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Tag Archives: Tripod

How to Use Steel Wool for Beautiful Light Painting Photographs

Here’s an awesome tutorial that teaches you how to create beautiful light painting sparkler photos. The materials are pretty cheap: all you need is some steel wool, an egg whisk, and a rope or cable. Simply place the steel wool inside the whisk, light it on fire using a lighter or 9V battery, and swing it around at the end of the cable while your camera snaps a long-exposure photo. Just be careful not to start a fire!

Recommended Starting Settings:

Manual Mode
Tripod Use
Shutter Speed: 30 secs or Bulb
Apperture: F/8
ISO: 200
White Balance: Tungsten
Format: RAW

via How to Use Steel Wool for Beautiful Light Painting Photographs.

 

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Posted by on February 26, 2012 in Inspiration, Night Photography, Technique, Tutes & Tips, Worth a Look

 

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Macro photography tips with example photographs and images

Macro photography tips with example photographs and images

by Tanya Puntti

Macro photography tips, images and photographs

Shown below is a set of 10 amazing macro photographs. Each photograph includes an explanation of the camera equipment that was used and tips on how it was taken. While many of the images have been taken with a Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens, the settings can be reproduced with any real macro lens. You’ll aslo notice they were photographed with an entry level DLSR camera from quite a few years back now! My point being, anyone with a DSLR camera can shoot awesome macro photographs.Click on each image to see a larger version of the photograph.

1. Hoverfly in flightmacro example of a hoverfly insect in flight

Photograph of a hoverfly in flight was taken with a Canon 400D SLR entry level camera, a Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens and a Canon Macro Twin Lite MT-24EX flash.

Exposure shutter speed: 0.005 sec 1/200
Aperture: f/11
Focal Length: 100 mm
ISO Speed: 200
Exposure Program: Manual
Metering Mode: Pattern

Macro photography tip #1: If possible, use a ring flash or twin lite flash when shooting macro. It will allow you to shoot at a reasonable speed, yet enable you to keep the aperture on a high f/11 for sufficient depth of field. Of course, I understand it isn’t always possible for fellow DSLR photographers to purchase such equipment. No problem, keep reading for other tips.

via Macro photography tips with example photographs and images.

 
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Posted by on January 25, 2012 in Flash Photos, Inspiration, Macro, 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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Tips For Getting Started With Time Lapse Photography

Image from fixthisphoto.com

Image from fixthisphoto.com

by Ian Sheldon on PictureCorrect

If you’re a keen amateur photographer or even a pro and want to have a go at time-lapse photography and time lapse film making, I’ve listed some top tips to help you get started. It takes time to learn how to make the amazing time lapse videos some professionals have put online, however, for simpler applications, and just to get you started, I’m going to give you ten top tips. Here goes…

1. If you have a camera with a built in intervalometer (timer) that’s great. If not, you’ll need to go shopping to buy an intervalometer. They are more commonly called ‘remote control triggers’ nowadays. But just make sure they have an ‘intervalometer’ function; that is a function that allows you to set up to take images at pre-set intervals. There’s no use me recommending any intervalometers or remote devises here – as it really depends on what camera you have. But a bit of web research should give you some ideas of which one may be best for you. Before you get started properly, get to know the intervalometer and what it can do.

2. Timing is all-important. Like a good comedian, a good time lapse photographer must get his/her timing right! The most common error for all time-lapse newbie’s is setting unrealistic intervals between exposures. If the intervals are too long, you wont have sufficient frames to do an edit. It is better in some ways if you have too many (as you can always ‘lose’ some). But just be aware that too many may mean your camera having problems with processing. Plus, you don’t necessarily want to work the shutter on your camera too much! Setting the interval time between exposures is something that will come with practice and experience. You end up getting an instinct for it. But, a few things to bear in mind to help you are to A) think how long you want the time lapse sequence to last, and B) hold in mind that your edit will be sequenced at around 25fps (frames per second). Think! You’ll have to get 25 exposures / frames for 1 second of sequence. Someone once asked us to take 4 frames over 24 hours for a week and edit a time-lapse sequence for them…….until we pointed out that the ‘sequence’ would only run for a fraction over 1 second!

3. Camera settings are important, and these all depend on the type of time-lapse you do and the various factors involved. It can get quite complex. But, to get started, just set the camera on AV (aperture value), set your f-stop modestly to around 4 and just a few hundred on your ISO (we don’t want noisy images). This should give you a nice balance between controlling your camera and letting your camera decide some things for itself.

4. Get a tripod. It may sound obvious. But we’ve seen people trying to do time lapse by perching a camera precariously somewhere where it can easily be knocked. Remember, time-lapse photography and film-making only works by getting images that are captured from exactly the same fixed position. If you see a sequence edited together from frames that are different – because of camera movement – you’ll see the whole sequence shaking and wobbling! No good! A tripod, locked into position will give your camera a nice stable platform.

5. Get a decent size memory card. It may sound obvious again, but it’s another common error. As the proverb says, ‘You have to cut your cloth according to your coat’. Take a test image. What is the file size that the image is coming in at? Now multiply this by the number of images you’ll be taking. Is your card big enough? No? Then you’ll need to do either the following OR a combination of the following: a) get a bigger card b) reduce the file size (quality) of your captures c) do a card-swap at necessary intervals (taking care not to knock your camera). The real experts may output to an external storage device…. They may insist on bringing their images in HD (high definition) and creating HD time lapse movies…. but I’m trying to keep things simple for you here!

6. Be aware of power issues. Again, if you are time-lapsing using a camera with a single battery, you’ll need to be aware that it will run out relatively quickly. You’ll know how quickly if you know your camera. To solve, you can use a battery grip to extend the time you have, or even better, get an ac adaptor and plug your camera into the mains!

7. Do indoor projects first. You can control your environment and the lighting this way. Outdoors, you potentially face greater challenges; the weather, changes in light, away from power sources and so on. We know people who have wrecked very expensive DSLRs by leaving them unprotected out and not noticing its been raining!

8. Stick to things that wont take too long to capture at first. What about an ice cube melting, for a really short time lapse? Then, as you become more ambitious and experienced, you could always progress to cress seeds growing or an indoor potted flower opening. A simple favorite is to deprive an indoor plant of water for a while, then water it and time-lapse its recovery! Another great one is to place a white flower in water, add food colouring to the water and time lapse the nice effect of the colour climbing up the flower as it drinks….

9. You have all your images. It’s time for the edit. What? You can’t edit? Well that’s fine. Although again, the experts put their images through a number of processes in post production – we are keeping things simple. And what surprises most people is that there is a simple way to edit. It wont be anywhere near as good as what the experts do – in fact the experts wouldn’t really call it editing strictly. However, it works for our purposes. The secret is throwing your images into one of the applications that just auto-sequence them together. I can’t mention any of them here…but do your research.

10. I said there were ten tips….. so here is the tenth. Get your work out there, share it. Look at what others have done, join a forum, swap tips, practice, and above all…have fun getting started with time lapse photography.

About the Author
Time Lapse Systems provide Time Lapse Photography solutions for the leisure, construction and security industries. We have experience in shooting both short and long term time lapse footage and editing for use on either DVD or the Web.

via Tips For Getting Started With Time Lapse Photography – PictureCorrect.

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2011 in General, Technique, Tutes & Tips, Time Lapse, Worth a Look

 

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Understanding Flash Photography

Caroline lighting setup

Image by Serge Van Cauwenbergh via Flickr

Although this video contains an advertisement for a specific brand, I’ve included it here because it describes and explains how our shutter and flashes work together in a very succinct way. These two factors really emphasise how limited your camera is when using flash, and some tricks to overcome it. I’m sure you’ll find something of interest to you in this video 🙂

So did you learn anything? I did!

 

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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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Tripping over Tripods?

Tripping over Tripods?

Image by philly_j on SXC

There’s nothing worse than trying to take a photo and lugging loads of equipment around. Some items are like yo-yo’s -in an out of the bag all day long. Others you aren’t game to put away in case it never fits in the bag again! But perhaps the most difficult of items to lug around is your tripod.

So it’s always a delight to find a useful article that explains the different ways you can carry your tripod in a comfortable manner. The tripod often won’t fit in a camera bag so having a variety of techniques is particularly pertinent because each scene we shoot has different requirements.

The story from Earthbound light details (with photos) different ways to handle your tripod, including the Hand Carry, Neck Carry, using straps, tie downs and bags, along with other unique ways to keep your tripod handy at all times.

It’s worth a look!

Link to article: http://www.earthboundlight.com/phototips/carrying-tripod.html

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Image by philly_j on SXC
 
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Posted by on March 21, 2011 in Worth a Look

 

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