Top Tips

Photography top tip #6-Backing up your images

This tip isn’t one to do with the taking or editing of photos but how to store them. In the digital age it is much easier to fill up your memory card, and with decent memory card prices being relatively high you don’t want to buy a new one. In this situation you need to back up your images. You can transfer the images from your camera using the software provided during purchase or by inserting your SD card into the SD card slot on your PC. If you don’t have an SD card slot you can buy one that fits into your USB slot. Now that the files are on your screen you need a device to back them up to. These are a few of the options:

USB sticks- These plug into the USB port on the side of your laptop or computer and are available in many different sizes from 1GB through to 128GB.

External hard drives- These also plug into the USB port but can hold much more memory. These are available  in massive sizes of up to 10TB.

CD These go into your CD port that most PCs have. These are better for giving photos to clients or family because of their relatively small memory space compared to the other options.

Computer- Another option is to leave them on your computer, remember that they need to be backed up elsewhere as well.

Once you have bought your method you can select your files and drag them over to the devices folders. Please remember that every method has a small chance of corrupting your files so back them up in more than one place. If you do get a corrupted hard drive there is software and companies out there that can retrieve some if not all files but for a high price so its worth getting it right the first time round.

Photography top tip #5-Using shallow and deep depth of fields

In photography you have the two main settings: the shutter speed and the aperture. The shutter speed controls how much of the image has motion blur or how much is frozen however the aperture controls a thing called the depth of field. The depth of field is how much of a picture is in focus. With a shallow depth of field you can choose where to focus in order to blur the background. In order top achieve a shallow depth of field you need a low aperture like F4.5 or F5.6. Examples of a shallow depth of field can be seen here and here.

On the other hand a deep depth of field means the whole image is in focus. This is good for landscape shots. To get deep depth of fields you need high apertures like F26. Examples of a deep depth of field can be seen here and here.

Photography top tip #4-shooting moving objects

When shooting moving objects you need to use either shutter priority mode or manual mode. To photograph moving people you shouldn’t need anything more than 1/100th second to freeze the movement although slightly higher may be required for fast running/sprinting subjects.

When it come to taking photos of faster moving subjects like, bikes, cars, motorbikes you may need shutter speeds of up to 1/1000th of a sec one or if they are going at extreme high speeds you may need something between 1/1500 and 1/2000th second.

When shooting moving objects, a technique used by many photographers called panning is used. This is taking a series of shots while turning you get a crisp subject but a blurred background. In order to ‘pan’ set your cameras auto focus to continuous AF and select a shooting mode of continuous in order to take a lot of photos on one push of the shutter button. Then point your feet in the direction the subjects going and as it comes towards you hold the shutter down and follow its movement by panning, keep the camera in a smooth curve. At least one photo should be in focus and have a creative blurred background. With practise, you’ll get good results.

Photography top tip #3- increasing contrast and brightness means a winning shot!

This tip is one that I use alot in my images. Quite often after taking a photo on my Nikon I can look at it on the screen and think the colours great, the lightings great and be happy with it how it is, most of the time the shots would be fine to print/ post as they are and still be appealing to look at.

If you into Photoshop and find the brightness and contrast option you will get some sliders, one for brightness and one for contrast. If you slide the contrast slider to the right then you will find in most images that the colour will almost ‘pop’ out and be much more like they were in your eyes. Contrast can sometimes darken the image, so slide the brightness slider to the right to counteract the contrast darkening. I have edited the contrast in this, this and this.DSC_0963 (2)

This shot is straight out from the camera and the colours look nice.

DSC_0963

In this finished photograph the contrast and brightness have been boosted in Photoshop to pop the colours and achieve a much more appealing overall image.

The brightness slider can also be used to darken an image if its too bright or brighten it if the photo is to dark. With all these things combined you should be on for a winner. I will post the difference between a normal photograph and an image with edited contrast when my internet sorts its self out again

Photography top tip #2-Adding foreground interest to an image

During landscape photography you can end up with just a bland clique photograph of a sunset with nothing inbetween you and the background. To prevent this you need to add some foreground interest. this could be a plant like in my image. Click here to see the post, rocky outcrop. a fallen leaf or a collection of rocks to fill your seascape. If you use a low F-number like F5.6 on your average 18-55mm kit lens you can get a shallow depth of field. This allows you to focus on either the background or the foreground interest leaving the other out of focus. Alternately you can use a higher F-number to keep it in focus.

When you’ve spotted your background, get down low and find some foreground interest. Use aperture priority or manual to make sure your depth of field is correct for your chosen effect and get close enough to your newly found subject before focusing appropriately before taking the shot.

Photography top tip #1-Drawing the viewers eyes into the image with lines

One technique that I use in some of my images is using lines to draw the viewers eyes into the image, usually ending at the subject. These lines can be a row of posts, fences, paths or even a row of bushes. Click here to see my post ‘converging lines’ which is an example of this. This picture could do with a subject/ focus at the end of the lines to finish the effect, although they do leave an eye pleasing image on there own.

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