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Photography

Photography Basics – Filters

Filters can make a massive difference to your photography, be it still or Video. In this video I look at a Variable Neutral Density Filter, which is like Sunglasses for your lens, but steplessly adjustable to get the exposure you need.

This is not only suitable for cutting down light in still photography where you would like to use a wide lens aperture on a bright day, but it is also really necessary for video, where your shutter speed may be confined to 1/50 or 1/60.

The second filter is a ND100 which cuts out 10 stops of light, allowing you to turn an exposure of 1/125 in to 1 or 2 minutes to get blurred moving objects or movement in clouds, adding a lot of creativity to your images.

The next one I will look at is the Polarizing filter, which I will talk about in another video.

As I stated in the video, I recommend buying filters to fit your largest lens and then buying step-up rings to fit them to your other lenses, saving the need for lots of different filters.

Photography Basics Depth of Field

 

Depth of field is the area of an image that is in focus, for example, if you focus on something 6 feet away, you may find that everything 1 foot beyond that and 2 feet before is in focus, but everything else is blurred. However the depth of this area that is in focus, can be adjusted by the aperture of the lens as well as the focal length of a lens.

Wide angle lenses give far deeper Depth of Field and telephoto lenses give far shallower Depth of Field. That is why Landscape photographers frequently use wide angle lenses closed down as much as possible to get everything in focus, yet portrait photographers use telephoto lenses open as much as possible to get a shallow Depth of Field, to blur the background making the subject stand out (called subject separation)

Understanding how Depth of Field works will improve your photography dramatically, so it is definitely worth experimenting to learn and understand.

Cheap Camera Stabiliser

 

I tried this cheap camera stabiliser from Ebay. Although it can take a DSLR, trying to balance the weight of a heavy camera on one of these is so fiddly and takes so long, it's not worth it. I found it to be ok for use with a small mirrorless (depending where the tripod thread is for balance) but for me, it is more suitable for use with a GoPro or a mobile, but I found that the weights that came with it were too heavy, so I bought a pack of penny washers that enabled me to fine tune the balance, making it quite a useful accessory.

One thing I did find when taking it out is that it is a very awkward shape to pack away, I eventually managed to hang it on my bag but that was not ideal.

Obviously, this is not a gimbal, but then this and similar stabilisers sell for around £15/£25 pounds. If you have the time and patience to get it correctly balanced, it will make a massive difference to your motion video footage, but there is a learning curve that involves working out how to walk like a Ninja!

Worth the money, but not worth much more.

3 Essential Photo Accesories

Sometimes, we can pay so much attention to the camera and the lens, that we forget the simplest of accessories that may have more effect on our photography than the more expensive equipment. In this video I look at 3 accessories, firstly a small, inexpensive but very capable mini tripod that you can take with you any where you go, so it can help you to get sharp images, or images with movement in situations where you would not normally have a tripod with you.

Secondly, I look at a variable ND filter, these things are amazing, they are almost infinitely variable sunglasses for your camera. They can give control in situations when you want a wide aperture in bright light, but also, they can be essential for video, especially if shooting at 24/25 fps where your shutter would (or should) be about 1/50, because once again, unless you really stop down your lens (and sometimes even that is not enough) you can simply reduce the light hitting the sensor to suit your situation.

Lastly, I look at a 10 stop ND filter, when you first look at this, it appears to be completely black, but in fact, it reduces the light hitting your sensor by 10 stops, therefore you can get exposures of 30 seconds to 1 or 2 minutes in broad daylight, but why would you want to do this?

If your camera is on a sturdy tripod and the shutter is open for 30 seconds or more, that means that subject matter such as buildings, bridges etc will remain sharp, but the clouds will have moved, grass will have moved, creating stunning surreal effects that you could not really create in camera, with any camera, without this simple accessory.

Give them a try, happy shooting!

Why I hate photographing weddings

I photographed my first wedding at 14, using my first DSLR, a Zenit E with the famous (or infamous) Helios 58mm f/2. Needless to say it was not a creative masterpiece,

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Do you need a travel lens

This is a question that comes up time and time again. When we have a new camera, or lens and we're going away, we want to take everything with us, in case of this, in case of that, but after lugging around a heavy bag that dictates your trip, it can become tiring, frustrating and it can dominate your attention.

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Great Photographers – Ansel Adams

Ansel Easton Adams (February 20, 1902 – April 22, 1984) was an American photographer and environmentalist. His black-and-white landscape photographs of the American West, especially Yosemite National Park, have been widely reproduced on calendars, posters, books, and the internet.

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Successful boudoir photography

Location
Hotels are great locations to shoot boudoir, but look for somewhere that gives you more creative options than just whitewashed walls and white linen. I like themed hotels, which give me a variety of different settings to inspire me, and make the client feel more at home in that boudoir setting.

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Sony A6000 – Initial thoughts

I've owned the A6000 for a few weeks now, which I seem to be constantly using with the Samyang 12mm f/2 lens, which I love. So far, I really like it a lot, it doesn't replace my Nikon, but then, I have got to the point where I find the bulk and weight of a DSLR, plus lenses plus accessories to be too much, and as a result,

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Photography Stock Images and Prints

Digital photography has opened up the field of photography in unprecedented ways. Today, a photographer no longer has to have access to or be a wizard in the darkroom. Instead, he or she needs to master the realm of digital imagery and computer photo manipulation. Because today’s images are already in a digital format, it makes it that much easier to upload and transmit them. This has led to an increasing number of stock photography sites and has allowed those who need the services of a photographer – either as publishers or consumers – to have more choices than ever before.

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