Sunday, April 27, 2008

Capture Perfect Digital Sports and Action Shots

Sports photography is one of my favourite. If you are an experienced photographer who are always on Sports, and If you were assigned to cover any sports event, you will automatically know what, how and where to get your job done.

You have to know what are the lenses to be used and always to catch the right moment in the right time.

Yvonne Grubb will share with you the experience.

What gets you all excited about your favourite sport? ... the thrill of the chase in horse racing or maybe the atmosphere and tension of a ball game, maybe your favourite player? ... Well if you were to capture some of these scenes how would you do it best? For some digital photography tips, let’s take a look at a few ideas right now to capture that realism ...

Get Familiar

It’s worth getting familiar with the sport before you start shooting, for example, how points are scored, what causes penalties etc, as this will give you an advantage over others … you will learn to expect where the best action is likely to be, and you can then capture those glorious moments.

Another great tip, as well as aiming to catch the action, capture the ‘emotion’ too. Be ready to shoot players’ faces on triumph of a goal, or any other emotive action in the game and you will bring your photos alive!

Be Prepared

Cold and bad weather conditions can quickly rob the life of your digital camera’s battery, so it’s important to always carry an extra charged battery especially for outdoor sports.

Action Techniques

Stop Action … you’ll very quickly be able to shoot an action shot and ‘freeze’ your subject practically in mid air. Imagine the wheels of a drag car on a dirt road, bouncing off the many bumps … for those few seconds while the car is in mid air, snap away to capture the action.

Lighting is not too much of an issue if you’re outside on a sunny or partially sunny day say at a car race, dog track, or horse race etc, but you’ll maybe need to make adjustments if you’re inside a gymnasium shooting a basketball game, for example. If the lighting is bright, then you’ll probably be okay, but depending on the type of lighting, you may need to activate your fill flash if you shoot players in action and you find your photo colorisation shifting to ‘yellow’.

Also bear in mind the distance, as your flash will not carry too far … it might be worth sitting near the basket hoop to catch the action!

Blurred Action … a couple of ideas behind blurred action is, firstly … if you look back at your photos you have taken using Stop Action, you may find one or two shots that did not freeze the action, which means your camera did not catch the action at the right moment … so you end up with an interestingly blurry effect to your subject.

Secondly, if you’re shooting a ball game, for example, you may get blurring if your player moves just as you click your shutter. If you did not intend for this to happen, you might be pleasantly surprised with the effect!

Panned Action … the most difficult to accomplish, but probably the most effective shooting technique, once mastered. The advantage using your digital camera is that you can delete unwanted frames and start again, so here’s how panning basically works...

Using your digital camera in automatic mode press the shutter half way down to focus on your subject, moving your camera sideways following the action, then pressing the shutter fully while still moving your camera. The effect created is the front of your subject should remain in fairly strong focus, while the back of your subject should start to blur, and as it blurs a long trail should appear, giving a feeling of movement like no other effect could possibly achieve.


By knowing what your digital camera can do, experiment with different methods to get the best shots. You could try shooting in continuous mode, then try panning the camera along with your subject, whilst he/she or it is in motion.

I hope these digital photography tips are helpful. If you can get to grips with panning, as I have described above, you’re on a winner!

About The Author

Yvonne Grubb owns which offers people information on digital photography tips

Friday, April 18, 2008

Portrait Photography Tips and Methods

By: Richard Schneider

Portrait is defined as, “A likeness of a person, especially one showing the face, that is created by a painter or photographer, for example.” In the area of portrait photography there are some guidelines that you should consider when you go to take photos of people.

The different types of portraits are: close-ups, facial shots, upper body shots or environmental portraits. Environmental portraits are where you focus on the subject and on their surroundings that provide more character to the subject.

When people have a camera in their face it usually makes them nervous and they will try to put on a face that does not portray who they really are. The real skill to portrait photography is trying to capture photos when the subjects are comfortable and not worried about a camera.

Many professional photographers try to capture their subject’s true essence by using tricks. One example of this is counting to three so the subject prepares and then while they are relaxing after taking a planned photo the photographer will snap a few more unplanned photos. In most cases the subject won’t even know that more than one photo was taken but it’s usually the photos that the subject wasn’t expecting that capture their true essence.

Another more common strategy professionals use is to tell funny jokes that make their subjects genuinely laugh or smile. I’m sure that you have probably experienced something like this yourself.


These usually have the subject’s shoulders and head or less. They are framed around the face. These are the most common and best at capturing expressions and glamour shots. For these it is very important to have the light coming from a good angle. To accent wrinkles or small details you should have the light coming from the side or from the top. To create flattering pictures you should choose a cloudy day or try to create diffused light so there are hardly any shadows. Also make sure the subject is brighter than the background to reduce distraction.

For close-up portraits you should use a wide aperture (low f/stop) to make the background out of focus and therefore less of a distraction. Professionals commonly use a fixed telephoto lens that’s 90 mm or higher for portraits in order to de-emphasize the subject’s nose or any other unflattering feature. It works because at that distance the nose or any other feature does not seem closer to the camera than the rest of the face.


These are easier to capture because the subject is probably more relaxed because it’s less personal. These include a little more of the background than close-ups. These are commonly used for both single subjects and multiple subjects. This is the kind of portrait used to mark occasions such as graduation, yearbook, birthdays and other parties. The ideal lens would be about a 90 mm fixed telephoto or more wide angle depending on how many subjects there are.


These are the portraits that let you into the life of a subject. They might include the whole subject in a scenario or the subject participating in some hobby that they enjoy. These are best for telling a story to the viewer about the subject. They are almost always used by photojournalists to look into the lives of interesting people. They also make great Black and White pictures.

Use this information to develop what kind of portrait style you would like to take, and then practice it before dealing with any serious clients.

About The Author

Richard Schneider is a digital photography enthusiast and founder of which offers tips and news about digital photography, digital camera reviews, photoshop tutorials and computer wallpaper.

Friday, April 11, 2008

How to take Great Photos of Your Pet

photo by micheal Roy

We all love our animals. They do such funny, adorable, and cute things. But somehow when that camera comes out they run and hide or they just seem to always be pointed away from the camera when you push the button. Well here are some tips to help you have a better chance at getting great photos of your pet.

1. Don't wake your pet out of deep sleep and attempt to coerce him into performing for the camera. It won't happen. Try to take photos of your pet during their routine playtime.

2. If there is enough daylight to take photos then turn the flash off. My cat has learned to close his eyes just before the flash goes off. He learned that little trick quick too! Many times a camera flash is just too bright for them, that's why they point away from you when they know that you're taking photos.

3. Don't try to get them looking into the camera. If there is someone around who can play with your pet just get a shot of them playing with someone else. You can have the photo with the person and the pet or get close to crop the person out of the shot.

4. If your pet always runs away from you every time you pull the camera out try leaving the camera sit out where it can be seen. Take photos of other things in the home and try turning the flash off.

5. Be prepared to grab your camera and take photos when your pet is ready, read "doing something cute." I've been able to get some of the best photos of my cat when he's just doing something on his own.

Remember don't put pressure on your animal to perform for the camera. Think more on the lines of catch them in their natural habitat. Our pets want to make us happy and you can easily confuse them by pressuring them to look good for the camera. Also be prepared to take a whole lot of bad photos for that one really good one.

About The Author

Copyright 2004 Kelly Paal

Kelly Paal is a Freelance Nature and Landscape Photographer, exhibiting nationally and internationally. Recently she started her own business Kelly Paal Photography ( She has an educational background in photography, business, and commercial art. She enjoys applying graphic design and photography principles to her web design.

This is a photography video tutorial on how to take professional photos of animals (cheetahs in this video); includes information on light, composition, and camera settings.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Basic Skills In Digital Photography

by: Low Jeremy

Basically, there is not much difference between using a digital camera and a manual camera. In fact, most experts believe that using a digital camera actually spoils the photographer, making everything so easy for him. Still, there are many who remain daunted by the prospects of using a digital camera especially when their training comes mainly from manual photography.

There are a number of skills that one needs to learn before switching to the digital format. Read through and find out some of the things that you need to develop.

Computer skills

Digital photography involves dealing with computers. In fact, operating the digital camera is like operating a small computer. There are functions that are actually similar to the computer like formatting and delete and a whole lot of other things. You need to be familiar with the functions in order to be able to maximize the digital camera.

In addition, you also need to be really familiar with computer when storing your picture files and adjusting your photos. With this, you need to be able to perform computer tasks such as cutting, pasting, copying, renaming and opening and closing of files and folders.

There are a number of good books that provide tutorials that will enhance computer skills as well as teach you some of the basics in using the computer with regards to photography. Some books in photography, digital photography will for sure contain sections that deal with computers.

Knowledge in graphic programs

One can actually adjust photos and create a whole lot of effects with the use of graphic programs such as Photoshop. One can actually change the size of the photo, alter the pixels and even change the format into different file types. One good thing with digital cameras is the fact that one can actually alter the pictures taken before printing it.

With the use of these programs, one can erase flaws, sharpen some features of the photo, blur the background and even transfer one photo with another. If one is really good, you can even create one new photo by cutting different elements in various photos and put them all together.

Working knowledge with the various functions of the camera

As mentioned before, working with a digital camera is similar to working with a small computer. In order to maximize the digital camera, you need to master the functions including adjusting the various levels such as the shutter speed, the brightness, the contrast. There are even digital cameras that you can actually use as a manual camera; you just need to learn to adjust the functions.

About The Author

This content is provided by Low Jeremy. It may be used only in its entirety with all links included. For more information on photography & other useful information, please visit

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