Cleaning Your Digital Camera Lens

  • BUY a simple camera lens cleaning kit – not expensive and invaluable. Commonly includes a microfibre cloth, a blower brush and some lens-cleaning fluid.
  • DO NOT overlook your casing. Regularly clean the casing as this will pick up grime, grease, and dust quickly.
  • DO NOT be heavy handed when cleaning the lens. Remember it is a fragile piece of equipment. If grime is hard to get off, do not rub it harder! Keep it light and be patient.
  • Use a Blower Brush for removing dust on your lens. Remember to extend a zoom lens to its narrowest or widest focal length to make the glass accessible.
  • Some lenses are weather sealed, however try and avoid using a cloth dampened with water if possible. A dry microfibre cloth should remove all the dirt, and dust just fine.
  • If there is grease, oil or a smudge on the camera lens, use a liquid based lens-cleaning fluid. Use sparingly, use with a microfibre cloth, and rub in a circular motion.
  • LENS WIPES are an excellent alternative to microfibre cloths. They are cheap, disposable, and have excellent cleaning capabilities.
  • Buy a CAMERA LENS FILTER. This will protect the front element of your lens. A standard UV filter is ideal. Also replacing a damaged filter is much cheaper than replacing a damaged lens!
  • A fine soft painters brush is an excellent cheaper alternative to a blower brush. A soft bristle, camel hair brush is ideal, commonly available in art stores, or online.
  • NEVER forget the importance of keeping your digital camera lens clean! The exposed glass elements on your lens are the most important parts when it comes to optical quality.

Every photographer should regularly check their lens for dust and smudges. It is not only to ensure you are taking the ‘sharpest’ possible shots, but also a smudge or a fingerprint left for a long time could cause permanent damage to your expensive camera lens. As we all know keeping your lens clean isn’t exactly mind-mindbogglingly difficult, but nevertheless it is a task that should be performed regularly, patiently, thoughtfully, and attentively. Arm yourself with the proper lens cleaning tools which are and invaluable investment and will be worth their weight in gold.

Zion Narrows Photo Gear

First of all… Bring that gear!!! The narrows are far too good to go without having the appropriate camera gear to capture it’s beauty and print it BIG!!! It is an absolutely stunning landscape,unique and dynamic.

Here is a list of camera gear I would recommend for the narrows:

  • Camera
  • Extra Batteries
  • Spare Memory
  • Tripod
  • Polarizing filter (I consider this a borderline must)
  • Dry Bag for camera gear
  • Wide Angle Lens (essential)
  • Mid to Telephoto lens (I almost never bring anything beyond a wide angle. However, if you enjoy shooting abstracts, the narrows have plenty of beauty in the details to work with)

Here is a list of non-camera gear recommendations:

  • 2 liters of water per person
  • Food
  • Clothing appropriate for the season
  • Backpack
  • Dry Bag (for any food or clothing needing to stay dry)
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Extra fleece top

Special footwear has been developed to assist in making your hike safer and more comfortable. In the narrows, the majority of the footing takes place on wet, bowling ball sized boulders. This footwear is made with specially formulated rubber that sticks very well to wet rock. In addition to this footwear, a sturdy hiking stick is recommended. Some people will use their tripod as a stabalizer, and I would recommend strongly not to do so, there is a decent probability of damaging that piece of gear.

During certain times of the year you may need either dry pants or a dry suit. In the spring, winter or fall, these should be taken into consideration. There is a local outfitter in town called Zion Adventure Company that rents footwear, dry bags, dry suits, etc.

The desert is a WILD place and can be highly unpredictable. During mid-July through early September is monsoon season. Heavy storms can roll in without warning which can create very dangerous situations in the Narrows. Be sure to check the forecast before your trip into the canyon. Flash flooding is a potential danger that should be taken very seriously. If you are in the canyon, even if it is mid-summer and you experience a strong rain, tempertures will drop dramatically. So much that if you have to wait out a flash flood, hypothermia is a very real possibility. Be sure to bring a fleece top, even if it’s 100 plus degrees out.

Sensor Gel Stick For Cleaning Lenses

First of all, you should get the sensor exposed. Once the whole sensor becomes visible, you should clean the lens with the gel stick. Then you should clean the dust off the gel using the adhesive paper that comes with the gel stick. Remember: don’t make a rush when cleaning the camera. You don’t want to drop the camera accidentally.

You can use the gel several times repeating the process over and over again. Once you are done, you should turn the camera off, install the lens and set the aperture to f/32. Now, take a photo of a white wall or a white piece of paper. If the picture is free of any spots, the lens is clean.

Usually, sensor gel sticks should not be used in a room with a temperature lower than 40F. The ideal temperature is 70F if you want the best performance. Using the product in too low or too high temperatures will not give you the best performance. In worse cases, you may end up reducing the shine of the sensor, which will adversely affect the image quality. Therefore, you may want to check the temperature of the room first.

Since the stickiness of the gel varies based on the coating technologies applied on the sensor filters, we suggest that you don’t use one sensor gel stick for cleaning the lens of different cameras, as one shoe can’t fit everyone.

Normally, the cleaning product can be used on all digital cameras that come with interchangeable lenses. The good news is that most camera manufacturers have cameras that have interchangeable lens.

Some mirrorless cameras feature a coating technology that allows the gel sticks to leave behind some residue on the sensor filter surface. As a result, you will need to clean the sensor thoroughly. You should use the right type of sensor gel stick for cleaning these cameras.

Cameras that don’t come with a mirror are not easy to clean. Therefore, it’s a lot better to go for a camera that can be easily cleaned. A lens that is not clean won’t allow you to take high-quality pictures, as the quality of the pictures depends largely on the clarity of the lens or sensor. Therefore, cleaning the lens with a quality cleaner is highly recommended.

Benefits Of 50 Mm Lens

Ideal For Low Photography

The 50 mm lens is a prime lens thus it takes professional-quality photos. It has a wide aperture of f1.8 which allows more light to enter through the lens opening. The large aperture gives you the freedom of using faster shutter speed in order to avoid camera shake.

You can also use slower shutter speed and lock out noises you get from higher shutter speeds. If you are experienced, you can use both the faster and slower speeds.

Light Weight

Depending on the brand, a 50 mm lens weighs between 4.3 oz to 6 oz. This means that there’s no reason why you should leave the lens at home. If you are not in the mood of carrying a whole bag of stuff around, you only need to take your camera and the lens and you will be good to go.

Cheap

Lenses from the most popular brands go at a price range of $100-200. This price is too low compared to the quality of images taken. According to expert photographers, the quality of an image taken by the nifty fifty lens is almost the same as that taken by a $600 lens.

Super Sharpness

Since this lens is a fixed lens, you are able to take sharper images as there are less moving parts inside the lens. There are also less lens elements to give you blurred images. The large aperture in the lens greatly contributes in giving you sharper images.

Versatility

Since the lens is neither too wide nor too long, you can use it on a wide range of environments. For example, you can use it on the streets. You can also use it to take portraits. To take portraits, you only need to put the lens on an APS-C sensor.

Normal

The lens is categorised as a normal or standard lens. This means that the lens mimics the human eye. Due to this feature, the lens gives a natural look to the images that you take. This feature is also great for beginners as they won’t feel as if they are looking through a lens.

Digital Compact Camera

Should you want to get more creative with your ‘simple’ camera there are a lot of things which you can do… the obvious start point is the instruction manual – this is a mine of useful information – it just takes a little perseverance – don’t try and learn it all at once! Just look up what you need to know now.

When you take a photograph with your camera in the ‘automatic’ mode it will produce what the manufacturer considers to be the best picture based on all the information available to the camera – such as the light; the type of light; the type of scene the camera calculates is in front of it; is it using the flash and so on. However the camera is just guessing, albeit very cleverly, about the picture it is taking.

You, however, know what type of picture you are taking – people, scenery, buildings etc and if you just tell your camera what you are doing it will be able to do a better calculation and produce a better picture for you.

How do we do this? Built into your camera are a set of different ‘modes’ or ‘scenes’. By selecting one of these we tell the camera what the picture is all about and it will calculate the exposure accordingly – it really is that simple. Your instruction book will tell you how to turn on modes really quickly – it is so easy! Just remember to turn the camera back to automatic afterwards to avoid taking a whole lot of pictures at the wrong settings.

On most cameras there are a multitude of different modes as the manufacturers compete to add features. At first sight this can be quite daunting – do not get mode gridlock! Pick two or three that you really find useful such as ‘Portrait’ or ‘Landscape’ and concentrate on these – practice with them and get an idea of the effects you can achieve. You will be so impressed with yourself!

Once you are comfortable with these you can start to increase the number that you use. Don’t be cautious about experimenting – the more you try the more confident and comfortable you will become with your camera and your pictures will improve considerably. You will get just so much more fun out of your hobby.

Editing Camera Raw Files In Adobe Lightroom

Adding white balance

When you click on white balance option, there is a pop-up list of white balance options such as daylight, cloudy, tungsten and more. You can use one of the options to fix the white balance of your raw image or try better options from the list.

Color and Tone Correction

Adjust the color balance in photographs. Clarity, vibrance, hue, saturation, tone curve etc. are some of the Lightroom options to correct the color and tone of the images. The vibrance slider is used to control saturation but it does not oversaturate skin colors.

Correct the exposure

The raw image may be overexposed or underexposed. Use the exposure slider to increase or decrease the exposure values.

Enhance the details

Use the fill tool to bring back the missing detail in the image which is present in the raw file.

The amount of brightness captured by the raw image is much more than a regular jpeg image. Adjust the values in the highlights slider to recover the details from a raw image in Lightroom.

Vignette effect

Lightroom has a post crop vignetting feature which can be used to add effects to a cropped image.

If you have a lot of highlights in your image then choose the Highlight Priority effect. Choose the Color Priority effect to preserve color hues in your raw image. Select the Paint Overlay option to blend black and white colors with original colors of your raw image.

Grain effect

Add a film grain style to your raw images to create grain effect. For revealing a part of the image, add the grain effect to rest of the image area with a higher value as grain amount. You can control the size, amount, and roughness of the grain. For a blurred image, increase the size of the grain particle to more than 25%.

Dehaze effect

There are times when weather conditions can lead to a hazy image with smoke or fog. To fix the haziness or adjust it, use the dehaze effect. Once you have made the required changes to the photograph by adjusting the color, brightness etc., go and select the “Dehaze” options in the effects panel.

Radial Filter

To focus on people or objects in an image, you can use the radial filter. After you select the radial filter from the toolbar, you need to select an area of focus. The filter gives you the choice to apply the modification inside or outside the circle drawn by you.

While working on projects for photo retouching services, you can add more radial filters on the images to bring multiple objects into focus.

Paint with the Adjustment brush

Lightroom gives you the freedom to paint the local adjustments such as brightness, tint, saturation, clarity and more. This alternative lets you paint adjustments in parts of the images as per your choice.

Similar results can be achieved with the Graduated Filter tool.

Knowing Lighting Ratios

A general scare exists among photographers at any photo studio about lighting, but in fact there is no mystery about it. There exist two aspects of it: exposure and shadows. Of course, there are more things to it that need to be taken into consideration like color, composition, background, makeup and hair if it is shooting a model.

In the studio, special attention needs to be paid to the exposure relationships between the different light sources, which is expressed as ratios and determine the places where it needs to be placed to make the subject look good. Here comes the role of shadows.

Lighting Ratios: If light is placed in front of a model directly, there is no need to consider about ratio. The exposure is straightforward. To set up the image, a meter could be used in incident mode and the metered reading taken.

With two lights, the input can be varied (hence the exposure) with each of it by changing the distance between the subject and the source and also making changes to the power setting. With light ratio of 2:1, the difference between the main light and the fill light is one f-stop.

For a 3:1 lighting ratio, there are one and a half f-stops of discrepancy between the two sources. Digital cameras use 1/3 f-stop increments to measure light, though the 3:1 ratio as was used traditionally is taken with half f-stops.

Due to the ability of sophisticated handheld light meters to read light in tenths of an f-stop, one can easily determine one and a half f-stops if there is a requirement of such ratio.

The positioning of a handheld meter helps in precisely measuring the light on a product of face and is a great advantage to the photographer. By measuring a reading from the position of the subject after pointing the meter’s white dome toward the primary light source, the correct exposure can be determined for the main source.

Then on removing the white dome away from the main light projecting toward the fill, a precise reading on a fill light could be taken. By taking note of the f-stop readouts as given on the LCD and making adjustment to the light, the ratio could be found that will help in making the subject look in the way that is needed. It is not always necessary that studio lighting is taken in the studio itself. The outdoor location could be turned into a studio.

Nikon D3400 White Balance

There are two ways of looking at the Nikon D3400 white balance. The most obvious one is when you are looking at the back of the camera as you press the i button and D3400 white balance is third along the top line and that gives you the option to select the white balance that you want. However it does not let you change the white balance within those settings. If you want to do that you need to go into the MENU OPTION and then go into SHOOTING MENU, then you go down to white balance and you will see that you have all the options that you would see when you look in the button, but, should you press your multi-selector to the right, it will give you the option of either deciding to have a different option within that main sub-option (so for fluorescence, for example, you have seven further options in fluorescent which are all slightly different) or if you do not have different options then you have an option which allows you to change that option within the camera. You can do that by using the multi-selector and you can make either more green or more magenta or blue or more red. Personally, I think this is probably far too detailed unless you are going for a very specific look, but the general way of changing, which is to go back and just look at the general options in white balance when you are in the shooting menu, should be sufficient for you to decide your best option. But if you want to go in and change cloudy for example and make it a little more red or a little more blue then you can do so but you can not make those changes to that option from the i button.

So let’s have a look at what the D3400 white balance options are when we come out of menu and we will have a look through them with the ibutton. The first one is AUTO. This tries to select the most obvious white balance itself. It has quite a good auto detection for white balance and in most cases you will be fine on AUTO with the Nikon D3400. It is pretty good for most circumstances. The next D3400 white balance option is INCANDESCENT or tungsten. That has quite a yellow tone to it because it is more like candle light or home and residential lighting which tends to be tungsten lighting and so it will try to take some of that warmth out – some of that orange and yellow and add some of the blue to make whatever is white in that picture more white and less yellow.

The next one is FLORESCENT. Florescent lighting is a little bluer and it is the sort of lighting that you get in offices – strip lighting often – which gives a very blue tone to things. As a consequence of that the camera will try to add a little yellow to the picture. Then we get on to DIRECT SUNLIGHT. Now direct sunlight is actually a lot bluer than you might imagine and so the D3400 white balance setting does try to add a little more yellow to that just to give it a more natural look. The one after that is FLASH. When you fire the flash, whether it is the built-in flash or an external flash, it is a very cold white shade. So as a consequence of that the Nikon D3400 tries to add some more yellow to give a more natural tone to the color, and especially, obviously for skin tones which is quite important. Then the next two which are CLOUDY and SHADE. As we move further up the scale the environment becomes more and more blue so the D3400 white balance settings will be trying harder to add a little yellow and a little orange just to warm that picture up and make it look less cold. If you are shooting in shade or in cloud then there is a natural inclination for the image to look slightly blue, slightly cold, so you want a little orange to warm that picture up.

A good experiment is to take the same picture, going through all the Nikon D3400 white balance settings. Then you will be able to see exactly how the white balance changes the ‘feel’ of a picture. D3400 white balance can be used very creatively once you have mastered it, as it is a very simple way of affecting the tone of the image. For example, adding yellow adds warmth to a picture and give the impression of sunlight which in turn can make the image feel like a summer shot. Conversely, adding blue can make the image seem quite cold. It is really useful to experiment with these D3400 white balance settings.

Waterproof Camera

There are so many models out there, that it would be quite easy for people to get confused. However, you don’t have to worry about this any longer, because in the following paragraphs, this article will take a closer look at some of the aspects you need to keep in mind when buying a camera for underwater photography.

  1. One of the most important aspects you will need to check is the depth the camera you want to get and see at what depth it can be used. While there are some cameras that will only get as deep as five feet, some cameras may go as deep as a few hundred feet. So analyze your priorities and determine exactly the depth at which you are going to put your camera to work.
  2. Lighting requirements are also recommended to be thoroughly analyzed, because there are some models out there that will only take pictures if they have some light to function. Other models will be able to even take pictures in very dark places, like underwater caverns. The price of the waterproof digital camera is going to be greatly influenced by these functions, so bear that in mind when shopping for one.
  3. At this point, you should pay close attention to the optical zoom of your camera. It’s best that you will go with a model that has at least 3X zoom with seven point one mega pixels. In addition, you should be very careful of the minimum temperature at which your camera will function at, because getting one that will not work less than 4 degrees Celsius will render your purchase a waste of money. The deeper you will swim into the water, the lower the temperature will get, but the good news is that many camera manufacturers have started making their camera freeze proof.
  4. At this point, you may be interested in ensuring that the button sizes and the casing are sturdy. When swimming, you will certainly need to wear a certain pair of gloves, so you need to make sure, that you can still access the camera’s functions when you will have the gloves on. In order to benefit from the best grip, you will need to make sure that you get a Waterproof Camera reviews that has rubber casing.

Purchasing an Underwater Digital Camera

There are many reasons to purchase such a camera instead of a normal one. Apart from the fact that such cameras allow you to take underwater pictures, they are loaded with amazing features such as a dual screen, LCD display, Micro SD card and a digital zoom. Such features work wonders for professionals who wish to capture the blue life under the water in great details and are also great for amateurs who are just learning how to click pictures and make photographs come to life!

Online stores are flooded with digital cameras with LCD display, and one can choose the sports camera that best suits his unique needs and requirements. Such digital and sports cameras also come with added advantages such as being shockproof, crushproof and freeze proof! This means that your camera comes in a solid case which does not allow the device to get a scratch or damaged even when thrown from a certain height. Moreover, the sports camera can withstand extremely low temperatures and be easily used by skiers. What’s even more amazing is that such digital cameras can withstand a lot of force without incurring any harm.

An underwater digital camera boasts of a fixed and sealed outer case that not only protects the device but also doesn’t allow any dust to settle on the camera. Such cameras are so lightweight and compact that they are conveniently portable and fit any kind of handbag or purse without taking too much space.

So, if you’re an adventure lover, what are you waiting for? A beautiful aqua life is awaiting you and your underwater digital camera. Jump into the blue waters today and create and capture moments like never before!