25 Pho­tog­ra­phy tech­niques

Whether you’re us­ing a phone, a cam­era or a drone, Mark Pick­a­vance’s tips will help you take bet­ter pho­tos

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Un­like the film pho­tog­ra­phy era, it doesn’t cost any­thing to take pic­tures, un­less you count the price of your phone or DSLR. Not hav­ing to worry about how many shots you’re tak­ing is a ma­jor ad­van­tage, be­cause it al­lows for ex­per­i­men­ta­tion. The more of this you do, the greater un­der­stand­ing you’ll have of what your de­vice can do, how the con­trols work, and how to get the best out of what tech­nol­ogy is to hand.

Most of our tips cost lit­tle or noth­ing, so you’ve no ex­cuse for not try­ing them out. While our ad­vice is pri­mar­ily aimed at those with a dig­i­tal SLR cam­era, many of the tips ap­ply equally to any cam­era, in­clud­ing those on smart­phones. Plus, phone cam­eras are get­ting sur­pris­ingly good th­ese days.

1. Aper­ture pri­or­ity

The aper­ture pri­or­ity is en­abled by us­ing ‘A’ or ‘Av’ mode on most DSLR cam­era di­als. Se­lect­ing this mode will em­power the DSLR to de­cide ISO and shut­ter speed, while leav­ing aper­ture as the sin­gle fea­ture that’s not cam­era con­trolled.

The func­tion of the aper­ture is to con­trol the amount of light en­ter­ing the sen­sor, and con­trol depth of field. Do­ing this al­lows you to blur out the back­ground and drive the fo­cus en­tirely where the images are sharpest.

A high aper­ture set­ting or f/1.4 or f2.0 (which lets in a lot of light) will give a very nar­row depth of field, where a low one such as f/22 (which is a tiny hole that lets in much less light) will make a deep one with much of the scene in fo­cus. The more ex­pen­sive lenses of­fer high aper­ture set­tings, al­low­ing for more over­all fo­cus con­trol.

When us­ing aper­ture pri­or­ity keep an eye on the shut­ter speed, be­cause should it get be­low 1/30 sec­ond, it will be­come dif­fi­cult to shoot hand­held and avoid blurry pho­tos.

2. Sport­ing shots

Un­less you’re pho­tograph­ing Crown Green Bowls, the speed of those tak­ing part be­comes a crit­i­cal fac­tor in how you ap­proach get­ting de­cent sports pho­to­graphs.

Ide­ally, you usu­ally want to freeze the sub­ject in ac­tion, re­quir­ing a high shut­ter speed in pref­er­ence to aper­ture con­trol.

Us­ing shut­ter pri­or­ity mode is the ob­vi­ous choice, usu­ally the ‘S’ set­ting on the mode dial. The beauty of shut­ter pri­or­ity is that you can set 1/500 of a sec­ond, and know that you’ll get pre­cisely that.

How­ever, a high shut­ter speed doesn’t suit all sports. Pho­tograph­ing rac­ing cars, for ex­am­ple, is best done at a slower shut­ter, track­ing the car to cre­ate mo­tion blur around it, while leav­ing the ve­hi­cle sharp.

Con­versely, any sport with wa­ter is of­ten best shot at the very high­est pos­si­ble speed, cap­tur­ing all the liq­uid sur­face de­tails.

What you can’t ig­nore is what the cam­era does with the aper­ture. With a high f/22 set­ting the back­ground will be as de­tailed as the fore­ground com­peti­tor/ ve­hi­cle, un­help­fully.

Those want­ing to shoot sports on a reg­u­lar ba­sis will need a big 400mm (or longer) lens, a sup­port­ing mono­pod, and be happy to sift through many hun­dreds of images that never quite caught the mo­ment.

3. Long ex­po­sures

Us­ing long ex­po­sure times, you can cap­ture the move­ment of stars, cars on the road at night and the air­lin­ers on their fi­nal ap­proach. The trick is bal­anc­ing the light en­ter­ing the lens with the length of ex­po­sure. The tim­ing re­quires a bit of guess­work be­cause the light me­ter­ing in most DSLRs just doesn’t work well for multi-sec­ond or minute long ex­po­sures.

The mode you need to use is called ‘Bulb’, and it al­lows you to hold the shut­ter open for as long as is nec­es­sary.

De­pend­ing what you’re try­ing to cap­ture, that might be a few sec­onds or hours.

To avoid move­ment of the cam­era, you’ll also need a sturdy tri­pod and a re­lease cable to op­er­ate the shut­ter.

It’s worth not­ing that some tra­di­tional long ex­po­sure ef­fects, like star trails, are of­ten eas­ier to achieve by tak­ing mul­ti­ple short ex­po­sure se­quen­tial shots and com­bin­ing them in post-pro­duc­tion.

4. The Thirds rule

This no­tion might seem highly un­sci­en­tific, but hu­mans like the com­po­si­tion of things where ob­jects and tran­si­tions hap­pen at ap­prox­i­mately one third from the sides of the im­age, ver­ti­cally and hor­i­zon­tally.

Known as the ‘rule of thirds’, pho­tog­ra­phy stu­dents are taught to place those things they’d like the viewer to fo­cus on along th­ese lines and the in­ter­sec­tions be­tween the hor­i­zon­tal and ver­ti­cal lines.

To help in this most cam­eras will pro­vide a grid, though oddly most DSLR cam­eras have a grid with quar­ters or ‘fourths’, not thirds. (Most smart­phone cam­era apps also have a grid over­lay which can be en­abled.)

The an­swer for DSLRs is to buy an ex­tra screen pro­tec­tor and mark it with your own ‘thirds’ lines, solv­ing the prob­lem for min­i­mal out­lay.

On some cam­eras, it is pos­si­ble to re­place the fo­cus­ing screen el­e­ment with one marked with thirds. But that isn’t an ex­er­cise for the faint-hearted, and th­ese re­place­ments cost much more than a plas­tic screen pro­tec­tor. Many images have sym­me­try where im­por­tant el­e­ments seem to align with the rule of thirds, even if some peo­ple don’t ac­cept it’s a thing.

5. Thirds on Pho­to­shop

If you want to see a ‘thirds’ grid over­lay­ing any im­age in Pho­to­shop (see be­low), here’s the pro­ce­dure: Open Pho­to­shop Press Ctrl-K (Alt-K on the Mac) Se­lect ‘Guides, Grid & Slices’ Set Grid­line Ev­ery to ‘100’ and ‘Per­cent’ Set sub­di­vi­sions to 3

Make sure that Grid is ‘shown’, and you’ll see where the thirds are on any im­age.

6. How to shoot sun­sets

Great sun­set shots are about prepa­ra­tion, and not just be­ing there when the sun goes down. But first, be safe. Al­ways use ‘live view’ on the cam­era dis­play and not di­rect or op­ti­cal view­ing, as you can dam­age your eye­sight should the clouds sud­denly part.

Those want­ing to shoot the set­ting sun in de­tail will need at least a 200mm lens, and a tri­pod to avoid cam­era shake or high grain (ISO 800 or higher) images.

Those who want to cap­ture a land­scape at sun­set have two ba­sic op­tions; ac­cept a sil­hou­ette or use mul­ti­ple com­bined ex­po­sures. In a sil­hou­et­ted sky that re­gion be­comes the crit­i­cal ex­po­sure con­cern. Un­less you’ve got lots of wa­ter to re­flect it. Al­ter­na­tively, you can shoot brack­eted ex­po­sures to bring out the de­tail and colour in the land­scape lost on those frames where the sun and sky look amaz­ing.

The best modes for sun­set shots are ei­ther with an aper­ture or shut­ter pri­or­ity. Pick one of th­ese and then keep ad­just­ing

that con­trol while shoot­ing a spread of dif­fer­ent set­tings. Us­ing ex­po­sure locking onto dark ar­eas is of­ten a good plan, and al­ways shoot RAW files so you can re­claim lost de­tail where needed.

For each amaz­ing sun­set shot a pho­tog­ra­pher gets, there are usu­ally hun­dreds that didn’t quite work. It’s mostly about per­se­ver­ance.

7. Bet­ter sea shots

Pho­tograph­ing the ocean can be a chal­lenge, mostly be­cause so much of what you see in the wa­ter is re­flected sky. If the sky isn’t in­ter­est­ing, then the sea won’t be ei­ther. One way to get an in­ter­est­ing seascape is to wait for an es­pe­cially windy day, and one that has the odd break in the clouds is ideal.

Shoot­ing at high shut­ter speed should pull some great de­tail out of the churn­ing surf. But please be mind­ful of safety. Don’t stand any­where that could get your equip­ment might get wet or swept away.

8. How to pho­to­graph chil­dren

For ob­vi­ous rea­sons, when pho­tograph­ing young­sters make sure that you have the per­mis­sion of those re­spon­si­ble for them to do that. Great shots of them usu­ally in­volve cap­tur­ing those mo­ments when they’re en­grossed in what they’re do­ing and obliv­i­ous to the cam­era.

Staged shots of­ten look staged be­cause chil­dren aren’t nat­u­rally still, posed or per­fectly be­haved. They look best be­ing nat­u­ral, so aim to show that. The best shots of chil­dren are usu­ally taken with a rea­son­ably wide an­gle lens and at short range when they’re least aware of you.

Shoot­ing in burst mode is also a good way to catch the fleet­ing ex­pres­sions that chil­dren of­ten make.

9. How to pho­to­graph land­scapes

Cap­tur­ing a great land­scape shot is usu­ally a com­bi­na­tion of the right light, the best lo­ca­tion and a good com­po­si­tion. Light is best dur­ing the ‘golden hours’ (see our tip on how to get good light­ing on page 85), and you can en­hance any lo­ca­tion by know­ing the ter­rain and dis­cov­er­ing the best as­pects.

A good com­po­si­tion is about see­ing a bal­ance in the fram­ing or at least cap­tur­ing enough of what’s there to al­low you to crop it per­fectly when you get home.

Use a nar­row (f/22) aper­ture to make sure the en­tire shot is in fo­cus. Don’t be tempted to use a very wide-an­gle lens that misses what’s in­ter­est­ing or dra­matic in a scene, and think about the fore­ground as much as the most dis­tant ob­jects. Cre­at­ing depth in a land­scape pro­vides a con­text and scale.

10. How to take a bet­ter group por­trait

With each added per­son to a group, the pos­si­bil­ity of them all do­ing what you want at the same time be­comes in­creas­ingly small. The real trick is, there­fore, or­gan­i­sa­tion. Telling ev­ery­one where they should be, and pos­si­bly where they should look.

Never take just one pic­ture, take lots in burst mode, be­cause you might even need to stitch the best to­gether to get ev­ery­one to look their best at the same time.

Don’t be con­cerned about get­ting in close, as un­less it’s a fash­ion shoot very few peo­ple will be con­cerned if their shoes aren’t in shot.

11. Don’t buy cheap flash cards

There was a time when flash memory was ex­pen­sive, and large ca­pac­ity cards could be out­ra­geous. They’re not any longer, so don’t skimp on get­ting a de­cent brand and a high-speed spec­i­fi­ca­tion.

Buy Class 10 cards, even if you’re cam­era will work with lower spec­i­fi­ca­tion ones. It will make sav­ing the shots quicker, al­low­ing for faster burst speeds, and it will also in­crease the speed of trans­fer to the com­puter.

12. How to take a bet­ter selfie

The prob­lem with smart­phone self­ies is that most phones front-fac­ing cam­eras are rub­bish com­pared with the rear-fac­ing one. That’s be­cause they were de­signed mostly for live video con­ver­sa­tions, and not tak­ing still images.

There a few ways you can get around this, the most ob­vi­ous be­ing to shoot into a mir­ror. Al­ter­na­tively, on An­droid and iOS, there are plenty of apps that can iden­tify a face and will tell you when you’ve aligned the phone cor­rectly to take a pic­ture with­out hav­ing a

screen to see. This method

can work, but not re­li­ably. An­other method to im­prove your re­sults is to buy a selfie lens.

Th­ese can ei­ther give your front fac­ing cam­era a wide-an­gle/fish­eye mod­i­fi­ca­tion, en­abling you can see more of your sur­round­ings and less of you in the frame.

13. How to im­prove low light or night pho­tos

It might seem ob­vi­ous, but you should dis­able the flash un­less you want to il­lu­mi­nate some­thing nearby. And then, if you do then use a flash ex­ten­sion cable and flash from the side rather than from the cam­era. All night/dark pho­tos are a fine bal­ance be­tween cap­tur­ing a clear im­age, shut­ter speed and the grain­i­ness that high ISO val­ues can in­tro­duce.

Use shut­ter pri­or­ity to set 1/30 speed, ISO to 800, and use the f-stop as the flex­i­ble pa­ram­e­ter. If you have some­thing to rest the cam­era on, you can go to 1/15 and de­pend­ing

on the cam­era push the ISO even higher. In gen­eral, don’t use a flash, even if the cam­era will al­ways use one in au­to­matic mode.

Turn­ing the flash off vastly im­proved this scene taken in a cave (see page 86).

14. How to get good light­ing

Shoot­ing on an over­cast day with in­dis­tinct shad­ows can suck all the life out of any amaz­ing vista. The best times of the day to shoot are the ‘golden hours’, just af­ter dawn and be­fore dusk. At this time you should still get plenty of light, long shad­ows and an at­trac­tive colour com­po­nent.

Avoid mid­day, when the sun is di­rectly over­head, and also con­sider that when

you’ve plenty of re­flec­tive sur­faces such as the sea­side, the amount of light bounc­ing around can send shut­ter speeds very high even at 100 ISO set­tings.

Pro­fes­sional pho­tog­ra­phers are al­ways pur­su­ing ‘good light’, and that’s mostly about be­ing pre­pared to get up early or wait for the right con­di­tions to pre­vail.

15. When to use a po­lariser

Some pho­tog­ra­phers al­ways have a po­lar­is­ing fil­ter in­stalled, but there are only lim­ited sit­u­a­tions where they’re a ne­ces­sity. Its job is to cut down light that’s scat­tered by at­mo­spher­ics or is com­ing in at sharp an­gles caus­ing glare.

They work best when the sun is ei­ther di­rectly be­hind you or up to 90 de­grees left or right, while in the di­rec­tion of the sun they have no im­pact at all. Shoot­ing wa­ter, misty land­scapes and del­i­cate cloud for­ma­tions ben­e­fit most.

The down­side of us­ing them is that along with dif­fused light re­duc­tion they also tend to notch the colour sat­u­ra­tion down too. Be­cause of this avoid us­ing one to cap­ture a sun­set or fire­works.

The best re­sults from us­ing a po­lariser come from wa­ter pho­tog­ra­phy, where you can ro­tate the fil­ter to pro­vide the per­fect amount of re­fracted light re­moval. Just watch out for zoom lenses that ro­tate the end of the lens as they ex­tend/re­tract, be­cause that will al­ter the amount of po­lar­i­sa­tion you see. On the left is a photo taken with no po­lariser. Us­ing a po­lar­is­ing fil­ter makes the sky ex­tra blue and gives cloud de­tails more punch.

16. How to shoot HDR on a DSLR

HDR or High-dy­namic-range is a tech­nique that’s be­come very pop­u­lar since the in­cep­tion of the dig­i­tal pho­tog­ra­phy. The idea is to cap­ture mul­ti­ple ex­po­sures and then com­bine them in post-pro­duc­tion to pro­vide a much wider dy­namic range than the sen­sor could achieve in a sin­gle shot.

Most cam­eras have an built-in HDR mode, but the best re­sults come from us­ing ex­po­sure brack­et­ing and as­sem­bling the im­age away from the cam­era.

Typ­i­cally, ex­po­sure brack­et­ing al­lows three, five or seven images to be fired off in rapid suc­ces­sion, with a dif­fer­ent ex­po­sure on each. The ex­act in­cre­ment and cen­tre point of ex­po­sure are usu­ally de­fin­able in

the cam­era set­tings, as is the in­cre­ment. When the images are re­com­bined on the PC (or Mac) us­ing Pho­to­shop or the many free HDR tools avail­able, you should end up with de­tailed shad­ows with­out blownout high­lights. Be­cause of the time de­lay be­tween shots, it is best to re­strict this tech­nique to static scenes and avoid mov­ing sub­jects. And, un­less you’ve got a very rapid burst mode and strong light, us­ing a tri­pod is also a ne­ces­sity.

Pho­tos 1, 2 and 3 (above) were taken at dif­fer­ent ex­po­sures. The three shots are re­com­bined in soft­ware to cre­ate one im­age (4) with en­hanced dy­namic range.

18. HDR from a sin­gle im­age

If you’ve only a sin­gle im­age, you can still process it to get the very best out of the cap­tured data within it, es­pe­cially if you use a RAW file for­mat.

Us­ing a Pho­to­shop plugin like HDR Efex Pro 2 (free from Google) or stand­alone PC ap­pli­ca­tions such as Lu­mi­nance HDR, sig­nif­i­cant amounts of de­tail can be ex­tracted from one im­age.

Al­ter­na­tively, you can take any im­age and al­ter the lev­els to bring out the shadow and high­light de­tails, sav­ing them as sep­a­rate images, and then re­com­bine them for HDR pro­cess­ing.

Even us­ing a sin­gle RAW im­age, you’ll be im­pressed with what tone map­ping can pull out of what looks like a rather un­ex­cit­ing and flat im­age. Pro­cess­ing a sin­gle im­age us­ing tonal map­ping tools can ex­ploit the hid­den data in an im­age.

19. How to shoot in black and white

Dig­i­tal black and white is shoot­ing colour with the in­ten­tion to elim­i­nate it later, even if you use the hue data in post pro­cess­ing. Most cam­eras of­fer a black and white viewfinder mode or in-cam­era pro­cess­ing. Nikon, for ex­am­ple, will con­vert the JPG to black and white, while shoot­ing in RAW+JPG, though the RAW will still con­tain colour. It then shows you the mono JPG on the viewfinder. Th­ese fea­tures help, but it’s also down to the pho­tog­ra­pher’s eye to see the light and dark within the frame and un­der­stand how that might work in mono­chrome.

Pho­to­shop has ex­cel­lent con­trol over the con­ver­sion process, let­ting you re­duce or en­hance dif­fer­ent chan­nels, mak­ing it one of the best tools for black and white to work. You can do this at the cam­era with coloured fil­ters, but that lim­its the op­tions avail­able to you in post pro­cess­ing. How­ever skilled you are with us­ing th­ese fea­tures, the real trick is to pick sub­jects with high con­trast that don’t rely on colour for com­po­si­tion or im­pact.

As shown above, low con­trast scenes or ones with strong colour don’t con­vert well. How­ever, those with high con­trast can look spec­tac­u­lar (see be­low)

20. The tilt-shift tech­nique

The use of per­spec­tive con­trol lenses goes back a long time, with Nikon sell­ing

the first one for their SLR cam­eras back in 1962. You can still buy th­ese de­vices, and they are of­ten used by ar­chi­tec­ture pho­tog­ra­phers to shoot tall build­ings.

How­ever, most dig­i­tal pho­tog­ra­phers use a soft­ware sim­u­la­tion of the ef­fect on the com­puter to take an im­age and tin­ker with the per­spec­tive and fo­cus. The com­mon use is to fake minia­ture scenes with real lo­ca­tions, but they can also solve the per­spec­tive is­sue of shoot­ing large ob­jects from rel­a­tively low level.

Many tilt-shift shots are of­ten taken from an el­e­vated lo­ca­tion, sim­u­lat­ing a view­ing an­gle is the one that you’d ex­pe­ri­ence look­ing down on a model city/scene.

You can buy a proper tilt shift­ing lens, or use soft­ware (such as Pho­to­shop or Light­room) in­stead that usu­ally of­fers more con­trol. Plenty of phone apps have a tilt-shift ef­fect, too.

21. Shoot­ing Panora­mas on a DSLR

The most ba­sic re­quire­ment for do­ing good panora­mas with a cam­era is a tri­pod. Us­ing one al­lows the cam­era to pan ac­cu­rately, and avoid un­in­ten­tional pitch an­gle changes.

At least a third of each frame should over­lap the next, and much more over­lap if there are fore­ground ob­jects close to you. Hav­ing a grid with ‘thirds’ ac­tive is good if you have that, and any viewfinder grid is a use­ful ref­er­ence. For those want­ing the very best qual­ity cre­at­ing a hor­i­zon­tal panorama should con­sider shoot­ing in por­trait mode, as it will give you the best ver­ti­cal res­o­lu­tion. And, al­ways use ex­po­sure lock, so that all the images end up with the same light lev­els.

There are spe­cial tri­pod mounts avail­able to help shoot panoramic, though you’d need to be very keen on them to in­vest in one of th­ese. Those with even greater re­sources should buy a drone, for the ul­ti­mate panoramic re­sults. A Panorama can be ver­ti­cal and not hor­i­zon­tal, es­pe­cially if you’ve got ac­cess to a drone (see right).

22. No macro lens, no prob­lem

Shoot­ing small ob­jects is prob­lem­atic be­cause most stan­dard lenses won’t fo­cus on any­thing very close. The an­swer is a Macro lens, al­though even th­ese have lim­its as to ex­actly how close they will work.

A cheap work­around that of­fers amaz­ing re­sults is a re­vers­ing ring that al­lows you to at­tach a lens back­wards to the DSLR. Th­ese cost very lit­tle, less than £5, and can al­low you to cap­ture stun­ning macro shots with­out a macro lens.

Th­ese rings work best with old man­ual fo­cus lenses. They can also be found very cheaply on­line if you need one. The other pre­req­ui­sites in­clude a good tri­pod, a shut­ter re­lease to avoid shake and a DSLR that will still shoot when it thinks no lens is at­tached.

As the lens won’t be elec­tron­i­cally con­nected to the cam­era, fo­cus­ing will be man­ual, and you’ll need to ad­just shut­ter speed to achieve the per­fect ex­po­sure. Top get enough light into the lens wedge out the aper­ture con­trol with some­thing sta­ble, a blob of Blu-Tack comes in handy.

The rest is about ex­per­i­men­ta­tion, and deal­ing with hav­ing a very small part of the ob­ject in per­fect fo­cus. Get all this right, and you can achieve some stun­ning re­sults.

23. Use a wide-an­gle, prime or tele­photo lens

It’s tempt­ing when many DSLR cam­eras come with a very good kit lens to just use that and en­tirely negate the real rea­son for own­ing a DSLR over a bridge cam­era. Af­ter the out­lay on a DSLR starter kit, fur­ther im­me­di­ate in­vest­ment is of­ten the is­sue.

How­ever, hav­ing a de­cent wide an­gle, tele­photo and a good prime lens are es­sen­tial for any­one want­ing to take pho­tog­ra­phy se­ri­ously. What many don’t re­alise is that you can get good lenses for many sys­tems at very low prices, if they ac­cept a few lim­i­ta­tions.

Older lenses, some even pre-DSLR, will usu­ally fit onto a mod­ern body, with the

24. Ex­per­i­ment with fram­ing

We’ve all seen enough pho­tos where peo­ple are half-in­shot or miss­ing the tops of their heads to re­alise how im­por­tant fram­ing can be. But, some­times pick­ing an in­ter­est­ing an­gle or crop­ping the sub­ject can im­prove a photo rather than de­tract from it.

Here are three images of a hot air bal­loon. The first is the bal­loon in its en­tirety, nice but not very ex­cit­ing. The sec­ond is bet­ter be­cause the burner cre­ates ex­tra in­ter­est. The third is equally pleas­ing be­cause the an­gle says some­thing about how bal­loons travel, up-up-and-away.

You have very lit­tle to lose by fram­ing in less ob­vi­ous ways, so try it. lim­i­ta­tions be­ing that the aut­o­fo­cus won’t work and the au­to­matic aper­ture con­trol might also be dis­abled. For prime lenses, th­ese aren’t mas­sive is­sues, and the re­sult of us­ing a cheap 50mm f/1.8 lens over the stock 18- to 70mm f/3.5 is huge when shoot­ing por­traits. And when we say cheap, you re­ally can pick th­ese up for around £60 to £70. Get cheaper old or lower qual­ity new lenses to start, and then when you’ve learned to ap­pre­ci­ate what they can do it’s eas­ier to jus­tify an in­vest­ment in bet­ter glass.

25. When to use ND Fil­ters

Neu­tral den­sity fil­ters ap­pear to do some­thing most pho­tog­ra­phers wouldn’t want, as they cut the amount of light en­ter­ing the cam­era. How­ever, there are some sit­u­a­tions where you’ll re­quire a short fo­cal length at ISO 100, but not a high shut­ter speed. Be­cause mo­tion blur be­ing vis­i­ble on the wings of a hov­er­ing bee might be prefer­able, for ex­am­ple. The ND fil­ter en­ables you to re­duce the in­com­ing light with­out al­ter­ing the aper­ture and end­ing up with a deeper than in­tended depth of field.

They’re also very use­ful on drone cam­eras to avoid choppy video caused by high shut­ter speeds re­mov­ing all the mo­tion blur. It might seem counter-in­tu­itive, but re­duc­ing the light en­ter­ing the lens can be use­ful.

They’re also use­ful on drone cam­eras to avoid choppy video caused by high shut­ter speeds re­mov­ing all the mo­tion blur. Re­duc­ing the light en­ter­ing the lens can be use­ful

Cap­tur­ing the mo­ment

Here’s a photo shot with a high aper­ture

Im­age taken us­ing a long ex­po­sure

The rule of thirds

The key to achiev­ing great sun­set shots is prepa­ra­tion and per­se­ver­ance

Us­ing a ‘thirds grid’ in Pho­to­shop

One way to get an in­ter­est­ing seascape is to wait for an es­pe­cially windy day

Nat­u­ral shots of chil­dren usu­ally achieve the best re­sults

The real trick for group shots is or­gan­i­sa­tion, di­rect­ing ev­ery­one where they should be and where to look

Light, lo­ca­tion and com­po­si­tion are all im­por­tant for suc­cess­ful land­scape pho­tog­ra­phy

Selfie lens

Flash is used on the left, and not on the right

With­out po­lariser

With po­lariser

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Pro­cessed im­age

Un­pro­cessed im­age

A Panorama can be ver­ti­cal and not hor­i­zon­tal, es­pe­cially if you’ve got ac­cess to a drone

Af­ter ‘tilt-shit’ tech­nique

Be­fore ‘tilt-shit’ tech­nique

Us­ing a re­vers­ing ring and some Blu-Tack the lens can be flipped

The same 50mm lens with a cheap ex­pan­sion ring gets very close, and very small ob­jects can look huge in the ul­tra-macro world

A nor­mal 50mm prime can only fo­cus so close

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