Tag Archives: fisheye

Gear For The Aggressive Photographer – Part 2

Sometimes the going gets tough,  and photographers simply have to get tougher. Here’s the gear to help you do just that.

Sometimes, photography can be compared to an adorable kitten; gentle, delicate, and requiring the utmost precision to pet it the right way.  However, sometimes that kitten becomes a vicious lion, and when photography starts to bite, it’s time to bite back.

If you missed part 1 of this article, check it out HERE.

Whether it’s due to sub-zero temperatures, seven-hour hikes through rugged mountains, or having to outrun a ravenous pack of zombies, photography is not always an easy sport. To help make dealing with these tough situations easier, we take a look at some wicked gear for the aggressive photographer.

Lowepro’s SlipLock harness system can be one of the most vital tools in a photographer’s arsenal. The harness system is fully customizable to fit the user’s needs. The Lowepro harness uses a modular system that fits a wide range of add-ons, consisting of a variety of lens pouches, pockets, and bags. Continue reading

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Photos Your Mobile Phone Can’t Take

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See how mobile-photo-enthusiasts can take their creativity to the next level with an SLR camera.

Smart phones like the iPhone have changed the way we communicate with each other. Mobile phones with camera features have introduced many people to the world of photography.

To deal with the limitations of mobile phones, many apps have been introduced. However, using an app to ‘fix’ an image taken with a mobile phone only masks the faults and limitations of the phone hardware.

SLR cameras grant users an exciting level of creative freedom, and quality of images that simply cannot be matched by mobile phones. For those smart phone owners who have had a taste of photography and are looking for more, we look into the photos that your mobile phone simply cannot take.

Click any image to see the full-size versions to really compare the differences

#1 Fast Shutter Speed

Ever wonder why some pictures taken at kids birthday parties have all sorts of colourful blurs where there should be happy children? This happens when a camera’s shutter speed is too slow to capture a scene with movement. Mobile phones do not offer much control for the user in this respect. When there are options for controlling shutter speed, they are extremely limited.

Most entry level SLR cameras can capture pictures at up to 1/4000thof a second!  The faster the shutter speed, the more “frozen in time” the image will look. Modern phones automatically do what they need to do in order to achieve the “best” picture. This often results in unwanted images. SLR cameras allow users to have full control over shutter speed with just a flick of the wrist.

#2 Long Exposure

There are few things quite as enchanting as a glowing city skyline at night. Ever try to snap a quick photo, only to see bunch of little squiggly lines? Sometimes with luck, one might get a photo that kind of looks like the city, except with blue and gray sprinkles everywhere. These are not the same kind of delicious sprinkles found on donuts and cupcakes. These sprinkles are referred to as “noise” or “grain”, and they definitely do not make the picture look good.

SLR cameras allow users to take “long exposures”, which means the camera is taking a photo for a few seconds, or even a few minutes! This lets users take amazing photos at night, where there doesn’t seem to be any light at all.

Taking night pictures isn’t the only cool thing SLRs can do. Long exposure shots allow anyone with a flashlight or torch write out cool messages or draw silly pictures. Ever wonder how some people are able to take mystifying photos with blurry ferris wheels or misty oceans and waterfalls? How about those star-filled night sky photos? The answer is long exposure photography! Continue reading


How To Use Natural Light To Take Better Photos

Learn the do’s and don’ts of relying on natural light to take better photos

Whether taking happy snaps at a family party or capturing breath taking landscapes, the most important ingredient to taking a photo is light. Have you ever wondered why a photo you’ve taken simply doesn’t look how you expected it to turn out? Much like how a chef cannot prepare a soup without water, a photographer cannot take a photo without light. Keep these few easy tips with you to take not only better pictures, but memories as well!

Much like how a chef can use different ingredients to create different flavours, photographers must understand how the natural light in a scene changes the ‘flavour’ of the photograph taken. Have you ever had a dish with too much salt? That’s like taking a photo with too much light! How about a dish without enough salt? That’s like a photo without enough light!

There are very few aspects about light to keep in mind, but these few aspects are very important!

Intensity

The first thing to keep in mind with natural lighting is how bright that light source is. One might say the summer sun emits a very intense light! However, a street lamp at night emits a light of very low intensity. Intensity can be a gift or a curse, depending on the photo you want to take. Shadows will be much harsher and dramatic in high intensity light.

Shooting in High Intensity Light

A summer day at the beach or at the park are common scenes with high intensity light. A great to tip to keep in mind when taking photos in these scenes is to make sure your subject is facing the source of light. If the sun is bright, it is best for the photographer to take a photo with their back to the sun.


GOOD IDEA: Have the subject face the source of light

If the subject is facing the sun, it can be almost a guarantee that his or her face will be evenly lit, and have more presence in the scene.

BAD IDEA: Have the subject with their back to the source of light.

If the subject is facing the same direction as the light source, and the photographer is shooting towards the light source  (ie. the camera is pointed directly at the sun), we run into some problems. First, the subject’s face becomes lost in shadows, and is overwhelmed by the brighter surroundings. This is not what we want!

BAD IDEA: Have the subject stand in the shade

It’s also important to ensure that the subject is not in the shade! This may result in the background being brighter than the subject, and the subject will not be able to stand out in the scene. This is not what we want! In this example, the subject’s face is darkened by the shadows of the trees. It is his jeans and background water reflecting the sunlight that stand out most in the scene. Typically, it is best if the subject’s face draws the most attention in a scene. Hats and caps can also cast obscuring shadows, so… decapitate!

Shooting in Low Intensity Light

Low intensity lights can come in the form of light fixtures at a restaurant, lit candles, and even moonlight. The best thing to do in these situations is to ensure that the light source is between the photographer and the subject, and that the light source is illuminating the subject. In many situations, better photos can be taken with the automatic flash on the camera turned OFF!

GOOD IDEA: Have a source of light close to the subject, between the camera and subject

Taking photos close to the light source. Make sure that the subject is in the light source range. This helps the subject stands out in the scene. It is also a good idea to have lights in the background as well. This will provide balance in the image. In the example above, the model is holding a lighter to light a cigarette, which provides just enough light to illuminate his face. The floodlights in the background illuminate the environment, and the stars create an interesting sky.

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GOOD IDEA: Have a light source behind the subject

Try to include light sources in the background to capture interesting scenes! Continue reading


7 Tips to Master Your Fisheye Lens

Beauty lies in the fisheye of the beholder. Follow these tips to get the most out of your fisheye lens!

Every photographer strives to take the best photos he or she possibly can. Part of taking a great photo is being able to exercise creative freedom. When it comes to the Fisheye Lens, benefits such as low light shooting, wide angle perspective, and beautiful barrel distortion set it creatively apart from any other tool.

Like any other lens, the Fisheye Lens has its own unique strengths and uses.

Fisheye lenses allow us to see the world in a new perspective.

With a fisheye lens in hand, you can turn ordinary scenes into creative playgrounds, and turn beautiful scenes into works of art! Keep these tips in mind to really make the most of your fisheye lens:

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