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Monthly Archives: February 2017

Photo Accessories

Tripod

A tripod is important for one main reason, keeping your images sharp. You’ll want to select a small aperture to maximize depth-of-field, so you should be using a shutter speed of less than 1/60 second. It’s impossible to get a sharp image holding your camera in your hand at these slow speeds.

When choosing a tripod pick one made out of carbon fibres, these are light to carry but are sturdy in the ground. Choose a tripod that the legs will spread out far, this will help to optimise the strength of your support.

Filters

A small selection of filters is well worth packing when heading off for a trip. They don’t take up too much space and will definitely add a bit of spice to your images. A polarizing filter should be top of the list, while a few Neutral Density filters will certainly help with tough exposures. A 0.3, 0.6 and 0.9 will help with exposure without affecting colour.

Bring a few warm-up filters to help when the light is cool. The 81-series are the best choice, which will give your images an extra bit of life. There’s a large amount of filters on the market today; these are the most important filters for landscape photography.

Correct Film

Fuji Velvia is an obvious choice for me when it comes to shooting landscapes. This is a slide film that is high in saturation and is perfect for capturing the colour of all seasons. It comes in two speeds of ISO 50 and ISO 100.

It’s always handy to have a few rolls of Black and White film in the bag. You never know when you see a scene and know that it’s perfect for B/W. Whichever film you choose, bring plenty of rolls; don’t be caught in the middle of nowhere without film.

If you are shooting with a Digital SLR bring plenty of memory.

Cable Release

If your camera has a connection for a cable release you should buy one. It is a perfect accessory to minimise the risk of camera shake – especially if you are taking long exposures. It doesn’t take up too much room and is extremely light.

Light Meter

All modern day cameras have light meters built into them, but if you are serious about landscape photography it’s advisable to have a hand-held light meter. These are small and of light-weight, and when used correctly are extremely accurate.

Why Some Photographers prefer Film Over Digital?

1) Facilities and Investment

Ordinary people, not only photographers, have invested considerably in photographic equipments that use film. Cameras and lenses still have capabilities that digital photography cannot match. Compared with a high-end professional 35mm camera, a digital camera still lacks facilities that only the traditional camera can provide. A photographer who decides to switch to digital may find himself spending big especially if his lenses, flashes and other accessories are not compatible with a new digital system.

2) Wide Angle

The absence of extreme wide-angle lenses and a slow start-up time are two of the most disadvantages of even the best digital cameras. 35mm cameras modifies to digital bodies usually employ a CCD image sensor that is smaller, usually around 245mm x 16mm) as opposed to the 36mm x 24mm x 35mm film that results to a narrow angle. Photographers who are fans of wide angles may find the traditional 35mm more of their liking.

3) Action

Film cameras also offer an advantage during fast-changing and unpredictable photography scenarios. Unlike digital camera that uses batteries than can ran out in the most unexpected time, a 35mm camera can be easily switched on and ready for use whenever you need take a shot. Moreover, digital cameras usually take several seconds before you can use it which obviously is a disadvantage for photographers who wants to capture actions which can’t be repeated anymore.

4) Tough Conditions

Film cameras are also sturdier equipments than their digital counterparts and can withstand harsh conditions that photography may demand in the line of work. Count on film to be more reliable than digital especially when your are working in a not-so-good weather conditions.

5) Comparing Costs

When it comes to cost, film and digital advantages and disadvantages vary considerably depending on the usage. A photographer with a film budget amounting to thousands of dollars in one year may find digital camera more practical. But if you are not a busy photographer, your income may not defray the cost of going digital.

 

Photography Flower Experience

Have you ever tried to climb over a fence with tripod in hand and weighty camera bag over shoulder “Just pass them through the fence and follow”, you say! In theory perfect but as is often the case when I’m out ready to shoot I have tripod ready, camera clipped in, slung over right shoulder, legs extended, spread ready to go (the fact that I look like a giraffe with ungainly neck protrusions goes unnoticed) and my camera bag is old, slightly smelly and large!.

So, how do I climb through the first fence, let alone the second or third in pursuit of the perfect daisy without a lot of folding of legs pushing and shoving, and unclipping of my precious digital genius first Simple answer – I don’t, I try to get through regardless. Result The air rapidly turns blue around my head and expletives neither original nor inventive start erupting unbidden from my person. And then the final indignity as at least one part of my favourite jumper gets snagged by an ever vigilant barb!

My alternative solutions: throw the gear over and hope for the best, find a gate (how many miles to the nearest), or simply leave it all in the SUV… barring the digital genius and one’s favourite 1:1 lens of course!

My final decision Leave tripod and bag in the SUV, take the necessary, and hope that the ravages of the previous night haven’t wrought havoc with traditionally rock steady hands. So then leaping like a gazelle over fences one, two and three, I stride toward the perfect clump of yellow. It’s late in the season, so all the white daisies are pretty much done – rich, golden yellow it is.

Selecting the perfect specimen is next. I needs to decide what I’m trying to say in the pic. Perfection with clarity – nature’s form, sublime in its attention to detail or organic soft colour merging into more colour with shadowy bits – a bit of both perhaps. The magic of digital, the freedom of digital – the ability to try everything because one can! I love it. It’s a revelation, a deepening of the creative urge to explore new realms without cost… or end sometimes.

Sure, one can always argue that it leads to lack of direction, lack of planning but one can also argue in return that it extends one’s vision, increases one’s output and ability to see the world from different perspectives. I relish the challenge!

Back to the world of yellow! Perfection… mmmm. Unable to settle on which of the perfect choices is THE perfect choice I decide to shoot anyway, putting pen to paper or rather index finger to shutter button in order to get the creative juices flowing.

As always seems to happen, I relax into it and my mind opens up to the possibilities: depth of field, front edge of a petal in focus back edge out and vice versa but mostly my mind is consumed by warm yellow. Kneeling on the ground head down intensely focused – the butt in the air angle would not be an attractive sight for any passing observer but I don’t need to worry about such considerations as this mild obsession most often leads to splendid isolation.

A bit of advice – bracket everything (1 either side in •1/2 stops or thirds if you have the choice), shoot at the highest resolution you can achieve with whichever model of digital genius you possess and take at least half a dozen shots per chosen angle. Give yourself the best chance of capturing the one you really wanted – the perfect image, beautiful enough to grace your wall, a wall anywhere. One feels such an idiot when one has to declare it didn’t quite happen because of trigger finger meanness! Digital genius is defined by trigger finger generosity or put another way – repetition is the basis of professionalism. Whatever it takes I say. Get the shot! The satisfaction is immense.

More advice – check the first few images carefully on the preview screen just to make sure everything is working as it should. Don’t end up taking twenty splendid black and white shots of a gorgeous yellow daisy – do the greyscale thing in Photoshop! Slow down, check the first few brackets. Check that the ISO is set to 100 not to 1600 from last night’s fun and that all the exposure compensation overrides are back to normal (or leave the settings at 1600 over by two if weird and whacky is what you’re after). Little things but in my twenty years as a photographer these little things become mortifyingly large things if ignored!

So perfection captured, 0 and 1’s secured in the land of Flash wizardry it’s back across the three fences leaping not quite so enthusiastically now, the gazelle’s knees are a little creaky from kneeling on the damp ground – back to the ever patient, ever reliable SUV. Gear stowed, key in the ignition, we’re off… A glow of anticipation washes over me!