Monday, 22 of December of 2014

Archives from month » July, 2013

Nature’s Glory

Nature's Glory

Photographers often go to the most picturesque settings to try to capture great images. When most people think of beautiful places to visit and photograph, they think of beaches, lush forests, painted hills, or other calm and colorful places. They don’t think “active volcano.” Unless they’re this guy. QT Luong spent years gathering images of the Hawaiian volcanoes and putting them together in this time-lapse video. The images are amazing — especially the ones where lava is flowing down. Volcanoes are often looked at as being terrible forces of nature that bring devastation down on those around them. Almost everyone alive has heard the story of Pompeii and how it and all of its people were destroyed in a very short time when Vesuvius erupted. Last week, a volcano in Mexico was caught on camera as it erupted. It’s rare for anyone to want to get close to the caldera of a volcano — especially and active one — or for people to see volcanoes, eruptions, and lava flows as beautiful. However, thanks to QT Luong who did get close to them, we can see some rather breath-taking images of volcanoes and enjoy their beauty instead of viewing them only as destructive powers with smoke and ash.

To get these images and put them together in this video, QT used a Canon EOS 5D Mark 2 a Mark 3 camera with Canon 24/1.4, 24-105, 100-400, and Nikkor 12-24 lenses.

You can view more of QT Luong’s work at his website Terra Galleria.

— da Bird


Weekly Wrap-Up

Weekly Wrap-Up

Another Friday brings another busy week in the world of photography to a close. Over the past few weeks, photojournalists have had their hands full covering the various riots taking place around the world. This week it was Egypt’s turn to make headlines. In addition to Egypt, though, this week was a holiday week in the United States with yesterday being Independence Day. Seasoned photographers were busy offering advice to new photographers on how best to capture images of the fireworks displays taking place across the country. And, last but certainly not least, Canon released details on it’s new EOS 70D DSLR camera. Photography review sites got their hands on this camera and have been busily putting out reviews and information on this new member of the Canon family.

All of these stories and more were featured on our Twitter feed. However, if you’re not following us on Twitter then we’ll recap the highlights you might have missed below!


That’s all for this week, folks! Have a great weekend and see you again on Monday!

— da Bird


Photography Tips and Tricks: Fireworks

Photography Tips and Tricks: Fireworks

For all of you getting ready to capture some great fireworks shots tomorrow, we’re recapping last year’s post on this topic to help you out!

Tomorrow is Independence Day in the US and if there’s one thing that is a great thing to capture on film, it’s fireworks. However, getting great shots of fireworks displays can be very tricky if you don’t know what to do. While some cameras do have a “Fireworks Mode” on them, you may be dissatisfied with the results. So, here are a few tricks to try with your camera if you want to capture some great fireworks shots.

1) Dial down the ISO — Manually set the ISO to 100 or 200 and adjust as needed.

2) Get a greater depth of field — Do this by setting the aperture to f/8 or f/11.

3) Take longer exposures — Let the shutter stay open longer and capture more bursts in a single shot.

4) Use a tripod — Since you’ll be taking longer exposures, the risk of camera shake is greater if you do not stabilize the camera on a tripod.

5) Use a lens-cover to reduce the chance of overexposing the sky between shots — While the shutter is still open, you can cover the lens with a piece of cardboard painted black or with a baseball cap.

Feel free to experiment and fine-tune your technique to get the results you want. And, if you do capture some great shots, feel free to share them with us over on Facebook!

– da Bird


Photography and the f16 Rule

If you’ve been practicing photography for any length of time, undoubtedly you’ve come across the f16 rule or the Sunny 16 rule that states that on a sunny day at noon, if your aperture is set to f16, then the proper shutter speed to use in the reciprocal of the ISO. Therefore, if your ISO is 100, then the proper shutter speed is 1/100. Basically, this rule helps you sum up and remember exposure settings so that you can enhance the photos you take without having to rely on automatic settings. Getting out of “auto” and into “manual” is one of the first steps to becoming a better photographer and the f16 rule is one that all photographers can swear by.

This rule also works regardless of where you are when you take your photos or what kind of SLR camera you’re using. Every SLR camera manufacturer builds this rule into their cameras as it is pretty much a standard when it comes to exposure and metering. In fact, the f16 rule is so versatile that there are only two times it needs to be modified — when photographing in a very snowy or very bright sandy environment where the sun is reflected back by the natural landscape. In those cases, f16 becomes f22 since the amount of light is effectively doubled.

Why should you care about this rule at all? Because learning to make proper use of it is the key to capturing better and better images. It allows you to take control of the camera instead of being at the mercy of the auto mode. So, if you’ve ever taken a photo of a shaded setting but had bright light in the background, causing the photo to come out underexposed, you can use the f16 rule to figure out the best settings to use to capture the colors in the shade regardless of the more distant background light. Additionally, if you’ve ever gotten an overexposed image because of the brightness of the immediate light source, then you can make use of this rule to dial down the exposure a bit, getting the image you wanted to capture instead of the one that your camera tried to guess you wanted.

If you’re still uncertain of how best to calculate which ISO and shutter speed to use, feel free to consult this handy chart for various scenarios. And, feel free to adapt and play with the settings a bit until you feel comfortable with the images you’re getting.

Aperture Lighting Scenario
f/22 Layer of Snow or at The Beach, Sunny Day
f/16 Sunny Day at Noon
f/11 Slightly Overcast
f/8 Overcast
f/5.6 Storm Clouds
f/4 Open Shade / Sunset

— da Bird