Posts Tagged 'outdoor photography tips'

Filters for Digital Photography

Recommended filters for digital photography

There are many different types of photography filters. In this list, I recommend to most popular filters for digital photography.

What kind of filters do I need to use in my digital Photography?

This question is the number one question after each photography class. Here is my honest answer to this question:

For a moment, let’s pretend that we live in the ‘pre-digital era when we had the film as our media to capture an image. Manufacturers set the sensitivity of film to light, the type of colour (Negative or Slide) or monochrome (Black and White) and colour temperature, and we could not change any of them unless we changed the film type. It was important – at that time – to know the filters and their effects on your photos. Thanks to digital technology, we can fix almost all of those issues by understanding digital camera settings such as ISO, White Balance, Styles, etc.

So Ted, do you mean that there is no more need for filters for digital cameras?

No, I didn’t say that! I was about to tell you about some valuable filters in digital photography. Although we can fix many of those issues in our cameras, there are a few conditions that we DO need filters. In this short article, I will talk about four essential types of filters for digital cameras.

UV Filter

UV filters are just for protection, and they don’t have any effect on our photos. Many filter manufacturers claim their UV filters can reduce haze and create sharper photos! I haven’t experienced it yet. I tried many different UV filters and couldn’t improve haze or sharpness than images without a UV filter. To me, UV filters are excellent and inexpensive protection for my expensive lenses. Personally, I prefer no extra glass in front of my lens, but there are times when I take photos in higher-risk conditions (such as around pets and children), and a UV filter can be a lens-saver!

Polarizing Filter

With autofocus lenses, you should choose a Circular Polarizing filter. Polarizing filters are usually dark and consist of two parts. By rotating the outer ring, you can adjust the direction of polarizing. Polarize filters, just like polarized lenses, remove most of the scene’s reflections and result in a sharper and more saturated image. Look at these examples to see how a polarizing filter can improve the appearance.

Without Polarizing filter

Without Polarizing filter

With Polarizing filter

With Polarizing filter

Neutral Density (ND) Filters

ND filters are dark and reduce the exposure, whether shutter speed or aperture value. If you are shooting on a very bright day and want to reduce the f stop to wide open to create a very shallow depth of field or use a slow shutter speed to blur the action, you need to use an ND filter. They come in a variety of densities, from half a stop to 10 stops. You can also stack them. There is a slight colour shift when you use a good quality ND filter.

Graduated ND Filter

These ND filters start with a dark density at the top, which gradually fades out towards the filter’s bottom. They are handy when you want to mask the bright part of the scene (such as the sky in these examples). They are available with different density choices as well.

Without Neutral Density filter

Without a Neutral Density filter

With Graduated Neutral Density filter

With Graduated Neutral Density filter

What brand of filter should I buy? 

I always suggest the highest quality filters, although they can be a little more expensive. I am not here to promote one brand over the other, but remember that adding another piece of glass in front of your lens means that the light has to travel through this glass as well. So the high-quality optics manufacturers are well known to provide better construction and less distortion to light. One important thing is always to purchase a multi-coated filter to reduce the chance of glare and colour cast.

That is all for now. Stay tuned for my following photography Tips. We love to hear from you. Let us know if you have any questions; feel free to send us your questions, and we will be more than happy to answer them. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more Free Tutorials and Tips.

Ted and the Omnilargess Team

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Digital Photography Filters – ND Filters

Why do photographers use ND Filters?

In part one and part two, I talked about the Polarizing Filter and UV Filter as one of the most popular photography filters. In Part Three, I am going to discuss the ND Filters and their role in digital photography.

What are ND Filters?

ND filter is another great tool in photography! ND stands for Neutral Density. ND filters are dark and effectively reduce exposure, whether shutter speed or aperture value. For example, if you are shooting on a very bright day and want a wide-open f stop to create a shallow depth of field or use a slow shutter speed to blur the action, your best tool for the job is an ND filter.

Without ND Filters

ND Filters
In this photo I tried to reduce the shutter speed but I can not get slower tan 1/100sec, at f22 and ISO 200

With ND Filters

ND Filters
By adding ND Filters i dropped the shutter speed to 3 seconds at f22 and ISO 200 to create an amazing photo

Are there different ND Filters?

ND filter comes in a variety of density from half a stop to 10 stops. You can also stack them. There is a little colour shift when you use a good quality ND filter. The best practice is to use custom White Balance when shooting with ND Filters or shoot in Raw format and deal with the colour cast in post-processing.

ND Filters

What kind of ND Filter do you recommend?

It all depends on how much you want to reduce the exposure. Generally speaking, I found that a 4 stop ND filter is very versatile for many scenarios. You can stack ND Filters as well.

What is Variable ND Filters?

Recently filter manufacturers came out with Variable ND Filters, which allows you to change the density from 2 stops all the way down to 10 stops. But be aware that the far end (10 stops) will create a heavy colour cast (green or pink colour cast) on images.

ND Filter made the slower shutter speed available in this Light
ND Filter made the slower shutter speed available in this Light

Can we use editing software to create ND Filters effect?

The short answer, unfortunately, is: No, I don’t recommend it. You need to adjust the exposure by using ISO, Aperture, and Shutter speed. When there is lots of light, you cannot use long exposure or shallow depth of field and still get the correct exposure. This is the main reason for using ND Filters; they allow you creative flexibility by taming the light. 

That is all for now. Stay tuned for my next photography Tips. We love to hear from you. Let us know if you have any questions; feel free to send us your questions, and we will be more than happy to answer them. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more Free Tutorials and Tips.

Ted and the Omnilargess Team

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Five Photography Tips

Digital Photography Tips

Five simple photography tips to improve your pictures

Photo Tip Friday August 29, 2014

Digital cameras are tools and like other types of tools they help us do a job faster and better. In fact digital cameras do not take pictures, they just capture what photographers tell them to capture! Understanding the settings and capability of your camera is the most important thing for taking better photos.

In this short article I am going to share five simple photography tips with you which will help you take better pictures regardless of what type of camera you use.

Tip number 1

Avoid meter pitfalls with highlight and shadows:

What does this mean and why is it important? It refers to a limitation, which all cameras have, to see both highlight and shadows at the same time. In photography terms we call this Dynamic Range. Our eyes can see many more highlight and shadows than a camera. Not allowing for this limitation is probably one of the most common mistakes I have seen photographers make.

Here is an example of a scene with strong highlight and shadows:

 

Strong highlight can affect your exposure. Select different metering mode

Strong highlight can affect your exposure. Select different metering mode

 

One solution to solve this problem is to change the metering mode of the camera to spot metering and your exposures will be much more accurate.

 

In this photo I selected Spot Metering for correct exposure

In this photo I selected Spot Metering for correct exposure

 

In our Digital Photography workshop for beginners we cover the metering system of digital cameras in full detail.

 

Tip number 2

Smart use of Built in Flash

I don’t use my camera’s built in flash as my main source of light, but I do use the built in flash as fill light. In Digital Camera flash photography class you’ll learn how to use your camera’s built in flash to improve the image quality.

 

Built in flash is very useful in scenes like this

Built in flash is very useful in scenes like this

 

By adding the flash I captured a more colourful image in this photo.

 

Using built in flash as fill light brings sharpness and colour

Using built in flash as fill light brings sharpness and colour

Tip number 3

Understand the Auto focus system

Choosing correct autofocus mode is very important and unfortunately many photographers do not pay enough attention to autofocus modes and its potential in their photography. This is why I added Selecting Correct Autofocus Mode as part of our new Digital Camera Bootcamp and I dedicated a 30 minute classroom session to this topic (with lots of practical hands-on in our field trips). I always use Single Auto focus point to force the camera to focus on my selected area. Set your camera to Single Auto Focus point and you will notice how much faster you can focus and compose your pictures.

 

Understanding Auto Focus modes in your camera is very important

Understanding Auto Focus modes in your camera is very important

 

Tip number 4

Creative Flash Photography

Flash photography can be very creative when you learn the techniques. There are several settings for your flash: Slow Shutter sync, HSS or High Speed Sync, and RPT or Repeated Mode are a few of them. In our Flash photography class you will learn the most popular and creative techniques with simple and easy to follow instructions.

In this picture I used First Curtain Slow Shutter sync and set the shutter speed to 1 second. After pressing the shutter, the flash fired and then I rotated the camera for this amazing effect.

 

Slow shutter synch and rotating camera creates outstanding background

Slow shutter synch and rotating camera creates outstanding background

 

Tip number 5

Avoid tight composition

Always compose your photos a little looser. This technique allows you to correct the image later in post processing. In our Photoshop techniques class or Lightroom workshop you learn all the important tools for better and faster post processing.

Here’s an example where I loosely composed an image.

 

Don't compose too tight to your subject. Always make some room for post processing

Don’t compose too tight to your subject. Always make some room for post processing

 

Now I can crop it to any aspect ratio I want without cutting out the main subject.

 

When you want to change the aspect ratio, Loose composition is a must

When you want to change the aspect ratio, Loose composition is a must

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

When you want to change the aspect ratio, Loose composition is a must

 

That is all for this week. Stay tuned for more Photo tips. If you have a question or a Photo tip you’d like to share, feel free to contact us.

 

Ted and the Omnilargess Team

 

 

 

 

 

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Understanding Exposure in Digital Camera

Understanding Exposure in Digital Camera Part 1

Light and Exposure

Photo Tip Friday March 7, 2014

Ambient Light

All artists use raw materials to work with and create a piece of art. For example a painter needs brushes, paints and canvas to make a painting.

Photography as Art

The word photography derives from Greek and means Painting With Light, which is an excellent way of describing what we do. I always use the analogy in my workshops that our canvas is camera media (film or digital), our paint is light and exposure works as our brushes!

Given that light is the single most important element in a photograph, it’s astonishing how few photographers pay any real attention to it. Most of the time we’re so eager to press the shutter release we don’t rarely give it a second thought. You can have the best camera, lenses, accessories and film in the world, but without understanding the role of light you won’t get very far. And without the correct exposure you can not produce a good photo. In the same way other artists fully understand their raw materials, photographers have to learn to work with light to be successful. In this tutorial we will look at the ways daylight can vary, what subjects each lighting type is good for and how you can improve on the light that’s already there.

1- Bright Sunny Day:

I-Early morning or late afternoon provide nice directional shadows which help you create the third dimension in your images. If you are shooting landscapes these times give you a golden light with very good contrast and colour. If you shoot portraits (people) you can be confident that this light is very flattering (ie: no harsh shadows under the eyes, etc) and can concentrate more on how to pose your subjects and make them feel comfortable.

Early morning or late afternoon provides a very flattering light, and the shadows help to add dimension to photos.

Early morning or late afternoon provides a very flattering light, and the shadows help to add dimension to photos.

 

The directional light helps you to focus more in your composition.

The directional light helps you to focus more in your composition.

Directional light is very useful for Macro photography

Directional light is very useful for Macro photography

 

II-Midday: It’s recommended to avoid midday sunshine as the light is too harsh, resulting in faded colours as well as excessive contrast and deep shadows. If you have to shoot at midday, consider using of some kind of light modifiers such as reflectors or flashes.

Midday sun shine causes faded colour and contrast.

Midday sun shine causes faded colour and contrast.

If you have to shoot in Midday sun, try the shade.

If you have to shoot in Midday sun, try the shade.

Usually people squint in midday sun.

Usually people squint in midday sun.

Midday sun flattens the images.

Midday sun flattens the images.

Midday sun light reduces the details in macro photography

Midday sun light reduces the details in macro photography

 

2- Overcast Light:

This is perfect soft light for portrait photography. A bright overcast day creates magical light for photographers and allows plenty of control over the ISO, shutter speed, and aperture to capture the details that you are after.

Overcast day light is the magic light!

Overcast day light is the magic light!

Bright overcast provides lots of details in photos

Bright overcast provides lots of details in photos

 

Sign up for our Outdoor Photography Techniques to learn more about the quality of light and exploring skills for how to manage the light. This is a full hands-on class with lots of time to practice and ask questions from your instructor.

In this series of ‘Photography as Art’ we have seen how our paints (the light) can dramatically influence our medium. Next up we’ll discuss our brushes (in this case: exposure). Stay tuned and be sure to join us for my next article about Exposure.

Ted and the Omnilargess Team

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