As photographers, one thing we’re always interested in is improving our photography. Today we’ll discuss something that is often overlooked and can make dramatic improvement in all of the photos we show, as well as increase our perceived skill in the art.
Top photographers know only their top 1% or less of photos taken will ever see the light of day. They know the first step to having interesting work is culling out that which is not. This isn’t something that should be limited to the professionals or those with professional editors… It’s something we can all use! Read more…
If you’re into photography, whether as a serious hobby or as a profession, you probably find yourself doing repetitive tasks on a routine basis. You’ve probably also heard various tips, tricks, and strategies on how you can do these tasks faster and more efficiently. Heed them.
While saving a few seconds here or a few minutes there might not seem like much, optimizing your efficiency is definitely something worth doing, especially for tasks you’re doing all the time. The reason is simple: small efficiency gains might seem inconsequential, but they build up and can save you quite a bit of time over time. Read more…
UV lens filters are a popular way to protect the front element of lenses from damage, but you should make sure you invest in a high-quality one unless you want to make a huge sacrifice in image quality. Reddit user EvilDoesIt shot the photos above comparing a cheap filter with a pricier one:
The top one is a $20 Quantaray UV filter. Bottom is a ~$70 B+W MRC UV filter. This is a more extreme example, but it shows the difference between a nice filter and a crappy cheap one. Both these shots are unedited JPEGs from my Nikon D7k with a Nikkor 17-55 ƒ/2.8 @ 1.3s ISO100.
I do realize that the top pic can be easily fixed by adjusting levels, but in my opinion, it’s always better to get the best picture you can get out of your camera before editing. [#]
His last sentence is a gem: to achieve the best images, you want to make sure you’re squeezing out the best image quality you can from each step along the way.
Image credit: Photographs by EvilDoesIt and used with permission
Here’s a simple tip by photographer Benjamin Von Wong for traveling abroad: you can make recharging your devices overseas a breeze by building a charging station using a single power adapter and your own power strip.
If you were to lose your camera today, would anyone who found it be able to get in touch with you? If not, it might be a good idea to put a couple “digital dog tags” on your camera’s memory card. First, add a photo with your contact information onto the card so that anyone looking through the photos on the camera will come across it. Next, add a series of text documents to the root directory of your memory card (the first directory that appears when you access the card on a computer). Give these files names that both attract attention and contain your contact info. Open up these text documents and add your full contact details. This way, anyone who opens up your card on a computer will (hopefully) see your info as well.
These tips are especially useful if you’re traveling with your camera, since you might not be clearing the data off your card very frequently and may have a higher chance of losing your camera.
Here’s a quick tip for if you ever have a hard time removing a lens filter from a lens (e.g. when it’s damaged): use a shoe. Simply take any shoe with a grippy flat bottom, press it firmly against the filter, and then turn it. It’s a super simple technique that should work every time unless the threads on the lens itself are badly damaged.
Phaidon Press has released another one minute tip by photojournalist Steve McCurry, who suggests picking “an unusual vantage point”. If you stay at street level it’s sometimes difficult to capture a shot that hasn’t been captured countless times before (especially in a popular tourist destination). Getting to a location that’s not easy to gain access to can help you capture a more unique perspective.
Just because you use the built-in flash on your compact camera doesn’t mean you need to live with harsh, direct lighting. Here’s a quick video tutorial teaching how to use any small white card (e.g. a piece of scrap paper or a business card) to easily bounce your flash and soften the lightning.
If you’ve used your flash for quite a while, you may have noticed some yellowish haze where the plastic has oxidized. For flash units that have a smooth surface, here’s a pro tip: you can make it shine again by simply dabbing a little toothpaste onto a cloth and wiping off the haze in a circular motion. Read more…