Why Hyperfocal Distance Charts Are Wrong

One of the most misunderstood parts about landscape photography is the correct way to fit your entire scene within a photo’s depth of field. Where do you focus? What aperture should you use? You might think that these questions are easy to answer with a hyperfocal distance chart, where you provide your focal length and aperture, and the chart tells you exactly where to focus. There’s only one hiccup — if you want the sharpest possible results, these charts are spectacularly wrong. For most landscape and architectural photographers, that’s a big deal. This article explains everything about hyperfocal distance charts: what they are, why they fail, and where to focus instead.

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How to Focus in Macro Photography

If you’re trying to photograph the small world of plants and bugs, you’ll face plenty of challenges along the way. Macro photography is a difficult genre — you’re pushing up against the physical limits of depth of field, diffraction, and motion blur. Naturally, focusing in macro photography isn’t an easy task, but it’s a crucial one. How do you optimize your focusing technique for capturing small subjects? The answer depends upon exactly what you’re photographing.

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How to Photograph a Solar Eclipse

With the upcoming total solar eclipse coming to North America on August 21, 2017, you might be wondering how you can take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to document and photograph this unique event. While photographing a solar eclipse might not sound like a big deal, there are a few very important considerations you have to keep in mind to avoid damage to your camera equipment or to your eyes. In this article, we will take a closer look at where you would want to physically be at the time of totality, what equipment you should have on hand, what safety precautions to take before, during and after the solar eclipse, and what framing and composition aspects to consider. Keep in mind that totality will only last a couple of minutes, so if you are not fully prepared, you might miss the opportunity to photograph this rare phenomenon.

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Semi-Automatic Camera Modes Explained

It’s common to think that most professional photographers, or all professional photographers, shoot in manual mode, for the simple reason that it offers the greatest possible control over a photo. Why would you leave your camera to make important decisions without your input? However, as valuable as manual mode is, you may not need to use it 100% of the time — even as an advanced photographer. In this article, I’ll explain semi-automatic modes and cover some cases where they can be the quickest option available, without sacrificing any control over your settings.

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How to Photograph Fireworks

Wondering about photographing fireworks on 4th of July, New Year or some other event / occasion? In this article, I will provide some basic tips on how to best capture fireworks, what type of equipment to use and what camera settings to use during the process. Although the process is relatively simple, there are some things that might be worth considering, as outlined below.

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What is the Second Sunset?

In the second of a series of follow-up articles to The Quality of Light, I have posted this article to share a series of photographs (along with the thought processes behind them) that captures the quintessence of a well-known and spectacular light display, often referred to as the ‘Second Sunset’. As with many of my previous articles, my goal with this post is to encourage my fellow photographers to be inspired by light, composition, and mood, to spur them to explore their creative potential, and to get out and make beautiful photographs.

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How to Take Sharp Photos in the Wind

Normally, if you’re using a tripod, camera shake isn’t something you’ll have to worry very much about. However, there are some obvious exceptions. If you’ve ever found yourself taking pictures in heavy winds, you’ll know the difficulties of capturing sharp photos — particularly if you’re using a telephoto lens. This seems like an impossible situation; what do you do when a tripod isn’t enough to stop your camera from shaking? Luckily, there are ways to improve sharpness even in windy conditions and come away with photos that are completely usable. I’ll cover some of the most important here.

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How to Use Lightroom: A Complete Tutorial for Beginners

Adobe Lightroom is a massive, lumbering behemoth of photography software with enough functions and processes to make any photographer go crazy. At the simplest level, though, Lightroom was created to help you do just three things: sort your photos, post-process them, and export them. On Photography Life alone, we already have more than 100 articles about Lightroom — the equivalent of several books — and other websites have countless more. Clearly, it’s an important topic to learn, whether you’re just starting out or you’re an advanced photographer. In this guide, I will go over the process of using Lightroom for beginners, from start to finish, including tips on the topics that tend to confuse people the most.

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Must-Have Gear for a Traveling Photographer

As a busy photographer who travels quite a bit both within the USA and overseas, I have gone through many types of gear in my camera bag. While some of the gear and accessories are absolute necessities I will not leave my home without, others can be very useful in particular situations or when traveling to other countries. In this article, I would like to go over my top must-have gear for travel and discuss why you might consider including them in your arsenal in the future.

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Taking Your Sports Photography Beyond Snapshots

This post is the second 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. This article will focus on intermediate amateurs who have mastered the basics, and want to gain additional competency to bring their images to the next level. The final part will be geared towards advanced amateurs looking to build a portfolio.

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