Sponsors

August 2016
M T W T F S S
« Jul    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031  

Getting better at taking sunrise photos – 5 tips (contd..)

When you see some sunrise photos on the internet (or in a magazine, or some friend of your has taken), they can seem spectacular. The colors, the vibrance, all of these make for some great photos. Of course, I do not promise that you will be able to take similar kind of photos, but here are a set of tips that should help you get closer. It is absolutely not necessary that you need to have the latest or greatest cameras or lenses, but it will take some effort and may need some luck (although they say that luck is also a measure of hard work). Read the previous post in this series here (Getting better at taking sunrise photos – 5 Tips (Part 1)). Here are some more tips for the same topic:

Tip 1336 (Need to be quick): When you compare sunrise and sunsets, there is a clear distinction in terms of time available. A sunset can provide vivid colors before and after the sun has set, for more than 30 minutes. However, it is very rare that sunrise provides this amount of time; and if you are waiting for the actual orb of the sun to show up in sunrise, then be warned that the time frame after this when you can get some great photos of the soft light of the sun is very short. Try it out a few times, and you will get much experience of the time frame in which you get the kind of light you desire.

Tip 1337 (Look for water and reflection): Water provides some great reflection of the creeping light of the sun (whether this be sunrise or sunset). Think back about the times when you have a great lake or river or water off a beach looking like a yellow sheet of flame due to the light of the rising sun and how great the photo looks. So, where possible, see whether you can position yourself near a water body and try to get the sunrise to reflect off the water (which means that buildings or a hill should not be between the direction of the rising sun and the water body).

Tip 1338 (Caring for your eyes): Even when full of enthusiasm, be sure that you are taking care of your eyes. When the sun starts peeking over the horizon at sunrise, there is a tendency to try and capture the sun, the light, and everything around. However, even though the sun is early in the day, it is still advised to be careful about looking at the sun directly, and even more, through the lens of a camera. Be careful in your enthusiasm that you don’t do something that could harm your eyes.

Tip 1339 (If the weather is stormy): While taking all precautions about bad weather and all, be advised that the end of a storm, if anytime before sunrise, provides some great opportunities for great photos. Keep an umbrella and water proofing for the camera and other equipment, but the clouds in the air provide a great base on which the light of the emerging sun provides some great colors. In some cases, with the right conditions and with luck, can get some spectacular images. However, I repeat, you need to be careful – don’t step when you have a hurricane or some major storm ongoing, the risk is not worth it.

Tip 1340 (Different exposures): To some people, HDR is a bad word. However, if capture the images of the rising sun using different exposures, you get details of the darker and lighter parts of the scene, much more than if you were taking only one photo. Take multiple such photos and combine them using some program to combine multiple exposure images, and you can get a great HDR image of the sunrise.

Zen and the Art of the Sunrise The Digital Photography Book

Some videos for sunrise photography:

How to take sunrise and sunset pictures

Jim Zuckerman photographs Portland Head Light at Sunrise

Photography Tips: Shooting Water at Sunrise

How To Photograph Sunrise for Beginners – Tutorial

General Tips on Sunrise and Sunset Photography

Getting better at taking sunrise photos – 5 tips (contd..)

When you see some sunrise photos on the internet (or in a magazine, or some friend of your has taken), they can seem spectacular. The colors, the vibrance, all of these make for some great photos. Of course, I do not promise that you will be able to take similar kind of photos, but here are a set of tips that should help you get closer. It is absolutely not necessary that you need to have the latest or greatest cameras or lenses, but it will take some effort and may need some luck (although they say that luck is also a measure of hard work). Read the previous post in this series here (Getting better at taking sunrise photos – 5 Tips (Part 1)). Here are some more tips for the same topic:

Tip 1331 (Look for ambient colored lighting conditions): What does this term mean (ambient colored lighting conditions) mean ? It means that you should try to find a spot where there is a range of different colored lights already present, such as near gaudy motels and hotels, or other such places which will have a range of artificial lights outside. Just around sunrise, the slowly increasing natural diffused yellow light starts to interact with these artificial lights and gives an interesting look. Try it out, it can be fun (and different from the traditional over water or landscapes with sunrise images).

Tip 1332 (Shooting in RAW): This seems to be a tip that is repeated again and again, but if you do any kind of post-processing of your photos in Lightroom or Photoshop, then shooting in RAW is useful, since you get far more details in the photo to play around with. And with digital cards being cheap, you can easily afford to store the larger RAW image sizes.

Tip 1333 (Look at composition): Shooting a sunrise does not mean just shooting the sun only. The effects of the sun’s light spread all around, and the morning sunrise can seem warm and give a slightly golden effect to the photo. You need to check out what all you want to capture in the frame that highlights this light, especially when you are shooting in urban settings or where there are hills and valleys.

Tip 1334 (Learn about Depth of Field and relation to aperture): Depth of field is about the section of the image which is sharp vs. blurred. When you have a landscape, if you have a large Depth of Field, it means larger sections of the image will be sharp. A smaller Depth of field means that a much smaller section of the image will be sharp (and when we say section of the image, we mean in terms of distance from the camera; so with shallow depth of field, a single tree might be sharp, but with a large Depth of Field, many trees before and after the single tree will also be sharp). Varying the aperture can change the Depth of Field you are getting.

Tip 1335 (Just before the sun actually rises): Sunrise just does not mean the precise point when the sun starts to break up over the horizon. It is a much more poetic definition ! – the time when the colors of the morning start to streak the sky upto the point where the sun is sufficiently up that the colors start to get drab. Look and experiment with different time points during this movement of the sun to see when you can get the best colors – and this depends on clouds, weather, and other factors.

Zen and the Art of the Sunrise The Digital Photography Book

Some videos for sunrise photography:

How to take sunrise and sunset pictures

Jim Zuckerman photographs Portland Head Light at Sunrise

Photography Tips: Shooting Water at Sunrise

How To Photograph Sunrise for Beginners – Tutorial

General Tips on Sunrise and Sunset Photography

Read the next post in the series (Taking some great sunrise photos (link))

Getting better at taking sunrise photos – 5 tips (contd..)

When you see some sunrise photos on the internet (or in a magazine, or some friend of your has taken), they can seem spectacular. The colors, the vibrance, all of these make for some great photos. Of course, I do not promise that you will be able to take similar kind of photos, but here are a set of tips that should help you get closer. It is absolutely not necessary that you need to have the latest or greatest cameras or lenses, but it will take some effort and may need some luck (although they say that luck is also a measure of hard work). Read the previous post in this series here (Getting better at taking sunrise photos – 5 Tips (Part 1)). Here are some more tips for the same topic:

Tip 1326 (Cable release / remote control): A sunrise photo may need an exposure time that is of several seconds. You could have a tripod, but you still should not be pressing the shutter button if you need long exposures, since that can also introduce camera shake. To ensure that your images have almost negligible camera shake, you should figure out whether your camera has a remote control or can utilize a cable release. These work to ensure that there is no physical contact with the camera and hence ensure that the sunrise photos you take are as pin sharp as visible.

Tip 1327 (Evaluate other opportunities): You may have identified a position and point from where to take the photo, as well as the point of interest which you want to capture with your camera. In a number of cases, if you are doing some planning, you would reach this point and start shooting. However, you should keep in mind that there might be better opportunities that are available when you are there at that point of time (and which was not clear when you were doing the planning). Look at what other people are capturing, and see whether those images might be more appealing than what you are shooting.

Tip 1328 (Get some other lighting): If you are making adequate planning, you might reach your desired spot before sunrise and spend some time setting up your equipment. However, in many cases, especially when you are in remote areas, there could be the threat of wildlife that is present during the night time and only move when the sun comes up. Also, when setting up your equipment, you need some lighting; to handle this, ensure that you get some strong external lighting that provides you all the light that you need. Also, nocturnal animals would be hesitant to move near a strong lighting, and this would provide some safety.

Tip 1329 (Image stabilization): If you are not using a tripod, and if your lens or camera has image stabilization, use it. The image stabilization might be the difference between getting a good image, and one where there is some amount of blurring. Like many other factors that contribute to getting a good photo, using image stabilization might be one contributory factor towards getting a good sunrise photo.

Tip 1330 (Learning about ISO): ISO is one of the key settings for controlling exposure, and yet realizing the risk it poses to photos. With a higher ISO, you can compensate for darkness, and ensure that the comparative light available to your photos is better. Yet, with a higher ISO, the risk is about the images having higher noise in the image (and this can be pretty bad when there is a lot of darkness in your image). The ISO level and where you want to prevent noise is a decision you need to make – one way is to read more about people’s experience with noise on your specific camera and you can also experiment by changing the ISO and reviewing the noise.

Zen and the Art of the Sunrise The Digital Photography Book

Some videos for sunrise photography:

How to take sunrise and sunset pictures

Jim Zuckerman photographs Portland Head Light at Sunrise

Photography Tips: Shooting Water at Sunrise

How To Photograph Sunrise for Beginners – Tutorial

General Tips on Sunrise and Sunset Photography

Read the next post in this series (Taking Great Sunrise photos)

Getting better at taking sunrise photos – 5 tips

When you see some sunrise photos on the internet (or in a magazine, or some friend of your has taken), they can seem spectacular. The colors, the vibrance, all of these make for some great photos. Of course, I do not promise that you will be able to take similar kind of photos, but here are a set of tips that should help you get closer. It is absolutely not necessary that you need to have the latest or greatest cameras or lenses, but it will take some effort and may need some luck (although they say that luck is also a measure of hard work).

Tip 1321 (Know locations): For getting a good sunrise photo, think about the location from where you want to take the photo. There might be a prop you might want to incorporate a photo, it could be a specific point on a beach, or the light coming in from between some structures, or under a bridge, or with some people in the background. Sunrises don’t last too long, so you should spend as little time as possible arranging for the precise position; and you can do this if you know beforehand the exact place from which the sun will rise and the place you want to be when the sun comes up.

Tip 1322 (Read up on weather beforehand): Nowadays there is plenty of advance information available through weather channels. If you want to be there at sunrise, it would good to know beforehand about the weather. It could be cloudy, it could be a clear sky, it could be a windy day, there could be a blizzard. At the minimum, knowing about bad weather could help you in not wasting your time, but if there is a difference between a cloudy sky and a clear sky, it might make a different in terms of the equipment you carry (filters, different lens, etc).

Tip 1323 (Different exposures): For those who shoot using the camera’s automatic settings, this might be a time to change to using manual exposure adjustment (taking at different ISO levels, different apertures and different shutter speeds). There is no precise exposure levels for a sunrise, it depends on the type of photo you want. You might be taking sunrise over water, and want a long exposure time, or have people in the photo and do not want a blurred photo, so need a fast shutter speed. However, given that you can take multiple photos with high capacity cards, experiment with using different shutter speeds and aperture sizes for your photos. At the minimum, if you take multiple exposures at the same position, you could combine into a HDR using the different exposures.

Tip 1324 (Using a tripod): This tip feeds from the previous tip, where we talked about different shutter speeds and different aperture levels. Once you get to a point where there can be camera shake (I normally use the parameter that hand help photos at a shutter speed below 1/60 can lead to camera shake), you need to have something to balance the camera on. The tripod is one of the most convenient ways to stabilize the camera and ensure that there is no chance of camera shake spoiling your photo.

Tip 1325 (Get enough sleep): This may seem like a useless tip, but there have been so many occasions when either me or fellow photographers with whom I have been out in the morning and seem to be sleep-walking, just because of lack of enough sleep. When you are trying to take photos of sunrises, with a time span of maybe 10-30 minutes in which to take your photos and make them count, then you need to be at full attention. If you are sleep deprived, then the chances of getting better photos are reduced.

Zen and the Art of the Sunrise The Digital Photography Book

Some videos for sunrise photography:

How to take sunrise and sunset pictures

Jim Zuckerman photographs Portland Head Light at Sunrise

Photography Tips: Shooting Water at Sunrise

How To Photograph Sunrise for Beginners – Tutorial

General Tips on Sunrise and Sunset Photography

Read more tips on this issue in the next post (Getting better at taking sunrise photos – 5 tips (contd..))

Getting better at street photography – 5 tips (contd..)

In the previous post (,Getting better at street photography – Part 1), we started a discussion about some techniques of street photography. Here are some more.
Street photography is something that can be done by anyone, and with any type of camera. Street photography used to refer earlier to people in the streets, but now is much broader to refer to all public places, even when humans are not there in the photo. In fact, there are some splendid photos that have been taken using hand held cameras or using camera phones, and no one could argue that many of them come out great. It is not necessary to have DSLR’s for street photography, although in certain situations, the DSLS also helps (especially in conditions such as low light, or when shooting from a distance). But, you can always improve your skills in street photography, and here are some experience based tips for the same:

Tip 1316 (One lens to rule them all): If you can only carry one lens for a particular street photography tip, then the 50mm prime is one of the best lenses to carry. It is very small, light weight and very fast. It does not allow any zoom (and if you need to use zoom capability, then it would be best to use some other lens). The prime lens also allows reducing the ISO to the least possible, thus ensuring minimum noise.

Tip 1317 (Using auto mode): If you are moving around leisurely, taking still street photography or monuments, then you can use manual mode or one of the aperture/shutter priority modes and also use manual focus. However, if you have a need to take a photo suddenly, then you will have to accept that using the auto mode of the camera will work best in most cases. In street photography, the light available at a spot changes depending on whether there is a shadow or there is light, or if the object is slow moving or fast moving. In such cases, tweaking the modes of the camera may not be possible if you have to take a shot quickly, so the auto mode is your friend.

Tip 1318 (Shooting with groups): Sometimes there is safety in numbers. If you are shooting alone, you could look suspicious, but if you tie up with a group which is doing street photography, there is less chance that people will hassle you. If you are part of a tourist group, or some local organization that takes you around the area, it will be much more comfortable for you when doing street photography.

Tip 1319 (Adjusting aperture for depth of field): With the camera lens more open (the aperture being much wider), a figure such as aperture of 1/2.8 will result in more light hitting the sensor, but at the same time, the depth of field will be very narrow. As a result, the object of the photo will be sharp, but the surroundings and objects behind and around the subject will tend to be out of focus or blurred. In many instances in street photography, you would want to capture the surroundings in focus as well. As a result, you will need to use narrower aperture values, such as 1/8 or similar. If this means that light is less, you can adjust the ISO values to increase the light (although this will result in a higher level of noise, but may not be discernible till you hit an ISO of 800 or more).

Tip 1320 (Watch out for performances or carnivals): In many cities around the world, there are specific events where carnivals are held, or there are performances ongoing. In such a case, it is pretty easy to get some great photos, both of the people who are part of the event, as well as the spectators. Also, the number of people shooting such events is large, and hence there is less chance of somebody hassling you during such an event.

Street Photography Now Street Photography

Some videos for street photography:

Street Photography Tips

5 Basic Street Photography Tips

Street Photography Basics

Street Photography Tip: How To Fast-Action Focus