Monthly Archives: March 2018

Photography Tips For the Photo Doldrums – Reflections, Abstracts, Splash

If you believe that waves, waterscapes and waterfalls pretty well use up all the opportunities that water provides for picture-taking, think again. Here are 7 more photography tips with water as remedies for the photo doldrums!

#1 – Reflections: For a mirror reflection on water the surface must be still and can’t have sunlight shining directly on it. When the light hits just above the shoreline (early morning or evening) leaving the water in shadow, or where something casts it’s shadow across the water, you’ll find such reflections.

#2 – Abstracts: Intriguing opportunities for abstract reflections occur when the water is gently swelling or rippling. Watch the water’s surface carefully for a while and you’ll begin to see the possibilities. Remember to vary your pictures by making several exposures at different shutter speeds. The unpredictability of this type of picture-making will provide unexpected surprises, and new directions for future shootings.

#3 – Spray: activities carried out with water present opportunities for picture-making (Just make sure your camera is well protected and doesn’t get wet!) like watering a garden, sprinking a lawn, or washing a vehicle.

#4 – Splash: Like when things are dropped or poured into water, or waves as they crash onto the beach present water in these aspects.

#5 – Bubbles: What about dishwashing bubbles and bubbles from children’s bubble-blowing toys, which yield interfering light effects with their crazy colors and patterns?

#6 – Foam: The froth that swirls and creeps up the beach after a wave has broken.

#7 – Puddles: Are just about everywhere after a period of rain, in a wide variety of sizes and shapes. During rainfall they present ring-patterns. Afterward they display upside down reflections during both daylight and after dark wherever there are lights nearby.

Self-Assignments For Above Photography Tips: Choose the projects that interest you most. Follow the photography tips conscientiously. Re-shoot when you aren’t satisfied. Do it til you are satisfied. It’ll take all your patience and passion. Your skills and eye will improve with the practice. Shoot especially in early and late light. Use a tripod as much as possible. Edit your results relentlessly. Pin small samples on the wall for a few days to study before making final prints for wall art.

Photography Tip #1 – Reflections: Go to a pond or lake in either early morning or early evening when the water is in shadow, locate an interesting reflection and line up a shot with just a minimum of shoreline and a maximum of reflection. Then a shot of equal parts shore and reflection using a graduated neutral density filter to balance the lighting.

Photography Tip #2 – Abstracts: find a stream or creek with running, swirling water, etc, and study the colors and tones being reflected in the running water from onshore and overhead things. Try to include something just in or on the water that you can clearly focus on as a center of interest. When you spot such an interesting abstract, shoot it, first with a faster shutter speed, and then with a much slower speed.

Photography Tip #3 – Spray: The next time you get out the lawn sprinkler to do

the lawn, look for an angle that puts sparkle in the water and provides a dark background to shoot toward. Use both high and low shutter speeds, and compare the results.

Photography Tip #4 – Splash: Make a close-up of water as it’s poured into a glass filled with ice-cubes.

Photography Tip #5 – Bubbles: Take a shot of some dishsoap bubbles against a sheet of black paper while shining a beam of light at the bubbles.

Photography Tip #6 – Foam: Look for a depression on the beach where the foam from spent waves swirls and do a shot with the swirl pattern in the foreground, using a slow shutter speed.

Photography Tip #7 – Puddles: Take a picture during the rain trying for an interesting pattern of raindrop circles. Make a nighttime shot of a puddle having either lit-up signs or office buildings nearby which are reflected in the puddle.

In the next article of this set we’ll cover still more photography tips about water’s other warm season photo ops for overcoming the photo doldrums: condensation, hail, mist and fog.

Photography Tips to Solve the Photo Doldrums

Is your camera gathering dust right now? Is it because you can’t think of anything to take pictures of? Then you’ve caught the photo doldrums! What’s the remedy? It’s quite possibly something very simple – you need to start shooting the ideal photo subject.

” No other subject offers a… photographer such a range of possibilities for documentary and interpretive images, and few subjects are as easy to find.” – Freeman Patterson, Photography of Natural Things

What is this ideal photo subject for overcoming the photo doldrums? Would you believe, water? But most photographers pass right by water when they seek something ‘special’ or ‘different’ to photograph. Why is that? In a word – familiarity. It acts as a mental blinder that prevents them from seeing excellent photo-ops that are right in front of them!

So, my very first photography tip for solving the photo doldrums is this: ask yourself just one simple question, “Which way to the water?” Now, here are some more photography tips to help you determine directions.

Photography Tips: Water’s Warm Season Photo Op’s

Is there a river, lake or ocean nearby? If so, you have what you need for the following photography tips to help you start getting over your photo doldrums:

#1 – Waves: Come in a wide variety of sizes, from ripples to tsunamis. Depending on the situation they can be shot either head-on or along their length as they curl and break. Fast shutter speeds will freeze the action. Slower speeds will create soft nebulous effects.

#2 – Waterscapes: when composing water-only or mostly-water pictures, you need to see the water within the viewfinder graphically – as just colors, tones, lines, shapes, etc. And you need to articulate the idea or mood that it evokes for you. Then you’ll know which camera position, lens, etc is best for the final picture.

Whereas landscape photography usually calls for facing the camera either north or south (for sidelight modelling and polarizing effects), with waterscapes you can also shoot directly toward the sun and still get very attractive images, thanks to water’s unique properties. Just remember to compensate your light meter’s recommendations by +1 to +2 stops when doing so.

#3 – Waterfalls: allow for a wide variety of pictures. Slow shutter speeds makes the water silky smooth and soft looking. Fast shutter speeds not only freeze it but also reveal patterns in the ebb/surge and unusual shapes in it. Colors and patterns may be reflected from nearby surroundings and strong contrasts can be found between the water, boulders and stones, leaves and twigs, etc.

Self-Assignments For Above Photography Tips

Choose the projects that interest you most. Follow the photography tips conscientiously. Re-shoot when you aren’t satisfied. Do it til you are satisfied. It’ll take all your patience and passion. Your skills and eye will improve with the practice. Shoot especially in early and late light. Use a tripod as much as possible. Edit your results relentlessly. Pin small samples on the wall for a few days to study before making final prints for wall art.

Photography Tip #1 – Waves: First, study some online examples for pointers. Then shoot a single wave as it breaks, either head-on or else looking along it’s length. Use shutter speed of 1/250 or higher to freeze action.

Photography Tip #2 – Waterscapes: Locate a nearby body of water. Go there. Study just the water for a while. Then compose a picture that includes only the water, perhaps a ripple pattern, or a section of varying colors, etc and include something in or on the water as a center of interest to place your principle focus.

Photography Tip #3 – Waterfalls: locate a nearby stream or river with a falls or a stretch of rapids. Find a section of water that includes a rock, etc and reflections of things on the shore or overhead, shoot with a slow shutter speed of 1/15 or lower.

In the next of this article set of 6 we’ll cover still more photography tips about water’s warm season photo ops for overcoming the photo doldrums: reflections, abstracts, splash ‘n spray, foam ‘n bubbles.

Compositional Photography Tip

Compositional Photography Tips #1 – Defining “Composition”…

Composition is a scene formed with an artistic arrangement of various elements present in the scene.

The objective of composition is to produce a very much pleasing visual result. Composition is vital to successful photography. Therefore, knowing the basics of composition will do you good.

Compositional Photography Tips #2 – Positioning the Various Elements

Look through your camera’s viewfinder. Are the elements in the scene positioned properly? If they aren’t you might want to try re-arranging the elements or find a better angle to ensure an interesting picture. Your goal here is to produce pictures that will capture people’s attention.

Compositional Photography Tips #3 – Making Time for Composition

It is common that one rushes and not spend enough time to consider and experiment composition. When this happens, the result of the picture often times look disproportionate and unplanned. Continue to make the effort to plan and position the elements in your camera’s viewfinder. It will become way easier once it has become a habit.

Compositional Photography Tips #4 – Compositional Rules

There are a number of compositional rules that every photographer will want to follow. Why is it so? It is simply because these rules, when followed, will help you improve your photography. Nevertheless, try something else. Experiment and discover other photography tricks. That’s what I love to do.;D

There are 3 compositional rules to follow:

  • Rule-of-thirds
  • Foreground interest
  • Lead-in lines

I will explain more on these 3 compositional rules very soon in the upcoming blog posts. Make sure that you subscribe to Canon Digital Photography Tips’ RSS Feeds for the update.

Close-Up Photography Tips

“What is a macro lens and what can it do to better aid photography?” If you happen to be new to photography, this is a question you would most likely ask a more experienced photographer.

Well, macro lenses are designed and tailored to aid close-up photography attempts. What a macro lens does is that it projects the image of your subject onto your camera’s sensor that appears to be of the same size, otherwise larger than the actual size of the subject itself.

Close-Up Photography Tips #1 – The Focal Lengths For Macro Shots Of Flowers And Plants

I favor using 100mm lenses to photograph flowers. I realized that a focal length that is slightly longer can mean that there is no need for me to get right on top of the subject to take stunning shots. This gives me a little more breathing space.

Despite that, slightly longer focal lengths allow me to get closer to flowers or plants that may otherwise be situated quite a distance away with a 50mm or 60mm lens.

My effective focal length is longer because I use a 100mm full-frame lens on a DX-format sensor. Hence, the effective focal length turns out to be more like 150mm.

Close-Up Photography Tips #2 – The Optimum Aperture For Macro Photography

When I conduct close-up photography, I normally close the lens down to the smallest aperture it is capable of, which is currently f/22 for my lens, so that the subjects’ details are shown. However, the aperture I would use will vary depending on the close-up photography effect I want.

Often times, it is best to have the background blurred so that emphasis is placed solely onto the flower you are photographing. What you should do is to make use of your camera’s depth-of-field preview to check and see if your aperture setting gives you your desired close-up photography effect.

When I happen to not stop the lens all the way down, the two most common apertures I use are f/8 and f/11. However, when I happen to be outdoors photographing close-up shots of flowers and plants under windy conditions, I will then open up the lens so that the shutter speed is kept short. This will help avoid getting blurred shots.

Close-Up Photography Tips #3 – Manual Focus (MF) Vs. Autofocus (AF) Macro Lenses

Throughout my years in the photography arena, I have always used manual focus to photograph close-up shots, even when I had an autofocus macro lens.

The reason as to why I prefer using manual focus is because I want to decide where to place the focus on my subject, and not allow the camera to choose where the focus goes.

Another reason is because I would rather shoot in manual focus is because the depth-of-field in close-up photography is very little. To ensure that the focus point is right where you want it to be, use the ‘in focus’ indicator in the viewfinder.