Finding Good Light in Landscape Photography

There’s a reason why landscape photographers like waking up at 4AM and hiking out to the middle of nowhere. (Or, at the very least, there’s a reason why we tolerate it.) Are you a morning person? I’m not. But – countless times – I’ve stood by my tripod as the sun rises, watching the morning light illuminate a beautiful landscape. And that’s the reason. It’s all about the light. If you can get this one right, your photos will be…

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How to Photograph Airplanes

Aviation photography is definitely more challenging and creative than one might think at first glance. But it’s one of the most rewarding and simply fun type of shooting I do. Basically, there are two kinds of airplane photographers: those with airfield/aircraft access (airport workers, pilots, commercial photographers etc) and those without (all the rest of us). This is for all of us peering through a fence or piece of dingy airport glass at those exciting flying machines and trying to…

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Learning to Shoot in Manual Mode

This essay is for amateurs who have been shooting a while and feel the desire to push the envelope by going to manual mode. For those who are dedicated auto shooters and never want to change, I respect and endorse your choice, and wish you all the good shooting in the world. But this essay is not for you, so you need not read any further. Why go manual mode? Well, there are some very good reasons to do so.…

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Considering Lens Minimum Focusing Distance When Using Extension Tubes

To some extent all of us are creatures of habit, doing things the same way that we’ve always done them. How we use our camera gear is not immune from our habitual behaviour. My favourite lens to use with extension tubes is the 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 and I often only bring this lens with me when planning some close-up photography. During recent visits to the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington Ontario to photograph frogs, I was reminded that considering…

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How to Use Exposure Delay Mode on Nikon DSLRs

If you are a Nikon DSLR shooter, you most likely came across a camera setting called “Exposure Delay Mode”, which can be very useful in eliminating camera shake from the camera’s mirror mechanism. While Exposure Delay Mode is a wonderful feature, many photographers often misunderstand it and end up either misusing it in the field, or not using it at all. In this article, we will look into Exposure Delay Mode in detail and go through different case scenarios where…

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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…

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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,…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Moonscape Photography Tips

There are some popular conditions for landscape photography that every photographer already knows: sunrise and sunset, storm clouds, fog, and so on. But one that doesn’t get mentioned very often is the light produced by a full moon on a clear night. The subtleties of moonlight aren’t always visible to the naked eye, but long exposure photography can lift the curtain. The results may have hints of familiarity, but they also have unique characteristics that make them stand out from…

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Photographing Automotive Details

Once the good weather breaks, from the late spring through to the fall, many small towns in Ontario hold festivals. Quite often displays of antique and custom cars are featured at these types of events and represent great opportunities for photographing automotive details. This past weekend the town of Smithville held its annual PoultryFest, which I had the opportunity to attend. The day started out with bright, sun-filled skies…a significant change from the torrential rains that had hit much of…

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Advanced Sports Photography Tips

This post is the last in a three-part series dedicated to teaching sports photography at all levels of competency. In part one I covered the basics for photographers who are just getting started. Part two was geared towards intermediate amateurs who have mastered the basics and want to gain additional competency to bring their images to the next level. This part is for advanced amateurs looking to enhance their existing skills and create professional-looking images.

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Birds-in-Flight Practice Exercise: Find – Frame – Fire!

On Father’s Day morning we had some very unsettled weather move through our area which brought with it some extremely strong winds. I couldn’t help but grab my camera and go out for a birds-in-flight practice session as I knew the very high winds would create ideal conditions for me. So, I headed out to Eastport Drive by Hamilton Harbour with my Nikon 1 V3 and 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR zoom lens to capture some practice images of birds-in-flight.

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Easy Steps You Can Take To Help Prevent Image Loss

Losing irreplaceable images might just be every photographer’s worst nightmare. Fortunately, there are a few easy steps you can take to help prevent image loss. Almost all of these steps can be implemented right away with little to no cost or change to your overall workflow. While they might seem a little excessive, the resulting additional protection for your images should outweigh any inconvenience or minor cost. (more…)

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