Author Archives: Jonathan

What Do You Need For Sports Photography?

Sports provides enough action, drama, and suspense worth capturing on camera. As a sports photographer, you are expected to capture those moments in a way that the viewer will feel those emotions as well.

To be able to do that, one must have the right equipment for the job. Admittedly, choosing the right equipment for a photographic genre as dynamic as unlike what is being shot by the documentary wedding photographer, sports photography poses a challenge in itself, especially if you have little idea as to what you would need in the first place. Let his handy guide be of help to guide those who want to get started in sports photography as to what equipment you would need.

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Camera

It is assumed that your main camera is a DSLR type which is the norm for sports photographers. As such, it is recommended that your DSLR should have a shutter speed of 1/500th of a second or higher.

If you can, try to invest as well in a second camera that would be able to do the job in case your main camera is having issues with battery life or other issues that may arise in the middle of the job you’re doing as a photographer.

Lenses

If you will be covering various sporting events, you will need a variety of lenses as well. Chances are, you will need one type of lens for some sports that will allow you to be near the playing area like basketball, volleyball, or other similar sports, while another lens for other sports that would require you to be at a safe distance from the playing area like football.

To give you an idea, here are the types of lenses you would need as a sports photographer:

  • At least a 70-200 zoom lens to capture the action from the distance like if you’re on the basketball court or football field and you can only photograph the action from a distance
  • A 17-35 wide angle zoom lens for those wide angle shots, as well as for group photos and portraits

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Other equipment

For sports photography, it is also essential to have a tele-converter, preferably a 1.5 and/or 2x tele-converter to extend the focal length of you lens, especially if you are either on a tight budget and cannot afford a new lens or if you do not have a longer lens available with you at that moment.

It is also a good idea to bring spare batteries and memory cards in your bag in case of emergencies like low battery or low storage availability so you will be able to capture every moment.

Also, if the situation calls for it, bring a sturdy tripod with you to be able to capture the action better with the benefit of stability the tripod provides. Alternately, you can use a monopod to do the job if the tripod would be too bulky for you.

You may also need to have speed lights, as well as everything needed to hook them up, if you are covering indoor events for better lighting the venue may not be able to provide.

A rain cover will also be handy to protect your gear if in case it rains at the venue and if the venue is outdoors.

Lastly, your gear should be placed in a weatherproof camera bag for the protection of your gear. Make sure as well that the bag would be able to contain all your equipment and mobile enough for you to carry it from one venue to another.

Knowing the equipment you need and having them at your disposal at whatever sporting event you will cover is very important for sports photography. As long as you have the proper equipment for the game, you have at least taken a step forward in becoming a skilled sports photographer.

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Review: Lowepro Flipside 400 AW

Lowepro has been known for great quality camera bags, especially for photographers like Denise Winter Photography who love the outdoors. Today, we are going to review one of their products geared for the outdoor-loving photographer, the Flipside 400 AW. Let’s see how well this bag stacks up.

ON THE OUTSIDE

The Lowepro Flipside 400 AW is a camera bag pack with external dimensions of 30.3 x 25.3 x 46 cm. (11.93 x 9.96 x 18.11 in. it only weighs 1.6 kg, (3.52 lb) so it does not contribute additional weight to whatever you will be putting in your bag.

It also offers contoured shoulder straps and padded waistbelt which help evenly distribute weight, especially if you will be putting a lot of gear in the bag, as well as provide extra comfort when you’re going from place to place for your photography.

There is also a body-side access for added security and quick access to gear at any time when you need reach out for something in your bag.  And if you’re in the wild, where silence is very important so not to disturb the animals there, the Flipside 400 AW has silent zipper pulls that would provide quiet access around your surroundings, especially if silence is very much important.

In addition, the bag also has a built-in All Weather AW cover that is included to protect your gear from the elements like rain and harsh sunlight.

ON THE INSIDE

The bag has a very spacious body, designed to carry a full-sized DSLR with a 300 mm lens, as well as an extra camera body, 4-6 lenses, an external flash, and other accessories and small personal items. These items can be arranged in separate padded camera compartments that can be adjusted or personalized, depending on the gear you will be bringing in with your bag.

The bag also has a front storage where you can place those small personal items and other accessories. And if ever you need some extra space, the Flipside 400 AW have SlipLock attachment loops that serve to expand its carrying capacity.

If you will be bringing a tripod with you, the bag has a Hideaway Tripod Mount which serves to secure your tripod to the pack.

In addition to all this, Lowepro guarantees the longevity of this bag. In fact, it provides a lifetime warranty, making sure your bag is guaranteed to last as long as you use it.

FINAL THOUGHTS

The Lowepro Flipside 400 AW is not for everyone. But if you’re a professional outdoor photographer, this is one bag you should seriously consider to have as part of your gear. It has a huge capacity and can take on as much as you do in your work. It is one of the best camera bags out there in the market guaranteed to meet your needs in protecting something as precious and important as your camera gear.

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The Secrets to Black and White Photography

Lack of colors aside, there is something timeless and captivating about black and white photographs. They evoke a sense of class that never fails to capture the attention of the viewer, despite the prevalence today of color photographs.

For photographers like Russell Neal Photography, especially those who have been so used to shooting pictures in color, being able to deliver quality results in capturing black and white photos can be a challenge. But as these secrets below will show, it is not impossible with the proper skills and knowledge at hand.

Learning to See Things in Mono

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The first key to successful black and white photography is learning to see the world in monochrome. When you do, you get to realize that not all subjects would work in black and white, thus developing a keen eye to see which subjects would look good in monochrome or not.

A good tip for DSLR users is to shoot in the RAW (something you should be doing as a photographer anyway) but set the Picture Style (or whatever this setting is called in your camera) to a black and white mode. The photo will be displayed in black and white on the camera’s LCD screen, and you’ll have all the colour information in the RAW file for your conversion afterwards.

Considering Texture

Old elements like an old building, rusty metal, or weathered wood have a lot of texture, and textures look great in black and white. One thing to remember though is that texture is affected by the lighting conditions. Low raking light, like the golden light radiated during sunrise and sunset, makes texture stand out sharply. Soft light of an overcast day can also bring out texture, but it may require some additional post processing work to make the photos look good in black and white.

Making Light Work

Color or no color, light is still a big factor in photography. And black and white gives the photographer freedom to take photos in all sorts of lighting conditions. While it is still best to capture photos as far as light is concerned when the sun is low in the sky. But with black and white you can also take photos in the middle of the day, and even on overcast days, which are difficult lighting conditions for when you photograph in color.

What is more important is that lighting conditions matches the subject you are trying to shoot. Midday light, for instance, can be great for architecture but not for portraits, while an overcast day is ideal for portraits, but not for landscapes.

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Knowing the Ideal Subjects

As was mentioned earlier, there are certain subjects that shoot well in black and white. Here are some examples:

Portraiture – portraits work well with black and white as the attention is focused more on the eyes and face, and the textures of the subject’s clothes.

Landscapes- while color is the default mode for landscape photography, black and white can also work for landscapes too, especially that It draws attention more to the shapes and forms of the land formations seen in the photos, as well as the light available

Travel and Street Photography- while travel and street photography is usually captured in color, black and white would work just as fine, especially if the photographer wishes to convey more the memory and emotion of a place visited rather than the physical attributes of the place, giving a sense of timelessness to the photo.

Nudes- recognised as one of the oldest subjects for artists and photographers, black and white has been the traditional mode as it highlights physical attributes and artistry employed in the shots.

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Tips to Help You Getting Started in Photography

It’s a feeling every new photographer goes through. The feeling of being overwhelmed with camera as to how to shoot photos with it. The feeling of uncertainty of whether he could at least take good photos. Such feelings are natural and understandable. With constant learning and practice, one would eventually get the hang of it and become adept in photography.

But for someone who is a total newbie trying to find a way through the sometimes confusing and overwhelming world of photography, here are some tips to help you get started:

  1. Don’t stress yourself with the camera you are using

It’s easy to find yourself going round in circles when it comes to photographic equipment, and all too easy to believe that the camera you own is holding you back. But the truth is it isn’t. Any camera can produce a stunning picture.

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Yes, there are some digital cameras that will give you features like a wider dynamic range or faster autofocus. But ultimately, the quality a photo comes down to the composition – what you choose to include (and leave out) of the picture, and how you arrange it in the frame.

  1. You don’t have to set your camera to manual settings

While photographers like a york wedding photographer are taught that they should be able to have full control of the cameras. While it is useful knowledge and is helpful in more advanced cases, the truth is that many of the automatic camera settings give perfectly good results.

For instance, Auto White Balance (AWB) setting does a decent job in many situations. It may do a good job in mixed lighting settings or may make sunsets a bit insipid, but overall it’s pretty good at neutralizing unwanted color casts. Auto ISO can be another life-saver too as the camera will do the work for you in adjusting the ISO sensitivity as you move from dark to bright conditions, improving your chances of taking a sharp photo.

  1. Wait for the right light

One of the basics in photography one must know is with regards to lighting. Different lighting conditions affect how the image would look once captured by the camera. As such, some subjects look better when captured under certain lighting conditions. For instance, outdoor portraits and macro photos look better when shot under bright but overcast skies rather than on a midday on a bright, clear day as the light that time gets harsh.

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Try out backlighting and taking photos when a subject is lit from the side for more dramatic results. Remember to always keep an eye on the light and find a camera position that best takes advantage of it.

  1. Check out the background

The quality of the background can make or break a photo, no matter how stunning your subject is. Keep an eye out for any elements that would divert attention away from the subject of the photo. Always remember who the star of photo would be make sure the viewer’s eyes would point only to the subject and nothing else.

  1. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes

As stated earlier, part of the learning experience is continuous learning and practice. And if you make mistakes along the way, don’t sweat it. There is no such thing as a photographer who always captures beautiful images as even the best photographers make mistakes once in a while. What is more important is you get to learn from those mistakes moving forward and be mindful of what would be the proper techniques to do should the same circumstances that gave rise to your mistake ever happen again along the way.

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Getting To Know DPI and PPI

There has been a great deal confusion among many people, even among photographers and those working on digital images as to some of the terms used in digital photography. In particular, we are looking at two of the most often used terms, the DPI and the PPI.

What adds to the confusion is that some in the digital imaging field tend to use these terms interchangeably, something brought about for the most part by a lack of understanding what these two terms are about and what they mean.

This post hopes to enlighten you on what these terms are about for you to be better informed about digital imaging and photography.

Pixels Per Inch (PPI)

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If you’re someone like a Hampshire Wedding Photographer who is working with digital images, your primary concern is going to be the image’s Pixels Per Inch or PPI. DPI, which we’ll discuss next, refers to a technical aspect of printing devices which is more of a printer’s concern rather than yours.

So when people say “DPI”, they really mean “PPI” most of the time, and it’s become so much commonplace that annoying as it may be, you just have to put up with it. What’s more important is to know is whether someone talking about DPI really means PPI.

To better understand PPI, we should know first what a pixel is. Pixel stands for “picture element”. It’s the smallest physical element of a digital display device that the eye can discern. You will see these pixels when you zoom in the photo on your screen; these are the rows and rows of tiny little squares.

Note that pixels are physical things of a fixed size, even though that size itself varies. Thus, the number of pixels per inch (PPI) on your screen is a fixed quantity and cannot be adjusted.

What can be adjusted though are the size of the pixels, making the actual images themselves become bigger or smaller by an adjustment of how many pixels can be accommodated per inch.

Remember though that this is only a relative gauge of quality; if you were to stand further away, the image would appear as clear as it did before. The absolute resolution of the image has not changed as there are still as many pixels relative to the picture as there were before. So if you’re looking to have higher resolution, the only way to go about that is to produce an image with more pixels, not increase the PPI.

Dots Per Inch (DPI)

As was mentioned earlier, if you’re a designer, DPI barely concerns you and your work. Still, it’s an important concept to know what it is about.

You see, printers reproduce an image by spitting out tiny dots consisting of a mix of four colors, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key (black), which combine to create a range of hues by the subtractive color model. There is bound to be some space between these dots, and this is what DPI measures: their density.

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For example, if you are printing a 150ppi image at 600dpi, each pixel will consist of 16 dots (600 dots/150 pixels = 4 rows of 4 dots per pixel).

This matters to the client more because, as a rule of thumb, the higher the DPI, the better the image’s quality. But on the flipside, it will also use more ink and take longer to print, so keep that in mind for printing such images on your home printer. Just to give an idea, 150dpi is generally considered the minimum standard for high quality photos in books and magazines, 85dpi for newspapers, and 45dpi for billboards.

However, higher dpi does not necessarily mean higher quality because there is no standard dot size or shape, meaning that one manufacturer’s dots might look as good at 1200dpi as another manufacturer’s dots do at 700dpi.

As mentioned a few times here before, you have no control over DPIs. But you can refer a client to a professional print shop and have the shop, which will know the specifications of its machines, take it from there, so to speak.

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Wedding Video Tips To Keep In Mind

Videos are an integral part of documentation in weddings. Thus, videographers have a challenging task of making sure the output they get to churn out would be of great quality that guests and especially the couple would get to appreciate.

Experts have thus shared 6 tips in ensuring a great wedding video coverage.

  1. Remember that it’s all about the bride and groom. This is the most basic (and most important) tip of all. Keep in mind what they would like in the video. Get as many shots of them as you can of them at every important moment: the holding hands at the rehearsal, when they first see each other at the ceremony, when they walk after the vows and the ceremony, to every interaction they have at any point during the reception. Encourage others attending the wedding to talk about them on camera. Most importantly, concentrate on capturing those once-in-a-lifetime shots.
  2. Keep the theme of the wedding in mind. Make sure that you highlight that theme at every opportunity possible while shooting the video, whether the theme can be seen in the decorations, the outfits, whatever element that is present.

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  1. Attend the wedding rehearsal. This will provide you a great opportunity to locate all the electrical outlets you will need, as well as the best places in the venue where your camera can shoot the best possible angles. Also, it will also help you familiarize yourself with other aspects such as placement of the lighting and sound equipment to the order of events, as well as where the key people (parents of the bride and groom, for example) will be sitting, etc. And if you’re actually doing a video recording during the rehearsal (which is highly recommended) is lots of wonderful behind-the-scenes footage to include in your wedding video.
  2. Be friends with the wedding photographer, like Shane Webber. Coordinate with him on all aspects of the coverage as much as possible and work with one another in providing a great coverage of the wedding in both photos and video. Be ready to have each other’s backs in case one of you is unable to get a good shot, ensuring every important moment is captured in either photo or video.
  3. Make sure you (and your video camera most especially) will be able to see the bride when she walks down the aisle. As obvious as it sounds, make sure that that your video camera’s line of vision will include the bride. After all, she is one of the leading stars of the wedding video you are making, so to speak, so make sure she stands out in that particular moment.
  4. Make it personal. Even if you have produced so many wedding videos, to your clients which are the bride and groom, their wedding is a unique event that deserves a special touch, so to speak. Edit accordingly, ensuring there is a sense of uniformity between the theme of the wedding and the elements you will adding in the video, like the fonts, the music, the art, etc.

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One more thing

There will be times though that things would not go according to plan as you shoot the video during that big day. In case that happens, do not fret. Take it as an opportunity to be creative and come up with interesting ideas that would not only compensate with the issues you have encountered, but also help make the video even more special as well.

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What Filters Do You Need For Your Camera?

Filters are a fun and artistic additions to camera, creating some stunning and artistic photos, not to mention helpful in getting around some challenging situations that your camera may not be able to get around by itself. Use filters right, and they can prove to be invaluable tools to the photographer without having to rely much on post-processing editing work.

There are so many filters available in the market that sometimes, it can be overwhelming for one to decide which filters to have. To help in this decision-making process, below are some of the essential filters to have for photographers.

1- Skylight Filter

The Skylight filter baically helps protect the front element of your lens from damage or dirt. It also filters out some ultraviolet light, which helps reduce haze. Do note though that although this filter will prevent the worst of the dust, dirt and water reaching the front of the lens, you may still need to clean the filter to prevent this dirt affecting your images.

2- Polarizing Filter

This particular filter increases color saturation and reducing reflections in non-metallic objects. It usually comes in a rotating mount, as the effect varies as you turn the filter. This means that upon attaching the polarizer and framed your shot, you need to slowly rotate the filter while watching the effect through the viewfinder or in Live View, like reflections in non-metallic objects such as water or glass appear and disappear or adjust the color saturation.

The effect is usually at its most obvious when you’re shooting at right angles to the sun, rather than with the sun behind or in front of you. Like in an outdoor wedding being photographed by edinburgh wedding photographer.

3- Straight Neutral Density Filter

This filter allows you to use longer shutter speeds or wider apertures than what would be available to your camera in the prevailing lighting conditions. It is essentially a ‘darkened’ sheet of glass or resin that reduces the amount of light entering a lens that would reach the sensor, kinda like sunglasses for your camera. It does this without affecting the colours, hence the term “neutral.”

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First, with your camera set to its lowest ISO, you need to frame your shot, and then select the shutter speed and/or aperture to give the creative effect that you want (such as a slow shutter speed in the case of blurring movement).

4- Graduated Neutral Density Filter

This filter serves to balance the exposure between a bright sky and a darker foreground, particularly in landscapes and sunrise/sunset shots. It is like a pair of sunglasses with dark glass at the top and clear glass at the bottom.

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By placing the dark part of the glass over a sky that’s much brighter than the scenery below, and lining the transition up with the horizon, you get a more balanced exposure on the image. These filters come in several different strengths, and with different transitions between the dark and clear areas.

5- Variable or Strong Neutral Density Filter

This filter is somewhat similar to the straight neutral density filter but this one has a variable filter that lets you change the strength or “density” of the filter by rotation of the filter elements. It is usually extremely long shutter speeds or very shallow depth-of-field effects in bright conditions.

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The effects are somewhat the same as using a strong plain neutral density filter, but you can use them in slightly different ways. For instance, with a variable ND filter, you can attach the filter before you frame the shot, focus and set the exposure, as the filter allows you to set it to its lowest strength to start with so you can focus compose your shot beforehand.

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