Why Should You Break the Rules of Photography?
Photographs can start to look all the same. Look at any great site like 500px for example and you will find a lot of really great photos. But, they’re all about the same in technical quality and composition. Sure, different subjects, but still there is a “sameness” to them.
This is not surprising at all. Everyone in photography strives to get the best shot possible and to follow the rules of good composition. These are the things that make great photos. But it is consistently the rule-breakers that stand out in any crowd, isn’t it?
So you should stand out and you should break the rules at some point in your photography. But, when?
Nikon D810 vs. Sigma DP2 Merrill
I’ve done some comparisons of cameras lately and decided to compare my compact Sigma to the Nikon flagship camera. The Nikon D810, when compared to the Sigma DP2 Merrill, loses in the dynamic range category. The D810, rated as highest dynamic range by DxOMark and generally touted by sites across the internet as the best dSLR camera out there now, still loses to the Sigma DP2 Merrill. Here is a test result of the sensors. The DP2M wins on pixel pitch and pixel size. This means the DP2M captures higher dynamic range and has a better signal to noise ratio than the D810. When you factor in that the DP2 is a small, compact camera, where the D810 is a full-sized dSLR, it is amazing that the DP2 beats the Nikon flagship dSLR. The ability to capture great photos doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot. The DP2 Merrill camera with built-in f/2.8 lens is 25% of the cost of the Nikon D810 camera body alone (and you still have to buy lenses for the Nikon).
Werner Herzog’s “Rules” and Photography
Werner Herzog’s “life rules” (my term, not his) appear on the back of the latest book about this great film director as written by Paul Cronin. I find them uniquely suited to photography and have written my own interpretation and use of each.
I’ve read several photography books and here are my short reviews on some of them. I am mostly a landscape, nature, and travel photographer, so I have read more of these types of books than others, but there are books in here for any photographer that I would recommend! Continue reading
The Dreaded Photo Title and Description
I should have better titles for my photos but I absolutely hate trying to come up with a catchy name for a photo. I often just name a photo whatever it looks like, for example “Shore Birds” for a photo that shows a bunch of birds on the shore. The description also follows the same form – just describing what it is that is in the photo.
This is not very good.
I would like to have better titles and descriptions because this could potentially excite prospective buyers into buying my photos. But, coming up with titles is difficult and I needed a way to do this.
Below: An Example of a Bland Description from My Instagram Account @larslentzphotography
I looked at what other photographers are doing for their titles and descriptions, and they fall into one of two different categories:
- Weak – Titles and descriptions are just like I’ve already described and are not very exciting at all.
- Over-the-Top – Crazy descriptions and fantasy-sounding titles that really don’t make me want to buy or even take the photographer seriously.
These are both bad, and clearly a better system is needed to describe and title photos. Continue reading
I believe strongly that there are a few photo editing software programs that are absolutely essential to any photographer: Continue reading
DxO Optics Pro and Adobe Lightroom
When used together, DxO Optics Pro and Adobe Lightroom work very well. However, I noticed an issue in my workflow and it was the color of the images. The greens and reds were noticeably stronger in DxO Optics Pro than in Lightroom, for the exact same photo. Here’s what I found out was the problem… Continue reading
The Caring Trap
As a photographer, you probably care a lot about what other people think of your photos. Right? This is not a bad thing. The opinions of others is often the only way you’ll get the feedback you need to help you progress in the quality of your photography. But, don’t take it too far, or you’ll fall into a nasty trap. Continue reading
Winter, Cold Weather, and Clarity
For clarity in your photos, the cold of winter is one of the best times available! You will consistently get sharper, cleaner-looking outdoor photos in winter than at any other time of the year. Why? Continue reading
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 21,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 8 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.
Click here to see the complete report.
ISO Settings In Your Camera
ISO settings can drastically affect your photos and you should know where to set the ISO in every circumstance.
Your goal as a photographer is to both get the shot and to have an acceptably low-noise photo as a result. High ISO levels result in higher noise levels in your photos. The best ISO level for the least amount of noise is your camera’s “native ISO.” Native ISO (also known as “Base ISO”) refers to the ISO level that is where the camera sensor’s “fullest” light level corresponds to the same level of fully exposed film. The details are unimportant, but it is important to know the following: Continue reading
Matrix/Evaluative, Center-Weighted, Partial, Spot.
Which metering mode is the right one to use?
The answer is not simple. I’m primarily an outdoor photographer and that demands a lot of care in selecting the metering mode – more than for any other type of photography because the subject is changing all the time. I’ve used all of the metering modes at one time or another, but what would I recommend keeping your camera on all of the time? Continue reading
Removing People from a Beach
This is a short video that shows some of the capabilities of OnOne Perfect Photo Suite. In this video, I show how to remove people (and a dog) from a beach photo very easily (and almost magically) using OnOne Perfect Photo.
A Photo Critique
Here is a photo (small version above) that I posted to Nature Photographer’s Network. Click the photo or the link [here] to visit the page. It will be up for about a month after this post. There you will see the helpful critiques you can get on your photos if you post them there. I would highly recommend it, but also remember to take the criticism with care – it is not all helpful. Here are some of the critiques so far… Continue reading