How to Use the Built-in Camera Flash

Most DSLR or mirrorless cameras come with built-in flashes. These are tiny ones that pop up in Auto Mode when the lights go down and can be manually triggered if you’re shooting in any other mode.

However, many new photographers find that using the flash creates horrible images especially when they’re taking photos of people. Here are some ways you can make use of the built-in flash effectively.

Bounce It

When in indoor situations, try to bounce the flash off of a wall or the ceiling. This can be done by placing a white card at an angle in front of the flash. The card should be placed in a way so it pushed the flash up towards the ceiling, bouncing it and creating a much softer light.

Diffuse It

Another great way to use the built-in camera flash, especially when taking portraits is to diffuse it to create a softer effect. Use a DIY diffuser if you can’t buy an expensive one, or just put a white plastic bag over your flash.

Against the Sun

It might sound weird but using the flash on a portrait where the sun is at the back is a great way to ensure optimum exposure. The direct sunlight makes the flash appear much softer than it is while still allowing you to add some fill light to your subject.

Why a Remote Shutter is a Good Idea

Many new photographers find themselves confused about what accessories they should get for their cameras. Some of these accessories, like flashes and tripods, are more popular amongst new photographers than many others.

Today, we will see how an often ignored camera accessory, the remote shutter release, can help you in many sticky situations.

It Helps Stabilize Your Photos

Even if you use a tripod, pressing the shutter button with your finger can cause the camera to shake just enough to ruin your photo. While it is possible to put your camera on timer mode to avoid this shake, it is much easier to just use a remote shutter release for getting that tack sharp focus.

It Helps in Long Exposures

Other than allowing you to reduce camera shake, a remote shutter release will also let you take long exposure photos at night. The reason why it is considered essential for really long exposures is that it allows you to use your camera in Bulb Mode, which lets you keep the camera’s shutter open for as long as you want for those breathtaking star trails.

It Helps with HDRs

If you want to create HDR photos, then taking three sharp images of the same scene at different exposures is very important. A shutter release comes in handy in such a situation by letting you minimize camera shake.

If you would like some more information about HDR photography, head on to www.aurorahdr.com.

It Helps with Wildlife Shots

You can’t sit behind your camera all the time when photographing wildlife. Whether it is a rabbit that can easily get scared away or a lion that can literally shred you to pieces, having a remote shutter release will help you get the much-needed distance from your subject while taking their photo.

 

So if you are planning to use your new camera for anything mentioned in this short guide, be sure to invest in a good remote shutter release so you don’t have to make compromises in the field.

Should You be Shooting in RAW?

If you are even a little experienced with photography by now, you must have heard the term RAW photography. A RAW photo is basically an uncompressed image file that contains all the data captured by your camera’s sensor during a shoot. So why should you be shooting in RAW? Here are some reasons:

  • Image Quality – A RAW photo will give you the best possible image quality your camera sensor can produce. This is because there is no compression, no changed settings, no over-sharpening, and no filters applied.

 

  • More Tweak-ability – Where a JPEG image captures in 8bit, a RAW image does so in 12 or 14bit. This gives you much more control over the exposure settings of your images. You can tweak the look of your photos without sacrificing image quality, unlike JPEGs.

 

  • Control over White Balance – With a RAW file, you have the option to easily set your white balance however you want in post processing. This lifts the added stress of nailing your white balance settings in-camera every time you take a shot.

 

 

  • Non-Destructive Editing – As mentioned earlier, RAW image files have all the image data captured by your sensor. When you edit this data, you’re not doing anything to the actual image but rather telling this data how it should be saved when your export it as a TIFF or JPEG image file. This gives you heaps of control over how your image looks without affecting the actual image quality.

So if you haven’t shot in RAW before, maybe it’s time you gave it a shot. You never know how creative your mind may get once you see the amount of control you can have as to how your final photos look.

How to Choose Your Shooting Mode

All high-end cameras come with a variety of shooting modes to let you choose the amount of manual controls you want over your images. These modes are designed to help photographers use their cameras in the most efficient way possible in any given situation. But just which mode is best for your particular needs? Read on to find out how you can maximize the efficiency of your photography:

Automatic Modes:

These modes are the ones that most beginner photographers use to grasp the controls of their cameras. They utilize the camera manufacturers’ preset processing parameters to create the best image for a given situation. Most cameras’ Auto mode fluctuates between various presets like Sports, Macro, Portrait, and Night on its own by changing every setting of the camera automatically.

Manual Modes:

If you want more control over your images, you need to be familiar with three of the most useful manual modes on your camera:

  • Shutter Priority:

Like the name suggests, Shutter Priority mode lets you set the shutter speed of your camera and then adjusts the aperture value on its own to achieve the ideal exposure for your given shutter speed and ISO. This is most useful in sports photography and other events where you need to freeze movement.

  • Aperture Priority:

Aperture Priority mode allows you to set the aperture of your camera sensor, and the camera then adjusts the shutter speed accordingly. This is most useful when you need to control the depth of field in your image, for example in portrait or landscape photography.

  • Manual Mode:

Manual Mode offers complete control over your camera settings. You can adjust the shutter speed, aperture value, as well as the ISO value of your camera in manual mode. This option is preferred by many professional and fine art photographers who want to achieve a very specific look for their photos.

What Are Camera Autofocus Points?

Modern cameras are seeing a constant improvement in their autofocusing mechanisms by using a large amount of autofocus points, among some major technological advancement. If you’ve never used a camera with autofocus points, or don’t know how to use them properly, this article will help you a great deal.

A Brief Description

When you use your digital camera to take a photo, you must have seen a number of small boxes appear on the viewfinder or the screen. These are called autofocus points, and they are used to get the best possible focus for your shot.

While using automatic focusing on your camera, you can tell which part of your image the camera is focusing at by seeing which autofocus points are lighting up. This is a great way to be sure that your camera is focusing on the part of the image that you want it to focus at.

Manually Selecting AF Points

While autofocusing systems on modern cameras are being improved every day, they can’t be accurate all the time. This is why you should manually set the AF points on your camera if you want it to focus on a very specific part of the image. Most cameras these days allow you to manually select either one focus point or a cluster of them. Both these options are useful in certain situations. For example, if you are taking a portrait, then choosing one point and placing it on the subject’s eye is going to give you the best focus. Similarly, choosing a cluster could be helpful in taking a group photo of people standing in a certain part of your frame.

 

Whichever camera you own, always remember to use the correct kind of focusing system for any given situation. This will ensure that you never miss a great shot because your camera decided to act up a little while trying to get the focus.

When and How to Shoot HDR

Having a good amount of dynamic range in your photos is very important, especially in the case of outdoor shots like landscapes or architecture. If your photos lack the necessary dynamic range, they may either be too bright to the point where the sky appears white or too dark where you lose all the details from the shadows.

This is why it can be very helpful to shoot HDR photos instead of normal ones. HDR, or High Dynamic Range, photos are a combination of two or more photos of the same scene but at different exposure settings. Merging these multiple exposures ensures that the final image you get has all the necessary details. You can visit aurorahdr.com to see how this works in more detail.

How to Shoot HDR

Making HDR photos is very simple. As mentioned, all you have to do is expose your photos for different parts of the image. For example, if you are shooting a portrait on a bright day in an urban setting you should take at least three exposures. One of these should be exposed to capture the details of the subject’s face. Another one should capture the details of the sky, and a last one should get the details of the surroundings. When you merge all three of these images in post processing, you’ll see that the resulting image is well exposed all around.

 

So you see how easy it is to make HDR images in a matter of minutes. You don’t need high end equipment for such images. All you have to do is be mindful of whether the scene you are shooting requires to be shot in HDR mode or not.

How to Clean Sensor Dust

For any photographer, having specks of dust ruin otherwise perfect photos is very frustrating. Luckily, there’s a very easy way you can get rid of this sensor dust without spending a lot of money.

Use your Camera’s Auto Clean Feature

Many of today’s DSLR cameras have a function inside them that can vibrate the sensor slightly to shake off the dust. This doesn’t work most of the time if you have a lot of dust on your sensor, but for basic cleaning it should do the trick.

Use a Pressured Air Can

To clean small amounts of dust that have found their way onto your camera sensor, all you need to do is use a pressured air can to blow it out. To do this, simply pop off the lens from your camera body, insert the nozzle of the air can slightly into the opening, and blow the air onto the sensor. Most types of dust will just be blown out of the body.

One thing to remember is to keep the camera facing downwards so that when you blow air into it, the dust falls down rather than going farther up into the body.

So you see how easy it is to clean your camera’s sensor? All you need are a few minutes of your time and an air can to blow that dust out of your precious DSLR.

What are Camera Drive Modes?

If you use a DSLR, you must be familiar with the different drive modes that can be used to take a photo. Today, we are going to take a look at how these modes affect the way a camera takes a photo.

Single Shooting

By default, your camera’s drive mode is set to Single Shot. This means that when you press the shutter button, the camera takes one shot. If you want to take another image, you just press the button again. This works in most everyday situations, and many people won’t need to change to another mode most of the time.

Continuous Shooting

If you are an action photographer or just like to take backup photos so you can later choose the best one, you should set your drive mode to Continuous or Burst. This allows you to keep pressing the shutter button and your camera will keep taking photos until you release the shutter.

Delayed Shooting

The third type of drive mode is a Timer or Delayed Shooting option. This is useful when you want the camera to be still after pressing the shutter for a long exposure shot, or if you simply want to join in on the family picture after pressing the shutter.

Remote Shooting

For cameras with compatible remotes, you can use the Remote Shutter option to take a picture through the remote control. This also helps in avoiding any kind of movement or vibration that could be caused in the camera when you press the shutter. It also helps in taking wildlife shots, where you may not want to get too close to the animal and scare it.

 

So there are the basic drive mode options that you can find on your DSLR camera. The next time you’re taking a shot, be sure to select the right kind of drive mode for that particular situation.

A guide to perfect picture

The photo blogs are also known as photo log. It is a great way of the modern technology to stay connected at all the times and share as much information about photography with the virtual strangers as possible. In fact, the photo blogging is essential for the phenomenon of photo sharing and publishing in the form of a blog. With the tremendous advancements in the digital camera technology, people can take the wide varieties of photographs in these days and also post them directly to a photo blog from the camera. The photo blogs are usually existed on the personal domains and the blogging services were specifically designed for the text content, which accommodate high quality images. Setting up the photo blog usually involves the similar procedures of a normal text blog. If you are really confident about the quality of your photos, you just try to promote your photo blog exactly the same way as the text blog is promoted.

Nowadays, the blogging has become very popular for sharing useful information in all over the globe. In fact, the photo sharing methods are one of the most popular methods of blogging. The normal photo blogs mainly focus on the text, whereas the photo blogging is mainly focused on photographs. The content management system is an important requirement for the photograph blogging in which the author needs to manage their photo log in the most effective manner. Usually, there are a few words beyond the pictures in photo blogging. This picture blogging is one of the best ways for bloggers to share their opinions or views via the images. If you want to entertain the readers through your blog, you must go for adding some funny photos and humor look, which makes the readers absolutely laugh as well as feel happy.