Archive for the ‘ Fun Techniques ’ Category

Fun Techniques: Miniature Models

By Jack Berglund

Creating a miniature effect, where a normal scene is transformed to look like a photo of a toy model, is surprisingly quick and easy and can add a new playful dimension to some of your photos. What better subject to turn into model than the striking, imaginative, almost dreamlike buildings of Antoni Gaudi.

Gaudi was a Spanish architect who did most of his work in Barcelona at the start of the the 20th Century.  His Modern Catalan creations were not always well received at the time but there is no doubt he left his mark on the architecture world and on the city of Barcelona.  I was in Parc Guell in Barcelona last week and found myself looking down on a crowd of people at the foot of two fairy tale Gaudi buildings and immediately though this would be the perfect image to try a miniature model effect.

How to Create the Miniature Model effect?

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Fun Techniques: Silky Waters

By Jack Berglund

In the third in the series of fun techniques you’ll learn how to create a beautiful silky water effect.  Its easy to do and something fun to try next time you’re out in nature.

By Severine Mary

The basic idea is simple: hold the camera steady with a long exposure and the constantly moving and splashing water is smoothed out.  You can use this approach on rivers, the sea or on lakes.

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Fun Technique: Time to Get Flashy

By Jack Berglund

In this second in the series of fun techniques, you’ll be having so much fun you won’t realize I’ve tricked you into learning what rear sync flash is and how to use it.

Getting this effect is surprisingly simple, by setting your camera up correct and zooming whilst the shot is being taken. You’ll get the best results with a dedicated flash although you can have a crack with the one on your camera also with more mixed results.

First the ‘How’

The ‘why’ comes later, its more fun that way and as fun is in the title, we’re all about fun today:

  1. Set your flash to rear sync (sometimes called second-curtain) mode *see the note below if you’re unsure how to do this
  2. In manual mode, set your shutter speed to something around 1/2s – 1 s and your aperture close to wide open.
  3. The slower you go with the shutter speed the more pronounced affects you can get and the more time you have to apply the affect.
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Fun Technique: Panning

By Jack Berglund

Thinking back to school, I can remember some of the more entertaining parts of chemistry lessons.  The teacher could have just told us that sodium in water bursts into flames and that the elements of group one get more reactive as you go down the periodic table but its more fun to watch.  Having seen the equivalent cesium demonstration destroy the apparatus, we were all more likely to stick at it and learn something really useful. And so it is with panning…

Soon after I bought my first digital SLR, I was shown the technique of panning to add a sense of motion to a photograph.  Panning involves following a moving subject with the camera whilst taking a shot giving the background a motion blur but keeping the subject sharp. My girlfriend introduced it only as a useful technique that I would find fun.  She has since revealed it was part of a plan to get me off automatic mode and really thinking about what I was doing.

Its a technique that you can learn in a couple of hours and get great results.  Many photography concepts are built up by experience over a long period of time, so having some specific techniques to learn and master is a great way to stay involved and get some interesting shots.  Needless to say, in my case the plan worked.  This and a series of other fun techniques got me hooked for long enough to start learning some of the more heavyweight fundamentals.

Basic Technique:

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