“There’s such a thing as ornamental shrimp?” This is the typical response of family and friends when I speak to them about my recent hobby of keeping ornamental shrimp. Believe it or not, there is growing interest around the world about breeding and keeping these little freshwater critters as pets. In some countries, their popularity even rival traditional fish keeping! What once used to be considered another algae eater in tanks has quickly become an object of interest for aquarium enthusiasts, given their behavior, varieties, and breeding possibilities. They are marvelous to look at, and as such are wonderful subjects to photograph.
If you are buying your first DSLR camera, the available options that are out there can be pretty overwhelming. In this article, I’d like to walk you through the important similarities and differences between a few of Canon’s entry level DSLR cameras, currently the Canon EOS Rebel SL1/100D, Canon EOS Rebel T5/1200D, Canon EOS Rebel T5i/700D and Canon EOS Rebel T6i/750D. While this won’t be an in-depth technical review, it will be a practical, hands on review that should give you enough information to make an informed decision about which of these cameras will work the best for your current needs.
After a week in Ireland, I have seen some incredible sights. This is a beautiful country, and the people are incredibly warm and welcoming. Although most days here have been rainy, I’ve tried to make the most of foggy landscapes and simply enjoy my time in such a unique place. However, the weather has made it difficult to take colorful sunrise and sunset photos, which is a bit unfortunate — it is no secret that golden hour is a wonderful time to take pictures. Still, there has been one incredible morning for photography so far. In just a few minutes, the sky turned from a dull sheet of gray into a magnificent show of color, and a rainbow appeared during the best light. In this article, I’ll cover the entire story and thought process behind my favorite photo from this beautiful sunrise.
Most of you are probably already familiar with the different tools that are available to use while editing your images in post-processing software. I’m referring to the various brushes and filters that can be found in Lightroom, Capture One Pro and other similar programs. Well, did you know that in addition to using these tools to adjust things like exposure and saturation, you can also use them to add a bit of color to your images? In this post I’ll show you a few of my favorite ways to use these tools along with some subtle additions of color, which will make your image editing a bit more colorful. Keep in mind… I’m a Lightroom user, so I can’t promise that these techniques are available in all post-processing software.
Lens distortion is a common issue we photographers deal with on a daily basis. It can be split into two groups – distortion by perspective and distortion by optics. Be it one or the other, it often causes unnatural-looking deformation of photos we take. As a result, we end up searching for ways to address distortion issues in the field, or afterwards in post-production. Usually lenses with longer focal lengths produce less distorted results than wide-angle lenses. And as you might already know, distortion is much more noticeable closer to the edges of the frame than in the middle. If you shoot landscapes or cityscapes at wider focal lengths and you have straight vertical elements near the corners of the frame, distortion might significantly bend and skew those elements, making them look very strange. There are several ways you can address such problems, so let’s talk about those now.
A good looking image consists of many different things, most of which are subjective. In this article I want to briefly discuss one specific variable, which is image brightness. While I don’t plan on going into much detail and getting very technical, I do want to show you how you can adjust image brightness and the final look of your image using a few different methods in your post processing software. Although I’m using Lightroom, the method and concept should be similar regardless of what software you prefer using to edit your images.
When photographic architecture, landscapes and even people, photographers often desire to increase detail and resolution, capture a wider angle or create a unique look that is impossible to achieve with standard camera gear. That’s where panorama photography comes in – it can be a great technique to utilize in order to accomplish such goals. Although the concept and the technique itself are fairly straightforward, panoramic photography often confuses many photographers. We often get many inquiries about this topic from our readers and one of the most frequently asked questions is about the specific type of gear to buy in order to produce stunning panoramas. And that’s certainly one of the biggest myths about panoramic photography – you rarely ever need such gear! Most of the panoramas I have stitched so far have been done without panoramic gear and although I do own a panoramic slider, I rarely ever get to use it. Read on this article on panorama photography tips to find out why!
When photographing landscapes and including a bright source of light like the Sun, we often end up getting quite a bit of ghosting and flare in images. Although seeing lens flare is quite normal in both images and video (in fact, videographers and movie makers often purposefully add ghosting and flare to their footage to make the scene look more natural), sometimes the effect can heavily harm images. Since every lens reacts differently to bright sources of light, with some having special coatings and optical optimizations in place to reduce such effects, the effect of ghosting and flare and its damage are not something that can be easily predicted – there are too many variables involved, like focal length, optical design, coating, light source angle and even dust within the lens. So what do you do when you have a beautiful sunrise / sunset moment and you want to capture it with the sun in the frame without traces of ghosting / flare? I have been using a “finger the sun” technique for many years and today I want to explain how this technique works and how you can use it to create stunning, dramatic landscape images.
In my photography classes I often get asked, “What is a long exposure?” Many beginning photographers want me to give them a definitive shutter speed with my explanation. However, long exposures are not only subject driven, they are largely based on the artistic vision you have for your photograph. Panning, light painting and night photography all make use of long exposures. However, these techniques are subjects of a future article. Today I would like to discuss “really” long exposures, exposures in excess of several minutes. These types of exposures create surreal, dreamlike images. They use neutral density filters (think sunglasses for your lens) to extend exposure times far in excess of what could be achieved by simply decreasing ISO and stopping down your aperture.
No matter what you photograph, there is one thing you should realize about light. Not all light is created equal. I’m not talking about the quality of light, but rather the color of light. What you might see as white light from different sources can actually have different colors, or what are referred to as color temperatures. Direct sunlight at noon (which I’ll just refer to as sunlight) is considered to be a “normal” color temperature, so all light sources are compared to this as the standard. For example, light from an incandescent light bulb appears to be more orange than sunlight. On the opposite side of the spectrum, shady areas appear to be more blue than sunlight. In photography, we refer to these differences as being “warmer” (or more orange) and “cooler” (or more blue) than our neutral sunlight reference point. In this article, we will go over the basics of white balance and color temperature, topics that can be a bit intimidating for beginners to understand.