- Stay hands free- A photographer subconsciously relies on this accessory usually to hold his treasured possession securely when they decide to stay hands off. Typically they are a substitute for the hands and allow you to perform other tasks even when there is no surface to rest the camera upon. For instance, on a shooting campaign in the muddy areas of a wildlife sanctuary, you probably would not let your camera struggle with the dust and scratches by making it sit on the dirty terrains. That’s where these accessories make a dramatic entry!
- Safety- While letting the camera slip off your hands is a situation that often knocks a photographer’s door, these straps make sure that your equipment never falls off to the grounds and crashes into pieces. Of course after spending a fortune on your precious camera, you probably wouldn’t mind giving away a few more bucks to ensure its safety.
- Ergonomics- One of the top reasons why professionals can never be spotted without these straps is that a strap such as harnesses distributes the heavy weight of high-end cameras all over the shoulders, chest and back. They eliminate neck/hand pains and allow you to work pain-free for long hours! The default straps furnished by manufacturers let the camera hang by the neck, making it ineffective in distribution of weight and ideal for owners who like to take it out for a shoot or two in a while. On the other hand, special straps like harnesses are specially designed to suit the ergonomic needs of professional photographers.
- Recognition- Imagine you are on a professional wedding shoot, carrying a simple DSLR in your hands. People do not recognize you as a professional and stand in your way while you are struggling for those ‘perfect shots’! Sounds familiar? Thus, these straps are recommended as it makes the crowd recognize your role and steer clear of your way. It is kind of an identity card that makes you identified as a significant professional.
- Stabilizer- Camera straps are often used as stabilizers in various ways. Whether you wrap it around your wrist or have it pulled tightly over your triceps, they can be used as a tool to stabilize the camera.
Author: Jasmine Reinhart
For every situation where a tripod is needed, it is required in order to avoid introducing unwanted vibration into your camera, particularly during long exposure photographs, where the camera’s shutter will be open for a second or more, during which time any vibration will be picked up and, most likely, be represented as blurring of your subject(s) in your final image. Landscape photography is one such sub niche that always benefits from having a good quality tripod.
Another area of photography where you will want a tripod is if you’re exploring light painting – this time, not only are you going to be using longer exposure times, you’re also going to need to rest your camera on a stable platform, while you either stand off to one side with a flashlight, or go into the frame, painting light into your scene. Once again, a tripod is your friend for this task.
Anytime you need to keep your camera at a specific angle – whether it be absolutely horizontal (such as for landscape photos) or vertical (such as for portrait photographs of people) or any other angle in between – a tripod is the best tool for the job. Being human, there’s only so long you can hold your camera in a totally still position, before you start to fatigue… and that’s when you’ll wish you’d had a tripod to take the strain. Providing you have a solid tripod that can comfortably hold the weight of your DSLR camera (and possibly and external flash on top), then it will keep your equipment at the angle you want it, for as long as you need it.
It’s good to have a tripod when doing product photography – many times, I will take the photos without using a tripod. However, it can quickly become a chore to hold a bulky DSLR, and that’s when I’m glad I’ve got the option to stick the camera on the tripod, so I can just focus on arranging the products to get the best shot.
Tripod Type 1. Traditional Tripods
These have three legs (hence the term “tri”pod) stacked in sections that collapse down on top of one another, to keep the tripods compact when storing them or when travelling with them. When you are using these tripods, the legs can be eased out to a required length and then locked in place, for the specific height you need. Locking the legs is either done via a spin-lock system (where you rotate rings to lock the legs so your tripod won’t collapse unceremoniously to the floor), while others have quick-release locks (with flaps that can be flicked open or securely closed).
One of the key decisions you’ll need to make is whether to get an aluminium tripod, or one constructed from carbon fiber. Aluminium tripods will be cheaper to buy than carbon fiber versions, but the carbon fiber tripods will weigh less, making them the better option for those who like to go trekking with their camera gear and want to take a tripod along as well.
Just remember, because carbon fiber tripods are so lightweight, you’re likely to need something to weigh it down, so that the wind won’t introduce unwanted vibrations – good carbon fiber tripods, such as the 3LT “Brian”, which I own, have a hook underneath the central column, onto which you can sling your camera bag, for added ballast.
Tripod Type 2. Alternative Tripods
There are three different types of alternative tripod that may interest you; they have their pros and cons, compared with a traditional tripod, and I have one of each.
The first offering is the Gorilla Pod. The benefit of this style of tripod, over a more traditional tripod, is that, due to the unique construction of the legs, the Gorilla Pod is better suited to placing on all sorts of awkward and uneven surfaces – such as, rocks, grassy hillsides, etc. You can also wrap the three legs around tree branches, posts, railings and the like, to place your Gorilla Pod at all sorts of different heights… providing there are suitable objects available to do this. That’s one of the advantages of a standard tripod: you’ll generally have enough height variations (by expanding or contracting the legs), to set up your camera at a fairly decent height. One thing you should be aware of are the subtle variations of Gorilla Pods, as one type will only fit the mounting bracket of larger DSLR cameras. I have both a Panasonic FZ1000 (bridge camera) and a Panasonic GH4 (DSLR, but a micro four thirds camera, so smaller than larger, full frame DSLR, such as Canon’s 1DX) and neither of them will fit on the original Gorilla Pod. I had to purchase a Gorilla Pod Zoom, which fit both cameras.
The next option is the Ultra Pod II. This is the smallest tripod I’ve ever owned. It has three solid plastic legs, which are NOT height adjustable. However, what it lacks in height, it makes up for in both portability and versatility. This thing is super lightweight, so it’s great for hiking about with. But, its party-piece trick is the integrated Velcro strap, which allows you to secure the tripod to tree branches, gates, sign posts, and the like. The one slight downside is the Velcro strap isn’t all that long, so you’re limited to attaching it to things not much larger than the size of a thick man’s wrist. However, it’s so compact and lightweight, and is so brilliantly versatile, that it has a permanent place in my camera backpack; it comes with me wherever I go with my camera gear and, if I think I can get away with it, I will prefer just this one Ultra Pod II (and maybe my Gorilla Pod, which is also similarly compact, but is superior to the Ultra Pod II on uneven and awkward surfaces), than lugging about a bulkier, more traditional tripod.
The final tripod alternative is not actually a tripod, at all… it’s a camera beanbag. I have a 1kg variety (though different weights and sizes are available) and it’s great that you don’t have to fiddle about screwing in your camera… just plonk down the beanbag, mush your camera down on top of it so that you get it level (okay, so there is still a little bit of fiddling), and then you’re ready to start snapping. You can also put it on top of your car, for instance, and not have to worry about scratching the paintwork.
So, if you had to buy just ONE tripod, which would it be? I’m tempted to say the Ultra Pod II, because you don’t have to fiddle about with adjusting multiple leg sections before you’re ready to start photographing stuff. However, as much as I really like that lightweight tripod alternative, you can’t beat the height adjustability of a traditional tripod. If you find yourself wanting to take it out and about, and if your budget can stretch to it, a quality carbon fiber tripod is probably the one to go for. However, if you have extra cash going spare, I do find it great to be able to choose between using my Gorilla Pod Zoom, Ultra Pod II, and my more traditional carbon fiber 3LT Brian tripod – if I need the height, I will use the 3LT; if I think I can get away without this larger tripod, when going out with my camera gear, I do prefer to travel light and take both the Ultra Pod II and Gorilla Pod Zoom, which give me enough options to find a suitable solution for where to place my camera to get some interesting shots.
Well for one thing – you’ll be able to add three little letters after your name… Stephanie Gagnon, CPP – has a nice ring to it doesn’t it? With the growing number of photographers all over the country it can help to set you apart. Only about 3% of photographers in the USA are certified – that’s a very small number! And that’s not because the test is impossible to pass – it’s because there are so many new photographers with little to no education in the field. To be able to increase that percentage and be one of those who can say that they understand photography and passed their CPP examination and print submission would be a great achievement! It also shows other photographers (especially those who’ve been in the industry for a long while) that you value this craft and that you are committed to growing and improving.
What does it mean for your clients? Well let’s be honest. Not many of your clients are going to know what CPP means. And because they don’t know what it means – the might not know why to value that. But you can share that you’re certified on your site and blog. You can post a blog post and let them know what it means, what you had to do to acquire those three letters.
So what do you have to do. Well there’s a $200 fee to take the CPP examination. This fee gives you the opportunity to take the test as many times as needed within 2 years to pass it. The test is 100 questions and you have to score at least a 70% to pass. The questions cover everything from lighting to lenses, shooting scenarios, composition, design – all the things a professional photographer should know and use to create their clients beautiful, timeless, one of a kind images! once you pass the exam, you then have to submit 15 prints for review. 6 of these images are compulsory, meaning they are specifically set up as to what they want you to shoot and demonstrate in them. The other nine need to accurately reflect what you shoot for your clients.
Once you pass both of these, you will be declared a certified photographer! But it doesn’t end there! You will have to re-certify every 3 years by paying a $100 fee and fulfilling 15 education requirements throughout the course of those three years to maintain your title of certification. Why do they do this? To ensure that those who are certified are continuing to educate themselves and grow as individuals and artists!
If you would like to look into more information on certification – the PPA is a great source to find everything you might want to know about getting certified and the process. You can find their information here: http://www.ppa.com/cpp/ I hope you’ve found this really insightful and that you’ll consider continuing your photographic education.
- Make mistakes: “Every expert was once a beginner” remember this one line before starting. When you are new there is nothing to lose, make as many mistakes as you can, but don’t get frustrated with your mistakes, learn from them and develop your skills further.
- Get as close as you can, to your subject, try to fill the gap around your subject by approaching as close as you can to him, this will fill the frame of your picture with the subject only, you will see the difference between the pictures clicked from a close distance than when you clicked the same subject from a far distance. You will see the fine detailing of your subject.
- Click as much as you can: We all know that “practice makes a man perfect” this can be said rightly for all the new photographers reading this article, if you are a new photographer, click as many pictures as you can, of the same or of different subjects to find your masterpiece with different angles. This will help you in mastering technical skills of photography.
- Use the light: If you learned how to take advantage of a light source and utilise the source of light whether it’s a natural source like the sun or an artificial source of light like a lamp or something, you can make an ordinary picture look extraordinary.
- Using flash: If you are a new photographer, you might think that you only need a flash when it’s too dark or when you are clicking pictures indoor, but this is not true. You might have come across a very common problem of uneven shadow patterns, those have spoiled your shots, when you were taking pictures in the bright sunlight, to resolve this issue you need to on the flash of your camera and put extra light on your subject, this will help you in getting rid of those shadows.
- Invest in books: Read about the experts in the field of photography, as you can learn more about the techniques used by them and get inspired by their great work. Merely having an expensive camera and accessory won’t guarantee you great pictures; if you have the right technique you can even click extraordinary pictures with the help of a simple Smartphone
Tips for Taking Baby Pictures
First, let’s talk about several ways in which you can take better photos of your baby.
- Choose a Great Pose
By placing the baby in a cute or interesting pose, you can take a much better shot. Try to capture the baby in a natural and comfortable pose, such has when she’s sleeping or laughing. Also, always make the baby’s face the main point of interest of your composition. The face holds all her character and emotions so it makes your picture much more powerful.
- Make Use of Props
Props are an exciting and creative way to take innovative and unique pictures. By placing the baby in a basket or by dressing it up in a fun costume, you can add freshness and interest to a picture. When it comes to props, you can try to think outside the box and come up with something that is both suitable for the situation and never seen before.
- Pay Attention to Light
Lighting is everything in photography. The word “photography” itself means “writing with light”. When taking baby pictures, soft light is very pleasing to the eye and appropriate in terms of composition. Babies are gentle and fragile, so the light should reflect that. Sharp contrast and strong shadows may work elsewhere, but for baby photos, the softer the light the better.
- Location, Location, Location
Depending on the time of year and on the purpose, baby photos can be taken both indoors and outdoors. Indoors are better for making the most of your props and being creative with the pose. However, the outdoors offer variety in terms of the background and make the shot more aesthetically pleasing.
- Include the Parents in the Shot
When including the parents, it is important to really show the parent-child connection. Again, the pose is here very important. Try to emphasize the contrast of size between the baby and the parent, or try to place them in a nurturing and protective pose.
Tips for Editing Baby Pictures
After you have come up with many great baby photo ideas and finished the shooting, it is now necessary to edit the pictures with Movavi to make the best of them.
- Removing the Background
If, for some reason, you are unhappy with the background, you can easily remove it using a photo editor. A good editor is the photographer’s best friend – it offers endless possibilities. After you have removed the unwanted background, you can replace it with something more appealing or suitable.
- Captions and Filters
Professional Tips for Taking and Editing Baby Pictures -2Filters can add depth and interest to a photo. By selecting a filter that adds softness, you can emphasize the subject – the baby. What’s more, when you add caption to image, you can easily tell the story behind the picture. Your captions it can be something as short as a single word or a complete sentence.
- Retouch the Photos
Retouching is another important step in editing. By correcting the white balance and colors, you can make the photo even more striking. There is no need to spend hours retouching pictures – photo editing software usually comes with some built-in presets. So, if there is little time for editing, just select the best preset for the picture you are working on.
- Cropping the Photo
When taking and editing a photo, we should try to keep to the rule of thirds. The rule tells us where we should place the subject to make the composition better. By following this rule, we make sure our subject shines. Cropping the photo in post-production to adhere to this rule is sometimes necessary, but do try not to crop too much.
Editing software often also comes with some effects that can be added to a photo. Effects can be used to bring attention to the subject, and they can also add some flair to the photo. However, choose the effects carefully and always follow the rule – less is more. Too many effects can affect the composition badly.
- Slow down the shutter speed. This allows more light in but anything slower than 1/60 second and you will need a tripod to avoid camera shake. This technique is good for taking photos of landscapes or city traffic. However it may not be that useful if you are photographing people who are constantly moving. If you are photographing moving people, keep the shutter speed above 1/60 and use flash instead.
- Lower the F Stop value, this will allow you to shoot in low light without a flash. Keep in mind low F Stop values make it more difficult to focus on your subject. Once again if you have a flash with you, you don’t need to use low F stop values.
- Bump up your ISO. If you have a high quality camera eg Canon 5D Mark 3, these new cameras have great low light performance. Even at a high ISO, there is not as much digital noise as you’d expect. I usually bump up my ISO around 1000-1600 if needed. Keep in mind, if you bump up your ISO too much your image will be very noisy and grainy which is not very desirable.
- Use Flash! Gotta love the flash. I tend to use a diffuser with the flash eg Gary Fong Lightsphere and I never point the flash at the subject. I always have the flash pointing on the ceiling or bouncing it off a wall or something. Pointing the flash away from your subject is also another good technique, it gives you just enough soft light to photograph your subject without blinding them. My recommendation is the Canon Speedlite 600 Ex-Rt. I have 2 of these units, they are pretty amazing, compact and portable. Great for wedding gigs and studio work. Using flash will give you so much more flexibility when shooting at night. You don’t have to go extremes on your camera settings when you are using flash.
- Use off camera Flash. Having your flash off the camera will generally give better lighting and gives you more flexibility in controlling your lighting. If you have umbrellas, softboxes or reflectors these light modifiers will give you even better lighting. Have a play around and see what you come up with.
There are a couple of occasions when you might want to use manual. If, for example, you are shooting video and you have somebody who is fairly static, then I would recommend that you first of all use autofocus to ensure that the subject is sharp, and then switch it over to manual. That is just to prevent the possibility of, when the subject moves in or out of the frame or in and out of focus, it stops the camera trying to track. The other time might be if I am shooting landscapes. Now, again, I might well use the cameras autofocus system in order to make sure that I have everything in focus and then switch it off. That is really just to ensure that whilst I am either setting up or composing or while I am actually taking the picture itself which, remember, could be on quite a long shutter speed for 5 perhaps 10 seconds (perhaps more if it is a night-time shot) that the camera will not be distracted by something moving across the frame. It is a safeguard. The camera should not be distracted, but it is to ensure that nothing untoward does happen it is worth sometimes switching over to manual focus.
When you are in manual focus and you are looking through the viewfinder you have an option to help you here, which is called the rangefinder, and if you go into the menu and you go into the SETUP MENU then about halfway down just below BUTTONS you have an option for rangefinder. You also have the option below that to ensure that the MANUAL FOCUS RING is on, which of course is what you want. You switch that on when you are looking through the semi-automatic settings which are A, S and P, and you are looking through the viewfinder. You will see that there is a levels gauge at the bottom and it will move and will help you to discern when the subject that you are looking at is sharp. When it is sharp there will be a little green dot in the bottom left hand of the frame. When you are in MANUAL MODE that gauge is not there. It is an exposure levels gauge but the green dot will still appear when the subject is sharp. You do not get that when you are looking through the back screen and you are on manual. When you are looking through the back screen in MANUAL MODE, the best thing to do is to use the magnifying glass to magnify the image that you are looking at and so work on manually focusing by getting what you are looking at and what you are trying to focus on as large as possible on the back screen and that is fairly easily done through the magnifying glass + to go in and you can use the magnifying – to come back out again.
However in most cases, you will want to use the Nikon D3400 autofocus systems. The Nikon D3400 has two autofocus systems. The system that operates through the viewfinder is called PHASE DETECTION what that means essentially is that the beam that comes in through the lens is split and bounces around the back of the camera onto the sensor and at that point the camera tries to join the two images together again and in doing so it work out the length for the lens. It is very quick it is quite accurate and it is much quicker and far more accurate than the naked eye. For Liveview, it does not have the opportunity to split the beam coming through because the light goes straight through to the back of the camera. So the system used here is called CONTRAST DETECTION. Now actually this is pretty good too, because it gets right down to individual pixels where it can detect a contrast between different shades. However it can also be quite easily confused and that is more often than not when the illustrative light comes on here just to help the camera get a better idea of what it is looking at so that it can focus more accurately.
The Nikon D3400 DSLR camera essentially splits the focusing function, or the D3400 autofocus function, into two. It splits it into FOCUS MODE which essentially allows you to tell the camera whether the subject is static or moving, and then it also splits it into AUTO FOCUS AREA MODE, When you can tell the D3400 which part of the frame, or how much of the frame, the camera should be scanning in order to focus on the subject. That changes depending on whether you are looking through the viewfinder or whether you are looking through the back screen.
So lets take a look at them. Now, in this instance we are looking through the viewfinder. Of course, you can go in to the SHOOTING MENU and find FOCUS MODE and AREA FOCUS MODE on the back screen here, and make the changes accordingly, but that would be very complicated when you are trying to shoot things live, so fortunately they are on the back screen with the i button. So if I just come out of that and press ithen I will find them on the bottom line. The very bottom left is the FOCUSING MODE, so if we go into that one you find there are three options outside of manual. The three options are SINGLE SERVO which basically means that when you press the shutter button the camera will focus and it will remain focused until you either take your finger off the shutter button or you completely take the picture by pressing it all the way down. That can be quite useful because if you focus on the subject in the middle of your frame and yet you do not want the subject in the middle then you can move the camera so that the subject is off to one side and take the picture and the subject will still be sharp. The other option is AF-C which is CONTINUOUS. That is for things which are moving around, so again if you press the shutter button halfway down then you focus on the subject and if the subject moves then the focus will try to keep up with the subject and keep the subject in focus before you press the shutter. The third one is called AF – AUTO and that is kind of a mixture between the two. If your subject is static then it will just focus as if it is static and if your subject moves around it will effectively move on to continuous. However I do not recommend that last option because it is the Nikon D3400 making this decision, not you. I think you should make the decision so I would recommend that you either stick to single or continuous when you are looking through the viewfinder because you then have control over how the autofocus is working.
When you are looking through the back view screen there are two choices for this D3400 autofocus. They are SINGLE SERVO and FULL-TIME SERVO. Single servo just focuses when you press the shutter button, and is ideal for static subjects. Full-time servo will try continually to focus. Now this is quite interesting because unlike with looking through the viewfinder, when you have to keep the button pressed down, here it has a little green square on it and whatever is in the square the camera will attempt to keep in focus. That could be quite useful for when you are shooting video, for example, because it will try to keep whatever the subject is in the middle of the screen in focus. However it is quite slow and it does have to search sometimes, so it can be quite distracting. It is not as immediate or quick as you would hope and if you are shooting video then I go back to my original point. If it was me, shoot on single or shoot on manual. But it is not too bad. It does try its best and if you are going to shoot video where frankly the moving in and out does not really matter, then it can be very useful because of course it maintains that subject in focus.
So now lets take a look at the AUTO FOCUS AREA MODES for both systems on the Nikon D3400 DSLR. So if we look at the viewfinder first then again we go into the i button and this option is right next to the auto focus mode. If we, when we are looking through the viewfinder, look at AUTO FOCUS SINGLE, then there are two options options. The first one is SINGLE POINT AF and you will see the diamond of 11 points which are the 11 autofocus points that the camera uses and when it is on single point it will select the one in the middle, initially, to focus on the subject – and that will flash when you press the shutter button. If you want to change the point to one of the other 11 points then use the multi-selector to move that focus point around the diamond. That can be quite useful, particularly if you are on a tripod or you can not move the camera easily, because it means that you can then select a different part of the picture, a different subject perhaps, to be the focus point and to be sharp. So that is quite useful.
The next one then we get on to is AUTO AREA AUTO FOCUS and that essentially means that the camera tries to do everything for you – so it will use those 11 points in the frame to try and select the subject that it thinks should be sharp and in focus. It will very often be the one that is closest to the camera and that can be useful when you are trying to shoot things and you are not entirely sure what it is you are looking at. One of the disadvantages, of course, of looking through the viewfinder is that your vision is quite restricted. So if there are lots of things moving around or there are lots of things in the frame and you are not really sure what should be sharp on what should not, then this option can be quite useful.
Lets come out of autofocus single and look at D3400 autofocus continuous and see what the options are for the auto focus area modes there when you are looking through the viewfinder, because they are different. You get two which are the same: you get the single point and you get the auto area focus but you get two others, which are actually pretty interesting. The first one is DYNAMIC AREA AUTO FOCUS. What that does is that it tries to predict where the subject is going in the frame, so in other words, if the subject is moving diagonally through the frame so it is not just crossing the frame as on a single focal plane, if you like, it is moving in or out then the camera will try to predict that by gauging the movement that it has been doing between the focal points. So if it is moving towards you then obviously one focal point will have it so it 10 feet away another may have it at 8 feet away so it will predict that by the time it gets to this focal point it should be 6 feet away and that is what it means by trying to dynamically predict where the subject is going to be and that can be quite useful for obvious reasons because it means that it is trying to predict the focal length and the sharpness for you which is quite useful. The other one is 3D TRACKING. Now 3d tracking kind of does the same thing in that it does try to predict where the subject is going to be but it also allows you to move the camera at the same time so this is very useful for panning because it means that the camera does not get distracted by the background it just focuses on what it thinks is the subject of the frame and that can be very useful. Also bear in mind this is through the viewfinder so it is the faster of the two autofocus systems and so as a consequence of that it could be useful for things like sport or action photography. Now lets take a look at the autofocus area modes through the Liveview screen which is the contrast detection system. The difference here is that it does not actually matter in terms of your D3400 autofocus mode whether you are on continuous or whether you are on single, because the options are both same. So if we go in here then you have four choices and the two choices which you are going to come across most frequently are WIDE and NORMAL. Now if you click on wide and accept that then when you come into the back frame here you will see that there is a red square in the middle of the frame. That is your focus point and if you press the shutter button down halfway then it will focus and turn green – if you have got the beep on it will go beep – and that is essentially the limit of what it does. Now you can move that square by using the multi-selector you can move it to the right or up and down or left and if you want to return it to the center quickly you just press the OK button and it will return to the center, but that is your focal point within that square so if you go back into the i button and then back into AF area mode then coming out of wide and going into normal you will see that it is pretty much the same but that square is a lot smaller. In other words you can be far more specific when you are trying to choose your focus point and of course in either of those two settings you can press the magnifying glass to go further into the picture just to see whether you are actually pin sharp or just to check really that you are focusing on that thing that you wanted to focus upon. So those are the two more normal ones, those are the ones that you are going to use probably most frequently.
The D3400 autofocus option to the right is called SUBJECT TRACKING AUTOFOCUS and in some ways it is very similar to DYNAMIC autofocus for the system that is used through the viewfinder. But please bear in mind that you are looking through the back screen here and this system is much slower. So whilst it will also try to predict where the subject is going in the frame, it is not going to be as quick and it is not going to be as efficient as when you do it through the viewfinder. Then finally, and this actually is very useful, is FACE PRIORITY AUTOFOCUS. Now this is useful because it will automatically focus on and prioritize faces. It will detect faces in the frame automatically it will focus on one and if there are more than one face and you want to go to the other one you just use a multi-selector to push that on to another face. It is a really useful option particularly of course when you are taking group shots etc and it means that you can choose who to focus on and and it can actually do it quite efficiently. It is quite impressive if there is no face in the frame it just returns really to the wide option in other words you get a square in the middle of the frame that you can move around the frame as you would if you were in wide or normal. So those are your autofocus options with this camera there is quite a variety. You should be able to take pretty much any picture really and the autofocus options here would be able to help you take better pictures in almost any discipline. I would say as a rule of thumb that for normal everyday pictures I would be on – when looking through the viewfinder – on autofocus single and probably on single point. However if I was again using the viewfinder to shoot on continuous and to shoot something a bit more like action or sport, I might well go into dynamic area AF or even 3d tracking. But I tend to favor dynamic area because I am just more comfortable with that. If we go into the Liveview options then I would again tend to favor shooting on AF SINGLE just because it just makes it a bit more a bit more straightforward for me and also I think AF FULL TIME on the back is not as fast as CONTINUOUS through the viewfinder but on single again and here on the back I would be tempted to shoot probably on normal. I would not tend to use subject tracking on the back screen because it is easier to shoot that kind of stuff through the viewfinder but what I would say is FACE PRIORITY, when you are shooting group shots through the backscreen, is excellent and is well worth experimenting with. So those are the autofocus settings. Bear in mind that in autofocus settings it will not actually let you take a picture until it deems the subject to be sharp and so that could slow you down on occasion if you’re not careful. Also remember though that if you are on manual focus, this camera has no such control and if you press the button it will take the picture even if it is not sharp, because it has no control over focus you are then responsible for the focus. If you press the button at the wrong time then I am afraid if it is soft then that is your fault.
With new technologically advanced cameras making rounds in the market, photography has become as easy as a click of the shutter. However, photographers who are passionate and take this art form seriously need to know the magic of light and shadow. Because, cameras work in the light, it’s always been a challenge to take good photos during the night-time.
Night time offers brilliant photographic moments. The sky, the stars, planets and the nature come together as a delightful photographic moment. However, the poor light conditions make the photographs look grainy and odd colored. With advanced hardware for cameras, it has become quite easy for the photographers to click quality photos even in the dark!
Here are some photography tips to help you shoot in the dark.
- ISO: When shooting in low light or dark conditions, using a higher ISO somewhere around 800 to 6400 is a good idea.
- Use larger lenses: Large aperture lenses work quite well in dark conditions. Large lenses with 35mm f/1.8 or 50mm f/1.8 features can be very effective in low light conditions. However, one has to remember, while using these lenses the ISO level needs to be low. Somewhere around 400-1600 is sufficient. This also keeps the focus on the subject hence, blurring the background and surroundings. This creates an amazing effect for photos.
- Successive Drive: Taking photographs is a row in the dark can get you that one perfect photo you’ve been waiting for. You have to enable the drive mode available in the menu.
- Use Tripod: Ideal for outdoor and indoor shoots that involves stationary subjects, tripods are the perfect aperture to shoot at night. This helps you to avoid blurry photos. Try and avoid using it for moving subjects.
- Use Flash: Needless of saying, without flash, you cannot shoot at night or low light conditions. Flash is a must for night-time photographs. Flash illuminates the subject of photograph and makes the photo bright. For outdoor shoots, use external flash. While shooting indoors, focus the flash to the ceiling to reflect the light on the subject therefore, illuminating it with a soft light.
- Grab the moment: There is no point in hurrying when it comes to photography. Wait for the right moment to get the best click. It’s advised to let the subject settle down for sometime before you shoot it. This ensures you have the best quality click.
- Source of Light: Even during the night-time or in low light conditions, it’s important the subject faces the major source of light. The light needs to fall on the subject evenly. You can also use reflectors to reflect the light on the subject’s face.
To begin with, the simplest manipulation technique that one could use is shadow making. Shadow making is simply adding or removing a shadow from an object. Although at a glance this may seem an easy task, just adding a shadow to the object in front of you. Don’t be fooled, there is actually a science behind adding and removing shadows and the effect that is created. Without a shadow, there is no visual clue as to the scale and position of the object. The shadow also serves to anchor the object to its surface. Thus creating an impact on how we perceive the image.
By changing the length, direction and depth of the image, we can control how the brain interprets the image. For example adding a short narrow shadow would suggest that is midday, or leaving a space between the object and the shadow to create a levitating effect. Shadows also dictate the lighting in an image. Adding a shadow to facial features also create very important effects. The shadows on a face or an object are important as they give more information about the form and three-dimensional construction. If a face is illuminated by a hard-point source of light, the shadows will be clear. These shadows help to describe the structure and contours of the face more clearly than diffuse light. The direction of light is key to placing the shadow. Everything that faces the light source is bright and everything facing against the light is dark. When applying these laws to facial features you have to be careful, as a cast shadow is usually more elongated then the object itself, so to get the degree of realism that you want placing the right sized and shaped shadow is key.
All in all shadows can be used to serve many purposes, from dictating the height, depth and location of an object in an image to the lighting, brightness and level of contrast that the shadow provides. So what seemed easy at first actually turns out to be a slightly more complicated technique then one might think.