How to Get Precise Exposure for Your Shots

Practically every day, one can see threads on photographic forums where members discuss the various different modes of automatic exposure, trying to find the right one. As a rule, these discussions result in the same question – what compensation to automatic metering ought one set to get consistently good exposure? It turns out that no autoexposure mode universally guarantees good out-of-box results.

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Five Landscape Photography Tips for Beginners

If you’re first starting out in landscape photography, you probably have a lot of questions. It isn’t always an intuitive field, and not everyone finds a connection to it. That said, landscape photography is such a rewarding pursuit that many photographers want to learn more tips and techniques to practice it as well as possible. In this article, I’ll share some of my top landscape photography tips for beginners, including some suggestions that might fly in the face of what you’ve heard before. Hopefully, you learn something that helps you out along the way.

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Five Ways to Shoot More Effectively Using Natural Light

As with many photographers, being able to manipulate natural light is essential for the images I produce. Whether I’m close to home, walking through the Parisian boulevards, or exploring entirely new places, my favorite activity is chasing and framing the ‘perfect’ light. My obsession with light goes back to my very first interaction with photography as a student of Art History in Granada. I spent hours looking at images – not only photographs but also building plans, façades, engravings and, especially, paintings. I became fascinated by the power of a static image – not just in its ability to tell a story, but in how light can be used within it to convey a message or feeling.

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An Easy Way to Compose Landscape Photos at Night

When you’re out taking nighttime landscape photos — Milky Way photography, or photos of the Aurora Borealis — one of the most difficult tasks is to compose your photos exactly how you want. The reason? It’s simply too dark to see anything. Looking through the viewfinder on a DSLR, it can be tough to make out any of the scene’s important features. Live view might be even worse, often showing absolutely no detail at all. The most common solution is to guess at your composition, wait 20 or 30 seconds for the exposure to finish, and adjust afterwards via trial and error. It’s a slow process — but there’s another method. This is one of the few times when the best option is to use your camera’s highest ISO.

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Shooting Hand-held at Slow Shutter Speeds with a Non-EVF Camera

We’ve all faced situations when we had to shoot hand-held in quite poor lighting conditions using slow shutter speeds, in order to capture a photograph. This challenge is further complicated when using a non-EVF camera since we loose our third anchor point, not being able to bring our camera up against our eyebrow. During a recent photography field-work trip to Nova Scotia I was faced with some very challenging lighting and took the opportunity to use quite slow shutter speeds (and high ISO) with one of my non-EVF Nikon 1 J5 cameras. The objective of this article is to discuss a few of the techniques that can be used when shooting hand-held at slow shutter speeds.

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Common Camera Settings for Beginners

Many beginner photographers often wonder what camera settings they should use to get the best possible results with their current camera gear. While there is no set rule for camera settings that work well in every shooting environment, I noticed that there are some settings that I personally set on every camera I use, which are universal across all brands of cameras on the market. These are the “base” settings I set initially – once they are done, I rarely ever revisit them. In addition, there are particular camera modes that make the process of capturing images easier or quicker, especially for someone who is just starting out. Let’s go through these common camera settings in more detail!

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Experimenting with Flower Photography at f/1.2

Like many other photographers I enjoy letting my mind wander, seeing if it will lead me to some kind of new photographic experiment that I haven’t tried in the past. The idea of photographing flowers with a prime lens and an extension tube fell out of my old, porous brain this week. So, for a couple of mornings I grabbed one of my Nikon 1 J5s, my 1 Nikon 32mm f/1.2 prime lens (efov 86.4mm) and a 10mm Vello Deluxe extension tube, then headed out for my daily 5km early morning walk. This article shares some images created while experimenting with flower photography at f/1.2. Except for the last image in this article, all photographs are displayed as 100% captures without any cropping.

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How to Calibrate Your Monitor

Color calibration should definitely be an essential part of every photographer’s workflow. Otherwise, it is impossible to tell whether the colors that are displayed by your monitor are truly accurate and whether what you see will match the print. There are many ways to do it and the process can be fairly simple or complex, depending on how accurate you want to reproduce the colors and whether you are also printing your work in-house. The simple method involves a hardware colorimeter for color profiling your monitor for everyday photo editing and image viewing, and there is also an end-to-end professional-grade color profiling that requires very concise calibration of all display and output devices, such as printers. In this article, I will only focus on simple methods to make your monitor show more or less accurate colors, so that you could rely on it for everyday photography needs.

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What is Exposure Compensation and How to Use It

In this article, we will go over what exposure compensation is on a digital camera and how you can take advantage of it to make adjustments to your exposure when shooting in camera modes such as aperture priority, shutter priority, program mode and other scene modes of your camera. Every modern camera today has a built-in capability to adjust exposure settings in order to make it easier to properly expose images. In simple terms, the idea is to be able to control the brightness of an image, so that it does not end up looking too bright or too dark. To be able to do this, one has to use the Exposure Compensation feature, which is typically provided either as a dedicated button on a camera, or as a dial that one can move from positive exposure compensation to negative. Let’s take a look at how you can utilize this great feature on your camera and take a full control of your exposure.

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Backing up Photos in the Back Country

Any photographer who has ever lost some of their photos will tell you how important it is to have a good backup system. For your best photos, you should have three or more copies, located in at least two different physical locations at all times. You absolutely shouldn’t have any of your photos located in just a single spot, or you’re asking for trouble. But how do these recommendations apply when you’re traveling, particularly if you’re out in the middle of nowhere and don’t have access to your normal backup equipment? In this article, I’ll cover some ways to back up your photos in a secure way no matter where you are.

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