Check this guy out

http://wvs.topleftpixel.com/

 

This is the site of Daily Dose of Imagery. This guy lives in Toronto, Ontario and everyday he goes out and takes a photograph. Mostly, the stuff is amazingly good. Worth the visit. (FYI The image changes daily)

Advertisements

Somedays I just despair

flowerr-1

 

And why you might ask? Look at this  photographer’s website and then come back:

http://www.davidalanharvey.com/

Did you see the new photographer’s listings? Did you go to their sites?

Do you agree with me that this is fabulous photography?

It’s so good, I despair in my thinking that I could do so well. Isn’t that a curious statement from a long-time professional? Maybe so, but being paid to take images doesn’t mean one can create images like these. Oh sure sometimes photojournalists especially can and do create images that are memorable. Some of the wedding photography that’s out there is amazingly good. But often it is the gifted amateur or up-and-coming professional who often can “see” images where for some of us, none exist.

I am retraining my eyes to see. I am walking with me camera in hand looking…intently. Maybe I’m just trying to go home again when my camera was a box Brownie and my parent’s garden my paradise.

To follow my journey through photography online see my links at Delicious: http://del.icio.us/peterwestphoto

10 tips for better pixs

Here are 10 tips for better photography regardless of whether you’re shooting film or digital images:

  1. Read your camera manual (a couple of times).
  2. Shoot lots (hundreds) of practice photos at home.
  3. Blurry images are often caused by camera shake. Set your shutter speed to match your lens size.*
  4. Use a tripod (or brace the camera) to take images in low light.**
  5. Get closer to your subjects. Either zoom in or walk in to eliminate distracting backgrounds.
  6. Get down (or up) to eye level with your subjects.***
  7. Remember Kodak? Put the sun behind you.****
  8. Use the rule of thirds to move your subject away from dead centre and thus give your image more dynamic energy.
  9. Buy an external flash.*****
  10. Now shoot lots (and edit out your mistakes) of photos and proudly print and display them online (Check out Flickr.).

 

 

* In order to get sharp photos set your shutter speed number to match the size of the lens. For example, if you’re shooting with a 50mm lens your shutter speed should be at least 1/60 of a second. For a 18 to 200mm zoom, the shutter speed should be set no less than 1/250 of a second. If you have an imaged stabilized camera or vibration reduced lens you can get away with slower shutter speeds. Most people can handhold a camera at no less than 1/30 or 1/60 of a second.

** For situations where you either desire to shoot at less than 1/30 of a second (shutter speeds in the range of a second or two are needed to get those “flowing” water shots of rivers and waterfalls) or need to (for example photos of sunsets or photos of fireworks displays) then the only answer is to stabilize the camera. You can use a tripod (of any size. The more expense ones are more stable and long lasting.) or a bean bag or by holding the camera against a solid object (often a poor second choice).

*** I don’t like photos of children taken by adult photographers who shoot down at the little munchkins. Same goes for pets and animals in the wild. Get to eye-level and see the world in a whole new way.

**** Shooting into the light is tricky. It can wash out colour and contrast. At the very least use a lens hood to cut down on flare.

***** The pop-up or build-in flash is only good out to about six feet (if that). A bigger flash can bang out a blast to 20 or 30 feet. Better still it will allow you to bounce the flash off the ceiling or into a photographic umbrella (if you’re serious about doing portraits). Some flashes (Nikon is one) can be used off the camera and controlled by the camera’s own pop-up flash.

Taming Contrast

The Spring/Summer edition of Outdoor Photography Canada has some great articles including one on how to control contrast. The author of Taming Contrast, Darwin Wiggett, says the human eye can see about 20 f-stops of difference in brightness while film can record about five to nine f-stops. Digital cameras are limited to about five to seven steps.

If you’re having issues with contrast then this is a great article for you. Go to www.outdoorphotographycanada.com.

For Nikon digital users, try your D-lighting settings either in camera or in software to help bring scene contrast under control.

Digital or film?

A couple of years ago I didn’t have a clear answer. Today I do and it’s digital.

That’s not to say there isn’t a place for film. Artists and some advanced amateurs will continue to use film for a variety of purposes but when it comes to everyday photography the only viable answer is digital.

Now that creates a problem. Unlike film where you took the photos and someone else did the processing, many digital photographers also do their own printing. While you can take your best images to the corner photo developer on disc, you can print your own photos using a dedicated mini-printer for 4″ X 6″ photos which are every bit as good as the corner store variety. For a couple of bucks more you can buy a fabulous photo printer (get one with a 4X6 tray for easy printing of smaller photos) which will print 8″ X  10″ (or 81/2″ X 11″) prints or larger at about the same cost as the commercial printers.