How Shutter Speed Determines the Look of Your Photos

For photographers, shutter speeds can mean everything. The advent of digital photography has made it easier to just leave the settings to the camera to get a clear and perfect shot. However, it pays to learn more about how your camera works, especially if it allows you the option to go full manual. Knowing how to set your shutter speed, for example, opens your photography to many creative applications. If you’re just getting started with photography, learning the technical side of things may seem daunting at first. But if you break it down to the essential concepts, such as finding out how shutter speeds work, it will be easier for you to apply them when you practice later on.

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Useful Photography Tip #98: Pre-Focus for Better Action Shots

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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Useful Photography Tip #96: Format Your SD Card Before Leaving the House

julius motal the phoblographer fujifilm x-e2 image 001

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So, you’ve offloaded your images onto your computer last night, and today, you’ve got a shoot. You can’t find your other SD cards, so you grab the one from yesterday. With the card in, you start shooting without checking how many images you’ve got left. Sure enough, you’ve exhausted all the shots, and the shoot’s not over. There are some great shots that you took, but in order to keep going, you have to bite the bullet and clear the card.

Always, always, always offload your images as soon you get to your computer, and make sure they’re backed up. Then be sure to format the card so that you don’t have to worry about hitting a brick wall in the middle of a shoot. Simply deleting the images from the card isn’t enough. Formatting makes sure you get rid of any artifacts on the card that’ll keep you from screaming at your camera. Also be sure to have some extra SD cards on hand.

Useful Photography Tip #95: Don’t Forget to Set Your New Camera to RAW Immediately

concert - julius motal-2

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New cameras often bring with them a bevy of new features that can at times feel overwhelming. Whether it’s swanky built-in Wi-Fi or split-image focusing, there’s a great deal to explore, but the core functions are often the same across cameras. Out of the box, that new camera of yours is set to save images as JPEGs.

If you’re serious about your photography, mosey on over to the menu, and set your camera to save your images as RAW files. For those who don’t know, RAW images have loads more information than JPEGs, and more can be done with them in Lightroom and other editing platforms. JPEGs don’t have that much latitude in post-production. With a RAW file, you can save an image that would otherwise be thrown in the trash. So, setting your camera to RAW straight out-of-the-box means the difference between an image that can be salvaged and one that can’t.

Granted, you’ll have less shots to work with, but you can always buy another SD card.


Useful Photography Tip #93: The Importance of Tagging in Metadata

julius motal the phoblographer street photo tips 07

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The number of images available online is growing by the day, and if you’re looking for certain images, it can be a bit of a tall order to separate the wheat from the chaff. If you want your images to be seen, you need to do more than just upload them and share them on Facebook, Twitter, and the like. What they really need is to be properly tagged in the metadata along with the naming structure.

Tagging your images may seem like a bit of a chore, but it helps with broadening your reach. It certainly felt like a chore for me when I started putting my images online about five years ago, but I soon learned that tags are a great boon when you want your images to be found.

Consider the image above taken outside the Strand in New York City. Some of the obvious tags would include: books, literature, nyc, and strand. Perhaps less obvious is to put all the gear you used to make the image. In this case, the gear tags are: fujifilm, xe2, fujinon, and 35mm f1.4. Then consider environmental elements and aspects of image quality: winter, snow, street, portrait and bokeh.

If your images are properly tagged, someone looking for a very specific image could contact you about purchasing or publishing it.

Useful Photography Tip #86: Write with Light

julius motal the phoblographer useful photography tip 85 write light

Writing with light is the literal definition of photography. It’s also something you can do with a small light, a long exposure and a fairly steady hand. I’ve been experimenting with long exposure recently, and most of initial efforts dealt with moving strands of Christmas lights in myriad directions to somewhat hypnotic ends. Then the idea of writing messages came along.

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Useful Photography Tip #78: Use Social Media To Enhance Your Photography

Use Social Media to Enhance Your Photography

We, as photographers, have been using social media for a while now. Some of us use it for work, and some of us use it to chat. Social media, however, is a great tool to enhance our photography. With it, we can get ideas, meet mentors and find answers to problems. Through it, we can see trends form it styles develop. For photographers, social media is important.It’s a level playing field and anybody can use it. Here are some ways social media can enhance your photography.


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