Friday, February 22, 2008

Shoot Stunning Sunsets With a Digital Camera - Digital Photography Tips Complementary Guide

This was the most intensive sunset we have seen in Suva in a long time.
Luckly I had my camera and tripod in the car

Photo by macrophoto555

By Yvonne Grubb

What draws us to a beautiful sunset? What makes you want to capture that scene? Perhaps the warm colours and tones ... and then there are so many variations of sunsets, which adds that extra excitement, so let's take a look at these digital photography tips on how best to capture a glowing sunset with your digital camera ...

Timing and Composure

Get set up before the sunset starts, at least half an hour beforehand. A couple of things to consider: the exact time the sun sets, which is the moment the sun drops below the horizon. Note this could be affected bearing in mind your landscape, that is, if there are any mountains which could block the sun, before it has chance to reach the horizon. So it's worth finding the right location where you have an uninterrupted view of the sun, perhaps from a beach, edge of a lake or cliff edge ... anywhere with an uncluttered view. This will greatly emphasise the sun and the sky for a stunning sunset shot

You must also consider as the sun approaches the horizon, this is the time to start shooting, as you should see some dynamic scenes before the sun disappears. Take a couple of shots every few minutes to capture the changing light from the sun's rays once the sun nears the horizon. If you have a tripod, this will help compose your shot by keeping everything steady for your framing.


Be careful when preparing your shot not to look directly at the sun, either through your viewfinder or with a naked eye, to avoid damaging your eyes. Your digital camera will have an LCD panel, so use this to frame your shot for safety. It will help you with more accurate framing.

Can Dust Particles affect my shot ... True or False?

True ... Dust particles and humidity from clouds can have a great effect on how the light from the sun's rays will give you that dynamic sunset. When the sun is near the horizon the light has to travel its longest wavelengths. The light travels though dust particles and water vapour from the clouds, and so helps create that dramatic sky, giving those deep rich warm tones of red, orange and yellow. If you happen to be close to a town, city or desert on a humid evening, sand dust particles is perfect for scattering light - you'll be in luck to get that 'stunning' sunset.

Set the Scene for that Creative Sunset

Now you're ready to start shooting you'll need to frame your sunset. There is a rule of thirds, and to use it, make sure to keep the horizon level low (bottom third of your framed scene) filling the above two-thirds of your frame with the sky. Be creative by keeping some darker foreground in your shot as this highlights the sky, adding more appeal. You may wish to add other objects, for example trees, figures, overhanging ferns (if on a beach), birds etc, which should give you an attractive silhouette, against your glowing sky. If there happens to be low clouds around, then this will add even more dynamism to your shot - you can imagine the scene right now!

Be patient, be creative, I hope you find these digital photography tips useful, but most of all ... have fun!

Yvonne owns Digital Photo Tutorial which offers people information on digital photography tips

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Friday, February 15, 2008

Slow Shutter Speeds and Long Exposure Photography

by: Rick Blythe

Many new cameras will come with built-in shutter speeds of up to 30 seconds or longer, which is enough for most long-exposure photography. Other cameras will have a B (bulb) setting that will keep the shutter open as long as you keep your finger on the shutter release button or a T (time) exposure setting that will keep the shutter open until you press the shutter release button a second time. Cameras with bulb settings can also be fitted with a locking cable release so that it isn't necessary to keep your finger on the shutter for long exposures. If your camera doesn't have a cable release, you can use the self-timer option found on most cameras. This will eliminate camera vibration from your hands.

A tripod, or something to rest your camera on, is essential because the camera must be completely still during the time that the shutter is open. If you want to make a fast-moving car blur as it speeds by you, a relatively fast shutter speed of 1/20 of a second may give you the results you are after, however, if you want to make stars in the nighttime sky look like glowing rings as the earth rotates, your exposure may last all night.

The light meter on your camera may not be able to accurately judge the best aperture setting for longer shutter speeds, especially in low-light situations, so your best bet is probably to "bracket." This means taking up to six pictures of the same subject, but doubling the shutter speed each time. This will give you a variety of effects and exposures and allow you to choose the best shot. In general, slow shutter speeds will allow a lot of light into the camera, which means that you will want to use a small aperture (ie. f/22) to avoid over-exposing the shot. In bright daylight it will be necessary to use the lowest ISO available and a neutral density filter to cut the light down.

Some great effects and shutter speeds to try are:

Moving stars: several hours
Moving cars at night: 10 seconds
Waterfalls: 4 seconds +
Amusement park rides: 1 second

About The Author

Rick Blythe authors Better Digital Photography.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

5 Tips for Great Landscape Photography

By B.L. Hill

When you first try your hand at landscape photography, you may be disappointed when the prints don't look as professional as other photographers. You may wonder what is going wrong. The scenery looked good to the naked eye but why didn't the photograph look the same?

Obviously, it helps to have a breathtaking view to start with but you have to learn to really see it as you look through the viewfinder. Always see with a photographer's eye and imagination. You may not be able to move the scenery, but you can learn how to pick good scenery.

1. Look at the composition of the shot. Remember the rule of thirds? Be aware of where your horizon line falls, and look at how all the elements in the frame work together to create the image. Placing the horizon in the middle of the shot will not usually produce the results you want. However, depending on the mood you want to create or capture, you may want to exaggerate one element.

2. Great landscape photography also depends on perspective. When you are looking at the scene around you, you can see the grass at your feet, the lake and trees in the middle distance, the mountain behind that and the vast sky above you. The photo will usually only be able to show a small portion of what you see so choose to show elements that will convey, for example, the sense of vastness and great distance by including the grass in the foreground and the mountain in the distance.

3. Lighting is another important element. A bright sunny day may not produce the most dramatic landscape photography opportunities. Perhaps you will be lucky enough to capture an image of a sky of black clouds, rolling hills in dark green with a startling swath of sunlight cutting across them.

4. Decide what you want the eye drawn to - the focal point of the photograph. Don't have the focal point dead center. Move the camera so it appears left or right of center and up or down from horizontal center. This will create a much more interesting photo.

5. Be aware of the colors and tones within the frame. You don't want a brightly colored shrub to take the attention away from the spectacular rock formation you are trying to capture. If possible, move so that the shrub is no longer in view. If color is distracting and the contrast is there, try taking the shot in black and white or sepia. Sometimes a lack of color will allow you to really focus attention where you want it.

So, take these five tips and go out to try new things. Take pictures in the rain, at dawn or dusk, move the horizon way up or down and see what you get. The more you experiment the more fun and success you will have with landscape photography.

B.L. Hill has been taking photos using various types of cameras for over 40 years. For more photography tips visit the Photography Research website.

Article Source:

The landscape of sunset photo

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The Beauty of Nature Photography

By Colin Hartness

Nature is all around us,
and its beauties are unlimited. In this fast-paced world of mocha-lattes and traffic jams at rush hour, too many of us take the beauty of nature for granted. Luckily, there are still people in the world who see this beauty and choose to share it with those of us that are too busy to normally take notice. Poets and photographers are great at this. They take what seems like the ordinary and present it to us in a way that shows us the elegance, the magnificence and the amazing that is on this rock we call Earth.

What is Nature Photography?

So what do we mean when we say nature photography? Well, it may seem obvious but let's go ahead and explain. Nature is our natural environment. It is those things that exist in our world without human intervention; such as trees, grass, flowers, a forest, a river, and animals in their natural environment.

Nature photography is the photography of these things. There is a wide spectrum that is included in nature photography. Pictures of sunsets, sunrises and ocean waves lapping at the shore are all nature photography. So are the trees in the forest and beautiful flowers growing in an open field.

But nature photography can go even deeper than that, showing us parts of the world that we may not be able to see otherwise. If you live in the south, you may not see snow-capped mountains if it wasn't for nature photography. You may not be able to see a deep canyon, a volcano, or a beautiful beach if it were not for photographs of these places.

The photographers that bring us pictures of these places give us an image of something we may never see. It's truly an amazing gift to give.

Nature Photographers

But what if you are one of the people taking these pictures? What if you are the nature loving photographer that gives this fantastic gift to someone else? You are giving a gift to other people. But you are also doing something you love. Nature photography can only be achieved by someone who has a love for nature and sees its beauty and can capture it in a photograph so others can view it and have a touch of the same experience.

So how do you take great nature photography? The first step is to have an eye for these beautiful images. The second step is to have a camera. That's really all it takes. But as you grow as a photographer, you will learn how to take the best pictures and capture the image in a way that others can view it as the amazing sight that you saw. You will learn about lighting and backgrounds and focus and you will take better pictures.

Nature photography is a rewarding experience for the photographer and also for the people who get to view the results. You have taken a piece of nature that may otherwise go unnoticed such as a rainbow, and you capture it permanently in an image that you can look at any time you choose. This is a pleasing and rewarding part of photography. In nature photography, you are able to take two things that you love and combine them in a beautiful and artistic way.

Looking for information about Photography? Go to: 'ASA Photography' is published by Colin Hartness - An excellent resource for Photography! Check out more Photography articles at:

Nature is all around us, and its beauties are unlimited

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Tips and methods for under water photography

By: Jessica Thomson

These days, under water photography is fun for everybody. Thanks to the range of equipment obtainable now a days. On the beach or pool, in the waves the reef, there are huge water proof like point and click cameras and even one use models that one can use for getting good picture, provided if someone follows few simple tips. For that lot of talent and equipment needed for specialized under water photography and many scuba training programs have good photography courses. But if you want to come home from where it's wet with some cool photos, here are some tips to get you started.

The best time to take underwater photos is usually mid-day because the sun is overhead and will illuminate underwater subjects clearly. Draftee under water photographers are often astonished how rapidly light and colour get lost after plunging few feet underneath the surface. Most water proof point-and-shoot models got fitted flash and people can use flash anytime and more than a few feet below the water.

Handy tips:
Distance can be deceptive as well. If it is viewed through a facade, the objects may emerge closer than they truly are. Confirm to get closer to the subject as probably before taking a photograph. Try to keep an eye out behind on the subject. While directing in just a beautiful fish, want a jellyfish hovering toward backside. Water proof cameras do have well fittings for wet and sandy times. At the time of rainstorms one can take some very interesting photographs through a waterproof camera and other smart photographers leave their luxurious SLR at home when they go to the beach. Salt water and sand are two of the most horrible enemies of all kind of camera, so by using a shutter model makes a lot of sense and may assist to avoid costly repairs.

Good seminars for tips and method:
At famous seminars related to techniques of underwater photography, people hardly talk about underwater device or the tendencies of sea creatures and how to get in the water. Photographing is matched with an egg. There are many good underwater studios that are really made for photographers. Now a day's many dry-land studio photographers those who know about multiple-light systems seem to overlook all about it when they go diving. Most of them use one strobe over the camera, aimed directly ahead.

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