Posted on Leave a comment

8 Top Tips On Using Your Tripod Safely On Rugged Terrain

8 Top Tips On Using Your Tripod Safely On Rugged Terrain

Scottish Landscape

 

When using a tripod on terrain that is rocky, uneven, or hilly, there are a few things that you can do to make sure your tripod is as stable as it can be. Some of these tips may seem like common sense, but they will hopefully help prevent any accidents such as your camera taking a plunge in a river!

 

1. Weight And Load

Before you venture out make sure you’re using a tripod that can support the weight of your gear. Also, if you’re buying a new tripod and are planning on getting larger heavier lenses in the future do take this into consideration when making your purchase. Look for a light tripod rated for the highest weight as you’ll soon notice the weight of your tripod once you’re halfway up a wet, uneven hillside. 

 

2. Assess Your Environment

It’s always better to be safe than sorry, so make sure that the area is stable enough to stand your tripod on before setting up. If you’re working on very rocky terrain or near the edge of a big drop, make sure the tripod is not liable to slip.

It can also take a while to set your tripod up so it’s always a good idea to find your location and have some ideas about composition before putting your camera on its support. 

 

3. Legs Before Column

When setting up, extend the legs before extending the centre column. Extending just the centre column is one quick operation and you are ready to shoot, but it is not good technique and can leave you with an unstable base to work with.

 

Scottish Landscape

 

4. Adjust The Legs

Extend the fattest leg section first and keep the thin, spindly legs till last for when you really need the height. Having a wider base to work with is always a wise decision as they are more stable. Many tripods now offer various angle settings that lock at different degrees.

 

5. Ensure Your Tripod Is Level

Many tripods and tripod heads have built-in spirit levels to help you keep the tripod level. If your tripod hasn’t, buy a spirit level to fit onto the camera’s accessory shoe.

 

6. Position Of Your Tripod’s Legs

Point one of the legs towards your subject so you have room for your feet between the two other legs. This will mean you have one less thing you have to worry about falling over when working on tricky terrain. 

 

Scottish Waterfall

 

7. What Feet Does Your Tripod Have?

Most tripods have rubber feet which absorb shock and offer good grip, but some do have spiked feet. Spiked feet can be bought as optional accessories or sometimes you can get both types in one. They’re particularly useful for outdoor photographers as most of the time you’ll end up working on loose soil, dirt, and other surfaces that will be uneven. 

8. Keep It Stable On Windy Days

Some tripods have a hook which you can feature a centre column hook, you can hang a bag of stones or other weighty objects off it to balance the tripod. Another option is to take a heavy camera bag and wrap the strap(s) around the tripod’s head to add extra weight. For lighter tripods, use your body as a shield from the wind. Sticking spiked feet into the ground will also help keep the tripod still, they’re particularly useful when working at the coast to stop waves knocking your gear into the sea. 

Another option is to use a piece of string or some nylon webbing can add extra stability. Tie one end to the centre column and have the other tied in a loop. Next time in a strong wind, have the string/webbing hanging down and slip your shoe into it and lean down. Your body weight will give extra stability.

   

You’ve read the technique now share your related photos for the chance to win prizes: Daily Forum Competition  

Support this site by making a Donation, purchasing Plus Membership, or shopping with one of our affiliates:
Amazon UK,
Amazon US,
Amazon CA,
ebay UK

It doesn’t cost you anything extra when you use these links, but it does support the site, helping keep ePHOTOzine free to use, thank you.

Source link

Posted on Leave a comment

Tips On Using Negative Space In Your Photos

Tips On Using Negative Space In Your Photos

Sometimes it’s what you leave out of your images that makes them great as we explain in this article.

| 
General Photography

Fungi

 

If used correctly, the empty space you leave in your shots (negative space) can make your photograph more interesting and easier to focus on rather than trying to fill every inch of the frame with interest. Negative space can play several important compositional roles so here are a few tips to help you think more about making the most of what’s not in your scene:

 

 

1. Reinforce What’s Important

The obvious role of negative space is to show the viewer of your image what is and what isn’t important in your shot. If there’s nothing else fighting for focus, their eyes will be able to settle on your main subject without searching the rest of the shot first.

2. Balance Your Shot

Negative space can make a shot appear more balanced and as a general rule, you need twice as much negative space to the area taken up by your subject. For example, if you shot a close-up portrait and your subject fills the right third of the frame, you’d want the two thirds to the left to be negative space.
 

3. Give Your Shot Context

Of course, there are times, such as when you’re shooting environmental portraits where you want to make the most of the size of the place you’re taking photos in, when the above rule won’t apply.

With environmental portraits, it’s often what’s around your subject that gives the shot more interest so filling your frame with your subject would mean the context would be lost.

 

Plant

 

4. Space For Your Subject

If you do place your subject to one side of your frame make sure they’re looking towards the area of negative space. The same goes for action shots where they’re running through the frame as generally, your shot will be more compositionally pleasing if they have space to move into. Of course, if you’re wanting them to increase the sense of speed or want to make people wonder what they’re looking at, position the negative space behind them, almost pushing them out of the frame.

5. Negative Space Doesn’t Have To Be ‘Empty’

By using one colour in your background when shooting indoors or by throwing it out of focus if you’re shooting outdoors, it won’t become a point of focus for your viewer so all attention will fall on your main subject. However, sometimes adding blur to your backgrounds will leave your shot with less impact. For example, if you’re out shooting portraits and behind your subject is a mountain scene, shooting with a smaller aperture so you get front to back sharpness will exaggerate the amount of negative space around them, giving the shot more meaning and impact as a result.

6. Exaggerate The Negative Space

Take the idea one step further and strip all the colour out of your shot, leaving just the shapes and space around them to tell your story. You could also remove all the textures from the shot by shooting silhouettes.

 

You’ve read the technique now share your related photos for the chance to win prizes: Daily Forum Competition

Support this site by making a Donation, purchasing Plus Membership, or shopping with one of our affiliates:
Amazon UK,
Amazon US,
Amazon CA,
ebay UK

It doesn’t cost you anything extra when you use these links, but it does support the site, helping keep ePHOTOzine free to use, thank you.

Source link

Posted on Leave a comment

3 Basic But Essential Tips On Using Creative Apertures For Portraiture

3 Basic But Essential Tips On Using Creative Apertures For Portraiture

Here are some top tips for using apertures to create great portraits indoors and out at any time during the year.

| 
Creative

Portrait

Photo by Joshua Waller

 

Aperture is very important when it comes to portraiture as it controls how much of the background and foreground is in focus, which has an effect on how much of the focus is on the subject of your portrait. 

 

1. Depth-Of-Field

There is an amount of front and back sharpness in front of and behind the main focus point of your image and this is referred to as the depth-of-field.

The amount of depth-of-field within an image depends on several factors:

  • The distance between the camera and the subject – The closer the subject the more shallow the depth-of-field. With distant scenes, therefore, there is plenty of depth-of-field.
  • Choice of lens aperture – The wider the lens aperture (ie /2.8, f/4) the shallower the depth-of-field, and the smaller the aperture (f/16, f/22) the greater the depth-of-field.
  • Focal length – Contrary to popular belief a wide-angle lens does not give greater depth-of-field than a telephoto lens if the subject magnification is the same. You can test this for yourself. Take a frame-filling headshot with a wide-angle lens (you will have to get close to the subject, so warn them!) and then do the same frame-filling shot with a telephoto – this means backing away from the subject. Use the same aperture for both and you will see that the depth-of-field is the same.

Some cameras come equipped with a depth-of-field preview button, letting you see how much depth-of-field you have before taking the shot, but you can just experiment with depth-of-field and preview the shots on-screen to see what works best if your camera doesn’t have this particular function. 

 

Portrait

Photo by Joshua Waller

2. Photographing People

In terms of portraits, especially outdoors, wider lens apertures are often best because they throw the background nicely out of focus. How effective this is depends on the scene and focal length as well as aperture choice. If your subject is standing quite close to a distracting background even shooting at f/2.8 or f/4 will not throw the background out of focus but bringing the subject forward a couple of metres should work nicely.

If you do use a wide aperture for your portraits, do make doubly sure that the subject’s eyes are in focus. With the shallow depth-of-field created by wide apertures, even a small error can mean unsharp eyes and you do not want that in your portraits.

 

Portrait

Photo by Joshua Waller

3. Bokeh Backgrounds

How the background is thrown out of focus depends on the lens. Bokeh is the term used to describe the pictorial quality of the out of focus blur. Lens design and aperture shape play a large part in how effective its bokeh is, so do try it with your own optics. A good test is shooting a close-up portrait outside against a background with some bright pinpoints of light, ie sun glinting off water, car lights, streetlamps etc.

Of course, you might prefer greater sharpness in your backgrounds and that is when small apertures are used. The important thing is to keep your eye on the background and if it looks messy or cluttered use wide apertures rather than small ones.

 

Portrait

Photo by Joshua Waller

 

You’ve read the technique now share your related photos for the chance to win prizes: Daily Forum Competition

Support this site by making a Donation, purchasing Plus Membership, or shopping with one of our affiliates:
Amazon UK,
Amazon US,
Amazon CA,
ebay UK

It doesn’t cost you anything extra when you use these links, but it does support the site, helping keep ePHOTOzine free to use, thank you.

Source link

Posted on Leave a comment

3 Top Tips on Successfully Using Stock Photos In 2021

3 Top Tips on Successfully Using Stock Photos In 2021

– Sponsored Content – 

 

Nikon Camera

 

Stock photos often get a bad rap, simply because they’re recognised as such. But don’t heed the naysayers. An account with a stock photo agency makes sense for any business with a communication or marketing strategy. Stock photos are high-quality images, intended for commercial use, cheap, and there are millions of them online immediately available when you need them. You have to know how to use them correctly and make them work for your brand. Here are 3 tips to help you get the most from stock images in 2021.

 

Only Choose Images That Fit Your Brand

A successful brand is immediately recognisable. If your audience can tell your brand by the content, choice of colours, and style of a single image, then you know your brand strategy is spot on. Strictly nurture this brand strategy through the choice of stock photos.

Make sure your stock photos fit your corporate image, your target audience, and only use images that share the same visual narrative. Your audience should be able to relate to the people and actions in your images, and it should be able to relate those images to your brand.

Most businesses that have access to a graphic designer will brand their stock photos. You should, too. Have your graphic designer add your logo, brand design assets, and colours (you can change the colours of stock photo models’ clothing to fit your brand’s colour scheme, for example). You can also further customise the image with copy to make it work for your brand.

 

Make Sure It’s Appropriate

Stock photo agencies are usually very good at making sure their libraries are culturally sensitive and diverse. The image goes through quality control to help maintain an appropriate and high-quality offer for stock photo customers.

But the suitability of a stock image also depends on the platform you intend to publish it to or the reason or context in which you publish it. For example, during the 2021 pandemic, many companies made sure to use only images of people working from home and practising social distancing. That way we made sure the images were relevant to the reality of our audience at that time.

Another example in which context is important is the use of visuals for HR purposes. Here, stock photos wouldn’t be appropriate since the visuals should reveal actual people in the company.

Appropriateness is all about context. Take a minute to look at the platform, the use case, the piece of content, etc. to make sure you got the right image for the job!

 

It’s All About The Feelings

Brands, products, businesses… it’s all about people. And people are all about emotions. And nothing conveys emotion better than a photo. So, make sure your images convey (the right) emotion. Real people, showing real feelings that are relatable for your audience. 2021 is all about being real and true. Especially millennials will judge your images on their truthfulness.

Stock photographers have caught on to this. Whereas older library assets might look overly staged and fake, the more recent stock photos are often very natural and real. Make sure you go for the latter when you search for that perfect image.

Support this site by making a Donation, purchasing Plus Membership, or shopping with one of our affiliates:
Amazon UK,
Amazon US,
Amazon CA,
ebay UK

It doesn’t cost you anything extra when you use these links, but it does support the site, helping keep ePHOTOzine free to use, thank you.

Source link

Posted on Leave a comment

dudler’s latest blog : using it or losing it and giving things a chance

dudler's latest blog : art, snap or reportage

Using it or losing it and giving things a chance

13 May 2021 8:00AM  
Views : 98
Unique : 87

11864_1620889127.jpg

Somehow, it feels as though a real measure of ordinary life is likely to return to England next week – we’ll be able to go into other people’s houses again, even if it’s only a few of us. I’m starting shooting again, indoors. And I should be able to hug my daughter, for the first time in over a year. We’ve both been pretty good at observing the rules, and we deserve it by now.

So I’m doing things I haven’t done for a while. I have dusted off my printer, and that took a bit of an effort. If you leave an inkjet printer unused for several months, things clog up. Repeated thirsty head-cleaning runs were necessary before the magenta ink deigned to flow at all – as you can see from the test pattern below. I’m ever so glad that I use continuous flow ink which comes in 125ml bottles – though a set of them costs a fair bit.

11864_1620889147.jpg

Last year, I wrote about needing a new battery in my 2005 Dynax D7-D, and I’ve used it intermittently since. And I’ve discovered the benefits of regular exercise anew: if I leave it for two or three weeks, it’s not very happy with me, and the first frame or three will be dysfunctional, and for some reason it takes thirty seconds to save the failed frames. Persistence pays, though, and five minutes of switching on and off, and taking a few shots restores normality. And that makes me happy, because 6mp isn’t much, but there’s sometimes a gentleness and colour quality in the images that later cameras don’t match.

So – what have you been neglecting during lockdown? As well as many of my cameras not getting exercise often enough, I’ve neglected housework, and my office is untidier than ever. And while the inner need to run the Dyson round the house may still be weak, I really want cameras to work next week, so I’m checking batteries and cards, and making sure that I know where the flash triggers are. What do you need to sort out before the next level of lockdown lift?

11864_1620889226.jpg

Source link

Posted on Leave a comment

Opacity Vs Fill When Using Layers In Adobe Photoshop

Opacity Vs Fill When Using Layers In Adobe Photoshop

Using opacity and fill options in Photoshop can dramatically improve your photos but what is the difference and when should you use which tool?

| 
Adobe Photoshop

 

Layers are an incredibly useful tool in Photoshop (we’ve actually got a great tutorial on how you can make the most of them should you want to peruse it) and when you dig down into the tools, you’ll find the opacity and fill options.

 

Opacity Vs Fill

Layers

Both are really useful tools but a common question is, what is the difference between the two? To answer this, and to show you how best to use each tool, The School of Photography have put the above video tutorial together which demonstrates how the opacity and fill tools can be used when working with text and photos. You can also see a more in-depth tutorial over on their website should you prefer to read rather than watch when learning. 

 

Where Are These Tools?

You find the opacity and fill options in the layers panel in Photoshop and the opacity tool will change the transparency of everything on the layer you have selected while fill will change the transparency of whatever is filling the layer but will ignore any effects that have been applied to it.

 

Better Landscape Images 

Knowing how to use these tools can help you improve your landscape shots, as The School of Photography explains at around 05:38 in the video tutorial so do pay attention at this point if this is of particular interest to you. The other important timestamps in the tutorial include explaining what opacity and fill options are (00:15) and applying both effects to text (01:51). 

Support this site by making a Donation, purchasing Plus Membership, or shopping with one of our affiliates:
Amazon UK,
Amazon US,
Amazon CA,
ebay UK

It doesn’t cost you anything extra when you use these links, but it does support the site, helping keep ePHOTOzine free to use, thank you.

Source link

Posted on Leave a comment

Essential Top Tips On Using Camera Lens Hoods

Essential Top Tips On Using Camera Lens Hoods

Camera lens hoods in photography might seem a simple thing, but they’re a really great tool that some overlook so here are a few tips on using these basic tools so you can get the best results from your photography.

| 
General Photography

 

Lens Hoods are inexpensive tools that a photographer can actually make a great deal of use of and that’s why our friends The School of Photography have put this great tutorial together that explores all aspects of using lens hoods when capturing photos. 

For those who are visual learners, there’s the video tutorial you can hit ‘play’ on above or you can take a look at The School of Photography website where you’ll find the handy tips written down in more detail.

Should you want to skip to a particular section of the video, here are the timestamps:

  • 00:25​ – Why use a lens hood?
  • 00:50​ – Lens hood vs no lens hood
  • 02:58​ – When should you use a lens hood?
  • 03:50​ – What types of lens hoods are there?
  • 04:59​ – Which lens hood should I buy for my camera?

 

So, what’s a lens hood used for?

Well, the main reason is to stop stray light from reaching your lens which can introduce lens flare and images won’t pop as much (you can also use lens flare creatively but you’ll find advice on this in one of our other photography tutorials). By stopping light from crossing the front element of your lens, you’ll create photos with strong contrast, colours and tones. 

The most common time lens flare can appear is when you’re shooting into the sun or have a strong light source in front of your lens but we recommend you carry your lens hood in your camera bag as even when you’re indoors, oy capturing images under lights at night, you can get stray light that might spoil your shot. 

 

Lens Hood

 

Are there different types of lens hoods?

Yes, there are and they come in the form of cylindrical or petal shapes. Petal shape hoods are best used on standard zoom lenses or wide-angle lenses as without the cutouts, you’d see the edge of the hood on your photos when using wider lenses. You still should check the frame when using super-wide lenses as you still might be able to see the hood in the shot even if it’s a petal-shaped one. Longer primes and telephoto lenses can be used with the cylinder-shaped hoods as their focal lengths are at a point where you won’t be able to see the edge of the lens hood. 

You’ll also need a lens hood that’s designed for the lens you’re using as it’s not a ‘one size fits all scenario’. Some lenses come supplied with a lens hood, too, so do check your box. To find the lens hood that fits your lens, you just need to know the name of your lens which you can pop into Amazon or any other shopping-based website. 

Support this site by making a Donation, purchasing Plus Membership, or shopping with one of our affiliates:
Amazon UK,
Amazon US,
Amazon CA,
ebay UK

It doesn’t cost you anything extra when you use these links, but it does support the site, helping keep ePHOTOzine free to use, thank you.

Source link

Posted on Leave a comment

Top Tips On Using Symmetry In Photography

Top Tips On Using Symmetry In Photography

Symmetry is a great technique you can use in your photos to make the ordinary more extraordinary as The School of Photography explains in this tutorial.

| 
Photographers

 

The School of Photography is back with a cracking composition-themed photography tutorial that focuses on how symmetry can really help you create balance and add interest to a photo. 

As The School of Photography explains in the above video, there are several types of symmetry that work well in images which include horizontal symmetry, vertical symmetry, radial symmetry and reflective symmetry. 

  • Horizontal Symmetry – This occurs when a line passes through the scene from left to right, dividing the scene into equal halves.
  • Vertical Symmetry – If the line passes through the scene from top to bottom, dividing the pattern into identical halves, then this creates a vertical line of symmetry.
  • Radial Symmetry – This is where the sides exhibit around a central point. For example, many flowers are radially symmetric with, roughly, identical floral structures.
  • Reflective Symmetry – A favourite with landscape photographers, Reflective Symmetry, as the word suggests, is all about reflections.

Now you know the different forms of symmetry, the next question is ‘where can you find it?’ and the answer is actually everywhere, you just have to look for it! In architecture, for example, a simple tile floor may have a repetitive pattern while modern buildings have lines and details which can easily be broken down into simple symmetrical shapes. In nature, tree lines work well as do close-up shots of flower heads and mountains reflected in lakes.

 

Reflections in the landscape

 

When you start looking for patterns and symmetry, they’re compositional tools that are, actually, really easy to find and when used right, you can create very visually powerful, as well as interesting, images that are balanced, harmonious and more importantly, lovely to look at. 

How have you used Symmetry in your photos? Let us know in the comments below or upload your photos to our Gallery

 

Support this site by making a Donation, purchasing Plus Membership, or shopping with one of our affiliates:
Amazon UK,
Amazon US,
Amazon CA,
ebay UK,
WEX

It doesn’t cost you anything extra when you use these links, but it does support the site, helping keep ePHOTOzine free to use, thank you.

Source link

Posted on Leave a comment

8 Tips On Using Your Tripod Safely On Rugged Terrain

8 Tips On Using Your Tripod Safely On Rugged Terrain

When using a tripod on terrain that is rocky, uneven, or hilly, there are a few things that you can do to make sure your tripod is as stable as it can be. Some of these tips may seem like common sense, but they will hopefully help prevent any accidents such as your camera taking a plunge in a river!

 

Iceland

Photo by David Clapp

 

1. Weight And Load

Before you venture out make sure you’re using a tripod that can support the weight of your gear. Also, if you’re buying a new tripod and are planning on getting larger heavier lenses in the future do take this into consideration when making your purchase. Look for a light tripod rated for the highest weight as you’ll soon notice the weight of your tripod once you’re half way up a wet, uneven hillside. 

 

2. Assess Your Environment

It’s always better to be safe than sorry, so make sure that the area is stable enough to stand your tripod on before setting up. If you’re working on very rocky terrain or near the edge of a big drop, make sure the tripod is not liable to slip.

It can also take a while to set your tripod up so it’s always a good idea to find your location and have some ideas about composition before putting your camera on its support. 

 

3. Legs Before Column

When setting up, extend the legs before extending the centre column. Extending just the centre column is one quick operation and you are ready to shoot, but it is not good technique and can leave you with an unstable base to work with.
 

4. Adjust The Legs

Extend the fattest leg section first and keep the thin, spindly legs till last for when you really need the height. Having a wider base to work with is always a wise decision as they are more stable. Many tripods now offer various angle settings that lock at different degrees.

 

5. Ensure Your Tripod Is Level

Many tripods and tripod heads have built-in spirit levels to help you keep the tripod level. If your tripod hasn’t, buy a spirit level to fit onto the camera’s accessory shoe.

 

6. Position Of Your Tripod’s Legs

Point one of the legs towards your subject so you have room for your feet between the two other legs. This will mean you have one less thing you have to worry about falling over when working on tricky terrain. 

 

7. What Feet Does Your Tripod Have?

Most tripods have rubber feet which absorb shock and offer good grip, but some do have spiked feet. Spiked feet can be bought as optional accessories or sometimes you can get both types in one. They’re particularly useful for outdoor photographers as most of the time you’ll end up working on loose soil, dirt, and other surfaces that will be uneven. 

8. Keep It Stable On Windy Days

Some tripods have a hook which you can features a centre column hook, you can hang a bag of stones or other weighty objects off it to balance the tripod. Another option is to take a heavy camera bag and wrap the strap(s) around the tripod’s head to add extra weight. For lighter tripods, use your body as a shield from the wind. Sticking spiked feet into the ground will also help keep the tripod still, they’re particularly useful when working at the coast to stop waves knocking your gear into the sea. 

Another option is to use a piece of string or some nylon webbing can add extra stability. Tie one end to the centre column and have the other tied in a loop. Next time in a strong wind, have the string / webbing hanging down and slip your shoe into it and lean down. Your body weight will give extra stability.

   

You’ve read the technique now share your related photos for the chance to win prizes: Photo Month Forum Competition  

Support this site by making a Donation, purchasing Plus Membership, or shopping with one of our affiliates:
Amazon UK,
Amazon US,
Amazon CA,
ebay UK,
WEX

It doesn’t cost you anything extra when you use these links, but it does support the site, helping keep ePHOTOzine free to use, thank you.

Source link