A Guide to Shooting Long Exposure Landscape Photos

Here’s a 21-minute photography guide from Gordon Laing that looks at the long exposure technique. This is where you increase the shutter speed of your camera, letting in light to the sensor over a longer duration to create unique effects.

Long exposure photography

Long exposures are often used for smoothing out moving water, or smudging clouds as they drift past in the wind. Whatever the reason, long exposures can produce dreamy and magical results, and they are a key weapon in any landscape photographer’s arsenal.

“It’s also very forgiving in bad weather,” says Laing. “It allows you to grab moody-looking images on overcast days, or even in the pouring rain.”

Laing also points out that all of the normal compositional rules of landscape photography apply to your long exposure images. A long exposure is most-often used to enhance a particular scene, rather than create something that varies so drastically that the composition is different.

There is no set duration, either. You could shoot anything from a couple of seconds to multiple minutes (such as by using the LEE Filters 15-stop Super Stopper).

A longer duration will bring out more movement in the image, but you may find that the effect is too strong or that camera shake is introduced by something as simple as the wind buffeting your tripod.

Check out the full video above for a great guide to long exposure landscape photography from Laing. If you want more check out these dPS articles on the topic:

The post A Guide to Shooting Long Exposure Landscape Photos appeared first on Digital Photography School.

835 A Touchy Subject

Chris discusses ethics in wildlife photography and how there’s now a proposal for Exif data that deals exactly with that: what was the stress level of the animal, how much manipulation was taking place during the shoot, and much more. Your opinion? Discuss it in the Slack on channel #genre-wildlife.

Special guest on today’s episode is mad scientist photographer Don Komarechka, who tells us about his experiments with snowflakes, freezing soap bubbles and UV photography.

Photo by Trevor Cole

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» May 2017: Svalbard — Arctic (sold out)
» Oct 2017: Bhutan — The Happiness Kingdom (only 1 spot open)
» May 2018: New York Tilt-Shift
» Aug 2018: Ireland — Giant's Causeway
» Sep 2018: Norway — Lofoten Fantastic Fjords
» Oct 2018: Morocco
» all photo tours

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Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG HSM Art for Sony E-mount sample gallery

Earlier this year Sigma announced nine full-frame Art-series primes would be made available for Sony E-mount. We recently got our hands on the 85mm F1.4 Art and put it through its paces on both an a7R III and a7 III body.

So far, the lens seems to perform identically to other versions of the Sigma 85mm F1.4 Art available for DSLR mounts. And functionally it works just like a native Sony lens, supporting the full suite of Sony AF modes and features including Eye AF and Lock-on AF. Take a look at the results for yourself, in our gallery of real-world samples.

See our Sigma 85mm F1.4 Art for Sony E mount sample gallery

Sigma 14mm F1.8, 135mm F1.8, and 70mm F2.8 macro Art lenses for Sony E-Mount now shipping

Sigma is now shipping the 14mm F1.8 DG HSM, 70mm F2.8 DG MACRO, and 135mm F1.8 DG HSM Art lenses for Sony E-mount full-frame cameras that were announced in February. All three lenses support Sony's Continuous AF and high-speed autofocus, as well as in-camera lens aberration correction and image stabilization.

According to Sigma, the brass bayonet on each lens features special surface treatment designed to improve the mount strength. The mount is joined by a rubber seal to protect against splashes and dust. In addition, Sigma says its E-mount models include a newly developed control algorithm that both maximizes data transmission speeds and optimizes the autofocus drive.

All three E-mount lenses are available from retailers now at the following prices:

Five things to know about the Samsung Galaxy Note 9’s camera

Five things to know about the Samsung Galaxy Note 9's camera

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 made its debut today at a high-profile launch event in New York. While we knew not to expect any new camera hardware thanks to numerous leaks, we still found a few interesting new features under the hood.

It has a two stabilized cameras, one of which is dual aperture

First: the hardware. The Note 9 seems to be basically using the S9+'s camera (flipped sideways of course) and that's not a bad thing. Both lenses are stabilized (a tradition the Note 8 started) and are coupled to a 12MP sensor. The wide-angle camera carries over the F1.5/2.4 dual aperture feature Samsung introduced in the S9+, which isn't terribly useful in real-world shooting. Based on our experience with the S9+, we expect very nice image quality from the wide-angle camera, and slightly disappointing results from the telephoto side.

It tells you when you took a bad photo

While there's no new hardware to speak of, the Note 9 camera boasts some new AI. A feature called 'Flaw detection' can be toggled on and off in the camera settings menu, and presents the user with an on-screen indication when it detects a photo is too blurry, backlit or a subject is blinking. In our quick test the feature worked as advertised, and the notification isn't too obtrusive.

It will optimize image settings based on scene detection

Another intelligent feature is Auto Scene Optimization, shortened to just 'Scene optimizer' on the menu screen pictured above. Samsung says this mode identifies subject matter and sorts the photo into one of 20 categories automatically. Saturation, white balance, brightness and contrast are adjusted accordingly.

It can automatically correct distorted faces

Here's one we found in the camera settings menu: automatic distortion correction for faces. We don't know anything more about it other than the feature can be toggled on and off in the camera settings menu. If the results look natural it could be a nice feature, especially when using the camera's wide-angle lens with subjects positioned toward the edge of the frame – speaking from personal experience, you can take a really unflattering selfie that way.

It comes with a remote trigger

Now that the S-Pen supports Bluetooth Low Energy it can double as a remote shutter trigger. A single button press will take a photo, and a double button press will switch between cameras. The pen now needs a battery, of course, but Samsung says it charges in under a minute in the phone.

Leica releases Elpro 52 close-up lens adapter

Leica has announced the Elpro 52, a new close-up converter lens for select Leica M and TL lenses.

As its name suggests, the Elpro 52 can be screwed onto the front of any Leica M and TL lens that has a 52mm front filter thread. It also comes with stepping ring adapters so it'll work with 46mm and 49mm front filter threads as well, making it compatible with more than 20 different lenses.

'The Leica Elpro 52 will expand upon the capabilities of selected Leica M- and TL-Lenses, making them more suitable for macro photography,' says Leica in the press release. 'This lens holds true to the standard focusing and aperture settings Leica is known for, and ensures a light-weight and compact style as to not interfere with the lens handling while mounted.'

The lens is available now for $395. It comes with the two aforementioned stepping rings and a protective case to house it all. At the time of writing this, we're unable to locate a purchase link at any retailer. We have reached out to Leica and will update the article accordingly when we hear back.

Using HDR Photography to Your Advantage

sunset on the water - Using HDR Photography to Your Advantage

Over the years, HDR Photography has become synonymous with over-saturated, over-processed, and unrealistic images. Some hear the term HDR and never give it a second thought because of their perception of what it is. Add to that, all the camera dynamic range improvements and many say that HDR has lost its place for good.

So how exactly can HDR photography still be beneficial to you? How can you use it to your advantage?

Using HDR Photography to Your Advantage

The oversaturated look that has become synonymous with HDR photography. 

What exactly is HDR Photography?

HDR or high dynamic range refers to the difference between extremes – the brightest and darkest areas of your image. In reality, your eyes can adjust for shadows and highlights in the same scene, but a camera cannot (again this has come a long way over the years).

Using HDR Photography to Your Advantage

A more realistic looking HDR image.

Have you ever witnessed a scene that took your breath away, but were unable to capture it as is because you had to choose what your camera captured?

Exposing for the highlights left some of your image too dark or exposing for the shadows left your highlights too light. Or maybe you tried for somewhere in between and ended up with both dark shadows and light highlights?

Well when you want to capture the dynamic range of an area, you sometimes need to take more than one photo. To do that, you need to use bracketing, which is taking multiple images of the same scene at different exposures.

Most cameras now come with auto bracketing modes (AEB) , but you always have the choice to manually adjust your exposures between shots.

house in the trees - Using HDR Photography to Your Advantage

HDR Photography usually involves several bracketed images with a minimum of three images to capture the dynamic range. One image is exposed for the darker areas in your scene, another for the mid-tones and the third for the highlights. When you merge these images, you create an HDR image which reveals more detail than a single shot.

Fun Fact: Did you know that HDR photography has existed since the days of film?

How does this work to your advantage?

If you are not interested in creating mind-bending images with HDR, what’s the point? Well, the main benefit is capturing/revealing any lost details and doing so in a realistic way.

Think of it as extending the tonal range of what your camera reproduces to mimic what your eyes see, as opposed to the graphic style that HDR has become synonymous with.

building ruins - Using HDR Photography to Your Advantage

Subtle HDR also helps reveal textures in an image.

Steps for a Realistic HDR Photo

Truthfully the steps for making a realistic HDR are not drastically different from one that looks overly processed. The key is to know when to stop processing.

1. Selecting a scene

So what kind of shots are right for HDR photography?

Typically these include scenes that have a lot of contrast, for example, landscape and architectural photography. HDR is not recommended for scenes with a moving subject, or for shooting portraits (as it has a reputation for aging faces).

It is fun to experiment with bending the rules though and seeing the results.

old saloon hotel - Using HDR Photography to Your Advantage

2. Capturing your images

To eliminate or minimize movement between your shots, a tripod is an essential tool. This also ensures that each image in your sequence has the same composition.

An HDR image is usually composed of between three to seven bracketed images. Three exposures are sufficient for a more photo-realistic HDR, at two stops (EV) apart. If done manually, this means that your first shot will be metered for the mid-tones of the image (0EV), followed by dialing down your exposure to -2 for your second shot, and lastly where your meter is at +2 for your third shot.

dark image -2 Using HDR Photography to Your Advantage

Bracketed image underexposed (exposure -2).

Using HDR Photography to Your Advantage

Overexposed (exposure +2).

Bracketed image mid-tones (exposure metered at 0).

Use the HDR or Auto Bracketing (AEB) feature of your camera to accomplish this automatically.

Note: If you are shooting into the sun, you may need to do five exposures at one or two stops apart.

3. Processing your images

Processing HDR photography is essentially combining your images and adjusting your tonal mapping for detail. When it comes to processing, you have a choice of software: Photoshop, Photomatix, Lightroom and Aurora HDR to name a few.

Processed bracketed images – reveals more details (warmth boosted).

Again, processing is the place where you can push your HDR too far or end up with a nice photorealistic image.

Usually, HDR software comes with presets that give you a range of looks. If you want your image to be more on the realistic side, you need to take control of the settings. Some of the settings you want to control include; reducing noise, fixing chromatic aberrations and dialing back your tonal adjustments.

Conclusion

The main benefit of HDR photography is recovering detail in your images. Landscape and architectural photographers often use HDR realistically to portray high contrast scenes.

HDR photography is often associated with overcooked images, but when it’s not overdone it can balance out a scene and makes it more appealing to your viewer. Your objective is to post-process just enough to maintain a natural look.

The post Using HDR Photography to Your Advantage appeared first on Digital Photography School.

Nikon’s 3rd teaser video showcases the ‘Body’ of its upcoming full-frame mirrorless camera

Nikon has released the third teaser for its upcoming full-frame mirrorless camera. Following up on Travel of Light and Mount, the third teaser is called 'Body: The Evolution of Nikon Quality.'

The video opens up with a few shots of cameras from Nikon's past as a narrator says 'all the expertise Nikon has acquired over the past 100 years has been poured into this camera.' Of course, 'this camera' refers to the impending full-frame mirrorless system set to be announced on August 23rd.

A slightly-brightened screenshot from Nikon's teaser video

After multiple detail shots of older Nikon cameras, the video teases yet another outline of the yet-to-be-seen mirrorless camera. The shot appears almost identical to that seen in the 'Mount' teaser video, but this time there seems to be an unrecognizable lens attached to the camera.

A screenshot from Nikon's 'Mount' teaser video — note the absence of the Nikon branding on the viewfinder bump, something we now have a glimpse of in the 'Body' teaser.

The teaser also shows Nikon branding on the front of the viewfinder bump, a detail missing from past teaser videos.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 comes with dual-aperture 12MP dual-cam

At a high-profile launch event in New York, Samsung took the wraps off its much-leaked, next-generation Note device. The Galaxy Note 9 borrows the S9+'s 12MP dual-aperture dual-cam, with OIS in both rear cameras and an emphasis on AI-enhanced shooting modes. It's roughly the same size as its predecessor, though its 6.4" Super AMOLED "Infinity Display" is a touch larger than the Note 8's.

Both rear cameras offer 12MP resolution – a wide-angle camera with F1.5/2.4 variable aperture, and a telephoto camera with F2.4 fixed aperture. An 8MP F1.7 front-facing camera is also on board.

The camera will also alert the user with a notification if it detects that a "flawed" image has been taken

Samsung's camera app uses an AI-powered Scene Optimizer to identify subjects and sort images into one of 20 categories. The camera will also alert the user with a notification if it detects that a "flawed" image has been taken – too blurry, backlit or marred by a smudged lens.

One of the Note 9's headline features is the option for massive built-in storage capacity: either 128GB or 512GB. Both options are expandable via MicroSD. The S Pen stylus also gets a revamp, with Bluetooth Low-Energy support which allows it to act as a remote shutter for the camera. A 4000 mAh battery claims all-day performance, with a "Water Carbon Cooling system" and real-time performance adjustments to prevent... well, we know what can happen.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 goes on sale August 24th – a 128GB model will cost $1000 and the 512GB version will sell for $1250.

How to Organize Your Photos by Location in Lightroom

You likely know Adobe Lightroom as a powerful piece of photo-editing software. It’s known as the industry standard for photography post-production, especially when paired with Photoshop. You may also know that its photo management features are pretty impressive. If you so choose, you can use this one piece of software to upload, rename, keyword, review, edit, export and organize your photos.

camper van on the grass - How to Organize Your Photos by Location in Lightroom

How you use Lightroom is entirely up to you, and it’s unlikely that two photographers will use it the same. The way you organize your catalog will depend on many factors, including which genre of photography you choose, who you’re shooting for, and how you have your computer hardware arranged. There is no right or wrong way to organize things, and it will likely change over time.

If you’re a portrait or wedding photographer, you might choose to organize your catalog around sessions or dates. As a landscape and travel photographer, it makes sense for me to organize my photos based on locations. Whether a location is a city, country, or even a continent, it helps me to keep things organized so I can always find what I’m looking for without wasting time searching through thousands of photos.

There are a few different ways to find photos based on location in Lightroom, but they only work if you take a few simple steps when you import them.

Import

Whenever you import photos into Lightroom, try to follow the same steps.

It’s a good idea to create some templates for the Develop and Metadata settings. This makes it easy to apply some standard settings and metadata to every one of your photos. You should at least apply your copyright information to your photos with a metadata preset.

metadata organizing lightroom photos by location

Keywords

The single most important thing you can do to simplify the process of finding photos is keywording. You don’t need to add a long list of keywords, just a few relevant ones that will help you later on when you search.

When organizing by location, I always add the name of the country, region, and specific place name. I’ll also add any other relevant keywords that I may want to search for, such as aerial or long-exposure.

When renaming my images during import I always include the location in the name. Something like “noosa-beach-qld-australia” works well. The words in your filenames become searchable keywords themselves (make sure to use a dash between words). I don’t use dates in my file names, but it’s up to you whether you want to or not.

How to Organize Your Photos by Location in Lightroom

Folders

Using a good folder structure will make your life far easier, especially when you have tens of thousands of images.

To organize your folders by location, you can create a new folder for each specific location or one for each city or country. I have one folder for each country I visit and just keep adding to it. Even if I visit that country again years later, I’ll still keep using that same folder. It makes it far simpler and I know where I can find a photo from anywhere on earth.

It also makes it simpler to find image files on my computer as the folder structure I set up is identical both inside and outside Lightroom. Organizing folders by date or some other number-based system would never work for me.

Collections

Collections are another one of Lightroom’s great features that can help you keep everything organized by location. Where Folders contain every photo from a given location, Collections contain only the photos you choose. Again, I’ll create a new Collection for each country, but I only put the keepers in there.

How to Organize Your Photos by Location in Lightroom

In the past, I’ve done this manually, but I now create a Smart Collection for each location. I only need to add two rules to each Smart Collection: Flag and Keyword. Based on these settings, any photo that I flag that has that keyword is automatically added to the collection.

smart collections - How to Organize Your Photos by Location in Lightroom

Map

As a travel photographer, my favorite Lightroom tool for finding photos based on location is the Map module. One of the first things I’ll do after I’ve finished importing new photos into Lightroom is to add GPS coordinates. There are a couple of ways you can do this.

If you know the coordinates you can add them manually in the Metadata panel. The easiest way is to select all your images (Cmd/Ctrl+A) then go into the Map module, search for the location in the search bar above the map, then drag all your photos onto the right location on the map.

Depending on your camera, your photos may already have GPS coordinates embedded in the file. This is often the case with drone photos or any other GPS-connected camera or device. If not, you can record the GPS coordinates by taking a photo with your phone then grabbing them from that photo’s metadata.

map module - How to Organize Your Photos by Location in Lightroom

Searching for Photos

Now that you’ve imported your photos with location-based keywords and filenames, organized them into location-based Folders and Collections, and geotagged them with GPS coordinates, finding them later is simple.

I use a different approach depending on whether I’m looking for a specific image or a group of images from a specific location.

If it’s a specific image you want, and you know you flagged it, select the Collection associated with that location. If you’re not sure if it’s flagged, select the folder. Then search inside the collection or folder using the Library Filter.

Click on Text, select Any Searchable Field in the first drop-down menu, then Contains All in the next menu, then type your keywords in the search field. The more keywords you add, the more specific the search becomes.

library filter - How to Organize Your Photos by Location in Lightroom

If I’m looking for an image or group of images from a specific location, I like to use the Map module. Select All Photographs in the Catalog panel on the left then go to the Map module and type the location name into the search bar. Any geotagged images in that area will show up on the map.

You can zoom in or out on the map to make your search location more or less specific. Images in the specified location will appear along the filmstrip below the map.

Summary

A little forethought and organization when importing your images are worth the effort. It doesn’t take much time to apply these settings but can save you a lot down the road.

If you’re anything like me and have tens of thousands of photos in your catalog, you’ll be doing yourself a favor, and future you will thank you for your efforts.

The post How to Organize Your Photos by Location in Lightroom appeared first on Digital Photography School.

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