Sunday, 16 February 2014

10 Things You Should Know About Your New DSLR Camera

10 Things You Should Know About Your New DSLR Camera

Link to PictureCorrect Photography Tips

10 Things You Should Know About Your New DSLR Camera

Posted: 15 Feb 2014 02:06 PM PST

You just bought your first DSLR camera and can’t wait to start taking some awesome pictures with it. But the manual for your camera is huge, and you’re not quite ready to trudge through it.

So what are the basic things you need to know to be able to use your new camera correctly? Here are some great pointers to help you take better pictures and possibly start a photography career down the road.

Shutter Speed

The shutter speed refers to how fast your shutter is opening and closing. The longer it’s open, the more light you’re letting in. If you have a slower shutter, you can capture motion blur; with a faster shutter, you’ll freeze the motion.

motion blur photography

“Democracy at Light Speed” captured by Wayne Crichlow (Click image to see more from Crichlow.)


Aperture, or f-stop, refers to how wide the opening of your lens is. The wider it’s open, the more light you’re letting in. With a wide aperture, your lens blurs the background; with a small aperture, your background is more in focus.

pet portrait

“The Running Dog” captured by Irina Oreshina (Click image to see more from Oreshina.)


ISO refers to how sensitive your sensor is to the light that’s coming in. The higher your ISO, the brighter your image. With higher ISO, you’ll see more grain or “noise” in an image than you do with lower ISOs.

So you’ve got to decide which settings you’ll be using to make your picture brighter or darker. When you let in more light with one, you have to let in less light with the other to get the same exposure.

night architecture photography

“Brooklyn Bridge” captured by Mariya Miteva-Simon (Click image to see more from Miteva-Simon.)


You’ve probably heard the term exposure when people talk about photography, but what does it mean? Well, it’s referring to how well lit your picture is. So when we talk about getting a “good” exposure, it really depends on which elements of your picture you want well lit. If you’re going for a silhouette, you’re looking for a good exposure of the sky, but your subjects are actually underexposed. If you want your subjects’ faces brightly lit against a bright sky, you’ll have to overexpose the sky so you can get a good exposure on the subjects. You need to decide which part of your picture to expose before you can figure out which aperture, shutter, and ISO to use.

silhouette photography

“Go Home” captured by Cornelius Rahmadi Witono (Click image to see more from Witono.)

AV Mode

You will likely see several settings on the dial of your new camera that determine how much control you have over your exposure. With AV mode, you’ll be able to decide which aperture and ISO you want to use, and your camera will decide the shutter speed for you. This could be used when you don’t mind whether your shutter goes fast or slow, and you want to be able to switch between having your background blurred or in focus.

TV Mode

With TV mode, you’ll be able to choose the shutter and ISO, but your camera will decide the aperture for you. This can be used when you don’t mind whether your background is in focus or not, but you need to be able to switch between freezing the motion or getting motion blur.

Automatic Mode

With your camera on Auto, you won’t be able to choose any of the exposure settings because your camera will do it all for you. It does this by taking in light across the entire picture and guessing a proper exposure. This is most likely the mode people will choose when they have no idea how to operate the camera, because it takes no effort or knowledge at all. But there’s no way for your camera to realize that a bright sky is throwing off the light meter, or that you are trying to capture a silhouette, so automatic rarely gives you the best picture. For the most control over your light settings, it’s best to use Manual mode.

Manual Mode

With your camera dial set to Manual mode, you have full control over your shutter, aperture, and ISO, and how bright or dark your picture turns out. You’ll also have control over your flash and how bright it is, or whether you want it going off at all.


Your lens will likely have an option to autofocus (AF) or manually focus (MF). With autofocus you can use the red focusing dots inside your viewfinder to determine where the lens is focusing. This is an easy way to get your focus perfect without having to adjust it manually. With manual focus, you will be able to adjust the lens to the focusing distance on your own.


Another important feature you’ll get to change is the option of shooting in RAW or JPEG. When shooting in JPEG mode, your camera compresses all of the information about the picture as soon as it’s captured, making adjustments more difficult in post-processing. When you change the quality to RAW, your camera retains all of the information about a picture inside the RAW file, so you’ll be able to easily make adjustments to the picture after you’ve captured it in a program like Adobe Camera RAW or Lightroom. With RAW files you’ll be able to maintain a high quality picture even if you’re making dramatic changes to the image. The only downside is that RAW files are much larger than JPEG files, so you’ll need a lot more memory both on the camera and on the computer to store your images.

About the Author:
This article was written by Bethany Sell ( from how to start photography with video training.

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Article from: PictureCorrect Photography Tips

How to Get Started in Time-lapse Photography (Video)

Posted: 15 Feb 2014 01:59 PM PST

If you have been inspired by some of the incredible timelapse videos we’ve shared here on PictureCorrect and are wondering how in the world they are made, you’ll want to pay close attention to the video below. Mia McCormick explains not just what equipment you will need, but she also breaks down the process in easy to understand steps to help you get started:

Equipment You Will Need

  • a digital camera with manual mode, such as the Canon 5D Mark III
  • 64GB memory cards, minimum, at the fastest read/write speeds within your budget
  • an intervalometer to automatically take the images at the programmed rate (some DSLRs have built-in intervalometers–check your camera’s manual)
  • a good quality, sturdy tripod like the Magnus VT4000
  • a slider rail gives a nice pan effect and great moving footage but is not necessary

That should cover the equipment you’ll need to get started. Now let’s try to wrap our heads around the all the numbers involved in creating a timelapse. Don’t worry if numbers aren’t your strong point, it’s actually pretty simple to calculate how many frames you will need.

Use this formula to calculate how many frames you need.

Use this formula to calculate how many frames you need.

Since video is played back at a rate of 24 frames per second, you will need to multiple that by the length of video you want to create to find out the minimum number of still images you need to take. So, for a 10 second video clip, you will need to take 240 photos. You can use even more than that, but this number is the minimum you will need for smooth, rolling footage.

Now, what about timing and intervals? That involves a little more math. Take a look at the formula shown below:


This formula calculates the interval in which you will need to take each photo.

To calculate how often you should take an image, you first need to figure out how long of a span you wish to show in your timelapse. For the sake of this tutorial, McCormick wants to show a 20 minute sunset in a 10 second long timelapse. We already know that we need at least 240 images per 10 seconds of video to work at a playback speed of 24 frames per second. The next step is to break down the length of the sunset from minutes to seconds. There are 1200 seconds in each 20 minute chunk of time. Now, divide 1200 seconds by the number of frames–in this case 240–and the result is 5. This means we need to set our intervalometers to take a photo every 5 seconds. See, that wasn’t so tough, was it?

Now for the fun part. Taking the photos that you will later compile into a timelapse.

A Few Pointers

  • Choose a subject with movement, such as a busy street or dramatic sky with moving clouds.
  • Place a non-moving subject to place in the foreground of the frame. This will give the images more depth.
  • Shoot at a smaller aperture like f/11 or f/8 to make sure everything is in focus. Use a shutter speed around 1/50 of a second to give a realistic look. A low ISO will also give a richer image.
  • Turn off auto-focus and shoot in full manual mode. This is a time when you don’t want your camera to make decisions–any slight change in focus or exposure settings could make the timelapse appear inconsistent.
  • Don’t forget to turn off the auto-off function on your camera. You can also turn off the LCD viewfinder preview to save battery power.
  • If your camera offers it, set it to the mirror lock up mode. This will minimize camera shake and produce tack sharp photos for you to use in your timelapse.
Choose a setting that has moving subjects and a still element in the foreground for depth.

Choose a setting that has moving subjects and a still element in the foreground for depth.

Once you have the still images ready, transfer them over to your computer to start the post-processing phase. Programs like Adobe Premier Pro make creating movies from stills incredibly easy. Simply import the images into Premier as a sequence, which will be an option when you click Import under file. Premier will automatically render the images into a movie sequence. From there you can add color corrections and other kinds of edits. When you are finished, simply save the file and export the timelapse–you’re all finished!

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Article from: PictureCorrect Photography Tips

Extreme Athletes Praise Sports Photographers (Video)

Posted: 15 Feb 2014 12:53 PM PST

Athletes who perform extreme sports like snowboarding, skateboarding, and motocross are often praised for their fearlessness. But what about the photographers and videographers who document those daredevil moments? Red Bull Illume is a competition that focuses on rewarding them for their contributions to sports and photography alike:

In this video, renowned athletes of action and adventure sports share their thoughts about photographers’ bravery and determination to get the perfect shot. “You feel the mutual respect,” says skateboarder Ryan Sheckler, naming his sport as a particularly dangerous one for photographers, who are often in the line of fire when boards– and limbs– go flying. Mountain climber David Lama commends their hard work and willingness to tote heavy equipment, show up early, and leave late. “It’s much more than just pressing a button,” he says.


Snowboarder Travis Rice admires photographers’ willingness to be out in the elements.

extreme sports

Both the skateboarder (Ryan Sheckler), and the photographer risked life and limb for this shot.

“The tricky thing with photography is that– being out in the elements, it’s so hard to reproduce what that’s really like. But every now and then, a photographer is able to not only help recreate what was really going on, but actually take it to a whole other level.” – Travis Rice, Snowboarder

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Article from: PictureCorrect Photography Tips

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