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Casey’s Photo Tips

Casey’s Photo Tips

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Shooting landscapes: the good, bad and ugly

Landscape shooting can be somewhat difficult, but the trick is in setting up the right composition. Some of the best moments on camera take a lot of time and patience, but the payoff is really great.

First ask yourself these questions:


What am I shooting? Whether it’s a large mountain range, animals, or a river bed, knowing what you are shooting will help you map out the composition. Look for a focal point and put that focal point on one of the lines that intersect if you divide the view finder into thirds.


Changing perspectives: Sometimes changing the position where you are shooting can help in making for a better composition. Shooting up makes a subject look larger, and shooting down makes a subject look smaller.


Looking at the clouds: Adding another element into the scene, like the sky,  can create atmospheric perspective, adding a moody effect to your image.


What to consider when shooting landscapes:

If you have a wide focal length, zoom lens tend to have a wide viewing angle; 20–50mm is optimal for landscapes.

For maximizing depth of field, opening the depth of field to the highest range possible enables a finer detail in long range shots. So set your f-stop to a lower setting.

In order to ensure a steady hand, use a tripod to steady the shot.

Photo caption:

Adding more sky to a landscape can create a sense of moodiness.

Adding more sky to a landscape can create a sense of moodiness.
Photo provided by : Flickr.

Casey’s Photo Tips

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Spring time is the perfect time for photography; that’s why it’s essential for new and even experienced photographers to know how to set up a composition.

Shooting in low light situations can be a challenge, but, rest assured, with a little practice your shots will turn out great.

In the last issue, I covered the basics of using a DSLR camera in manual mode. This issue we are going to cover setting up a proper composition and how to get the right lighting for a low light image.

When considering composition, ask yourself these questions:

  1. What kind of setting/ location am I going to shoot?
  2. What time of day is best for the image I want to take?
  3. What is the first thing that goes through my head when deciding what is the best way to set up a shot?
  4. How far away is the subject?
  5. Do I need to adjust the depth of field closer to or farthest away?


Things to consider:

Location: Your location can be one of the most critical things to consider; this can either make or break your image.

  Light / Darkness: In low light situations, you want to use a separate light source to get the best composition for the best results. In some situations, where this is not possible, you can turn up the ISO setting but stay within 800 to 1600, otherwise your image will look grainy.

The best time of day to shoot is early in the mourning just right before dawn or right before the sun goes down at the end of the day.

Shutter Speed: If you’re shooting a concert, the shutter speed needs to be within a 1/30 to 1/60 stop. This allows you to snap the shot where it freezes the frame. Experiment with this technique. It also really depends on the style of the photographer; some like to have those over-exposed shots with some movement to show the viewer a new perspective.

    Landscape / Portrait: This is the orientation of the image. Portrait is often used when taking close up shots of a subject. Landscape is often used when the subject is farther away. It’s up to the photographers to decide which technique best suits their needs.

Rule of Thirds: The rule of thirds allows the photographer to evenly distribute the length of the frame to get a proportional image without compromising image quality. Mentally divide the viewfinder into horizontal and vertical thirds, and put the focal point of what you’re photographing on any point where the lines intersect.  If you’re photographing a person or animal, leave space for the person or animal to gaze out.


Casey’s Photo Tips

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The basics

A picture can tell a thousand words without speaking one. That’s why it’s important to take note of good habits that make for better pictures. The first concept to grasp is to know how take a photo using manual mode. Instead of letting the camera make all the decisions for you, this gives the user full control, allowing you to make all the critical decisions.

Ask yourself these questions:

What is the lighting like, is it dark or light?

How far away does the subject have to be?

What is my subject going to be? Is it going to be moving or still?

All these questions should be asked when considering taking a picture.

The following applies to using a DSLR ( digital single-lens reflex camera)

Simply put, a DSLR is a  a camera that uses mirrors and interchangeable lenses.

 The three key concepts for a perfect composition are as follows:

ISO: Is the light sensitivity, the higher the ISO the more sensitive to light the camera is.

Shutter Speed: Can make the difference between getting a blurry or frozen shot.

Aperture: Is the amount of light you let into the camera, finding the happy medium allows you to properly expose an image.

After doing this process for awhile it becomes second nature, and that’s when the fun begins. Practice makes perfect! The more you practice and learn to understand the camera, the easier it gets – this process also doesn’t have to be limited to DSLRs. Most smartphones allow you to manually focus.

This series is to help people who want to learn more about how a camera works. Next time, I will demonstrate how to set up a composition and provide tips on what settings to use in low light situations.

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