Histograms are the solution to a fundamental problem in photography: Our eyes don’t always tell the truth. Have you ever been in a dark room, turned on your phone, and felt it blind you like nobody’s business? The same thing can happen in photography. Several times, I’ve taken pictures at night, and they look great on my camera’s LCD — until I open them the next day on my computer and realize they’re all hopelessly underexposed. Enter the histogram. This is one of the best ways to know exactly, mathematically, the brightness of your pixels. So, let’s dive in.
Have you ever wanted to learn everything about aperture? Not just the basics — every single effect aperture has on your photos? Although you can find that sort of information scattered across a handful of sources online, I don’t know of any resource that combines everything into one single place. That can make things difficult if you’re trying to get the big picture of how aperture works. So, here, we’ll explain everything aperture does to your photos, from sharpness to sunstars, and tell you exactly why each effect matters.
I recently decided to upgrade from my current infrared-converted Nikon D7100 to a Nikon D7200, taking advantage of Kolari Vision‘s Anti-Reflective coated glass (article to follow). In the process, I once again considered my filter choices. Although I had some decent results from a 665nm filter from another infrared conversion house, I was not satisfied with the overall results and had Kolari Vision swap the 665nm out and install a 720nm filter. I always thought the 720nm filter provided the best overall balance of bright white vegetation and false color processing capabilities, but admit suffering from occasional bouts of ICE – Infrared Color Envy. Some of the photos taken with the 590nm filter are… well… rather gaudy. But I have also come across some that are jaw-droppingly gorgeous.
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.
Telephoto lenses are wonderful tools for almost any genre of photography, but they aren’t necessarily easy to use. In particular, telephoto lenses will magnify any camera shake and provide a much thinner depth of field compared to wide angles. Don’t let that stop you, though. Telephotos have a unique way of showcasing the world — one which may be ideal for your photos. In this article, I’ll go in detail about how to use telephoto lenses, discuss some of their benefits and tips for dealing with their unique challenges. Although I personally tend to take landscape photos, the techniques in this article apply no matter what subjects you like to capture.
The deeper you go into photography, the clearer it will be that everything is about emotion. Each decision you make — every single part of your thought process — matters for that one reason. A prominent example? Positive and negative space. These two elements of photography are important because of the emotions they carry. So, what are positive and negative space, and how can you use them to improve your work?
Aperture is perhaps the single most important camera setting that every photographer needs to know. Whether you do landscape photography, portrait photography, or anything in between, you have to set your aperture properly in order to capture successful photos. Below, I’ll dive some important terminology — aperture, f-stop, and f-number — and talk about how to use them for your own photography.
Light, shapes, lines, forms — the foundations of photography. No matter what subjects you shoot, you’ll end up working with these features for every photo that you take. Architectural photography, though, takes it to another level, with its perfect geometrical lines and shapes that are hard to find anywhere else in the world. In this article, I will cover everything from indoor architectural photography to outdoor “urban landscapes” and cityscapes, including some tips and tricks that I use all the time in my own photos.
A quick note: Apologies that we have not posted an article this past week. Nasim and I have been in New Zealand since the beginning of December, and it has not been possible to publish anything without a reliable Internet connection. Our articles may still be sporadic until we get home at the end of December, so we appreciate your patience. For now, we have published our backlogged articles from recent days. Hopefully, the photos we bring back from this trip will be worth it!
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.
Exposing to the right, or ETTR, is an approach to photography that is as helpful as it is controversial. On one hand, exposing to the right is yet another technique to remember while shooting, and it can potentially ruin your exposure if utilized incorrectly. On the other hand, at least in theory, ETTR is the epitome of digital exposure. With proper ETTR, your images have as much detail in the shadows as they possibly can, without any of the highlights losing information along the way.