Apr 022013
  • ADVANCED PANNING TECHNIQUE: Sometimes there is too much light for you to try shutter speeds around 1/30 to 1/60 for freezing a moving subject and blurring the background by panning. In that case, add a neutral density filter, or two, to remove 1 or more stops of light. Presto, less light and a properly exposed photo at slow shutter speeds in bright daylight.
  • GREAT PANORAMAS WITHOUT SPECIAL GEAR: You do not need special panorama tripod heads to take great panoramas or expensive ultra-wide angle lenses. Just keep your tripod level and turn the head so that each subsequent image overlaps the  prior one by about 30%. You can get by with less overlap, but you may run into issues when using stitching software to piece the images together. If you already own Photoshop CS, there is a nice set of panorama tools included. Try the different panorama settings and remember what results work best for you.
  • FASHION CROP: You have probably heard that it is important to leave room around your images when you crop them – for aesthetic purpose or to leave room for the frame. There is a fun exception to these guidelines, the Three Point Crop where face close-ups are cropped so tightly that there is an edge merge (image touches edge of photo and is partially cut off by the edge.) Take the plunge and give it a try.
  • USE AN EV TABLE: If you are unsure what settings to use when you are learning to shoot in Manual mode, get an EV Table and a chart that converts EV numbers into Aperture and Shutter settings. My Night & Low Light Workshop students get a thorough introduction to this method of shooting – and since it applies to all levels of lighting – indoors and out, they learn how to shoot everything well with less trial and error – which means less frustration and more enjoyment.
  • SCAN PHOTOS WITHOUT A SCANNER: You can easily convert your digital camera to a high resolution scanner – especially if you can shoot in Raw format. Take a tripod, mount the camera, and use the notch on the side of the tripod head base or flipout panel to point your camera straight down. Place your photos underneath, zoom so they fill the viewfinder and take your photo – preferably using the timer function or a remote shutter release so you do not shake the camera unduly.