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.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Reducing Digital Noise

Digital noise is the polka-dot effect in images with long exposures or images shot at high ISO settings in low-light situations. The effect is most noticeable in images shot in low-light situations. Many consider digital noise to be a synonym for film grain. Although the causes are the same, the effects are quite different. Some film photographers purposely shoot images with enhanced grain for artistic effect.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Minimizing Red-Eye in Your Photos

Red-eye is the phenomenon where people have glowing red eyes in photographs. This is caused by the close proximity of the flash (especially built-in flash) to the camera lens, which causes light from the subject to be reflected directly back at the camera.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Reducing Camera Shake

Camera shake is caused by a combination of the photographer’s hand movements or inability to keep the camera still, slow shutter speed, and long focal length. Camera shake results in a blurred image. The focal length of the lens, combined with a slow shutter speed, creates a situation in which the shutter speed is too slow to freeze the image before the camera moves significantly.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Why Shoot RAW Files?

There are many reasons to capture images as RAW files rather than JPEG files. However, it’s important to note that RAW image files require additional work to achieve the color balance you’re looking for, whereas JPEG files are color-balanced by the camera for you. JPEG files are also smaller than RAW image files, requiring less storagespace.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Understanding RAW, JPEG, and TIFF

It’s important to understand the differences between image file types. RAW, JPEG, and TIFF file types are described below.

RAW : A camera’s RAW file is an uninterpreted, bit-for-bit digital image recorded by the camera when the image is captured. Along with the pixels in the image, the RAW file also contains data about how the image was shot, such as the time of day, the exposure settings, and the camera and lens type.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Memory Card

After the digital image sensor has captured the image, the camera employs a series of processes to optimize the image. Many of these processes are based on camera settings established by the photographer prior to taking the shot, such as the ISO setting. After image processing, the camera stores the digital information in a file.

Friday, October 5, 2012


Resolution : A camera’s resolution capability is measured in megapixels. This measurement is based on the number of millions of pixels of image information that can be captured by the light-sensitive elements on the digital image sensor. Thus, a 15 megapixel camera is capable of capturing 15 million pixels of information.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Digital Image Sensor

When the reflective light from the photographed subject passes through the lens and aperture, the image is captured by the digital image sensor. A digital image sensor is the computer chip inside the camera that consists of millions of individual elements capable of capturing light. The light-sensitive elements transform light energy to voltage values based on the intensity of the light.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Using Reciprocity to Compose Your Image

You can adjust the aperture setting and shutter speed to create several different correctly exposed images. The relationship between the aperture and shutter is known as reciprocity. Reciprocity gives the photographer control over the depth of field of the Image, which controls the area of the image that remains in focus. This is the easiest way to control what part of the image you want the viewer to pay attention to.
For example, opening the fens aperture by one stop and decreasing the shutter speed by one stop results in the same exposure. Closing the aperture by one stop and increasing the shutter speed by one stop achieves the same exposure as well. Therefor, f4 at 1/90 of second is equal to f5.6 at 1/45 of a second. The reason is that the camera's aperture setting and shutter speed combine to create the correct exposure of an image.

Monday, October 1, 2012


The shutter is a complicated mechanism that precisely controls the duration of time that light passing through the lens remains in contact with the digital image sensor. The camera’s shutter is activated by the shutter release button. Prior to the digital age, the shutter remained closed to prevent the film from being exposed.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Depth of Field

Depth of field is the area of the image that appears in focus from foreground to background and is determined by a combination of the opening of the aperture and the focal length of the lens. A small aperture setting results in greater depth of field. Controlling depth of field is one of the easiest ways for a photographer to compose the image.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Understanding F-Stop and Lens Speed

The photographer adjusts the opening of the aperture by setting the f-stop. An f-stop is a ratio of the focal length of the lens to the diameter of the opening of the aperture. For example, a 50 mm lens with an aperture opened up to a diameter of 12.5 mm results in an f-stop of f4 (50 ÷ 12.5 = 4).

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


The aperture is the opening in the lens (created by an adjustable iris or diaphragm) that allows light to pass through. The exposure of the image is determined by the combination of shutter speed and the opening of the aperture. The larger the aperture, the more light is allowed to pass through the lens. The aperture is measured in f-stops, and each stop represents a factor of two in the amount of light admitted. The aperture setting (f-stop), combined with the focal length of the lens, determines the depth of field of an image. For more information on depth of field.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Understanding Digital Zoom

The digital zoom feature offered by some camera models does not really zoom in closer to the subject. Digital zoom crops into the center area of the captured frame, effectively enlarging the pixels. This results in a picture with a lower overall image quality. If you don’t have a telephoto or optical zoom lens and you want a close-up, physically move closer to the subject, if you can.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Understanding Lens Multiplication with DSLRs

Most interchangeable lenses were originally created and rated for the 35 mm film plane of traditional SLRs. If you compare the area of a 35 mm film plane with the area of most digital image sensors’ image planes, you’ll see  that the area of most digital image sensors is a bit smaller. The focal length of a lens changes when it is put on a DSLR with a digital image sensor smaller than 35 mm. This smaller image plane effectively increases the focal length of the lens because more of the image circle coming out of the lens is cropped. For example, if you put a 100 mm lens on a DSLR that has a 24 mm digital image sensor, the focal length of the lens is multiplied by a factor of approximately 1.3. A 100 mm lens with a 1.3x multiplication factor effectively becomes a 130 mm lens (100 mm multiplied by 1.3). Another reason to take lens multiplication into account is that shooting wide-angle images becomes increasingly difficult when using cameras with smaller digital image sensors. For example, if your digital image sensor is 24 mm, you require a lens with a focal length less than 24 mm to achieve a wide-angle view. Check your camera specifications for the size of your digital image sensor.

Camera Components and Concepts - Lens

The basic components of a DSLR are described below. (Most of the components in a rangefinder are also found in a DSLR.)
Lens, Aperture, Shutter, Digital image sensor, Memory card, External flash

A lens is a series of sophisticated elements, usually glass, constructed to refract and focus the reflective light from a scene at a specific point—the digital image sensor.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Digital Point-and-Shoot

This is a lightweight digital camera, aptly named after the two steps required of the photographer to capture an image. Basically, point-and-shoot cameras require pointing the camera and taking the picture without manually adjusting settings such as the aperture, shutter speed, focus, and other settings that professional photographers routinely set on more sophisticated cameras.

Digital Single-Lens Reflex (DSLR)

This camera is named for the reflexing mirror that allows you to frame the image through the lens prior to capturing the image. As light passes through the DSLR camera’s lens, it falls onto a reflexing mirror and then passes through a prism to the viewfinder. The viewfinder image corresponds to the actual image area. When the picture is taken, the mirror reflexes, or moves up and out of the way, allowing the open shutter to expose the digital image sensor, which captures the image. Most features on a DSLR are adjustable, allowing for greater control over the captured image. Most DSLR cameras also allow the use of interchangeable lenses, meaning you can swap lenses of different  focal lengths on the same camera  body.
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