Friday, December 28, 2012

Macro Photography

Sooner or later, most photographers develop an interest in seeing the world from a close-up point of view. The camera industry, now more than ever, has accommodated this desire by manufacturing a multitude of different focal length zoom lenses-many of which offer a macro or close-focus feature - as well as close-up filters, extension tubes, and true macro lenses. All of this equipment is designed to allow photographers to explore worlds that would otherwise pass by unnoticed. Sometimes, you may find yourself getting so close to your subject that reality fades away and worlds geometric and microscopic elements emerge. 
Since close-up, or macro, photography offers unlimited possibilities of exploration. Consider the world view from the perspective of an ant and it soon becomes apparent that the world has just gotten bigger-much, much bigger. And when this new ground is explored solely with the vision of the close-up or macro lens, it is no surprise that, even in one hundred lifetimes, one would have barely scratched the surface.
Close-up or macro photography involves, not surprisingly, a lot of unusual camera positions and subsequent points of view. Again you will find yourself spending a great deal of time on your knees and belly, as well as on your back. There's also the added complication of shallow depth of field due to the close focusing distances even when using apertures as small as f/22. One of the surest ways to overcome this limited range of sharpness is to keep the film place parallel to the subject whenever possible and use a firm and steady pair of elbows or a tripod that has collapsible legs that spread all the way to ground level.

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Big Picture - The Nikon D600 dSLR

The Nikon D600 dSLR is a premium pick with a budget price tag,
Full-frame SLRs are often viewed by photo enthusiasts as the holy grail of photography, thanks to large sensors that match the size of traditional 35mm film and make budget SLR sensors look practically tiny in comparison! Armed with pro=grade reliability and downright knock-your-socks-off-level image quality, most of us end up just dreaming about buying one of these, thanks to their prohibitive pricing. Well, dreams have just gotten a little more real with the arrival of the D600, Nikon's first stab at a "budget" full-frame digital SLR. The big question is- is there too much of compromise made?
In design, the D600 is a interesting mix of pro and enthusiast cameras-the use of magnesium alloy and polycarbonate panels and an overall small chasis makes it incrediblly light as a full-frame camera, yet it doesn't make you doubt the quality of construction. If you carry your camera around for hours shooting birds or wild life, your shoulders will thank you for the massive drop in weight!
Dive inside, and the D600  checks off some essentials - a 24 megapixel full-frame sensor, with 5.5 frames per second (fps) continuous shooting capabilities and a 39-point autofocus system - the latter being a step down from the 51-point AF system offered on the serious high-end Nikon pro cameras, one that trips up the D600 only when you are focusing in gruly poorling light conditions or in fast-paced sports shooting. Folks upgrading from current Nikon cameras will love the DX mode that lets you use non full-frame Nikon lenses with the D600 over a variety of shooting conditions, and no matter what you throw at it, the results are hight on details and noise levels are low all the way up to ISO sensitivity levels of ISO 6400. Choose to shoot in the uncompressed RAW mode, and you'll be rewarded with greater control and results worth taking to the bank.
Apart from the AF system and the minor button compromises that the streamlined design necessitates, there's little to fault with the D600. You have to be serious photographer to spend this much on any camera, but suddenly with the D600, there's a middle ground for people like you whose budgets can't stretch all the way into pro-level prices.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

What Is Focal Length?

 The explanation that a lens’s focal length is the distance from the optical center of the lens to its point of focus doesn’t tell the whole story, of course. What is important is that the focal length determines the relative field of view produced by a lens how wide or narrow its perspective is. A lens with a wide perspective will provide an expansive view like the one shown in Figure 1.10. One with an intermediate perspective (which photographers call normal) offers a view like that in Figure 1.11. A narrow, telephoto view might bring details of a subject in very close, as shown in Figure 1.12.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

How a Lens Works

At its very simplest, a lens element is a (mostly) transparent element made of glass, plastic, or some other material, with one or two curved surfaces that bend (refract) the direction of light as it passes through. A curve that bulges outward (convex) causes the light to converge towards a single point of focus. A curve that bulges inward (concave) causes the light to diverge, instead.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Measuring the Intensity of Light

In order to shoot an image with the correct exposure, you have to know the correct value of the intensity of light. Photographers use light meters to measure the intensity of the reflective light in a scene. Digital cameras have built-in light meters that are very sophisticated and incredibly accurate. However, their accuracy is subjective. The recommended aperture and shutter values are determined by how light falls in the scene and by how the light meter is set.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Color Temperature of Light

Color temperature is a term used to describe the color of light. Every light source has a color temperature. However, color temperature refers to the color value of the light rather than its heat value. Light’s color temperature is measured in units called Kelvin (K). This temperature scale measures the relative intensity of red to blue light.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

How White Balance Establishes Color Temperature

When you take a photograph with a digital camera, the color temperature of the scene is not taken into account until the image is processed by the camera’s processor. The camera refers to its white balance setting when it processes the image.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Human Eye’s Subjective View of Color

Elements of a good photo include composition, color, and brightness. One of your jobs as a photographer is to capture the colors you see as intentionally as possible. Whether you intend to show the color exactly as you see it or you want to enhance the color by adjusting the color temperature, it is your job to understand your choices and intentionally compose your picture.