Painting with Light

Light painting or light drawing is a fun and effective technique to let loose your creativity. An ordinary flashlight can be your ‘brush’ to ‘paint’ your subject and make it appear something more than it usually looks like.

There are a few things you’ll need to make light painting work.

Your camera should be capable of taking long exposures – how long depends on what you plan to shoot but a shutter speed of at least 5 seconds is enough to light paint a nearby object.

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Where to Get Photography Lessons

If only we knew how to take good pictures the moment we cradle a camera in our hand. An expensive camera, all the latest accessories, a pretty scene, these are not a guarantee that your photographs will come out great. Most beginning photographers are misguided into thinking that just because their camera is top of the line, it will produce stunning shots every time they press the shutter button. Unfortunately, that is not the case. How good a photograph is mostly based on how good you are as a photographer, regardless of camera brand or model. Although, the quality of high end DSLR would be better in terms of clarity and fineness compared to a cheap point and shoot, in the end the ‘awesomeness’ of a shot depends on the person, not the gadget. How do you transform from a person who takes dull snapshots to someone who can show the extraordinariness of an ordinary object or scene? There are ways and means to learn how to take good pictures and these can be found just near you.

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Shooting Water: Frozen Water Shots

Since it does not have a definite shape, water can appear in different forms, literally and figuratively. In this article, we will discuss how we can freeze water action in an image using camera settings. We will also talk about freezing water literally to come up with creative images.

To freeze water in mid-motion, adjust your shutter speed to a very high setting, the highest you can make it. Since the shutter speed is very fast, you will need to compensate for the exposure by adjusting your aperture to a relatively small f-stop, which would mean a larger lens opening to allow more light to pass through.

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Understanding Exposure – Part 2: Auto/Manual Exposure, Reciprocity, and Light Meters

The subject of exposure is very broad since it is the foundation of the medium of photography. To have more control over your camera’s output, it is best to understand the various concepts of exposure. Here are more information regarding exposure, from how its elements interact, to the various ways it is measured.

Cameras have automatic and/or manual exposures. By using the auto mode, the camera decides the best exposure settings based on the subject’s mid-tone.

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Understanding Exposure – Part 1: Exposure Triangle

Photography has so many technical terms and jargon that it can all get so confusing at times. One thing that any photographer should fully understand, though, is exposure. Photography means ‘capturing the light’ and exposure is the total amount of light that reaches the film (traditional photography) or sensor (digital photography).

Exposure is defined by three elements which make up the ‘exposure triangle’. These would be ISO, aperture and shutter speed. These are all connected to each other and by adjusting any of these settings, you must keep the other two in mind.

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An Intro to Black and White Digital Photography

Black and white photographs are often deemed as elegant or classy. Although colored photographs can be breathtaking, colors can also be such a strong element that it can overpower the other elements such as patterns or texture. There is something stark and intense about black and white pictures that captures the viewer’s attention and doesn’t let it go.

beanie An Intro to Black and White Digital Photography

Composition – when an image is stripped of color, other elements become much more obvious. The various textures become more noticeable, patterns and shapes become more pronounced, and contrast and toning need a deft touch. One needs a good command of the elements of composition to bring out the best in black and white images.

Shoot in color – the great thing about shooting in color is that you can always convert it to black and white in post processing. Then, if you change your mind and want it colored after all, you still have the original file to work with.

Use RAW – if your camera is capable of taking photographs in RAW format, it would be advisable to use that function. The image appears as black and white on the LCD screen but the camera is storing all the colors as well. RAW stores all of the image data unlike JPEG which compresses the file and disposes of some data. These extra data might be the saving factor in retrieving detail to over or underexposed areas.

When converting to black and white in post processing, try not to use grayscale or desaturation. Instead, play with the channels which will give you more control about editing the shades between black and white.

Shoot during overcast days –you might not usually take colored pictures on days like these because the colors look washed out and dull. However, overcast or gloomy days are a great time to shoot black and white pictures. As a matter of fact, you can also take fabulous black and white shots during bright sunlight because the harsh lighting can cause hard shadows which can appear dramatic in the monochrome image.

Low ISO – unless it is for intended effect, it is always best to choose low ISO when taking a photograph, whether colored or black and white. This is particularly necessary with black and white shots because image noise or grain is more visible.

Choose your subject – some subjects just look better in black and white rather than color. For example, a lot of portrait photography is shot in black and white because blemishes and imperfections are less apparent. Wedding photography is another area that makes full use of this style. Black and white wedding photos have this aura of elegance, solemnity and romance that seems difficult to capture in color. Cityscapes and landscapes also make great subjects because lines and patterns are emphasized.


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Quick Tips on Taking Great Landscape Photography

Landscapes and seascapes are ideal as photography subjects because nature has this innate beauty, whether it be snowcapped mountains or mist covered swamps. A lot of thought and consideration on the location and timing is needed to get the perfect shot. The right equipment is also needed to make everything just right.

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5 Tips on Beach Photography

If you live near the ocean, chances are you visit the beach often. If you don’t live near the ocean, you most likely make vacation plans to stay by the beach for some well deserved relaxation. They are great places to hang out and make excellent backgrounds for your subject, and they also make inspiring subjects themselves since they are places of natural beauty.

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What Camera Should I Buy

Are you venturing into the world of photography and are wondering what would be the perfect camera to buy? Or are you planning to upgrade that old-timer which seems to visit the repair shop too often? There are so many cameras in the market these days and the various features that manufacturers and camera shops are parading are not making it any easier to arrive at a decision. Ask yourself a few probing questions before you buy a camera:

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Simplifying 4 Photography Jargon

The subject of photography is loaded with terms that are not often used in regular conversation. You might have come across these four photography terms:

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