Thursday, 18 July 2013

Good Ways to Ruin a Fine Photo: #1 Don’t Use a Tripod

Good Ways to Ruin a Fine Photo: #1 Don’t Use a Tripod

Link to PictureCorrect Photography Tips

Good Ways to Ruin a Fine Photo: #1 Don’t Use a Tripod

Posted: 17 Jul 2013 04:44 PM PDT

Hand holding a camera limits the shutter speed you can use without getting a blurred image. It depends on who’s holding it as some have steadier hands than others, but most people find the lowest shutter speed at which they can keep everything steady is by matching the shutter speed to the focal length of the lens setting.

use a tripod

“Visions” captured by Alberto Roseo (Click Image to See More From Alberto Roseo)

So if you have a 100mm length lens you should use a shutter not slower than 1/100 of a second, 200mm setting, 1/200 of a second, and similar. OK, but what happens if you need a slow shutter speed?

Try a tripod – one of the most important accessories

Before you go on about extra weight to carry, nuisance value and more, consider this. A tripod is a light extender. Do you like to get those beautiful sunset shots, great color and sharp landscapes? It won’t happen effectively without a steady tripod support. Shoot at night with a long exposure? No go without a tripod.

How about shooting breaking waves over rocks on the shore, long after sunset, with a 30 second exposure creating a misty water effect You need a tripod. Any time you can use one, do it, because the results come up with a clarity missing otherwise.

Important point

The longer the lens you use, in other words, the greater the focal length, the more likely you are to get camera shake. You mightn’t get movement with a 50mm lens hand held, but put on 200mm, 300mm or more and the blur is magnified.

If you use binoculars you know how hard it can be to get a steady image at big magnification. The same applies here. Good clarity always calls for a tripod. And while image stabilizers have their place in allowing you to use slower shutter speeds, they run out of effect after two or three stops down.


“As You Depart From Me” captured by Ji Yeon So (Click Image to See More From Ji Yeon So)

Shooting portraits

Portraits are often shot with a lens longer than the standard 50mm, compression of distance and out of focus backgrounds being two reasons. However while it’s good to have a blurry background that doesn’t compete with the subject, the person you’re photographing needs to have a sharp appearance, especially around the eyes. Tripods, or plenty of light and a fast shutter speed will help. Often however, the amount of light available is not enough for a fast speed, so the tripod will have to be used to get the best effect.

Shooting landscapes

Holding a camera on uneven ground or on a windy day can be tricky. Landscapes usually call for great clarity through the whole scene, and even a slight movement can spoil the effect, not visible in the camera preview screen perhaps, but very obvious on the computer editing screen. And if you want to try landscapes using high dynamic range techniques (using three or more shots with different exposures and exactly the same framing), a tripod is a must.

So what makes a good tripod? Consider these points:
  1. The tripod should be strong and rigid enough to take your camera and lens firmly, with a margin for heavier equipment later if required. Put your camera on one and try before you buy.
  2. Those long handles on pan and tilt heads dig you in the throat. Get a ball head for easy manoeuvrability.
  3. Make sure the head has a quick release for the camera, so you’re not screwing things in and out. Wastes time and adds to frustration.
  4. Check the tripod is steady at full extension, and the legs are independently adjustable for uneven ground setting up.
  5. If the center post is removable you can use it mounted horizontally or upside down, useful for closeups and avoiding the tripod legs in vertically down shots.
You get what you pay for

The more you pay, the more you get. Expect at least to fork out $200 for a good one, and more for one that will last many years. Carbon fibre tripods are strong, rigid and light, and don’t transmit vibrations as metal ones do, but are relatively expensive. If you’re a landscape photographer these have ideal qualities. But don’t waste your money on a cheap, shaky one. They only make matters worse.

night tripod photo

“Photowalking 7″ captured by Thomas Hawk (Click Image to See More From Thomas Hawk)

After a camera, a tripod should be the next consideration to improve your work’s quality. It opens up many ways of extending your vision. You also gain time to think about what you’re shooting and to check such things as framing and what is really in the viewfinder. Cut down the number and step up the quality of your images. Here’s a great way to do it. Go shoot a scene with a tripod and then without. Carefully note the differences. Happy shooting!

About the Author
John Rundle is a professional photographer and recently retired head of photography at the Australian International College of Art. He teaches workshops on photographic topics in Australia and New Zealand (link currently down). He is also active as a musician and musical director.

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Article from: PictureCorrect Photography Tips

5 Steps to Prepare for an Engagement Photography Session (Video)

Posted: 17 Jul 2013 01:29 PM PDT

Engagement photo shoots are often starter projects for beginning photographers. It was one of the first gigs seasoned Jasmine Star got as a photographer. An engagement shoot is much less complex than photos of the wedding day — and that’s all the more reason you should nail it. Star, who has years of experience as a wedding photographer, shares five tips for preparing for an engagement shoot in this video. As she says:

“I have discovered that preparation for an engagement shoot goes beyond ensuring my lenses are clean and my memory cards are reformatted.”

Arrive Early

Even if you’ve shot at a location before, get there early to scope it out.  Things may have changed since the last time you were there. For example, if it’s outdoors, an area may closed or otherwise inaccessible. Make a note of what is around you and consider where you’ll lead your clients. Think about the weather and the positioning of the sun. If you’re planning to shoot during the sunset, consider timing as well.

Best for Last

It can take time for clients to loosen up in front of the camera, so consider saving some of your best locations for last.  Here’s how Jasmine Star explains it:

“I prefer to save the best for last because by the end of the shoot clients are more relaxed, confident and likely willing to do things outside of their comfort zone, if asked.”

Work hard to make your clients feel comfortable at the beginning of the shoot. That way you’ll get their best near the end of the shoot when you’ve got them in the best location and with the best lighting.

Check the Weather

Checking the weather may be obvious, but shouldn’t be overlooked. By checking the weather ahead of time, you can inform your clients on what to expect.  By doing this you’ll prepare yourself and ensure that your clients will be ready and comfortable during the shoot. It’s an easy way to build rapport and confidence between you and your clients too.  Tell them what time the sun sets and how that will affect your shoot (if it does) and they’ll know you’ve got things under control.

Change of Clothes and Props

Ask your clients what they plan to bring to the shoot.  Do they plan to bring a change of clothes?  How about props?  Remember to budget time for outfit changes or for setting up props. Consider what you have to work with and plan for when or how to work in props or outfit changes.

Ask About the Location

It’s not enough just to view the location. It’s essential to understand why the couple has chosen the location for their shoot. What’s significant about it?  Is there anything particular or meaningful about it?  You may find that they chose it simply for being picturesque. However, there might be more to the story that you may want to capture through your photos.

location engagement photo with props

Alexander Graham Bell once said:

“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.”

Planning is important no matter what your level of expertise is. Remember these five tips to make sure your shoot goes smoothly and is a success.

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Article from: PictureCorrect Photography Tips

Light Shaping Photography Techniques (Video)

Posted: 17 Jul 2013 11:59 AM PDT

The manipulation of light is one of the most important things to learn as a photographer. If you can shape light in whichever way you wish, you open up more opportunities to capture the images you want to create. Through the use of reflectors, softboxes, and other lighting modifications, you can shape light and direct it wherever you’d like, rather than shaping and directing the photo shoot around what type of lighting you have to work with. Photographer Tim Wallace demonstrates such techniques while shooting photos on a yacht in mid-day sun:

For a classic and nearly symmetrical photo of the model standing on the yacht, Tim Wallace had to work with the 1 o’clock afternoon sun which was slightly behind the model and yacht. To achieve this, he used a Magnum Reflector to reflect the sun back toward the model and yacht. This created enough natural, diffused light to illuminate the subject well.

tim wallace light shaping techniques

In another shot from the same photo shoot, the model sat on the yacht under a canopy. This meant that the background was much brighter than the subject, who was under shade. He used a Profoto Softbox to bounce the light back toward the model. The light that was reflected kept the model well lit enough to balance out the daylight in the background. This also ensured that the light on the model was natural and well-diffused.

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Article from: PictureCorrect Photography Tips

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