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Archived Tips:

29/10/13 Packing your gear before a trip can sometimes be rushed. Here's a good checklist to use to avoid leaving a necessity behind! Essentials to pack into your camera bag: camera, spare battery, memory card, spare memory card(s), lens cloth. Optional extras: polarising filter, tripod, external flash, remote shutter release, laptop, card reader, batteries for your flash.

21/10/13 When out in a dimly lit restaurant, try using night mode as opposed to your automatic flash. The automatic flash often lights up your subject very brightly, leaving the background very black, which causes you to lose the atmosphere in the photograph. Night mode sets a longer shutter speed together with a more gentle flash. This means that your subject is properly exposed and you will still get the feel of soft candle lights or city lights in the background. Remember to stay as still as possible when using night mode because of the longer shutter speed.

14/10/13 Underwater photography can be loads of fun. Remember that even the clearest water is full of little particles that can spoil a photograph. Get as close as you can to your subject as less water between you and your subject means a greater chance of a clear shot.

17/9/13 Springtime is a great time to go out and get some great shots of your garden! Start off with a wide angle and look for clean lines or simple colours to make sure that you get a shot that establishes your area but is not too busy. Then work your way around the garden with a zoom lens and take photographs of the flowers, colours and shapes that you love. Take some macro shots too and notice how the light shines on or through certain types of flowers and leaves. You can get very creative in your garden so block off a good amount of time and enjoy it!

13/9/13 When on holiday, take close up shots of your bus cards/theatre tickets/theme park wrist bands or other memorable items so that you can include them in your holiday photobook!

3/9/13 Share your photographs! One of the greatest joys of photography is being able to share your photographs with your friends and family. Special occassions and funny moments can be relived with others when you share! Print some photos and put them into a handbag album for granny, post on instagram for friends overseas or make a canvas enlargement for your family home. There are so many ways of sharing - have fun with it! 

29/8/13 Want to take photos of your pet but she/he is afraid of the camera? Spend some time around your pet while holding your camera, without taking any photographs. Let your pet smell your equipment and touch it (unless your pet is inclined to bite or eat such objects!). Once you feel that your animal is more comfortable with the camera, then start pointing the camera at him/her and give out treats while you do!

19/8/13 If you're taking photographs of items that you are wanting to sell on a website, like gumtree, lay the item out on a white sheet or floor and make sure that the lighting is good. This will help you remove the object from any background clutter and the light should assist you to capture the details of your item.

6/8/13 If you have any dust or fingerprints on your lens don't use a cloth to clean it. The cloth will create minute scratches which will damage your lens. Rather use a blower brush to dust the lens off first. Then use lens tissue and cleaner. This is one of the reasons to have a UV filter on the front of your lens, as they can be easily cleaned and if they get scratched, can be replaced cheaply.

5/8/13 Are you still battling with lens flare even though you're using a lens hood? Sometimes a lens hood just doesn’t do enough to reduce the glare from the sun. In these situations find a friend to hold a piece of cardboard just above and over your lens. Remember to make sure that you don’t see it in the viewfinder!

1/8/13 You can produce wonderful photographs using backlighting (when the light is behind your subject). This can be a challenge because it’s easy to end up with a silhouette of your subject or an overexposed background. Frame your subject tightly and expose for the subject and not the light behind it.

31/7/13 A distracting background can spoil portrait style photographs. When you take a photo of a friend or an animal you don’t want the surroundings to take attention away from the subject. If you are battling with the background, try look at your subject from different angles to find the most pleasing, or minimise your depth of field to blur out the background

17/7/13 Avoid using aperture to compensate for poor lighting as changing the aperture has a notable effect on the amount of light coming into the camera and on the depth of field. 

12/7/13 Red eye is easy to remove these days with picture-editing software. But why not prevent red eye in the first place? Ask your subject to look at your shoulder rather than directly at the camera. Turning on all the room lights also helps. If your camera has a "red-eye reduction" feature, use it.

4/7/13 When using your flash to photograph friends, have a look at the LCD screen to make sure that their faces aren't too blown out. If they look a bit ghostly, take a step or two back, zoom in to get your shot, and see the difference!

3/7/13 One very simple thing that is easy to overlook when taking a picture, but jumps out at your when viewing it afterwards - keep the horizon level!

2/7/13 Have fun photographing patterns! Pattern can be used to produce images with a balanced effect that we find comforting. The impact of a pattern is usually heightened when there is a limited colour range and the eye is forced to focus on the rhythm of the pattern.

1/7/13 Don't shy away from the grey! Don't let an overcast day put you off going out and taking photos. The softer light you get on an overcast day is perfect for shooting plants, flowers and foliage as it dampens the contrasts. This allows the camera to achieve a more balanced exposure and really bring out the colours in petals.

27/6/13 Many people ask us how best to hang a framed photograph or piece of artwork in their house. What is important here is balance, making sure that there is no dampness on the wall that could be absorbed by the frame and also to avoid direct sunlight that could cause your frame and photograph to fade over time. Try centre it if it is above, for example, a fireplace or bed. When hanging the framed photograph, position it at eye level. This works well for the majority of places and spaces. 

26/6/13 Most DSLR lenses can produce pin-sharp images if you avoid camera shake. Shutter speed is important here. Consider 1/125 a ‘safe’ speed for hand-held images, but when a longer focal length is used, or when the focusing distance is closer, 1/250 or 1/500 is a safer bet.

19/6/13 Winter is a perfect time to take early morning and late afternoon photographs as you don't have to be up at 4:30am for the sunrise! Also, the low winter light is not as harsh as mid summer and it is an ideal time to take landscapes.

7/6/13 Tip of the day: We've spoken about the "golden hour" at sunrise and sunset. At this time the light changes very quickly. Do some prep and put thought into your composition before the golden hour so that you do not lose precious shooting time looking at the different shooting angles and positions.

6/6/13 When photographing during a sunrise or sunset, take your camera off auto white balance and switch to cloudy/shady white balance. This will add strength to the reds, oranges and yellows. Auto White balance tries to keep colors neutral.

5/6/13 If you want to photograph your lively pet, use sports mode. Pets are unpredictable and usually get into position right at the wrong time, so always be prepared! Start shooting as you call them and shoot in sports mode so that you can take many photographs in quick succession!

4/6/13 Try a prime lens, like a 50mm, for more creativity. Shooting with a fixed focal length will make you move to get the shot you want and make you think more carefully about how you want to frame a subject. It will often also get you a cleaner, sharper result.

30/5/13 Tip of the day: If you only buy one filter, make it a circular polarizer. This filter has the biggest effect on your day to day photography and is a great filter for a first timer. It makes skies a vivid blue and boosts the contrast between the sky and clouds showing greater texture. Polarizing filters also cut through glare and reflection, so they can be used to shoot through windows and water.

29/5/13 Tip of the day: What does the ø symbol on my lens mean? On most DSLR lenses you'll see a measurement that is preceded by ø. This describes the diameter of the screw mount on the front of lens barrel. Look at this number when you buy a filter/lens hood as this number is not the same for each lens in your collection, even if they are all designed to be used on the same camera.

28/5/13 Tip of the day: Get mobile! If you feel like your photos do not stand out quite as much as you'd like them to, perhaps you need to move around and try taking shots at different angles. Taking a photo as you would normally see it will show you a "normal" view. But moving around and taking shots from unusual angles could give your photos the creative twist that you are looking for! When trying out different angles remember to take LOTS of photos! It'll be interesting to see how the shots taken from different angles compare to each other.

16/5/13 Tip of the day: What lens hood would I need for my wide ultra angle zoom? Use a petal hood with your ultra wide angle to avoid vignetting and flare.

15/5/13 What does TTL mean? TTL, which stand for through the lens metering, is the way in which a flashgun and camera work jointly to accurately expose a scene. The camera measures the flashgun output coming through the lens and tells it when to stop.

10/5/13 Show your camera some TLC and keep it protected in a padded camera bag to avoid any bumps or accidental drops doing serious damage. Make sure that your camera fits snuggly in the bag and doesn't roll around. In a DSLR bag you should have some padded dividers that you can move around to get the perfect fit for your camera.

29/4/13 To step away from automatic mode, there are three things you need to know. Today, we'll chat about the third: ISO. ISO is the camera sensor’s sensitivity to light. In the film days, film had different ISO “speeds.” With digital, we can now change the ISO from shot to shot. At lower ISO’s (like 100 or 200), the sensitivity to light is low, but the image quality will be the strongest. As we boost the ISO, we can pull more light from a scene, but at the cost of noise or graininess in our photos.

26/4/13 To step away from automatic mode, there are three things you need to know. Today, we'll chat about the second: Aperture. Aperture contributes to the exposure by controlling the amount of light that passes through the lens to the sensor. The aperture blades can be “stopped down” to allow less light though, or “opened up” to allow mire light through. Different lenses have different aperture limitations. Aperture also controls depth of field. Depth of field is the zone that is in focus. If you use a wide aperture like f/2, the foreground image with be in focus and the background will be blurry. This is called a shallow depth of field. If you use f/16, most of the image will be in focus.

25/4/13 To step away from automatic mode, there are three things you need to know. Today, we'll chat about the first: 1) Shutter speed is a measurement of the amount of time that the shutter stays open to expose the sensor. The longer the shutter stays open, the more light reaches the sensor. When using a fast shutter speed, like 1/1000th of a second, the shutter won’t stay open long. This freezes the action. Longer shutter speeds, like 1/2 of a second, will keep the shutter open and allow more light to reach the sensor. Here, moving objects will appear blurred.

24/4/13 Tip of the day: When shooting sunsets, the light will often be fairly dim, which makes assessing the exposure of the reviewed image on the screen difficult. In this situation, look at your histogram. If the bias of pixels is left of the centre, the image is underexposed. 

23/4/ 13 Tip of the day: Using a neutral density (ND) filter. ND filters significantly darken the camera's viewfinder. This makes composition and focusing tricky, so only attach the filter after you are happy with the set up of the scene. 

20/4/13 Loving the wet weather! Get out your umbrella and a rain bag or waterproof camera and take some photos in and around your suburb. It's amazing how an ordinary scene changes when it rains. It's not always easy to photograph rain, so look for tell tale signs that will show in your photos, like rain drops on a sign post, or a bird shaking it's wet feathers.

18/4/13 Tip of the day: When bouncing flash, always try use a white/cream wall as the light picks up the tone of a wall.

16/4/13 Tip of the day: If you’re battling to look past colour when composing your pictures, work in black and white. This helps to focus your attention on the abstract shapes in the composition instead of always the colour.

12/4/13 Tip of the day: Earlier this week we spoke about viewpoints. Certain viewpoints can suggest emotional meaning. Close viewpoints usually suggest intimacy or intrusiveness, distant viewpoints often suggest detachment, safety or lack of emotion, overhead viewpoints can suggest separation or lack of involvement and views from below suggest subservience.

10/4/13 Tip of the day: There are always many angles from which to take a picture. Pick a subject and then experiment by looking at it from the top, from the side, from nearby, from further away and from below.

9/4/13 Tip of the day: If you want to take photos of a friend surfing, the recommended shutter speed is between 1/250-1/500sec.

8/4/13 Tip of the day: What, aside from aperture setting, will affect your depth of field? Wide angle lenses give more perceived depth of field than a telephoto using the same aperture setting. F/4 with a 28mm lens gives more depth of field than f/4 at 200mm. Also, the closer the subject is to the camera, the less depth of field the image will have. 

3/4/13 Tip of the day: Seascapes tend to look much more dramatic if there is an off shore wind blowing as the spume blowing off a breaking wave, especially if there is backlighting, is very dramatic.

26/3/13 Tip of the day: If you're shooting indoor portraits when there's little light and using your camera's built in flash there's risk of red-eye. If your camera has the red-eye reduction function, set it as it fires either a constant strobe or a series of flashes to contract your subject's pupil. Another tip - alcohol leads to pupils dilating so your subjects are more likely to have red-eye if they've had a few drinks!

18/3/12 Tip of the day: How do you take a digital picture? Every time you press the shutter to take a picture, a mirror between the rear of the lens and the image sensor flips out of the way, the camera shutter opens, and the sensor is exposed for the required time. Meanwhile, the camera’s microprocessor is writing the information the image sensor has recorded to the camera’s memory card.

15/3/13 Tip of the day: When taking portrait photos outdoors remember to take note of the wind. A light breeze in the right direction can add some life to your subject’s hair.

14/3/13 Tip of the day: Moments with your children are precious, and not to be distorted! When photographing your child, get down to his or her level to take the shot. This way, you will avoid any distortion.

13/3/13 Tip of the day: How do motorsports photographers get those great movement shots? Panning is a technique where the photographer shoots a moving subject whilst moving the camera with the subjects movements during the exposure. The result is a sharp subject with a blurred background. It requires a shutter speed of about 1/30sec. Position yourself so that you are parallel to the subject path and continue panning after you depress the shutter button. Try pan as smoothly as possible to get the best result. Image below supplied by flickriver.com.

11/3/12 Tip of the day: Most tripods are made to be lightweight so that they are easy to carry around. This can sometimes cause a problem during long exposures as your tripod could move slightly. To combat this problem, hang your bag off your tripod for extra stability and use a remote to trigger the shutter release.

4/3/13 Tip of the day: Good composition includes identifying a point of interest in a scene. Images work better when the viewer has something that draws the eye.

1/3/13 Tip of the day: When you want to blur a subject's movement or if you want to maximise depth of field, then use a slow shutter speed of 1/30 or longer.

11/2/13 Tip of the day: ISO stemmed from the film days. It provided a measure of a film's sensetivity to light. With the advent of digital, ISO ratings were kept, as they are a familiar system. Your choice of ISO rating will influence the available combinations of apertures and shutter speeds. It also affects noise, colour reproduction and contrast in your image.

8/2/13

What is a raw image? Raw is the name given to the file format in which an image is recorded.  Most of the time, without realizing it, you have probably been shooting in jpeg. This file format is easily downloaded and read on all computers including our Kodak printing kiosks. Jpegs are useful and often more than adequate, but raw images offer you additional editing benefits once transferred to your computer. A raw image is not compressed like a jpeg, this it is a purer image file. The disadvantages of raw: it takes longer to download onto your camera, the image sizes are much larger which require large memory cards and you will require special software on your computer to be able to read and edit raw images.

6/2/13 Tip of the day: Creating depth in nature. By placing your subject in the forground, using a wide angle lens and a small aperture (like f/16), you can really maximize depth of field and create some interesting shots. These techniques will make your forground subject seem much larger than background objects and give an interesting perspective.

5/2/13 Tip of the day: Some DSLRs have a live view function. This is handy as it allows you to adjust the aperture and observe in real time the effects that this has on depth of field!

4/2/13 Tip of the day: Buying a point and shoot camera and not sure about zoom? There are two kinds of zoom: optical and digital. Optical zoom relies on the lens itself magnifying the light coming in, so that what is distant appears larger and closer in the resulting image. Digital zoom takes the resulting image and magnifies it after the fact. Optical zoom is therefor much more significant than digital zoom as it produces better quality results.

1/2/13 Tip of the day: When taking close up photos in nature with your DSLR, try bump up the ISO to provide depth-of-field or prevent camera shake and give a sharp result. ISO 400 is a good starting point.

31/1/13 Tip of the day: To become more creative with your composition you may want to move your point of interest off center

28/1/13 DSLR Tip of the day: How to solve the problem of shooting through glass and your auto focus keeps locking onto the glass. There are a few solutions: 1) focus manually, 2) clean the glass in case there's a finger print or some dust on the glass that your camera is focusing on, 3) shoot at an acute angle through the glass. Remember to turn your flash off if you are perpendicular to the glass.

25/1/12 Tip of the day: A very wide aperture is great for creative close up shots, as the effect created is more attractive than the result from using a small aperture.

24/1/13 Tip of the day: What do I do if I am shooting through a fence and my auto focus selects the fencing as the point of focus because it is nearest to my DSLR camera? There are two solutions: 1) select manual focus or 2) switch to single point AF and position the AF sensor between the fencing.

23/1/13 Tip of the day: a common flash mistake made by point and shoot users is taking a photo beyond the flash's range. The usual flash range is about 5 steps away. By taking a photo beyond the flash's range you will end up with a photo that is very dark. To avoid this, look up your flash's range in your manual or else do a few test shots to become comfortable with the range.

21/1/13 Tip of the day: Take a spare memory card with you. Memory cards can get corrupted and you do not want to risk being out at a special occassion and your memory card fails! Instead of buying, say, a 16G memory card, you could look at 2 8G memory cards and then you will have two great cards and if 1 fails, the other should be able to cover your needs in many situations.

18/1/13 Tip of the day: How to avoid lens flare. Light from the sun can result in flare, which will affect the contrasts in your photo or result in a bright spot on your image. To avoid this you can use a lens hood or by shading the lens with your hand. If using your hand to shade, be careful of camera shake as you are then not holding your lens as securely.

17/1/13 Tip of the day: No matter what auto focus mode you select, you need to activate it by pressing the shutter button down halfway. It wil remain activated until the photo has been taken or until you release your finger off of the button.

16/1/13 Tip of the day: How to reduce camera shake when your tripod is not around and you do not have another support to make use of. Using a fast shutter speed is the most common approach to this problem. The basic rule to apply is this: If you're using a 300mm lens, use a shutter speed of at least 1/300sec etc. Increasing the ISO will also be useful.

15/1/12 Tip of the day: Including lots of sky in a landscape scene can add drama particularly in cloudy or stormy conditions. The tricky part is how to correctly expose both the land and the sky. You can use spot metering and take a photo with the sky correctly exposed and then another with the land correctly exposed and then merge the two images on your computer, but that's not what we like to do! A neutral density graduated filter is half clear and half coated. The coating is designed to absord light, so position the filter so that the coating covers the sky. This will balance the exposure and give you a correct exposure throughout the scene in one shot.

14/1/13 Photographic tip of the day: How to handle an off-centre point of focus: Either a) since the central focusing point is the most sensetive, you can place it over the subject, lock focus (depress the shutter half way) and then recompose, or b) select the autofocus point that covers the point of interest in the scene. The advantage of option b is that you do not need to recompose. For both options, set your camera to single point auto focus.

21/12/12 Don't over edit your photos! Less is often more and over editing can destroy your image.

20/12/12/ Tip of the day: With the family together over the festive season, take shots of family members immersed in their favourite activities. These shots should be filled with joy that will shine through in the photos.

19/12/12 The aperture of a camera acts like the iris of an eye. It can enlarge or contract to alter the quantity of light let in. Aperture settings are known as ‘f-stops’. The higher the f-stop number, the less light let in. Altering the aperture setting also alters the amount of the photograph that is in focus. With a smaller aperture (e.g. f/22) almost the entire image is in focus. With a larger aperture items in the foreground are in focus, while the background is out of focus.

18/12/12 Tip of the day: Use long exposures to capture a period of time in a single frame. This is great for capturing moving water or a fireworks display. You will need to keep the camera absolutely still so using a sturdy tripod will be imperative.

14/12/12 Set white balance to match the lighting conditionas that you're shooting in. If uncertain use auto white balance. You can also play around with the white balance to give unusual lighting to a scene. For example, shooting in daylight and using the cloudy preset will give your photo added warmth.

13/12/12 Which metering should I use when setting up my DSLR for a portrait photo? Multi-zone metering should expose most protrait shots beautifully. Where you may have a problem would be when your subject has very light or very dark skin tones. Here, use the spot meter and auto-exposure lock button to take a reading from your grey card that you place near the subject.

10/12/12 Your point and shoot camera should come with some scene settings that are specifically designed for different types of photography, such as sports shots, landscapes, night shots, portraits, etc. We suggest selecting the right mode for each occassion as this will greatly improve your photographs.

3/12/12 Remember that the tools of photography are just that - tools. They are not rules. If you see something that you want to photograph but aren't sure if it fits the description of a well composed photo, who cares - shoot it anyway! You don't want perfectionism to kill creativity (and there's always the delete button if the picture doesnt come out well!)

28/11/12 You are looking at buying a digital camera and want to consider memory. The way the images themselves are stored can be a factor in your decision, as some camera makers have proprietary storage systems that are incompatible with the cameras of other makes. Two popular types of memory cards are: Compact Flash (common in professional cameras) and Secure Digital (SD) cards (common in compact cameras) which are used by camera manufacturers like Nikon, Canon and Samsung. Storage sizes can range from smaller 2GB cards to larger 64GB cards. Memory card prices have reduced in price over the last few years making larger sizes more affordable. Choose the largest size you are comfortable with, then choose a second smaller card as a backup in case the first one becomes full or gets corrupted. 

27/11/12 What camera group suits me? Cameras are typically broken down into 3 groups: compact, prosumer and DSLR. Compacts are designed to be the most portable, often fitting into pockets/handbags easily, while the DSLR cameras are professional and have the widest range of options and accessories, but can also be cumbersome to carry. When compared to compacts, prosumers typically have higher quality, greater zoom and greater manual control. When compared to DSLRs, prosumers do not have interchangeable lenses nor do they have as much manual control.

 

19/11/12 Chose your background wisely. The best backgrounds are either neutral or provide tonal contrast to your subject. If your background is a little too busy and you cannot avoid it, use a long-focus lens and wide aperture to make the background out of focus.

15/11/12 Not feeling too inspired? Go to the library, pull out your favourite photographic book or look on the internet for professionally taken photographs that inspire you. Ansel Adams' Yosemite photos are always a great start!

 

 

 

 

 

13/11/12 What is focal length? Focal length corresponds to the angle of view. The lower the number the wider the angle of view. The higher the number the narrower or more telephoto the angle of view. E.g. a 20mm lens is a wide angle lens on almost every SLR whereas a 200mm lens is a telephoto focal length. The millimeter measurement is the distance from the center of the lens to the sensor when focused at infinity.

12/11/12 What does a polirizing filter do? A polarizing filter  eliminates some of the light reflected from non-metallic surfaces, such as water. It makes blue skies bluer by removing the reflection of light off the tiny water droplets present in the atmosphere. It also makes water appear more translucent.

9/11/12 What zoom look out for when buying a digital camera. There are two types of zoom: optical and digital. Digital zoom takes the image and magnifies it after the fact. Optical zoom relies on the lens itself magnifying the light coming in, so that what your are photographing appears both closer and larger. Optical zoom produces a better quality result than the digital zoom, so keep an eye out for the optical specs!

 

 

 

 

 

7/11/12 If you are travelling overseas for a snow season these holidays, do not change your lenses outdoors when it is snowing or extremely cold and moist. This could encourage moisture or condensation settling inside the camera body.

5/11/12 Fill the frame! Get in close to your subject (not just by zooming, but by actually stepping in closer) and let your subject fill the frame for a dramatic photo.

2/11/12 Taking note of contrasts. If the difference between the highlights and shadows are too great in a scene, the photo can be too harsh and not work. To avoid contrasts that will not record well, look at your potential subject through half-closed eyes. This can help you determine the darkness of the shadows and the brightness of the highlights before you take the picture.

29/10/12 Gorgeous day in East London today! We've had enough of the rain and are ready to get out and take some smiling, sunny snapshots! Tip today - to keep it simple. An image that includes only the essential elements of a scene will often have more impact than a very complex picture. Decide which aspects of a scene are most important to you and then leave out as much of the other details as you can. You can always take more than one shot of a scene to avoid cramming everything into one photo.

25/10/12 Tip of the day: If you are taking pictures at a slow shutter speed, hold your breathe, and then push down very evenly and softly on the shutter release button to help avoid camera shake.

24/10/12 Telephoto lenses are great for getting close to your subject. However sometimes you may find your images to be a bit blurry. If you rule out that the subject was moving and you are sure that your lenses did focus before you took the photo, then the problem could be camera shake. The slightest movement is magnified into greater unsteadiness in the image. To solve this problem you need a steady support for your camera. Tripods are a great option. There are also bean bags and you could use a branch or rock for support if there are any accessible (and in the right spot!).

23/10/12 How to format your memory card in your camera. This feature is usually found under menu options. Click "format" and the camera should ask if you are sure and you then should click "yes". It is very important that you save your images to a CD, save them on your computer or print them, before formatting your card, as formatting will delete all images on your card. It is also good to format your card before using it.

22/10/12 Tip of the day: If you have old camera lenses they tend to work on digital camera bodies if they have the current lens mount. Upgrading from film to digital may easier and less expensive than you think!

18/10/12 (Courtesy of Kodak) If your subject is not in the center of the picture, you need to lock the focus to create a sharp picture. Most auto-focus cameras focus on whatever is in the center of the picture. But to improve pictures, you will often want to move the subject away from the center of the picture. If you don't want a blurred picture, you'll need to first lock the focus with the subject in the middle and then recompose the picture so the subject is away from the middle. First, center the subject and press and hold the shutter button halfway down. Second, reposition your camera (while still holding the shutter button) so the subject is away from the center. And third, finish by pressing the shutter button all the way down to take the picture.

17/10/12 Using reflectors bounces light which is able to spread out - thus softening the light. Depending on how you want to alter the colour temperature of the light, you can have white, silver or gold reflectors.

8/10/12 It's good to have a back up of your photographs incase of the feared computer crash. Either print your photos or keep an external hard drive with your images on.

5/10/12 When shooting outdoors take note of where the light is and how much light there is. Be careful not to take photos of a person with the sun behind them, unless you are looking for a silhouette. Sometimes, you may not have the luxury to move your subject around - for example, when shooting in front of an iconic building. Here, use the fill in flash to assist with filling in the shadows.

3/10/12 Great advice from Garry Winogrand “If I saw something in my viewfinder that looked familiar to me, I would do something to shake it up." We may look back at photos and think to ourselves, "That's a great photo, but it's missing the X factor". When taking photos, shoot the one that you want to shoot and then try taking a unique approach to the photo and see what happens!

2/10/12 Use a lens hood in bright sunlight to avoid lens flare.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1/10/12 Don't be over critical of your photographs. It is always good to analyse your photos after taking them, but go easy on yourself!

28/9/12: Overcast days are perfect for taking portraits. Although your picture can look quite blue, use your fill in flash to add life to your faces and sparkle to your eyes.

21/9/12 It looks like some rain this week end - try take some photos outdoors! Unless you are in a downpour, it is difficult to see the rain itself. Leave clues that it is raining. This may be in subjects that have transformed from subdued into rich and glossy. Look for reflections caused by the rain. If you are feeling brave, try add a very low punch of light from your flash. Too much will wreck your photo, but turn it down low and it could add a little to the drops. PS Dont forget a raincoat for your camera before venturing out!

20/9/12 Keep your photographs organised! Whether on your computer, saved on hard drives or in albums it is always a good idea to keep your photographs organised. If you cannot find that great photograph that you remember taking, and you need to start sifting through loads of photos to get there you could find your frustration overtaking your passion for photography.

18/9/12 When shooting sport or action shots, make sure you have a fast memory card. If your card is slow, it can slow down your camera as it tries to write. A faster card has a better chance of keeping up with your camera and making sure that you don't miss your child scoring a goal! A step up from the standard SD cards are the Sandisk Ultras and Extremes and the Lexar Premiums and Professionals.

17/9/12 Look for a dominant colour. A striking picture can be created when one colour dominates the scene. This can be emphasized if the other colours in the image are subdued, or create a contrast.

13/9/12 Images gain impact when they are given a natural border, for example part of an umbrella or the overhanging branches of a tree. You will need to use a small aperture to ensure that both the foreground and the background are in focus.

12/9/12 A still photograph need not be still! Get out into the wind and capture the movement of the world around you. The wind can transform our mood and our surroundings. Even a plastic bag filled with air and being swept across the sky can arouse emotion.

11/9/12 Try out taking some abstract photographs! Getting in really close to your subject allows you to produce pictures that have an abstract quality. Ordinary objects found around the home or in your garden can be photographed in unique ways to produce intriguing images. Get close and simply focus on a shape, colour or pattern. Then have fun letting your friends guess what the objects are!

10/9/12 Never use your flash when shooting through glass. This will produce a glare and your photo will suffer.

7/9/12 Auto white balance is generally designed to produce neutral results. It therefore it can remove some of the warmth that makes scenery so appealing – especially during the enchanting hours at sunrise and sunset. You may have to experiment with your own camera settings, but try the daylight setting when shooting landscapes. When indoors, also try using the applicable setting.

6/9/12 A rainy day in East London... a great day to take photos! Equipped with an umbrella, or raincoat for your camera go on the look out for how rain transforms people and places. People react to rain with a wide variety of emotions, from the dread of being drenched en route to work, to the joy of children running in a garden in a light drizzle. Capture these emotions and you’ll have a great rain picture.

4/9/12 Deciding what to leave out of a photograph can be just as important as what to include. Isolating certain elements, like patterns or colours, can often provide more impact than including too many.

3/9/12 To be the best photographer you can be take photos as often as you can. This is the best way to train your eye to look for the beauty around you and to find the best composition and angles for different subjects and scenes. Remember to experiment with different modes and settings and, most importantly, have fun!

31/8/12 When taking a picture of someone, hold the camera at the person's eye level. For children and pets, that means crouching to their level. Direct eye contact can be engaging in a photograph, but your subject need not always stare at the camera. Single-handedly an eye level angle will create a personal and alluring feeling that pulls you into the picture, and creates less distortion.

30/8/12 So often we take horizontal, landscape shots. It feels more comfortable and easier to take. Some photos, however, would be better vertical. So next time you're out, make a conscious effort to turn your camera sideways and take some vertical pictures.

29/8/12 Avoid stacking filters on your lenses as this can cause vignetting on your images, especially with wide angle lenses. Use one filter at a time for the optimum result.

28/8/12 Today, spend some time getting to know your menus. Leaving your camera on auto will not always give you the best results. Experiment and you will be surprised how a small change in settings, even on point and shoot cameras, can make a photograph pop!

27/8/12 Compose a landscape image so that it contains a point of interest, this will draw the viewer's eye into the picture.

24/8/12 Ever found the same speck in a few of your photos or that things just don’t look as clear through your viewfinder? Dust and sand are incredibly competent at finding a way into your camera especially when changing lenses. It is important to keep your equipment clean.

A few simple items can do the job:

  • A lens cloth (very soft) or camel-hair brush (also very soft) to wipe lenses
  • A rubber blower to blow dust and grit away
  • Lens-cleaning fluid and tissue to clean smudges

If you’re working where it’s dusty, sandy, or in the wind, check the front of your lens often. If you have to change lenses, try doing it out of the wind and where there’s little chance of dust or sand getting onto the rear element or into the camera. Cleanliness of the rear element of a lens is more important than of the front element because it’s closer to the sensor. This means that it needs to be kept clean. If you get sand onto lenses or into your camera, do not wipe it off. Use the blower.

22/8/12 Try shooting with different apertures and monitor the effects afterwards to understand how depth-of-field works in your photos. You’ll see that a smaller depth-of-field (smaller f-stop number) focuses all the attention on your subject. This is great for taking a picture of your child or pet as subjects stand out against a blurry background. You’ll too find that a greater depth-of-field (bigger f-stop number) will make more items in focus – great for landscapes.

21/8/12 Take some time today to learn how to handle your camera. It might sound quite obvious, but how you handle your camera, and how and when you press the shutter button is really important. Every camera is different when it comes to handling and you want to be very confident and comfortable.

17/8/12 Digital cameras can be very power-hungry. If you don’t want to miss the shot of a lifetime, make very sure that you won’t run out of power in the middle of nowhere. Always carry at least one spare set of batteries with you, fully charged. Generic options are also available for many lithium ion batteries.

16/8/12 There’s no absolute correct or incorrect way to hold a camera. How still you hold it when you take the photo is the most important.

15/8/12 The term "fast lens" refers to lenses with wider than average aperture. These allow more light through, enabling you to select a faster shutter speed.

14/8/12 Another gorgeous day in East London! Time to ask yourself: How is the light affecting your subject? Is the subject squinting? Having the sun shine out from behind a person will create a silhouette effect so more often than not you will want the sun shining directly on them. Have your subject wait in position with his or her eyes closed. When you are ready to take the shot, let them open their eyes for a second or two on your count. This will give you the photo you want without leaving them blinded by the sunshine. Have a great sunny day!

13/8/12 When the day is beautiful, make the most of it!
If your camera allows for filters, purchase a polarizer. This will help you render deep blue skies against bright white clouds, richly contrasting colors, and other wonderful effects.

10/8/12 Be selective. It's easy to take hundreds of photos when shooting digitally. Once you've finished shooting, spend time going through your photos so you can eliminate redundant shots and discard photos that aren't too good. It's better to print or post fewer but better photos by themselves rather than have the same good photos hiding amongst hundreds of average ones.

7/8/12 Don't let the weather stop you from taking photographs! Rain can add a degree of softness and peacefulness to a scene. Just remember to keep your camera protected by using a raincoat for your camera, an umbrella or by standing under a shelter.

6/8/12  Ensure that your flash is turned off when photographing a landscape scene, unless it is required to brighten a foreground object. In dusty, misty or foggy scenes the flash may cause flare by reflecting off the droplets of moisture or dust particles.

3/8/12 When taking photos at a sports event, turn your camera into the crowd every now and then - these pictures can often be as lively as those of the event itself!

2/8/12 With the right lighting you can pick out rugged surfaces or fine texture in surfaces that would otherwise seem flat. To bring out texture the light should be coming from an oblique angle. This highlights relief and creates shadows in indentations.

1/8/12 The best lighting conditions for landscape photography is usually an hour before and after sunrise or sunset. This is known as the 'Golden hour'.

31/7/12 When photographing fast action subjects (like a cyclist) and looking to freeze the moving subject, shutter speeds need to be as high as possible (800 or 1600) and aperture needs to be wide.

30/7/12 Get the hang of F/Numbers on a DSLR. Many people are confused by f/numbers. A large (wide) aperture has a low number, like f/4. A small aperture has a high number, like f/22. An aperture is like the pupil of your eye and controls the amount of light let through. A wide aperture allows a lot of light through, while a narrow aperture restricts the amount of light.

27/7/12  Colour can influence the mood of your photograph. Contrasting colours can make the composition more eye catching while complimentary colours are more gentle. Warm colours, like orange and yellow, tend to advance and so work well in the foreground. Cool colours, like green and blue, recede and so make better back ground colours. Try focus on colour this week end and see what colour compositions can do to the mood of your photographs. 26/7/12  Tip of the day: Always try to have a fully charged spare battery in your camera bag to avoid missing that winning shot!

25/7/12 Don't let anything grow out of people's heads! How often have we seen a gorgeous photo of someone until we notice the lamp post or branch that seems to be growing out of their heads! Take note of your subject's surroundings before taking the shot. A slight adjustment of your subject's position can prevent a nasty surprise in the end.

24/7/12 Consciously place your subject where you think it belongs rather than just accepting where it happens to land in the photo. Today, pick a subject that you are interested in photographing and put your efforts into getting the best photo of this subject. Aim to lead the eye along an interesting path through your photo, with the use of strong lines or patterns and playing with perspective. Crop out any extra elements that you think would detract from your main focus.

23/7/12 Tip of the day: With point and shoot cameras, using the flash in sunlight sounds stupid, but if you are taking close up portraits the flash fills in the dark shadow areas and the pictures improve 100%. This will only work well if you are 1.5m away from the subject or closer. Try it today!

20/7/12 Use a tripod for landscape shots to ensure sharpness, especially in low-light conditions.

19/7/12 If you are photographing people and you think you have framed the shot correctly, take one step closer. Most people leave far too much space around the subject. Try it, it works!

18/7/12 Remember to grab your tripod when out on a breezy day like today. Using a slow shutter speed and your camera on your tripod, you can capture the movemet of the winter grass. Shutter speed 1/4 sec or slower.

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