Choosing a Creative Exposure – A Beginner’s Guide

There are many combinations of aperture, shutter speed, and ISO that will correctly expose an image. With all those combinations, which one is the right one? If you leave your camera in full program mode, your camera will pick a combination for you. However, letting your camera have complete control is not why you bought an expensive DSLR or mirrorless camera! Learning how to adjust the settings and modes on your camera before you click the shutter will give you the upper hand. You will end up capturing images creatively, rather than by chance. Read on to find out how aperture, shutter speed, and ISO affect the look and feel of a photograph and how to choose the best camera settings to take creative control of your images.

[Read more…]

The Exposure Triangle – A Beginner’s Guide

For many starting out in photography, the relationship between aperture, shutter speed, and ISO can be confusing. To further muddy the water, the terms ‘stop’ and ‘f-stop’ are often used interchangeably but refer to different things. In this article, I would like to take some of the mystery out of these concepts by talking about the exposure triangle and why it is important to understand for those who are starting out. Please keep in mind that the concepts in this article are oversimplified to make it easy for beginners to understand, especially when it comes to ISO.

[Read more…]

Recommended Canon 5D Mark IV Settings

With the arrival of the much-anticipated Canon 5D Mark IV, many photographers might be either moving up to, or upgrading their existing Canon 5D-line cameras to this latest and greatest tool. The 5D line has always been Canon’s stronghold for most types of photography, particularly because of its amazing low-light performance, reliable autofocus, superb ergonomics, solid build and overall stability, making it a preferred DSLR among most professionals. Due to the numerous buttons and the sophisticated menu system of the camera, understanding the functionality of the camera can be rather overwhelming for even intermediate-level photographers. To help guide our readers through these features and menus, we decided to share the settings our team has been using on the camera during the past 2 months while testing out the camera. Please keep in mind that the below information is provided as a guide for those that struggle with the camera. While this particular configuration has been working great for our needs, it does not mean that it is the only way to properly setup and configure the camera.

[Read more…]

Focus Stacking Tutorial for Landscape Photography

A lot of landscape photographers are interested in focus stacking — combining multiple images of the same scene, each focused at different distances, into a single photo. This is a useful tool to have at your disposal, since it lets you take pictures in more situations than you otherwise could. For example, if elements of your photo are very close to your camera, focus stacking may be the only way to get a sharp shot. Although I don’t use this technique for every photo, it’s something that I keep in mind when I’m taking pictures in challenging conditions. This article gives an overview of focus stacking for landscape photography, including step-by-step instructions on how to focus stack photos in Photoshop. All of these tips are also relevant for other types of photography, not just landscapes.

[Read more…]

Glass vs Resin Filters – Are There Any Differences in Sharpness?

Landscape photographers often deal with the dilemma of choosing between different types and brands of neutral density and graduated neutral density filters for use in high-contrast situations such as sunrise and sunset, where their cameras might not have enough dynamic range to be able to capture the entire scene. While we are not going to go over each and every brand to see which one performs better, we do want to show the difference in sharpness between glass and resin filters. For this particular test, we used three 0.6 (2 stop) filters from three different manufacturers – NiSi (glass filter), Lee (resin) and HiTech (resin). The latter two are probably the two brands that are used the most among photographers in the field.

[Read more…]

How to Critique Your Photos Accurately

In general, photographers are very good at deciding how much they like someone else’s photo. It isn’t hard — your first reaction to a shot is either positive or negative, and it typically doesn’t change much after that. Things get more complicated, though, when you’re talking about your own work. For me, at least, I find it tough to judge the quality of some photos I’ve taken. Sure, I know when a photo is awful, but what about the other shots? This article covers some tips for looking at your work with a better critical eye.

[Read more…]

How to Use Wide Angle Lenses

Wide-angle lenses are incredibly popular for landscape photographers, but they can be very tricky to use. The main problem is that these lenses are so different from the way we normally see the world, which makes it easy to use them incorrectly. Still, wide-angle lenses are one of the most important tools that you have at your disposal, and — used well — they can lead to spectacular photos. In this article, I will cover everything you need to know about using wide angle lenses and how to make the most out of them.

[Read more…]

Which Camera Settings Affect RAW Photos?

Most of us think we have a good understanding of the camera settings that affect your RAW photos — it seems like common sense. However, the more that you look into it, the more complicated that this topic gets. In fact, no matter how much you know about your camera, chances are good that you have a few misconceptions about the camera settings that affect your RAW photos. Does high-ISO noise reduction change the way your camera records a RAW file? What about long exposure noise reduction? Color space? Or Active D-Lighting, for Nikon users? The answer to two of these four examples is yes. In this article, I will cover all the noteworthy camera settings that affect your camera’s RAW files, including some that you may not expect.

[Read more…]

What Is Color Banding and How to Fix It

Working on your photos in Photoshop, you might have come across the situation where you begin to see weird lines appear in places where they shouldn’t be and weren’t before. This issue is especially common for very smooth gradients, such as skies, and can undoubtedly destroy even the most beautiful photo. And unlike other problems, this issue doesn’t seem to be triggered by anything particular; one moment it’s not there and the next time you look at the image – there it is. So, let’s figure out what this is, why it happens and how to fix it.

[Read more…]

How to Photograph the Mercury Transit

Every so often, the planet Mercury lines up perfectly between the Earth and the Sun. When it does, astronomers and photographers have a relatively rare chance to see and photograph the planet Mercury transiting across the Sun. Next Monday (May 9) is one of those opportunities. In this article, I will cover some tips and techniques for photographing this year’s Mercury transit.

[Read more…]