Posts tagged ‘photography’
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is the best photography post processing software as of this writing. It will allow you do everything you need to manage, process, and edit your photographs. Lightroom saves you from ever having to dive into Photoshop. We highly recommend this piece of software and use it heavily.
See Also: Free Adobe Tutorial videos.
Camera Shake, a leading cause of bad photos
Camera shake is like the gingivitis of photography. When you’re dealing with camera shake you’re dealing with images that are not in focus or are totally blurry. Most often with images that suffer from Camera Shake the image is just slightly out of focus.
Example of camera shake:
(photo by itchys)
Notice how the image is just barely out of focus but it’s far enough out to ruin the image. The horror!
Why does camera shake happen?
When you take a photo there is a moment when the shutter is open and light hits your camera’s sensor or film. If the shutter is open for a long time and you move your camera while it’s open you will most likely get a blurry photo. While the shutter is open and you are holding the camera tiny movements in your hands and arms will make your image slightly blurry. In photography the shutter is very very fast so a long time in this context could even be less than a second.
There are a whole host of ways to avoid camera shake. Here are a few:
One method would be to shoot at a faster shutter speed. In some cases to achieve these higher shutter speeds you will have to shoot higher ISOs
Shoot at Higher ISOs
Obviously the side effect of this is that you’ll get more noise and grain in your image but I’ll take a noisy image that’s in focus over a blurry image any day of the week.
Use a Better Lens
Another option would be to shoot with a faster lens. If you shoot with a better lens you can get away with more. So if all things are equal you can capture more light with a better lens. As such you’ll have less camera shake.
Get a Better Camera
A camera with a high quality imaging sensor can almost always shoot sharper images in lower light. Before anything else gets written here I should note that ‘getting a better camera’ should almost NEVER be a solution to a problem in photography. I just needed something to fill out this list! In all seriousness though a better camera will help in this situation so get yourself a better camera.
Use A Tripod!
The most obvious solution is to just use a damn tripod! As a general rule you almost always get sharper images when you use a tripod. The tripod is a stable platform for your camera and it does not move and it will eliminate camera shake. Don’t have a tripod? Go buy a tripod.
Hold The Camera Steadier
When you don’t have a tripod or can’t use one just take a moment and control your breathing and concentrate on being still. Take a deep breath or two. Compose yourself if you will.
Make a Tripod
You don’t have to carry around your bulky tripod. You can just make your own tripod out of string!
Hold the Barrel
Support your camera by holding the barrel of your lens and putting your elbow on something like your knee or something solid.
Bring Your Elbows In
Bring your elbows in and rest them on your stomach/chest. That way you’ll be making a tripod between your two hands and your eye pressed against the viewfinder.
Make it Art!
Just like most artefacts and technical screw ups in photography you can make it into an art form. People have taken this artifact of photography and produced some very interesting images. It’s like the rule of thirds, you should really learn it before you start to break it as a rule.
Examples of camera shake (or motion blur) being used creatively:
photo by unukorno
photo by ninette_luz
To learn how to use motion and the blur effect creatively take a look at our article: How To Show Motion in Photography By Panning
Put Your Camera on a Stable Surface
You can really get away with anything that is stable and doesn’t move. Just be careful because cameras have been known to fall of things you might have thought we’re stable.
Lean On Me. And I’ll be your friend
Just like Bill Withers suggests, just lean on something. If there is a post or a tree or something right at the position you want to shoot from then lean on it. This essentially removes a great deal of the movement that is occurring in your body all the time
Geting closer to your subject means you won’t have to zoom as much. The less you have to use your zoom, the less your lens will shake.
Stop Drop and Shoot!
If you can lie on the ground. The all but eliminates the movement of your body and will result in sharper images.
A Simple Rule
As a really rough mental guideline ensure that your shutter speed is never slower than half the focal lenght of your zoom lens. So if you’re shooting with a 300mm lens you don’t really want your shutter speed to drop below 150/sec. This is an very very rough tool but it helps you keep camera shake in mind.
Now get out there and shoot some razor sharp images.
Let’s set the record straight.
There is no best way to learn photography. There are plenty of ways to learn photography and there really is no perfect answer this question. Everyone has their own learning style, as such there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution.
Some people teach themselves, others benefit greatly from a formal education. Others choose to get best of both worlds by learning photography online and teaching themselves.
List of Ways To Learn Photography:
Read some photography books
Learn photography from the masters
Read photography ebooks
Learn with a group of friends
Use Youtube videos
Attend university and study photography
Go to a local college
Go to a local photography course
Take a one day course
Learn from blogs and photo sites
Learn from an online photography course
Become active on a photography forum
Simple trial and error
Just shoot lots of photographs
Attend weekend courses
The list could go on and on. The main thing is that nobody can tell you what is best for you!
What you should really be asking:
If you want to learn photography, ask yourself what is the most fun you’ve had learning something? And then try to replicate that. When something is fun people tend to learn quickly. Also as yourself what format do you prefer when learning? Some people prefer the written word and others are more visual. Then choose your method(s) accordingly. A hybrid approach is really great. Just combine a few theoretical and practical approaches and you’ll be all set.
Essential To Learning Photography:
This really applies to anything you want to get good at but it really works with photography.
- Have fun
- Practice hard
Without the hard work of practice and the fun of learning you won’t get anywhere.
Photography is a Life-long Journey:
One of the most fascinating aspects of photography is that you really never stop learning. Not only does the art form evolve over time but you get older and you attain a different perspective. Your early photos will be embarrassingly bad but they may be more interesting in a different context. What’s more, the technology of photography changes regularly as well. There is always something new to learn! How great is that?!
photo by ClickFlashPhotos
This list of photography themes is super hand for those of you feeling like there is nothing to photograph. Photography themes are a great way to organize your photography. Often students say their town is boring or there is nothing to shoot. There is ALWAYS something to photograph!
Just take a look at this list of themes and items that are interesting to shoot. It should get you started.
If you’re wondering why using themes in photography is useful read this.
We will update this list as we come up with new ideas.
- Abandoned Buildings
- Back Alleys
- Bad Weather
- Bald Heads
- Bare Feet
- Bicycle Parts
- Black and White
- Broken Glass
- Butterflies / Bees
- Car Details
- Catching People Unaware
- Church Windows
- City Hall
- City Skylines
- City Street Scenes
- Covered Bridges
- Custom Cars
- Disappearing Professions
- Disappearing Technologies
- Doom and gloom
- Door Knobs
- Dots / Dashes / Diagonals
- Emergency Situations
- Enthusiasm / eager
- Environmental Trash
- Eye Glasses
- Farm Animals
- Fetes & Festivals
- Fire Engines
- Fireworks / Fire
- Flower Petals
- Forms in Nature
- Geriatric (older folks)
- H Hands
- Hot Rod Cars
- Indian Ruins
- Indigenous Things Or People
- Isolated Objects
- Junk Yards
- Kin or Families
- Machine Parts
- Marine life
- Mass flowers
- Movie Theater Marquees
- Neon Signs
- Night lights
- Odd Couples
- Old Everything
- Paper Abstracts
- Parallel Lines
- Peeling Paint
- People At Work
- People Walking Dogs
- Pictures in Pictures
- Piles of Things
- Pink / Purple
- Railroad Cars
- Railroad Tracks
- Red Barns
- Reflections in Glass
- Reflections in Water
- Round Things
- Rows of Things
- Sand dunes
- Sand Patterns
- Sea Shells
- Sleeping Animals
- Sleeping People
- Small Furry Animals
- Smoke Stacks
- Soft Curves
- Spanish Moss
- Steam Railroads
- Still life
- Strange Signs
- String Instruments
- Teddy Bear / toy
- The Local School
- The spot (X marks it, you know)
- Tools of the Trade
- Tree Knots
- Ugly Everything
- Ungulates (hoofed animals, pigs, goats, deer horses)
- Vices or Habits
- Weathered Wood
- Wide Angle Everything
- Zig Zags
How’s that for a list of things to shoot?! Now get out there and take some great photographs!
At Icon Photography School we teach our students techniques to greatly increase the quality of their black and white photographs.
Many photographers specialize in black and white photography due to its sheer power, elegance and beauty. However, it is important to note that black and white photography is not simply color photography with black and white film (or a black and white digital setting). Black and white photography has its own set of rules that it needs to abide by. Black and white photography, since it is colorless, needs to find other ways to set moods.
Tones are the most important element of black and white photography. As humans we don’t really think about the world in tonal ranges. For us when we see light blue and then we look else where and see yellow, we are in fact seeing two different colors. However, when you take a black and white photograph with light blue and yellow in the same frame, the camera may not actually communicate the difference to your viewers since the colors have almost the exact same grey tone.
We dedicate an entire lesson to black and white photography techniques in our online photography school.
The incredible photograph above was taken by Ansel Adams.
This page has moved to here:
The Icon Photography School has a partnership with a popular online art photography magazine.
Each of our students is given an opportunity to have their work published in the magazine at the end of the course (Just before they complete their final exams).
If you’re interested in both learning more about photography and having your photographs published in a popular magazine then you might want to consider signing up for our online photography course here.
Photo by xjrlokix
Click on the image to view it larger.
All of the photos above were Creative Commons Licensed as of April 16th 2011. To view these photos on flickr click the attribution links below.
Photo 1, Photo 2, Photo 3, Photo 4, Photo 5, Photo 6, Photo 7, Photo 8, Photo 9, Photo 10, Photo 11, Photo 12, Photo 13, Photo 14, Photo 15, Photo 16, Photo 17, Photo 18, Photo 19, Photo 20, Photo 21, Photo 22, Photo 23, Photo 24, Photo 25, Photo 26, Photo 27, Photo 28, Photo 29, Photo 30, Photo 31, Photo 32, Photo 33, Photo 34, Photo 35, Photo 36, Photo 37, Photo 38, Photo 39, Photo 40, Photo 41, Photo 42, Photo 43, Photo 44, Photo 45, Photo 46, Photo 47, Photo 48, Photo 49, Photo 50, Photo 51, Photo 52, Photo 53, Photo 54, Photo 55, Photo 56, Photo 57, Photo 58, Photo 59, Photo 60, Photo 61, Photo 62, Photo 63, Photo 64, Photo 65, Photo 66, Photo 67, Photo 68, Photo 69, Photo 70, Photo 71, Photo 72, Photo 73, Photo 74, Photo 75, Photo 76, Photo 77, Photo 78, Photo 79, Photo 80, Photo 81, Photo 82, Photo 83, Photo 84, Photo 85, Photo 86, Photo 87, Photo 88, Photo 89, Photo 90, Photo 91, Photo 92, Photo 93, Photo 94, Photo 95, Photo 96, Photo 97, Photo 98, Photo 99, Photo 100
Why So Serious?!
Sometimes learning photography can be a little dull and scientific. Apertures, f-stops and ISOs can get a little too technical and tedious sometimes. We’ve tried to make our online photography class fun and engaging but even with our class the details of learning photography can be a little dry sometimes. Given that, we’re put together this post about fun things you can do with Photography if you’re just getting started or if you’re the next Cartier Brasson.
Be the party photographer.
Throwing a party? Or is your friend throwing a party? Sign yourself up as the ‘professional’ photographer for the night and document the evening. Just be careful about posting too much debauchery on Facebook et al. Take it kinda seriously, and tell everyone you’re the “official” photographer. If you don’t have a speedlite go out and get one. If you’re a cheapskate buy one that can be returned if you must. The point is to have fun and get some good party shots.
Buy a lomo or a Holga.
The look these intentionally flaw laden cameras create is really fun. The fish eye lomos are especially fun. They have ridiculously wide angle lenses on them. So wide that they’ll capture a person head to toe when the camera is just a few inches from their nose. Scan these photos and give them to your friends so they can use them on Facebook. Better yet, have prints made and make a collage of them on your wall.
Buy a polaroid camera.
Go ahead and buy yourself a polaroid camera and spend the day walking around with it. You only have a certain number of shots to take so make em count. Then post the good ones up in your house / apartment.
We’ll be posting more of these “fun with photography” posts in the future. In the meantime let’s lighten up a little as photographers sometimes. Remember to have fun and create great images at the same time!