Stop Asking for Other Photographers’ Camera Settings

Let’s get the facts straight: You’re not going to learn how to take compelling photographs by asking for other people’s camera settings. Or their EXIF data. Sure, you can get away with it for the first few times when you’re still a complete beginner fiddling with your camera’s controls. But you will never truly learn how to be a photographer with your own style and vision if you keep doing this bad practice.

This the frustration of author and photographer Tony Northrup, but I’m sure many others are also shaking their heads in annoyance whenever they’re asked for their camera settings. For one, it’s a common practice for photographers today to use both auto and manual modes for their photos to get the results that they want. Second, there’s more to a truly outstanding photograph than getting someone else’s camera settings and using them on your photos. Third, the post-process now allows photographers to fix whatever issues they had while taking the shot.

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How to Get Sharply Focused Photos with a Wide Aperture

Shooting with a wide aperture allows you to drastically isolate your subject from the background and play around with bokeh, making it a neat technique for portrait photography. However, it also comes with a cost: the focus tends to be sharp only towards the center of your frame. Irene Rudnyk shows us how to get our subject sharp throughout your frame even with apertures as wide as f1.2.

Irene Rudnyk has been shooting dreamy portraits in natural light and the wide aperture of her 85mm f1.2 helps her make her subjects stand out. One of the questions she gets often is how she gets sharply focused portraits with such a wide aperture. Her answer? Using her camera’s auto focus (activated by half-pressing the shutter) to focus around the eyes in the center of her frame, and when that’s locked, recompose to how she wants it. She demonstrates how easy this technique is in the video below.

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This One, Convenient Image Sums Up The Technicalities of Photography

We live in an era where learning things has become a lot easier, including photography. On top of courses and modules that you can enroll in, there are tons of photography resources that you can access with just a few clicks. One of them is a simple and neat basic photography infographic that could jump start your learning in photography, or even save you a considerable amount of money on beginner courses.

In fact, Christian Tudor of the Academy of Photography believes that this infographic best explains how the exposure triangle works, and would be of great help to anyone struggling with their camera settings. He also considers this to be an entire course in basic photography for beginners, condensed in a simple image; all you need to do is print it and bring it with you so you can master your camera settings on the go.

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Why You Should Do the One Camera, One Lens Challenge

There are many reasons and advantages for using different lenses for your photography, especially when you’re doing it for commercial work or specialized projects. Still, we come across photography tests like the “one camera, one lens” challenge, the goal of which is to see what kind of images we’ll come up with if we have to push through the limitations of using just one lens.

Vancouver-based Alastair Bird was once challenged to take on this test while planning for a trip to Cuba. It turned out to be a big deal given his big lens collection and preference for the versatility of using different lenses. Prime lens, one focal length only, his friend said. He responded then by taking with him the Fujifilm X100 with 35mm F2 lens, and did it again in Russia just months ago with Fujifilm X-Pro2 and a 23mm F1.4 lens.

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Common Mobile Photography Mistakes and How to Fix Them

If there’s one thing photographers of all experience levels agree upon, it can sometimes be tough to create a beautiful photograph with a mobile phone. Luckily, the most common photo fails are getting easier to fix as smartphone technology improves. Whether it’s simply wiping the lens of your camera phone, switching to the manual mode, or composing and or autofocusing, there are various fixes and hacks. Here are 8 of the most common issues with smartphone images and the easy changes you can make to fix each one.

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How the Inverse Square Law Affects Your Lighting

Whether you work extensively with flash and studio lighting, or have a preference for natural and outdoor light, understanding the quality of light when you shoot is crucial to getting well-exposed photos. To our rescue comes the Inverse Square Law of Light, which sounds very intimidating but is actually one of the photometry concepts that largely governs our work as photographers.

Ohio-based Matt Day has found that whenever people hear of the Inverse Square Law of Light, they are immediately turned off because of the seemingly complicated math involved. That’s an obvious reaction, since we’re here to take photos and not solve equations, right? But as Matt explains in his video below, understanding this concept is very helpful for photographers since it tackles one of the fundamentals of good photography: working with light.

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How to Shoot the Classic Highway Long Exposure Shot at Night

Ever wanted to get those gorgeous long exposure shots of busy cities with light streaking along the streets? It’s one of the classic highway and cityscape shots every photographer does now and then because it conveys a lot of energy and activity in just one frame. If you can think of a nice vantage point where you can capture this beautiful city scene, you’re already halfway there. The other half comes in this video tutorial from Serge Ramelli.

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Learn Proper Lighting for Men vs. Women for Great Portraits

Whether you’re planning to practice portrait photography for personal projects or build a career out of it, one of the lessons you’d find valuable is knowing proper lighting for your subjects. It’s actually not as straightforward as keeping your subjects evenly lit. Daniel Norton of Adorama tells us why it’s important to know how to light men vs. women to create the most eye-catching portraits.

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