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A flash can be an invaluable tool for improving the look of your photographs. Its use doesn’t have to be relegated for situations which are lacking light. In many situations, it can be the means to reveal important shadow detail, increasing color saturation and controlling contrast. So, while there may be an abundance of light around, there will be times when you may want to engage your built-in or external flash to improve the look of a photograph.

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Chris Gampat the Phoblographer Zeiss 35mm f2 review images (1 of 5)ISO 4001-800 sec at f - 5.6

One of the biggest things that you’ll learn as a photographer is how to meter correctly. Something that I’ve personally learned is that no camera in the world can tell me what I want. And if you’re a computer programmer, you know that any machine can’t think: it can only do what you tell it to. So in order to figure out how to get your image to look the way that you originally thought, you need to figure out how to expose a scene according to what you want. We’re refraining from saying the word “proper exposure” because no exposure at all is proper–it’s only what you want it to be.

So what do you need to remember? Check out our tips below.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer NYCC New York Comic Con 2013 exports (67 of 84)ISO 1001-60 sec at f - 5.0

Cosplay photography is something that should be done right–it should be more than a snapshot of the costume that someone worked hours and hours on to get right. Conversely, it should also be something that you’ll be able to take pride in at the end of the quick session.

This guide is designed for convention goers–like those at Comic Con or Dragon Con. But some of the methods spoken about can be applied to different situations. If followed, you’ll produce images that are very portfolio worthy.

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Lots of pitches and emails come our way everyday, but it’s rare that something truly pulls me out of bed from my afternoon nap. And for that, we have to give ti to the Bouncelite. The Bouncelite is a brand new Kickstarter initiative aimed at creating a completely brand new type of flash modifier that makes some of the most efficient use of lighting that we’ve seen. It mounts onto the head of your flash and acts as a softbox but can also act as a bounce card at the same time. At the moment, it’s currently being targeted at folks who put the flash in their hot shoe; though it can surely be used with the softbox off camera. But for what it’s worth, photographers who want to use a flash off camera go for much larger flash modifiers and larger softboxes.

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There are times when an activity or event needs more than a single image to tell the whole story. A photo essay or photo story provides the means to reveal several facets of the narrative in visually interesting and dynamic ways.

You don’t have to be a photojournalist to practice these techniques. You can apply these simple principles when you are photographing a family event, sports or a social occasion.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Zeiss 55mm f1.4 Otus product photos (4 of 5)ISO 4001-40 sec at f - 2.8

It’s a fact: your lenses are much more important than your cameras. They almost define the image quality that will come from the sensor, and they far outlast any DSLR or mirrorless camera made these days. But in order to make sure that these lenses last that long, you’ll need to properly maintain them and calibrate them for the best performance.

And here’s how.

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