The key to successfully capturing fireworks images with the rich colors and tones is to really understand what it is you’re shooting. Fireworks are made up of burning embers that are flying through the air. Even though these displays are usually at night, they can be quite colorful and very bright.Read More
Sunny 16, also know as Basic Daylight Exposure (BDE for short), is basically a predictable exposure based on the constant brightness level of the sun. Anywhere on the earth where the sun shines and there are no clouds to obscure, the formula works.Read More
The moon. It’s been inspiring artists and lovers for millennia and is a favorite subject for today’s photographers. But many struggle trying to use the moon in their photographs.Read More
Any light, when it strikes an object, will do one of three things. The light energy can be absorbed, in which case it is converted to some other energy such as heat. It can be reflected or refracted. In most cases, it will do some of all of these things. The reaction most people expect is the reflection.Read More
Fog can add a beautiful element in your photography and the results can be quite unique and etherial if it's handled well.Read More
One trait that every really great photographer has is that they tend to be wonderful problem solvers. As you walk out and explore the world you realize that the subjects you want to photograph are seldom beautifully lit.Read More
By definition 18% gray is the “mid-point between black and white on a logarithmic or exponential curve.” Think of it this way; it is simply halfway between black and white. It is the average in terms of scene brightness and has for many years been the one constant thing that photographers use on which to base their exposures on.Read More
To accurately control the flow of light through the lens we must be able to measure how much light passes through the aperture. Now, you'd think that would be pretty straight forward. Just measure the diameter of the opening. But the laws of physics don't allow us to do that. You see, the light gathering capability of any lens is controlled not just by the aperture opening but also the focal length of the lens.Read More
Current DSLR cameras have some pretty sophisticated metering systems giving you amazing flexibility in setting your exposure controls. The specific light meter options depend upon the model of your camera but most cameras today offer some, if not all, of these metering modes.Read More
Reciprocity in photography defines an inverse relationship between the intensity of light and the duration of light. The intensity of light is controlled by the aperture while the duration of light is managed by the shutter speed.Read More
Working with flash outdoors is more popular now than ever. And there are a few different ways you can make your images appear by simply understanding the controls that are available to you. Consider the background as a highly important aspect of the picture and look at how it's brightness affects the image.Read More
The Sunny 16 Rule, is a method of exposure based on using the brightness level of the sun as a reference or standard. This allows photographers to know and trust exposures at this time of day, on any day, in any city in the world without testing or taking meter readings.Read More
We’re happy to report that we are back from our Greek Islands Photography Tour and it was a smashing success. Many people have worried about the financial and political situation in Greece but we found everything business as usual. The Greek people are wonderful and everyone had a great time.
More about the trip later. Today we want to share with you some photography tips that will really add a lot to your portfolio. Since the advent of digital photography the use of filters has been greatly reduced. Color correction is now a menu option and special effects are now done digitally. One of the few filters that is still recommended is a good polarizing filter. But there’s another one you’ll want to add to your camera bag - a good Neutral Density (ND) filter. We packed some Vu filters for our trip to Greece and the results are stunning.
Neutral Density filters reduce the amount of light that passes through the lens without altering the color of the light. This provides the photographer a broad range of flexibility in managing their exposure and depth of field. You can find these filters in a variety of densities. I use VU filters and they provide ND filters in 1, 2, 3 and 10-stop densities as well as a Variable Neutral Density filter that provides up to 7-stops of density.
So, why do you want to use one?
When you compose an image, one of the “photographic controls” you can use is shutter speed. As you know the shutter speed can be uses to show movement - either freezing movement or blurring movement. I love waterfalls shot with long exposures that turn the water into a milky smooth blur.
Without a filter you’re limited on when you can do this. In bright daylight, if your camera’s slowest ISO is 100, then even at f/22 you’ll be getting a shutter speed too fast to blur the motion. Some people add a polarizing filter which gives you 2 stops of density, allowing you to reduce the shutter speed even more. But in bright daylight that is still too fast to really blur the water.
This is when you mount your 10-stop Neutral Density filter. If your shutter speed without the filter is 1/60th of a second, after you mount the 10-stop ND filter you get a 15 second exposure. Now that will blur the water.
You can read more about the Vu filters used on their website at VuFilters.com.
Rivers and waterfalls are truly a visual treat. There is something refreshing and hypnotic about the perpetual motion of the water as it cascades over the rocks. This is a subject that is a favorite of many photographers and by following a few simple tips you too will relish these images.Read More