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Monthly Archives: August 2018

  • 4 Tips for Photographing Fog to Create Mystical Images

    There’s nothing that I’ve seen so far that compares to the ethereal and mystical beauty of capturing long exposure and photographing fog. There’s something so compelling about the soft silky texture that results from it. So much so, that photographers all over the world are constantly chasing it.

    4 Tips for Photographing Fog

    In fact, where I live in the Bay Area, we call these people “fog-chasers,” and they spend their days in popular local spots waiting for it to make an appearance just so that they capture this mystical geological phenomenon. The fog can create mystique and drama. It can add mood, be a soft blanket over a scene, a floor, or a wall. It can take many forms in shapes and create some very compelling photographs.

    The main challenges in capturing these fog shots are:

    • Focus issues for getting a sharp image.
    • Preventing camera shake.
    • Preparing for the shot.

    4 Tips for Photographing Fog

    Tip 1 – Finding the fog

    This is the most challenging aspect of doing this type of shot since as a photographer you, unfortunately, have no control over the weather. So, what I do is scour the web for weather sites that can provide me with the information I need.

    I also check out the weather on the local news religiously as well as follow weathermen on Twitter and Facebook. Once the word is out that fog is on its way, webcams are the best way to monitor it on the day you want to shoot. You can see what the fog looks like and if it’ll be cooperative for the type of shot you have in mind.

    4 Tips for Photographing Fog

    Tip 2 – Composition

    Fog, in general, has a way of turning an ordinary scene into something spectacular. For fog waves, wide landscapes with forest treetops make an interesting subject. So do iconic structures or monuments.

    4 Tips for Photographing Fog

    Here in San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge is a local favorite. At certain times during the year, the fog gets so low that it flows beneath the arches. It serves as the perfect opportunity to cream a soft blanket from these types of long exposures.

    Another local favorite is Mount Tamalpais, which consists of long ranges of hills adorned with redwood trees. The way the fog flows over the treetops creates these spectacular waves as it flows through the peak’s ridges.

    4 Tips for Photographing Fog - Golden Gate bridge in the fog

    Tip 3 – Use an ND Filter

    Neutral Density filters are an absolute necessity for smoothing out fog and making it appear almost silk-like. The time of day will dictate the density of the filter needed. If it’s bright daylight out you’ll need something quite dark while if you’re shooting at twilight you’ll need something lighter or you may not need a filter at all.

    When using an ND filter, make sure to first set up your shot using autofocus, without the filter. Then set the camera to manual focus and add the filter. This way you’ll assure the proper focus for your shot. Alternatively, you can also use back button focus.

    4 Tips for Photographing Fog

    Most of the time if the filter is too dark the camera will not be able to focus on a specific focal point. Also, because fog is a moving entity and puts a veil on any element in your composition the camera’s autofocus will most likely fail. Fear not and simply find something in the frame that’s sharp enough to focus on, then lock focus on that spot.

    Tip 4 – Experiment with shutter speed

    There are two types of fog shots that be taken from the techniques above that will produce different results based on your shutter speed.

    4 Tips for Photographing Fog

    A shorter shutter speed will give the fog more texture while a longer exposure will make it look silkier and smoother. You’ll need to experiment to see what looks better to you. Sometimes keeping the shutter open too long will result in the fog looking too messy and it could lose its lines and consistency.

    Conclusion

    Hopefully, these tips are helpful and will inspire you to get out there and experiment photography fog. The most difficult aspect of this type of photography is first finding it, then capturing it in a way that’ll showcase it as well as the scene it should be complementing.

    4 Tips for Photographing Fog

    In order to achieve this ND filters will help you soften the fog flow and turn it into waves. After that experimenting with shutter speeds will create various results.

    In the end, it’s your aesthetic as the photographer that will dictate what is most pleasing to you. I hope that the photos that I’ve captured from the years of shooting the fog will inspire and get you on your way to becoming a fog chaser too!

    4 Tips for Photographing Fog

    The post 4 Tips for Photographing Fog to Create Mystical Images appeared first on Digital Photography School.


    Source: DP School

  • Nikon’s new Z mount explained by a Nikon engineer

    There’s been quite a lot of discussion regarding Nikon’s new Z mount ever since the patent was first spotted. Nikon, too, has made quite the fuss over it in the recent Nikon Z6 & Z7 mirrorless camera announcements. Now, it seems that we have Atsushi Suzuki, an actual Nikon optical engineer, to explain it to […]

    The post Nikon’s new Z mount explained by a Nikon engineer appeared first on DIY Photography.


    Source: Diyphotographynet

  • The best iPhone vlogging microphone under $80 – DIYP reviews the RODE ME-L vlogging mic

    When it comes to vlogging with just your phone, the first thing you should buy is a microphone. The native audio from the iPhone is not stellar, to say the least. And a good microphone is the fastest way to bump the quality of a phone video. While for work we use RODE’s  $289 Videomic Pro Plus, […]

    The post The best iPhone vlogging microphone under $80 – DIYP reviews the RODE ME-L vlogging mic appeared first on DIY Photography.


    Source: Diyphotographynet

  • 5 Things I Wish I’d Known Before Starting Nature Photography

    5 Things I Wish I'd Known Before Starting Nature Photography - rose macro

    How do you, as a beginning nature photographer, go about improving? How do you ensure that you gain useful skills as rapidly as possible so that you can start shooting professional quality nature photography?

    5 Things I Wish I'd Known Before Starting Nature Photography - flower macro pink

    In reality, it’s often difficult for the beginner to recognize how they should learn nature photography.

    But I myself am a nature photographer, and looking back the answers to these questions are clear. So I thought I’d make a tutorial that discusses several things I wish I had known at the beginning of my nature photography journey.

    Read on. The sooner you know these things, the sooner you’ll begin to take consistently stunning images.

    1. Photograph every day

    The first thing I wish I had known when starting nature photography is extremely simple,

    Photograph every day!

    I cannot emphasize this enough.

    5 Things I Wish I'd Known Before Starting Nature Photography - flower close up

    If you’re truly serious about improving as a nature photographer, you should try to take at least one photograph of nature, every single day. It doesn’t matter if you take it with your DSLR or your iPhone. Just get out and shoot.

    You’ve likely heard that practice makes perfect, and this is part of that. But there’s more to it. By photographing every day, you’ll ensure that your artistic eye remains strong.

    5 Things I Wish I'd Known Before Starting Nature Photography - yellow flower poppy

    What do I mean by that? If you photograph every day, thinking about light, color, and composition will become second nature. You’ll start to see photographic opportunities everywhere.

    This is exactly where you want to be as a nature photographer.

    2. View the type of photography you want to create

    extraordinary-photographs-ordinary-subjects

    This is a huge one, as well. If you want to create great nature photography, you have to view great nature photography.

    When you view amazing photography, you develop an eye for light, color, and composition without even realizing it.

    nature-photography-flower-macro
    nature-photography-flower-macro

    This is an essential skill for a budding nature photographer. Plus, there’s an added bonus – it’s really fun!

    Start by looking up the type of photographs that you’d like to create. You can use a well-organized site like 500PX. Or you can just use Google. The important thing is that you find photography to look at for inspiration.

    For instance, if you’re an up-and-coming macro photographer, try viewing the portfolios of photographers such as Mike Moats and Kristel Schneider.

    If you’re a beginning landscape photographer, look at the work of Ian Plant and Thomas Heaton.

    If you’re a budding wildlife photographer, look to photographers such as Marsel Van Oosten and Matthew Studebaker.

    5 Things I Wish I'd Known Before Starting Nature Photography - flower extreme close up

    Then expand from there.

    The purpose isn’t to memorize their images so that you can copy them in the field. Rather, the goal is to appreciate great imagery, while recognizing (if only subconsciously) what makes it great.

    The goal is also to get inspired.

    3. Light matters more than you think

    I’ve emphasized the need to practice photography every day, and that truly is essential. However, when practicing, there’s something extremely important you need to consider. That is the light.

    I’ll state it plainly. Photograph the two hours after sunrise, the two hours before sunset, and during midday only if it’s cloudy.

    Otherwise, stay indoors.

    extraordinary-photographs-ordinary-subjects
    nature-photography-flower-macro

    This generally takes some retraining of the brain. It’s easy to think to yourself, “It’s such a nice sunny afternoon; I should get out and photograph!”

    But you need to resist this thought. Because photographing during a sunny afternoon will result in harsh, contrasty images that are almost never desirable in nature photography.

    Start spending time observing the quality of the light. Notice how nicely illuminated your subject is when the sun is low in the sky. Notice how lovely and soft the light is on a cloudy afternoon. Notice how harsh the light is under the midday sun.

    nature-photography-flower-macro
    extraordinary-photographs-ordinary-subjects

    As a beginning photographer, I often forgot about this rule. So my photographs paid the price. I have thousands upon thousands of photographs that are simply unusable because of the harsh sunlight.

    Memorize the rule. You may not be able to see such a difference in your images at present. But in a few years, you’ll thank me!

    4. Gear matters less than you think

    While light is more important than you think, gear is also less important than you may imagine.

    You might think that gear is essential. You may ask me, “Jaymes, if my gear really isn’t important, then why do you spend so much time reading gear reviews and upgrading your equipment?”

    But my response is this: gear does matter. High-quality lenses will allow you to capture the detail on a singing bird or the movement of sparring polar bears.

    5 Things I Wish I'd Known Before Starting Nature Photography - flower extreme close up - daisy

    High-quality cameras will allow you to photograph a wolf under the cover of twilight or a hawk flying directly above.

    Yet gear is nothing without the photographers that wield it. A good photographer can get stunning images with any equipment. Whereas a bad photographer cannot create stunning images, regardless of their gear.

    extraordinary-photographs-ordinary-subjects
    nature-photography-flower-macro

    So focus less on making sure you have the right equipment. Instead, practice using the equipment you do have. Try to eke out as much as you can from it.

    Eventually, if you work hard enough, you will get beautiful images, high-quality gear or not.

    5. Most of the images you take will be terrible

    Beginning nature photographers often have a dangerous misconception about nature photography. That is that the best photographers rarely take bad images.

    This belief can lead to discouragement on the part of the budding photographer.

    5 Things I Wish I'd Known Before Starting Nature Photography - flower extreme close up abstract

    This type of abstract photograph comes amid a huge number of deleted images.

    After looking through your memory card, to find that only you’ve managed to nail a single image (out of a hundred!), you may want to give up.

    Don’t.

    Why?

    Because most of the early images you take will be terrible, and that’s okay. This is true for nature photographers of all levels. Of course, at the higher levels, the nature photographer’s standards are higher, but the tip still applies.

    5 Things I Wish I'd Known Before Starting Nature Photography - flower extreme close up

    This is true for me, as well.

    I go on dozens of photo shoots each month and take around 600 images per shoot. Yet I’m happy if I get a single image with which I’m really pleased.

    Because uncertainty, guesswork, and reaction are part of the game. This is the nature of nature photography.

    So let me reiterate. Don’t get discouraged. Most of your shots will be terrible, but it’s the good ones that count.

    5 Things I Wish I'd Known Before Starting Nature Photography - flower extreme close up tulip

    In Conclusion

    Starting nature photography can be daunting for a lot of people. It can be difficult to know how to improve. You want to take stunning images as soon as possible, but you just can’t figure out how.

    5 Things I Wish I'd Known Before Starting Nature Photography - flower extreme close up

    By understanding the lessons above, you’ll be well on your way to creating beautiful nature images.

    Just remember:

    • Shoot every day.
    • View the type of photography you want to create.
    • Light matters more.
    • Gear matters less.
    • Finally, don’t be discouraged if most of your images are terrible.

    nature-photography-flower-macro

    Someday soon, you’ll be a great nature photographer.

    What are some things you wish you had known when first starting out as a nature photographer? Let me know in the comments area below.

    nature-photography-flower-macro

    The post 5 Things I Wish I’d Known Before Starting Nature Photography appeared first on Digital Photography School.


    Source: DP School

  • Three reasons why you don’t have to be a pro photographer to make great photos

    What does it mean to be a professional photographer? Many people will assume that the tag “professional” automatically means that you take amazing photos. But is it true that only pros are great photographers? In this great video, Mark Denney discusses three reasons why you don’t have to be a professional to still take great […]

    The post Three reasons why you don’t have to be a pro photographer to make great photos appeared first on DIY Photography.


    Source: Diyphotographynet

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