Q&A with Readers: Photography Tips & Techniques

Last week, I asked the readers of my weblog to ask one query about images that they’re desperate to get solved. Right here’s the query I requested to the readers:

What’s one of many largest points in images that you’re struggling with?

I received an excellent number of detailed questions which I answered to them personally. I assumed I should share a number of of them with you so that you too can benefit from these questions and answers. I had also requested to specify the gear in order that I can tailor my solutions. Wherever I have obtained the knowledge, I’ve included them on this article.

Most of those solutions are unedited with just some edits as crucial especially in my solutions to deliver extra clarity.  If I’ve added something more, I’ve prefixed [EDIT] so that you simply understand it was not a part of the original reply.

Additionally, I’ve eliminated any greetings and any private info from the readers for sustaining the privateness.

Word: If you would like your query to be answered, please write your query, describing the exact difficulty along with the gear details, in the feedback section. I’ll reply it instantly in the comments section or add them to this record.

It’s an extended publish. But, you’ll be glad when you read until the top as I’ve a shock annoucement for all of the hen photographers.

Reader’s Question #1: Publicity Triangle

I do not understand what Exposure Triangle (Iso, Shutter Velocity and Aperture – I’m referring to the Publicity triangle as those use to describe…) is to do with publicity.

I perceive the publicity is dependent upon three values of Iso, Shutter Velocity and Aperture. What’s Triangle go to to do with  it?

Some photographers in their article/blog/e-book put these variable on the vertices of the triangle and a few put them on the edges of the triangle.

For my part the time period triangle just isn’t mandatory.

I hope you understand my drawback. I very nicely perceive the which means of Exposure and its dependency on three variable – Iso, Shutter Velocity and Aperture.

Can you explain why we’d like the triangle?

— Thiru

My Answer

A simple reply is, it’s only a handy means of explaining the truth that Aperture, Shutter Velocity, & ISO collectively make an publicity. If certainly one of these attributes change, the other two should be adjusted to get the identical exposure.

For those who examine my article on the identical, I’ve given two representation of the above-said definition.

When you have bought my Kick-Ass Information to Settings eBook, you’d know the practical solution to set the Aperture, Shutter Velocity, & ISO. In the ebook, I argue that the Exposure Triangle has no which means relating to area images. And, within the Kick-Ass Guide to Exposure eBook, I haven’t talked about anything about any of these three parameters at all!

Finally, what matters is, are you getting the results that you are after by correctly utilizing these three essential parameters–Aperture, Shutter Velocity, & ISO–to make the publicity? And, since you understand it already, it simply doesn’t matter what others say.

As you stated, the triangle just isn’t vital.

Reader’s Query #2: Lanscape Photography Composition

Would you be capable of give me some advice relating to composition , getting the foreground, mid and distance right so that the attention goes from front to back.

Photography Gear: Nikon D7200 + Tamron 10-24 mm lens

— Brian Eastwood

My Reply

You’ve the best gear for taking huge landscapes. It’s usually very straightforward to get every thing in focus with the ultra-wide angle lens like 10-24mm.

Here’re a couple of decisions for composition:

  1. Use main strains to guide the viewer from the foreground to the background. Yow will discover the small print concerning the main strains here.
  2. Together with an fascinating and crowd pleasing foreground makes for a very good composition especially with the ultra-wide angle lenses. Please readHow to Create Visual Interest and Depth Using Foreground.
  3. Use the framing concept to steer the eyes of the viewer to the scene as described on this article.

Right here are a few things you are able to do to get all the things in sharp focus.

  1. Use an aperture within the range of f/11-f/16. Apertures smaller than this can often have the diffraction issues which can yield the whole body softer.
  2. Use a tripod to make it possible for every little thing is sharp. In any other case, attempt utilizing a high shutter velocity like 1/125 – 1/250 or above to ensure there’s no digital camera shake.
  3. Use the AF-S mode with single level focus to ensure the autofocus doesn’t change.
  4. Focus at around 1/3rd the space from the foreground object in your frame. Or, you’ll be able to concentrate on an object which is at round 10 ft from the digital camera that roughly interprets to the hyperfocal distance.

After you’ve got accomplished all of it, be sure to do that crucial step.

Verify the sharpness of your photograph on the digital camera’s LCD monitor from bottom to the top of the body and all the things in between. The only sensible option to know if every little thing is in sharp focus is to examine it. Be sure all the things is in focus.

When you aren’t getting the whole lot in sharp focus, then the Depth of Area is slender. You’ll be able to both shift the main target based mostly in your earlier photograph. You need to use Guide Focusing to regulate the main target shift now so that you’ve full management. Maintain shifting the main target till you get every part in sharp focus.

Some extent to think about:

Typically, it’s unimaginable to get all the things in sharp focus with any modifications you make. In those occasions, it’s better to purpose for multiple pictures targeted on numerous factors within the frame and then use focus-stacking technique to sew all these photographs to get a sharply targeted photograph. For this, you need to use the guide focus.

In the event you think about my suggestion, I’d advocate you to think about leaving the background barely out of focus but all the time get the foreground in sharp focus. Because, in actuality, we see every part closer to us in sharp focus but not so with the distant object.—

Reader’s Question #3: Primary Gear

I have simply read your ebook, nice however I am a beginner and don’t have the gear (can’t afford it) so am doing my greatest with a Nikon D3510 and a Sigma lens 55-200. making an attempt to get the crisp photographs is a challenge but I cant anticipate a lot with what I’ve.

Photography Gear: Nikon D3510 & Sigma 55-200mm lens

— Raye

My Answer

I can understand. Nevertheless, have you ever tried photographing flowers, portraits, or some birds like ducks or geese who are approachable? Having inferior gear may very nicely work to your advantage in case you put all your power into making greatest photographs with them.

Don’t overlook that I started off with Nikon D60 & 18-200mm lens and discovered a lot of the things with them. You might do it too.

Right here’s a simple tip for you. As an alternative of chasing the themes that require higher gear, search for the themes which you can shoot with the current gear. And, then put your heart into it to make the absolute best photographs. You’ll be stunned to see what all you are able to do if only you consider in your personal expertise and use the digital camera as a device.

Reader’s Question #4: Chook Photgoraphy Settings

I am utilizing a Nikon 200~500 mm lens with a d7200. In case you assist us with some concept on the most effective ISO, aperture & shutter velocity combination for stationery hen and one for the birds in flight with this lens.

It is going to be also useful for those who let me know the publish processing method to get clean background from cluttered ones, provided that I took utmost care to avoid muddle whereas taking the picture.

Photography Gear: Nikon D7200 + Nikon 200-500mm lens.

— Sarajit

My Answer

Let’s depart the post-processing apart for now and concentrate on the opposite questions.

These are simply the bottom settings that you could attempt, next time you’re within the subject.

For chook portraits, you would attempt utilizing an aperture of f/6.3 to f/8 just to maintain every thing sharp. Then use the shutter velocity of 1/500th of a second or more. In case you are using a sturdy tripod, then you can get away with 1/250 additionally.

For hen in flight photographs, it actually is determined by how fast the fowl is shifting. A safer guess is to shoot with an Aperture value f/5.6 to f/eight and use a better shutter velocity of around 1/1000 or above.

In both instances, you need to use the Aperture Precedence and regulate the ISO accordingly to get the desired shutter velocity.

Make sure that to read article 6 Positive-Hearth Steps to Creating Superb Hen Pictures for Novice & Amateurs to get the perfect outcomes and the creamy background in the area.

Reader’s Question #5: Exposure Triangle

I find really concern within the reciprocity principle in publicity triangle.

I’ve seen you advisable to make use of Aperture precedence mode in a lot of the conditions. On this mode, the shutter velocity is routinely chosen based mostly on the ISO worth.

The idea of reciprocity says if I bump up the ISO value to double the shutter velocity would also be doubled. Precisely the place I am dealing with the trouble with my gear. The idea is absolutely not working. I am simply citing one state of affairs where I used to be making an attempt to capture a flying lineated barbet just coming out of the habitat after feeding its child.

The light was low. Merely did not seize it because with ISO 8000 even the maximum shutter velocity means various between 1/1000 sec. to 1/1200 sec.  The small print are under.

Aperture: f/5.6 (in precedence mode)

Preliminary ISO worth: 400 (afterward bumped up to 8000)

Photography Gear: Nikon D750 + Nikon 300mm f/four pf  + 1.four mm TC

— Alokes

My Answer

I am not actually positive I perceive the problem right here. Right here’s what I understood. You’re unable to capture the chook in flight in low mild. Nevertheless, what wasn’t clear is what was the top outcome after taking the image? Was it darkish or brilliant? Was the chook not in focus or blurred?

One of the issues to notice is that it’s higher to avoid giving an excessive amount of prominence to the theoretical points. Though they’re essential to be educated, they may not be of very a lot assist in apply.

In follow, it doesn’t matter whether you’re halving or doubling the value, what issues is in the event you understand what Aperture & Shutter Velocity do you want. In case you are using the Aperture Precedence and set the Aperture, then you have to regulate ISO to get the required Shutter Velocity as you talked about it correctly.

Now, should you ask me, you shouldn’t shoot (or, a minimum of don’t anticipate good outcomes) when the light is just too low. Going with a really high ISO value like 8000 on any digital camera together with Nikon D750 is just not advisable. The end result can be too noisy or grainy that your photograph can be unusable on most events.

I feel it’s required to know that there are limits to what we will do and what our gear is able to doing. It won’t be your drawback in any respect. It’s just that you’re trying something past the capabilities of your gear.

Here’s my suggestion:

Each time the sunshine is just too low, attempt to not shoot. Or, a minimum of attempt capturing some portraits of birds in an effort to work with a smaller ISO. I attempt not to shoot at all in such situations when I have to push the ISO beyond 1600 or 3200 on my D750 & D4. Even if I did push, I do know for positive that it’s not going to be an amazing one.

Comply with-up Query

Loads of thanks for replying my query. Obviously the top outcome was blurry one. Since I’m touring now i gained’t give you the option capable of share the image. What do you consider the ISO pushup limitation of D750.

— Alokes

My Reply

That answers it all. The blur might be for many reasons like it could possibly be that you simply lost the main target due to lack of contrast as a consequence of low mild (the obvious), or there may be some shake introduced when you moved the digital camera, or some other.

It’s not just about D750. Any digital camera for that matter including the D5 shouldn’t be pushed too far. I’d all the time advocate to keep it right down to ISO 800-1600 as a protected guess. Something greater than that you simply received to know how you can deal with the noise within the post-processing stage and in addition you must know what you’ll get as the top outcome. It’s a compromise for positive.

Should you pushing the ISO too far, then most often it means the sunshine shouldn’t be ok. So, I’d guess on ready for the proper mild and make some document photographs if essential.

Reader’s Question #6: Teleconverter for Chook Photography

I am a brand new DSLR consumer. I have Canon 7D mark II digital camera physique with a 100-400mm lens. I am contemplating a 1.four or converter. I exploit a tripod. Any thoughts on which converter. Do you assume I should get the cross chest service with the tripod?

I additionally know the two converter requires decreasing the F cease by two. Both converters value the identical. Earlier than, I’ve taken photographs with two level and shoot cameras: Canon Powershot and Sony. I journey with Sony zoom digital camera.  I’m nonetheless cropping most footage to get composition better. I feel fortunate to get clear shot of fowl.

Any ideas? I additionally would recognize any specific ideas on lining up shot. Do you attempt rule of thirds when focusing or change the focus first? At present I’m taking photograph class but instructor is a portrait photographer not birder.

Photography Gear: Canon 7D mark II + Canon 100-400mm lens.

— Carol

My Answer

I wouldn’t advocate utilizing a teleconverter with a Canon 100-400mm lens. It’s often not a good suggestion to make use of the teleconverters with zoom lenses. You’ll only get more annoyed as the drop in f-stop end in a drop within the incoming mild resulting in a lot slower autofocus which finally leads to dangerous pictures.

[EDIT] Here’s an excellent start for anyone contemplating to buy or use a teleconverter: Ought to You Use Teleconverters For Chook Photography? 5 Key Elements To Contemplate.

I’d recommend you do every thing potential to get closer to the birds or to wait patiently until they strategy you or maybe shoot only these birds who’re cooperative. In any case, it’s more about images and less about which birds you’re capturing. It provides you immense pleasure to take a tremendous shot of a duck or a goose in an ideal mild than an unique fowl photograph that’s poorly executed.

For example, verify this Nationwide Geographic photographer by identify Andrew Parkinson who has carried out exceptional work with widespread birds. He has gained numerous awards for the same.

Cropping for the composition is just what we all do, most frequently. It’s okay. Don’t fear about it.

[EDIT] Try to comply with no less than the Rule of Thirds for chook images as famous in this article.

I usually tend to maneuver the main target point on the fowl whereas composing. Nevertheless, it’s not obligatory. I’d say, try to get a sharper image and get the right publicity first. As soon as you’re by means of with it all, you possibly can then slowly start engaged on shifting the main target points to get one of the best composition in the subject.

[EDIT] I’d like so as to add that for a lot of the hen in flight photographs you should use the centre point focusing because it’s probably the most delicate sensor of all. More on that is coming in my forthcoming article overlaying the Hen Photography Settings questions from the readers. For now, you’ll be able to read my article: Easy Hen Photography Settings for Newbies.

Reader’s Query #7: HDR Photograph of Birds

Would you please help me to repair a situation, i.e. how can I seize HDR photograph of any quicker shifting object when I am using high shutter velocity?

— Saptarshi

My Answer

I feel that’s not attainable so far as I know. HDR is a mixture of three photographs, most frequently, taken at three totally different publicity values—one underexposed, one at 0 EV, and one overexposed. So, regardless of the shutter velocity is, the time between these three pictures will probably be totally different even for a cut up second. When the subject is shifting, it’ll not be potential for the HDR algorithm to place them collectively, because the three pictures don’t align.

[EDIT] HDR image can only work when three (or extra) pictures align with each other. That’s the primary requirement. Each time the pictures don’t align you get an infamous HDR impact referred to as Ghosting.

Now, my query to you is, why would you need to shoot an HDR picture of a quick subject? Are you able to tell me some extra details?

Comply with-up Query

Sir, I used to be making an attempt to get a flying shot of a water fowl with a transparent foreground in addition to the background retaining the entire details of the topic at the golden hours like sundown.

My Reply

It ought to be attainable to have details in both the foreground and the background in the golden hours, offered it is the entrance mild state of affairs. Which means, the Sun is at your back.

Within the case of the backlight state of affairs, you may need to wait until the sun is nearly near the horizon when its brightness is low to get good details. However, that’s sort of a really small window of a minute or so.

One other thing you’ll be able to attempt is to shoot in a state of affairs where the solar is hitting the chook from a 2/third angle, which suggests at an angle of round 50-80 diploma from the fowl. Principally, you could ensure that there’s enough mild falling on to the hen, foreground, and the background that’s not having an excessive amount of contrast.

Right here’s my recommendation to you:

Moderately than in search of ways to unravel a problem with a greater digital camera or a greater software/algorithm like HDR, remedy it with your area expertise. When you push your self to make the most effective use of the state of affairs through the use of your thought course of, numerous apply, and perseverance, you’ll be able to obtain rather a lot better outcomes than what you assume is feasible.

Reader’s Question #8: Birds in Flight

How do you’re taking good footage of flying birds?  They are obviously shifting, so motion blur is a matter.  Getting correct focus is for me quite onerous.  The background is usually either a bunch of foliage or the sky.  The sky can end up overexposed and may really darken the hen until you solely shoot entrance illuminated objects.  the foliage background can turn into the purpose of focus which makes a very dangerous image.

— Hap

My Reply

There are a number of issues that that you must care for. Here’s an inventory of things I’d recommend:

  1. Initially, you need to be sure to are capturing in the entrance mild. The reason is that you simply need the chook to be lit rather well to get an honest shutter velocity. And, when the chook is towards the foliage, it’ll all the time pay to have the chook lit higher than the foliage assuming there’s a superb separation between the 2.
  2. You need to start monitoring the fowl from far off distance so that you simply permit the auto-focus to realize the give attention to the chook earlier than you begin capturing. It’d take a while for the autofocus to realize the main target as the chook is shifting.
  3. It’s all the time higher to use a better shutter velocity than what you assume is important. Say, use a 1/1000 or above even for the slow-moving birds so that you simply don’t introduce digital camera shake as a result of any potential error from your end.
  4. It all the time pays to attend for the chook to return near [almost] parallel to the sensor, whereas it’s flying sideways, before pushing the shutter. This provides you much more time to trace the fowl and make sure it’s in sharp focus.

In case of the foliage as the background, attempt to shoot solely when the chook has a terrific separation. The larger the separation between the hen and the background, the higher.

It all the time pays to recollect the restrictions:

  1. A hen flying in the direction of you is all the time difficult to shoot as the autofocus isn’t good in monitoring a subject shifting closer. The apparent reduction in depth is sort of troublesome for the autofocus to know.
  2. A scarcity of distinction resulting from poor lighting circumstances virtually all the time make autofocus to fail.
  3. High contrast [due to harsh lighting conditions] will virtually all the time outcome in a poor photograph.
  4. It’s all the time simpler for autofocus to focus and lock to a fowl when it’s towards the sky than when the chook is towards the foliage. That’s because there’s an excessive amount of detail in the background and not as a lot distinction between the fowl and the foliage. Whereas there’s all the time a huge distinction between the fowl and the sky.
[EDIT] Use a single-point or 5- or 9-point (referred to as  Expanded AF in Canon) focus and hold the main target level within the centre of the frame for max sensitivity.

I’d advocate you to also take a look at my article 10 Surefire Tips for Photographing Birds in Flight.

Reader’s Question #9: Filters for Landscape Photography

I need to start landscape images. I need to use filters like a round polarizing and ND filters. Are you able to please help me on this matter.

Photography Gear: Canon 7D Mark II + Sigma 18-35 1.eight Artwork Lens

— Ankush

My Answer

I’d advocate you to go with a round polarizing filter that’s a bit on the higher range like Hoya or one thing comparable. You’ll have to perform a little research there. Most significantly, don’t skimp on buying the most effective one out there, because a cheaper filter will destroy the photograph than make it any better.

Concerning the ND filter, you bought to make certain you want it. As a result of there are lots of varieties and they are costly and usually are not very useful in case you don’t shoot long publicity most often. In case you do need to shoot long-exposure most frequently, then investing in a 10-stop ND filter shall be a very good start line. Just go with one filter and check out your hand with it. See if you are able to get the results you’re after.

In my opinion, Circular polarizing filter will be the most useful one. Nevertheless, in case you do need to shoot long-exposure, go with 10-stop ND filter.

The moral is that you must spend money on one of the best filter if you would like good outcomes. Should you buy an affordable filter, it’s like placing an affordable cooling glass on your eyes. It’ll solely hinder your imaginative and prescient than enhancing it.

Reader’s Query #10: The right way to Get Dark Background

I’m copying the question I requested in DPreview discussion board and I’ve not succeeded in attaining what I was set to realize. It could possibly be that I’m not that clever.


I’m making an attempt to comply with the steps given in to get a black background and it isn’t working for me.

This is what the above link says–

“Fast tip for awesome black backgrounds: I find that jet-black backgrounds can look superb particularly on close-up macro photographs and so forth, and in case your digital camera’s inbuilt +/- EC solely goes right down to say -2 or -3 you then mightn’t be capable of get your background darkish sufficient. To get this impact then, change into Guide ‘M’ mode, and depart your Flash EC set to zero (or no matter flashed brightness you need), but dial your ISO means down, your f/# means up, and your shutter velocity as quick as you’ll be able to (often restricted the Flash Sync velocity – see under) and this provides you with as dark a background as attainable. Depending on how shiny the ambient mild is, how giant an f/# your lens can go and so on, you won’t be capable of get it utterly black however it’s value a attempt typically! “

My digital camera is Nikon D5600 and the lens is Nikkor 18-300mm

Any suggestion welcome. Thanks prematurely.

Photography Gear: Nikon D5600 + Nikkor 18-300mm

— Thiru

My Answer

Coming to your question of getting a darkish background, right here’s my article on Histogram that has two such pictures which offer you a good idea.

Everytime you want the background to be darker than the topic and/or foreground, it’s essential to have a state of affairs like that. I mean, the topic must be brilliant or properly lit and the background ought to be dark and dimly lit to get such a photo.

In different phrases, the contrast between your subject and the background ought to be such that when one is perfectly uncovered, the opposite mechanically goes darkish.

For example, think about an Egret with darkish vegetation in the background. Now, add a entrance tender mild to the scene the place the Egret is lit perfectly and the sunshine is so mushy that the background shouldn’t be so visible. Egret being so white and background being comparatively dark, the contrast between the 2 is an excessive amount of. So, when you expose perfectly for the Egret, the background mechanically goes dark.

Now, if you want to utterly turn the background to black, then underexpose the photograph utilizing the publicity compensation method as described here, and you’ll get a darker background. More like a studio portrait.

It works with the brilliant flowers too, as described by the article you’ve shared because the identical logic works as described above. Any shiny subject towards a dark background ought to yield you this end result.

You possibly can create the same impact with a spotlight (keep in mind the way it works in a stage present the place only the actor is lit?) or a sidelight state of affairs when you understand it nicely.

Keep in mind that, if the contrast is much less between the topic and the background, whether or not it’s Egret or Flower or another, you wouldn’t be capable of get the same impact.

Reader’s Question #11: How you can Expose the Shiny & the Dark Birds

My question is….it’s very troublesome to make proper exposure whereas capturing utterly white birds like egrets , herons and so forth and likewise it’s unimaginable to get particulars while capturing utterly black birds like black drongo. The stated birds both utterly white or black with none feather particulars. I kindly request you to guide me to unravel this concern

— Kishor

My Answer

For those who comply with these steps, you’ll see some success:

  1. Shoot within the delicate mild state of affairs. The softer the higher. Say early morning mild from around 6:30 to 8 am.
  2. Shoot with Sun behind your again. Which means, shoot within the front lighting state of affairs the place the hen is lit completely.
  3. Choose a background that’s mid-grey like green vegetation or some background that has not-so-bright colours. Don’t shoot towards water or overcast skies.
  4. Use the exposure-compensation method described here until you get the right exposure.
  5. Verify the LCD monitor and zoom in to see when you have captured all the small print. If not, simply repeat the steps four & 5 until you get the desired end result.

Don’t overlook to attempt it as many occasions as it requires you to get the outcome. It is perhaps weeks or months earlier than you nail it. But, in case you do, you’ll have one of the best talent you might purchase.

In case you have purchased my Kick-Ass Information to Publicity eBook, go forward and skim it right now. I’ve defined this in detail.

[EDIT] Photographing a White or a Black fowl is a check in your exposure expertise. Simply know that it requires one of the best mild to show these birds satisfactorily. First study to show them first without dropping any particulars. Once you study to show them properly by understanding the right utilization of light, you possibly can then change your mind to searching for a background and/or the sunshine that’ll make these look beautiful.

Capturing within the golden hours with entrance mild makes for unimaginable portraits of the dark/black birds. Capturing in the golden hours with the back mild makes for unimaginable portraits of the brilliant/white birds because of their translucent feathers.

Reader’s Question #12: How one can get Sharp Chook Photographs

When I am utilizing Canon 600d digital camera with Sigma 150-600 lens for chook images. Some photographs are sharp and some will not be that a lot sharp. I am using lens stabilization and handheld digital camera. Checking shutter velocity also 1/focal size*1.6

Photography Gear: Canon 600D + Sigma 150-600 lens.

— Avinash

My Answer

If the problem just isn’t consistent then it is perhaps for several causes.

Here’s what I’d need you to attempt:

  1. Attempt capturing at a shutter velocity of a minimum of 1/1000 or above.
  2. Try to ensure you are utilizing correct hand holding method as described in my Hen Photography eBook.
  3. Don’t use the tripod collar to carry the lens. As an alternative, push the tripod collar to the highest and immediately maintain the lens. Hold the lens little farther from the tripod collar to get better stability.
  4. Attempt utilizing the Aperture of around f/7.1 or f/eight to get sharper results.
[EDIT] Whereas I have proven myself holding the digital camera lens with the tripod collar in my eBook, I feel it’s much better and simpler to hold the lens itself. Just push the tripod collar to the highest so as to safely and securely maintain the lens in your left hand. This increases the steadiness and helps you manually focus if wanted or typically zoom the lens for composition. I exploit to do both these while I used to be handholding my Canon 100-400mm lens.

Reader’s Question #13: Learn how to Shoot Darkish Subject on a White Background

I shoot a Canon Rebel T6i with a Tamron 16-300 mm lens. Going to the Galápagos islands next week. May also be at Machu Picchu and in the Andes Mountains cloud forest…. very dark with plenty of fascinating foliage and flowers. My principal drawback and this is my query…..I’ve had major points there before with harsh contrasts— a dark Black Sea lion on white sand. I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve been taking pictures for over 40 years and I depart my digital camera on auto or sports setting. I don’t understand aperture and shutter velocity settings.

Is there a easy setting I can default to in these high distinction situations? Would any sort of filter assist? I also get over uncovered skies in these conditions.

Photography Gear: Canon Rebel T6i  + Tamron 16-300 mm lens

— PM

My Answer

I feel it’s all the time a challenge to check out one thing new if you find yourself unsure if it yields the outcomes or not. Using Auto or Sports mode is just not a sin. But, I’d such as you to provide Aperture Precedence mode a do this time around.

Here’s what you do whether or not you’re capturing a sea lion towards white sand or anything, simply be certain that the sunshine is true. Excessive distinction situations are usually not preferrred for images no matter what gear you’ve.

  1. Shoot when the sunshine is gentle.
  2. Ensure that to maintain the Solar behind you so that the animal is lit properly.

Right here’s a quick guide so that you can give Aperture Precedence a attempt.

  1. Flip the mode to Aperture Precedence.
  2. Turn the Main dial that’s proper behind the Shutter Button when you see the LCD monitor. This can primarily change the f-stop. Simply get used to it by meddling with a bit.
  3. Set the Aperture to round f/eight to get a sharp end result as the lens you’re utilizing won’t be very sharp at most aperture.
  4. Learn how to ISO to Auto in your digital camera, and set it.
  5. Now simply go around and shoot any subject you get.

Right here’s what you do now. Essential.

Once you get a shot with above-said settings, change the mode to Auto. Attempt taking a picture. See, how they differ. Do this as many occasions with as many subjects as you’ll be able to. Maybe, 100 totally different photographs will do.

For reference, you’ll be able to read my Guide Mode article that’ll offer you some hints.

As soon as you’re getting some good outcomes with Aperture Precedence, it’s time to work on getting the right publicity. Which means, exposing the sea lion properly or the sky properly or any such factor. For that, go forward and skim my publicity compensation article and check out that out.

Here’s something to remember. You’ve spent 40 years capturing in Auto or Sports mode. It won’t be really easy to modify to Aperture Precedence and get going quickly. It’ll take a while. Perhaps, several weeks to months before getting snug.

What’s essential is you attempt that each single time. Just hold switching between Auto and Aperture Priority and see what’s working and what’s not working. Soon, you’ll understand what it’s worthwhile to do for a specific state of affairs.

Slowly, you can start working your approach out with ISO & the Shutter Velocity.

Reader’s Question #14: Birds in Flight

I apply all the time to obtain the perfect wildlife footage of birds. Its very difficult however I prefer it.

I don’t have a lot money for greatest gear. I’ve the Nikon D700 and Tamron 150-600 g1.

I all the time assume if I had One Nikon 300 mm AF-S f4 its potential to do greatest footage at move like birds in flight but I feel the birds are to small for this focal distance.

I exploit 600mm 90% of 600 photographs of birds but success is just too low.

However I want to crop information that use my Nikon D3400 .

My dream workforce is Nikon D850 with Nikon 200-500 mm and greatest work in the area.

Resume :

With good tech and work with digital camera body f8 to f11, 1/1250 to 1/4000, ISO 800 to 2000.

Greatest pictures seem with greatest gear or very shut work and greatest mild?

PS: After I learn your books I don’t have many questions and I know how edit photographs because I am Designer.

Greatest regards and lots of thanks on your lovely and superb work, thoughts, books, photographs…

Photography Gear: Nikon D700 and Tamron 150-600 g1.

— José

My Answer

To be trustworthy with you, you already have excellent gear in comparison with most others. You’ve gotten some good chook photographs too. However, what I really feel is you must work on capturing in good mild and in addition your processing expertise.

Nikon 300mm f/4 wouldn’t be a very good selection until you employ it alongside with a 600mm lens. It’s too brief as you noted. Utilizing it with teleconverters is a nasty concept.

Have you tried utilizing a battery grip with Nikon D700? It seems it’ll offer you an eight fps burst fee. This can be a terrific benefit for those who ask me. You possibly can then attempt to combine this with a 200-500mm each time you’ve gotten saved sufficient cash and you’ve got a very good combination.

All stated I’d wish to inform you that having limitations with your gear is indeed good for you. Although it seems counterintuitive, it’s a reality. As a result of when you push yourself exhausting to improve your expertise and discover out numerous methods to make one of the best use of the gear, you’ll be amazed with the outcomes. Perhaps you possibly can’t shoot the whole lot, however you’ll be able to shoot some birds with nice results.

As soon as you’re so good with barely inferior gear you’ll feel like a rockstar if you finally get the gear that supports your improved expertise. The other approach round seldom works. By which I mean, without the proper expertise, no gear can get you higher results.

Yes, all the time work with the perfect mild and work with the birds who are more accommodating.

Reader’s Question #15: Birds in Flight + Birds on Ground

Is there a approach to work out higher with a setting on the digital camera, to shortly shoot birds in flight when one was set for still photographs on the bottom. I exploit 7D Mark II with 100-400 IS II, totally on the tripod.

Of late, given the great mild at night time in Delhi and Noida, I exploit AV mode by manually selecting an appropriate ISO to get the specified shutter velocity. Kelvin set at 5800.

Photography Gear: 7D Mark II with 100-400 IS II

— John Mathew

My Reply

I might say you’ll be able to circumvent this drawback in two ways:

  1. Use the AI Focus AF mode which routinely switches between the two. But, I don’t advocate it because it’ll be sluggish.
  2. Use the AI-Servo mode all the occasions and make use of the Auto Focus lock method to make it work like a Single-Shot focus for a short time.

Right here’s how you need to use focus-lock (coupled with AI-Servo) for those who aren’t already utilizing it.

  1. In case you are utilizing the back-button focusing method, then as soon as the main target is achieved, you possibly can launch the back-button to lock the main target.
  2. In case you are using Shutter Button to focus as properly, you then’ll have to use the AE/AF-L button to lock the main target after the main target is achieved if you find yourself capturing the stationary chook. When you launch the lock, the autofocus will begin working once more immediately.

All stated I’d wish to say that it all the time pays to take a very good shot of the stationary fowl with Single-Shot focus, for those who choose, and shortly return to AI-Servo to be prepared for any attainable action of the same fowl or another birds flying. This manner you have got the most effective of each worlds.

In case you are capturing within the evening, across the Sunset whenever you get golden mild, attempt choosing a better Kelvin of say 7920Okay or 8330Okay or comparable. This offers you that golden glow that’s otherwise can be lost when you set it to average temperature like 5800Okay.

Comply with-up Question

Thanks Prathap, that was very useful and was joyful to have been following it partly.

Just to finish my question, hope you wouldn’t mind this last question.

In truth, I used to be for some time working with one again button dedicated for AI Servo and the opposite for One shot. This gave such unimaginable velocity and adaptability to modify over. The issue was with getting the fitting exposure once I switched instantly from One shot still to AI Servo flight. Aiming to the sky all of a sudden modifications the metering I assume, leaving little or no time for a change of exposure settings.

My Answer

Exposure is totally totally different from what focusing mode you’re using. It has no bearing in any respect. When the scene is totally changed, you’ll should anticipate a change in exposure.

That’s where taking check exposures show you how to.

Each time you’re capturing a fowl on the ground and in addition waiting for some motion in the sky, you’ll be able to do this:

  1. Take a check publicity for the sky.
  2. Use the publicity compensation to get the right exposure for the sky.
  3. Keep in mind the publicity compensation setting.
  4. Since no hen shall be brighter than the sky, all that you must do when shifting your attention from the fowl on the bottom to the fowl towards the sky, you just dial within the required publicity compensation value and begin capturing.

It might sound an excessive amount of to do and doubtless too arduous as properly. That’s where apply matters lots. Just attempt doing this exercise as many occasions as you’ll be able to without the fowl. Just decide two spots which are very totally different. Shoot alternatively these two spots with totally different publicity compensation worth. You’ll soon end up doing this effortlessly.

Reader’s Question #16: Find out how to get Sharp Fowl Pictures?

Sure, I do have a teething drawback and that isn’t capable of get very sharp photograph. I’m a birdie. I really like taking footage of birds. I used a 6D Canon and a 100-400mm zoom Mark 2 – Canon lens for my birding shoot.

Was questioning these footage I seen that have been so sharp, did they go through modifying?

I’m considering of upgrading my digital camera body however unsure which one to improve to.

Photography Gear: 6D Canon + 100-400mm Mark 2

— David Phua

My Reply

There might be many problems with sharpness. Let me offer you some ideas based mostly on some assumptions.

In case you are getting sharpness issues every single time, then it could be a lens problem. I’d advocate you to verify it once.

If it’s a hit and miss case, then right here’s what I’d advocate you to attempt:

  1. Be sure that to make use of an Aperture of f/6.3 to f/eight whereas capturing. These zoom lenses aren’t very sharp at their most aperture which leads to slightly softer photographs. Using f/6.3 to f/eight will yield sharper results.
  2. Be sure that to use at the least a shutter velocity of 1/500 or above. In case you are struggling to hold the lens correctly, then attempt going with 1/1000 or above. This can compensate for any digital camera shake points.
  3. Since 6D has only four.5 fps, it might be that you’re introducing some shake while dipping the shutter button to take burst photographs. It could be clever to attempt to apply dipping the shutter button with ease. You can do it just each time you’ve got time and wherever you’re.
  4. Shoot with gentle entrance mild as much as a can. Hold the Solar to your back yielding you a lot better mild on the fowl that helps in focusing and getting larger shutter velocity and in addition a greater exposure.

In case you’re using a tripod, it’s attainable that you’re utilizing an inferior tripod. It ruins the outcome as an alternative of enhancing. Additionally, just remember to use the Tripod collar to go on the ball head, not the digital camera body.

About post-processing:

I am assuming you’re referring to different photographers getting sharper outcomes with the identical gear. It’s attainable that they are doing a number of things right within the subject.

While all stated, it’s attainable to get sharper leads to the post-processing. However, not if the RAW file from the sector isn’t sharply targeted. In case your results are gentle but completely targeted, then you’ll be able to simply sharpen it in any post-processing software.

About upgrading:

At present, I feel Canon 7D Mark II is your only choice. Should you can work with the current physique and push yourselves to get one of the best results, you may assume twice. But, nothing improper with upgrading to a greater body or lens.

Comply with-up Question

Thanks so much on your sensible advise.

Yes, I’ll attempt what you’ve proposed and I’m already taking a look at upgrading to 7D mk2. Since this is an previous mannequin now, I’ll go for second hand. Will attempt it and let you know the end result.

I realised that it isn’t sharp once I zoom it in… is that obtained to do with my aperture?

My Answer

If you zoom in and use a better focal length like 400mm, then the right hand-holding method turns into essential. As a result of the lens is away from the physique if it zooms out, you’ll have to maneuver your left-hand away, as I stated earlier, in an effort to present good help.

Additionally, when you’re capturing at most focal length, it all the time pays to stop-down the Aperture to f/6.3 to f/eight and ensure you have a shutter velocity of 1/500 or above to get sharper results. The quicker the shutter velocity higher it’s.

[EDIT] For flight photographs, I’d advocate 1/1000 or above.

It’s a sensible transfer to buy a second hand. Once, 7D Mark III comes out you possibly can maybe see if it is sensible to upgrade.

[EDIT] Learn Greatest Lens for Hen Photography for Rookies and Experienced Photographers & Choosing the Digital camera Body for Chook Photography.


I beloved this train more than I anticipated. Most frequently, I attempt to guess the difficulty or perhaps infer from my earlier experiences about probably the most probable issues that other photographers may be dealing with.

It’s one thing to be able to infer nevertheless it’s altogether a special experience to know the precise issues.

For those who haven’t been capable of share your images query with me, please be happy to do it proper now. Just write down probably the most urgent challenge that you’ve, describing it in actual details, and in addition specify the gear you’re using, in the comments part. I’ll reply all of them to my greatest information and hopefully update the article with your questions too.

I hope this was an incredible read for you too. Please do contemplate sharing this with different photographers on social media or in your respective images clubs as many photographers may be dealing with the identical points.

Good News for Hen Photographers

There’s something that I’m working on that I’m quite kicked about. It’s about chook images and it’s one thing that I never thought, even in my wildest goals, that I’ll do it. By no means.

But, typically, life pushes you to do somethings which might be inevitable and are good for the group. For the first time, I’m venturing into one thing that I really feel shall be little bit controversial but at the similar time a necessity for many hen photographers.

My first line is probably a hint to all those who attended my images workshops. In case you are considered one of them, you may be capable of guess.

Will you be capable of take a guess? Perhaps, a wild guess? Let me know what involves your mind in your feedback.

In the Making: A Chook Photography Product That’s Helpful But Controversial.

Have a good time! Have fun capturing.

Greatest Regards,


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