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Useful Photography Tip

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Lots of folks say that you should only use a flash during the evening hours and in dark situations. But the truth of the matter is that during the daytime is perhaps the best time to use flash. For example, let’s say that you want to photograph someone and there is bright sunlight in the scene. If you make them face the sun, they’ll squint a lot. Conversely, if you make them not face the sun, you’ll need to overexpose a lot to get the details on their face–which is called backlighting. The solution then is to backlight the subject and expose normally while illuminating their front with a flash. That way, you get a more balanced image overall in terms of exposure ratings.

But besides this, using a flash during the day only adds to the beauty that natural light can deliver. It can bring out details in your subject that you wouldn’t see otherwise (specular highlights) and it can also fill in shadows when done correctly to give a very beautiful and shadowless look. But to do this, you’ll need to either set your flash to the widest zoom head angle or bounce it off of  very wide surface. Alternatively, you could also use a softbox of some sort.

When adding flash to a daylight scene, it’s best to add it a little bit at a time–gradually making it stronger until you feel that you have something close to the image that you want.

Try this quick tip, and be sure to check out our other bite sized useful photography tips.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Holdfast camera bag with fur review (9 of 9)ISO 2001-500 sec at f - 2.8

Packing for any trip is a trip in itself. Clothing aside, figuring out how much gear to bring can often be the most challenging because it factors into your carry on. We’re sure you know, but it’s worth mentioning that gear (read: cameras and lenses) is not something you’d want to leave in your checked luggage, and keep in mind that some airlines have downsized carryon limits. So, with your carry on bag, how much gear are you going to pack?

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Felix Esser The Phoblographer Lightroom 5 Black and White Conversion

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Back in the days of film, when color wasn’t as commonplace as black-and-white, one of the most important things for any photographer to learn was to look past the colors they’d see in the viewfinder, and concentrate on the intensity of the light. Because when you shoot monochrome, you don’t get any color information, you get shades of grey. Equally important when shooting without color is composition, that is the various forms and shapes in an image and their relation to each another.

In general, learning to work with light and shapes is a good idea in photography, because it’ll help you get better pictures. Better in this case means pictures that are pleasing to the eye, and that evoke an emotional reaction in the viewer. Learning to see just the light and the shapes in an image, and to neglect all color information, is not an easy task. But luckily, in this day and age of digital cameras, there’s an easy and effective trick that’ll help you not be distracted by colors.

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julius motal the phoblographer useful tip don't chimp istanbul

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In terms of turnaround, digital photography far outpaces film, but it can slow down the process, too. After making a photograph, there is almost always an impulse to hit the playback button in order to view what you’ve just shot. Naturally, you want to make sure that the colors pop, the light is great and the lines are sharp. Doing this after every shot, however, takes time away from the next photograph you could very well miss. The act of checking your LCD after each shot is called chimping.

In order to remain fully invested in the photographic process, it’s best to leave the LCD alone. Make your photographs and don’t worry about them until later. Of course, be conscious of your settings, but if you’ve got a good enough understanding of light and the interplay of ISO, shutter speed and aperture, you’ll be alright. Plus, abstaining for chimping helps you focus on the act of making a photograph. Besides, by not chimping, you’re giving yourself the ability to be surprised.

Felix Esser The Phoblographer kid action pre-focusing

Taking pictures of fast-moving subjects can be difficult. Pre-focusing often helps a lot.

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Taking images of fast moving subjects can be very difficult–and we’re using the term ‘fast moving’ very loosely here. A fast moving subject can be anything from a racing car coming your way at terminal velocity, to a snail trying to cross the street. Ultimately, what is fast depends on how quickly and how accurately your camera’s autofocus is able to lock on to a subject that is not holding still. Some cameras are better suited at this, while some have a hard time locking on to anything that moves only slightly.

This is one of the reasons why sports photographer usually go for high-end DSLRs, as these have the most elaborate and advanced AF systems. A very good AF system and a lens that is quick to focus are a necessity if you regularly take pictures of moving things, persons, or animals. But not every scenario that involves a subject on the move is as unpredictable as a tennis player pacing across the court. So for some situations, there is a simple but effective trick to work around your camera’s autofocus limitations: to pre-focus.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Fujifilm X100s photos from first meetup (18 of 26)ISO 10001-20 sec at f - 2.0

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Lots of folks when they’re first starting out (and even when they’re more experienced) bring their camera up to their eye and have their elbows and arms out and about. Even when combined with proper breathing control, you can still get blurry photos as a result of camera shake. The reason for this is because you’re not stabilizing yourself and instead your making your body more prone to shaking. The way to eliminate this problem is by streamlining your body and straightening up.

By this, we specifically mean by tucking your elbows into your body. The logic for this works similarly to taking photos otherwise–the close the camera is to your body, the more stable the photo will be. The further outstretched your arms are, the more shaky the image will be.

So what you’ll need to do is tuck your elbows into your body or as close as you can to prevent shaking.

Pass this onto to anyone who always has blurry images.