Here is my personal collection of what I consider some of (but not all of) the best sites for a photographer to use: Continue reading
When you see a great shot or say to yourself “that would make a great photo,” you want to be able to actually take that photo – right now. You don’t want to fumble around with your camera and lenses. Here’s a simple, simple way to take shots more quickly. (And, you’ll get better results.)
Have you seen the photo that looks so real it almost comes off of the page or draws you into it? Have you seen one that gives you the sense of actually being there? Does it seem like you are there where the photographer was and now seeing it with your own eyes?
If you have, you’ve probably seen a photo that has one or more of the following qualities that make it look realistic. Continue reading
Almost everything you will read will tell you that to have a great looking landscape shot it has to be sharp from front to back, and you have to shoot at f/16 or f/22 to get that.
That is not how it works in the real world with your eyes, and it is not how a camera or lens should be used either. I’ll break this down and destroy this myth. Continue reading
The Hoya HRT CIR-PL UV filter is a winner in my opinion. It has both the polarization and UV protection, but most importantly it does not cut down on the light reaching your camera sensor as much as many of the others. Together with its low cost, I think this is the filter every photographer should own.
The Revenant is a film to be admired by fans of widescreen images. Emmanuel Lubezki created this by filming with an ARRI Alexa 65 6K camera and lenses of 12 to 21 mm. My desire is to deconstruct and replicate this in an APS-C dSLR and lenses. Continue reading
This happens: I get back to the computer and find that the shot I took is not sharp. I was shaking while taking the photo. Arrrrgh! But why? I’ll tell you my problems so you can avoid them yourself.
Comparing cameras and lenses before you purchase is always a smart idea. Here are some of the sites I use to learn more about lenses and cameras before I buy them. Continue reading
I’ve been reading a lot of camera and lens reviews lately, and they all label the users as one thing or another: Pro, Semi-Pro, Enthusiast, Novice, Casual User, Hobbyist, Amateur. I’m here to tell you; that’s all a bunch of nonsense. I stop reading when I see them labeling me or my equipment as one of these. I think you should too. Here’s why: Continue reading
Comparing Circular Polarizers
I have two circular polarizing filters in my camera bag that seem to perform about the same…but do they? I did a simple test with my camera to find out. Here’s how they compare:
… Because a Protective Filter Can Be Your Friend … or Enemy
There are only a few times when I want to use a protective filter on my camera lens, and here’s why:
How to Take Great Night Photos
What a lot of people don’t know is that it is relatively inexpensive and easy to take great night photos. The Milky Way, stars, and Moon are all within your reach. You can get some extremely cool-looking photos of them without a lot of effort. Here’s how…
B&H Photo Video is my recommended vendor for any photography equipment. They are based in New York and have the best sales, selection, and customer service that I have experienced.
What is a lens’s “sweet spot?”
Everybody wants sharp and focused photos. You can get good sharpness near to far in a photo by hyperfocal focusing, but what are the limits of sharpness of your lens? At what aperture (f-stop value) will you get the sharpest photos? This is also known as the “sweet spot” of the lens. Here is a simple test you can do to find out where your lens is sharpest. But first, some basic rules…
General Rules for Lenses
The rules are about the same for every lens. Here are the general ones: Continue reading
How Important is Light?
Light is everything. Everything. Light is everything to a photographer. Light is more important than the subject. A good subject but bad light = a bad photo. Good light wins every time. Continue reading
I’m interested in making the best landscape and nature photos that I possibly can. With that in mind, I thought I would look at two outstanding sites where great photos are displayed and see what the best photos there all have in common. Here’s what I found… Continue reading
When it comes to your photos, how sharp is sharp enough? Almost everyone wants crisp, detailed photos without blur and in good focus. In addition some sharp edges look great in the right places. But how to achieve all of this? Continue reading
GoPro Hero cameras are fantastic as movie cameras and also for taking still photos. The Hero 3 is the latest version and has options for 12 Megapixel Wide Angle, Medium Angle, or Narrow. The wide angle is by far the best for getting all of a scene in view, but the distortion around the edges is difficult to compensate and all objects appear curved toward the edges. Here is my formula for getting lens corrections in Lightroom for this camera. Continue reading
Sometimes a photo will have just too much of a particular color (color cast) or overall too much color such as from a polarizing filter. The Singh-Ray LB Color Combo filter sometimes does this to my photos and I have to “tone them down” in Lightroom. Here’s what I do to achieve more pleasing color in these types of images: Continue reading
I’ve found that shooting photos at night is a brand new challenge for me. I knew it would be, but I did not realize how much of a challenge it would be. Here’s what I’ve learned using my Canon dSLR:
There’s a very short answer to this question and it should not be surprising to any good photographer. Continue reading
Here are two handy checklists that I consult when I use filters and/or a tripod: Continue reading
I hate having to correct for motion blur in post processing. It’s easy enough to do with programs like Focus Magic, but it frustrates me because it could all have been avoided if I’d have just set-up my camera correctly! Motion blur happens when the camera is moving and the shot is taken, but there are some simple rules I have that can help.
The rules I use are as follows: Continue reading
Want to remember what filter you used when you shot a photo? Want it to stay with the photo in the metadata?
I’ve been looking for a way to do this for a long time. I use filters when I shoot my photos, and I like to remember what filters or combination of filters that I used when I took each one. This helps me know what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to using filters.
Until now, I haven’t found a way to get that information into a photo’s metadata (the technical data that is attached to each photo in the file itself). There just wasn’t a field for it. Continue reading
Chromatic aberration (purple fringe or other color anomalies around bright to dark transitions) is an annoying thing in photos and can easily sneak into one of your’s!
You can see it in the photo I have here around the dark legs of this structure. It is the magenta lining on the left and the aqua on the right of each of the legs. Click on the photo to see it larger if needed.
You may miss it the first time looking at the photo because you’re interested in the composition or overall color, sharpness, etc. (as you should be). But, looking closely, you will find it in almost all of the photos you take. It is sometimes an aqua, magenta, blue, or yellow lining of darker objects on lighter backgrounds. In older cameras, it was purple, giving it the nickname of “purple fringe.” Fortunately, in Lightroom, there are two or three ways to get rid of this annoying item.
Here are the three ways that I get rid of chromatic aberration using Lightroom: Continue reading
In my photographs, I like to show what it would look like if I were actually right there looking at it. I want realism. I like that. So I usually shoot water so I can see almost every drop and ripple – a snapshot in time just as if I were there. But, that’s me.
The overwhelming majority of people like to see water as a blurred, fuzziness without drops or ripples. I’ve heard it termed “silky” or “flowing.”
No problem, I’ll show you how to do both:
“Using a Lens Cover“ is my latest video showing how a lens cover works and how it can prevent damage to a camera lens.
Using those little spring-loaded lens caps that come with most camera lenses just don’t work when using screw-on filters. They don’t fit. The better bet is with lens covers and this video will show you the kind that I use and even a tip on how to use them!P.S.: I learned how to shoot good video using the book “How to Shoot Video That Doesn’t Suck: Advice to Make Any Amateur Look Like a Pro.” I highly recommend it!
Maybe you already do this simple thing, but in this short video I show you my trick and how it can save you some considerable cost and damage to your polarizing filter!