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Monthly Archives: June 2019

  • Tips for Using Negative Space in Photography to Create Stunning Images

    The post Tips for Using Negative Space in Photography to Create Stunning Images appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Sandra Roussy.

    negative space in photography 1

    “I’m filling in all the negative spaces with positively everything.”
    – Edie Brickell

    Negative space may tend to suggest something that is not good. But negative space in photography is also often referred to as white space or minimalism photography. There’s nothing bad about it. It’s truly a unique technique to try out in your photography practice.

    We sometimes tend to fill our compositions with lots of objects and color. When we talk about negative space, it’s the opposite that rules. The final image is mostly composed of blank or neutral space, and a small portion of the composition has an actual object in it.

    This type of composition emphasizes the subject in the photo and also adds a unique value to it. This type of composition is powerful and, when done correctly, can take your photography from ordinary to truly impressive.

    It can be a little daunting at first when you begin to do negative space photography. Not all attempts will be successful. There are opportunities to create negative space photography practically everywhere around you. You have to know how to observe and apply a few techniques to achieve amazing negative space masterpieces.

    Positive and negative space explained

    Positive space

    This is the area in the photo that attracts the viewer’s eye. It’s the main subject that commands attention in the composition. This is usually where the eye goes first.

    negative space in photography 2

    Negative space

    This is the space in the composition that is typically the background. It usually doesn’t attract very much attention and is, in most cases, the intention of the photographer. It is used to define or contour the positive space.

    In negative space photography, the photographer uses the space that is usually not the primary focus and uses it to fill in most of the composition. The negative space commands more attention than the positive space and creates a unique perspective. It also adds definition and can create strong emotions.

    negative space in photography 3

    Negative space and emotions

    Negative space photography can evoke a sense of wonder, mysteriousness, and peacefulness. The viewer will have a greater connection to the object if the photo has no clutter, visual distractions, and a multitude of colors.

    negative space in photography 4

    You may be presented with opportunities to create negative space photography more times than you think. It’s all in how you visualize or train your eye to look at things.

    For example, a few years ago, I stood at a popular lookout overlooking an iconic rock sitting in the Atlantic Ocean in Eastern Canada. It was early morning, and some fog had rolled in, covering most of the impressive structure. The woman standing next to me at the lookout observing the same landscape turned to me and said, “It’s so sad, we’re driving by today, and I wanted to get a photo of the Percé Rock, but it seems like it won’t be possible.”

    She left disappointed that she didn’t get her shot.

    I stood there for a long time afterward examining the fog and the way it draped the rock like a heavy blanket. I thought that this was one of the most amazing things to happen that day. I felt so lucky to be there at that exact moment to capture the wonder unfolding.

    negative space in photography 5

    Sometimes a small shift in perspective can make a huge difference.

    Balancing the shot

    Negative space is absolutely not blank space. If you think of it this way, you will have difficulty seeing the opportunities that you will be presented with. You want the negative space to be the main focus of your photograph, and it will hopefully evoke strong feelings.

    We are trained to follow some basic composition rules, like the rule of thirds, for example. However, with negative space photography, these rules mostly don’t apply. Your imagination is what rules the composition in negative space photography.

    negative space in photography 6

    © José Velasco

    However, there are a few things to remember and consider if you want to achieve this type of photography.

    Less is more

    Fill your composition with the negative space. Try to put minimal distracting objects in your composition. Texture or solid colors are great elements to use in negative space photography. Use the texture or color to fill in most of the composition.

    negative space in photography 7

    Position

    The object should be secondary and placed somewhere that is usually not primarily capturing the eye of the viewer. Placing the subject somewhere in the corner of your frame will frequently provide you with a good result. Try to balance the negative space with the white space so that it flows.

    negative space in photography 8

    Twice the amount

    A good rule of thumb is to put twice as much negative space than positive space in the composition.

    negative space in photography 9

    Aperture

    Try to avoid shallow depth of field when doing negative space photography. This is so that neither the object nor the negative space in the photograph is blurry.

    Go out and explore the possibilities

    When you look at things differently and step outside of the traditional rules, you will find many great opportunities to create some unique shots. Look at a scene and try to create your own story.

    © José Velasco

    Negative space photography is an excellent way to expand your skills and your photographic eye. So remember, less is sometimes more.

    Have any negative space photographs that you are proud of? Don’t hesitate to show us in the comments section below.

    The post Tips for Using Negative Space in Photography to Create Stunning Images appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Sandra Roussy.


    Source: DP School

  • Review of the Nikon D500 for Wildlife and Bird Photography

    The post Review of the Nikon D500 for Wildlife and Bird Photography appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Shreyas Yadav.

    Roller with Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 f/5.6

    Fast action is at the heart of Wildlife photography. Wildlife action is fast and unpredictable. Most of the wildlife, including predators, are active during early dawn and late dusk. During the edge of the day, light conditions are low. Having a range of focal lengths is essential to photograph distant wildlife shots.  The weather conditions are harsh in the wild. Moreover, wildlife photographers try to find a camera which is capable of capturing stunning images in every possible situation in the wild.

    Nikon crafted a flagship DX-format DSLR camera – the Nikon D500, with excellent high ISO performance, a faster frame rate, and a fast and accurate focus – even in low light.

    What it is?

    Nikon D500 with the Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 lens mounted on Gitzo Tripod

    The Nikon D500 camera body weighs around 870g (30 oz) including battery and XD card. It is a crop sensor (DX format) DSLR with a 20.9 MP CMOS sensor. The ISO range is from ISO 100 to ISO 51200. This ISO range is useful in getting better image quality even in low light. In addition to high ISO performance,  frame rate and autofocus performance of the Nikon D500 is excellent. Frames per second for Nikon D500 is whooping 10 FPS. The autofocus is fast and accurate in low light as well. Nikon D500 is fully capable of focussing up to f/8 with center focusing points. These key features make the Nikon D500 excellent for Wildlife and Bird photography.

    This article is a field-review of Nikon D500 from the perspective of Wildlife Photographer. This review will help you in understanding how the Nikon D500 performs in the field.

    Note: All the wildlife and bird images are photographed in the natural forest with uncontrolled light conditions and within their natural habitat.

    Images are captured with the Nikon D500 and the Nikon 200-500 f/5.6 lens with a bean bag. Images are captured either from a safari jeep or from a safari boat.

    Specifications

    • Sensor and processor – DX format (23.5 mm x 15.7 mm) CMOS sensor with EXPEED 5 processor
    • ISO – ISO 100 to ISO 51200 (ISO Expandable from range ISO 50 to ISO 1640000)
    • AF Modes – Single Servo (AF-S), Continuous Servo (AF-C), Manual and Full-time Servo in Live View
    • AF Area Modes – Single Point AF, Group Area AD, 3D Tracking, Dynamic-area AF with 25, 72 and 153 points, Auto Area AF
    • Power – EN-EL 15 Lithium Ion Battery with MH-25a charger
    • Storage cards – SD, SDHC, SDXC, and XQD cards. One slot for SD card and another slot for XQD card
    • Dimensions and weight – Approximate weight of the body including Battery and card is 870 g (30 oz) and dimensions are (Width x Height X Depth) 5.8 in (147 mm)  x 4.6 in (115 mm) x 3.2 in (81 mm)
    • Frame rate  (FPS: Frames per second) – 10 FPS in Continuous High Mode and for Continuous Low mode FPS Selectable from 2 to 9 FPS
    • Shutter release modes – Single, Continuous Low (2-9 FPS)  and Continuous High (10 FPS), Mirror Up, Self Timer and Quiet release
    • Shutter speed range – Slowest shutter speed is 30 s, and Fastest shutter speed is 1/8000 s
    • Metering modes – Spot metering, Center-weighted metering, and  Matrix metering
    • Exposure mode – Manual (M), Aperture Priority (A), Shutter Priority (S) and Programmed Auto (P)
    • White Balance  – Auto, Cloudy, Direct Sunlight, Flash, Fluorescent, Color Temperature (2500 k to 10000 k)
    • Flash – No Built-in Flash and External Flash is required
    • Image format – JPEG (Basic, Normal, Fine), NEF / RAW (12-bit or 14-bit with an option of Lose less compressed, Compressed and Uncompressed)
    • Lens compatibility – Full compatibility with Nikon AF lenses with G, E, D type and  DX-format lenses. Partial compatibility with PC lenses, AI-P, and Non-CPU lenses

    Controls and ergonomics

    AF-ON is useful in back button autofocussing. The focus area selection button is next to the AF-ON button. The Nikon D500 has a touch screen, and it can tilt up to a certain angle.

    Buttons for selection of White Balance, Exposure Mode, Metering and Image Quality.

    Shutter release mode dial.

    Buttons for Exposure compensation, ISO selection, and movie recording.

    Focus mode selection button.

    Controls

    Controls on the camera feel perfect for wildlife photography.

    Here is why:

    • Exposure selection mode – This button helps to select the exposure modes – Manual (M), Aperture Priority(A), Shutter Priority(S) and Programmed Auto (P)
    • Frame rate setting – This dial helps to set the Frame rate as Single ( S), Continuous Low ( CL), Continuous High ( CH ), Timer and Mirror lockup
    • ISO and exposure compensation setting – the ISO button allows you to change the ISO quickly
    • Focus point selection dial – The Focus point selection dial helps select focus point
    • Focus mode and Focus area mode selection – This button, along with Primary and secondary dials ( Dials used to change the shutter speed and Aperture), is used to select focus modes as Single, Continuous and Auto. The same button is used to choose focus areas such as Single, 3D, Dynamic with 25,72 and 153 focal points, Group area and Auto-area
    • Metering selection button – You can select Spot, Center of Matrix metering from this button quickly. In Wildlife photography switching between Matrix and Spot metering is often required depending on the light conditions
    • AF- ON button – This is one of the most useful buttons on the Nikon D500 for wildlife photography. If the bird is standing on a tree branch or takes quick flight, the AF-ON button helps to capture the image with accurate focus.

    Build quality and weather sealing

    • The Nikon D500 is mostly made up of magnesium alloy, carbon fiber, and plastic
    • The weight and size of the Nikon D500 are suitable for all day shooting and even hand-holding. The size of the D500 is perfect while you travel in the wilderness and it is perfectly sized while hiking and traveling in the safari vehicle.
    • Body toughness of the Nikon D500 is decent but not great as that of Nikon D5. I find the durability of earlier versions, such as Nikon D200, D300 or D700 was better than D500. However, the build quality of Nikon D500 feels slightly better than the Nikon D7100 or the Nikon D7200 but up to the standard of flagship DX body.
    • Protection against dust and water splash is decent enough
    • I have used Nikon D500 in moderately dusty environments and medium drizzle. The camera performs fine. In fact, I clean the camera after a photoshoot in the rain or heavy dust and I recommend you do so too. This type of weather sealing may be sufficient for mild dust and water splashes, but it doesn’t look good enough in extreme weather.

    Ergonomics and handling

    • Ergonomically, the Nikon D500 feels just right. Important command dials for wildlife and bird photography are located on the camera body itself. This helps you to change the settings quickly.
    • Hand-holding, the Nikon D500, feels better. One caveat is the video recording button is located a bit oddly. Despite using it multiple times, I still get confused in locating the video recording button. Apart from the video recording button, you will find the buttons and dials are at the right place with the correct size.

    Camera performance from the perspective of Nature and Wildlife photographer

    Autofocus performance

    Osprey in flight. Focus performance of the Nikon D500 for Birds in flight is excellent. Exif : 1/800s , f/8 and ISO 450

    Bird action happens fast and can be erratic. Wildlife movement is also fast as it occurs at dawn or dusk. The ability of the camera to focus fast and accurate is a must. With the Multi-Cam 20K Autofocus Sensor module, Nikon D500’s autofocus capabilities are excellent. The Nikon D500 focuses accurately (provided you choose the appropriate focus mode and focus area mode).

    I use back button autofocus for focusing. There is a dedicated button for back button autofocus, which is AF-ON.

    Hare in the clutter. The Nikon D500 precisely acquires focus on the main object even through the forest clutter.

    The Nikon D500 focusses extremely well in following conditions:

    • Daylight
    • Cloudy and rainy weather
    • Low light
    • Distant objects
    • In the forest clutter and forest canopy
    • Dusty and snowy weather
    • Birds in flight and animals in action

    In terms of autofocus performance, the Nikon D500 is an absolute winner.

    Deer crossing the safari track. The camera’s focus performance for distant objects is excellent. This deer was crossing the Safari road. The distance between the deer and our vehicle was around 100 meters

    Image quality – Colors, details and dynamic range

    Colors of the peacock. Color rendition and image quality of the Nikon D500 is great. Exif: 1/100s, f/5.6 and ISO 720

    Colors, tonal range, and dynamic range of the Nikon D500 images is excellent. Metering of the Nikon D500 is fantastic. It evaluates and produces correct image exposure.

    Stare of an eagle. The Nikon D500 captures the details perfectly. Exif: 1/400s, f/5.6 an ISO 500

    For most of my wildlife images, I use Matrix metering. For some tricky light situations, such as harsh lights or shadows, and if the animal is dark or bright, I switch to Spot metering mode. Matrix metering will give you excellent light exposure.

    Jungle fowl calling. Feather details are excellent. Exif: 1/250s, f/5.6 and ISO 450

    The elephant in its kingdom. Colors and details of the elephant are accurate. Exif: 1/1000s, f/5.6 and ISO 2200

    The dynamic range of the Nikon D500 is improved as compared to earlier versions of the DX format Nikon cameras. If the light is sufficient, I set the exposure compensation to +0.3 or +0.7. Exposure compensation shifts the histogram towards the right. It helps in bringing out the details and enhancing the colors in an image.

    Nikon D500 review for wildlife and bird photography 7

    The Dynamic Range of the Nikon D500 is wide. The camera was able to capture the eyes and feathers in the shadow. Equally, the Nikon D500 captured the highlighted crest on the head perfectly.

    High ISO and low light performance

    Image quality and ISO performance in low light are much improved in the Nikon D500. The camera ISO has a range from ISO 100 to ISO 51200. In controlled light conditions or lab test, the Nikon D500 Images may look less noisy. However, when you are shooting with the Nikon D500 in the real jungle and natural light conditions, you have to be realistic when you select your ISO.

    Nikon D500 review for wildlife and bird photography 6

    Peacock at ISO 1600

    I use a maximum ISO up to 6400 in most cases, and for some rare wildlife moments, I go up to ISO 12800. In the forest, especially during the early morning or late evening, an ISO of up to 6400 helps.  With ISO 6400, I can get a sharp image with excellent dynamic range. The colors are also good. These images are perfectly usable for big prints and web-sized images.

    Nikon D500 review for wildlife and bird photography 5

    Bond of Nature. Family portrait at ISO 4000

    Whereas, if you go ridiculously high on ISO such as ISO 51200, you will still get an image, but you will have to apply Noise reduction in post-processing. Also, the image loses the fine details. If you are going to print the image, select the reasonable high ISO at the available light conditions.

    Bottom line

    The Nikon D500 has improved high ISO and low light performance. Up to maximum ISO 6400, images are great. The sharpness and colors are fantastic and noise levels are low and manageable in post-processing.

    Nikon D500 review for wildlife and bird photography 4

    Sambar deer at ISO 6400. It was almost dark in the forest. Luminance noise is visible in the image.

    Nikon D500 review for wildlife and bird photography 3

    Mongoose at ISO 6400. It was almost dark in the forest.

    White balance

    Nikon D500 review for wildlife and bird photography 2

    Fish eagle on the perch. Auto White balance for the Nikon D500 produces color temperatures and tint accurately.

    The auto white balance of the Nikon D500 is accurate. The camera produces white balance without any shift in color or tint. All the color temperatures look right.

    Other than Auto White balance, there are different white balances available such as Daylight and Shade. All produce good results.

    For wildlife and bird photography, I recommend you choose Auto White Balance. It will help to reproduce the correct white balance for your images. If you want to add creative effects, you can always tune the raw image in post-processing.

    Bonus: My D500 camera settings for wildlife and bird photography

    • Image Quality: RAW
    • NEF (RAW) Recording: NEF RAW Compression: Loose-less compressed and Bit Depth: 14-Bit Depth
    • Color space: Adobe RGB
    • Picture Control: Standard (SD)
    • ISO: Auto ISO with Maximum ISO as 6400 (It will depend on the lighting conditions, but I find 6400 is the right balance for image quality and low noise)
    • Autofocus mode: AF-C (Continuous)
    • Autofocus Area mode: Dynamic (25 points) or Group area focus
    • Exposure mode: Manual (Shutter speed and Aperture will be set based on the available light in the environment). You can also use Aperture priority as an Exposure Mode.
    • White Balance: Auto
    • Metering: Matrix
    • For autofocus, use Back button autofocus: AF-ON
    • Shutter release mode: Continuous High CH (10 FPS) or Continuous Low CL (6 FPS)

    Conclusion and recommendations

    Pros

    • 10 FPS (Frames Per Second)
    • Fast and accurate focus even in low light
    • Good High ISO Performance
    • Superb image quality and dynamic range
    • Excellent ergonomics
    • Perfect location of camera buttons and dials
    • Autofocus with central autofocus points up to Aperture of f/8

    Cons

    • No Built-in flash and GPS
    • Location of the video recording button
    • Above average Build quality and weather sealing (Not the best in class)

    In summary

    The DX sensor, superior autofocus performance, high ISO performance, best in class frames per second (10 FPS), and travel-friendly size makes the Nikon D500 perfect for wildlife and bird photography.

    You will love using Nikon D500 in the wild.

    What do you think about the Nikon D500 camera? Please do let us know in the comments below!

     

    Nikon D500 review for wildlife and bird photography

    The post Review of the Nikon D500 for Wildlife and Bird Photography appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Shreyas Yadav.


    Source: DP School

  • Is Photography Becoming too Easy?

    The post Is Photography Becoming too Easy? appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Carl Spring.

    Is Photography Becoming too Easy

    The autofocus on the Sony A9 is amazing! Set it to eye AF, point in direction of the subject and let it do the rest. It’s almost too easy.

    Everyone is a Photographer these days. It has never been easier or cheaper to create good quality photographs. People sincerely believe that the camera is what takes these amazing images. I am sure you have heard this as many times as I have; “You take beautiful photos, you must have a great camera.”

    With the technology we see now though, I sometimes wonder, do they have a point?

    We now have cameras in mobile phones, that not long ago professional photographers, paying thousands for their cameras would have dreamed of being able to use. Look at the ‘shot on iPhone’ campaign, and look at Instagram daily. People can take amazing photographs, with a couple of clicks and minimal effort.

    Has modern technology democratized photography, or does it mean photography has become easy?

    Technology continues to make things easier. But that didn’t start with digital!

    Technology has always pushed to make things simpler. Be that the TV remote control or the digital camera. The digital camera was simply the technology industry’s answer to the market forces. Consumers wanted a camera that could take endless photographs. Businesses, noting this need, used the emerging technology to answer their customer cries. Thus, creating digital cameras and changing the face of photography forever.

    Let’s get this out of the way early. There was no comparison between shooting digital and shooting film. After the first generations with their inevitable teething problems and huge price tag,  photography became incredibly easy with digital. Instant feedback told you whether you had the shot or not. You were not limited by 24 or 36 exposures (or less if you shot medium format). Lastly, after the initial outlay, photography became much cheaper as there were simply no processing bills.

    Depending on whom you ask, the digital evolution is either the moment someone got into photography or the beginning of the decline. However, let’s think back a little. If you had shot wet plates, imagine how easy those punks using 35mm film had it.

    Imagine when autofocus cameras meant you no longer needed the skill of manual focus? Well, that is just ridiculous! Imagine a flash that didn’t need the incredibly dangerous use of flash powder for goodness sakes. The ability to refocus after the photo is in its infancy, but I can see it being a mainstay of every camera in less than ten years.

    Technology helps make life better for humans. The most common way to make things better is often making things easier. In the modern world, we adapt quickly and then quickly rely on the new tech we use. It becomes part of our lives and frees up vital brain space. Every photography innovation, from the first camera onwards, has been about making it easier to preserve a moment in time.

    Remember when we only had 18 megapixels, or 12, or six! How did we manage with only nine autofocus points rather than focus points over the entire sensor? Focus points that you don’t really need to use because the camera finds the eyes of humans (or animals), locks on, and all you need to do is decide which eye you want in focus.

    I mean imagine how photojournalists in the ’80s would react to a modern digital camera? Moving even further back, imagine telling painters in the 1500s that one day there would be a box that captured the image of the person in minute detail and all you needed to do was to allow light into a box?

    I remember the first 0.5MP digital camera I ever used. It was like magic. You could see the photograph instantly, and you never needed to pay for the processing. I was hooked instantly. Even though I had a crappy job, I saved hard for a digital point and shoot and began capturing photos again. I occasionally shot on an SLR camera, but could rarely afford to buy film and process it. I even took a night school class to get access to a darkroom and shot everything in black and white.

    The Pentax 3-Megapixel camera I had been saving for months to own, changed my world. The quality wasn’t as good. I had no control over the shutter speed or aperture, but I could take photos. Hundreds of them. All the time. It was life-changing. I had moved more into film making, but this digital camera brought me back. I got hooked again. If it were not for that 0.5 Megapixel camera I got to use in my job, I would probably not even be writing this.

    Is Photography Becoming too Easy - Lancaster bomber coming inn to land

    The right place, the right time, but only a phone and no DSLR. Yet I still get an image like this.

    Does gear make you a better Photographer?

    We are photographers, and we love to lust over gear. The newest this, the better that. Camera companies spend millions trying to persuade us that we need new gear. Will the latest Sony with the mind-blowing eye autofocus really make your photos better? No. Will it make them easier? Undoubtedly, yes.

    But, thanks to another wonderful technological invention – the internet – many of us spend more time talking about megapixels than actually using them.

    We are as guilty as the influencers who “don’t even use a real camera” because we are the opposite. Instead, we sit pixel peeping the corner sharpness at four million percent and then badmouth how a manufacturer could release such a piece of crap.

    A phone camera can take the most breathtaking image, worthy of an art gallery. Conversely, a multi-megapixel medium format camera with the best lens can take a snapshot.

    Is Photography Becoming too Easy 3

    50 years ago this photo was shot on a modified film camera. Gear does not matter as much as you think. Image courtesy of NASA.

    Digital makes it easy, but so much harder to stand out

    Estimates suggest that over one trillion photographs were taken in 2018 (if you want to see the zeros, one trillion is 1,000,000,000,000). Ninety-five million photos get uploaded to Instagram every day. Add to that the three hundred hours of footage uploaded to YouTube every minute and the number of photographs and videos we are producing is simply staggering. Now whilst you cannot deny that digital made this possible, digital has also made it much harder to stand out.

    Camera manufacturers are great at making people believe that they are artists – that everyone has an amazing movie. In the same way that everyone has a great novel, song, or painting inside of them begging to get out. In reality, that isn’t the truth. Photography (to me at least) is art. And art is, for better or worst, elitist.

    Some people are not great artists and some are not great songwriters. And many people are not great photographers.

    The problem is, with so much poor and average stuff out there, how do you get to see the good stuff? In some cases, you don’t. There are photographers out there, who are taking photographs that are simply some of the best ever taken. However, we will never see them. There are filmmakers out there creating short films that should see them breaking down the doors of Hollywood, but they don’t. Instead, our feeds are filled up with yet more cat memes and average photos we have seen thousands of times before.

    We are drowning in content.

    It is to the point where photography seems to be a popularity contest, rather than about artistry.

    Look at how Canon treated Yvette Roman because she didn’t have 50,000 followers or more on YouTube. Let that sink in. A photographer whose style they loved for a job, who they agreed to hire, was replaced simply due to her lack of numbers. That shows you how companies want to hire photographers who can use their social channels to add to the marketing campaign.

    We live in the influencer age, where amazing photographers are turned down for jobs due to not having followers. On the flip side of that, someone who only uses their phone for photography can be given thousands for merely showing that they use a particular piece of gear. They travel the world for free simply because they are popular on Instagram.

    This system makes perfect sense when looked at from a marketing perspective. However, these platforms are where most of us spend our time and where we discover new content. Therefore, algorithms now control the amount of photography we get exposed to.

    An algorithm doesn’t care about quality; it cares about metrics. The aim is to find popular content and put it out there for more people to find. Does this mean that photography is being reduced to likes? In many ways, yes, but it also shows the power of a story.

    Is Photography Becoming too Easy 4

    My 6-year-old took this photo. Sharp, well exposed and decent color. Not even a DSLR, just a compact.

    A camera does not know how to tell a story yet

    We live in an age where you can throw your work out for all the world to see. The level of photography has never been higher. I can give my six-year-old a camera, and he can take sharp, well-exposed photos, telling the stories of his lego figures. But a camera, in fact, no technology, can yet create an image that tells a story.

    A great photograph always tells a story. It makes us want to know more about the moment. It allows us to create our own story based on what we see in the image and our world view. The story I see in a photograph will be different from yours. In fact, you may hate a photograph I love and vice versa.

    This is simply not possible with even the greatest camera. There is no Ai that will pick the perfect moment for you to click the shutter button. Yes, cameras may do 20 frames per second or more, but even then, you cannot continually record every second of the day. You need to find the angle, frame your subject in the way that tells your story and then press the shutter. Really, the technical aspect (no matter how much the camera companies persuade us otherwise) is not where the photograph is made. It is not in the corner sharpness – many great photos are not sharp. It is the story you tell.

    The story is what you need to learn. Telling a story is hard. It has always been hard, and technology is nowhere near being able to do it for us.

    You make the decisions before you press the shutter. You use the light, the subject, and find the angle. Then you open a box and let in some light for a little bit. It has always been the same. It’s just that technology over the years has made it easier to let the light in the box and get the image sharp if that is important to you.

    Is Photography Becoming too Easy - Guitarist playing solo

    No matter what the camera, knowing the moment to press the shutter is still a skill that is not computer controlled, yet.

    The future

    I am sure you all saw it? It finally happened – a couple hired a robot to shoot their wedding! Yes, I know it is just a photo-booth style alternative for now, but it does hint to the future. Are we going to be used to weddings where drones automatically take photographs that are better than a human can capture? Photographs that can then be instantly customized by the bride and groom at the touch of a button (or voice command)? Will this mean that people will become obsolete in many photography fields? Will they only need a device; a robot?

    Will my future as a photography business owner involve owning several robots? The ten-year-old version of me prays that this is true.  Alternatively, will people not need to hire anyone? Perhaps photography will be built into their daily devices? Will we become so vain that a device follows us around capturing our daily lives and then picks the best moments via an algorithm to share on social media for us? (Let’s hope not! – Editor)

    What do you think? Share your comments with us below.

    is photography becoming too easy 6

    The post Is Photography Becoming too Easy? appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Carl Spring.


    Source: DP School

  • The Joby Gorillapod 3K is the last Vlogging Gorillapod you’ll need

    Joby sent us their new Gorillapod 3K pro ($151: Amazon| B&H). Now, I’ve been using Gorillapods for a while, from their old 3K kit to the aluminum heavyweight 5K kit… and even some tiny, tiny pods. I’m going to have a deep look into the Gorillapod 3K pro, and see, how it stands between the original […]

    The post The Joby Gorillapod 3K is the last Vlogging Gorillapod you’ll need appeared first on DIY Photography.


    Source: Diyphotographynet

  • 3 Photo Editing Mistakes to Avoid

    The post 3 Photo Editing Mistakes to Avoid appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Lily Sawyer.

    If you are a photographer who shoots in RAW, then you know that editing is a must!

    Editing is a lot of fun. Personally, I enjoy seeing a blah photo turn into a good one by manipulating the details in the image. It’s almost like magic. However, editing doesn’t come without caveats.

    In this article, we’ll look at three basic editing mistakes to avoid. They are easy to do, especially when you are new to editing and are overly enthusiastic about transforming your photo into something magical!

    When I was a novice, my photos were over-edited (cringe). I looked at other photographers’ work with awe, and I wanted my photos to look like theirs. I got lured into using actions and using them too heavily for that color-pop, scroll-stopping, jaw-dropping impact a photo can have.

    It was awful; as I later discovered. It was when I learned how to distinguish between a good photo edited correctly and a photo decimated by actions or over-editing that my images dramatically improved and my confidence as a photographer grew.

    Let’s dive in and look at the three basic editing mistakes to avoid. The photos I used in this article are ordinary snaps, taken without the use of any lighting and on a normal bright morning. You don’t have to set up amazing sessions and shots for an excuse to edit your photos. Even the most ordinary of photos could do with a bit of magic.

    dps-tutorial-editing-mistakes-to-avoid

    1. Not shooting in RAW

    The first mistake in editing is not shooting in RAW format. Editing and RAW are best friends. Editing a RAW file is the best combination you can use because RAW is a lossless format. That means it retains all the information in the image for you to play around with during the editing process.

    RAW is untouched, unprocessed, and unedited. The raw information in pixels is all collated without any interference from the camera. On the other hand, JPEGS (whether that be fine or basic), is a format which allows the camera to process the raw information and compress it by discarding pixels. It does away with some of this raw information before saving the image to your memory card. As a result, you get a smaller image that has already been edited by your camera.

    This means the colors and contrasts are already different from the original information. When you edit a JPEG image, you are further fiddling with the remaining information and processing an already processed image. This is not an ideal starting place, as it’s often difficult not to overedit from this point.

    For more detailed articles on RAW vs JPEG, read here.

    dps-tutorial-editing-mistakes-to-avoid

    2. Incorrect white balance

    This may sound basic to some of you, but many of you might not have heard of the term white balance. When I first had a DSLR, I shot on portrait mode. I didn’t know how to shoot in Manual and didn’t feel I needed to learn it. I relied on the camera modes until I realized I could not achieve the style and type of images I wanted. Until then, I did not know – let alone understand – what White Balance meant.

    To put it simply, white balance is making sure white objects appear white. Many lighting factors can affect the whites in your image. These are called color cast. Color casts happen when whites look like different colors depending on the ambient light. A very common color cast occurrence is from incandescent light which, if the white balance is left unadjusted, will render white objects a yellow color, for example.

    There is a thing called color temperature measured in Kelvins which offers a range of numerical values to which you adjust your white balance to get your white balance correct. When shooting outdoors in natural sunlight, for example, the color temperature is usually in the 5500K range. You want your camera’s white balance to match that so your white looks white. Conversely, indoors usually has a warmer color temperature. When there are tungsten lights involved, the Kelvins are around 3500K. You need to match this too to ensure your white looks white.

    Sure the camera can do this by itself using Auto White Balance, and it does it really well too. The trouble I find is that it still varies quite a lot even though the variations might be minimal. For me, this proves a problem when editing thousands of images, especially when batch editing. My preference to counteract this is to shoot in Kelvin which gives me a pretty constant white balance, though not an absolute science, that I can tweak when editing.

    Read more about demystifying white balance here.

    dps-tutorial-editing-mistakes-to-avoid

    3. Over editing

    There are a hundred and one ways you can over-edit your images. I will touch on a few favorites, especially because they are the ones that affect the image the most.

    a. Heavy vignette

    I love vignettes. I apply vignetting to most of my images and love the way it draws the attention to the middle of the image by way of overall contrast: darker around the edges and lighter in the middle. However, it is so easy to be heavy-handed with it so that your image looks like “a moth to a flame” effect: black spherical shape on the outside and a very bright central area. The key word is subtle.

    A good trick of knowing how much vignette to add is to slide the bar across both extremes and then you can see the effect of each stage and decide what looks right.

    dps-tutorial-editing-mistakes-to-avoid

    b. Over and under-saturation

    Have you heard of the term “pop” in photography?

    Photographers love using it! Add a color pop to make the image pop etc. Often, saturation is not the way to achieve this “pop”! I would advise against fiddling with the saturation slider. Only use it if the photo is so undersaturated that a saturation boost is necessary to make the colors get closer to a natural look.

    The danger of using the saturation slider is making the colors look ‘neonesque’! A classic ubiquitous example of this is green grass. NO grass looks neon green yet often we see them in photos. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn the saturation slider is the culprit when I come across those images.

    It is better to use the vibrance slider if you want to add some life to your color. Here is an article that explains the difference between vibrance and saturation.

    Undersaturation is just as bad. This is when you strip the image of color so everything looks deathly pale or rather steely and cold. I have made this mistake before when I was starting out. Avoid it! Better yet, do not even attempt to do it.

    dps-tutorial-editing-mistakes-to-avoid

    c. Extreme contrasts

    Contrast is simply the difference between the whites and blacks in the image or, if you like, the light areas and dark areas. Three sliders affect contrast: whites, shadows, and blacks. Move those sliders to see what effect they do to the image.

    The best advice I can give is to choose a natural contrast where the blacks are just right, and the whites are not blown or overexposed. Keeping an eye on the histogram helps to ensure you are not clipping blacks and whites and are staying within the proper range of values when it comes to contrast.

    So there we are – three easily made editing mistakes. I hope you have learned something from this little article.

    Any more valuable tips? Do share in the comments below.

     

    3 photo editing mistakes to avoid

    The post 3 Photo Editing Mistakes to Avoid appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Lily Sawyer.


    Source: DP School

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