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Quick Still Life Light Painting Tips

Quick Still Life Light Painting Tips

Are you looking for ways to make your still life shots more interesting? Well try adding a bit of torch light.

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Creative

Mushrooms

See how painting the scene with light has improved the image of the mushrooms on the left, adding mood and interest to the shot on the right. 

 

When you think of light painting your first thoughts will probably be of people drawing pictures and writing words but you can use it to breath a little more creativity into your still life work too.

As you’ll be using longer exposure times or even Bulb mode, a DSLR or an advanced smaller camera will probably the type of camera you think is best for this sort of technique. However, that’s not to say you can’t use a compact as many do offer longer shutter speed ranges. As well as your camera, make sure you have a tripod to hand and you’ll need a torch for ‘painting’ light with. A piece of black card can be useful as you’ll be able to create a cone-shaped from it to direct light more and translucent coloured paper (sweet wrappers will work fine) can be used to alter the colour of the light you’re painting with. 

When it comes to the set-up, place your camera on a tripod so you can control the torch with one hand while hitting the shutter button with the other then focus and set the camera on focus lock so that it isn’t fooled by the uneven light. If the camera struggles to focus, use your torch to light your subject so the camera can adjust. Any standard torch will do and you can either hold it still or move it around to illuminate different areas of your object. Changing the position of the torch will also prevent hot spots appearing in the image.

 

Quick Still Life Light Painting Tips 1

Photo by David Pritchard. 

 

It’s best to slowly build up the amount of light you paint onto your subject so you don’t overexpose a particular area. You’ll need a long-ish shutter speed if you’re not using the B-setting and as a torch has a colour temperature that’s warmer than daylight, you could end up with images that have an orange tint. Of course, you may think the warmer tones work but if you don’t, auto white balance should be able to remove it or you can always edit your images after if shooting in RAW. 

If you find the light isn’t directional enough, try using a cone made from black card and secure it to the torch to give you more precise control over it. 
 

More photography tips and tutorials    

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Quick Product Photography Tips | ePHOTOzine

Quick Product Photography Tips | ePHOTOzine

Ideas and advice to improve your product photography.

| 
Creative

A jug and plates

Photo by Peter Bargh. 

Shooting images of everyday objects at home is a great way to improve your creativity and to put your imagination to work. But first you need to establish exactly what your photograph’s going to be used for. On some occasions just showing what the product looks like, the height, depth etc., will be enough, but most of the time you need to really sell the product. Take a pen for example, you can just put it on a plain background and take a perfectly good shot of it but if you introduce a writing pad and shoot it on an old wooden table you begin to create a story, adding interesting and as a result, the shot will be more attention-grabbing.

You can’t take a brilliant photograph if the product looks sub-standard to start with so always ensure your product and any other props you’re using are clean and looking their best.

Good lighting is the key to a good product shot so set up in a room that’s well lit and avoid harsh, direct flash at all costs. If you have one, a light tent can help soften the light and reduce shadows and reflections but a simple bit of muslin or a net curtain put up against your window will soften the light if you don’t. Using a white card or white balancing your shot in-camera will also help your shot but if you shoot in RAW, this can be altered later during post-production.

Here are a few examples to try:

  • Book and reading glasses
  • Coffee beans spilling out in front of cappuccino cup or from a jar
  • A full cup on a table
  • Pen and crossword
  • Fruit in front of jar of jam

Don’t forget to post your creations into the gallery so we can see your hard work!

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5 Quick Tips On Taking Twilight Images In Towns

5 Quick Tips On Taking Twilight Images In Towns

As the sun goes down, towns take on a different feel and vibe which create perfect photographic opportunities as the street lights come on.

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Architecture

Street at dusk

 

1. Be Early

Arrive at your chosen spot about half an hour before the sun’s due to set as you’ll need time to set your equipment up and to find your angle. You’ll need your tripod as shutter speeds will be slow and working hand-held will only result in shake. If you have one, attach your remote release up, too, to stop your movement rocking the camera when you go to press the shutter button. Many cameras allow you to fire the shutter via a Smart Phone, eliminating the need for a remote release. You might want to fire off a few test shots to see if your composition works but do remember the light will change.
 

2. Get Ready

Make sure your focus is correct then turn off autofocus as it tends to struggle in darker conditions. Check your white balance and set your ISO to 100, although, if you want to quicken the shutter speed slightly, you can knock it up a couple of notches. Then, you just have to stand and wait for the sun to begin setting. You might want to pack a flask of something warm and make sure you have your coat with you for this bit!
 

3. The Sun’s Setting

Once the sun has gone below the horizon don’t think it’s time to put your equipment away so you can head home, you need to keep taking photos, adjusting the exposure length as you do to capture as many different results as possible.

 

Sunset

 

4. Watch Out For Bright Light Sources

If you have the moon in shot or other bright lights such as street lamps, and you use a longer shutter speed it can result in flare but this isn’t always a bad thing as an overexposed street lamp, particularly on a damp evening, can look quite good.
 

5. Where Works?

Getting out above the city so you can shoot down on it. Capturing the city lights against the dark blue sky as they switch on works well but do get in among the city buildings too. At busy junctions, you’ll be able to capture light trails as traffic flows by while a bridge will give you a nice leading line with lights dotted along either side of it. Have a look for shop signs that are lit up or if you’re visiting one of our well known seaside towns, you’ll have a long street of illuminations to capture.


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Arca Swiss Quick Link Set Review

Arca Swiss’s “Quick Link Set” is a duo of lightweight plates that go between your tripod and your tripod head, letting you attach and detach the head quickly. I’ve been using the Quick Link Set recently and wanted to cover my impressions in today’s review.

What Is the Quick Link Set?

The Arca Swiss Quick Link Set consists of two plates: a disk that attaches to the bottom of your tripod head, and a receiver base that attaches to the top of your tripod. They look like this:

Arca Swiss Quick Link Set Disk and Receiver Base

Once you’ve attached these two plates to your tripod and head, using them is a matter of rotating the base to the “open” position, placing the tripod head on top, and rotating the base to the “closed” position. 

Arca Swiss Quick Link Set Steps

The receiver base weighs 103 g (3.6 oz), and the disk weighs 36 g (1.3 oz). They are compatible with any tripod and head brand, not just those from Arca Swiss. Each receiver base costs $116, and each disk costs $115, although both together sell for a slightly discounted $212.

Who Is the Quick Link Set for?

Plenty of photographers always use just one tripod with one head, and they rarely need to separate the two. If that’s your situation, there’s no reason to get the Quick Link Set, especially considering the price. But there are a few situations where the Quick Link Set (or something similar from other manufactures) is worthwhile.

The first is simply if you find yourself swapping tripod heads frequently. Maybe you’re a dual stills/video shooter with one tripod but two heads: a standard ballhead for photos, and a pan-tilt head for videos. Unscrewing them each time can be a slow process and may cause you to miss a shot. With a Quick Link disk on each tripod head and a receiver base on the tripod, you can swap between the heads in a matter of seconds.

Another reason to use the Quick Link is if you want to pack your tripod head away easily for travel or hiking. Personally, when I go hiking, I find that a heavy tripod can drag my backpack in an uncomfortable way. Maybe the tripod hangs off the side of the backpack, twisting my spine in that direction, or maybe it hangs off the back, making the tripod feel twice as heavy. Either way, the heavier the tripod head, the bigger the problem – and I’m currently shooting with a heavy geared tripod head that can be uncomfortable to carry. With the Quick Link Set, I’ve been detaching the head and storing it inside my backpack in a better spot to carry. Other photographers shooting with big geared heads, pan-tilt heads, or larger ballheads like the RRS BH-55 may be in a similar boat.

Finally, you may want to use the Quick Link Set if your tripod head doesn’t do well in the elements, such as dusty and sandy conditions. This is especially true of a lot of geared heads, which often have their gear mechanism exposed to the outside world. It’s a pain to unscrew the tripod head each time you’re done shooting, but I know of some geared head shooters who do exactly that in order to avoid damaging their expensive equipment.

Dusty Evening in Mesquite Sand Dunes Death Valley
NIKON D800E + 70-200mm f/4 @ 175mm, ISO 100, 1/100, f/8.0

Construction

The Quick Link Set has excellent build quality. The open/close mechanism is smooth and intuitive after using it just a few times. Also, the secondary hex-key screw (pictured below) means that the plates won’t go anywhere once they’re attached – a nice benefit over some tripod heads that can loosen or unscrew themselves if they’re not locked tight.

Arca Swiss Quick Link Set Hex Key

Another important factor to consider is weight. While the Quick Link Set is reasonably light, it’s still a bit heavier than you may want. The basic set (which includes one disk for your tripod head and one receiver base for your tripod) totals 139 g / 4.9 ounces. In other words, it’s a bit lighter than two Nikon EN-EL15 batteries. Whether that’s an issue or not depends on your own situation. If you’re going on a difficult backpacking trip and rationing ounces, I’d recommend against taking the Quick Link Set along. Otherwise, it’s probably not an issue.

Stability

A concern with tripod attachments like this, at least in theory, is stability. Rather than one pivot point between the tripod and the head, there are now three: between the tripod/base, base/disk, and disk/tripod head.

To test the Quick Link Set’s stability, I set up the largest and most unwieldy camera I have access to, an 11×14 camera that measures roughly one meter (three feet) long when extended and weighs about 9 kg (20 pounds) all told. As you can imagine, a camera like that is prone to wobble even on a stable tripod and head, and it’s very sensitive to instability. I put a laser pointer on top of the camera, pressed down hard on the back standard, and let go. I then timed how long the laser pointer’s wobble lasted on a wall, repeating the test for a total of 10 measurements without the Quick Link and then 10 tests with it.

Going without the plates, the wobble lasted for an average of 4.87 seconds. Going with the plates, the wobble actually averaged a hair shorter at 4.81 seconds. However, these values are so similar that they’re within my setup’s margin of error. Overall, to the extent that I’m able to test it, I found no meaningful loss of stability when using the Quick Link Set compared to going without it. Considering that my camera setup for this test was sensitive to very small differences in stability, photographers with a standard DSLR or mirrorless camera should find it even less of a concern.

The caveat is that you need to tighten down the Quick Link Set all the way, including using the secondary hex-key screws. If you attach either plate loosely – or you don’t slide the receiver base to “closed” with sufficient force – you’re at risk of adding some wobble.

Alternatives

I have not tested any alternatives to the Arca Swiss version of the Quick Link Set, but I’ll briefly cover the ones that exist on the market today. First, Leofoto sells a similar-looking knockoff version called the QS-70 that is about half the price of the Arca Swiss set, plus smaller variations called the QS-60, QS-50, and QS-45. At the time of publishing this review, they’re only sold as a special order at B&H but are in stock at Amazon. Since I haven’t tested them, I make no claim about their quality relative to Arca Swiss. I have used a couple Leofoto products in the past without issue, but there’s also no denying that they “take strong inspiration” from Arca Swiss (to put it nicely) on some products, including this one.

Leofoto QS-70 Tripod Head Swap Plate and Base

The other option is a bit different. Rather than a circular plate and clamp, you could just attach a standard tripod plate to the bottom of your tripod head, then a standard (or panning) clamp to the top of your tripod. It looks like this:

Smallrig Tripod Head Switch
Another way to swap tripod heads quickly is to put a clamp on top of the tripod (pictured) and a plate on the bottom of each head (not pictured)

Again, I haven’t tested this for stability and am just letting you know what else exists. My initial reaction is that the setup above doesn’t look as stable as the circular Arca Swiss or Leofoto products whose clamps hug the entire disk. But if you already have the necessary supplies to put together the setup above (i.e. an extra tripod plate and clamp), or you’re on a budget and want SmallRig’s inexpensive version, it may be the way to go.

Conclusion and Recommendations

Is the Quick Link Set a worthwhile accessory, or is it just an expensive product in search of a need? It all depends on how you tend to use your tripod. If you’d find it useful to swap out your tripod head quickly, it’s worth getting (or at least worth looking at the knockoff Leofoto if the Arca Swiss is over your budget). But if you’re shaking your head at that, don’t buy it.

I ended up purchasing a set and have found it helpful for my landscape photography. When I’m hiking, I can remove and stow my heavy geared head in a comfortable spot inside my backpack rather than hanging it off the side of the bag. It also lets me avoid exposing the geared head to the elements – not the head’s strong suit, especially in sandy conditions. But my situation is pretty specific and matches the Quick Link Set’s strengths very well.

Other than that, it’s no surprise that this type of tripod accessory isn’t a common sight. The Quick Link Set is fairly expensive and adds weight without solving any commonly occurring problems in photography. Sure, it’s very stable and well-built, but is it necessary? As I see it, the Quick Link Set is one of those “if you need it, you know” sorts of products. If it fits your situation, there’s little to complain about aside from price. But for many photographers, it just doesn’t offer features that are especially relevant.

  • You can purchase the Quick Link Set for $212 from B&H or Arca Swiss, or directly from Arca Swiss’s USA representative Rod Klukas
  • You can get extra disks (for multiple tripod heads) for $115 from the same sources: B&H, Arca Swiss, and Rod Klukas
  • You can get extra receiver bases (for multiple tripods) for $116 from those sites as well: B&H, Arca Swiss, and Rod Klukas
Arca Swiss Quick Link Set
  • Features
  • Build Quality
  • Size and Weight
  • Stability
  • Value

Photography Life Overall Rating

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PGYTECH Introduce SnapLock Quick Release System Collection

PGYTECH Introduce SnapLock Quick Release System Collection

PGYTECH want to make the photo-taking process more efficient with the introduction of various new mounts and adapters.

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Accessories

PGYTECH Beetle Camera Clip

 

PGYTECH has a new line-up of accessories which includes a SnapLock Plate Adapter, SnapLock Beetle Came Clip, Action Camera SnapLock Plate, SnapLock NANO Sviwil and Tilt Mount.

The accessories are part of the PGYTECH SnapLock system designed for photographers, vloggers and smartphoneographers who are looking for quicker and more efficient ways to carry and use their cameras. 

 

PGYTECH Beetle Camera Clip

PGYTECH Beetle Camera Clip

  • You don’t need to hold your camera all the time, just attach it to your straps to free your hands and enjoy your trip. The Beetle Camera Clip also helps to relieve pressure on your neck and to increase your comfort.
  • The Beetle Camera Clip enables you to quickly mount and lock your camera without having to push any buttons. Taking out your camera is as easy as pushing one button. It even locks extra securely to avoid it accidentally unlocking itself.
  • We got rid of the tedious traditional knob and use a clip that you can attach to your strap instantly and very securely. The adjustable buckle enables you to attach your camera to most straps.
  • The Beetle Camera Clip uses the Arca-Swiss compatible SnapLock plate. You can use the plate to mount different Arca-type equipment to meet all your creative needs.
  • The SnapLock plate lets you install your camera in any direction instantly. The camera mount direction can be adjusted according to the camera lens size.
  • The SnapLock Plate uses a patented tight-fitting screw containing a thrust needle roller bearing, which ensures the plate doesn’t get undone. It mounts the camera very securely.
  • Fits PGYTECH’s Action Camera SnapLock Plate perfectly.
  • Support most DSLRs, action cameras, card machines, mirrorless cameras.
  • The use of anti-slip rubber material in the inner part offers a snug and secure hold for your strap, eliminating the worry of clip movement.
  • Pocket size, easy to carry

Price: $59 and is available from the PGYTECH official store.

 

PGYECH Action Camera SnapLock Plate

PGYECH Action Camera SnapLock Plate

 

  • The ball head structure enables 360°swiveling and 32° tilting for perfect shots.
  • The square shape is Arca-Swiss compatible. Fits PGYTECH’s Beatles Camera Clip or different Arca-type tripod heads perfectly.
  • The universal interface and the 1/4”-20 screw conversion adapter enables compatibility between the Gopro, Insta360, DJI Osmo Action/Pocket, and most action cameras.
  • Contains a PGYTECH’s quick-release pin, which allows you to instantly (dis)mount your gear.
  • Light yet sturdy, easy to carry

Price: $19 and is available from the PGYTECH official store.

 

PGYTECH SnapLock Plate Adapter

PGYTECH SnapLock Plate Adapter

 

  • Be more efficient by using multiple SnapLock Plate Adapters simultaneously to quickly (dis)mount your gear. Switch from sliders to tripods or even swap cameras in one easy step.
  • The SnapLock Plate Adapter includes the SnapLock System. The SnapLock mounting base uses a clamp that locks by itself rather than a traditional knob. It lets you instantly mount the SnapLock Plate in just one step. You can easily connect cameras and other gear to your gimbal, Arca-Swiss plate, sliders or tripods. The square SnapLock Plate allows you to quickly mount it in any direction.
  • The SnapLock Mounting Base is designed with an Arca-Swiss interface on the side and the bottom contains 1/4” and 3/8” threaded holes, which is widely compatible with gimbals, plates, tripods and sliders.
  • The SnapLock Plate uses the Arca-Swiss standardized size, which is compatible with most Arca-Swiss plates.
  • Compatible with PGYTECH’s Action Camera SnapLock Plate
  • Push the button to lock it extra securely to avoid it accidentally unlocking itself.
  • The SnapLock plate uses a patented tight-fitting screw containing a thrust needle roller bearing, which ensures the plate doesn’t get undone. It mounts your camera very securely.
  • Pocket size and portable design

Price: $39 and is available from the PGYTECH official store.

 

SnapLock Nano Swivel and Tilt Mount

SnapLock Nano Swivel and Tilt Mount

 

  • The patented PGYTECH SnapLock Nanosystem allows you to easily mount the monitor on your camera after attaching it to the SnapLock Nano plate. The SnapLock Nano plate has a square cold shoe mount, which can be quickly assembled no matter the direction. Push the secure button to avoid it accidentally unlocking itself.
  • The mount is capable of 360° swivelling and 180° tilting for perfect views and optimal audio recording. The adjustable damping allows it to operate smoothly and conveniently, no matter the weight of the mounted devices.
  • The SnapLock Nano plate’s 1/4”-20 screw and the cold shoe mount’s rotate-to-lock knob contain a patented screw, which contains a mini thrust needle roller bearing, to prevent it from getting undone. The patented screw lets you securely fix the plate or cold shoe mount in place.
  • The SnapLock Nano Mount is light, versatile and is widely compatible. The dovetail cold shoe mount ensures it’s working as a monitor mount. The 1/4”-20 screw hole on the bottom and the 1/4”-20 screw on the top enable it to function as a mini tripod head, which allows you to connect a smartphone or camera to a mini tripod.

Price: $39 and is available from the PGYTECH official store.

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A Quick Way to Fix Color in Images in Photoshop

Photo for color correction trick in Photoshop

One the most surefire ways to get accurate color in your images is to use a gray card. But, from time-to-time, you’ll leave your gray card at home or simply forget to take a picture of it during a photo shoot.

What do you now?

Photographer and author Glyn Dewis shares a “quick fix” for color correcting images in Photoshop in the below tutorial. The best part? No gray card is necessary.

In the 3-minute video at the bottom of this post, Dewis walks you through his super-fast technique for removing color casts in images. Even better, the process can be recorded as an Action in Photoshop so you can fix thousands of photos with just one click.

Step 1: Choose Levels or Curves

After you open an image, choose Levels or Curves in the adjustment layer section in the top right of your screen. Either adjustment will work for this quick fix because they both have an Auto button, Dewis explains.

Step 2: Select Auto Color Correction

“Now I’m going to hold down the Option key on Mac or Alt key on Windows and click directly on that Auto button,” he says. “When I do that, it brings up the Auto Color Correction Options.”

Choose the third option, Find Dark & Light Colors, and tick the box to turn it on.

“What that is doing is telling Photoshop to look at the image and find the darkest part and make it black, and the lightest part and make it white. We can also take it a step further by turning on this Snap Neutral Midtones section.”

The image should now be color corrected.

Step 3: Make It an Action

“If we want to use this now as a very quick way of color correcting lots of images in the future, we can save this as a default. So, in the bottom we have a check box, put a little tick in there and then click ok.”

So, going forward, if you have other images that you want to color correct, all you need to do is go to Levels or Curves and click Auto and the quick color fix will be applied. If, in the future, you want to change what the Auto button does, just hold down the Option key on Mac or Alt key on Windows, click on Auto and then change the editing options as you’d like.

Watch the video below where Dewis shows you the process.



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Top Quick Tips On Photographing Ducks

Top Quick Tips On Photographing Ducks

Brush-up on your wildlife photography skills with these top tips on photographing ducks.

| 
Animals / Wildlife

Duck
 

 

Feeding ducks is something everyone enjoys but next time you head off for your Sunday morning stroll around your local pond, pocket your camera as well as the treats you take for the Mallards and Swans.

 

1. An opportunity to get close to wildlife

As ducks are used to people visiting with goodies they’re not usually skittish so getting close to them shouldn’t be a problem. Even still, taking along a small bag of birdseed to scatter will keep the ducks in front of you for longer increasing the chances you have of getting a good shot.

Flat banks are the perfect location for photographing ducks as the low angle gives you a shot that has more of a duck’s eye view. If you don’t want to work hand-held, take along a light-weight tripod or beanbag to sit your camera on.
 

2. Which season is best?

Winter’s a great time to head to the water’s edge as the sun sits at a lower angle for longer which means you don’t have to get up at the crack of dawn for softer light. You’ll also get mist rolling over the water – perfect for silhouetting a bird against. For a bit of variety try shooting their reflections or look for interesting behaviour such as fighting or preening activities.

 

3. Need more details?

If you find their feathers are lacking in detail try adding a little fill-in flash. Just remember for birds such as Swans that have lighter feathers you’ll need slightly stronger light. This time of year when lakes can be slightly frozen light will be reflected off the icy surface back under the duck, highlighting detail in their plume. For particularly gloomy days switch to a slightly higher ISO so you can use a quicker shutter speed. If you’re out when the sky is rather bright keep an eye on your exposure if Swans are around as a white bird against a bright sky may mean your camera underexposes the shot.

For shots of birds in flight make sure you’re on continuous focus and get the focus locked on the bird straight away. To freeze their movement in the air or when they’re splashing on the water try a shutter speed of around 1/500sec but if you want to be a little more creative try to blur the motion of the wings with a slower speed of around 1/30sec.   

 

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4 Quick Tips Tips On Shooting Graphically In The Landscape & In Towns

4 Quick Tips Tips On Shooting Graphically In The Landscape & In Towns

Learn how to think and shoot more graphically in your town with the help of our top tips.

| 
Landscape and Travel

Car Park
 

 

1. What Does Graphic Mean?

A landscape that’s considered graphic can feature lines, curves, obvious shapes and distinctive contrast from either colour, shadows or reflections. It may be a long list but graphic landscapes are something you can find just about anywhere if you take the time to look. Instead of looking at a city scene, for example, as roads and buildings see it as straight, strong lines and shapes. Throw strong shadows into the mix and a few spots of interesting colour and you’re well on your way to creating a graphic shot.
 

2. Shadows And Highlights

Strong light can add emphasis to shapes and help cast shadows which work well in graphical style shots. Using shadows to your advantage works particularly well on metalwork and buildings but can be used in nature too, especially if you have a bird’s eye view of a scene.

 

Sheffield

 

3. Strong Lines And Contrasting Colour

As already mentioned, strong shapes such as hills overlapping create great graphic landscapes particularly if they differ in colour. Misty, hazy or cloudy days can be good for exaggerating the shapes and while an interesting overlapping background can strengthen the effect, low rolling hills can easily work as well as mountains, so many locations are suitable.

 

4. Change The Ordinary Into The Extraordinary

Look at the ordinary and play with the composition so the viewer doesn’t realise what it originally was. A close up of a rock face, for example, that had deep shadows along the ridges created by the high sun will work well.

 

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4 Essential Quick Tips On Photographing Standing Stones

4 Essential Quick Tips On Photographing Standing Stones

4 Essential Quick Tips On Photographing Standing Stones 2

 

Always an interesting subject for photographers, standing stones and stone circles have fascinated people for centuries; but what is the best way to photograph them?

 

1. Lighting

Although standing stones change little through the day, the prime factors for photographing standing stones are lighting, atmosphere and, preferably an absence of people. Lighting can be good at either end of the day, but the absence of people usually restricts the keen photographer to an early start.

 

2. Wide Circles

The problem with many stone circles – including my local circle, Castlerigg, just outside Keswick, is that they are relatively low in height, and very extensive in width – so if you are to include the whole circle, you need a really interesting sky to balance the long, thin foreground. A graduated filter can be of enormous use here, as the stones early in the day may be in fairly low light, but the sky might be three or four stops lighter; without a grad, exposure for the sky will give a very underexposed foreground, conversely, exposure for the foreground will severely overexposed sky. An alternative would be to bracket exposures and join them using HDR software.

Compositionally, it’s often best when trying to get the whole circle in either to take a series of overlapping pictures and join them as a panorama or by using a fairly wide lens, to give the foreground stones more dominance in the picture. 

 

3. Focus On A Part Of The Circle

An alternative way of portraying standing stones is by capturing part, rather than the whole. I spend a great deal of time looking at the relationship of the stones with each other, and their background, in order to create a picture that is well balanced. This technique also works well if there are other people present as it is much easier to select a few stones free of people than to wait for the whole circle to clear. This is particularly important if a group of stones – or their background – might benefit from afternoon light when there are more people present.

 

4. Try Black & White

Consider also the best way to portray the stones – whether colour or black & white, unless there is great sky colour present, such as sunrise or sunset, I like the timeless quality of black & white on standing stones, to simplify the image and render them as a set of neutral tones.

So next time you find yourself near a stone circle, set your alarm and capture the timeless quality of these ancient sites.
 

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Top Quick Tips On Capturing Landscapes In A Portrait Orientation

Top Quick Tips On Capturing Landscapes In A Portrait Orientation

When you pick up your camera to photograph a landscape, your automatic reaction will be to shoot it in, well, a landscape orientation but a portrait landscape can actually be very effective.

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Landscape and Travel

Sea and rocks

 

Orientation names suggest that landscapes should be landscape format and portraits should be portrait format and even though there are times when the subject will dictate the orientation, there are scenes where switching to portrait will benefit the shot. 

Landscapes are very different when they are upright; they have much more depth and tend to emphasise the contrast between foreground and background.

The height of the picture allows you to make more definite use of perspective, especially if the foreground has a linear quality about it such as a field with ploughed furrows. The shape also gives you a more obvious opportunity to choose the position of your horizon. The rules of composition favour placing the horizon at a third from the top or bottom (actually three-eighths from top or bottom – which is fairly accurately the ‘golden ratio’). However, do experiment with more extreme framing to see what happens: placing the horizon right at the top or near the base of the picture.

 

 

 

Sunset at the beach

 

 

Depth of field in landscape is rarely a serious issue, but if you like to play with focus then the emphasis that the format places on the perspective will also give you opportunities to exploit shallow depth of field. Of course, you can do this in a horizontal picture too, but it seems to crop up more often this way round.

Do remember that not all of us get it right every time and being able to change the orientation of a picture by cropping can change the dynamic of the shot entirely so it’s always worth having a look at your images once home to see if a quick crop will improve your shot.

 

 

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