Posts Tagged ‘ photography tips ’

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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Basics: Aperture and Depth of Field

By Jack Berglund

There are numerous books and websites explaining the ins and out of shutter speed and aperture.  I’ll explain them in a simple way that you can actually use and when you need to care about what.  Here we’ll cover aperture, in a follow-up post I’ll include shutter speed.

Depth of Field is Your Friend

One of the best things about upgrading to a Digital SLR from a point and shoot is being able to control your depth of field. Depth of field is how much of photo is in focus from the point your focusing on.To get a portrait with an in focus face and a nice blurry background, you want a shallow depth of field.

Large Aperture, Shallow Depth of Field

The main way to control your depth of field is to alter the size of the aperture (the hole through which the light passes).  Due to something called ‘physics’ a larger aperture means a shallower depth of field.  Aperture is measured in f stops.   There are two important things to know about an f-stop: 1) smaller numbers mean a bigger aperture and 2) I’ll tell you in a moment.

Small f number (e.g. f/2.8) = big aperture = shallow depth of field = blurry background = nice portrait

Maximizing a Blurry Background

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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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Something Fishy

By Jack Berglund

On April 26, 711, Tariq ibn Ziyad and his army invaded Gibraltar and famously ordered his men to ‘burn the boats’ so there would be no thought of retreat their minds.  This feet was repeated by Cortez many centuries later in South America and no doubt by other commanders throughout history.  This somewhat extreme form of motivation seems to have had the desired affect in both cases with the respective armies triumphing.

And so it was this weekend when I headed out armed with nothing but a 10.5mm Nikon fish eye lens.   I didn’t set fire to my more usual collection of lenses (I simply left them at home) but the affect was similar.  I had no choice but to keep snapping with the fish eye even when I wished I had something more conventional to hand. Continue reading

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