Thursday, September 25, 2008

Common Mistakes


Blurry photos are usually the result of camera shake. The simplest way to remedy this problem is to buy and use a good, sturdy tripod. If you can't shoot with a tripod, remember to use a faster ISO on digital cameras or faster film on film cameras. This allows you to increase your shutter speed. The faster the shutter speed, the less likely you are to suffer from camera shake. A rule of thumb for handholding is to use a shutter speed that is 1/lens focal length or faster. In other words, if you're shooting a 200mm lens, you need 1/200th second or faster. Don't forget to compensate if you shoot digitally. If you use a 200mm lens on a Nikon D100, it is the equivalent focal length of 300mm, so you will need to shoot at 1/ 300th of a second if you want to handhold.


Underexposure often results from letting the camera make all the exposure decisions. Remember, the camera's meter wants everything to be medium (or gray.) If you do use the auto exposure functions, one common mistake comes from using auto exposure compensation and then forgetting you've done so. Make sure that you get enough light into the scene before you press the shutter.


Like underexposure, overexposure can result from letting your camera make all the decisions. With slide film, overexposure means blown out highlights and that means lost information. Basing your exposure on shaded or dark areas and letting the camera set the exposure is a formula for overexposed slides. Look for something medium to meter from or, better yet, meter the highlights.


This is a common problem resulting from on-camera flash. Move your flash off- axis. Use a flash bracket and connecting cord. You can also bounce the flash off a ceiling or wall. You can also use remote flash triggers to fire a flash that is mounted on a stand or anywhere else, as long as it is not on camera.


Flare occurs when direct light hits the front element of the lens and light starts bouncing around inside the lens. This causes the light to reflect off all the elements. This can reduce contrast and make your pictures look "hazy". Most commonly, it results in a series of round highlights across your image. Be sure to use a lens hood to help prevent this. Sometimes you'll need more than a lens hood. Try using your hand or a hat to shade the lens. If someone is with you, ask him or her to stand so that they cast a shadow on the lens.

Sometimes it's hard to detect lens flare when looking through the viewfinder; using your depth of field preview button will make this easier.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Photography: The Rules of Composition

Composition is the combining of distinct parts or elements to form a whole. In photography that thought is very important in taking good pictures. The following guidelines are just to be thought about though, it is not necessary to try to use them with every picture you take or there wouldn't be any creativity in your work. Once you learn these rules and strategies you will be more prepared to find great picture spots and opportunities.

Before you just step up and take a picture you should consider what you want your viewers to look at and how you should display main points of interest. You should ask yourself, what is the main subject? What angle should the light be hitting in my picture? Is there anything that could accentuate the main subject? Where should the main subject be in the frame? These are all important things you should consider, but that doesn't necessarily mean you need to follow the rules exactly.

The Rule of Thirds has been used for centuries and is probably the most important of all the composition techniques. The Rule of Thirds means that the frame can be divided into three horizontal sections and three vertical sections and therefore, where the horizontal and vertical lines intersect makes an ideal location for the more important parts of your picture. By locating your main subject at one of the four intersections you give the subject more emphasis than if it was right smack in the middle of the picture. This is also a good technique if you have more than one important subject, the intersections can still work even if there's a subject on more than one. The divisions can also be helpful in setting up a picture, they can for example, help you determine how much horizon you want. Most famous photographs or paintings in the world today have the rule of thirds applied to them in some way.

Simplicity is the method of keeping the information in a photograph relatively simple. If your main subject is close, then your background should be very simple to avoid distractions. You should try to keep everything not important much less interesting than what's important in the frame. Especially avoid lines or objects that lead the eye away from the subject.

Framing is the tactic of using natural surroundings to add more meaning to your subject. It could be anything such as bushes, trees, a window, or even a doorway. In the process of doing this you need to be careful that you don't only focus on what's framing your subject. Make sure you focus on the main subject, and also it is a good idea to use a narrow aperture (high f/stop) to achieve a high depth-of-field. It also wouldn't hurt if the part of the picture framing the subject was darker so make sure you take your light reading on the main subject.

Texture can add a significant amount of interest in any picture. When people see texture in pictures they start imagining what it feels like to touch what's in the picture. Texture is a good idea when your taking pictures of rocks, walls, surfaces, someone's hands, or leaves. In order to make a picture reveal a texture you must make sure the light is coming almost exactly from the side of the surface so it creates shadows in places key places.

Leading Lines are used to lure the eye deeper into a picture or to an important subject. Straight, curved, parallel, or diagonal lines are all good at promoting interest. Good examples could be roads, rivers, streams, bridges, branches, or fences but there are endless things that could be used.

Colors are what add heart and emotion to your pictures. Certain color configurations can inspire awe and amazement in onlookers. Colors can be used to add all sorts of accents and effects, but you must be careful to not draw attention away from the main subject.

It might not be a bad idea to keep these key terms with you when you practice taking pictures. The best way to learn and improve your composition is just lots of practice and experimenting.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Use of Light in Photography

- The angle of light should be taken into careful consideration whenever you feel like you want to create a specific effect. Shadows can be very powerful when cast over half of someone's face.
- The effect of rays of light indoors and outdoors. can be very spectacular. A brilliant part of some great photographs is the ability to see actual rays of light. Whether it be in the setting of a brilliant sunset, light pouring through a window or from artificial lights it can look very impressive. Usually the only way to obtain something like this is a narrow aperture (high f/stop) and a very slow shutter speed.
- Silhouettes are another interesting example of using light. The way to create a silhouette is to have significantly brighter light coming from behind the subject. In doing this it is important to take your camera light reading off of the background instead of the subject in order for the camera to adjust for an exposure based on the backlight. If you do this the subject will be successfully underexposed

If you keep experimenting with different ways of using light you will find that you can get very interesting results. The longer the exposure, the more fascinating the results with light most of the time

Rule of Thirds...

The rule of thirds is a compositional rule of thumb in photography and other visual arts such as painting and design.[1] The rule states that an image can be divided into nine equal parts by two equally-spaced horizontal lines and two equally-spaced vertical lines. The four points formed by the intersections of these lines can be used to align features in the photograph. Proponents of this technique claim that aligning a photograph with these points creates more tension, energy and interest in the photo than simply centering the feature would

Know MOre

Some more tips for Low Light/Night Photography

The use of light in a photograph can be the deciding factor of whether that picture will be spectacular or terrible. When you use your camera to automatically chose aperture and shutter speed, what your camera is actually doing is using the built in light meter and measuring how much light is being reflected to the camera.

But that doesn't mean that's all there is to it. You should also think about the angle of the light entering the frame, what kind of shadows you want, and whether you want to use fill-in-flash (using flash to light the subject if you have a really bright background). If you are shooting at night you can create all sorts of cool effects like lights in motion or pictures with moonlight.

Here are few more tips about Night/Low-Light Photography:-

- Adding some foreground item to frame and then shooting which will create a greater depth to the picture, and most of the time make the results look even more brilliant.
- Self-timer should also be used to eliminate any shake.
- When photographing sunsets you should not only include foreground items but use the rule of thirds, specifically the horizontal section of thirds so you get a good perspective on the scene.
- When you take the light reading with your camera make sure you don't point it directly at the sun, if you do your picture will be underexposed.
- When trying to photograph fireworks or lightning you will definitely need a tripod. There are different techniques to doing this but probably the easiest is just setting your camera up pointed at a good range of sky and setting the aperture narrow (high f/stop) and setting the shutter speed very long or just by using the "bulb" function of shutter speed (the "bulb" function allows you to open the shudder and close it manually, so its not on a set time). Many people try this in different ways so its just good to experiment and try different things.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

How White Balance settings improve Picture Quality?

White balance (WB) is the process of removing unrealistic color casts, so that objects which appear white in person are rendered white in your photo. Proper camera white balance has to take into account the "color temperature" of a light source, which refers to the relative warmth or coolness of white light. Our eyes are very good at judging what is white under different light sources, however digital cameras often have great difficulty with auto white balance (AWB). An incorrect WB can create unsightly blue, orange, or even green color casts, which are unrealistic and particularly damaging to portraits. Performing WB in traditional film photography requires attaching a different cast-removing filter for each lighting condition, whereas with digital this is no longer required. Understanding digital white balance can help you avoid color casts created by your camera's AWB, thereby improving your photos under a wider range of lighting conditions.

Normally our eyes compensate for lighting conditions with different color temperatures. A digital camera needs to find a reference point which represents white. It will then calculate all the other colors based on this white point. For instance, if a halogen light illuminates a white wall, the wall will have a yellow cast, while in fact it should be white. So if the camera knows the wall is supposed to be white, it will then compensate all the other colors in the scene accordingly.

Search This Blog


Related Posts with Thumbnails