As I was relaxing, enjoying a nice meal with a friend, out of the blue he asked: “Would you really buy a Platypod?” Nipping any chances of a debate, I gave him five examples of times when I needed my Platypod but didn’t have it with me. Here’s why I answered “Yes!” What Is a Platypod? A Platypod is a versatile and compact base ideal for supporting cameras to capture below-angle shots and for situations where traditional tripods are cumbersome or impractical. It's also a great tool for studio use. You can use it to hang a hair light or hide a … [Read more...] about Would You Really Buy A Platypod?
Editor's Note: This is a guest post by Leanne Cole, an incredible photographer from Melbourne, Australia. See more of her work here, and we hope to see more education from her in the future. Please welcome Leanne to Photofocus. If you look on social media you will find hundreds, thousands of images that are classed as long exposures. Instagram alone has almost 3.5 million images that use the hashtag #longexposure which helps to show how popular it is. There are many reasons why it is as well. What is a Long Exposure? In simple terms, it … [Read more...] about Why Long Exposure Photography?
Any small light source in your photograph can potentially become a starburst, and finding creative ways to use them in your pictures is fun. These tips will help you build a formula for making starbursts anytime you want. 1. Appropriate Aperture The most common tip for making starbursts is to use a very small aperture, like f/22 or f/16. While this is generally true, it's not a hard rule. Depending on your camera and lens combinations, you can get starbursts at much wider apertures, as well. I know that with a few of my lenses I can get … [Read more...] about Four Tips for Starbursts
You’ve probably heard of the Rule of Thirds — I learned about it in middle school art classes, and art history in college. It’s a terrific tool for guiding composition in your pictures. Formulaic use of the Rule of Thirds can take you a long way toward making better pictures, and will help you discover better compositions on your own. It’s so universal that Lightroom and most other photo editors include an overlay in the cropping tool. But how do we use the Rule of Thirds when we're shooting? Following are some ideas for how I use it to help me … [Read more...] about 3 Easy Ways to Use the Rule of Thirds
I often say that a tripod is the only bit of kit you can buy that will actually make your pictures better. Well, I spent some time maintaining mine, today and thought you might benefit from my experience. Let's talk about why your tripod needs maintenance, some tools you'll probably need, and we'll get to the Zen part at the bottom. Maintenance...? Like cars, or bicycles, or doors in your house, tripods just need some tender loving care every now and again. There are moving parts that need lubrication, and if you use your tripod half as … [Read more...] about Zen and the Art of Tripod Maintenance
Category: Architecture/Landscape Photography by Originally shared on the Photofocus Facebook page. Richard braved freezing cold temperatures to capture the magnificent night-time sky above Uri Switzerland. This shot masterfully combines crystal-clear stars and the shadowy mountains of Switzerland. All too often start photographs are lacking in interesting terrestrial elements, but in the this shot Richard has given us a lovely landscape as well. To learn how your work can be featured on the site, please … [Read more...] about Photo of the Day: Risenstock Starshow
Landscape photography brings its own rewards. Being in a beautiful place at a tranquil time of day is therapeutic. Add good company, and it doesn't really matter if you make any good pictures because the experience alone was worthwhile. For instance, I visited my parents, recently, and my dad and I awoke early to photograph the moon setting over one of our favorite places, Garden of the Gods. Due to a small cloud that wouldn't move, the moonset was a bust, but I exercised a few tips I've learned to make the most of the experience anyway, and … [Read more...] about Shooting Landscapes? Go the Extra Mile
Making pictures at nighttime can be challenging. Parts of a picture that are lit with street lamps or other lights are very bright compared to the darkness of the sky or the shadows under trees and porches. This scene is described as having a high dynamic rangethe difference between light and shadow is very great. This is the reason we have HDR tools for photography. Let me show you how I used HDR techniques to make a picture at nighttime. Bracket While photowalking with a terrific group in Austin, Texas, I wanted to make a picture of the … [Read more...] about How to Use HDR for Nighttime Photography
Winter is the perfect time to practice nighttime photography. I took advantage of the long nights during my Christmas holiday to make some photographs with a friend who hadn't done nighttime work before, and the tips I shared with her will help you get started making stunning star pictures, too. I don't mean this to be a comprehensive tutorial on astro photography, but these tips will get you past the frustrations of shooting at night. Most of the terms I mention are universal, but you may need to consult your camera's manual for specifics … [Read more...] about Getting Started with Nightscapes