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Monthly Archives: September 2018

  • Photo of new medium format Leica S3 leaks on Leica China website

    It seems that a potential Leica/Panasonic/Sigma collaboration might not be all that’s officially announced tomorrow at Photokina. It appears that Leica China has posted a photo and description of the new Leica S3 medium format camera to their website a little early. There isn’t really any other information besides this image and the blurb beside […]

    The post Photo of new medium format Leica S3 leaks on Leica China website appeared first on DIY Photography.

    Source: Diyphotographynet

  • This tech controls drones by following your eyes

    We’ve seen tech that lets you control a drone with body movement and with facial expressions. And now, the engineers at New York University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the U.S. Army Research Laboratory have teamed up to create a new tech that lets you control a drone with your eye movement. With a pair […]

    The post This tech controls drones by following your eyes appeared first on DIY Photography.

    Source: Diyphotographynet

  • Five Ways to Take Stunningly Sharp Images

    You can take sharp images. You can take them consistently, quickly, efficiently. However, you just may not realize it yet.

    sharp images sanderling reflection

    The Problem

    The thing is, getting acceptably sharp images is a common problem among photographers. It’s something that I myself often struggled with getting consistently. I can’t tell you the number of times I used to come home, only to find my memory cards full of blurry or out of focus images.

    I used to think the problem was my camera optics. In order to take pin-sharp images, I thought I needed a top of the line camera and lens. But it turns out that, when it comes to sharpness, the problem is generally the photographer (or the choices that the photographer makes).

    And fortunately, that problem is very easy to fix.

    sharp images purple flower

    In this tutorial, you’ll learn five ways that you can get sharp images. And then, next time you go out shooting, you’ll consistently take pin-sharp images. Sound good? Read on to find out how.

    sharp images tulip abstract

    1. Use a fast enough shutter speed

    When you press the shutter button on your camera, the internal sensor is briefly exposed to the light. This is how the camera actually captures an image.

    The length of time that the sensor is exposed to the light is called the shutter speed.

    sharp images yellow flower

    Depending on your camera settings, the sensor might be exposed to the light for a long period of time (a slow shutter speed) or a short period of time (a fast shutter speed).

    One of the main reasons your images are coming back blurry is that you’re not using a fast enough shutter speed. If you use a slow shutter speed, then your camera sensor remains open to the light for too long. It captures too much. That is, it captures motion.

    But if you want to freeze the motion and capture only a sliver of a second so that everything is crystal clear, frozen. To do this, you need a fast shutter speed.

    sharp images white ibis

    Fortunately, it’s not difficult to do this. In your camera’s settings, you can generally increase the shutter speed. Or you can use the Action (Sports) setting, which many cameras have.

    Even if your subject isn’t moving, your hands might not be rock-steady. This causes camera shake which in turn causes image blur.

    A faster shutter speed will help fix this.

    2. Tuck in your elbows

    A shutter speed increase solves many issues with blurry photographs. But what if you can’t use a fast shutter speed?

    photography without tripod golden retriever sunset

    When the light is low, for instance, when you’re indoors or when you’re outside at night – a fast shutter speed lets in too little light, causing the image to be dark (we call this underexposure). Your camera will compensate for the low light by keeping the shutter open for longer, exposing the sensor to more light.

    This is when it becomes important to eliminate camera shake completely. If the camera shakes, your image will come out blurred. So how do you stop your camera from shaking?

    The first way that I’m going to talk about is simple: You tuck in your elbows. Don’t shoot with your arms out. Instead, firmly grip your camera while pulling your elbows in. This will serve to stabilize the camera and reduce camera shake.

    sharp images woman in window

    I tucked in my elbows in order to get a sharp shot of my model in low light.

    3. Stabilize your body against a wall (or the ground!)

    Sometimes, tucking in your elbows isn’t enough. If the light is really low, you may need to take more drastic measures to reduce camera shake.

    One big tip is to stabilize your body against a feature of the landscape, something solid.

    sharp images reddish egret

    When photographing birds, I often stabilize my elbows against the ground, ensuring a sharper image. If you’re a street photographer, for instance, you can search for walls to lean against. If you’re a landscape photographer, you can hold onto a rock or tree.

    It also helps to get down on the ground. You can kneel and stabilize your arms on your knee. Or you can get down on your stomach and use the grass, concrete or dirt as a stabilizer for your camera.

    Trust me, it works!

    4. Use a tripod

    I’ve been talking a lot about stabilizing your camera, and the ways I’ve suggested will generally work well, especially if you’re in a pinch. But there is a more dedicated solution – use a tripod.

    With a good tripod, you can completely eliminate camera shake. This will do wonders for keeping your images sharp.

    sharp images ann arbor nickel's arcade

    I used a tripod to capture this image of a musician at night.

    There are a few downsides to using a tripod, however. The first is that you lose flexibility. It takes time to set up a new composition when you’re using a tripod, time that you might not want to spend. This is especially true if you’re photographing in a fast-paced atmosphere (e.g., portraiture or events).

    The second downside is that good, solid tripods are expensive, especially if you want one that’s lightweight. Cheaper tripods may seem like a bargain, but they often don’t do the job well, or at all and replacing them costs more than buying one good one in the first place.

    So be careful before choosing to invest in a good solid tripod.

    5. Use a Shorter Lens

    I have one more recommendation for eliminating blurry photographs, that is to use a shorter lens.

    This is for a few reasons, but I’ll focus on the simplest one. A longer lens is harder to keep steady. It destabilizes the camera (and the image is magnified), and will, therefore, cause camera shake.

    sharp images golden retriever

    I used a wide-angle lens to photograph this golden retriever as the sun dipped below the horizon.

    Hence, this tip is short and sweet. Especially when shooting in low light, put away your longer lenses and your telephoto zooms. Bring out your wide-angle and portrait lenses, ones that you can easily hold steady.

    That’s how you’ll take sharp images.


    Capturing consistently sharp images may have seemed daunting, but I hope that you now realize the truth. Getting sharp images is easy!

    sharp images cosmos

    I urge you to get out and try these tips now.

    1. Use a fast shutter speed.
    2. Tuck in your elbows.
    3. Stabilize your body.
    4. If you want, invest in a tripod.
    5. Use a wider lens.

    And admire those crystal clear images!

    Do you have any other tips for taking sharper images? Please share them in the comments below.

    sharp images wilson's plover

    The post Five Ways to Take Stunningly Sharp Images appeared first on Digital Photography School.

    Source: DP School

  • Panasonic to announce 2 new full frame mirrorless cameras and 3 L mount lenses

    According to new rumours, Panasonic is set to announce two new full-frame mirrorless cameras this week at Photokina. They say that there will be an entry level model and a high-end camera offering 20 and 50 megapixels respectively. The latter of the two is also expected to offer a 150mp pixel shift mode. Kicking off […]

    The post Panasonic to announce 2 new full frame mirrorless cameras and 3 L mount lenses appeared first on DIY Photography.

    Source: Diyphotographynet

  • How to Make Your Location Portraits Even Better

    In photography, portraits are an art form to themselves. There are many ways to make portraits, but one of the main divisions is between portraits made in a studio and on location portraits. The end results look very different, so it’s good to choose between them depending on what you’re going for.

    Do you have a preference between them, either as a photographer and/or as a viewer?

    Portrait in a greenhouse. location portraits

    Studio photography is a lot of fun, but when I’m working on a portrait job I usually prefer to photograph on location. Why? Portraits taken in a favorite location – outdoors or at home – are a great opportunity to really bring out the subject’s personality and to enjoy the beauty of natural light.

    That’s why I thought I’d share what I’ve learned about location portraits with you. I hope you enjoy the ride!

    Sports portrait on location. location portraits

    The advantages of stepping out of the studio

    There are both pros and cons to on-location portrait photography. The main differences between this kind of photography and studio photography are the light and the environment.


    In a studio setting, you’re in complete control of the light. On location, you very likely won’t be, but the advantage is that you’ll have a much richer palette of light and color. So it’s a challenge but also an opportunity.

    Instead of creating the lighting setup, you can focus on creating a very unique, natural portrait. Another difference is that natural light feels less artificial, just like a natural setting. Depending on what kind of atmosphere you’re going for, this can be very important.

    Portrait of child outdoors. - location portraits


    Depending on the surroundings, a natural setting might not create a portrait with that timeless feel that a studio portrait often has. Again, this is neither good nor bad – it all depends on what kind of feeling you’re going for.

    Including the environment in your portraits can add a lot of character and help bring out the subject’s personality.

    Wedding portrait in forest. location portraits

    The environment can also be a distraction, both in the final photograph and during the session. This can be a boon or a burden when you’re taking photos.

    Too much going on might lead to a chaotic photo or the subjects looking (or being!) distracted, but it can also help the subjects relax and be themselves. All you have in a studio setting is the subject, the slightly intimidating lights, and the photographer; outdoors or at home, the setting might feel less oppressive.

    Using the Surroundings to Your Advantage

    So you’ve decided that you’re going to do a portrait session on location. What are the most important things to remember, and how can you make the session memorable?

    Wedding portrait in winter.


    You can’t ever be in complete control of a situation, but preparing is always worth the effort. It will help both you and your subject get the most out of the session and the final product. It will also let your creativity flow more freely since you won’t have to worry about all the details you will have dealt with beforehand.

    Several choices need to be made before you can start making a portrait, and this can be done days and even weeks beforehand. These are: where, when, what, and what if.

    First, you’ll have to find and agree on a location that’s convenient for you and works for the kind of portrait you and the client want. Unless it’s your backyard, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the place before the session.

    Wedding portrait with greenery. location portraits

    The time for the shoot is at least as important as the location. Both season and time of day have a huge impact on the quality of light you’ll have to work with, so keep that in mind as you plan your photo session.

    In general, the hour before sunset until just after sunset is when you’ll find the really beautiful light. Overcast days are also surprisingly good for portraits. Of course, you also have to find a time that’s convenient for your subject so the timing of the photo session is often a compromise between practical considerations and optimal lighting conditions.

    Graduation portrait with flowers.

    Other preparations you can make are planning the types of photos you and your subject want and the clothing they’ll be wearing. Sometimes these are given – for instance, if you’re making wedding or graduation portraits.

    Looking up inspiration for poses and compositions online is a good way to get ready, as is using yourself as a practice subject.

    Outdoor portrait with fruit.

    By “what if”, I mean you should have a backup plan. When planning a portrait session with a customer, I always make sure to have a reserve day in case the weather doesn’t cooperate, someone gets sick, or any of a million other unexpected things happen.

    It can also mean having a reserve place to make the portraits, one that will still work if the original one doesn’t for some reason.

    Outdoor portrait in the rain.

    Do Your Best and Enjoy the Moment

    The time has arrived and so has your subject. You’re in the right place at the right time, and now all you have to do is make some great portraits. There are a lot of great articles that cover the main things that will help you make the best of it, so I’ll only mention them:

    • Always be aware of the background: what kind of patterns are there, what colors, what is the light like?
    • Don’t be afraid to pose your subjects.
    • Make your subjects feel comfortable and calm – this way you can both enjoy both the session and the final portraits.

    Portrait of child in the grass.

    A Practical Example

    Lastly, I want to share a strategy that I sometimes use for location portraits with customers. It’s not always possible or sensible to do this, but when it is, it’s an easy way to have a comfortable and fun photo session.

    This is what I do…

    After I know when and where the portraits will be made, I visit the place and familiarize myself with it. Then I explore the area, find a nice route to walk along, and choose several places where the portraits can be made along that route. When it’s time for the photo session, I take the subjects on a short walk along the route that I found. I also tell them about the plan, so they know what’s going to happen.

    On-location family portrait.

    I took this lovely family on a walk with some beautiful backdrops.

    This approach offers many advantages. If you don’t know your subjects, taking a little walk is a nice way to relax and chat a bit before you start making the photos. It often also makes the subjects feel less awkward and on the spot, since they get to take in the surroundings a bit rather than immediately being put in front of a lens.

    For you, as a photographer, it’s a good way to structure the session, to have a beginning and an end but leave plenty of room for spontaneity. It also lets you use several different settings within the same area so you can offer your subject a range of different portraits afterward.


    Knowing how to make location portraits is a very useful skill in many situations: weddings, birthdays, graduations, for families, bands, teams, pets, etc. The list goes on and on.

    What is your favorite part about making portraits on location? Are there some specific challenges you’ve encountered? I’d love to see your photos and your thoughts in the comments section!


    Sadly, this is my last article here at Digital Photography School. I’ve learned a lot and really enjoyed it, both writing the articles and taking part in all the discussions we’ve had. Thank you! You can find all my articles here.

    Keep learning about and enjoying photography – I sure will!

    The post How to Make Your Location Portraits Even Better appeared first on Digital Photography School.

    Source: DP School

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