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Day 132 of 365: TIPS on how to photograph flowers!

tulips (lg file)

Day 132: Tips on how to shoot flowers! One of my all time favorite subjects are flowers. They are so colorful and put a smile on my face, especially in the winter when I am starved for color! Here are some easy tips on how to best photograph flowers!

  • Get down on their level to shoot them.
  • Get as close to them as you can.
  • Shoot a part of a flower, may have to use manual focus.
  • Strive for good composition, place the center of the flower using the Rule of Thirds.
  • Use the Rule of Odds, in a group shoot an odd number of them, not even.
  • Use selective focus.
  • Use a wide open aperture in natural light, set vase in window, and make that great bokeh happen!
  • When outside, lay on the ground and shoot them at their level.

Hope this helps! Get out and shoot some colorful flowers today as they start to emerge from the soil!

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Day 106 of 365: Quick Tips on How to take better portraits!

sean-13.jpg

Day 106: Quick tips to take better portraits with your DSLR. This photo above is of a great young high school senior that I took at Hyalite Reservoir in Montana.

  1. The right lens: I use an 85mm f1.8 lens, another good lens is a 50mm f1.8 lens.
  2. The right white balance. I have found that adding an amber colored filter over my speed light or using a gold colored reflector when working outdoors adds a nice warm hue to the skin tones, which is more attractive than cool skin tones. The above photo I took in the evening sun light which is also a good option. Set your white balance to match the current lighting situation.
  3. The right ISO. Set your ISO (the camera’s sensitivity) to 200-400 range.
  4. The right aperture. Set the f/stop from 5.6-9.0. The wider the aperture the more blurred the background will be. Beware, you run the risk of your subject not being in focus, especially if all of the subject is not in the same plane.
  5. Set the right focus. Set your camera to single area AF, focus on the eyes. The sharpest part of a portrait should be the eyes.
  6. Try to always shoot in RAW. It gives you more information and allows you to do more in photo editing.
  7. Lastly, a good rapport with your subject. This helps them to feel more comfortable and you will be better able to capture their true personality!

I hope this helps! Portraits are fun to do! Go out and try these tips when you shoot your next portrait.

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Day 93 of 365: The 3 Components of a Photograph

DSC_0832

Day 93: The 3 components of a photograph are aperture, shutter and ISO. It is important to understand how each of these components affect a photograph.

  • Aperture: The size of the opening of the lens. The larger the aperture the smaller the number. The smaller the number the larger the aperture. Counter intuitive right? Yes. Example: F1.8= Large aperture   F22=Small aperture. The smaller the aperture, the more focused or sharp your image will be and vice versa.
  • Shutter speed: Again the smaller the number, stated as a fraction of a second, the faster the shutter speed. Example:  1/1000 FAST      1/2 SLOW. The faster the shutter speed the more focused or sharp your image will be and vice versa.
  • ISO: The ISO measures the sensitivity of the image sensor. The lower the ISO number the less sensitive your camera is to light and the finer the grain, ie., ISO 100. Higher ISO settings like 2000 are used in dark settings and give you are more “noisy”  or “grainy” photograph.

If you shoot pictures in the automatic mode, the camera will choose what aperture, shutter speed and ISO for the photo. If you shoot in A or Av mode, you set the specific aperture and the camera will choose the right shutter speed. If you shoot in S mode, you set the shutter speed and the camera will choose the right aperture. If you shoot in manual mode, like I do, you are the one that chooses the aperture, shutter speed and ISO. Shooting in manual mode puts you in total control of all the components of the shot.

If shooting landscapes, generally you want to select a smaller aperture like F14 in order to get a sharper, more focused landscape image. If shooting a portrait, generally you want to select a larger aperture like F3.2 to make your subject “pop” from the background.

If shooting at a sporting event, you want to use a FAST shutter speed like 1/1000 in order to freeze the action, unless you want to show motion. In this case, you want to use a slower shutter speed like 1/15.

If you are shooting outside in the dark, you will want to set your ISO high, like 1600 or 6000 in order to make the camera more sensitive to the light, but your photo will be very grainy or noisy! If you are shooting a portrait you set your ISO at 100 in order to have a fine grain photo and usually your light is adequate.

Hope that helps. Try to shoot in manual mode and see how your pictures turn out. Experiment! With a digital camera you can do that, just delete them if you don’t like the way they turn out!

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Day 89 of 365: TIPS on how to photograph flowers!

sunflowers without wm

Day 89: Tips on how to shoot flowers! One of my all time favorite subjects are flowers. They are so colorful and put a smile on my face, especially in the winter when I am starved for color! Here are some easy tips on how to best photograph flowers!

  • Get down on their level to shoot them.
  • Get as close to them as you can.
  • Shoot a part of a flower, may have to use manual focus.
  • Strive for good composition, place the center of the flower using the Rule of Thirds.
  • Use the Rule of Odds, in a group shoot an odd number of them, not even.
  • Use selective focus.
  • Use a wide open aperture in natural light, set vase in window, and make that great bokeh happen!
  • When outside, lay on the ground and shoot them at their level.

Hope this helps! Get out and shoot some colorful flowers today!

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