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.

capture-colors-of-autumn-in-photography

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

Autumn Colors 01

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

Autumn Colors 02

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

Autumn Colors 04

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

Autumn Colors 05

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

Autumn Colors 06

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.

Storytelling in Photography: What It Is and How You Can Improve It

The post Storytelling in Photography: What It Is and How You Can Improve It appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Ana Mireles.

storytelling-in-photography

From photography contests to job offerings, the term storytelling is becoming more and more popular. But, do you know what storytelling in photography is? In this article, I’ll share with you some facts that help you understand what it is; and some tips on how you can improve it in your photography.

What is storytelling in photography?

I’ve heard many definitions of storytelling in photography from an explanation that compared it to a bowl of ice cream, to the classic “an image is worth a thousand words.” What I got from all of them is that you need to portray a message and convey a feeling.

Storytelling in Photography: What It Is and How You Can Improve It

Let’s get started by clarifying some of the most common doubts.

Types of photography

So, what type of photography uses storytelling? The truth is, if you want to improve your photography, you have to tell a story regardless of the type of photography you do. A wedding photographer tells the story of a couple as much as a documentarian reports an event. Here are some ideas:

Single photos vs. multi-image projects

Think about it this way: in magazines, sometimes you have an entire article spanning pages, and other times just a cover image. Storytelling in photography can be about an entire project, but it also refers to single images. For example, this image was picked as the cover for a compilation of short stories centered around women’s sensuality.

storytelling in photography

Perhaps it’s easier to think about storytelling when you refer to a series of images. This is because we can associate it with a narrative that has a beginning, middle with a climax, and an ending. If you’re not feeling confident about it yet, learn How to Shoot a Sequence of Photos That Capture a Story.

How to tell a story?

Research

First of all, you need to do your research. Each type of photography will have different needs and it’s harder to tell a story that you don’t know. For example, once I was invited to visit a beekeeping farm “whenever I wanted.” At that moment, the extent of my knowledge about honey was simply where to buy it and how much I like to put in my tea.

Storytelling in Photography: What It Is and How You Can Improve It

To make the most of my visit, I had to pick the right time to be there. I learned about the process of honey harvesting and extraction, and the time of the year it happens. Then I learned how it depended on the weather and the type of flowers in the area. Thanks to this research, I was able to capture an image of a fully-capped honeycomb ready for harvesting.

Technique

It’s a given that being a photographer means you know how to take a well-exposed photograph, but this isn’t enough when it comes to telling a story. The technique needs to work in your favor, so it’s not just about which settings but why those settings.

Storytelling in Photography: What It Is and How You Can Improve It

Every decision you make changes the final result. A warmer or cooler light gives a different type of atmosphere. Where you put the focus point and how deep you set the depth of field directs your viewer’s eye, and so on.  It’s not only about having a technically perfect photo, but it’s also about making the perfect photo to tell the perfect story.

 

How to improve your storytelling in photography

Ask for help

Always ask others what they ‘read’ in your photographic images. This will help you understand if the message you want to portray is being received. This scene I witnessed in a local park really moved me, so I decided to photograph it. I later found out that I didn’t manage to capture the feeling of the moment, as the photo wasn’t much appreciated when I asked for opinions.

[Editor’s comment: I don’t agree here – I think this photo says a lot about the connection of a child and their favorite toy that they love to include in everything they do. To me, the child is treating the toy as a friend who is playing on the see-saw with them. Also, while there is a level cuteness, there is also a sense of sadness at perhaps having no one else to play with but a stuffed toy.]

storytelling in photography

Passion

Your work will always be more effective if you are passionate about what you’re doing. Find out what interests you and what your style is. If you’re having trouble finding your way, I suggest reading To Specialize or Not to Specialize with Your Photography.

storytelling in photography

Training

Keep your eye trained by looking at how the professionals tackle storytelling. Browse through magazines, go to exhibitions, check the winning images in contests, and follow them on Instagram. While you do this, also start doing your own and keep on practicing. Remember, it’s okay to fail, as long as you learn from it and keep trying.

Conclusion

Storytelling in photography is the ability to transport the viewers into a particular scene and atmosphere. While in there, you convey the message in a way that gets your audience involved, interested and leaves them wanting more. It doesn’t matter if you’re doing a single photo or a full project, a documentary or advertising, tell your story so that you can portray exactly what you want your viewer to know, or leave them to ponder multiple possibilities.

Do you have other tips for doing storytelling in photography? If so, share with us in the comments, along with any images you’d like to share.

The post Storytelling in Photography: What It Is and How You Can Improve It appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Ana Mireles.

Canon Announces the EOS Ra, Its First Mirrorless Astrophotography Camera

The post Canon Announces the EOS Ra, Its First Mirrorless Astrophotography Camera appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

Canon eos raCanon has announced its first astrophotography camera since the Canon 60Da, which is also its first-ever mirrorless astrophotography camera:

The Canon EOS Ra.

The EOS Ra isn’t a particularly flashy camera; it’s the Canon EOS R, along with a few special features designed for astrophotographers. But if you’re looking to take photos of the night sky, the Canon EOS Ra may be exactly what you need.

Canon eos ra

What makes this camera special?

First, Canon has added a special IR filter in front of the sensor, one that promises to increase transmission of the H-alpha wavelength by approximately four times the amount of the standard EOS R. Most cameras include an IR filter that reduces H-alpha wavelength transmission. But the H-alpha wavelength features heavily in celestial phenomena such as diffuse nebulae; the enhanced transmission should make for clearer, sharper images of these astronomical objects.

And second, Canon added enhanced EVF and LCD viewing. You can zoom in to 5x or 30x magnification using either the LCD or the electronic viewfinder, which allows you to focus on celestial objects with increased precision.

Canon Announces the EOS Ra, Its First Mirrorless Astrophotography Camera

Note that the Canon EOS Ra offers all the other features of the EOS R, including a 30.3 MP sensor, the DIGIC 8 processor, continuous shooting at 8 frames per second, and Canon’s amazing Dual Pixel autofocus.

So who should get the Canon EOS Ra? And how does it perform when shooting subjects other than the night sky?

The Canon EOS Ra is designed for astrophotographers, and I recommend you keep it that way. While all the EOS R features are present, the altered IR filter may cause issues when photographing non-celestial subjects. Plus, the EOS Ra has a few hundred dollars added to its price tag, selling for $2499 USD compared to the $1799 USD Canon EOS R. For non-astrophotographers, purchasing the EOS Ra will be throwing away unnecessary dollars.

But for astrophotographers, the Canon EOS Ra is a fantastic option.

The camera is currently available for preorder and should debut in mid-December 2019.

What do you think about the Canon EOS Ra? And for all the astrophotographers out there: Will you be using it for astrophotography?

The post Canon Announces the EOS Ra, Its First Mirrorless Astrophotography Camera appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

Prime Lens vs Zoom Lens – Find Out Which is Best Suited to You

The post Prime Lens vs Zoom Lens – Find Out Which is Best Suited to You appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Simon Bond.

prime-lens-vs-zoom-lens

An important discussion in photography circles revolves around which lenses you use. The answer to this question will certainly rest on the type of photographer you are. The needs of a landscape photographer are very different to those of a portrait photographer. In this article, we’ll look at prime lens vs zoom lens, and you’ll be able to decide which is the right setup for you.

It’s possible you’ll go for a mixture of both lens types, or you might keep to just prime or just zoom. Read on and find out the pros and cons of both of these lens types.

Image: This photo was taken using a wide-angle zoom lens. Zooms lens are great for dynamic situation...

This photo was taken using a wide-angle zoom lens. Zooms lens are great for dynamic situations that may require a quick change in focal length.

What type of lenses are there?

There are many lenses on the photography market, it’s not all about zoom lens vs primes lens. The focal length of your lens can also have a defining impact on your photo as well. So in addition to zoom vs prime, you also have 5 subcategories to consider.

The below focal lengths reflect a full-frame camera. For crop-sensor cameras, you’ll need to apply the crop factor to these focal lengths. This crop factor can be between 1.2 to 2, depending on your camera. For example, if your camera has a crop factor of 1.5, then a 17mm full-frame lens is the equivalent of 25mm on the crop sensor (17 x 1.5).

  • Super wide-angle – 21mm or less.
  • Wide-angle – 21 to 35mm.
  • Standard – 35 to 70mm.
  • Standard telephoto – 70 to 135mm.
  • Telephoto – 135mm and above.

These categories are worth considering. If you choose to mix and match your zoom lens with your prime lens, then perhaps having zoom for the telephoto end of these focal lengths, and prime for the standard and a wide-angle lens is an option. As there is a limit to the number of lenses you’re going to carry if you’re on location, some tough decisions need to be made.

Ideally, you’ll carry two or three lenses with you, in addition to your camera body.

Image: Prime lens are of fixed focal length. Here you can see a 135mm, a 50mm and a 100mm lens. The...

Prime lens are of fixed focal length. Here you can see a 135mm, a 50mm and a 100mm lens. The 100mm is a macro lens.

What’s a prime lens

A prime lens is a lens with a fixed focal length that you can’t change. The most well-known prime lens is the 50mm, it’s probably the first prime lens most photographers will use. So why would you use a lens like this, when you can’t quickly change the focal length? There are several advantages.

  • Weight – These lenses are often a lot less heavy than zoom lenses.
  • Maximum aperture – With apertures that go down to f1 in some cases, they beat zoom lenses by a long way.
  • Composition – Having one focal length can be an advantage for composition, since it forces you to find compositions within the focal length you have available. This process will improve your photography skills.
Image: This photo was taken using the 135mm F2. It’s low light, and the background has been bl...

This photo was taken using the 135mm F2. It’s low light, and the background has been blurred by the high aperture.

When to use a prime lens

Prime lenses are considered best for portrait photography but don’t discount them for landscape photography as well. The 14mm prime lenses can be exceptional when it comes to landscapes. Plus, that large aperture means they’ll outperform their zoom lens counterparts when it comes to niche fields like astrophotography where you want to photograph the milkyway.

So here is a selection of situations you’d choose a prime lens.

  • Portrait photography – This works well for both studio and environmental portrait work. You can control where your model stands, and therefore the fixed focal length is less of an issue. The large aperture then allows you to blur out the background for a pleasing photo.
  • Street photography – The most well-known street photography lens is the 50mm. That’s because it combines a focal length that similar to what you see with your eye and a nice large aperture for low-light street photography. There are other nice focal lengths for street photography like the 35mm, or even the 135mm.
  • Low light – Once it gets dark, you have the option of using a tripod, but what if you’re subject is moving and you want them to be sharp? This is where a fast prime lens will work the best. Think of a night time festival, and the best lens is going to be a prime lens.
  • To produce bokeh – While zoom lens can still produce bokeh, especially at f2.8, the best bokeh will be produced with a prime lens using a large aperture.
Image: A zoom lens can have it’s focal length changed. Here you can see a 28-105mm lens and a...

A zoom lens can have it’s focal length changed. Here you can see a 28-105mm lens and a 70-300mm lens.

What’s a zoom lens?

Okay, next up in the prime lens vs zoom lens debate is, of course, the zoom lens. These lenses have a variable focal length, which in the majority of cases can be manually adjusted.

The ability to quickly change focal lengths can be vital for certain situations that are constantly changing. Think of wedding, event or sports photography. In fact, many landscape and portrait photographers choose zoom lenses because they don’t want to keep changing lens in order to change focal length.

So what’s the drawback to this, and what are the advantages?

  • Quick change – The ability to quickly change the focal length to suit the photo that’s suddenly before you can be make or break when it comes to getting the photo.
  • Weight – The downside is that zoom lenses weigh more than prime lenses, though to some there is the other argument. You would need multiple primes lenses to cover the focal range a zoom lens offers, and the combined weight of these may well exceed the one zoom lens.
  • Aperture – There is no disguising the fact zoom lenses don’t offer as large an aperture. The most expensive zoom lens will go to f2.8, but with that aperture comes even more weight to carry.
Image: A zoom burst photo is something only a zoom lens can achieve.

A zoom burst photo is something only a zoom lens can achieve.

When would you use a zoom lens?

A zoom lens is a versatile lens that can be used in many situations, owing to its ability to change the focal length.

There are some situations where it’s particularly good though, and you’ll see those listed below. It should be noted that those zoom lenses with an aperture of f2.8, will also work very well for portrait photography – it’s just these lenses are heavy.

  • Event photography – Functions or weddings often have photographers recording those events. Having a lens that allows you to change focal length is essential for these.
  • Sports photography – Sports photography also needs a lens that can have its focal length changed. It also needs to be fast, so using an f2.8 zoom lens is important here.
  • Travel photographyTravel photography is the definition of needing to be a jack of all trades. You need to capture landscapes, food, street, and event-style photos when there is a festival. As you’re traveling, you also have limited space in your bag. A zoom lens with differing focal lengths that’s not too heavy is ideal here, so think of a zoom lens with an aperture of f4.
  • Zoom burstThis is a technique that specifically requires a zoom lens. In order to implement this technique, you need to change the focal length of your lens during an exposure.

Prime lens vs zoom lens

So you have a choice between the lighter primes lenses with their large apertures or the more versatile zoom lenses that allow you to change the focal length but are often much heavier to carry.

Which is the correct choice for you?

A lot of photographers will feel f2.8 is a large enough aperture for them and go for three zoom lenses that cover wide-angle, standard, and telephoto focal lengths. However, that’s going to be a very heavy bag to carry. And, add in a tripod, and you might need to make friends with a chiropractor before long.

Image: This photo shows bokeh created using a prime lens.

This photo shows bokeh created using a prime lens.

Which lens goes in your bag?

Primes lens vs zoom lens have their pluses and minuses, but for some photographers, there will be clear winners. Take a look at this list of photographer types, and the lenses typically used by these photographers.

  • Wedding photographer – The workhorse lens for you will be the 24-70mm zoom lens with an aperture of f2.8. Those focal lengths will cover almost everything you need to photograph. A wide-angle zoom is also worth carrying. Occasionally there is time for a portrait session during the wedding day, so packing one prime lens for this, perhaps the 85mm f1.4, is a good idea.
  • Street photographer – The 50mm f1.8 is a great lens, however, if you have more money, get the f1.4 or f1.2. As an alternative, the 135mm f2 also works very well.
  • Travel photographer – A wide-angle zoom for many situations, and because you’re traveling, use an f4 so it’s lighter weight. A decent prime lens like the 50mm, because, like the street photographer, you’ll want to capture those people scenes. Then a telephoto zoom for day’s you’re photographing a festival and you need the extra reach. Or perhaps there is a landscape that needs to be compressed.
  • Landscape photographer – A wide-angle lens is a must, however, this could be a zoom or a prime. If you like photographing the Milkyway, you need an aperture of at least f2.8. However, if you get a wide-angle prime lens, you can get even larger apertures, and this will help your astrophotography. There are plenty of landscape photos that need extra reach though, and only work with compression, so getting a telephoto zoom is a great move.

What lens do you like the most?

The debate over prime lens vs zoom lens won’t be settled in this article. It’s too complex for that, and it really depends on what type of photography you do. We’d love to hear your opinions at digital photography school. What type of photographer are you, and what lens preference do you have? As always we’d love you to share your thoughts and photographs in the comments section of this article. Thanks for reading.

 

The post Prime Lens vs Zoom Lens – Find Out Which is Best Suited to You appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Simon Bond.

HEIF Files: Do They Mean the End of the JPEG Format?

The post HEIF Files: Do They Mean the End of the JPEG Format? appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

HEIF files

During a recent meeting about the recently announced Canon 1D X Mark III with Digital Camera World, Canon product intelligence specialist David Parry dropped a bombshell:

“We’ve moved on to HEIF files,” Parry said.

While Canon later walked back the statement, claiming that they “have no plans to abandon JPEGs,” but instead wish to “give users a new image option” in the Canon 1D X Mark III, the comment got plenty of people talking. And the reason is clear: If Canon is adopting HEIF files alongside its JPEGs, might we soon see the company scrap JPEGs entirely? And what about Nikon, Sony, Fujifilm, and Olympus?

In other words, does Canon’s move to HEIF files signal the end of JPEGs?

For photographers who have been using JPEGs for decades, this might come as a shock. While HEIF files have been in the media for the past couple of years, ever since Apple added them to their iOS devices and Macs, no major camera manufacturer has adopted HEIF files – until now.

And while some users may dismiss HEIF files as another overhyped “JPEG killer” which will disappear in a few years, there is reason to believe that HEIF files are here to stay.

To understand why, let’s take a closer look at HEIF files and what they offer over JPEGs.

HEIF files vs JPEGs

The biggest difference between HEIF files and JPEGs is their respective file sizes:

JPEGs are small, but HEIF files are tiny.

In fact, HEIF files are often billed as half the size of JPEGs, but with the same (or better) quality. This means that you can store far more HEIF files on a device than you can JPEGs, without a loss in quality.

How is this possible?

Simply put, compression has improved. JPEG files debuted way back in the 1990s, whereas HEIF is a relatively new image file format. So when it comes to compression, what a JPEG can do, a HEIF file can do better.

And this results in smaller files with limited quality loss.

Compression isn’t the only area where HEIF files shine. HEIF files can also store more color information than JPEGs, which means that your HEIF photos will look better, and can avoid the unpleasant color-banding effects that sometimes come with JPEGs.

And what about compatibility? Surely JPEGs are far more established than HEIF files, given their universal popularity?

Back in 2017, when Apple adopted HEIF files, this was a real discussion. Some applications couldn’t deal with HEIF files, and that was a problem.

But now, two years later…

HEIF files can be used by pretty much any program you’d need. The compatibility issues are gone, and we’re left with a file format that just seems all-around superior to JPEGs.

So while JPEGs are the file format of the present and the past, HEIF files are likely the format of the future.

Now I’d like to know your thoughts:

Do you think HEIF files will replace JPEGs? And how do you feel about this change? Share your thoughts in the comments below! And respond to our poll regarding whether you’re happy about the shift to HEIF files: 

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post's poll.

The post HEIF Files: Do They Mean the End of the JPEG Format? appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

11 Tips for Photographing Bears in Alaska

The post 11 Tips for Photographing Bears in Alaska appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by André Costantini.

tips-for-photographing-bears-in-alaska

Alaska is the only state in the country that’s home to three types of bears: the polar bear, the black bear, and the brown bear. It’s why photographers converge annually on the Last Frontier, hoping to document ursine activity in the bears’ natural habitats, in such locations as the Anan Wildlife Observatory, Katmai National Park, and Admiralty Island, home to one of the world’s highest density of brown bears. Read on for tips on photographing bears in Alaska while these magnificent creatures eat, play, and interact.

photographing-bears-in-alaska

1. Pack light

To gain entry into sections of certain viewing areas that offer access to bear viewing, you’ll often have to take a seaplane. That means there may be weight restrictions, so limit your gear to one or two DSLRs or Mirrorless bodies with a couple of compact lenses. Add extra batteries, memory cards, any filters you like to use, and rain covers in case of inclement weather.

2. Make sure at least one of those lenses is a versatile zoom

You obviously want to stay a safe distance from the animals you’re photographing. The Tamron SP 150-600mm VC G2 lens is one such lens that offers such flexibility, with an extra-long reach. If you use that lens on a crop sensor camera, you’ll achieve even more effective magnification. Bird photographers often use a similar combination for that very reason.

11 Tips for Photographing Bears in Alaska

3. Plan your trip for optimal bear-watching opportunities

The best times of the year for bear watching in Alaska are June through September. If you want the chance to photograph them catching salmon in the rivers, July and August are your best bets. That’s the peak of the salmon runs (when the salmon is sparse, bears will eat things like clams and grass instead).

4. Head out early, stay out a little later

Although you’ll likely be able to spot bears at any time of day, they tend to be out foraging for food early in the day and later in the evening. Those times of day also happen to coincide with the best natural lighting.

That said, Alaska, during the summer months, enjoys nearly 24-hour daylight. Between May and July, for example, some areas never get completely dark, even between sunset and sunrise. So, don’t expect traditional lighting conditions.

11 Tips for Photographing Bears in Alaska

5. Respect the venue’s safety rules

Every park or preserve that features bears has basic guidelines to protect both the bears and the visitors. You’ll likely be required to stay a certain number of feet away from the bears. This means if the bears approach you and block your path, you’ll be subject to what’s known as a “bear jam.” You’ll effectively be stuck there until the bears decide to move. That’s okay – that gives you plenty of time to take more pictures.

11 Tips for Photographing Bears in Alaska

6. Don’t feel you have to shoot in silence

In fact, the opposite is the case. While you don’t want to make super-loud noises that startle the bears, you do want to make enough of it, so the bears know you’re there at all times. It can be more alarming for the bears if you’re trying to be stealthy and then suddenly emerge. Some people will wear a bell attached to their knapsack, or just talk very loudly.

7. Get on the bears’ eye level

There’s something more intimate about a portrait in which you feel like you’re looking eye-to-eye with your subject. Crouch or kneel on the ground or viewing platform to get as close to that angle of view as you can.

If you’re out in a small boat, you’re practically at water level already, so if bears are frolicking nearby, you’re set.

photographing-bears-in-alaska

8. Get a handle on your focusing

If the bears are on the move, shoot in AI Servo mode or AF-F (Nikon), Continuous Focus (Canon), Continuous AF (Sony), so that your focus continually adjusts as you’re tracking moving subjects.

9. Capture the bears interacting with each other

Part of what you want to accomplish when photographing wildlife is to tell their story. Highlighting a sow cuddling with her cubs or siblings tussling in the grass is a way to showcase their relationships and create emotive photos.

11 Tips for Photographing Bears in Alaska

10. Be patient

Wildlife is unpredictable, and there’s no real way to tell when a real money shot, like a bear catching a salmon in the river, will emerge. But when bears are engaged in an activity, they’ll actually stay in the same place for a significant amount of time.

So, if you stick around, hunker down, and just keep taking pictures. You’ll be more likely to produce a bunch of keepers.

photographing-bears-in-alaska

11. Prepare for the unexpected

Even if you time your visit for when the bears are expected to be active and the salmon flowing, it’s Mother Nature – things don’t always work out as planned.

The activity level is somewhat consistent, but it does vary from year to year. If you get there and the bears are a bust, it’s disappointing, but go to Plan B.

Photograph the amazing Alaska Peninsula landscapes, or keep an eye out for the region’s diverse bird population. Look to the dozens of other mammals in the area, including red foxes, porcupines, beavers, and otters instead.

 

I hope you find these 11 tips for photographing bears in Alaska tips helpful. If you have any other tips or bear photos you’d like to share, please do so in the comments section!

Disclaimer: Tamron is a paid dPS partner.

 

The post 11 Tips for Photographing Bears in Alaska appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by André Costantini.

How to Achieve the Perfect White Balance in Lightroom

The post How to Achieve the Perfect White Balance in Lightroom appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Simon Ringsmuth.

perfect-white-balance-in-lightroom

Achieving the perfect white balance in your pictures can seem like a futile gesture. Don Quixote tilting at windmills is as nothing compared to finding the harmony that exists somewhere between 2,000 and 10,000 Kelvin! Photographers have wasted away before it, entranced by what they have seen, or been driven mad by their desire to get their pictures looking pixel-perfect with the ideal white balance that seems ever just out of reach. Fret not! With a few tips on adjusting white balance in Lightroom, you’ll be turning out beautiful photos in no time.

perfect-white-balance-in-lightroom

Understanding white balance can be a little tricky, but basically, what you are doing is giving your camera or computer a reference point to calculate all the colors in an image. It’s similar to explaining the size of something like a box or a bowl. Unless you have precise measurements, you need to compare it to a common object, so people have a frame of reference.

Image: White balance is like a banana: it’s a reference point.

White balance is like a banana: it’s a reference point.

Digital cameras use white balance as a way of knowing how all the colors in an image should appear. It’s true north on the color compass, so to speak, and helps inform the values for every other color in the image. By using white balance as the foundation for color calculation, your camera will then adjust what everything else is supposed to look like.

Since colors change under different lighting conditions, white balance is often the key to getting your pictures to look just how you want them.

Image: Temp: 5250K, +39 Tint

Temp: 5250K, +39 Tint

The image above has a crisp, bright appearance that seems fitting after a midsummer rain shower. This is mostly due to setting the white balance to mimic the tones of natural daylight.

Image: Temp: 7274K, Tint +26

Temp: 7274K, Tint +26

A change in the Temperature and Tint resulted in an image that seems as though it was shot in the early morning, or perhaps in a warmer climate. This one feels more comforting, while the top photo might be more true-to-life.

All cameras have an Auto white balance setting, which tries to interpret color based on an analysis of the perceived lighting conditions at the time a shot is taken. However, that doesn’t mean it’s the correct white balance. It’s just one particular value that your camera thinks might be appropriate given the algorithms it has been programmed with by the manufacturer.

The nice thing about white balance is that, like almost everything artistic, it’s entirely subjective. You can make your white balance be whatever you want! It’s a tool to make your pictures look not how someone else thinks they are supposed to look, but how you want them to look. Realizing this helped me immensely over the years, and refocused my editing process altogether. No longer do I look for the correct white balance, but instead, I try to find an accurate white balance given how I want my pictures to appear.

How to Achieve the Perfect White Balance in Lightroom

Shoot in RAW

You can use myriad tools to set your white balance at the time you shoot your pictures. Most cameras have presets like Sunny, Cloudy, Fluorescent, etc., to make sure your white balance is properly calibrated for your given shooting conditions.

However, the option that gives you the most creative freedom isn’t any of these at all. It’s the Photo Quality setting, and the first step to achieving white balance nirvana is to shoot in RAW. This lets you fine-tune the white balance ex post facto so you can edit and tweak in Lightroom rather than worrying about getting it right when you click the shutter.

perfect-white-balance-in-lightroom

Adjust the sliders in Lightroom left or right to change the color temperature and tint. Click the eyedropper to select a neutral color for setting the white balance. Use the Select Menu in the top-right to access various white balance presets.

Post-processing is where the real fun begins because when you shoot in RAW, you can edit your picture however you want. If you want your pictures to look warmer, you can adjust the white balance sliders accordingly. If you prefer a cooler look, you can do that too. The point is there is no correct value for white balance on any given picture – the end result is what matters. What that looks like can be entirely up to you.

Setting white balance in Lightroom

Changing white balance in Lightroom is fairly simple, but there are various options you can use to make the process easier and more customizable.

I like to start with the Eyedropper Tool, which lets you specify white balance by clicking on an area of your photo that is almost white. You’ll get the best results if you click on a slightly gray area. As you hover the eyedropper around your picture, you will see a preview of the results in the top-left corner.

Image: When selecting a target neutral color, look for a portion of your image that is slightly gray...

When selecting a target neutral color, look for a portion of your image that is slightly gray and not pure white. This is just a starting point though and should not be thought of as the final word on white balance.

Finally, you can specify your own white balance just by dragging the Temperature and Tint sliders left and right. You can streamline your editing process by copying and pasting the values into other pictures or use the sync feature to instantly apply them to an entire batch.

Finally, the way to set white balance is by using the preset options in the drop-down menu. These options are just preset values for the Temperature and Tint sliders similar to the white balance in any digital camera.

perfect-white-balance-in-lightroom

Creative customization

The mechanics of changing white balance are one thing, but the effect of changing white balance is another matter entirely. Say it with me: there is no such thing as correct white balance. Instead, your goal should be to create an accurate white balance – one that reflects your artistic intentions in terms of color, mood, and emotion.

Consider the following picture as an example. I shot this file in RAW and this is the result using Auto White Balance.

perfect-white-balance-in-lightroom

Temp: 4650K, Tint: +30

It looks fine, and there’s nothing wrong with the picture, but look what happens with a few clicks of the Temp and Tint sliders. I raised the Temperature and lowered the Tint, and the result is an entirely different image.

Image: Temp: 6758K, Tint: -9

Temp: 6758K, Tint: -9

This version feels much warmer and more intimate than the original, almost like rain has fallen on a parched plant. To change the image again, we can adjust the sliders for different values.

perfect-white-balance-in-lightroom

Temp: 3448K, Tint: +38

In the final version, the viewer is left wondering if those are drops of water or ice. The picture feels cold and distant and evokes an entirely different emotion than the second version.

Which image is the right one?

They all are, and for different reasons.

The point is to know what effect white balance has on your pictures and understand how to change it to get your images to look how you want them to look.

I use this technique all the time when shooting portraits. I used to fret and worry about finding the best white balance for each of my pictures when, in truth, I was putting the white balance cart before the emotional horse. Instead, I now ask myself what I want my clients to feel when they look at their pictures and then adjust white balance (along with other settings) accordingly.

The image below has been processed using Auto white balance.

Image: Temp: 6000K, Tint: +1

Temp: 6000K, Tint: +1

Much like the previous example with water drops on leaves, the results here aren’t bad. It’s a perfectly serviceable image that the client would probably be happy to have in their home. However, a few clicks on the white balance sliders can have a dramatic impact.

Image: Temp: 8285, Tint: +5

Temp: 8285, Tint: +5

This picture has a warmer tone and feels more comfortable. One might argue that the top picture is more true-to-life, while another person could prefer the saturated tones of the lower. The options for adjusting white balance, as with anything in photography, are endless. However, the point is to create an image that is pleasing to you.

Take a break

You might look at any of the examples in this article and immediately prefer one particular white balance setting over another. This happens to me during much of my editing sessions, as well. I find myself drawn to one version of a picture while entirely disregarding another. I find, walking away from my computer to reset my eyes is the best option.

After a brief respite from editing, I often find my initial editing preferences dashed to pieces. It helps me see my photos with a set of fresh eyes, especially after removing myself from technology even for just a few minutes. I often find that photos take on an entirely different appearance when coming back to them from a break. I will usually try new things with white balance that I didn’t think of initially.

Image: Temp: 5500K, Tint: +11

Temp: 5500K, Tint: +11

In the photo above, I went back and forth from warm to cool and back again before settling on a middle-ground approach that I preferred. If I had gone with my original instinct, I don’t think I would have liked the final result. Shooting in RAW, as well as trying different white balance options and finally taking a break from editing altogether, helped me arrive at what I felt was the best result.

How to Achieve the Perfect White Balance in Lightroom: Conclusion

Ultimately, the subjective nature of something as fundamental as white balance can seem a little scary. If there is no correct value, how can you even know where to start? There’s nothing wrong with using Auto, but I encourage you to experiment and try new settings you might not have thought of.

Just because your phone or your computer tells you that your picture should have a certain white balance doesn’t mean that’s the correct value. There is no correct value with creative editing! Tweaking and customizing the white balance is a great way to have creative control over your images to make them look the way you want.

Do you experiment with your white balance in Lightroom? Share with us your thoughts in the comments!

The post How to Achieve the Perfect White Balance in Lightroom appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Simon Ringsmuth.

Canon Announces 24P Video in 90D, EOS RP Via Firmware Update

The post Canon Announces 24P Video in 90D, EOS RP Via Firmware Update appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

 

Canon Announces 24PWhen Canon debuted the EOS RP, photographers who also shoot video were intensely frustrated by one feature:

The lack of 24p video recording when shooting HD.

24p is especially important to videographers going for a cinematic look; 24p is a very common choice in movies, and the 24p look is now expected by moviegoers.

While the Canon EOS RP did offer 24p when shooting 4K, Canon customers were still disappointed. For anyone who wished to shoot in the HD arena at 24p, the Canon EOS RP was off-limits.

This trend continued with the Canon 90D, which also lacked 24p, though this time when shooting both 4K and full HD. And the Canon EOS M6 Mark II also missed the 24p feature.

Fortunately, Canon seems to listen to its consumers. On October 8th, the photography giant announced that it would be bringing 24p recording to a series of DSLR and mirrorless cameras. It promised to start with the EOS RP and the Canon 90D, followed by the PowerShot G7 X Mark III, the G5 X Mark II, and the Canon EOS M6 Mark II.

And just last week, Canon delivered. The company released its firmware version 1.4.0 for the Canon EOS RP and its firmware version 1.1.1 for the Canon 90D, allowing both cameras to shoot video at 24p. As the EOS RP already had 24p capabilities when doing 4K video, the firmware update simply expands this into the full HD territory. But the Canon 90D offered no 24p capabilities, and the firmware update has turned this around, giving the DSLR 24p shooting in both full HD recording and 4K recording.

You can download this new firmware from the Canon website (completely free!).

While the G7 X Mark III, G5 X Mark II, and EOS M6 Mark II haven’t yet received their firmware updates, you can be fairly confident that Canon will deliver. Canon has even offered a timeline, promising 24p for the G7 X Mark III and the G5 X Mark II before New Years, and the EOS M6 Mark II in 2020 (hopefully early on!).

Now I’d like to ask you:

What do you think of this firmware update? Does this make the Canon 90D or the Canon EOS RP more desirable? Share in the comments!

The post Canon Announces 24P Video in 90D, EOS RP Via Firmware Update appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

Your Workflow for Styling Food Photography

The post Your Workflow for Styling Food Photography appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Darina Kopcok.

styling-food-photography

The success of any shoot relies on the timing and organization of the various elements to your workflow. There are so many things to remember when shooting. In food photography, forgetting one detail can make the difference between a great picture and one that is so-so. Here are my tips on what to consider during every stage of your food shoot and styling food photography.

styling-food-photography

Choose the right lens

Like with any genre of photography, choosing the right lens for what you’re trying to achieve is essential. In food photography, you can get a lot of mileage out of a couple of key lenses.

One of these is a 100mm/110mm macro lens if you’re shooting with a camera with a full-frame sensor. The macro capabilities will allow you to take the tight shots of ingredients or dishes, but you can also step back to take beautiful “food portraits.” This can make it a really versatile lens.

Another important lens is a 50mm. This will allow you to take overhead shots, and it’s a good lens to have for food portraits as well. Just keep in mind that on a full-frame, a 50mm is actually a wide-angle lens for food photography. You might need to use large backgrounds, and you can also end up getting distortion when shooting at a 3/4 angle — another good reason to have 100mm macro in your kit.

A 35mm lens is best suited to overhead shots and capturing large spreads of food and some lifestyle type of shots.

If you have the budget for it, I recommend a 24-70mm, as it’s an excellent all-around food photography lens.

Your Workflow for Styling Food Photography

Check your camera settings and exposure

If you want to shoot food, it’s best to set your camera to take RAW images. JPEG images are processed, which is handy, but they have a very limited color range as opposed to a RAW file. They also degrade in quality each time you retouch them, whereas you can edit RAW images as much as required without losing important information.

Do what you can to obtain the best exposure in-camera. Getting things right in-camera saves you a lot of time. It’s much harder and more time-consuming to try to fix things in post-production, and you still can’t always get as good of a result as you would if you just took the time to get things right in-camera.

When shooting in natural light, put your white balance on Auto and correct it in post-production if you need to. If you’re shooting with flash, be sure to set it to Daylight white balance.

If you’re using artificial light, set your ISO to 100. Your shutter speed should not exceed the sync speed of your camera. If you don’t know that, you’ll have to look it up. It’s generally around 200.

When shooting in natural light, use a tripod and lower your shutter speed to account for lower light conditions rather than cranking up your ISO, which will give your images unwanted noise.

Your Workflow for Styling Food Photography

Harness the light

Before you put the “hero” food down on the table, do a lighting test with a stand-in that is a similar shape and size of the dish you are shooting. Food dies very quickly, so you don’t want it sitting around while you’re tinkering with your lights.

Soft light is usually best for food photography, so use a diffuser, scrim, or translucent fabric to diffuse the light. In most cases, directional light (coming from one direction) will look best. Use black cardboard to create shadows, white cardboard or reflectors to kick in light or fill shadows.

The light should come from the side, the back, or somewhere in between to be most flattering to food. Never use front light – it looks great in portraits, but is too flat for food and will cause unwanted shadows on your set.

styling-food-photography

Choose the right surfaces and backdrops

Styling food photography also includes your surfaces. Your surface is what you place your food on. The backdrop is what goes behind your scene.

Slightly textured backgrounds and surfaces add more dimension and interest. But you can have too much of a good thing; a lot of texture will detract from the food, so tread lightly.

Avoid backgrounds or wood surfaces that are orange in tone, which looks unattractive with food. Most food is warm-toned, so a cool or neutral backdrop will make it pop. A warm backdrop with warm food can end up looking dated.

When choosing custom backdrops, avoid those that are shiny or reflective in any way. Metallic paint, black marble and such will be difficult to work with. A lot of matte varnishes also end up having a bit of glare, so do a patch test first.

Get creative with your surfaces and backdrops. Tablecloths, tissue paper, craft paper, canvas, linen, cheesecloth are all inexpensive DIY backdrops you can use.

 Choose the right props and shooting them correctly

There is a reason that “prop stylist” is a whole occupation on its own. Don’t underestimate how powerful the right props can be.

The key is to not over-prop your scene. One or two props are often all you need unless you’re telling a wider food story like a tablescape. Too many props distract from your food.

It’s also vital that you use dishes and flatware that are on the smaller size. Props can often appear to the camera much larger than they really are, and dominate the image.

Go for matte dishes as much as possible. You can manage reflections in glass and cutlery by spraying them with “Dulling Spray” by Krylon.

You can also use a polarizing filter to cut down on reflections, although you’ll lose 1-2 stops in doing so.

Your Workflow for Styling Food Photography

Food styling tips

Use garnishes, herbs, seasonings, crumbs etc to create interest and texture on your set. Use them sparingly though, to avoid a messy look.

Keep herbs fresh by storing them between sheets of wet paper towels. You can also put them in a Mason jar filled with water to make them last longer.

When dressings salads, do so at the last minute, and always have extra dressings and sauces ready to brush on your food subjects.

One great tip used by pro food stylists is to use citric acid, a product like “Fruit Fresh,”  to keep produce fresh-looking. Simply dissolve it in water and soak fruits and vegetables in the solution for 1/2 an hour. To keep a misted look on produce without having the water droplets evaporate quickly, use glycerine mixed with water and spray it on the items.

A food photographer should always have a food styling kit with items like brushes, cotton swabs, water spritzers, and squeeze bottles to bring to shoots. Other important items for your kit are drinking straws, tweezers, paper towel, and clean cloths.

Your Workflow for Styling Food Photography

Be aware of composition

Composition is a big subject and it can have a lot of impact on your food photography. Without it, the eye loses interest in what’s in the frame.

When shooting, check that you don’t have too much empty/passive space; crop tighter or rearrange your composition. On the other hand, you can shoot a bit wider to give yourself more leeway for cropping your compositions in post-production.

Remember that odd numbers of elements create balance and harmony, while even numbers compete with one another and weaken the impact of the image. There are many other principles of composition, like the Golden Mean, as well as leading lines, patterns, repetition, and texture.

Color is also a part of composition, so think carefully about how the colors of your props and backdrops complement your food.

Colors that are opposite the color wheel are called “complementary colors” and are especially pleasing to the eye.

Shooting your image

It’s best to shoot with a tripod and tether to your computer or laptop so you can see a larger and more accurate rendition of your image on the screen.

If you’re working with clients, they will expect you to shoot tethered. You’ll need to be able to show them every image and get their approval before moving on to the next shot to avoid them coming back to you, saying they didn’t like the image.

Shoot at a minimum of f/5.6 if you’re shooting overhead images

As for your aperture in general, f/5.6 or f/8 is a good default for food shots. You can have some nice bokeh with more of the food in focus.

While you’re shooting, don’t forget to take an image with a grey card or Color Checker to properly white balance in post-processing.

styling-food-photography

Focus and angle

To get the correct focus and angle, think about which would best complement the food and show it to the best advantage.

Overhead shots are the most graphic and work for many types of flat foods, such as pizza. They’re also a great way of getting more elements into the shot because the depth becomes flattened.

Use lower angles or straight-on angles for tall foods, such as burgers and stacks of pancakes. Keep in mind that lower angles create more surface shine

In general, you usually want to focus on the front of the food.

styling-food-photography

Post-Processing

Everyone has their own personalized workflow, but here are some tips for editing and retouching that you might find helpful.

If you use Lightroom, work on virtual copies of your files and keep the original untouched. Organize your images in Collections and input metadata that will help you find certain images according to keywords and other attributes.

If you’re more of a Photoshop person, save working copies as you retouch to avoid losing your work. Make sure you are using the correct color space for your purposes.

Always back up your RAW files and your work in at least three places, including a cloud backup system.

Your Workflow for Styling Food Photography

Your workflow for styling food photography: conclusion

There are a lot of details to remember while shooting and styling food photography. Hopefully, these workflow points can function as a kind of checklist for you of all things to keep in mind so you can take your images to the next level.

Do you have any other tips on styling food photography that you’d like to share? Please do so in the comments!

The post Your Workflow for Styling Food Photography appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Darina Kopcok.

Tips for Doing Fine Art Underwater Bubble Photography

The post Tips for Doing Fine Art Underwater Bubble Photography appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Joanne Taylor.

tips-for-doing-underwater-bubble-photography

Doing underwater bubble photography is both fun and challenging! Read on for easy-to-follow techniques, tips, and tricks for you to try no matter which underwater environment you’re in!

underwater-bubble-photography

Safety

For your safety, have someone on land, in a boat or in the water with you to act as a spotter. Have them keep a floatation device with them at all times too. Underwater photography can be tiring, and you might feel the need for assistance from time to time.

Have drinking water accessible regardless of the weather. Be sure to have sunscreen on and beware of the sun reflections off the water: sunburns hurt!

underwater-bubble-photography

Equipment

There are many devices you can use, including a GoPro, underwater phones, and the disposable ones they sell at the drug store. However, the best way to achieve shots like these is to have an SLR camera within a professionally-made underwater housing. You can still try these types of shots with whichever device you do have, but it is easier to take them with a lot of control going in.

I achieved these shots with a Nikon D7100 and a custom Ikelite housing.

You can shop for professional underwater equipment from a variety of places, but Ikelite – www.ikelite.com has a strong reputation internationally, and for good reasons. You can also check out Mozaik Underwater Camera – www.housingcamera.com

Both websites sell camera and housing packages for underwater photography and also individual housing cases. You definitely want reliable, trustworthy equipment to achieve consistent, sharp images.

Equipment check

Please note that human error causes most floods (where water breaches the housing compartment, and you risk losing your camera and every photo you’ve taken). Common causes of floods are sand, hair, or dust in the O-ring (which you should lightly lubricate every so often) and improperly secured latches.

With a professional underwater housing, you have the same capabilities underwater as you do on land. This saves much time if you’re in deep water – no need to climb in and out of the boat or in and out from the beach. Same for scuba diving – sometimes coming up from a deeper depth is simply not an option. For those using other devices, be sure to know the depth limit of the device, or you risk losing everything!

Tips for Doing Fine Art Underwater Bubble Photography

Camera settings and taking the first few shots

Make sure the lens on both the camera and the housing is clean. There is nothing worse than getting underwater, taking some fantastic bubble photos, and then seeing a sunscreen finger smear in the corner of each shot.

In underwater photography, your body will be moving, so too is the water and the bubbles. So if in doubt, use your camera in Auto Mode the first few times. Alternatively, try setting your camera to F22 and F20 at 1/2000th, 1/4000th, and rely on natural light.

Next, you are ready to get into the water and don’t forget to defog your goggles before putting them on (spit or a defogging spray work great).

Bring your equipment in and determine if it’s working underwater with a few test shots (aim at your feet) and then check the image on your viewfinder. Make any adjustments necessary.

Tips for Doing Fine Art Underwater Bubble Photography

Water and weather

Take into consideration the appearance of the water. You are looking for water clarity. Sometimes, the bottom can be churned up by a recent storm, and there can be a lot of debris. Debris can cause low visibility and definitely with underwater photography, the clearer the water, the better.

If you are in a controlled setting such as a pool, the clarity of the water will depend on the chemicals added. If the water is cloudy due to improper chemical balance, there will be a hazy quality in all of the photographs.

The weather affects the light in your photographs. A cloudy day will allow you to use a flash if you have one. Only add a small amount of flash, or you run the risk of blowing out the bubbles entirely.

If you don’t have a flash, keep shallow and try taking photos in the top two feet or so as the light will only decrease the further down you go. If it’s raining, you can still take photographs. It is fun to get the water droplets falling on the surface of the water while bubbles are rising towards them.

When it’s a sunny day, light streams through the water surface and lights up the bubbles from behind. Try to take a few pictures with the sun in the shot as well.

underwater-bubble-photography

How to create bubbles with containers

Use a variety of containers for different sized bubbles. Try sand buckets, Tupperware, or other plastic bowls. Children’s stacking cups are great too, as long as they don’t have a hole or holes in the bottom. Anything can work (re-usable drinking bottles are great too) but avoid all breakables like glass.

Bring them one by one into the water, so they don’t float away. You would benefit from a helper to pass them to you, so it’s easier to juggle your camera and the buckets.

Start with the smallest, easiest to manage container, and work up to the largest as they are the hardest to maneuver underwater.

Take the container underwater by holding the opening directly over the surface and pushing it down underwater to catch the air inside. Practice tilting the cup slowly underwater to let the air trickle out in a trail of bubbles and practice tilting the cup quickly to let all the air out at one time.

Now take a few test shots of the air escaping the container. You might have to practice a few times not to catch your hand or the container in the shot.

Try taking the container deeper. Be patient until you get the right balance of speed of the bubbles versus shutter speed. Check your viewfinder and make any necessary adjustments regarding shutter speed, focal length, or the strength of your flash if you’re using one.

Tips for Doing Fine Art Underwater Bubble Photography

Try taking a series of images of bubbles using multi-shot (continuous shooting) for a better choice of images later.

Move into another section of the water for a variety of images. If you’re using the sun as a backlight, you may also have to angle your camera up towards the surface of the water to get a better shot.

How to create bubbles without containers

Take the containers out of the water and try kicking your feet and making lots of tiny bubbles.

Tips for Doing Fine Art Underwater Bubble Photography

Editing

Once you have downloaded your images, you are ready to edit.

Adobe Lightroom will make editing easy – though, you can use any editing software of your choice. Cropping will be your most used tool as you eliminate any hands, containers, or debris. Cropping is also necessary to zoom in on a section as you attempt to create the most aesthetically pleasing bubble photograph.

Tips for Doing Fine Art Underwater Bubble Photography

Occasionally, you may want to adjust the color of the photograph by making it bluer or taking all color away to see the bubble shapes in black and white.

Tips for Doing Fine Art Underwater Bubble Photography

Conclusion

Fine art underwater bubble photography takes a lot of patience, so relax and have fun. Bubbles are fragile, finite, and often hard to predict. Your best shots may be a string of bubbles, a cloud of little ones, or a single, large one.

Let’s see what you can do! Please share your underwater bubble photography with us in the comments!

The post Tips for Doing Fine Art Underwater Bubble Photography appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Joanne Taylor.

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