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20 Things I Wish I Knew About Photographing in Manual Mode

1. ISO is an important setting. It controls how sensitive your camera’s image sensor is to the light. In bright light use a low ISO, in low light you can use a higher ISO.

2. WB or White Balance is a setting used to ensure you have even white and grey tones in your photos. Different kind of lights can make the whites in a photo appear to have a color to them. Fluorescent lights can make white sheets appear bluish. Tungsten lights (like a lamp) can make things appear yellow. Cameras have many settings for White Balance, but learning to use custom white balance is a great tool. Check out my blog about white balance to learn more about how to use the custom setting.

3. Aperture controls how much light is allowed through your lens by setting the f-stop. A lower f-stop (like 1.4) will let in a lot of light and a higher f-stop (like 16) will let in less light.

4. Shutter speed controls how long the image sensor is exposed to light. A lower shutter speed will let in more light, but may give your subjects motion blur if they are moving in the photo.

5. You don’t need to use manual focus to photograph in manual mode. Manual mode means you’ll have more control over how your camera reads the light, but manual focus will entail a few extra seconds to use the focusing ring in order to capture a sharp image. Many photographers auto focus so they can photograph and capture moments quicker and ensure they are tack sharp.

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20 Things I Wish I Knew About Photographing in Manual Mode » Photography Awesomesauce.

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Posted by on June 27, 2012 in Technique, Tutes & Tips, Worth a Look

 

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How to Master Ghost Photography

By Christopher O’Donnell via Light Stalking

If you’ve seen photos of ghostly apparitions and wonder how they were captured, most likely they were not doctored or otherwise created in post process. Your camera has the fantastic ability to capture unique effects, including those often mistaken for ghosts and spirits.

Wall Of Heroes
Wall Of Heroes by starfish235, on Flickr

Ghostly images like seen above are created with the use of a slow shutter speed. If you’re not familiar with how your shutter speed can affect your final image, read my article here which explains it in great detail.

Before we get started, you should know that there are a few pieces of equipment needed to execute this technique:

1. DSLR Camera

…or at least a camera that you can control your shutter speed with. While you could probably get away with a point-and-shoot, your control will be rather limited.

2. Tripod

In order to have full control over your camera and avoid any unwanted blurring, a tripod is needed to help stabilize your scene. Again, you could get away without one, but you run the risk of camera shake – not to mention being without a tripod will greatly limit your angles and vantage points.

3. Remote Shutter Release Cable

This is to ensure that you don’t touch the camera when you press the shutter button, which is one of the most common ways to cause camera shake.

4. ND Filters

Whether you purchase the slot-in filters or the threaded, an ND filter is necessary for daytime ghost photography in order to limit the amount of light that hits your sensor.

Types of Ghost Photography

Typically, there are two identifiable types of ghostly images that are captured in unique ways:

1. The Transparent Figure

The transparent figure, which is quite haunting, is executed by the use of a perfectly still model combined with an extended shutter speed. You’ll have to experiment with this method as it is very dependent on your environment (amount of available light, your aperture, etc).

I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.
I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul. by Aristocrats-hat, on Flickr

Typically, you’ll need a shutter speed of a few seconds or longer to allow for enough exposure time. The goal here is to have your model remain perfectly still, but only for a fraction of the exposure. This will allow for your camera to register an identifiable figure in sharp detail, but be transparent since the model wasn’t in frame the entire time.

When moving out of frame, do so quickly to avoid any blurring. You’re basically combining two photos in one here -one with you in frame and one without – so any slow movement in between will register.

2. The Flowing Figure

In contrast, the flowing figure actually depends on fast movement to be executed properly. Since your creating a somewhat transparent blur, there is no need for sharp detail.

ghost walk
ghost walk by Pedro Moura Pinheiro, on Flickr

Like with the transparent figure, this will take some experimenting as your shutter speed will vary on the amount of light you have. It’s important to move fast during the exposure so that the human shape is still somewhat recognizable, but greatly blurred.

For a truly ghostly effect, wear flowing clothes or even drape a bed sheet over your shoulders. When you combine this with moving briskly throughout your frame, your figure will appear more haunting.

Also make sure to create the environment. Since you’re going for a haunting image, your final photo will be enhanced by your surroundings. Pick a location that compliments the mood you’re going for – this will only be beneficial to your photo.

For more inspirational ghost photography, please visit this Youtube video. It’s a collection of images by photographer Cole Thompson, which prove to be stellar examples of this process.

Read more great articles by Christopher O’Donnell on his website or follow him on Facebook.

via Light Stalking » How to Master Ghost Photography.

 
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Posted by on May 30, 2011 in Featured, General, Technique, Tutes & Tips, Time Lapse, Worth a Look

 

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Capturing Motion in your Photos

Here’s a fantastic article to tell you all about capturing motion in your images. Written by Darren Rowse from the Digital Photography School, it outlines tips and hints to get better images that evoke motion, speed and special effects.

Link: http://www.digital-photography-school.com/a-beginners-to-capturing-motion-in-your-photography

It’s worth a look!

 

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Hold on, Mate!

Hold on, Mate!

A quick tip that can dramatically change how your pictures turn out is really simple. 

Hold the camera steady.

Now, sure that may sound easy enough, but if you have a slow enough shutter speed, you are still going to experience camera shake despite all the image stabilisation in the world. But there is a method for holding it steady that you can practice and then perfect, every time you take a photo.

In one hand, hold the camera on a 45° angle in the palm of your flat hand. The camera and part of the lens will now be forming a solid base for your camera. Place the other hand around the body in a cupping motion, to provide maximum stability for the camera. Keep your elbows close in to your body as this also steadies the camera dramatically (weird, I know!). If you are looking to buy a camera, practice holding your preferred camera in this manner to check it feels comfortable and that you can easily access all the dials.

Oh! And always look through the eyepiece, not just watching the back of the screen. Your face also provides a stable branch that helps to support your equipment. If all else fails, invest in a Tripod!

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Featured Image by Vasilio; Tripod by ftibor. Both Images via SXC.
 
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Posted by on March 8, 2011 in Featured, General

 

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