the worst examples I¶ve seen ± and was the result of poor image sensor cleaning technique).icio. water. On some cameras the sensor has an electric charge that will actually attract dust to it like a magnet. Hold camera upside down (with the opening facing down) when changing lenses ± it¶s impossible for dust to fall into your camera if it¶s upside down (unless there is wind that blows it up into it). dust etc) ± pick a lens and try to stick with it. Cameras are being developed that combat this problem (for example the Canon EOS 400D/Revel Xti and others) but until we all go out and upgrade our DSLR we¶re all susceptible to it. Most DSLR owners do eventually get some on your sensor (unless you never change your lens) but here are some tips for decreasing the likelihood of it: y y y Avoid changing lenses in risky environments (where there is wind.

There¶s a lot of debate about whether to do it yourself or whether to get your sensor professionally cleaned (see below for of some of the DIY approaches to cleaning sensors) If you do tackle it yourself do so with extreme care ± let the picture above be motivation to get it right! To test if your image sensor is dirty photograph a white wall with a small aperture (large number) and you should see it in the images that result if you have any.y y y Have your lens ready when you¶re changing lenses (be prepared and have your new lens ready to attach so that your camera is open for as short a time as possible). Check your lenses for dust before attaching them ± have a blower that you can get any specs off your lens with. Clean your image sensor with How should I clean my DSLR¶s lens? by Darren Rowse 56 Twitter StumbleUpon Digg I¶ve noticed that my DSLR¶s lens has lots of smudges on it that are starting to impact the quality of my images but I¶m too .icio. See some of the techniques for cleaning dirty and dusty image sensors below: y y y y y y y Understanding Digital SLR Sensor Cleaning Cleaning Camera Sensor Digital Sensor Cleaning ± Part 1 Digital Camera Cleaning Techniques and Products Image Sensor Cleaning Cleaning Your Sensor Nikon CCD Cleaning Guide Found this helpful? Digg it here. Read more:

Always apply the fluid to a cloth or tissue rather than the lens itself. My own approach is to start with breath and then use the fluids for difficult marks to remove. Alternatively ± many photographers believe that simply breathing on your lens and then wiping with a cloth is a safer method for cleaning it ± rather than introducing harsh fluids. The main thing to be aware of with them is to keep them clean themselves with a regular wash ± alternatively just buy yourself a new one as . Cleaning Cloth An alternative to cleaning tissues is the more modern microfiber cleaning cloth. Cleaning Tissues To apply the cleaning fluid grab yourself some lens tissues. Do you have any suggestions? ± Chris Cleaning your camera¶s lenses should be a regular (although not too regular) part of any camera owner¶s maintenance. It also means that when you do your cleaning you¶ll just be cleaning the filter instead of the actual lens (unless dust gets right in). Keep in mind that filters come in different levels of quality ± if you have a high end lens consider investing in a higher end filter. Keep it attached to your lens at all times. For each lens you own you should consider purchasing a UV or skylight filter. They are a very thin paper that will let you wipe your lenses without scratching them. Don¶t use normal facial tissues ± these are too rough and will scratch your lens.scared to clean it because I¶m worried about scratching it. Lens hoods can also help protect the end of your lens as do the lens caps for both the front and back end of your lens that come with it ± always use them! Lens Cleaning Fluid In most camera stores you¶ll find an alcohol based lens cleaning fluid that is well worth having. These tissues are one use tissues and should be thrown away after using. It will help you to lift off fingerprints and other smudges without leaving streaks on your lens or filter. However when the time comes to clean it here are a few simple tips: Use a UV or Skylight filter Before I get into cleaning techniques let me share a tip that all DSLR users should consider. In addition to it cutting out UV light they will protect your lens from scratches or even breakage. Keep in mind that you don¶t need too much of this fluid at a time ± usually just a drop or two wiped in a gentle circular motion with a cleaning tissue will remove most marks on a lens or filter. While you do need to be very careful during this process it¶s not something to be frightened about. These washable cloths grab a hold of dust and oils on your lens. The best time to clean a lens is when it¶s dirty ± don¶t get in the habit of cleaning it off daily or you¶ll do more damage than good.

The little sachets will draw any moisture in your bag to them to save your lenses and DSLR from being impacted by it. Here are some of what Amazon offers: y y y y y y y y y Adorama Professional Lens Cleaning Kit Adorama Mini Lenspen Lens cleaning tool Quantaray Lens Cleaning Set Adorama Lens Cleaning Tissue. Similarly you might like to invest in a lens cleaning pen which has a retractable brush on one end an a cleaning pad on the other. Much of the above cleaning gear is pretty low cost and will be available from a good camera store (often as a full kit). Get one with fine and soft hair (camel hair) to avoid scratching your lens. Grab some silica gel sachets to throw into the bottom of your camera bag. Manual Air Blower with Extra-Large Rubber Bulb 7. While I¶d personally advise being very careful with them on the inside of your camera (you could actually end up blowing dust into it) they can be great for cleaning the outside of your camera ± including the lens. Remove any larger gritty dust using a blower or brush before wiping. Don¶t go for the very cheapest gear though ± when you¶re looking after gear that you¶ve paid big dollars for it can be worth paying a little extra to ensure quality. Nikon Micro Fiber Cleaning Cloth Giottos Rocket Air Blaster. Before using a cloth always check the lens to make sure you don¶t have any larger pieces of grit on it.5 Long Olympus SILICA-5 Silica gel (pack of 5 ) Eforcity Camera Cleaning Blower Brush Featuring Detachable Brush Head and Soft Bristles HOYA 77UV/HQ 77MM Non-Coated UV-G Series UV Filter . The last thing you want to do is wipe it into your lens causing a scratch. Three Packages. Before you use a blower make sure you squeeze if a few times first to get any dust that might be inside it out. Silica Gel One lost preventative measure before we end. Brushes If you have a lot of dust on your camera one good tool to get the big stuff off is a brush. Keep changing over this sachets over time or they¶ll attract too much water and become useless.they are very cheap to buy and that¶ll negate the risk of wiping something from your wash into your lens. Blowers Most camera stores sell blowers of different varieties.

You really can never do enough digital camera maintenance. always point your camera and lens to the ground and attempt to do it inside or out of the wind. Read more: http://www.icio. Cleaning the outside elements of your camera and lens is a lot easier than cleaning the inside where things are much more delicate. Learn to identify your camera¶s predators and take a few simple precautions and exercise a little care and you can keep your camera operating at it¶s potential for years to come (well at least until it¶s time for an upgrade).com/how-should-i-clean-my-dslrslens#ixzz1IvKx0AJk 7 Digital Camera Predators and How to Keep them at Bay by Darren Rowse 68 Learn to do these things quickly and you¶ll have less dust and grime to clean off your camera and lenses.Update ± Lastly ± take a lot of care when changing Twitter StumbleUpon Digg The Digital Camera has a number of natural predators ± things that in just a few seconds could snuff out it¶s life and render you camera-less. Here are 7 natural predators of the digital camera and how to avoid them: Photo by ccdoh1 . When changing lenses turn off your camera first.

. however some of the things that you¶ll use to do it can cause your camera harm. If you do get your camera greasy make sure you clean it off as quickly as you can. cleaning brushes to get those stray grains off your camera can be useful and cleaning clothes are helpful. If you do travel with them together make sure you have a sealed bag for the liquids. The way to limit the impact that these things have on your camera is pretty obvious and largely involves keeping those parts of your body that come into contact with these things clean. Sand There is nothing that frightens me more than the thought of sand getting into my camera. Cameras have moving parts and to get something as gritty and abrasive as sand into them can quickly put your camera out of action or at least damage it so that you end up with scratches through it. Of course this is not particularly feasible and you¶ll need to do what you can to keep sand and your camera separate. Sunscreen is generally oily and insect repellent often contains chemicals that you wouldn¶t want to get in touch with the more delicate parts of your camera. Lastly ± don¶t fall into the temptation of putting sunscreen and repellent into your camera bag.1. Photo by Burps Liberty 2. Ultimately the only protection against sand is not taking your camera to sandy places. Sealable bags are great to travel with. I know it¶s tempting so that you don¶t have to carry another bag ± but it¶s really not worth the risk as a leak could end your camera¶s life. Sunscreen and Insect Repellent It is important to protect yourself from the elements of sun and insect bites when shooting outdoors. Wash your hands in fresh water after applying sunscreen and repellent and you¶ll go a long way to keeping your camera clean.

dust is a natural enemy of the digital camera. Also if you have a DSLR consider getting it¶s image sensor professionally cleaned (or learn to do it yourself ± with care) every now and again if you do find marks on your sensor (you¶ll notice them most at small apertures ± to test it. Once again ± wipe your camera down each day. be careful of when and where you change lenses and travel with your camera in a sealed bag. Also ± learn to think ahead about what lens you might need so that you can change it inside in a more stable environment before hitting the beach. It¶s a more subtle attacker in that it generally won¶t scratch your moving parts ± but it is just as damaging. particularly when it works its way into your camera¶s inner parts and settles on your image sensor.Always be particularly aware of your surrounds and things like wind or people kicking balls or throwing Frisbees when you¶re changing lenses. set your camera to it¶s smallest aperture and shoot at a white wall or ceiling). memory cards and batteries as these are high risk moments that sand just loves to swoop in. Dust Like sand. Photo by Ahmed Zahid 3. Photo by B e r n a .

. memory cards or lenses) as much as possible. Other than that ± wipe off your camera regularly when in humid environments. If you have a DSLR use UV filters on your lenses to give an extra level of protection and avoid opening your camera up (to change batteries. Investing in silica gel packs is one way to help with this as they absorb moisture in your camera bag. Use you camera¶s wrist or neck straps to keep your cameras out of water and always be aware of where you put it an how it can be knocked. Fight the impact that salt has on your camera by wiping it clean at least once per day while shooting in salty places. baths. keep your camera safely in your camera bag and be particularly aware of positioning yourself in sea spray on windy days.4. Moisture/Water Moisture attacks cameras in numerous ways. When not shooting. Some people suggest putting it in a sealed plastic bag when moving between temperatures ± this might work well but is not particularly practical in many situations. especially when you have a large camera. rivers and even toilets). At it¶s most extreme it attacks as water which has the ability to quickly end the life of your camera (I regularly get emails from digital camera owners who¶ve dropped cameras in all kinds of liquids including the ocean. Ideally you want to warm your camera up naturally and slowly ± it¶s definitely a challenge. Photo by photo fiddler 5. Salt While the beach presents photographers with wonderful photographic opportunities it also can be a dangerous place with many digital camera predators ± not the least of which is salt which has a habit of getting into your camera and lenses and causing all kinds of problems (including corrosion). Particularly noticeable is when you move from one temperature to another with your camera (for example from airconditioning to humid ones). A more subtle attacker when it comes to moisture is condensation.

be careful when passing it from one person to another etc. Keep your cameras on your body if in a risky environment. Get yourself a camera bag that doesn¶t scream µI¶ve got a camera in here¶ if you can (there are some great brands on the market ± I use this Crumpler bag for this reason). While some cameras now come with shock proof casings the majority of cameras do not and need to be treated as delicate objects. insure your gear and try to be selective and not every travel with too much of it at any one time. Use a padded camera bag or casing (and use it when your camera is not in use. be aware of where you put your camera. Thieves Another natural predator of expensive photographic equipment is the thief when you least expect it will swoop in and steal your gear away from you ± leaving you feeling frustrated. Always be aware of where your gear is and how accessible it is to others. Photo by pointnshoot 7. It¶s just common sense really but I¶m quite amazed at how often silly accidents end the lives of expensive pieces of equipment. . keep your bags zipped up and well fastened. Also check your house and contents insurance to see whether it covers accidental damage (many do).Photo by pixelsnap 6. Bumps and Drops The downfall of many cameras comes quite literally when they are dropped or bumped into other hard objects. violated and wondering what you did to deserve it. consider having your bag on your front rather than your back in high risk situations.

Read more: http://www. I¶ve included links in each one to further reading on the topics. However getting in the habit of asking some simple questions can help take your images to the next level. Here¶s 10 questions to get in the habit of asking while framing your shots.icio.Good Gear Hopefully you¶re feeling a little more prepared to venture out with your digital camera feeling confident at your ability to keep it¶s natural predators away. I hope you find them helpful: Photo by Tim Gruber .us Twitter StumbleUpon Digg What goes through your mind in the moments as you raise your digital camera up to take a shot and before you press the shutter? If you¶re like many digital photographers you¶re not thinking about too much ± you just want to capture the moment and then move 10 Questions to Ask When Taking a Digital Photo by Darren Rowse 47 If you¶re looking for some gear to help you with some of the above you might like to check out some of the camera cleaning products at Amazon and their range of Crumpler Camera Bags which I¶m a big fan of.

Image by MoonGirlNYC 3. In essence what you¶re asking is µwhy am I taking this shot? What is it¶s purpose and what am I trying to convey?¶ Is it purely a way to keep a record of a moment. What story am I telling? This is an important question and one that should help you to make any number of decisions in terms of composition. one of each focal point. Also keep in mind that if your shot has more than one focal point that it might be worth taking two shots. framing.1. What competing focal points are there? Once you¶ve identified what you do want your viewers eyes to be drawn towards and have placed it in the frame ± scan your eyes over the shot and see if there are any competing focal points and ask yourself whether they add to or take away from the image? Secondary focal points can add depth to shots but they can also be very distracting and so you might need to reposition yourself or adjust your focal length and/or depth of field to accommodate or remove them from your shots (read more on removing clutter from photography). in order to keep things simple. is it part of a larger series of shots or will it be the only shot to commemorate the moment etc. There are a variety of ways that you can enhance a focal point ± some of which we explore here. What is the visual focal point of this shot? What will viewers of this picture naturally have their eye drawn to in this scene? Once you¶ve identified this focal point you can think about where to place it in the frame (consider the rule of thirds for example). exposure etc. is it possibly a shot to give to someone. are you trying to capture the emotion of a moment. Photo by Keith Morris . Read more on telling stories with photos Photo by H@Ru 2.

Read more on getting backgrounds right. Without light you¶ll lose detail and clarity in your image and your camera will have to compensate by doing things like increasing ISO and lengthening shutter speeds (which could lead to noisy and blurred images). moving your subject closer or using a longer focal length to give the effect of closeness. To get this effect you have the option of moving yourself closer. Shots that fill the frame with your subject tend to be much more dynamic and show a lot more detail of your subject. Consider whether you want the background in focus or nice and blurry. Read more on using artificial light here and here as well as photographing moving subjects in low light conditions. What is the main source of light? Always give consideration to how your subject is lit.4. do you need to stabilize your camera on a tripod to stop camera shake due to low light etc. What is in the background and foreground? One of most common places for distractions in digital photography is the background of your shots. Run your eyes over the space behind your subject to see what else is in the image (do the same for the foreground). Photo by Peter Bowers 6. . Read more on filling your frame. Am I close enough? Another common mistake in digital photography is taking shots where your subject is too small in the frame. What is the main source of light. do you need artificial light sources (flash etc). Photo by Johnny Blood 5. where is it coming from. is there enough light.

Image by Darren Rowse 9. . What other perspectives could I capture this subject from? Put 10 digital camera owners in front of a scene and most of them will take exactly the same shot from the same position. Read more on getting horizons horizontal and getting other lines straight. While it¶s OK to have a preference one way or the other it¶s also worth remembering that changing the format can drastically change the impact of the shot. Don¶t forget you can also hold your camera at an angle for an effective result too. Make your images stand out from the crowd by challenging yourself to not only take the standard shots that everyone else will get but to find creative and fresh angles and perspectives to shoot from. Photo by Andrew Morrell 8. Sloping horizons and slightly leaning people or buildings should always be in the back of your mind to check. Is my Framing Straight? It¶s amazing how many otherwise good photos are spoiled by framing that is slightly offline. Also related to this question is that of µAm I holding my Camera correctly?µ Many people don¶t and as a result suffer from camera shake and framing mistakes. How would holding the camera in the other format change this shot? Many photographers get into the habit of always holding their camera the same way (horizontally/landscape or vertically/portrait). Read more on adding variety to your Digital Photography.Image by Darren Rowse 7.

com/10-questions#ixzz1IvM6EU7d 11 Tips for Beginner Photographers by Darren Rowse 47 del. vertical and diagonal lines and how they impact a shot. People tend to follow lines and are attracted to shapes and colors so considering all of these different visual elements and cues can help improve your shots Twitter StumbleUpon Digg submitted by CSS from www. Don t go crazy buying the most expensive equipment right away. Read more: http://www. How will the eye travel through this image? This is related to asking about focal points but gets in touch with the fact that while you¶re photographing a still image your viewers eyes don¶t remain still as they look at an image. Of course you probably won¶t remember all the questions and you¶re unlikely to go through each of them with every shot you take ± however next time you head out with your digital camera concentrate on asking yourself at least one or two of them as you take your As a new photographer. these are some of the ideas that have helped get me going. As you do you¶ll find that they become more automatic and in time you¶ll naturally take digital photography shots that take into account all of these elements.Photo by A is for Angie 10. 1. .digital-photography-school. Read more on horizontal.icio.heretocreate.

Also. For even more stability. Don t overlook mundane subjects for photography. 3. Browse through Flickr or websites like the Digital Photography School Forum for inspiration and tips. your local library probably has a wealth of books on all types of photography. but try looking at familiar surroundings with fresh eyes. See these examples on Flickr. Take advantage of free resources to learn. like the lighting. Look at everything with the eyes of a photographer and you¶ll see opportunities you never noticed before. give free software like the GIMP a try. Consider a tripod. . If you¶re interested in learning about post-processing. use your camera¶s timer function with a tripod (read our introduction to tripods). The more photos you take. keep a small notebook to jot down places you¶d like to come back and photograph. an inexpensive tripod is worth getting. Keep your camera with you all the time. my satisfaction with my shots skyrocketed. If you can keep your equipment relatively simple ± just a small camera bag and a tripod ± you might be able to take advantage of some of those unexpected opportunities. You might catch an interesting trick of the light or find some unexpected wildflowers in your yard. Photo ops often come when you least expect it. 6. Make a list of shots you d like to get. Inspiration is all around you. if your phone has a camera. If you don¶t want to carry a notebook. so you can come back at the same time of day or when the weather¶s right. The best part of having a hobby like photography is never running out of things to learn. Enjoy the learning process. especially if you have shaky hands like On the other hand. send yourself an email using your cell phone with Jott. When I got a tripod. You might not see anything interesting to photograph in your living room or your backyard. Or. Often a simple subject makes the best shot. 7. 5.It¶s possible to get very nice photos with an inexpensive point and shoot. the more you¶ll know about what kind of camera to get when it¶s time to upgrade. 2. Make sure to note any important details. use it to take ³notes´ on scenes you¶d like to return to with your regular camera. For those times you can¶t carry your camera around. 4.

An excellent way to motivate yourself is by doing the weekly assignments in the DPS How To Get Better Digital Photos In Low Light Conditions Without Using A Flash by Darren Rowse 0 del. the cost of errors is free. try shooting your subjects with multiple settings to learn what effects you like. Take photos regularly. you can check the EXIF data (usually in the file¶s properties) to recall the settings you used. As you explore. If you can¶t do that. Learn the basic rules.icio. When you¶re looking at your photos on a computer. Try to photograph something every day. The amount of information about photography online can be overwhelming. If you¶re using a digital camera. Start with a few articles on composition. Read more: http://www. Go crazy ± you might end up with something you Twitter StumbleUpon Digg . Experiment with your camera s settings. Your point and shoot may be more flexible and powerful than you know. so you don¶t forget what you¶ve 10. make sure you take time to practice regularly. 11.8. You have to know the rules before you can break them. Don t be afraid to experiment. Be open to what more experienced photographers have to say about technique. 9. Read the manual for help deciphering all those little symbols. You¶ll certainly learn a lot in the process.

. Not only does it interfere with your ³moment´ socially and artistically. However the problem with this is that not all situations can benefit from using the flash. He did not want to use the flash to distract the bride and groom during the time they were saying their vows. but the flash can flatten out your digital images. In digital photography its essential that we work with light as much as humanly possible otherwise disappointing results may occur. Good news it can be done. But. One of my subscribers asked me how he could take digital photos at his friends wedding. The flash is the biggest solution to low light digital photography. as you may know. But like everything in photography there are advantages and disadvantages. It¶s a very good digital photography question. I¶ll be back from my short break tomorrow. The built in flash (and a flash in general) has the effect of lighting your subject on the front only which compresses the depth in your digital photos.when you have plenty of light and the conditions are ideal. Compressed depth can really decrease the beauty of your subject in your digital photography. lighting conditions in digital photography aren¶t always as we would like them. What he was asking me was how to get better digital photos in low light conditions without the necessity of using a flash. This is especially true for a flash that is built-in on digital cameras. Digital photography is easy.Photo by Könrad The following guest tip on Low Light Photography Without Using A Flash was submitted by Amy Renfrey ± author of the Digital Photography Success ebook.

Let¶s take for example you are taking dome digital shots indoors. Perhaps the flash is not appropriate in this situation. If you don¶t push the ISO higher you may find the problem with camera shake if a tripod is not in hand. If you find that¶s still not right. In digital photography.) The only set back in digital photography ISO is noise. you can in fact decide on the next top ISO which will then enable you to select a faster shutter speed. a higher ISO allows you to take photos in low light situations. because your digital photo now has camera shake and you don¶t have a tripod. a good way to combat the problem in low light you can try using a higher ISO. rather than fiddle with changing film. I¶ll use another example. In digital photography noise will always be something to consider. (ISO in traditional terms works with film speed as well. depending on your subject and by watching how your light falls.Photo by hirosan This can be avoided to a certain degree. Alternatively you can set the ISO yourself. or playing an instrument. For example take traditional photography as a comparison to digital photography. . There are two good noise reduction software programs called³Noise Ninja´ or ³Neat Image´. This is advantageous if the subject is not going to stay around or you yourself are unable to stay for an extended length of time. Learn how to see how the light falls on your surroundings and your mind will become adept at knowing what works and what doesn¶t with the flash Really. If your ISO is perfect for the photo yet there is a significant increase in noise you can use software to sharpen up your digital photo. If you set the camera on ³ISO Auto´ your digital camera will then detect that a higher ISO is necessary. like someone speaking. Your ISO simply means the amount of sensitivity of light falling on your sensor. By adjusting the ISO you will find that noise is better than camera shake. Traditional photography ISO will be film sensitivity. This higher sensitivity can give you the opportunity of gaining the right exposure for the shot. In digital photography ISO give you the opportunity to adjust a setting. In traditional photography you¶d have to change your roll of film from. In this case (which happens a lot in digital photography) you would simply adjust the ISO to a higher setting.

Shoot RAW if possible 3. Read more: http://www. And although a fast lens can be very expensive. no flash concert photography.update ± DPS reader BayTamper emailed in a continuation of this post with an extra tip: As someone who shoots a ton of low light. and then I¶ll push the exposure in post (preferablly in RAW). but left out a THIRD KEY POINT.icio. Crank ISO as high as it will go 2. 4. If that still caases my shutter speeds to be too low to hand-hold. which will increase the speed a little. Use aperature-priority with the lowest f-stop on the fastest lens I have (f1. I feel you hit on two key points. there are affordable primes out Twitter StumbleUpon Digg . then I might even set exposure compoensation down a stop.8 85mm canon USM that is just over $300.8 or lower if you can).digital-photography-school. when I¶m absolutely desperate for light without a flash. I¶ll use various forms of noise reduction to help on the grain/noise front. How to Take Sharp Digital Images by Darren Rowse 0 del. like the Canon f1. which is FAST LENSES!!! For me. I use this technique: 1. or the f1. Lastly.8 50mm which is $80. That extra stop or two can seriously make the difference in low light / no flash photography.

Photo by Dale (Ling Gondaeng) Getting your digital images perfectly sharp is something that most photographers want ± however clean. . selecting an aperture that generates a very narrow depth of field or taking an image too quickly without checking it is in focus. Subject Movement . Noise noisy shots are ones that are pixelated and look like they have lots of little dots over them (get up close to your TV and you ll get the same impact). crisp. This might be a result of focussing upon the wrong part of the image. sharp images can be difficult to achieve. Camera Shake similarly you can get blur if you as the photographer generate movement while taking the image this often relates to either shutter speed and/or the stillness of your camera.another type of blur in shots is the result of your subject moving this is generally related to shutter speed being too slow. being too close to your subject for the camera to focus. Perhaps before we start exploring how to improve sharpness it would be good to talk about the main causes for lack of sharpness: y y y y Poor Focus the most obvious way to get images that are un-sharp is through having them out of focus.

Hold Your Camera Well A lot of blur in the photos that I see is a direct result of camera shake (the movement of your camera for that split second when your shutter is open). While not always practical. While the best way to tackle camera shake is to use a Tripod (see below) there are many times when using one is impractical and you¶ll need to shoot while holding your camera. . support yourself with a wall. Shutter Speed Perhaps one of the first things to think about in your quest for sharp images is the shutter speed that you select. I¶ve written a tutorial previously on how to hold a digital camera but in brief ± use both hands. So: y y y if you have a lens that is 50mm in length don t shoot any slower than 1/60th of a second if you have a lens with a 100mm focal length shoot at 1/125th of a second or faster if you are shooting with a lens of 200mm shoot at 1/250th of a second or faster Keep in mind that the faster your shutter speed is the larger you¶ll need to make your Aperture to compensate ± this will mean you have a smaller depth of field which makes focussing more of a challenge (read more on Shutter Speed). the result you¶ll get when you do go to the effort of hauling one around can be well worth it. As a result you reduce the likelihood of two of the main types of blur in one go (subject movement and camera movement). Tripods Regular readers of this site will have seen my recent series on tripods and know that I¶m a big fan of them as a way to reduce (and even eliminate) camera shake. Obviously ± the faster your shutter speed the less impact camera shake will have and the more you¶ll freeze any movement in your shots. 3.Here¶s a list of 10 basic things to think about when shooting to get sharp images (note ± there¶s also a lot you can do in photoshop after taking you images ± learn more about that in Photoshop Tutorials): Get more Digital Photography Tips Like This With our Free Weekly Email Newsletter 1. tree or some other solid object etc. Remember the µrule¶ for handheld shutter speeds: Choose a shutter speed with a denominator that is larger than the focal length of the lens. 2. keep the camera close to your body.

6. 5. This is particularly important if you¶re shooting with a large aperture (small depth of field) where even being slightly out can result in your subject being noticeably out of focus. Decreasing your aperture (increasing the number ± say up to f/20) will increase the depth of field meaning that the zone that is in focus will include both close and distant objects. Keep in mind that the smaller your aperture the longer your shutter speed will need to be ± which of course makes moving subjects more difficult to keep sharp (read more on Aperture). . Always visually check what part of the image is in focus before hitting the shutter and if it¶s not right try again or switch to manual focus mode. Choose a larger ISO and you¶ll be able to use faster shutter speed and smaller aperture (which as we¶ve seen help with sharpness) but you¶ll suffer by increasing the noise of your shots.4. A few months later I borrowed a Canon EF 24-105mm µL series¶ (the professional series of lenses from Canon) lens from a friend and was amazed by the difference in sharpness between the lenses. Most of us use µAuto Focussing¶ with our cameras but don¶t assume that the camera will always get it right. 7. Aperture Aperture impacts the depth of field (the zone that is in focus) in your images. I find that using IS lenses that it will give me an extra two or three stops (ie I can use slower shutter speeds but 23 stops) when hand holding my camera. Image Stabilisation Many cameras and lenses are now being released with different forms of image stabilisation (IS) which won¶t eliminate camera shake ± but can definitely help reduce its impact. It was a good lens (and reasonably priced) but it wasn¶t as sharp as some of my other lenses. I bought a Canon EF 28-135mm lens. Do the opposite (for example moving to f/4) and the foreground and background of your images will be more out of focus and you¶ll need to be more exact with what you focus your camera upon. Good lenses This one is for DSLR owners ± if you have the budget for it invest in good quality lenses as they can have a major impact upon the sharpness of your images. Depending upon your camera (and how large you want to enlarge your images) you can probably get away with using ISO of up to 400 (or even 800 on some cameras) without too much noise but for pin sharp images keep it as low as possible). ISO The third element of the exposure triangle is ISO which has a direct impact upon the noisiness of your shots. Focus Perhaps the most obvious technique to work on when aiming for sharp lenses is focussing. For example shortly after buying my DSLR I was in the market for a everyday zoom lens that would give me the ability to have both wide (ish) and telephoto zoom capabilities. 8. Read more on ISO. Keep in mind that IS helps with camera movement but not subject movement as it allows you to use slower shutter speeds (not good for moving subjects).

us Twitter StumbleUpon . Getting new glasses improved a number of areas of my How to Use Focal Lock by Darren Rowse 36 del. In many cases this ¶sweet spot¶ is one or two stops from the maximum aperture. one of which was my photography.While the first lens was good for what I paid for it I ended up going for an upgrade and the new lens is now almost permanently attached to my 9.icio. So instead of shooting with your lens wide open (ie where the numbers are smallest) pull it back a stop or two and you might find you get a little more clarity in your shots. When we did clean them though we were amazed at how much more light got through and how much better the view outside was. The diopter is a little adjustment that you can make to how your viewfinder works ± it¶s particularly useful for people with poor eye sight ± it¶s usually a little wheel next to your viewfinder. 10. Get your Eyes Checked Since I was young I¶ve worn glasses but in recent years I¶ve been a little slack in getting my eyes checked. Clean equipment Recently my wife and I went on a window cleaning frenzy at our place. Also connected with this is checking the µdiopter¶ on your camera (if it has one. Keep it clean and you¶ll eliminate the smudges. Recently I got them tested for the first time in a number of years and was surprised to find that they¶d deteriorated significantly. Read more: http://www. Over the previous months the grime on our windows had gradually built up without us really noticing it. dust and grime that can impact your shots. Update 11. The same can be true for your camera¶s lens. Lens Sweet Spot Lenses have spots in their aperture ranges that are sharper than others. Similarly ± a clean image sensor is a wonderful thing if you have a DSLR as getting dust on it can produce noticeable blotches in your end images.

Digg Photo by Brainless Angel At a recent wedding I handed my camera over to a friend to take a shot of my little family and I. . As a result we were treated as the foreground and thrown out of focus. Digital Camera manufacturers are now making cameras with µface recognition¶ technology to overcome it (where the cameras look for faces and make sure that they are the focal point) but most of us are stuck with cameras that don¶t have this yet and need to learn about µfocal lock¶. You can see what¶s happened immediately when you look at the images ± my friend quickly raised the camera to his eye ± put us in the middle of the frame assuming that the camera would know where to focus and took the image. Here¶s what you do: y y Pose your subject. looking forward to getting home to see how they turned out (it¶s amazing how few shots we have with the three of us all in them). The shot was similar to the one to the left where the couple is out of focus but the lady in the background between them is pin sharp. This is a common mistake that many digital camera owners make (I¶m sure we¶ve all done it). We posed for a few shots. When framing your subject put the central point of your frame on the point that you want to focus upon (the face of a person is generally the best point). The camera unfortunately didn¶t know where to focus and decided that the it would focus upon the garden behind us. I didn¶t think to check how they came out on the LCD after my friend took the shots and it wasn¶t until I got home and downloaded them on my computer that I realised we¶d been victims to the old µfocus between the heads on the background¶ mistake. It¶s a very simple technique and something that virtually every digital camera (and most film cameras) have the ability to do.

Once you¶ve got the framing right press the shutter the rest of the way and the shot will be taken with the right focussing even though the centre of your image might not be the person¶s This technique is one that most people know but it¶s something that beginners should master in the early days of their photography as it¶s something you¶ll use constantly. Similarly if you were taking a landscape shot but wanted to focus upon a house in the foreground that was off centre rather than the horizon you¶d use this technique. This technique is not just useful for taking photos of people when they¶re not central in your shots but can also be used in many other types of photography.y y y With the subject¶s face in the centre of your image half press down on the shutter button (not fully). For example in Macro shots when you want to place the insect or flower that you¶re photographing off centre (using the rule of thirds) you might want to use focal lock. Read more: http://www. Without letting go of the shutter (it should still be half depressed) move your camera to frame your shot as you want it (ie the person¶s face doesn¶t need to be centred now). This will tell the camera to focus on that point. It might take a little practice but after a while it will become second nature to .

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