Category Archives: Learn Photography

Camera Metering Modes

Your DSLR camera has a built in light meter that helps you work out the correct exposure.

when you point your camera at something to take a picture your camera meter calculated the exposure.

Most DSLR cameras have a number of metering modes you can use that are something like this…

Evaluative metering mode

This is a general-purpose metering mode suited for portraits and even backlit subjects. The camera sets the exposure automatically to suit the scene your pointing your lens at.

Partial metering mode

Effective when the background is much brighter than the subject due to backlighting etc. Partial metering covers about 9.4% of the viewfinder at the center.

Spot metering mode

This is for metering a specific spot of the subject or scene. The metering is weighted at the center covering about 2.3% of the viewfinder area. When spot metering is set, the spot metering circle will be displayed in the viewfinder.

Center-weighted average metering mode

The metering is weighted at the center and then averaging for the entire scene.

Hope you enjoyed the information in this post. There are lots of similar posts throughout the site if you want to check out more. Thanks for taking time out to visit us. I also undertake one to one tutorials at my studio in Warrington and have more online tutorials. Subscribe to my “learn photography newsletter for more info” below.

New ONline Video Photography Tutorials for Beginners

I have just completed my online video photography tutorials for beginners, which covers the  basics and is aimed at anyone who has just purchased an DSLR camera and wants to better understand it. I have done lots of one to one tutorials at my studio in Lowton and in doing so have come to understand what people generally want when they get themselves a new camera.

So I have crafted a number of video photography tutorials that take viewers through each stage of the learning process so that they have a clear path to their goal of getting more from their camera and to understand the important aspects of photography so they get consistent results and basically know what they’re doing, rather than relying on the camera to work it out for them.

I have started the video course at just £15 for 2 months access. The videos take less than an hour to get through but have all the information packed into short videos that can be returned to again and again over the two month access period.

Check out the sales page here where you can purchase the tutorials and get a link and access password.

I am also on hand to answer any questions you have once you’re inside.

Write once read forever MDisc – Don’t lose your memories!

Did you know that storage devices used at the moment have a limited storage life of less than 10 years? Which means you could lose your precious photographs, data, and music. I really didn’t realise this myself so looked further into it, this is what if found out…

hard drive image

Hard Drives  have two disadvantages

  • Mechanical failure can occur any time due to the rotation depreciation.
  • Data will be vanished due to the earth magnetic field. In most cases the data corruption starts when data is not re-written within 5 years.

flash memory image

Flash Memory: Flash memory has problem for data retention

  • Over time, the cells will lose their charge state. Approximately 5-7 years.

 

magnetic tape image

Magnetic Tape: This is the most common long-term archiving technology

  • Very sensitive to the storage environment, humidity and temperature must be well-controlled or the tape will fail
  • Standard practice is to re-build the archive every 3 years to ensure the archive

solid state disc image

Solid State Disk ( SSD )

  • SSD is working on the same technology as Flash memory, hence not suitable as data retention media.

 

optical disc image

Optical Media ( CD-R/DVD±R/Blu-Ray ):

  • Optical drive is the most common use data carrier system
  • The lifetime of optical media is highly depended on the storage environment
  • Very sensitive for the UV.

None of these storage media lasts longer than 8 years…scary if you have lots of images archived thinking they provide lasting memories that you can come back to again and again.

MDiscs can hold data for 1000 years! I liked the product so much I bought the company…only joking. But we do now sell the discs here. They are genuine Ritek manufactured discs (created by Millenniata) that we get directly from the exclusive UK distributors. They have an anti-scratch surface (unlike many in the market). Please read the technical data and compatibility data PDF below for further information before making a purchase. M-DISC Introduction-Traxdata-R and Final Technical Report1

MDisc last 1000 years

Traxdata M-DISC DVD Printable
3 x M-DISC in “3 in 1” silver DVD box.

You will need the starter pack if you don’t already own a M-Disc writer.


DVDs that last 1000 years

Starter-kit: LG External slim M-Ready
writer + 3 x M-DISC in retail pack

 


If you’re interested in purchasing any of these products please drop me an email and I can give you an idea of prices etc

Food Photography

food photographyWell this article is combining two of my great passions, Photography and Food. My dear wife Hazel is probably the best cook in the world (as far as I’m concerned anyway) and my waist line can prove it. She is forever making great meals and photographing them to show her friends on Facebook. So I told her to improve her photography of food by following a few tips from our portrait business. I don’t photograph food in a professional capacity, but the basic ingredients of good photography apply to whatever you’re photographing whether that be people, pets, landscape or food.

  • Good lighting – making the food look tasty is the aim of the game
  • Good composition – making the photo look interesting

Good Lighting

Avoid lighting your food under artificial lighting conditions, such as light bulbs or florescent lights, as these cause the food to look ugly due to their colour cast. Light bulbs will make the food look a yellowy colour and florescent lighting will make it look greenish (which is not particularly flattering if it happens to be meat).

You can, depending on your camera, set the colour balance to counteract these lighting effects if you have no other option, but it is much easier to photograph your food using natural light from a window. Not just because it takes away the colour balance problem, but also because the light will be coming from a more suitable direction, rather than coming from above (in the instance of artificial lighting from the middle of your ceiling) it will be coming from a side direction (assuming your windows are embedded in your walls).

Check out the examples below a see how the light is coming either from the side or from behind. Avoid lighting from your camera position as this provides a flat lighting effect. You want to add a sense of three dimension to your photos by adding light and shadow to your food, this makes it look more natural and interesting.

Good Composition

Make the food look interesting, have it in a real world situation, such as a table, not too distracting background, although something in the background can sometimes add to the interest, shallow depth of field, to blur the background so that the attention is directed to the food.

All the images below are taken by Hazel and all the food is cooked by her

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food photography example

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There is a short but interesting article at fshoppers detailing how to use studio lighting to get a similar effect Food Photography

Photo Editing

Don’t fall into the trap of chasing more and more expensive camera equipment, instead spend time and money improving your camera skills and editing skills

learn photo editing screenshot

“Most people think that upgrading their entry level DSLR and spending sometimes as much as $3000 for a new camera will bring their photography to “the next level”. Or they think that a $2000 pro lens will be the difference between amateur and professional looking photos.

The truth is…this is mostly a myth. Let’s take for example a Canon T4i(entry level DSLR) and a Canon 5D Mark III(Pro Level), put them on the same tripod and take the same photo (using 2 capable lenses with equivalent focal lengths) and in most situations, the majority of people you show the photo to won’t be able to see a noticeable difference. However (!), show people an expertly edited/color corrected/color graded photo and then the same photo that either came straight out of the camera or was poorly edited and people will IMMEDIATELY see a HUGE difference. If you don’t know already, most great photos you see out there have been skillfully post-processed and edited in softwares like Photoshop, Lightroom and Photomatix(HDR photos).

To me, it makes NO sense to buy more and more camera gear in the hope of taking better photos while neglecting what in the end will make the biggest difference – your photo editing know-how and skills!” www.learnphotoediting.net

There are many photo editing tutorials online, some are better explained than others, learnphotoediting.net allowed me to review their advanced photo editing tutorials. There are currently 9 tutorials to go through:

  1. Combine the power of RAW photography, Tone Mapping and Color Grading!
  2. Learn How To Create An Alien With Photo Manipulation Techniques!
  3. Turn Your Photos Into Magazine Covers!
  4. Extreme Color Grading
  5. Retouch Your Portraits Like The Pros
  6. Learn How To Create Vintage Photos!
  7. Combine Photo Manipulation & Compositing To Create A Post-Apocalyptic Scene!
  8. Combine HDR Photography & Color Grading And Get Stunning Results!
  9. Color Grading For Wedding Photography!

I found the tutorials to be in-depth and easy to follow. All the images and effects are available to use for yourself and reproduce.

When you consider the price of magazines and the rather vague tutorials contained in some of them, then learnphotoediting.net’s offering is pretty good value for money, check out their sales page  to see what you get for your money. It doesn’t cost anything to have a look at their sales page for more info. My communication with the site owner was very possible and very prompt. I only recommend sites that I feel have a good offering. See if the tutorials are of interest to you before you go ahead and purchase. Feel free to ask me any questions if you have any.

The links to learnphotoediting.net are affiliate links, if you buy the product I get a affiliate commission, although this is not why I have featured this product in this article, I have genuinely done so because I believe it adds value for my readers. Checking out the sales page on the end of these links will not incur a charge unless you go through the sites shopping cart. If you do click on the links and decide to purchase the product I would like to thank you for your support of this site via it’s affiliate sale commission, it helps us keep supplying free valuable information for you, many thanks