How and When to Use Self-Timer in Photography


The self-timer feature of your camera, DSLR or otherwise, is a neat one. Provided that you have a place to set your camera down, you can use this feature to shoot images in a large number of different situations, with absolutely stunning results and zero camera shake. Almost all cameras have it. Even your smartphone has a self-timer feature. It is very versatile and comes handy in a large number of situations. But what exactly is a self-timer feature and how can I use it effectively? Continue Reading

Black and White Photography Basics

Black and White Photography Basics

Today we will journey to a time in photographic world from which it all began; the time of black and white photography. The history of photography began with black and white film and it was the only medium available until early thirties of 20th century when colored photography was invented. Even after the emergence of color photography, new medium was not adopted straight away and one had to wait for a few more decades before its acceptance. When the price of color films and the processing/development of colored photos came down, people widely started adopting color photography. But even though colored photography is so widely used these days, black and white photographs still hold the crown for some of the most breathtaking imagery. Continue Reading

Understanding Image Stabilization

understanding image stabilization

Image stabilization, as a feature in our digital cameras, is somewhat of a given. We take it for granted and use it without even giving it any thought. But photographers have not always been this lucky. Ask anyone who had started his career shooting in film, with old film SLRs, and you would immediately get a smirk and a sharp retort. Image stabilization has, to a large extent, made photography easier. Otherwise how would you expect a photographer to shoot a hand-held shot at 1/10th of a second?

How would you expect one to sling his DSLR around his neck and shoot a perfectly sharp photo of his kid while he’s spinning around holding hands? This are just but a couple of instances of the many advantages of having image stabilization in our cameras. For sure, image stabilization has made it possible for us to take it easy and yet walk out with respectable shots. Continue Reading

Clean Up The Clutter in Your Nature Photography

Photographing flowers and plants should be easy as pie.  In theory, Mother Nature has already provided us with all the subjects and backgrounds and lighting we need.  What’s left to do but point the camera and press the shutter button, right?

In reality, nature is usually surrounded by even more nature, getting in our way or cluttering up the background while we’re trying to work.  Controlling the environment and isolating our subjects can be more than half the battle, and we hope these handy tips help guide your way towards better (and less distracting) nature photos…

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Travel Lighter, Pack Smarter

I had to pack for a trip to Peru and the Galapagos the other day. I hate packing. What I hate even more is carrying too many bags, and bags that are too heavy. My goal for this 16-day trip was to not check any bags, to reduce what I had to carry around on planes, trains, cars, and boats, and to avoid any excess fees that airlines now charge for checking bags. But, with these extremely photogenic destinations, how would I get away with this? Spoiler alert: I still had to check a bag containing strictly my underwater camera gear. I tried my best to get the underwater case in my carryon but it was a lost cause. Continue Reading

Exposing to the Right… Almost

Do an Internet search for “Expose to the right” and a thousand hits will come up, all with differing opinions. One search summary will say it’s the most valuable technique you can learn while the next summary will say it’s a bunch of bull. “Expose to the right”, or ETTR, is the practice of setting exposure to push the histogram data as far right as possible without clipping any highlights (which I’ll explain in just a minute if you need it). The idea being that doing so will record as much image data as possible, because digital sensors record more data in the highlights than in the shadows. So, the theory goes, overexpose every picture and fix it in post-processing. Well it’s not that easy, and it certainly doesn’t apply to every composition. Continue Reading

2015 Resolutions: Photography Projects to Stay Inspired

Happy New Years Eve!  Tonight is the night when so many of us make promises and resolutions to be ignored or forgotten tomorrow.  I wonder how many books have actually been written, compared to the number of people who have said they’re going to write a book?  The realities can be overwhelming when you’re actually staring at that blank page for the first time.  Or standing at the foot of a mountain and looking up at the peak, for that matter.

For those photographers considering an ambitious new project in 2015, I can assure you that just like climbing a mountain, the easiest step is always the first step. The more difficult part is keeping that momentum going over time, especially during winter months when cold weather keeps us indoors and holidays provide so much distraction.  Thankfully, you have to play the cheerleader role and goad you on with a few project ideas and a little inspiration for the New Year…

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Me, My Camera and Eye


This article is a description of similarities between human eye and the basic camera elements and will help the readers to not only understand all the basic camera functions but also remember them easily for a long period of time. The term “camera” used in this article can be applied to the latest high tech DSLRs, basic point and shoot cameras to the earliest form of cameras ever made. The history of cameras suggest that the beginning of the field of photography was built on the fundamentals of human eye and principles of vision. The basic purpose of this article is to familiarize you with all the rudimentary functions of a camera by giving analogous examples from the human eye so that the complicated concepts of photography can be easily related and understood. So let’s not wait any more and start the comparison. Continue Reading

Zone System for Digital Exposures


In my last post I discussed the importance of understanding how the camera is seeing light and making uninformed decisions to calculate exposure for you, and how to use exposure override in an attempt to educate the camera (it’ll never learn). There will come a time, with practice, where you can just look at a scene, determine how you want various elements within the scene exposed, and set the proper exposure using the camera’s exposure meter as a guide. Understanding the Zone System will immensely improve your exposures. Continue Reading