Posts Tagged ‘tripod’

This tip isn’t a huge secret but a lot of people don’t care about it. Do you want great landscape photos? Shoot at dawn or dusk. You can have the perfect landscape in front of your camera, best composition ever, but if light sucks, your photos sucks too. You won’t get the best light at 2 pm or 4 pm but only during sunrise and sunset. And of course, you need to be lucky to have everything work out in the scene.

Take a look at this video. You won’t see a single photo taken during other times of day than dusk and dawn.

The Arctic Light from TSO Photography on Vimeo.

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I made another video because it is simpler to show than to try to describe.

A Tip for Starting HDR Photographers from Jan Jílek on Vimeo.

Hey guys, I’m back with another blog post. This time I was out shooting star trails. I’ll try to cover all stuff you need for this type of shoots, write down some of my experience and maybe even post a video. So let’s go.

Equipement

First of all you need a camera with BULB function. This will enable you to keep a shutter opened as long as needed, even more than 30 seconds. Im sure all Canon and Nikon DSLRs have this function, if you’re shooting Olympus, Sony or anything else, just check out your manual if you aren’t sure. Next piece you’ll need is a cable release with shutter button lock. It will minimalize camera shake from pressing the button and thanks to shutter lock you don’t have to be holding the actual button for 10 minutes or even more. And the last part of equipement is a good tripod. These three things are essencial.

The Rule of 600

This is quite general rule in night photography. What does it mean/do? To get star trails, your shutter need to be opened for some time. And that time you’ll get by dividing number 600 by your focal length. And the result is in seconds. If you keep your shutter speed longer than the result, you will have trails in your shot. Of course, longer shutter stays opened, better results will be. This rule isn’t any dogma or carved in stone, just a helpful tip 😉

Shooting

Not much to say about this part. You need dark enviroment so getting this type of shot is almost impossible in city because light polution. Get out into country, find some great spot and wait for dark. BRING A FLASHLIGHT! It will keep you company 🙂 How long should your shutter stay opened? You have to test that out. Every place is different. Shoot in BULB mode, set your aperture as you need to and fire some test shots. Be sure to have your batteries fully charged up, these photos sucks them dry very quickly. With time you can take photos in matter of seconds but even minutes and more. Just watch the temperature. In hot climate sensor will heat up faster and might get damaged with very long exposures. Shooting in colder conditions is better because you’ll be able to get away with longer exposures.

Post processing

These types of photos need some post processing. First of all, shoot in RAW mode, it will give you most data to work with. First I was trying to double process an image, once for sky and once for foreground. Wasn’t a bad idea but blending those two together gave me a headache. And the result wasn’t as good as I wanted. Then I tried just Lightroom, used exposure, fill light and blacks to get great looking image. Corrected a bit white balance and gave few finishing touches. And here is the final result.

Spin, Baby, Spin!

Hi guys, I found on the Internet awesome video about timelapse photography. It isn’t the How To Guide but great work. You just have to check this out:

In HDR photography we are taking multiple exposures of the same scene. So the best possible situation is shooting some architecture or landscape w/o any people, animals or wind involved. By putting camera on good sturdy tripod we minimize it’s movement and by using AEB (Auto Exposure Bracketing) camera takes the images. Pretty simple, but this doesn’t work too much in real world.

In real world you can put your camera on tripod and set AEB. That is great and easy way how to get started. But now in Prague I don’t have my Manfrotto so I have to shoot hand-held. And believe me, with my 70-200 f/4 NON IS it is quite hard to keep it perfect steady. To get sharp shots I use higher ISO. But the worst problem is movement. People moving in the photo. When there is just one person, you can play with it, process multiple photos and than use layers to hide the moving person.

But what if you are in a square? Or even better, what if you are on crowdy Venceslav’s square? This is the time I let software itself to remove ghosting. In Photoshop CS5 you can choose one sample image and the ghosting will be removed acording that image. But I didn’t get so nice results from Photoshop as I did with Photomatix. So I tested out version 4 with reduced ghosting and it is blast!

Believe me, if you want noise in your photos, shoot with a Canon camera that has DIG!C III processor and than use Photomatix. You have to apply a lot of noise reduction to the image and as a result you get a less sharp image. You just have to find that sweet spot. To reduce ghosting check “Reduce Ghosting Artifacts” and I usually use High setting. That’s all folks! Here is a final image w/o movement. This time I put it in big dimensions, click on it to see in bigger size and check the fine work of Photomatix.

HDR of Venceslav's Square

Hello everybody, it seems my small post about shooting at night was a bit blast, at least for my blog, so I decided to add another post about night photography and what you can do with cameras at slow shutter speeds. The video is done by Mark Wallace for Adorama TV. Mark is a great people photographer and he has some awesome shots so be sure to check out his website. Here you can find the video. If you like more info and videos about photography, subscribe to AdoramaTV’s Channel @Youtube.

 

The Infinite Road Uncorrected

Hi to all. During my exam period at the university I didn’t pass throught one exam and I’m waiting for second term. This term is planned on February 1st and my last exam was taken on January 17th. So this whole time I’m at home having nothing to do, because most of my friends are in Prague or spread around whole republic and, Slovakia, Russia, USA, UK, Austria, Australia and more countries around the world. So the only way how to keep in touch with them is using Social Network. Also because the bad weather I didn’t go out and make some pictures but today everything changed! 🙂

HDR from the Walk, Unprocessed

The temperature was quite good, about 0°C (32°F), no rain, no snow but just the sky wasn’t anything interesting. To be honest the sky was just one huge plane of grey color mixed sometimes with darker and lighter grey. And I wanted to go out in these conditions and shoot landscapes? Yes, not nature but landscapes!? I really had to be crazy ….

But really, the tip for today, and not just for today is simple. If the sky doesn’t look good, don’t put it into the scene. It is simple and effective. At least you won’t have that boring plane of grey color on the top of your images. Also sometimes this can help and you can use it to your advantage. With this plane made by clouds you get a free extra super large softbox and that is cool for portraits. This can be the plan B when weather isn’t so great outside.

In the begining of the post I put two images, both weren’t finished. The Infinite Road isn’t bad at all, but the white balance is absolutely somewhere else than it should be and with the HDR you can see a really bad blue tint. Here are the final images. For the road I used only Lightroom 3 to process it, for the HDR I had to jump into Photoshop, set black, white and grey point using curves and than I used a plug-in. The secret ingredience … Nik Software Color Efex and it’s Brillance/Warmth preset. Hope you’ll enjoy them.

The Infinite Road Processed

HDR from the Walk Processed