How to Capture the Colors of Autumn in Your Photography

The post How to Capture the Colors of Autumn in Your Photography appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jeremy Flint.

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Autumn is a great time to get out with your camera. This magical season brings an array of attractive photography conditions including wonderful morning mist, dramatic light and a palette of changing colors. Capturing the colors of autumn is high on the bucket list of many landscape photographers and it is the favourite season for nature photographers in pursuit of the perfect fall photo. To help you get the best photos possible during this popular season read on to consider some fundamental points:

1. Find a suitable subject

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With the right approach, you can achieve some of your best scenic autumn shots.

The first thing to think about is what subject you are going to shoot. There are a number of great subjects that vie for your attention including scenes of vibrant landscapes, a tree, leaves or water and the landscape. These subjects are suitable because they show the true spirit of autumn and the best of the season when the leaves change color and become more intense.

Other ideas for subjects include capturing a building, landmark, footpath or bridge within a colorful landscape. Combining these elements with fall foliage illustrate the season beautifully.

2. Light

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Don’t limit yourself to shooting on bright and sunny days. Overcast conditions are also great for recording subtle, even tones as the light is soft with less contrast. Rivers are particularly enticing to shoot when there is cloud cover, particularly when adding warmth with autumn colors.

3. Location

How to Capture the Colors of Autumn in Your Photography

Location is everything when it comes to achieving your best autumn pictures. You could focus a photography vacation around the colors of autumn, or spend a day or two chasing the season’s hues.

Some of the best regions in the world include New England and the Colorado Rockies. Whilst some countries such as the UK are not renowned for their autumn splendor, there are many parks, woodlands, and areas of outstanding natural beauty that you can visit for a shoot.

4. Shoot a wide view

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One great way to document the autumn colors is to capture a wider field of view. Photographing trees as part of a larger landscape, using colorful leaves in the background or to frame your subject works really well. This approach gives a more visually interesting image than a picture of a building or landmark on its own. It also helps tell the viewer the time of year the photo was created.

5. Isolate patterns of color

Another technique is to shoot the colors of autumn in isolation. Beautiful shades of red, yellow, brown and orange can look great. Look out for patterns amongst leaves which could include single and complementary colors or interesting shapes. By focussing your lens towards a particular section of a forest canopy or an attractive collection of leaves, you can add order and impact to your images whilst creating some visually pleasing results.

6. Use backlight

A great technique to use when shooting fall foliage is to shoot directly towards the sun. Shooting into the light can result in stunning images as the backlit leaves of autumn glow and reflect the vibrant colors. Be aware of flare when using backlight and shooting into the sun. By partially shielding the sun behind a tree it can help to reduce any unwanted flare.

7. Shoot with sidelight

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Another way to shoot autumn is to use sidelight to your advantage. Capture the canopy of colors side-on to the angle of the sun. The complementary colors of oranges and yellows combined with a blue sky can work very well together. The warmer tones from the foliage offset the coolness of a blue sky perfectly.

8. Look down

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When exploring wonderful scenes of autumn color, it is easy to forget to look down. Don’t be disheartened if the trees are bare and the leaves have all fallen; you can still capture the colors of autumn on the ground. This is evident in late autumn when the forest floor is as colorful as the treetops. Depending on the type of tree, there are often varying elements of fall color from these leaves, which are definitely worth photographing.

9. Fog and mist

How to Capture the Colors of Autumn in Your Photography

Finally, incorporate any signs of fog and mist into your autumn photos. These dramatic conditions can lift a picture by adding a touch of mood, atmosphere, and mystery to a colorful scene. Capture the morning mist rising from a lake, a forest cloaked in fog or subtle mist over a city or landscape for a visually stunning element that will improve any autumnal scene.

How to capture the colors of autumn in your photography: conclusion

Autumn is an awesome time of the year to be out with your camera capturing beautiful photos, particularly when exploring locations in search of color. So grab your camera and get out to your nearest park or woodland. Enjoy the autumn and see what you can create.

What other tips do you have to photograph the colors of autumn? Share with us in the comments and share your autumn images too!

 

The post How to Capture the Colors of Autumn in Your Photography appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jeremy Flint.

How to Photograph a Local Project When Traveling is Not an Option

The post How to Photograph a Local Project When Traveling is Not an Option appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jeremy Flint.

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If traveling is not an option, a great way to enjoy your photography is to go out and shoot a project in your local environment. Your local patch provides a wonderful opportunity for photography and is a location often overlooked and taken for granted. To photograph a local project is a hugely satisfying undertaking, especially because you don’t have to go far to achieve it.

Staying near to home also provides ample time to visit a particular place, and means you can reach a location with ease. As travel is minimal, you will incur lower transport costs and you can go back to a particular location as often as you like. Shooting locally is also a great way to practice and improve your photography whilst getting you out with your camera. Have you ever thought about what local projects to photograph and how to go about it? Well, here are some of the best ways to achieve this goal.

Choose a subject that interests you

Image: Blenheim Palace, Oxford

Blenheim Palace, Oxford

This may seem obvious, but the first thing I recommend doing is to consider and choose a subject that interests you for the project. This way, you will be more motivated to go out and shoot it.

Focus on one aspect such as a local landscape, a river, a local park, a zoo, a piece of coastline, a particular time of day, birds and wildlife in a wetland area, a particular season or even a famous building or local landmark.

Whilst finding and shooting a project close to where you live, photo opportunities can present themselves when least expected.

With a bit of luck, your timing can be greatly rewarding.

For instance, I recently shot some images of a local landmark ‘Blenheim Palace’ in Oxfordshire. It is a gorgeous historic building surrounded by wonderful parkland, manicured landscapes, and woodlands.

I planned to photograph the autumn colors during my visit and was fortunate to encounter a unique and unexpected exhibition of artworks by Maurizio Cattelan. The exhibition included these carpets of union jacks (pictured) which provided a unique point of interest in the images.

Once at your local destination consider the following:

Select a lens

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Starling murmurations, England

The fun starts once you have found a subject for your local project and you are at your location.

Think about what it is you are photographing, and the best way to capture it. This will give you insight into the type of lens you should use. If, for example, you live in a city and have decided to do cityscapes at blue hour, you may opt for a wide-angle lens. That way, you can fit more of the city into one scene. It would also allow you to fit in large architectural buildings, or capture bustling street scenes.

Another scenario may be that you want to capture local markets where you live. In this scenario, you may opt for a wide-angle lens to capture the overall nature of the market, and a portrait lens, such as a 50mm or 85mm, to get some more intimate people shots or detail shots of things sold at the market.

You may also decide to challenge yourself by using just one fixed prime lens, such as a 50mm. You could capture a range of subjects that give insight into the area where you live.

Alternatively, you may choose a telephoto lens to zoom in closer to subjects such as distant wildlife or birds. A telephoto lens is a great way to compress perspective, bringing foreground subjects closer to the background like these starlings.

Experiment photographing your subject

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Starling murmurations, England

One thing I recommend doing when you photograph a local project is to just experiment photographing your subject.

Try using different camera settings and techniques and see what works and what doesn’t. For example, if you want to achieve a faster shutter speed as I did to capture these birds in flight, you could raise the ISO.

You may also want to experiment with your aperture. Shooting in Aperture Mode (Aperture Priority) is a great way to do this (if you are not yet on Manual Mode) as the ISO and shutter speed automatically adapt when you change the aperture setting. I achieved a wider, more detailed field of view by reducing the aperture and increasing the f-number to around f/8.

You may prefer to make certain parts of your image sharp (rather than the whole scene) and throw the rest out of focus. You can achieve this by opting for a larger aperture (smaller f-number) such as f/4. This can give you some nice bokeh backgrounds too, especially if moving to an even smaller f-number like f/2.

Change your angle

Image: Starling murmurations, England

Starling murmurations, England

Once you have taken some shots, try changing your perspective to get a different angle on your subject. You may find a different vantage point results in a better composition and image. Another way to change your angle besides repositioning yourself is to move your lens in closer and change your framing.

If you are working with a tripod, vary the height of its legs to give a fresh angle.

Reshoot

The great thing when you photograph a local project is that you can go back and re-shoot anytime. This would be much more expensive and time-consuming if you had to travel to capture your pictures.

Sometimes you won’t get the photo you desire the first time around, so a good option is to return and re-shoot. Unforeseen circumstances and factors out of your control that may warrant a reshoot include adverse changes in weather, building works in operation, too many people and wildlife that may not be present.

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Blenheim Palace, Oxford

Going back to reshoot is a good exercise and a great chance to practice your skills too. It can help you improve your photography by learning from your mistakes and offers an opportunity to capture your project in various lighting conditions. Why not time your reshoot with a different time of day to capture some different images for your project. Alternatively, capture the same images just under different lighting conditions.

Each return visit can provide something new to photograph too. That’s because you are likely to see something different on your return in terms of your subject or pattern of light.

You may also decide to change lenses for the reshoot, or decide to focus on close up details on one visit and wide shots on another.

Summary

So go grab your gear and get out there to photograph a local project. It is a great way to capture a subject of interest that is on your doorstep and is a brilliant way to hone your skills.

Be sure to experiment with aperture, shutter speed and ISO, vary your angle of view and reshoot to improve your pictures.

What local project are you thinking of photographing? Share your thoughts and images with us below.

 

The post How to Photograph a Local Project When Traveling is Not an Option appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jeremy Flint.

How to Find and Photograph Wild Landscapes for Epic Images

The post How to Find and Photograph Wild Landscapes for Epic Images appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jeremy Flint.

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Wild Landscapes can be described as “unspoiled areas of land including hills, mountains, and rivers where wild animals, trees, and plants live or grow in natural surroundings and are not looked after by people.”

Venturing into the wild with your camera can be a great adventure that provides a unique opportunity and rewarding exploration to photograph untouched and pristine landscapes. Embarking on such a trip requires careful planning before you go.

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Sinai Mountains, Egypt

The first thing you will need to do is choose a wild landscape location to visit. How to go about finding these places is simply a matter of looking for potential destinations. Certain areas around the world are famous for their wild landscapes and rugged beauty including the majestic mountains of Scotland, the highlands of Iceland, the Grand Canyon in the USA, the Canadian Rockies, the deserts of Namibia, Patagonia in South America and many more.

Closer to home, you can find wild landscapes within national parks, areas of outstanding natural beauty and amongst local nature.

Two UK-based photographers worth following who like to photograph wild landscapes include, Thomas Heaton and Alex Nail. Both produce great visuals of wild landscapes, outdoor photography and nature, and are very inspiring.

Once you have found a suitable location, there are several things to consider before going out to photograph wild landscapes.

Go prepared

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Brecon Beacons, England

When going on a shoot, make a packing list and be prepared from wearing the right gear to having plenty of food and drink supplies to keep your energy levels up.

Take the right clothing

The clothing you take will determine how comfortable you will be. For example, appropriate rain gear is essential if this is the forecast. In sunny weather, you may be uncomfortable in too much clothing, and in colder weather, you will be chilly if you don’t wear enough layers. So you will need to wear appropriate clothing.

Footwear

Choose the appropriate footwear for the terrain you will be walking on. A sturdy pair of waterproof walking boots with good grips on the souls are essential for long walks over rough grounds with rain forecast.

Supplies

Supplies of food and water are important to keep you fuelled and hydrated. Take more than you estimate for your journey in case of any difficulties, such as burning more calories than expected on a long hike to your destination.

Consider wild camping

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Torres del Paine, Chile

Consider taking a lightweight tent and camping out overnight somewhere to photograph an epic scene of the wilderness. There are advantages to wild camping beside a great view. They include being able to capture the sunset and sunrise, and not having to walk to the destination twice.

The right camera gear

Travel light, especially if you are going to stay out overnight somewhere. Cut back on the camera equipment you take as much as you can. Make room to carry other essentials such as food and drink supplies. Only take the lenses you think you will need, such as a wide-angle lens.

Other equipment

Be sure to take a map with you as a precaution. Also, take a fully-charged phone with a GPS app or an ordinance survey map for directions.

Let people know where you are going

It may seem obvious, but it is essential to tell people where you are heading, and for how long, as a safety precaution. This helps in the unlikely event that you experience any unforeseen circumstances. This could include bad weather (for example, thick fog on a mountain top) or sustaining an injury where you are unable to return at the anticipated time.

You will feel more comfortable in the knowledge that someone knows where you are if you require assistance.

Time your visit

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The Rockies, Canada

When shooting a wild landscape, it is important to consider the weather conditions.

Time your visit to go and shoot when the weather is good or dramatic. It depends on the kind of image you want to achieve.

There is no such thing as ‘bad weather’ for photography, as in different conditions, you’ll gain different results. For example, a wild stormy sky is great for a powerful and energetic image. Calm and still conditions can give you a minimalist outcome. Each has its own appeal.

You can even shoot landscape images in the midday sun if you prefer to visit during the day.

Choose a viewpoint and composition

When it comes to photographing an epic wild landscape, you will want to choose a viewpoint and composition that captures the location well. Seek out strong compositions that show the majesty of the place, such as a striking mountain range or some intriguing details.

Tripod

It is worth setting your camera on a tripod, especially to help shoot in low light or blustery weather where the conditions can adversely affect the outcome of your images. This will assist in providing more stability and essentially sharper pictures.

Light

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Sossusvlei, Namibia

When photographing wild landscapes, consider the light to create great images. You can photograph spectacular scenes by using light creatively. Capture sidelight (when the sun lights the landscape from the side, often creating interesting shadows and textures), backlight (shooting in the direction of the sun where your subject can be silhouetted or have bright edges) or front light (where the sun is coming from behind you and straight onto your subject). You can also include the sun in your shot to make images with different tones and brightness.

Conclusion

Photographing wild landscapes can be a great adventure and an opportunity to explore pristine and untouched landscapes. You can find wild landscapes within national parks, areas of outstanding natural beauty and amongst local nature. Remember to consider clothing, footwear, food and water, camera equipment and a map and be sure to let people know where you are going. Choose an interesting viewpoint, use a tripod and be creative with light. Share your pictures of Wild Landscapes with us below.

The post How to Find and Photograph Wild Landscapes for Epic Images appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jeremy Flint.

How to Use Color in Your Photography to Give Your Photos the Wow Factor

The post How to Use Color in Your Photography to Give Your Photos the Wow Factor appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jeremy Flint.

Photography is a wonderful art form that is enjoyed by people all around the world. It is a popular medium of expression, a fine art, a way of documenting our journeys and memories, and even a way to change views. Originally, when photography started it was all black and white, and historic photographers learned their craft in this way. Whilst this can be a great way to bring out textures and shapes, the introduction of color is a great way to attract attention and add impact to your images. Here are 5 tips to show you how to use color in your photography to give your photos the wow factor:

1. Find a colorful scene

Colour

St Nectain’s Glen waterfall, Cornwall, England

The first thing to do is to find a colorful scene. The way the countryside unfolds in the summer, for example, can be a wonderful way to show color in a landscape. Purple hues of lavender or golden wheat fields are all examples of where color can be captured to help your images stand out.

You could focus on one dominant color in a scene such as green. Alternatively, seek out a variety of tones like a cool blue sky mixed with a red field which can give your photos some impact and evoke different emotions. Blue can provide feelings of cold, whilst red can give warmth, energy, and excitement.

You can also use complementary colors in captivating ways. They refer to colors on opposite sides of the color wheel. For example, red and green or blue and orange. Other colors that work particularly well together include yellow, red and orange; and pink, purple and blue.

2. Look for details with color

Colour

Poppy field, England

Another way to use color in your photography is to look for details with color. You can photograph individual flowers in bloom such as bluebells or plant crops. As a part of a broader scene, you can photograph flowers like vibrant red poppies swaying in a field.

Think about the different colors and details you could photograph near you and experiment with a variety of color palettes to see what works well. Try and find details to photograph with single colors and combinations of colors to see which you prefer. Red is a strong color that attracts the viewer’s eye whilst yellow and orange can also command attention.

3. Change your white balance setting

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Stonehenge, England

One great advantage of the white balance setting is that your camera has the ability to change the color of your images simply by adjusting the white balance.

There are several different types of white balance which can be varied according to different lighting scenarios – auto white balance is the default setting for most cameras. Shade, cloudy and daylight can be selected for warmer and brighter colors, whilst tungsten and auto present cooler colors.

As the name suggests, a ‘shade’ white balance setting can work well in lighting conditions with shade and shadows, whilst ‘cloudy’ is a good choice when it is overcast. There is also an option to manually adjust your white balance to alter the color temperature to your taste.

4. Use a polariser to boost color and contrast

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Oxford, England

One of the greatest accessories you can have in your photography kit is a polarizing filter. A polarizer is usually placed at the front of your camera lens and is a versatile piece of equipment that can be brilliant to help darken skies, minimize reflections and manage glare from water sources such as lakes or the sea.

Polarizing filters are also a fantastic way to improve your images by instantly enhancing the color and contrast in your images. They don’t take up much space in your kit bag and are useful for making your images more distinct. Polarizing filters particularly work well in landscape photography by bringing out colors and reducing haze.

5. Boost colors in post-production

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Oxford, England

You can also add color to images in post-production. One way to boost the color of your photographs is to increase the saturation in post-production. You will find a saturation slider in most editing tools. Both photoshop and lightroom offer an adjustment slider where the color can be increased by moving it to the right. There is also the option to increase the saturation of individual colors to make certain parts of your images more vibrant.

Conclusion

Using color can be a great way to enhance your images. You can find colorful scenes, vibrant details, adjust your white balance, add a polariser or adjust the saturation in post-processing to give your photos more impact.

Try these techniques and share your images with us below. Also, if you have any other tips, feel free to share those too!

 

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The post How to Use Color in Your Photography to Give Your Photos the Wow Factor appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jeremy Flint.

Equipment and Camera Settings You’ll Need for Better Moon Photography

The post Equipment and Camera Settings You’ll Need for Better Moon Photography appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jeremy Flint.

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Super Moon, Oxford, England

As the brightest object in the night sky, the Moon has captivated people around the world for centuries. The Moon is simply fascinating, particularly with the recent 50th anniversary of the first humans landing on the Moon. It is also one of the most incredible subjects to learn to photograph. Everyone loves to observe the Moon, but have you ever looked up to the sky at night and thought, “how can I capture this magnificent phenomenon?” Well, as photographing the Moon can be a challenging undertaking, I have highlighted some information about the Moon and recommendations regarding equipment and camera settings you’ll need to consider to achieve better moon photography.

It is initially worth considering what the Moon actually is. Well, in general, the term “moon” denotes an object that orbits something other than the star in a solar system. Earth’s Moon is an astronomical body that orbits the planet and acts as its only permanent natural satellite, orbiting the Earth every 27.3 days. It is the fifth-largest Moon in the Solar System and is an average of 384403 kilometers (238857 miles) from Earth.

When you look up at the night sky to view the peaceful and tranquil Moon, you might notice that the Moon looks a little different each night. This is due to our Moon’s many phases and types.

Phases of the moon

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Partial lunar eclipse, England

The amount of sunlight that reflects on the Moon’s surface that we can see from our point of view on Earth varies every day, and this is what we refer to as a Moon phase.

Moon phases change during the lunar month from a New Moon (which occurs the moment the Sun and Moon are aligned, with the Sun and Earth on opposite sides of the Moon) to a Waxing Crescent moon (when a thin sliver of the Moon becomes visible after a New Moon), First Quarter Moon (the moment the Moon has reached the first quarter of its orbit around Earth), Waxing Gibbous Moon, Full Moon, Waning Gibbous Moon, Third Quarter Moon and Waning Crescent Moon.

Different types of full moons

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Super Blue Blood Moon, Oxford

full moon occurs when the side of the Moon facing Earth is fully lit up by the Sun. There are several types of unusual full moons that look different in color and size due to its position to the Sun and Earth. These include blood moons (that appears reddish and occur during a total lunar eclipse, when Earth lines up between the Moon and the Sun); Supermoons (a moon that appears larger because it is closer to Earth), Blue Moons (the “extra” Moon in a season with four Full Moons or the second Full Moon in a calendar month) and Harvest Moons (the full, bright Moon that occurs closest to the start of Autumn), for example.

The equipment

When photographing the full moon or different phases of the moon, you will need some essential pieces of equipment. I recommend you use a tripod for stability. Whilst you may get away with hand-holding your camera, you will get better results by mounting your camera on a tripod and avoiding camera shake. In addition, a remote shutter release cable is a useful bit of kit to help prevent camera shake. It is not essential as you can use your cameras self-timer function.

Which lens to use

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Moon over the landscape, Dartmoor, England

The type of lens you use largely depends on whether you would like to capture the moon in the landscape, or as a detailed close-up. Wide-angle lenses are great to photograph the moon as it moves over an interesting landscape. Alternatively, a telephoto lens is a great choice for getting closer to the moon to reveal its surface details. Consider using a long focal length lens with a range of 300-400mm.

Which camera settings to use

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Moonrise, England

Once you have chosen a lens and set your camera on a tripod, you will need to select your settings. Firstly, I would recommend setting your ISO to 100 to prevent noise and grain in your images. Next, select an aperture in the region of f/8 – f/16 to achieve clearer and cleaner shots. In terms of shutter speed, 1/60th to 1/125th should be a great starting point.

Focus on the moon

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Moon and sky, England

When you have applied the settings, all you now need to do is set the focus of your camera. I like to use my cameras manual focus to focus on the Moon. Once the focusing distance to the Moon looks sharp using manual focus, you are ready to shoot the Moon.

In my experience, manual focus works better than autofocus as the Moon’s surface is sometimes too dark to be recognized by the camera’s autofocus and I find manual focus to be more reliable in obtaining sharper shots in low light. By using manual focus, if you’re camera settings aren’t spot-on for any reason, you will still have reasonably sharp photos that you can recover in your editing software.

If you apply all of these tips, you’ll achieve better Moon photography and be equipped to photograph the Moon at the best time.

Conclusion

In summary, photographing the Moon is one of the most enjoyable subjects any photographer can learn. To achieve better photos of the different phases and types of the Moon, be sure to use a tripod. Also, consider a remote cable release, choose a wide-angle or telephoto lens, get your settings right, and focus your camera on the Moon manually.

Do you have any other tips for better Moon photography? Alternatively, share your pictures of the Earth’s natural satellite or the Moon shining brightly over your chosen scene with us below.

 

better-moon-photography

 

The post Equipment and Camera Settings You’ll Need for Better Moon Photography appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jeremy Flint.

6 Scenarios to Try for More Interesting Beach Photography

The post 6 Scenarios to Try for More Interesting Beach Photography appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jeremy Flint.

Coastal adventures are a spectacular way to explore with your camera and to soak in the sea views and fresh sea air. There are so many amazing beaches and miles upon miles of coastline around the world or closer to home to entice photographers to the sea. Beautiful seascapes can vary from wide open clifftop vistas to picturesque harbors, tranquil ocean views, secluded coves, and even fishing villages. Here are 6 scenarios to try for more interesting beach photography:

1. Monumental views

Coastal adventures 01

Sailing boat at sea

Firstly, take in the bigger picture when capturing your seascapes.

Seek out and find those great sweeping ocean views that cover a wide expanse of sea. Be sure to use a wide-angle lens to photograph the scene too. By photographing the sea and sky, you can add another element to the scene to improve your photos.

An interesting sky also adds texture and atmosphere to the sea view and creates interesting beach photography.

2. Interesting patterns

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Cornwall, England

During your adventures at the coast, look for interesting patterns and textures to photograph. You will find many details such as shells, patterns in the sand, and interesting rocks. Rockpools can be great subjects to focus your camera on to make dramatic beach photos.

Consider how your image may be affected by the tide and decide what you most want to achieve with the look of your photos. Shooting at high tide or low tide can alter the appearance of your image. At high tide, for example, some attractive rocks may look even better with the swell of the ocean circling them as opposed to when the tide is out, and the rocks separate from the sea. Try to time your visit to coincide with your photo objective. Alternatively, visit a location and plan a return visit when the tide levels are suitable.

3. Secluded coves

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Cornwall, England

Finding and photographing a secluded cove is a great way to spend your adventures capturing coastal scenes.

When photographing these wonderful locations, find a suitable vantage point from higher up, such as on a ledge or from beach level. Take care when photographing the sea and be careful when standing near cliff edges or moving over slippery rocks – they can be treacherous.

Another thing to be aware of is the tide times, which are very important for your own safety. If you can coincide your visit when the tides are receding this is usually a favorable time to prevent being trapped by the incoming seas or being caught out by a rogue wave.

4. Find hidden gems

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Cornwall, England

Think beyond the familiar landmarks when photographing the coast. There are endless opportunities and locations for you to discover.

One of the best ways to find new places is to explore the coast on foot. Instead of heading for the nearest beach, venture out for a long walk along the coastal paths. You never know what you might see. Behind every turn and headland, there are often hidden gems to discover. These may include secret beaches that have seen few visitors. Perhaps you will find sea caves lying beneath the clifftops which have been formed by the sea eroding the land over time.

5. Coastal shores

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Cornwall, England

Coastal shores can offer some of the most dramatic and best photo opportunities for seascapes. Crashing waves and moody skies after a storm can be great for your coastal photos.

How you capture your coastal adventures depends on the type of image and mood you want to evoke.

The coast can look very different throughout the day. You could either go there in the late afternoon to capture the suns rays striking the cliffs or visit during the day when the beach is busier and more active with people.

Visiting at different times of the day will give you the chance to capture a wide variety of shots to include in your collection.

6. Sunsets

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Land’s End, Cornwall, England

Photographing Sunsets by the sea are one of the most popular things to capture – and for a good reason. The coastline often looks its best at this time of day when the colorful glow is spectacular. Views of the sea get transformed into wonderful vistas with great light. Sand dunes and rock ledges can look great with the sunset light shining on them.

Shooting into the sun is another great way to capture the sunset during your coastal adventures.

Conclusion

Use these tips to capture more interesting beach photography and seascape images. Next time you are visiting the coast remember to look out for great ocean views, interesting details, secluded coves, hidden beaches, coastal vistas, and dramatic sunsets and share your images with us below.

What do you enjoy about beach photography?

 

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The post 6 Scenarios to Try for More Interesting Beach Photography appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jeremy Flint.

Learn These 5 Elements to Capture Interesting Architectural Photography

The post Learn These 5 Elements to Capture Interesting Architectural Photography appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jeremy Flint.

Architectural photography is an enjoyable genre of photography to shoot. It encourages you to visit and capture urban structures and environments, whether it be towns or cities, or whilst taking in views of majestic buildings, bridges, or interiors. Architecture can be present in many different forms from ancient to modern and both internal and external. If you have you ever wondered what steps to consider when shooting interesting architectural photography, this article will help you to identify some key elements to contemplate during the process.

Architecture Photography 01

Brasov, Romania

1. Choose a subject

The first fundamental aspect to consider when capturing interesting architectural photography is the subject. Your choice of subject can be anything from a streetscape to a city scene or famous landmark. Once you’ve found an object or theme to visit and photograph, think about what appeals to you about it. Think about what you want to photograph, such as the entire structure or just part of it.

Whatever you decide to photograph, be happy with your decision and take some pictures.

You can choose to focus on capturing wide shots and detail shots. A scenario where you may choose to shoot wide may include a prominent sky that adds beauty to the composition or a street scene that portrays many interesting buildings together. On the other hand, you may choose detail shots when there is a particularly striking facade or object on a building. For example, a statue makes a great feature on its own.

Architecture Photography 02

Bran Castle, Romania

2. Select your camera settings

The next thing you will want to do is set up your camera and choose your settings. In terms of architecture photography, you will need to select an appropriate aperture, ISO, and shutter speed. The aperture you choose depends on what you are trying to achieve with your photos.

If you are trying to achieve a narrower focus and render the front or back elements of the image out of focus, you will want to select a wider aperture (smaller f/number) from anything between f/2.8 to f/5.6. A scenario where you may choose to use a narrow depth of field is when you want to isolate an object from the background such as a doorframe. Alternatively, another scenario may be when shooting a single point of interest such as a statue.   

However, if you aim to make everything in your image sharper, I recommend selecting an aperture between f/8 to f/22. A scenario where you may want a wide depth of field may include stunning cityscape scenes. Here, you may want everything in focus within the frame. A cityscape can include some monumental buildings and the night sky or people walking within a street scene.

Architecture Photography 03

Cluj-Napoca, Romania

A lower ISO is important to reduce noise in the final image, so I suggest an ISO of 100-400.

The shutter speed you choose depends on the overall look and feel you want to achieve in your image. A faster shutter speed of 100th of a second or more will help to keep moving objects sharp such as cars or people. In contrast, a slower shutter speed of one second or more will let more light into your frame and start to blur moving subjects.

3. Decide on a composition

Architecture Photography 04

Sibiu, Romania

One important step in capturing architecture is the composition.

Composition simply refers to how you arrange the elements in a frame.

When looking at pictures of famous icons such as the Taj Mahal, Houses of Parliament or Big Ben, you’ll notice these structures often photographed in similar ways. One thing I would encourage is to find new angles of familiar landmarks when doing architectural photography – something that stands out from the others. You can achieve this by changing your viewpoint or angle.

4. Shooting interior architecture

Architecture Photography 05

Sibiu, Romania

When shooting interior architecture photography and exteriors, there are a few fundamental differences to consider, notably the light and composition. You will need to take into account the fact there is usually less light when shooting indoors, so change your settings to accommodate. Due to low light, use a tripod and slower shutter speeds to allow more light into your image. This helps you to manage different types of light, including candles, lamps, and outside light projecting internally. You will also need to balance mixed artificial and natural lighting.

The other major difference is the composition.

You may find more restriction photographing indoors than outdoors. Restrictions such as limited space, internal structures or part of the building’s architecture that may restrict or limit your view and composition. As a solution, use a wide-angle lens or try to take a step back (if you can) to get more of your chosen subject into your frame.

Alternatively, zoom your lens in further to eliminate distracting elements.

Structures often provide interesting internal features which can vary depending on the type of architecture and the country you are in. Church interiors, cathedrals, and even modern and historic buildings can all house hidden gems from altars to pillars, delightful structures, and stained glass windows.

The best lenses for shooting small or large spaces are usually a 24-70mm lens or a wide-angle lens such as a 16-35mm.

5. Shooting exterior architecture

Shooting exteriors is one of the most popular and fun subjects in architectural photography. You will often see pictures of the exteriors of the most famous buildings around the world and in your local area in publications. If you choose to shoot exteriors, you may decide to focus on the whole structure, the roof or a particular aspect of the external building that is interesting.

Architecture Photography 05

Peles Castle, Romania

Photographing exteriors can be challenging especially in changing light and high contrast conditions but can result in some great images.

Conclusion

In conclusion, remember these important steps when shooting architecture including choosing a subject, selecting your camera settings, deciding on composition and choosing whether to photograph interior or exterior architecture.

Share any additional steps you have for interesting architectural photography and your images with us below.

 

Capture-Interesting-Architectural-Photography

The post Learn These 5 Elements to Capture Interesting Architectural Photography appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jeremy Flint.

5 Different Approaches to Photographing Wildlife

The post 5 Different Approaches to Photographing Wildlife appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jeremy Flint.

Wildlife 01

Brown bear, Yellowstone National Park, USA © Jeremy Flint

Wildlife photography is a popular genre of photography that documents various forms of wildlife in their natural habitat. Seeing and photographing animals in the wild has to be one of the most awe-inspiring experiences imaginable. Nothing compares to sighting a lion running across the Serengeti plains of Africa or a bison family roaming the lands of Yellowstone in the USA. Photographing your pets or animals in zoos can also be just as rewarding. Whether you are new to this genre of photography or have had some practice, here are 5 different approaches to photographing wildlife:

1. Shoot from the vehicle

Wildlife 01

Tourist taking pictures, Yellowstone national park, USA © Jeremy Flint

When viewing and photographing animals in the wild you will want to keep a safe distance. They are wild for a reason and should not be approached. The best way to photograph them is generally from the comfort of your own vehicle.

Encountering animals can be a wonderful thrill, and although there may be an urge to get out of your vehicle for a better look, it is better not to take the risk. You can’t predict the behavior of animals very easily, so it is always safer just to stay in your vehicle and avoid any potential conflict.

Whether you have your own transport or are in a vehicle on a guided tour, they make great places to take pictures from. You can potentially position yourself nearer to the animals than if you were on foot and you can take pictures from a closer range compared with standing out in the open far away from the animal.

Photographing animals from a closer vantage point, and from the safety of your own vehicle, enables the use of a wide-angle lens. This can help to give your images more variety and a different angle to those images generally shot with a telephoto lens.

2. Aim for the skies

Wildlife 03

Bald eagle in flight, Yellowstone national park, USA © Jeremy Flint

Another way to photograph wildlife is to keep an eye out for animals above you. Look upwards and aim for the skies. Photographing majestic birds in flight or circling above you are wonderful subjects to capture.

The beauty of birds in motion can be mesmerizing, especially when the light catches their body and lights up their feathers and wings. With so many different species of birds around the world, photographing birds can be inspiring. Birds move swiftly so be sure to select a fast shutter speed to capture the action.

3. Get on their level

photographing-Wildlife 04

Elk, Yellowstone National Park, USA © Jeremy Flint

One of the best options for photographing wildlife is to get on their level. To add interesting shots of animals, crouch down and get yourself on the same elevation as the animal. Whilst taking pictures from the same height as the animal may be more demanding in the wild, it can result in cute pictures of pets, especially if they are looking right back at you.

4. Shoot from an elevated view

Wildlife 05

Beaver, Yellowstone National Park, USA © Jeremy Flint

Wildlife can be notoriously challenging to photograph, and some wild animals, such as leopards, are renowned for being particularly elusive. Taking shots from an elevated view such as from a tower, the air or from a building can help to improve the sightings of these animals that may be hiding in the long grass.

Also, if you are on higher ground, you are more likely to be at the same height as birds flying past you. Taking photos of birds is surprisingly addictive, and capturing them flying by can produce great results.

5. Shoot from an enclosure

photographing-Wildlife 06

Coyote, Yellowstone national park, USA © Jeremy Flint

When photographing animals in captivity, you will likely have restrictions in terms of where you can take photographs from. For example, visiting zoos, an enclosure, viewing area, or platform are great places to shoot from to capture the animals inside. By practicing shooting animals in your neighborhood or at your local zoo, it will help you to improve your wildlife photography and become more comfortable when shooting in the wild.

Conclusion

Photographing wildlife in their natural habitat can be a great photographic adventure for any aspiring photographer. Different ways to photograph wildlife include shooting from a vehicle, from the same height as the animal, from an elevated view, and an enclosure. Pointing your camera upwards is another great way to give a different perspective to taking pictures from inside your vehicle.

On your next adventure outdoors, whether that is a walk in the countryside, a visit to your local zoo or a trip of a lifetime to see majestic wildlife, don’t forget to take your camera.

Share your pictures with us below!

 

photographing-wildlife

The post 5 Different Approaches to Photographing Wildlife appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jeremy Flint.

5 Tips for Better Travel Photography

The post 5 Tips for Better Travel Photography appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jeremy Flint.

Travelling with you camera is one of the highlights of embarking on any trip at home or abroad. Whether you enjoy visiting interesting places, soaking up the sunshine or embarking on adventurous activities, here are some tips for better travel photography.

1. Do your research

Better travel photography 01

Provence, France © Jeremy Flint

One of the most fundamental aspects of travel photography is to do your research about the destination you are visiting. Finding out about a location and obtaining information about a place and its attractions will help you to plan your trip. From this information gathering process, you can learn more about your destination. Ask yourself what you most want to see. Spend your time visiting the places that interest you.

2. Decide what to photograph

Better travel photography 02

Provence, France © Jeremy Flint

There are two approaches to consider when deciding what to take pictures of when on location. Firstly, you can come up with a plan for the things you want to photograph. Alternatively, you can be more spontaneous and walk around and photograph anything you see that inspires you. The advantage of the latter is that you can be more creative with no pre-conceived ideas of what you are going to photograph.

3. Manage your expectations 

If you are visiting somewhere for a short period of time, you may not have enough time to cover all of the touristic sights and highlights. Therefore, you will need to decide in advance where you would like to visit and photograph and what your photographic priorities are.

Be realistic with your time. It will be a more enjoyable experience. Don’t try to do so much that you end up exhausted after the trip. You will often find that you won’t have enough time to cover everything on your first visit. I recommend choosing one or two places that you would really like to see and photograph. Just go there in case you end up running out of time. By visiting fewer places, you may do more justice to your photos – particularly if you can stay around to combat frustrations of travel photography such as adverse weather conditions.

Moreover, you can always visit again to cover the areas you miss.

Better travel photography 03

Palawan, The Philippines © Jeremy Flint

On a recent trip to the Philippines, I was pushed for time and decided to base myself in one place where I visited and photographed my surroundings. This made for a much more enjoyable trip. I wasn’t rushing around trying to see everything in one go, and I could take advantage of any favorable weather.

Ultimately managing your expectations depends on your goals, what you want to photograph, and how much time you want to spend at different locations.

4. Embrace the culture

Better travel photography 04

Papua New Guinea © Jeremy Flint

Visiting a new location with your camera should be about more than just taking pictures. When visiting foreign lands, you are bound to come across cultures that are different from those found in your home town and country. To make the most of the place you visit, be open to the culture that is present. Experiencing a culture first-hand is as much a part of the enjoyment and wonder of a new place as it is to photograph its landmarks.

On a recent visit to Romania, I wanted to photograph the country’s attractive landscapes. While there, I was bowled over by the kindness and hospitality of the people. By embracing the local culture, I found the trip to be so much more rewarding.

Be open and flexible. Allow time for cultural experiences to happen.  

5. Enjoy your trip 

Better travel photography 05

Palawan, The Philippines © Jeremy Flint

Whilst taking photos is all part of the fun of documenting your adventures, be sure to have some non-photography time too.

Have you ever been on your travels only to find you feel worn out after the trip from doing too much photography? Well, try not to spend all your time behind the camera taking pictures.

To enjoy your travels more, take time out from photography and enjoy the sights and surroundings without your camera. You will feel more refreshed, and your creativity may be better as a result of it.

Conclusion

Travel photography is one of the most enjoyable aspects of photography, particularly as you have the opportunity to visit places near and far with your camera.

For better results in recording your journey, research your destination in advance. Decide what you would most like to photograph. Be realistic with what you expect to capture, embrace the culture and most importantly enjoy your trip!

Share your travel photos and any other tips for better travel photography in the comments below.

 

Tips for Better Travel Photography

The post 5 Tips for Better Travel Photography appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jeremy Flint.

6 Important Compositional Elements to Consider When Shooting Landscapes

The post 6 Important Compositional Elements to Consider When Shooting Landscapes appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jeremy Flint.

There are many pleasures associated with photographing landscapes; from being in the great outdoors, to breathing in the fresh air and taking in the attractive views whilst capturing nature’s beauty all around you.

Taking good landscape photos is more challenging than you may think. People often tell me when they return home from capturing landscapes that they are often disappointed with their results. Part of this may be due to the subject, the weather, the photographer, or most likely the composition. To help you improve your composition, here are 6 fundamental elements worth considering when you next venture out with your camera to shoot landscapes.

1. Diagonal lines

Firstly, it is worth considering the term ‘composition’. Composition refers to “the nature of something’s ingredients or constituents” such as the formation and contents that make-up an image. When it comes to photography, there are many theories and factors that constitute what makes a good composition. One major component worth acknowledging is diagonal lines.

Landscape composition 01

© Jeremy Flint

Diagonal lines can be a useful tool to use in your images. Carefully consider how you might use diagonal lines in your images. One proven way is to lead a viewer’s eye through the frame along a diagonal. These can go from left to right or right to left. They can be slightly horizontal or vertical and can be individual or repeated throughout the image. Leading diagonal lines can be a great way to naturally point towards an interesting part of your landscape, such as rows of flowers navigating towards a tree or a building.

2. Geometric shapes

Landscape composition 02

© Jeremy Flint

When it comes to shapes and patterns, there are no hard and fast rules as to what works well together. Whilst seeing the landscape as a whole, be conscious of what geometric shapes you want to include in the frame. You may look for shapes that complement each other or that are opposite to one another. Consider their relationship and how they may be used together to bring balance to the image.

3. The rule of thirds

Landscape composition 03

© Jeremy Flint

Have you ever produced pictures of landscapes that you were not pleased with and wondered why this could be? Well, one reason could be to do with the rule of thirds. The rule of thirds is an essential technique that can be applied to improve the composition and harmony of your landscape images. In essence, it involves dividing your image by thirds using 2 horizontal and 2 vertical lines. The idea is that you then place the important elements of your scene along those lines or at the point where they intersect.

In your landscape shots, try placing the horizon on the lower third and top third of the image and see which makes a more pleasing composition. You can also include an interesting object such as a tree where the lines meet. This gives a natural focal point for the scene.

Rule of Thirds Grid

4. Framing images

Landscape composition 04

© Jeremy Flint

How you frame your images of nature can make the difference between a good and a great photograph. When framing your shots, create a visually effective image that communicates with the viewer in the way you envisaged. Overhanging leaves or branches can be used to form a natural frame to shape your picture. This helps to emphasize the subject and mask unwanted elements in the scene.

5. Foreground elements

Foreground elements can add more dynamism to your landscape images. Placing features in the foreground can give a sense of receding distance. For example, a rock, flowers, or snow are individual components that can be used to provide scale. Find an interesting subject to show in the lower part of your frame and see how this changes the composition of your landscape images.

6. Break the rules

Landscape composition 05

© Jeremy Flint

Don’t feel you have to stick to the rules of composition outlined above. As with all rules, they don’t always give the best result and you can break them. Sometimes positioning the horizon along the center of the frame can produce a much more eye-catching photo. In addition, you can even place your main subject in the center of your frame. Don’t be afraid to try out different compositions and experiment to see which looks best.

Conclusion

While you can break the rules, it is worth learning the rules of composition effectively before you try to break them. They were introduced to benefit your photos in the first place, so remember to put them to good use. Diagonal lines, the rule of thirds, foreground details, and framing your images can all be used to enhance your landscape photos.

Now it’s over to you to put these tips into practice! Share the images you take and any comments with us below.

6 Important Compositional Elements to Consider When Shooting Landscapes

The post 6 Important Compositional Elements to Consider When Shooting Landscapes appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jeremy Flint.

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