Tag Archive: Photography


Feathers

This is one of my macro style photos; aiming to capture the details of the feather, as well as strong colours through the use of compsore and selective lighting

To achieve this, I used a number of techniques:

  • I selected a good angle, pretty much resting the camera on the feathers
  • Then added some additional light, boosting the reds, oranges and yellow as well as accentuating the contours of the feather
  • Following this I set my ISO to low, reducing noise.


My Personal critique:

The colours in this picture are very rich, deep. There is also a good contrast which drastically improves the image.

Framing and composure is decent, perhaps a slight cropping at the top right would improve this

The level of detail in the photo is nice, with the centre being sharpest and most detailed. The texture is really clear at that point

In terms of achieving its aim, I think this photo has done well. It capturing the colour and the detail to a high standard

To improve: I would crop the top right hand corner of the picture, to fill the entire frame with feather

Do you have any comments or feedback?  Leave them below, or on my Flickr page.

Ever thought about photographing the night sky or the stars? These are a few tips and techniques to improve your shots:

Get Rural

Large towns and cities produce light pollution domes, these are not particularly desirable, moving away will  solve this problem.

Take Sample Shots

Your eyes will not be able to see all of the stars or formations in the night sky, taking sample shots is a great way to find a good subject.

  • Auto Focus – Off
  • Focus – Infinite
  • ISO – Max
  • Apature – Wide
  • Exposure – 10 to 30 seconds

These pictures will not look great, but they should help you navigate around the sky

Know where the big features are

Use a Program like Stellarium to find out where the big, important constellations are. This will enable you to know what you are photographing. Popular features are other planets in our solar system, such as Jupiter or Saturn

Don’t Forget the foreground

Adding a foreground to your pictures can really make a difference; I adds detail and can make the photo more interesting. The kind of thing to add are mountains or water.

Final Setup

Once you have found your subject, and have it squarely in your viewfinder use the following setup to ensure bright stars and a good image to work with

  • Shoot Raw – You may have to do some extra work, but viscous noise cancelling from a camera can really kill the details
  • ISO – Again this should be high 2000 to 4000 is ideal for brightness, turn down if there is too much noise in the image
  • Exposure – Keep this long, however there is a way to determine the optimal exposure time: take 600 and divide it by the focal length. So If my focal length is 20, then I can expose for 30 seconds before the stars start to leave trails.

Attribution: Many thanks to Ben Canales, who supplied information and inspiration for this post. Check out his work at: http://www.thestartrail.com

Do you have any comments or feedback?  Leave them below, or on my Flickr page; Don’t forget to rate this post below!

Everyone likes to take pictures when they’re on their holidays, but how can you improve your photos? Below are my tips for better travel photography:

Be Unique

Thousands of people will have snapped the same things as you are, make your pictures unique. Different angles are a great way to achieve this.

Get off the Beaten Track

Try taking pictures of locals, or of other local buildings; Photographing other subjects, rather than just the popular landmarks gives a more complete story

Know your Equipment

This one sounds obvious, but the number of people I have met who have bought a new camera and don’t know how to use it, is unbelievable.

Be Creative

Try out a variety of techniques when taking pictures. Examples include long exposure or motion blur.

Be Colourful

Make sure the pictures you take are bright; you can always touch them up afterwards, but photos taken during a late, sunny afternoon will be better than those photoshopped.

Take photos in different Styles

Nature and action shots are a great way to fill out a travel album, pictures of local wildlife are a great example of this.

Long Exposure

This is one of my more recent pictures, taken from the top of a narrow boat. I was aiming to stretch the lights travelling across the bridge, as well as blur the surroundings. Thi9s would draw the viewer into the centre of the image, where the more vibrant colours are.

To accomplish this, I Did two things:

  • I set my exposure to 30 seconds, this would capture the light traversing the bridge at multiple points, causing it to stretch. The long exposure also assists in the blurring of surroundings.
  • Secondly, I took the picture from the top of a narrow boat. This has the effect of adding detail into the frame , as well as creating the motion blur I had desired. Fortunately the bridge and the lights are unaffected as they are a long distance away.

My Personal critique:

I really love the colours in this picture, for the most part they are dull and slightly blue, however they contrast greatly with the bright, clear colours over the bridge.

The bluring of moth the light an the surroundings does a great job of adding motion to a reasonably stationery image.

In terms of framing the image, everything is satisfactory. The narrowboat leads the viewer up to the bridge, which is the central focus of the picture.

To improve: Some symmetry wouldn’t go amiss, and the orange tree on the left hand side of the bridge could be removed.

Do you have any comments or feedback?  Leave them below, or on my Flickr page.

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