Posts Tagged ‘ photography technique ’

Biggie Smalls

By Jack Berglund

Its seems, as humans we’re fascinated by miniature versions of things: toy models, dolls houses, tea cup piglets, miniature ponies etc. Bigger is also better (so I’m told). This probably explains why Macro photography, the art of capturing small objects and blowing them up many times bigger than life size is so compelling.

Macro photography is defined as taking a picture of an object so that it appears on the sensor (or film) at least as big if not bigger than the real life object (referred to as 1:1).  This is a not very helpful definition given that you’d rarely print or display something at the same size of your sensor and the image will be enlarged many times when presented but there you go.  Some marketing literature will claim something is ‘macro’ if the object will print larger than actual size on a 6×4″ photo which is a better way of defining things but only gives you a 1:4 magnification (image is one quarter the real life size on the sensor) so your close ups will not be so close as a true macro shot.

What You’ll Need

You’ll get best results with a dedicated macro lens but there are alternatives.   Some zoom lenses can take macro like photos (close to 1:1) so check what you have already.  There are also macro tubes which you insert between the lens and the camera.  Moving the lens away from the sensor, decreases the minimum distance they can focus at allowing you to move closer and get an enlarged view of the object even though the magnification of the lens is unchanged.  There is a somewhat wacky but apparently effective option to mount one lens backwards in front of another.  You lose auto-focus and have to walk round with a weird set of lenses on the front of your camera but can get good photos… Continue reading

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.
  4. Continue reading

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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