Tips for Creating Compelling Nature Photography

The post Tips for Creating Compelling Nature Photography appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Karthika Gupta.

tips-for-creating-compelling-nature-photography

Nature photography is one of the most common forms of photography out there today and in this article, I’m going to give you tips for creating more compelling nature photography.

Instagram alone has more than 80 million posts under the hashtag #naturephotography. Not to mention that variations like #naturephotos and #naturephotoshoot have their own massive following. No matter what genre of photography you practice, getting out in nature and capturing images of the natural world is always fascinating.

Perhaps some of the charm and pull of nature photography has to do with the fact that it is free, easily accessible (depending on where you are), and there is never a shortage of subject matter, light or even creative framing – all elements that contribute to a stellar photo.

Tips for Creating Compelling Nature Photography

Nature photography doesn’t have to be boring or mundane. Nor is nature photography only images of dramatic landscapes in exotic faraway locations. Even your house plant or tree in your backyard can become compelling nature photography if done correctly. There are a few things you can do to take your nature photography from boring to amazing.

Focus on the subject

Look at any photography course, cheat sheet, or guide. It will talk about the importance of your subject as it relates to the overall image. The subject is everything. A subject can make or break an image, and I don’t say that to just sound dramatic.

Some photos have so much going on that we are confused about the message. On the flip side, some images use a shallow depth of field to focus on one element, yet nothing else gives context to what is going on in the image. We are often left wondering what the intention of the image is.

Don’t let that happen to you. Focus on the subject based on what story you are looking to tell. Ask yourself if the subject helps or distracts from that story.

tips-for-creating-compelling-nature-photography

We were photographing wild horses in Utah when the sun set. My subject was still the horses but, for me, the element of the setting sun just added more drama to the scene.

If you want to photograph a tree in your backyard in the Fall, wait until all the leaves turn a bright red color to complement the story of fall colors. If you want to photograph a landscape at golden hour, figure out the direction of the sunset and watch the weather to see if conditions are right for a dramatic golden hour and sunset.

Understand what you are photographing and the story you want to tell. This will help you conduct the right kind of research needed for executing your shoot and the results you want.

Understand the light you are working with

If there is one thing I would shout from the rooftops as it relates to photography, it is about the importance of light in photography.

There is no such thing as bad lighting. Lighting is just different at different times of the day.

Not all lighting is the same in terms of quality of light. Light is just different at different times of the day. Sometimes the light is perfect – that warm, soft glow that translates beautifully in pictures. Other times, the lighting is harsh and strong. I wouldn’t say that type of lighting is always bad – it is just not the same every time.

tips-for-creating-compelling-nature-photography

Morning Light In The Tetons

tips-for-creating-compelling-nature-photography

Harsh mid-day sun in the Himalayas

Image: Setting sun along the Oregon coast

Setting sun along the Oregon coast

The sooner you train your eye to read the different types of light, and what it can do to your images, the sooner you will be able to analyze your imagery better. You’ll also get photos closer to the style you like without wasting too much time in post-processing. No amount of editing can really fix an image taken in poor lighting conditions.

As it is with nature photography, you cannot always control your light source, that is, the sun. There might be many instances that you are out in nature during the harsh midday sun. This light is strong and very warm. Learn to use that to compliment your photos.

If you can get outside during golden hour, use that light to add some drama to your nature photos. But make sure that you don’t photograph directly into the setting sun as it leads to a lot of sun flare entering your frame (unless that is the effect you are after). It can also make the shot appear muddy and blown out to the point of not being able to see the subjects clearly.

Focus on the details

Most of us focus on the bigger picture when we photo nature and landscapes: big skies, large mountains, or even vast open waters. But there is something to be said about slowing down and noticing the details around you. The feel and texture of sand, the colors of pebbles at the beach, the curling leaves under flowers or the colors of a butterfly’s wings. There are so many ways to include details in your images to create compelling nature photography.

Just because something is larger than life, doesn’t mean it is the only thing that matters. Details create depth, texture, and complement the narrative.

tips-for-creating-compelling-nature-photography

Explore colors in nature

I recently came across a YouTuber who prepares natural paints from colors found in nature and uses that for her art. I found it fascinating to watch her grid stones and use their powder for colors, harness indigo from blueberries and red from wild roses. There are countless colors that are found in nature if only we know where to look.

Use colors to convey emotions and meaning. We all know that some colors are associated with certain types of feelings in the eyes of the viewer. Yellow evokes happiness and enthusiasm. Red means strength and energy. Orange shows creativity and warmth. Green signifies harmony and growth.

Use colors in your photography to give that element of wow to your images. Nature has an abundance of color all around – just look for it.

Tips for Creating Compelling Nature Photography

Simple always triumphs complex

I alluded to this earlier in the article, where I talked about the chaos in an image. Clutter can be messy and sometimes put off a person in real life. Some busy photos where there is a lot happening can be complex and chaotic. Life is crazy enough. We don’t always need to take that into our art.

Nature Photography has the power to transform us to a magical and fantastical place, someplace calm and peaceful. By simplifying our photos, we can transport the user to a place of calm so that they can emotionally connect with our images.

Image: I used a simple black foam board to highlight the white and the fellow of these flowers.

I used a simple black foam board to highlight the white and the fellow of these flowers.

I hope these simple tips help you create more compelling nature photography. Nature has the power to heal in so many ways, and by using that effectively in our imagery, we can convey that narrative to our audience.

Do you have any other tips for creating compelling nature photography? Share with us in the comments!

The post Tips for Creating Compelling Nature Photography appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Karthika Gupta.

The Canon 5D Mark V to Be Produced After All (in 2020)

The post The Canon 5D Mark V to Be Produced After All (in 2020) appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

The Canon 5D Mark V to Be Produced After All (in 2020)Professional DSLRs aren’t dead yet.

As was reported last week, Canon has plans to keep at least one of its DSLR lineups alive:

A photographer’s favorite, the Canon 5D line.

Rumors indicate that the Canon 5D Mark V will likely be announced sometime in 2020, probably at the end of the year.

The Canon 5D Mark IV is a popular choice among professional photographers; it’s particularly praised for its high-ISO capabilities, which blow most other cameras out of the water. But the Canon 5D Mark IV isn’t just a great option for low light shooters. It’s an all-around excellent piece of kit, offering good continuous shooting speeds (7 fps), impressive autofocus capabilities (including Canon’s Dual Pixel autofocusing), a rugged body, and dual card slots.

We can hopefully expect the Canon 5D Mark V to be more of the same, just with some key upgrades. Canon will undoubtedly retain the dual card slots and the rugged camera, though we’ll undoubtedly see expanded high-ISO capabilities and (probably) improved autofocus, not to mention resolution. If we’re lucky, we’ll get increased continuous shooting speeds, though 7 fps is very respectable, especially for a 30+ megapixel camera.

Given the overwhelming interest in mirrorless cameras, we can also expect some cross-pollination between mirrorless and DSLR lineups. While the Canon 1D X Mark III will likely be the first Canon DSLR to feature in-body image stabilization, the Canon 5D Mark V may be the second.

Note that the Canon EOS R II is also rumored to come out around the same time as the Canon 5D Mark V, and will probably have many of the same features. Hopefully, this will include dual card slots, a feature that was sorely missed by professional photographers who considered the Canon EOS R, as well as in-body image stabilization.

So I’d like to ask you:

Which camera would you be more interested in – the Canon 5D Mark V or the Canon EOS R II? And Canon 5D Mark IV users, might you consider switching to mirrorless?

Share your thoughts in the comments!

The post The Canon 5D Mark V to Be Produced After All (in 2020) appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

Tools for Doing In-Person Photography Sales to Boost Your Income Stream

The post Tools for Doing In-Person Photography Sales to Boost Your Income Stream appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jackie Lamas.

in-person-photography-sales

It seems now many clients only want digital files, however, there are still photographers doing in-person photography sales and making more from their art than the shoot and burn photographer. You don’t need a lot to get started with in-person photography sales. You can add products, samples, and such as your sales increase. Learn the tips you need to get started by reading below!

What are in-person photography sales?

In-person photography sales are where you set an appointment with your clients to give them a personalized viewing of their photos and conduct a sales meeting with them at the same time.

You can set the date for the in-person photography sales appointment before the actual session or when the photos are ready to view. It all depends on how you handle and schedule your calendar.

An in-person photography sales appointment is for photographers who wish to sell products like prints, frames, and other specialty items. These have a set profit margin so you can make the most out of a portrait session or wedding.

Why have in-person photography sales to begin with?

When a photographer gives away their photos in digital format, the client is allowed to print outside of the photographer’s studio, resulting in a loss in money for the photographer. With in-person sales, you are able to offer your clients their most valuable photos of their family, or event, and get top-quality products in return.

Image: You can use a gallery mock-up like this to sell wall galleries, frames, or other products dur...

You can use a gallery mock-up like this to sell wall galleries, frames, or other products during the in-person photography sales appointment. It helps your clients visualize the final product.

In-person photography sales give your clients more personalized attention. It also allows them to get their photos off digital format and onto their walls.

Giving your clients this personalized attention will also make your clients feel taken care of in the most intimate way. This rounds out the whole portrait photography experience. You’ll have them come to you next time they need that personal experience again.

What do you need to get started with in-person photography sales?

To begin with, you need an action plan. You’ll need to determine how you’ll be conducting the sales appointment. Choose a location with minimal distraction and noise, so that you can tailor your sales appointment to have the atmosphere you want. It can be a shared space, a rented location, or even in your home or the client’s home.

You’ll also need some sort of device to showcase the photos from the session. This can be a laptop, iPad/tablet, or even a screen projector to showcase the photos large. If you have a studio space, you can choose a room or location inside that has a TV or computer to show their images.

Sign up with a professional lab

Next, you’ll need to make a catalog of the products you’ll be offering. Make sure to use a top photographic lab and not your friendly neighborhood Costco. While there’s nothing wrong with Costco for personal printing, they are not a professional lab with professional printers and top quality control.

Image: WHCC offers a program you can use on your iPad called Studio to create mockups of products yo...

WHCC offers a program you can use on your iPad called Studio to create mockups of products your clients want to buy.

White House Custom Color, Bay Photo Lab, Black River Imaging are a few of the leading professional photography labs, among many, many more. Find one that you like best and give them a try. All of them offer a variety of products ranging from loose prints to specialty items like tree ornaments, bookmarks, and even mugs with photos on them.

After you figure out what products you want to sell to your clients, figure out the pricing. Factor in shipping and the cost of the product. Only then can you determine how much of a profit margin you want. Depending on your market, you might be at a 40% profit margin or perhaps more.

Image: A digital catalog can help you showcase your products and pricing to clients without having t...

A digital catalog can help you showcase your products and pricing to clients without having to order samples. Some labs offer free product guides without branding or prices.

If you have capital, get samples of the products that you think will be top sells, and loose prints in various sizes. If you’ll be offering to frame, get the sample corners.

Each photographer has their own set of top sellers. With time, you can accumulate samples of those products. However, if you don’t have money to invest in samples, create a sales catalog in Illustrator or Photoshop. That way, your clients can see the products.

Image: Having sample albums in smaller sizes can help your clients visualize the final product.

Having sample albums in smaller sizes can help your clients visualize the final product.

WHCC has a site without any branding that you can use to get your clients excited about products. Many professional labs also offer samples at a discount so that you can afford some of the products to help you sell.

Payments

Sign up with a merchant account of some sort so that you can take credit card and debit card payments. You can get a card reader with some services like Square and PayPal to make processing credit cards and debit cards much easier. These also allow you to email receipts to your client.

Some gallery services like Instaproofs offer merchant services and invoicing to photographers right from the gallery. They can also provide direct printing straight from the gallery.

Figure out what works for you and which service offers a better plan for you. It’s really helpful when more and more people use these types of services.

To recap, you’ll need the following:

  1. Figure out your plan. Where will you have the in-person photography sales appointments?
  2. Sign up with a professional photography lab.
  3. Figure out the products and pricing you’ll be selling.
  4. Invest in samples or create a catalog of products to show clients.
  5. Get a merchant account, Square, or PayPal for payments with cards.
  6. Stick to your plan!

What are the benefits of having in-person photography sales?

The benefits are many in that you are giving your clients something that they won’t get anywhere else – your personalized attention throughout the whole photographic experience.

Tools for Doing In-Person Photography Sales to Boost Your Income Stream

By having an in-person photography sales appointment with your clients, you are showing them their beautiful portraits via slideshow or even just in the gallery one by one. You are helping them choose their favorites, and setting them up with products that they’ll treasure for many years to come.

When you hand over digitals via an online gallery, you are missing out on the emotion behind the whole experience. They download, print, and buy somewhere else – leaving you with a loss.

Image: Showing your clients what their photos can look like in their home is also a good way to sell...

Showing your clients what their photos can look like in their home is also a good way to sell products.

Even if you offer digital products, having an in-person photography sales appointment with clients is the best way to show them that you not only take great photographs but care about your clients. It shows then that you are there with your knowledge and expertise to find the right product, photo, and gift to make their photos stand out.

In-person sales appointments are a great way to end the whole experience and create a deeper bond with your clients that an online gallery or digital photos never will.

What if my clients can’t meet or live out of town?

Although it’s better to be physically face-to-face with your clients, sometimes you can’t, and that’s okay. Luckily, there are other ways to hold an in-person photography sales appointment.

Image: Even digital mockups of products can help you sell more to your clients. Show them on your la...

Even digital mockups of products can help you sell more to your clients. Show them on your laptop or tablet after you show your clients their gallery.

If they can’t meet with you in person, offer a video chat style of sales appointment that best fits into their busy schedule. It’s understandable that clients can get busy with their families, life, work, and travel, however, make it a point to have some type of face-to-face appointment with them.

Use Skype so that you can share your screen with them and show them the slideshow of photos you’ve prepared. You’ll see their reactions and emotions to the beautiful photos and can then begin the process of selling your products.

Image: On the left is a catalog unbranded from a professional lab. On the right is a digital mockup...

On the left is a catalog unbranded from a professional lab. On the right is a digital mockup of various products using my own photos.

Make sure to send your product guide/catalog to them before the meeting so that they are aware of what type of products you offer and at what price points they begin.

Make the most out of in-person photography sales appointments

If you offer digitals with your packages, don’t make them readily available to your clients before your sales appointment. Chances are, they’ll walk away with the digitals and forget to make or go to the appointment since they’ve gotten their digitals.

It’s best to schedule the sales appointment before you have the actual session. That way, you can set a time and day that works best for everyone ahead of time. Families especially need careful planning so that they can attend the sales meeting.

Set the tone for the in-person photography sales appointment. Even if you don’t have physical products yet, bring copies of your catalog. Perhaps offer drinks or snacks during the appointment and have the slide show and gallery ready to view. Make sure there is no need for an internet connection in all of your prep, just in case you meet at a place that doesn’t have wifi.

Give your clients an incentive for purchasing their photos. You could offer a gift print with purchases over a certain amount. Or if it’s part of your business plan, include a digital print of the photos that they get in prints or products so that they can keep that as well.

Offer a payment plan to your clients. Put their credit card on file with a payment date so that you can automatically charge their cards when the payment is due. This allows them to have the products that they want most. Sometimes, payment plans can increase your sales because they offer more flexibility to your clients.

Set about two minutes worth of favorite images to music and create a slideshow. After, have your order form, catalog or samples, and begin showing the rest of the gallery to your clients. This creates excitement around seeing the rest of the images.

In conclusion

Having an in-person photography sales appointment doesn’t mean you have to have a studio or even samples.  You can get started right away with a catalog of products and prices. You can use a rented or shared space, or even have the in-person sales appointment in your clients’ home or via video chat.

Either way, giving your clients this personal and handheld experience to get the most out of their photos will mean more income for you and wall portraits for them. This makes the whole photographic experience more meaningful!

Do you make in-person photography sales? What tips can you offer other photographers? Share in the comments!

The post Tools for Doing In-Person Photography Sales to Boost Your Income Stream appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jackie Lamas.

Review: Laowa 17mm f1.8 Lens with Micro-Four-Thirds Mount

The post Review: Laowa 17mm f1.8 Lens with Micro-Four-Thirds Mount appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Mark C Hughes.

review-laowa-17mm-f1.8-lens-MFT

review-laowa-17mm-f1.8-lens-MFT

The new Laowa 17mm f1.8 lens for MFT

There are a lot of gear reviews for new photography gear. Many focus on technical specifications and others focus on sharpness and precision of the optics. I had a chance to spend a few weeks with the Laowa 17mm f1.8 lens for Micro-Four-Thirds (MFT) mount. This is a bit of a different lens that requires a slightly different approach to a review. I am hoping this approach will help you decide if this is a lens for you.

review-laowa-17mm-f1.8-lens-MFT

The New Laowa 17mm f1.8 lens is a fully manual compact design with metal construction, a small metal hood and clear markings on the barrel

review-laowa-17mm-f1.8-lens-MFT

This lens fits 46mm threaded filters (common for MFT)

Technical Specifications

I will run through the technical specifications of the Laowa 17mm f1.8 lens as they have some interesting but limited impact on this review (aside from the price). As a 17mm lens on an MFT mount, this has a corresponding field of view that corresponds to a 34mm lens on a full-frame (FF) sensor (65 degrees). The lens has nine elements in seven groups with a seven-bladed iris. The filter diameter is 46 mm, and the weight is 172g. It is not weather-sealed, and the MSRP is $149USD.

Image: Works great even in low light conditions

Works great even in low light conditions

Practical details

Aside from the mathematics of technical specifications, I think a lens review should provide more practical details. Details that describe the intangibles about the lens. Things you only realize when you have the lens in your hand or on your camera.

review-laowa-17mm-f1.8-lens-MFT

Perfectly balanced with smaller MFT camera bodies like the Pen F

For starters, this is a completely manual lens with manual focus and manual aperture control.

It is a small but solid – really solid – lens with metal construction and even a small metal lens hood (not much shading from this guy). This lens does not feel plastic-y in any way shape or form. The movement of the aperture ring and focus control feels great, and the aperture ring has quiet click settings (it is not clickless but moves easy) and the markings on the focus ring are clear.

This lens feels like something from the best film era vintage lenses and is well-sized to match the size of smaller MFT camera bodies.

review-laowa-17mm-f1.8-lens-MFT

Works well with the Olympus EM5 MK II

Focal range

At 34mm FF equivalent, the Laowa 17mm f1.8 is a prime lens size that, along with a 50mm FF equivalent, should be in any photographer’s bag. Some famous photographers have operated with only lenses in this range. At a 34mm FF equivalent, it provides a relatively wide field of view and a more forgiving range for focus. Wider lenses tend to be more forgiving when trying to focus them. With the manual focus on this lens, not getting focus perfect can still result in usable images.

Image: Because it has a wide field of view, you can get pretty close.

Because it has a wide field of view, you can get pretty close.

Image: Once the focus is set, the lens performs well.

Once the focus is set, the lens performs well.

Sharpness

As for image quality, the lens does reasonably well. It is not the sharpest (even when you nail focus) and it is clear that when fully wide open, the lens is sharper in the center of the image but softer at the edges. Saying this doesn’t really describe the image results from this lens. The image is sharp where it needs to be and softer where is it okay to be softer. The look from the lens is great. In addition, the seven-bladed iris produces very nice starbursts when closed down for night shots of light sources.

Image: Even with close-ups, there are little problems resolving the images and little vignetting.

Even with close-ups, there are little problems resolving the images and little vignetting.

review-laowa-17mm-f1.8-lens-MFT

The seven-bladed iris allows for very nice starbursts at night

Size

As for size and usability, this Laowa 17mm f1.8 lens fits smaller MFT bodies really well (like a Pen F) and looks a little dwarfed on a bigger body (like an EM1X). Not only does this lens fit well on smaller bodies, but it looks entirely old school like the cameras that are going for that stylistic approach.

I had many people asking me if I was shooting with a film camera when I had this lens on my Pen F. I seemed to reinforce this feeling when I tried to focus and take a photograph and took forever. This is not a run-and-gun lens.

review-laowa-17mm-f1.8-lens-MFT

The lens is small and can seem overly-small on larger MFT bodies

Old-school feel and slow approach to photography

I am old enough to have shot film with manual film cameras. I thought I had left that all behind to use all the technical horsepower in modern cameras to really nail technically-challenging circumstances trying to get the best images. As a consequence, I had forgotten about the slower process of taking photographs when all you had was a split prism and a needle for a light meter.

When you connect a manual lens on an MFT camera, you operate primarily with the histogram/light meter to get a good exposure. You have to think about ISO, shutter speed, aperture, and focus. It takes time.

Image: Fun to experiment with when you have the time

Fun to experiment with when you have the time

Slow photography is like slow food

I remember years ago traveling in Italy and going to a slow food restaurant.

The whole concept with slow food is to make it more of an experience and to take time to savor the flavors and textures. I think shooting with a manual lens is similar. It means that you are shooting slower and have to think way more about your images – no run and gun.

Slow photography is forced on you when you shoot with this type of lens. With cell phones, you pull them out and shoot. You barely focus. There is no thought to the process, and maybe that means that people can focus on the subject matter of their images. However, at other times, it means that you really aren’t thinking much about the images you are taking.

Image: Despite being quite a wide lens, there is little obvious distortion with the Laowa 17mm f1.8...

Despite being quite a wide lens, there is little obvious distortion with the Laowa 17mm f1.8 lens.

Nailing focus

Trying to nail focus with a manual focus lens also means you have to slow down. Back in the old manual focus film camera days, you had split prisms and micro prisms in your viewfinder to help you get your focus right. These tools are not available on modern digital cameras.

However, with mirrorless bodies on MFT cameras, you have other tools at your disposal including magnification and focus peaking. I was able to custom set my camera’s buttons to allow me to set one button for magnification and another for focus peaking. It’s still not fast, but it worked fairly well.

Image: Even for moving subjects, such as from a balloon, once you have your exposure and focus set,...

Even for moving subjects, such as from a balloon, once you have your exposure and focus set, it performs like any other lens.

This magic of this type of lens is that you need to slow down and think about the image you are composing. You need to think about everything from ISO to aperture to shutter speed and finally focus. If any are off, you can instantly see that you have screwed up. If you think back to the film days, it wouldn’t be until you got your images developed that you would know you messed up. When I was using this lens, I knew immediately when I screwed up, even when I thought I had all the settings right.

Image: Limited distortion even for buildings

Limited distortion even for buildings

That process of slowing down and understanding what you are doing was a great deal of fun. The lens was wide enough and fast enough (aperture wise, not in any other way) that I would feel comfortable taking only this lens out to take some shots.

Not for the faint of heart

Slow means you can’t shoot fast. This seems obvious, but when someone says to you, “take our picture, “…they pose and wait for you. This lens will not do that quickly, regardless of how good you are.

You can take portraits, but you need to plan the shots and be ready when the opportunity comes up. An old street photography trick used to be to set your exposure with an intermediate aperture, put your focus at 3 feet, and point and shoot. In practice, this is not quite so simple. Nailing the exposure is a little trickier because you need to be looking through the lens to get the exposure balanced.

Image: This lens is great to travel with because of its width and small size

This lens is great to travel with because of its width and small size

The Results

I really enjoyed the Laowa 17mm f1.8 prime lens. I have other similar prime lenses, but all are equipped with autofocus and electronic apertures. They also feel pretty plastic. They are more expensive, but sharper. This lens feels great, is super-solid, shoots well and needs lots of attention to your images. It forces you to shoot like a photographer. You feel like a photographer. It also makes you look like a photographer.

At $149 USD, the Laowa 17mm f1.8 lens is quite the value. My images turned out great and I fell in love with taking slower pictures again. I had a chance to slow down and smell the roses, or in this case, take more deliberate thoughtful images.

Would you use a lens like this? Share with us in the comments below.

The post Review: Laowa 17mm f1.8 Lens with Micro-Four-Thirds Mount appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Mark C Hughes.

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.

epic-wild-landscapes-photography

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.

How-to-Find-and-Photograph-Wild-Landscapes-and-Create-Epic-Images-01

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

How-to-Find-and-Photograph-Wild-Landscapes-and-Create-Epic-Images-02

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

How-to-Find-and-Photograph-Wild-Landscapes-and-Create-Epic-Images-03

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

Wild Landscapes 04

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

Wild Landscapes 05

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.

10 of the Most Useful Photoshop CC Shortcuts

The post 10 of the Most Useful Photoshop CC Shortcuts appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Kevin Landwer-Johan.

photoshop-cc-shortcuts-list

Learning photography well requires a lot of study and practice. Figuring out what the dials and buttons on your camera do takes time and focus. Choosing what to photograph and how you want it to look is challenging for many photographers.

Once you’ve taken some photos, another challenge to face is how to get them looking their best. This is where you need to learn a whole new set of computer skills. The more particular you are about the way your photos end up, the better post processor you need to become.

photoshop-cc-shortcuts-list

Adobe makes two of the most popular photography post-processing programs. Lightroom and Photoshop have been industry standards for many years. As the software develops, it becomes more and more complex. There are many built-in tools to make the user experience more fun. But to make use of them you will need to study and practice.

Photoshop CC Shortcuts

Making the most of your keyboard is about the best way to ensure not only greater speed, but more enjoyment when using Photoshop. The software has many cool shortcut keys that speed up your workflow. They also help you maintain unbroken concentration when you are working on a photograph.

With so many shortcuts, it’s not practical to sit down and learn them all at once. Looking at them in the software does little to inspire. This is why I’ve come up with a list of ten Photoshop CC shortcuts that I think you will find helpful.

From time to time, I make a point of learning a few more. I’ll search for five to ten shortcuts and make a list. I place this next to my computer monitor and refer to it when Photoshopping.

If you’re not used to using keyboard shortcuts with Photoshop, they might seem a bit fiddly at first. Like learning to touch type, the more you practice, the easier it becomes, and the less you have to think about where you are putting your fingers. Learning to use shortcut keys in Photoshop is a similar experience, but you can easily break it down and learn a few at a time.

1. Clone Stamp Tweaks

The clone stamp is one of the most used tools in Photoshop. It’s powerful and flexible to do everything from removing small blemishes to recreating whole portions of a composition. Here’s a couple of keyboard shortcuts that make it even more useful.

Use Alt+Shift+arrows (Opt+Shift+arrows on Mac) to offset the selection area.

Alt+Shift+<> (Opt+Shift+<> on Mac) rotates the selection

Using [] scales the source.

These shortcuts only work when you have a North American keyboard selected in your operating system.

photoshop-cc-shortcuts-list

2. Last-Used Filter

When you’re processing batches of images, you’ll often want to repeatedly use the same filter. To apply the previously used filter, use Ctrl+F (Cmd+F on Mac). Reapply the last filter used, but display dialog box to alter settings use Ctrl–Alt–F (Cmd+Opt+F on Mac)

photoshop-cc-shortcuts-list

3. Lock Transparent Pixels

In Photoshop, using the / key locks transparent pixels. This is helpful when painting or compositing. Working on a layer with transparent pixels, you will avoid affecting them using the keyboard shortcut.

10 of the Most Useful Photoshop CC Shortcuts

4. Color Fills

Use Shift+Alt+Backspace (Shift+Opt+Backspace on Mac). This fills opaque pixels on a layer with the foreground color. Shift+Ctrl+Backspace (Shift+Cmd+Backspace on Mac) fills with the background color.

photoshop-cc-shortcuts-list

5. Marquee Tool Tweak

Drawing a marquee by default happens from the edge. To draw a marquee selection from center Alt+drag (Opt+drag on Mac)selection.

10 of the Most Useful Photoshop CC Shortcuts

6. Selection Help

To bring back a selection you deselected, use Ctrl+Shift+D (Cmd+Shift+D on Mac). This will restore the last active selection. It is super helpful if you deselect and then notice something else you need to alter.

photoshop-cc-shortcuts-list

7. Layer Mask Speed

Ctrl+\ (Cmd+\ on Mac) switches between Layer and Layer Mask Ctrl+2 (Cmd+2 on Mac) to switch back. This is a pure workflow time saver. It allows you to keep your mouse active on the image rather than dragging it back and forth to the layers panel.

10 of the Most Useful Photoshop CC Shortcuts

8. Brush Tool Cursor

With the Brush Tool selected hitting the Caps Lock shows only the cross-hair cursor. This allows you to position your cursor more precisely. It’s also a good shortcut to know how to undo. If you’ve inadvertently turned caps lock on while using the Brush Tool, you may wonder why you can only see a crosshair. Hit the caps lock again, and your normal cursor will reappear.

photoshop-cc-shortcuts-list

9. Revert to Last Saved

F12 reverts the file to the last saved instance of it. This is a quick and easy way to review changes you are making to an image.

10 of the Most Useful Photoshop CC Shortcuts

10. Screen Space Savers

F keys to show/Hide panels. Memorizing these keyboard shortcuts will give you so much more screen space to use. If you are confined to a single monitor, making use of these shortcuts can change the way you use Photoshop.

F5 – Show/Hide Brushes panel

F6 – Show/Hide Color panel

F7 – Show/Hide Layers panel

F8 – Show/Hide Info panel

Alt–F9 – Show/Hide Actions panel

10 of the Most Useful Photoshop CC Shortcuts

Conclusion

I suggest you use this list as a starting point. Not all these shortcuts will be helpful for everyone. Think about the actions you use repetitively when using Photoshop and search to discover if there are keyboard shortcuts to make your life simpler.

Making a note and keeping it near your computer will help you commit these shortcuts to memory. Once you have them, do some more research and make another list of shortcuts you’d like to learn. Making a concerted effort and being consistent with using these shortcuts, you will learn them quickly.

There are over 500 keyboard shortcuts for Photoshop. Master these, and then you can also customize your own.

If you’ve got a few favorite shortcuts you think others may not be aware of, please share them in the comments below.

 

The post 10 of the Most Useful Photoshop CC Shortcuts appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Kevin Landwer-Johan.

The Google Pixel 4 Will Feature Two Cameras Plus Enhanced Night Sight

The post The Google Pixel 4 Will Feature Two Cameras Plus Enhanced Night Sight appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

 

The Google Pixel 4 Will Feature Two Cameras Plus Enhanced Night Sight

Earlier this week Google announced the long-awaited Pixel 4, which promises to take smartphone photography to a whole new level.

This comes in the wake of Apple’s iPhone 11 Pro announcement last month, which saw the debut of a triple-camera setup and features such as Night Mode.

In other words, the Pixel 4 is a competitor in an intense fight to create the best cameras, the best lenses, and the best camera software.

So what does the Google Pixel 4 offer?

Let’s take a closer look:

First, the Google Pixel 4 features a dual-camera setup, offering the usual wide-angle lens alongside a new 2X telephoto option. This isn’t unique (Apple has regularly included “telephoto” lenses going all the way back to the iPhone 7 Plus), but it is a nice addition for those who need a bit more reach. You can use the 2X lens for tighter portraits, and it’s also useful for street photography, where you often need to photograph subjects from a distance.

Interestingly, Google has decided to keep the wide-angle camera at 12 megapixels, but has packed in a 16-megapixel sensor for the telephoto camera. While plenty of photographers will be excited by this jump in resolution, it remains to be seen whether such tiny pixels will result in significant noise.

The dual-camera setup should also improve Google’s Portrait Mode, and Google has promised more natural background blur and very precise edges (e.g., when dealing with hair). Truthfully, I’m skeptical. I’ve yet to see a Portrait mode photo that looks perfect on any smartphone camera. But I’ll wait until I see the results from the Pixel 4 before judging.

One cool new feature that will debut in the Pixel 4 is Live HDR. When you go to capture an HDR photo, you’ll be able to see a live HDR preview on your smartphone screen; this should give you a sense of what you can expect from the HDR+ effect.

Finally, if you enjoy doing astrophotography, you’re in luck: The Pixel 4 offers an improved Night Sight mode, in which you can take stunning photos of the night sky. It works by taking a series of long exposures, before blending them together to create a beautiful final photo. Note that you’ll need a tripod or other method of stabilization to get sharp astrophotography shots.

Overall, the Google Pixel 4 offers some impressive new features, even if none of them feel totally groundbreaking. Up until now, the Pixel lineup has dominated regarding low-light shooting, and the enhanced Night Sight suggests that Google plans to keep running with this success.

The Google Pixel 4 is currently available for preorder starting at $799 USD and will hit the shelves on October 24.

You can check out this first look video from cnet to get more of an idea of the Google Pixel 4.

Are you interested in the Google Pixel 4? Let us know in the comments!

The post The Google Pixel 4 Will Feature Two Cameras Plus Enhanced Night Sight appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

Weekly Photography Challenge – Mountains

The post Weekly Photography Challenge – Mountains appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Caz Nowaczyk.

This week’s photography challenge topic is MOUNTAINS!

Image: Cathedral Rock and the Hump Mt Buffalo in Winter  by Caz Nowaczyk

Cathedral Rock and the Hump Mt Buffalo in Winter  by Caz Nowaczyk

I have a big fascination with mountains and have recently been visiting Mount Buffalo in Victoria, Australia again (I visit here a lot because it is such an incredible landscape!). This has inspired this week’s challenge!

So go out and capture mountains. They can be color, black and white, moody or bright. Just so long as they have mountains! You can also manipulate them in your favorite post-processing software. You get the picture! Have fun, and I look forward to seeing what you come up with!

Image: The Cathedral and the Hump at Mt Buffalo National Park, Victoria in Winter by Caz Nowaczyk

The Cathedral and the Hump at Mt Buffalo National Park, Victoria in Winter by Caz Nowaczyk

Image: View from The Horn to The Cathedral and the Hump in Mount Buffalo National Park by Caz Nowacz...

View from The Horn to The Cathedral and the Hump in Mount Buffalo National Park by Caz Nowaczyk

 

Check out some of the articles below that give you tips on this week’s challenge.

Tips for Shooting MOUNTAINS

 

5 Tips for Avoiding Boring Photos of Mountains

Simple Tips to Improve Your Travel Photography – Photographing Mountains, Hills and Valleys

9 Tips for Photographing Mountain Lake Reflections

A Set of Awe Inspiring Majestic Mountain Images

How to Photograph a Minimalist Landscape

These Inspiring Landscape Photographers will Make You Want to Take Better Photos

The dPS Top Landscape Photography Tips of 2018

Weekly Photography Challenge – MOUNTAINS

Simply upload your shot into the comment field (look for the little camera icon in the Disqus comments section) and they’ll get embedded for us all to see or if you’d prefer, upload them to your favorite photo-sharing site and leave the link to them. Show me your best images in this week’s challenge.

Share in the dPS Facebook Group

You can also share your images in the dPS Facebook group as the challenge is posted there each week as well.

If you tag your photos on Flickr, Instagram, Twitter or other sites – tag them as #DPSmountains to help others find them. Linking back to this page might also help others know what you’re doing so that they can share in the fun.

The post Weekly Photography Challenge – Mountains appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Caz Nowaczyk.

How to Copyright Your Photography and Why You Really Should

The post How to Copyright Your Photography and Why You Really Should appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Darina Kopcok.

How-to-Copyright-Your-Photography

 

In today’s digital world, it has become crucial to register copyright for your images. Theft online is rampant, so you need to protect yourself and your work. Read on to find out why you should and how to copyright your photography.

How-to-Copyright-Your-Photography

What is Copyright?

Copyright protects the legal rights of the owner of intellectual property or work of art. In simple terms, copyright is the right to copy. As photographers, this means that only we as the original creators of our images, and anyone we give authorization to, are the only ones with the exclusive right to publish or otherwise reproduce our images.

The moment you click the shutter on your camera, you own the copyright to your images. No matter your level of skill, or whether you’re an amateur or a pro, your images are protected by law.

Keep in mind that copyright laws do vary from country to country, therefore the information in this article is general. It’s also meant for educational purposes since I’m not a lawyer and not qualified to give legal advice.

The lack of knowledge or education about copyright has caused a lot of problems in the photographic industry. Many new or emerging photographers are not educating their clients on copyright and usage, so clients assume they own their images and can do with them whatever they wish. To compound this problem, lawyers often advise their clients to always obtain copyright from the photographer, but in most cases, this is completely unnecessary, unless the client wants to sell the images and make a profit from them.

All of the big companies like Coca-Cola and McDonald’s never ask for copyright. They don’t need it. They license images for a specific use and time frame.

Any discussion about buying out copyright should include very large numbers.

How-to-Copyright-Your-Photography

What is published versus unpublished work?

There are two types of work that fall under Copyright: published and unpublished.

Digital media falls under copyright protection, but it has not been updated to be clear. Published works, in this case, are different from a patent, which covers inventions or discoveries, or trademarks, which covers designs, symbols, logos, and words.

To qualify as published, the work must be distributed to the public in some form, whether digital or print. There has to be some form of copies or multiples. A website or blog doesn’t qualify as published because your photos are not getting distributed. Social media is also considered unpublished. It is not distributed to the public in copies the way stock photos are, for example.

How to Copyright Your Photography and Why You Really Should

Why you should register your copyright

It’s an unfortunate by-product of living in today’s world that your images will get stolen. If you post any of your photography online, chances are that some will get stolen at one time or another. Some of this theft is due to the ignorance of the public, while others knowingly take your images without your permission, without paying for usage licensing.

Unfortunately, a lot of large companies do this, and there have been numerous high profile lawsuits where photographers have won hundreds of thousands of dollars for copyright infringement.

Filing copyright on your photos will protect you in the case you need to go to court to sue for statutory damages and lawyers fees. In a copyright infringement suit, a judge or jury can award you statutory damages as defined by the Copyright Act – thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars, if you can prove that your image was stolen with willful intent.

Photography is becoming more commoditized, but there is still immense value in it because it allows companies to make a profit by advertising their products. If someone is trying to gain financially by selling a product with stolen images, that is a big problem. Think of it this way: it’s not just the images that are stolen; it’s also the profit of the photographer.

When you don’t charge for usage, or go after those who are using your images unlawfully, that’s money out of your pocket. And what’s worse, you may actually be struggling to pay your overhead and make a profit in the first place.

How-to-Copyright-Your-Photography

How to file for Copyright

Filing for copyright can be a bit tedious, but it can be done online fairly simply. For example, as I’m based in Canada, I Googled “Canadian Copyright Office” and easily found the website for the intellectual property office. I have registered photographs and even a photography eBook I sell on my blog online very easily.

Some countries have agreements with the U.S. to enforce U.S. copyright laws. It’s often useful to register your copyright in the U.S. even if you’re not a U.S. citizen, to obtain the statutory benefits of registration in the United States.

Ideally, you should copyright any images before they are published, but you can copyright them at any time. You can even copyright them after you’ve discovered an unlawful use of one of your images. It will just be a bit more complicated from a documentation standpoint.

The cost of registering copyright varies from country to country. In Canada, it’s $50, and in the U.S., it’s currently $55 for a group of images. You can copyright your images as a group, to a maximum of 750.

For more information about registering photographs with the U.S. Copyright Office, go here.

The portal is fairly simple to use, but this resource will give you more information. You have to upload a .jpeg for each image you’re copyrighting, and submit a title list in an Excel spreadsheet. The preference is that these items be submitted in a .zip file.

Research the copyright laws in your country. Although in many countries like Canada and the U.S. copyright is immediate upon creation of a work, you still have to register copyright before you can sue.

Conversely, in Australia, there is no formal copyright registration system. The law ensures that certain forms of expression are automatically covered under the Copyright Act.

How-to-Copyright-Your-Photography

To sum up

Copyright is something that a lot of people don’t understand – even clients. It’s important to educate yourself and those you work with on the ins-and-outs of copyright. As I mentioned, laws vary from country to country, but you can find a lot of this information online. It’s crucial to protect yourself and your work.

Do you have any other tips on how to copyright your photography? Have you had your images stolen? If so, share with us in the comments below.

The post How to Copyright Your Photography and Why You Really Should appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Darina Kopcok.

5 Questions to Ask Before Buying Used Camera Gear

The post 5 Questions to Ask Before Buying Used Camera Gear appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

Questions to Ask Before Buying Used Camera Gear

I’ve bought a lot of used gear over the last decade.

Cameras.

Lenses.

Batteries.

And more.

Questions-to-Ask-Before-Buying-Used-Camera-Gear

A lot of those purchases turned out great. Some of them I still use to this day.

But a large chunk of the used purchases I made?

Trash.

In fact, in my more naive years, I was forced to return over 50% of the gear that I purchased. There were just so many problems: sand in focusing rings, stains on the front element, shutter buttons that couldn’t communicate with the shutter. (Oh, and my least favorite: Fungus inside the lens. Doesn’t that just make you shiver?)

And here’s the kicker:

I bought all of this gear through respectable buyers, who described the equipment as in “excellent condition,” “flawless,” “perfect,” “like new,” – you name it.

It got so bad that I considered leaving the used market entirely and just buying new. But I resisted.

Why?

Used camera gear is a real bargain – if you buy carefully. This is why I took all of my negative gear-buying experiences and turned them into a process for making sure I purchased good used gear.

At the core of that process is a series of questions. Questions that I’m going to share with you today. Some of the questions are for you, the buyer. Others should be posed to the seller before you put any cash down.

Are you ready to discover how to buy used gear effectively?

Let’s get started!

Questions-to-Ask-Before-Buying-Used-Camera-Gear

Question 1: Are you buying from a reputable seller with a money-back guarantee?

This is the number one most important thing that you should do when buying used gear.

Purchase from a seller that you trust – and that gives you an enforceable money-back guarantee. You don’t want to purchase a camera online, only to find that it’s full of water damage and sports a cracked LCD.

This means that buying used through Amazon is fine. All of their products are backed by Amazon month-long guarantees.

Buying used through eBay is also fine. Ebay’s buyer protection ensures that you’re not going to get ripped off in such an obvious fashion.

5 Questions to Ask Before Buying Used Camera Gear

But this makes most forums (if not all forums) off-limits. If the forum doesn’t have a serious money-back guarantee that’s honored by the site itself, then stay away.

This also makes in-person sales off-limits, such as those done through Craigslist. Sure, you can inspect the item upon receipt, but what are you going to do when you get home, put that lens under a light, and realize it’s filled with an army of fungus?

It’ll be too late, and your seller may not be so receptive to a return.

So just don’t do it. Instead, use sites like Amazon, eBay, B&H, or KEH, which all have clear money-back guarantees.

Question 2: Does the seller include actual pictures of the gear?

Sellers not including pictures is a big warning sign, especially on a website like eBay, where pictures are the norm. It should make you ask: Why doesn’t the seller want to show off their “excellent condition” item? Is there something they’re trying to hide?

Another red flag is only showing a stock photo. These are easy to spot; they look way better than anything that a casual, eBay-selling photographer would have taken, and there tends to be only one or two of them.

5 Questions to Ask Before Buying Used Camera Gear

If you like the price and everything else checks out, then go ahead and shoot the seller an email, asking for in-depth pictures of the item. If the seller refuses, then it’s time to look elsewhere.

You might come across some sellers who are offering many units of the same item (e.g., five Canon 7D Mark II’s). In this case, they likely have shown a stock photo, or a photo of one item, because they don’t want to go through the effort of photographing each piece of kit.

In such cases, you should message the seller and ask for pictures of the exact item that you’ll be purchasing. It’s too easy, especially with these big sellers, to end up with an item that you’ll have to send back.

Question 3: How many shutter actuations has the camera fired?

(Note: This section is for buying cameras.)

First things first: A shutter actuation refers to a single shot taken with a camera.

Every camera has a number of actuations its shutter is rated for. Once the shutter has reached around that point, it just…fails. While you can get the shutter replaced, it generally costs enough that you’re probably better off buying a new camera body.

5 Questions to Ask Before Buying Used Camera Gear

If you want to know the shutter actuation rating of any particular camera, you can look it up through a quick Google search.

Of course, the shutter rating isn’t a hard and fast rule. There are some cameras that go far beyond their predicted shutter count, and there are some cameras that fail far sooner. The shutter count is just an average.

Now, when you look at camera listings online, you’ll see that shutter actuations are reported about fifty percent of the time.

But the other fifty percent of the time, there will be no mention of them.

This is for three possible reasons:

  1. The seller doesn’t know about the importance of shutter actuations.
  2. The seller can’t figure out how to determine the shutter actuations for their camera.
  3. The seller doesn’t wish to share the shutter count because it won’t help the sale.

I would never buy a camera without knowing its shutter count. Therefore, I recommend reaching out to the seller and asking.

If the seller refuses to share the count, then let the camera go. If the seller claims they don’t know how to view the shutter count, explain that they should be able to find it easily, either within the camera itself or through a website such as https://www.camerashuttercount.com/.

If they still won’t give you the count, then don’t buy. It’s not worth risking it.

Question Four: Does the lens have any blemishes on the glass, fungus, scratches, haze, or problems with the focusing ring?

(Note that this is for purchasing lenses.)

This is a question to ask the seller, and I suggest you do it every single time you make a purchase.

5 Questions to Ask Before Buying Used Camera Gear

Yes, the seller may be annoyed by your specific question. But this is a transaction; it’s not about being nice to the seller! And I’ve never had someone refuse to sell to me because I annoyed them with questions.

In fact, what makes this question so valuable is that it often forces sellers to actually consider the equipment they’re selling. Up until this point, the seller may not have really thought about some of these things. So it can act as a bit of a wake-up call and make the seller describe the item beyond “excellent condition.”

When you ask this question, make it clear that you want a detailed description. You genuinely want the seller to check for scratches on the glass, fungus in the lens, problems with the focusing ring, and more. You don’t want a perfunctory examination.

Unfortunately, there will still be some people who don’t do a serious examination, or who lie in the hopes that you won’t notice the issues (or be bothered enough to make a return). But asking the question is the best you can do.

Question Five: Has the seller noticed any issues with the item in the past?

This is another question to ask the seller before you hit the Buy button. It’s meant as a final attempt to determine whether the item has any issues.

In this case, by asking about the item’s past.

5 Questions to Ask Before Buying Used Camera Gear

Unfortunately, there will be sellers who have had an item break repeatedly – but, as long as it’s working at the moment they take the photos, they’ll give it the “perfect condition” label. Fortunately, many sellers will still be honest with you. If they’ve had a problem with the item, they’ll say.

So it’s definitely worth asking – just to be safe.

5 Questions to ask before buying used camera gear: Conclusion

Now that you know the five most important questions to ask before buying used camera gear, you’re well equipped to start buying gear online.

Questions-to-Ask-Before-Buying-Used-Camera-Gear

Yes, you’re still going to run into the occasional issue, but if you’re careful, and you think about these crucial questions to ask before buying used camera gear…

…the number of issues will be far, far lower.

And you’ll be able to effectively take advantage of used camera equipment!

Questions-to-Ask-Before-Buying-Used-Camera-Gear

The post 5 Questions to Ask Before Buying Used Camera Gear appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

1 2 3 1,375