Photography Tips and tutorials

Q&A with Readers: Photography Tips & Techniques

Final week, I asked the readers of my weblog to ask one query about images that they’re wanting to get solved. Here’s the question I requested to the readers:

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

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

Most of those answers are unedited with just some edits as crucial especially in my answers to deliver extra readability.  If I’ve added one thing 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.

Notice: If you need your query to be answered, please write your question, describing the precise concern along with the gear particulars, within the feedback section. I’ll reply it instantly within the feedback section or add them to this record.

It’s an extended submit. However, you’ll be glad in the event you learn until the top as I’ve a shock annoucement for all the fowl photographers.

Reader’s Question #1: Publicity Triangle

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

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

Some photographers of their article/weblog/e-book put these variable on the vertices of the triangle and some put them on the edges of the triangle.

For my part the term triangle isn’t crucial.

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

Are you able to clarify why we’d like the triangle?

— Thiru

My Reply

A easy reply is, it’s just a handy method of explaining the truth that Aperture, Shutter Velocity, & ISO together make an exposure. If certainly one of these attributes change, the opposite two need to be adjusted to get the identical publicity.

For those who verify my article on the same, I have given two representation of the above-said definition.

In case you have bought my Kick-Ass Guide to Settings eBook, you’d know the practical solution to set the Aperture, Shutter Velocity, & ISO. Within the e-book, I argue that the Publicity Triangle has no which means in terms of subject images. And, in the Kick-Ass Guide to Publicity eBook, I haven’t mentioned something about any of these three parameters in any respect!

Lastly, what matters is, are you getting the outcomes that you’re after by properly using these three important parameters–Aperture, Shutter Velocity, & ISO–to make the publicity? And, since you understand it already, it just doesn’t matter what others say.

As you stated, the triangle isn’t vital.

Reader’s Question #2: Lanscape Photography Composition

Would you be capable of give me some recommendation relating to composition , getting the foreground, mid and distance right in order that the eye goes from front to again.

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

— Brian Eastwood

My Answer

You’ve the correct 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 number of decisions for composition:

  1. Use main strains to information the viewer from the foreground to the background. You’ll find 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 Visible Interest and Depth Using Foreground.
  3. Use the framing concept to steer the eyes of the viewer to the scene as described in this article.

Right here are a few things you can do to get every thing in sharp focus.

  1. Use an aperture in the range of f/11-f/16. Apertures smaller than this can often have the diffraction issues which can yield all the frame softer.
  2. Use a tripod to make it possible for the whole lot is sharp. In any other case, attempt using 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 point focus to ensure the autofocus doesn’t change.
  4. Focus at round 1/third 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 translates to the hyperfocal distance.

After you have got finished it all, be sure to do this important step.

Examine the sharpness of your photograph on the digital camera’s LCD monitor from bottom to the highest of the frame and every thing in between. The one sensible approach to know if every part is in sharp focus is to verify it. Be certain that every thing is in focus.

In case you aren’t getting all the things in sharp focus, then the Depth of Area is slender. You’ll be able to either shift the main target based mostly on your earlier photograph. You need to use Guide Focusing to regulate the main target shift now so that you’ve complete control. Maintain shifting the main target till you get every little thing in sharp focus.

Some extent to think about:

Typically, it’s unattainable to get every thing in sharp focus with any modifications you make. In those occasions, it’s higher to purpose for a number of photographs targeted on numerous factors in the body and then use focus-stacking technique to sew all these pictures to get a sharply targeted photograph. For this, you must use the guide focus.

In the event you contemplate my suggestion, I’d advocate you to think about leaving the background slightly out of focus however all the time get the foreground in sharp focus. As a result of, in actuality, we see the whole lot nearer to us in sharp focus however not so with the distant object.—

Reader’s Query #Three: Primary Gear

I have simply read your e-book, great 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 problem but I cant anticipate a lot with what I’ve.

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

— Raye

My Answer

I can perceive. Nevertheless, have you tried photographing flowers, portraits, or some birds like geese or geese who’re approachable? Having inferior gear may very properly work to your benefit should you put all your power into making greatest pictures with them.

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

Right here’s a easy tip for you. As an alternative of chasing the themes that require better gear, search for the themes you could shoot with the present gear. And, then put your coronary heart into it to make the absolute best photographs. You’ll be stunned to see what all you are able to do if solely you consider in your personal expertise and use the digital camera as a software.

Reader’s Query #four: Chook Photgoraphy Settings

I’m using a Nikon 200~500 mm lens with a d7200. When you help us with some concept on the most effective ISO, aperture & shutter velocity mixture for stationery chook and one for the birds in flight with this lens.

Will probably be additionally helpful in case you let me know the publish processing method to get clean background from cluttered ones, provided that I took utmost care to keep away from muddle while taking the image.

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 base settings that you could attempt, next time you’re in the subject.

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

For chook in flight photographs, it actually is dependent upon how briskly the hen 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 each instances, you need to use the Aperture Precedence and modify the ISO accordingly to get the desired shutter velocity.

Ensure that to read article 6 Positive-Hearth Steps to Creating Superb Chook Pictures for Novice & Amateurs to get the most effective outcomes and the creamy background in the area.

Reader’s Query #5: Exposure Triangle

I discover actually difficulty within the reciprocity principle in exposure triangle.

I have seen you advisable to use Aperture precedence mode in a lot of the situations. In this mode, the shutter velocity is mechanically chosen based mostly on the ISO worth.

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

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

Aperture: f/5.6 (in precedence mode)

Initial ISO value: 400 (afterward bumped as much as 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 issue right here. 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 end result after taking the image? Was it darkish or vibrant? Was the fowl not in focus or blurred?

One of the issues to notice is that it’s better to keep away from giving too much prominence to the theoretical elements. Although they’re necessary to be educated, they may not be of very much help in apply.

In follow, it doesn’t matter whether you’re halving or doubling the value, what matters is in the event you perceive what Aperture & Shutter Velocity do you want. In case you are utilizing the Aperture Precedence and set the Aperture, then you’ll want to modify ISO to get the required Shutter Velocity as you mentioned it correctly.

Now, in case you ask me, you shouldn’t shoot (or, no less than don’t anticipate good results) when the sunshine is just too low. Going with a very excessive ISO worth like 8000 on any digital camera including Nikon D750 just isn’t advisable. The outcome will probably be too noisy or grainy that your photograph might 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 capable of doing. It won’t be your drawback at all. It’s simply that you are trying something beyond the capabilities of your gear.

Here’s my suggestion:

Each time the light is just too low, attempt not to shoot. Or, no less than attempt capturing some portraits of birds with the intention to work with a smaller ISO. I attempt to not shoot at all in such situations when I’ve to push the ISO past 1600 or 3200 on my D750 & D4. Even when I did push, I do know for positive that it’s not going to be a terrific one.

Comply with-up Query

A great deal of thanks for replying my query. Clearly the top end result was blurry one. Since I am traveling now i gained’t give you the chance capable of share the picture. What do you consider the ISO pushup limitation of D750.

— Alokes

My Reply

That solutions all of it. The blur might be for a lot of reasons prefer it might be that you simply misplaced the main target due to lack of contrast because of low mild (the obvious), or there may be some shake launched when you moved the digital camera, or another.

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 maintain it right down to ISO 800-1600 as a protected guess. Anything greater than that you simply acquired to know the best way to deal with the noise within the post-processing stage and in addition you need to know what you’ll get as the top end result. It’s a compromise for positive.

For those who pushing the ISO too far, then most often it means the sunshine just isn’t ok. So, I’d guess on waiting for the proper mild and make some report photographs if essential.

Reader’s Question #6: Teleconverter for Hen Photography

I’m a new DSLR consumer. I’ve Canon 7D mark II digital camera physique with a 100-400mm lens. I’m contemplating a 1.4 or 2.0 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 2 converter requires decreasing the F cease by two. Both converters value the identical. Before, I have taken pictures 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 really feel lucky to get clear shot of chook.

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

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

— Carol

My Reply

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

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

I’d recommend you do every part potential to get closer to the birds or to attend patiently till they strategy you or maybe shoot solely those birds who are 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 a fantastic mild than an unique chook photograph that’s poorly executed.

As an example, verify this National Geographic photographer by identify Andrew Parkinson who has achieved distinctive work with widespread birds. He has gained quite a few awards for the same.

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

[EDIT] Try to comply with at the very least the Rule of Thirds for hen images as famous on this article.

I normally tend to maneuver the main target level on the fowl whereas composing. Nevertheless, it’s not obligatory. I’d say, try to get a sharper picture and get the right exposure first. Once you’re by means of with it all, you possibly can then slowly start working on shifting the main target factors to get one of the best composition in the area.

[EDIT] I’d like so as to add that for a lot of the hen in flight photographs you need to use the centre level focusing as it’s probably the most delicate sensor of all. More on that is coming in my forthcoming article overlaying the Fowl Photography Settings questions from the readers. For now, you possibly can learn my article: Easy Hen Photography Settings for Novices.

Reader’s Question #7: HDR Photograph of Birds

Would you please help me to fix a situation, i.e. how can I seize HDR photograph of any quicker shifting object when I’m utilizing excessive shutter velocity?

— Saptarshi

My Reply

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

[EDIT] HDR picture can solely work when three (or extra) pictures align with one another. That’s the first requirement. Every time the pictures don’t align you get an notorious HDR effect referred to as Ghosting.

Now, my query to you is, why would you need to shoot an HDR image of a fast subject? Are you able to inform me some extra details?

Comply with-up Question

Sir, I used to be making an attempt to get a flying shot of a water fowl with a transparent foreground as well as the background retaining the entire particulars of the topic on the golden hours like sundown.

My Reply

It must be attainable to have particulars in both the foreground and the background in the golden hours, offered it is the front mild state of affairs. Which means, the Solar is at your back.

Within the case of the backlight state of affairs, you may need to attend till the solar is nearly close to the horizon when its brightness is low to get good particulars. But, that’s type of a very small window of a minute or so.

One other factor you possibly can attempt is to shoot in a state of affairs where the solar is hitting the hen from a 2/third angle, which suggests at an angle of around 50-80 degree from the fowl. Principally, it’s essential to make it possible for there’s enough mild falling on to the chook, foreground, and the background that’s not having an excessive amount of distinction.

Here’s my recommendation to you:

Fairly than in search of ways to unravel a problem with a better digital camera or a greater software/algorithm like HDR, clear up it with your subject expertise. In the event you push yourself to make one of the best use of the state of affairs through the use of your thought course of, plenty of follow, and perseverance, you possibly can achieve lots 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 clearly shifting, so motion blur is a matter.  Getting correct focus is for me quite arduous.  The background is usually either a bunch of foliage or the sky.  The sky can end up overexposed and may actually darken the fowl until you only shoot front illuminated objects.  the foliage background can grow to be the point of focus which makes a very dangerous image.

— Hap

My Answer

There are multiple things that it’s worthwhile to maintain. Right here’s an inventory of things I’d recommend:

  1. At the start, you must ensure you are capturing in the entrance mild. The reason being that you simply want the chook to be lit rather well to get an honest shutter velocity. And, when the fowl is towards the foliage, it’ll all the time pay to have the chook lit better than the foliage assuming there’s a great separation between the two.
  2. It’s a must to begin monitoring the fowl from far off distance so that you simply permit the auto-focus to realize the concentrate on the hen earlier than you begin capturing. It’d take some time for the autofocus to realize the main target because the chook is shifting.
  3. It’s all the time better to make use of 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 resulting from any potential error from your finish.
  4. It all the time pays to wait for the hen to return close to [almost] parallel to the sensor, while it is flying sideways, before pushing the shutter. This provides you a lot more time to track the fowl and ensure it’s in sharp focus.

In case of the foliage as the background, attempt to shoot solely when the fowl has an ideal separation. The larger the separation between the hen and the background, the higher.

It all the time pays to remember the restrictions:

  1. A hen flying in the direction of you is all the time difficult to shoot as the autofocus is just not good in monitoring a topic shifting closer. The apparent discount in depth is sort of troublesome for the autofocus to know.
  2. A scarcity of contrast resulting from poor lighting circumstances virtually all the time make autofocus to fail.
  3. Excessive distinction [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 within the background and never as much distinction between the chook and the foliage. Whereas there’s all the time an enormous distinction between the chook and the sky.
[EDIT] Use a single-point or 5- or 9-point (often known as  Expanded AF in Canon) focus and maintain the main target point within the centre of the body for max sensitivity.

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

Reader’s Query #9: Filters for Panorama Photography

I need to begin landscape images. I need to use filters like a circular polarizing and ND filters. Are you able to please assist me on this matter.

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

— Ankush

My Reply

I’d advocate you to go with a circular polarizing filter that’s a bit on the upper vary like Hoya or one thing comparable. You’ll have to perform a little research there. Most significantly, don’t skimp on shopping for the perfect one out there, as a result of a less expensive filter will damage the photograph than make it any better.

Concerning the ND filter, you got to make certain you need it. Because there are numerous varieties and they’re costly and are usually not very helpful in case you don’t shoot lengthy publicity most often. For those who do need to shoot long-exposure most frequently, then investing in a 10-stop ND filter will probably be an excellent start line. Simply go with one filter and check out your hand with it. See if you are able to get the outcomes you’re after.

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

The moral is that it’s a must to spend money on the perfect filter if you would like good outcomes. In case you buy an affordable filter, it’s like putting an affordable cooling glass on your eyes. It’ll only hinder your imaginative and prescient than enhancing it.

Reader’s Query #10: How one can Get Darkish Background

I am copying the query I asked in DPreview forum and I’ve not succeeded in attaining what I was set to realize. It could possibly be that I’m not that intelligent.


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

That is what the above link says–

“Quick tip for awesome black backgrounds: I discover 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 dark 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), however dial your ISO approach down, your f/# means up, and your shutter velocity as fast as you’ll be able to (often restricted the Flash Sync velocity – see under) and this offers you as darkish a background as attainable. Relying on how vibrant 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 nevertheless 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 Reply

Coming to your question of getting a darkish background, here’s my article on Histogram that has two such photographs 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 vibrant or nicely lit and the background must be darkish and dimly lit to get such a photo.

In different phrases, the distinction between your subject and the background ought to be such that when one is perfectly exposed, the other mechanically goes dark.

As an example, contemplate an Egret with dark vegetation in the background. Now, add a front gentle mild to the scene where the Egret is lit completely and the sunshine is so tender that the background isn’t so visible. Egret being so white and background being relatively dark, the contrast between the 2 is an excessive amount of. So, in the event you expose perfectly for the Egret, the background routinely goes darkish.

Now, if you want to utterly turn the background to black, then underexpose the photograph utilizing the exposure compensation method as described here, and also 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 as a result of the same logic works as described above. Any brilliant topic towards a darkish background ought to yield you this end result.

You would create the same impact with a highlight (keep in mind the way it works in a stage show the place only the actor is lit?) or a sidelight state of affairs once you perceive it properly.

Keep in mind that, if the contrast is much less between the subject and the background, whether it’s Egret or Flower or some other, you wouldn’t have the ability to get the identical impact.

Reader’s Query #11: How you can Expose the Brilliant & the Darkish Birds

My question is….it’s very troublesome to make correct exposure while capturing utterly white birds like egrets , herons and so on and likewise it’s unimaginable to get particulars while capturing utterly black birds like black drongo. The stated birds either utterly white or black with none feather particulars. I kindly request you to information me to unravel this challenge

— Kishor

My Answer

In case you comply with these steps, you’ll see some success:

  1. Shoot in the delicate mild state of affairs. The softer the better. Say early morning mild from round 6:30 to eight am.
  2. Shoot with Solar behind your back. Which means, shoot within the entrance lighting state of affairs the place the fowl is lit completely.
  3. Choose a background that’s mid-grey like inexperienced 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 if in case you have captured all the small print. If not, simply repeat the steps four & 5 until you get the specified end result.

Don’t overlook to attempt it as many occasions because it requires you to get the outcome. It is perhaps weeks or months before you nail it. However, should you do, you’ll have the perfect talent you may purchase.

In case you have bought my Kick-Ass Information to Exposure eBook, go ahead and skim it proper now. I’ve defined this intimately.

[EDIT] Photographing a White or a Black hen is a check in your exposure expertise. Just know that it requires the most effective mild to show these birds satisfactorily. First study to show them first without dropping any particulars. When you study to show them correctly by understanding the right utilization of light, you possibly can then change your thoughts to looking for a background and/or the light that’ll make these look beautiful.

Capturing within the golden hours with entrance mild makes for unimaginable portraits of the darkish/black birds. Capturing within the golden hours with the back mild makes for unimaginable portraits of the brilliant/white birds due to their translucent feathers.

Reader’s Question #12: Find out how to get Sharp Chook Photographs

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

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

— Avinash

My Reply

If the problem is just not consistent then it is perhaps for a number of causes.

Here’s what I’d need you to attempt:

  1. Attempt capturing at a shutter velocity of no less than 1/1000 or above.
  2. Attempt to be sure to are using correct hand holding method as described in my Chook Photography eBook.
  3. Don’t use the tripod collar to carry the lens. As an alternative, push the tripod collar to the top and immediately hold the lens. Hold the lens little farther from the tripod collar to get higher stability.
  4. Attempt using the Aperture of around f/7.1 or f/8 to get sharper outcomes.
[EDIT] Whereas I have proven myself holding the digital camera lens with the tripod collar in my eBook, I feel it’s far better and simpler to carry the lens itself. Just push the tripod collar to the top with the intention to safely and securely maintain the lens in your left hand. This will increase the steadiness and helps you manually focus if needed or typically zoom the lens for composition. I exploit to do each these while I was handholding my Canon 100-400mm lens.

Reader’s Query #13: Tips on how to Shoot Dark Topic on a White Background

I shoot a Canon Rebel T6i with a Tamron 16-300 mm lens. Going to the Galápagos islands subsequent week. May even be at Machu Picchu and within the Andes Mountains cloud forest…. very dark with numerous fascinating foliage and flowers. My foremost drawback and that is my query…..I’ve had main issues there before with harsh contrasts— a darkish 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 activities setting. I don’t perceive aperture and shutter velocity settings.

Is there a easy setting I can default to in these excessive contrast conditions? Would any sort of filter help? I additionally get over uncovered skies in these conditions.

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

— PM

My Reply

I feel it’s all the time a problem to try out something new when you’re unsure if it yields the outcomes or not. Utilizing Auto or Sports mode is just not a sin. But, I’d like you to offer Aperture Precedence mode a do this time round.

Here’s what you do whether or not you’re capturing a sea lion towards white sand or anything, simply make certain the sunshine is true. High contrast conditions aren’t preferrred for images it doesn’t matter what gear you will have.

  1. Shoot when the light is gentle.
  2. Be sure to maintain the Sun behind you in order that the animal is lit properly.

Here’s a fast information so that you can give Aperture Priority a attempt.

  1. Turn the mode to Aperture Precedence.
  2. Flip the Main dial that’s proper behind the Shutter Button when you see the LCD monitor. It will primarily change the f-stop. Simply get used to it by meddling with a bit.
  3. Set the Aperture to around f/eight to get a pointy end result as the lens you’re using won’t be very sharp at maximum aperture.
  4. Learn how to ISO to Auto on 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.

When you get a shot with above-said settings, change the mode to Auto. Attempt taking a picture. See, how they differ. Do that as many occasions with as many subjects as you possibly can. Maybe, 100 totally different photographs will do.

For reference, you possibly can learn my Guide Mode article that’ll offer you some hints.

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

Here’s one thing to remember. You’ve spent 40 years capturing in Auto or Sports mode. It won’t be really easy to modify to Aperture Priority and get going soon. It’ll take a while. Perhaps, several weeks to months earlier than getting snug.

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

Slowly, you can begin working your method out with ISO & the Shutter Velocity.

Reader’s Question #14: Birds in Flight

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

I don’t have much 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 however 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.

But I choose to crop information that use my Nikon D3400 .

My dream group 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 read your books I don’t have many questions and I know how edit photographs because I’m Designer.

Greatest regards and lots of thanks in your lovely and superb work, ideas, books, photographs…

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

— José

My Reply

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

Nikon 300mm f/four wouldn’t be an excellent selection until you employ it along with a 600mm lens. It’s too brief as you famous. Using it with teleconverters is a nasty concept.

Have you tried utilizing a battery grip with Nikon D700? It seems it’ll offer you an 8 fps burst fee. This can be a terrific benefit for those who ask me. You possibly can then attempt to mix this with a 200-500mm each time you’ve saved enough money and you have a very good mixture.

All stated I’d wish to inform you that having limitations with your gear is certainly good for you. Although it seems counterintuitive, it’s a reality. Because should you push your self arduous to improve your expertise and find out numerous ways to make the most effective use of the gear, you’ll be amazed with the results. Perhaps you’ll be able to’t shoot all the things, but you possibly can shoot some birds with nice results.

Once you’re so good with slightly inferior gear you’ll really feel like a rockstar whenever you finally get the gear that supports your improved expertise. The opposite approach round seldom works. By which I imply, without the best expertise, no gear can get you higher outcomes.

Sure, all the time work with the most effective mild and work with the birds who are more accommodating.

Reader’s Query #15: Birds in Flight + Birds on Floor

Is there a option 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 ground. I exploit 7D Mark II with 100-400 IS II, mostly on the tripod.

Of late, given the great mild at evening time in Delhi and Noida, I exploit AV mode by manually choosing 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 Answer

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

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

Here’s how you should use focus-lock (coupled with AI-Servo) should you aren’t already using it.

  1. In case you are utilizing the back-button focusing method, then as soon as the main target is achieved, you’ll be able to launch the back-button to lock the main target.
  2. In case you are utilizing Shutter Button to focus as properly, then you definitely’ll have to make use of the AE/AF-L button to lock the main target after the main target is achieved if you end up capturing the stationary hen. Once you launch the lock, the autofocus will begin working again instantly.

All stated I’d wish to say that it all the time pays to take a very good shot of the stationary hen with Single-Shot focus, in the event you choose, and shortly return to AI-Servo to be ready for any attainable action of the identical fowl or some other birds flying. This manner you’ve got the perfect of both worlds.

In case you are capturing within the evening, around the Sundown once you get golden mild, attempt selecting a better Kelvin of say 7920Okay or 8330Okay or comparable. This offers you that golden glow that’s otherwise will probably be misplaced should you set it to average temperature like 5800Okay.

Comply with-up Query

Thanks Prathap, that was very helpful and was comfortable to have been following it partly.

Simply to finish my question, hope you wouldn’t thoughts this final query.

The truth is, I was 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 problem was with getting the fitting exposure once I switched all of the sudden from One shot nonetheless 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 publicity settings.

My Answer

Publicity is completely totally different from what focusing mode you’re utilizing. It has no bearing in any respect. When the scene is totally changed, you’ll need to anticipate a change in publicity.

That’s the place taking check exposures aid you.

Every time you’re capturing a fowl on the ground and in addition ready for some motion within 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 fowl can be brighter than the sky, all that it’s a must to do when shifting your attention from the hen on the ground to the hen towards the sky, you just dial in the required exposure compensation worth and begin capturing.

It might sound too much to do and doubtless too exhausting as nicely. That’s where apply issues so much. Just attempt doing this train as many occasions as you’ll be able to without the hen. Simply decide two spots that are very totally different. Shoot alternatively these two spots with totally different publicity compensation value. You’ll soon end up doing this effortlessly.

Reader’s Query #16: Find out how to get Sharp Hen Pictures?

Sure, I do have a teething drawback and that isn’t capable of get very sharp photograph. I am 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 physique however unsure which one to improve to.

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

— David Phua

My Answer

There could possibly be many issues with sharpness. Let me offer you some ideas based mostly on some assumptions.

In case you are getting sharpness points each single time, then it may be a lens challenge. I’d advocate you to examine it once.

If it’s a hit or miss case, then 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 are usually not very sharp at their most aperture which leads to barely softer photographs. Utilizing f/6.3 to f/8 will yield sharper outcomes.
  2. Be certain that to make use of a minimum of a shutter velocity of 1/500 or above. In case you are struggling to carry the lens properly, then attempt going with 1/1000 or above. This can compensate for any digital camera shake points.
  3. Since 6D has solely four.5 fps, it might be that you’re introducing some shake whereas dipping the shutter button to take burst photographs. It may be sensible to attempt to apply dipping the shutter button with ease. You are able to do it simply each time you might have time and wherever you’re.
  4. Shoot with gentle front mild as a lot as a can. Maintain the Sun to your back yielding you a lot better mild on the fowl that helps in focusing and getting greater shutter velocity and in addition a greater publicity.

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. Also, just remember to use the Tripod collar to go on the ball head, not the digital camera physique.

About post-processing:

I’m assuming you’re referring to different photographers getting sharper results with the same gear. It’s attainable that they’re doing plenty of things right in the subject.

Whereas 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 outcomes are gentle however completely targeted, then you’ll be able to easily sharpen it in any post-processing software.

About upgrading:

At current, I feel Canon 7D Mark II is your solely choice. For those who can work with the current body and push yourselves to get one of the best results, you may assume twice. However, nothing improper with upgrading to a greater body or lens.

Comply with-up Question

Thank you so much in your sensible advise.

Sure, I’ll attempt what you could have proposed and I’m already taking a look at upgrading to 7D mk2. Since this is an previous model now, I’ll go for second hand. Will attempt it and let you know the outcome.

I realised that it isn’t sharp once I zoom it in… is that acquired 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 becomes crucial. As a result of the lens is away from the physique if it zooms out, you’ll have to move your left-hand away, as I stated earlier, with a purpose to present good help.

Additionally, if you end up capturing at maximum focal size, it all the time pays to stop-down the Aperture to f/6.Three to f/8 and ensure you have a shutter velocity of 1/500 or above to get sharper outcomes. The quicker the shutter velocity higher it is.

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

It’s a sensible move to purchase a second hand. As soon as, 7D Mark III comes out you possibly can maybe see if it is sensible to upgrade.

[EDIT] Learn Greatest Lens for Fowl Photography for Freshmen and Skilled Photographers & Choosing the Digital camera Physique for Fowl Photography.


I liked this train greater than I expected. Most frequently, I try to guess the difficulty or perhaps infer from my earlier experiences about probably the most possible issues that different photographers is perhaps dealing with.

It’s one thing to have the ability to infer however it’s altogether a special experience to know the exact problems.

When you haven’t been capable of share your images question with me, please be happy to do it right now. Just write down probably the most pressing situation that you’ve, describing it in actual details, and in addition specify the gear you’re utilizing, within the comments section. I’ll answer all of them to my greatest information and hopefully update the article with your questions too.

I hope this was an awesome learn for you too. Please do contemplate sharing this with other photographers on social media or in your respective images clubs as many photographers is perhaps dealing with the same points.

Good Information for Chook Photographers

There’s something that I am engaged on that I am quite kicked about. It’s about hen images and it’s one thing that I by no means thought, even in my wildest goals, that I’ll do it. Never.

However, 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 something that I really feel will probably be little bit controversial however on the similar time a necessity for many chook photographers.

My first line is probably a touch to all those that 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? Maybe, a wild guess? Let me know what involves your thoughts in your comments.

Within the Making: A Chook Photography Product That’s Useful However Controversial.

Have a great time! Have enjoyable capturing.

Greatest Regards,