Hints and Tips

Creative Lens Flare

Normally lens flare is something to be avoided in your shots. However there are times it can used to create creative photos if used properly.

First you need a light source to create the lens flare. If using the sun it works best if it’s low in the sky. Next make...Read More »

Back to basics

1. Limit the number of shot you take

Back in the days of film photographers were usually limited to 24 or 36 exposures. Once the film was full it would be sent away for processing at around £3-£5 and would take a few days to come back. Because of the costs...Read More »

Photographing the moon

Taking clear pictures of the moon is quite difficult. Its easy to end up with a bright white blob which looks more like the sun.

Experimenting is the best way to get the perfect shot, however the following should hopefully give you something to work with.

Lens: 200mm or larger, anything smaller...Read More »

Useful shutter speeds for blurring effects

Panning fast moving vehicles: 1/125 (1/30 for more obvious blur)
Panning push bikes: 1/60 (1/15 for more obvious blur)
Panning moving animals or people running: 1/30 (1/8 for more obvious blur)
Blur fast flowing waterfall: 1/8 (1 sec for more obvious blur)
Blur people walking: 1/4 (1 sec for more...Read More »

Using a zoom lens without a tripod

Where possible is always best to use a tripod when using zoom lens. Even with image stabilization and fast shutter speeds it can still be difficult to avoid shake towards the end of the zoom.

To help try putting one foot slightly forward shifting your weight at the same time. Put...Read More »

Simple exposure compensation rule

If you need to squint when viewing your subject, try adding some exposure compensation by increasing to +0.3EV. But check the preview to make sure the shot doesn’t appear ‘burnt out’

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Moving Objects

Taking shots of moving objects such as racing cars requires smooth panning with the appropriate shutter speed. As a guide running 1/8 to 1/15, Cycling 1/15 to 1/60, Racing Cars 1/60 to 1/250.

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Sunny 16 Rule

Sunny 16 rule – On a sunny day set aperture to f/16 and shutter speed to the [reciprocal of the] ISO film speed [or ISO setting] for a subject in direct sunlight. For example with ISO 100, aperture f/16 set the shutter speed to 1/100 or 1/125. Anther example ISO...Read More »

Lenses have sweet spots

Do some research and find your lens optimum aperture. Each lens has a specific ‘sweet spot’ where the sharpest images are produced. For example the Nikon AF VR 18-55 lens best performance is at f/8 at 18mm, f/8-11 at 35mm, and f/11 at 55mm.

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Fill the shot

Fill the shot with the subject rather than leaving lots of empty space. If this not possible crop the image later using an image editor.

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Rule of Thirds

For good compersition use the “rule of thirds”. Image your view finder is a noughts and crosses grid and position points of interest where lines cross. Some camera’s can overlay a grid to make this easier.

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Portrait Shots

When taking portrait shots, whether people or animals make sure your focus on the eyes. Using single point focus modes is the best way to achieve this.

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Help avoid blurred images when shooting handheld

To help avoid blurred images when not using a tripod as a rule of thumb your shutter speed should be 1/[focal length (zoom)]. So if you are using a focal length of 100 mm your shutter speed should be at least 1/125.

However if you have an APS-C camera such as...Read More »

Use fast shutter speed for aerial shots

Use a fast shutter speed (1/250 +) when taking aerials. This will help compensate for camera movement.

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User RAW mode for black and white images

Black and White pictures are best taken using RAW format. JPEG compression removes more details than with colour images. Also make sure the lowest possible ISO setting is used.

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Blurring Water

To blur a water fall use a shutter speed of approx 1/8. Use a tripod with a remote shutter release or the camera’s timer function.

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Freezing Water

To freeze water use a shutter speed of at least 1/250.

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AE-L/AE-F button Vs Half Shutter Press

By default most camera’s will only lock focus with a half shutter press. This means when recomposing a shot with a half shutter press the camera could adjust exposure. Pressing AE-L/AE-F button will lock both exposure and focus even when recomposing. However mainy DSLR camera’s such as Nikon’s allow this...Read More »

Copy pictures from Nikon DSLR on OSX

Having just purchased my shiny new Nikon D5100 I promptly proceeded to take some test shots. Once finished I connected the camera to my MacBook via USB, powered on and waited for it to appear on Finder. Nothing happened….

After a bit of research it appears some recent Nikon camera’s do not support...Read More »