Posted on February 5th, 2012
Photographing the moon can be very challenging if not planned correctly and if you do not have the right equipment. We are going to cover a few that we hope will help you if you decide to take on that challenge.
Know the exact phase the moon is in and the time the moon will be appearing. You can usually find online sources that can tell you all the information that you need to know. Be sure you all check out the weather forecast in your area as well.
Using the right equipment is also very important. Your equipment will play a huge role in the quality of your moon photographs. For close up shots you will want to use the longest telephoto lens that you have. As for your camera you want to make sure you have a low noise sensor, this will help resolve any details issues. You will also want to have a tripod available for long exposures to take moon shots. The tripod will also help steady your camera.
Try to capture your shots within 15 to 20 minutes of moonrise. Anything after that and the moon will be too bright to get a decent photograph.
After capturing your images it’s always good to use a photo editing application to get the complete desired effect. Try cropping the moon to make it bigger and really capture the moment.
We hope these few tips help you out if you decide to take on moon photography.
Posted on December 26th, 2011
Landscape photographers are always shooting at new locations and with each new location is a new challenge that comes with that location. It’s important you know some of the basics of landscape photography to get that perfect shot. Here are a few quick tips that should help when shooting landscapes.
- Frame your shot so that it contains a point of interest, something that will catch the viewer’s eye into the photo.
- A foreground object will help frame the photograph and give a three-dimensional look.
- Watch for objects that you don’t want in your photo like overhead wires, poles, garbage cans, etc. Try to reposition yourself and take them out of the shot if you can.
- Place the horizon a third of the way down from the top or bottom from the frame rather than centering it in the middle.
- Scale is also important in landscape photography; this can be achieved by including of a known size in the shot.
- Lighting is also important in the shot, lighting that makes the shot dramatic or moody is often more memorable. In low light be sure you use a higher ISO setting that will produce a good depth of field.
- Do not use your flash when shooting landscapes unless you are trying to brighten a foreground object.
- Use a tripod, this will ensure sharpness and cut down on camera shake which can cause blur in your shots.
We hope these few tips help you if you decide to take up landscape photography.
Posted on December 12th, 2011
When using an outside setting for your photographs can be fun and exciting, it is very important to take care of your camera in cold weather. Most digital cameras’ default settings can be adjusted to compensate for the weather but some cannot. Here are a few helpful tips to avoid damaging your camera and capturing unwanted photographs.
Keep your batteries and camera warm. Some photographers don’t even put batteries in until it is time to photograph. To conserve batteries, turn of any extra feature such as the LCD to save energy. Also keep a spare of batteries in your pocket close to your body.
Place your camera in a plastic bag to avoid any potential condensation from developing on the camera lens. If the camera is in the plastic bag, take it out for photos then immediately place back in the bag for safety. This will prevent the camera from appearing “Foggy”. If condensation does form, immediately stop using the camera, remove the batteries, lens cap, and memory card
Once the photographer has returned home, immediately give the camera time to adjust to the temperature change. Place the camera in an unheated room for about 30 minutes. Also keep the camera in the camera bag to minimize any condensation.
These are just a few tips for protecting your camera during the cold weather months.
Posted on October 31st, 2011
Cycling photography can be challenging but with the right tips and know how it also can be fun. We will give few tips in this article to get you started.
Using Your Flash – Use your flash when shooting cyclists. The reason for this is the sun will cast shadows on the face and bodies of the riders. This will fill those shadows with light which in turn will create more dynamic images.
Shutter Speed –Choosing the right shutter speed can have a great affect on your shots. For stop action use a shutter speed that is 1/250 of a second or faster. You might have an automatic setting; usually a sport setting that will take care of this for you. As cyclists pass follow the riders with your camera. The combination of panning and slow shutter speed keeps the cyclist in focus while blurring the background.
Angles – Shoot high and low, in other words shoot from low points and high points. Get those different images that people aren’t use to seeing.
Practice – These days it’s not near as hard to become good at cycling and sports photography due to the digital camera era. The more time you put in to your photos the better your results will be. You will learn what settings work and what settings don’t.
Thanks for stopping by the 42nd Street Photo blog and we hope to see you again soon.
Posted on July 7th, 2011
The summer is here and the temperatures are hot. More than likely at some point this summer you will probably find yourself at a poll of your own or with friends. This also provides a great chance to take some great photo with your digital camera. Here are a few tips to try out when poolside and you are snapping shots.
- Understand your digital camera, read your manual, play with the settings
- Batteries and memory cards. Make sure your batteries are new or charged and you have plenty of room on your memory cards
- Keep your camera stores when not using it. Be sure you have a case or a bag to place your camera in when not using it. Keep out of the sun and away from the water
- Beware of the sun, natural light is great but when at the pool try and get the sun behind you. Understand your ISO settings will also help when there is a lot of sun.
- Take a lot of photos, you can’t go wrong here. Not all your photos are going to be perfect so take as many photos as you can.
- Make sure you have stable footing and a good foundation; you don’t want to find yourself and your camera in the pool.
We do hope you have a great summer and take some great photos. Thanks for stopping by.
Posted on May 9th, 2011
So you are going on vacation this summer and waterfalls are in the mix. You probably want to shoot some great pictures of these waterfalls to show off to your friends right? We are going to provide you with a few simple but useful tips to get those photos that you want.
Use A Slow Shutter Speed
Use a slow shutter speed for shooting waterfall photos. The slower shutter speed settings will make the waterfalls look professionally shot. You also have to compensate slow shutter speed by selecting small aperture and in turn you will also get a greater depth of field.
Use A Tripod
Not an article goes by that I don’t mention a tripod. When shooting at slow shutter speeds the camera has to be very steady. The goal is to blur the movement of the water while everything else remains in sharp focus. You will get a picture where everything is blurred because of the camera shake if you are not carrying a tripod.
A Neutral Density (ND) filter is great to have for waterfall photography. This comes in especially handy when the scene is very bright. It darkens the image and reduces the amount of light from entering the camera without altering the color or tone of the light, thus decreasing the shutter speeds to accommodate the reduction of light.
As with most photography early, evening, and overcast days are best for shooting. These days are ideal for waterfall photography. Do not shoot waterfalls during mid-day or when the sun is at full capacity. Bright light will create high contrast and this will overexposure white water and underexposure dark shadows.
This comes with the territory. Every scene is different resulting in changing of our camera settings so practice. Take more than a few pictures, take a lot of pictures. With enough time your friends will think you pulled that photo from National Geographic.
Posted on April 12th, 2011
Trying to shoot lightning can be difficult for photographers, but this article will provide some tips to help you be more successful at capturing great lightning photos. There can be quite a bit a risk involved as lightning is very unpredictable. You are usually out in the open with a tripod, power lines, metal fences and other things that will attract lightning. First and foremost be careful but have fun.
Be sure you know and understand the weather conditions. You don’t want to attempt to photograph lightning in the rain but rather as the storm is in the distance or as it approaches. Unless you love being zapped use all precautions necessary. If you can take your shots from indoors then do it, but if you are an adventurer and want some really good shots then outdoors is the way to go.
Camera – but of course right, how else will get those great shots. You should be able to set aperture separately
Tripod – Without a doubt you will need a tripod, a heavy one would be the way to go.
Cable Shutter Release – To trip the shutter remotely.
Exposure and Settings
Set your camera to the lowest ISO speed and shoot RAW. Keep the aperture f/5.6 – f/8 while taking lightning photos. Exposure time all depends on light conditions. When shooting at night, calculate long exposures for you to know the right exposure. When capturing lightning photos during daytime, you can use your camera’s light meter to know the correct exposure. Your lens should also be set on manual focus and focus for infinity because lightning will most likely hit somewhere very far away from your lens.
The simplest form of lightning photography is done well after sunset, with a dark sky. You find a part of the sky where lightning is happening, aim your camera that way, focus on infinity, set the f-stop, open the shutter with or without)the cable release, this is your choice and then close the shutter after lightning happens. When the sky is dark, there is no limit to how long you can wait with the shutter open.
These are only a few tips for photographing lightning to consider. Experiment with your shots and don’t give up if its not perfect the first few times. You will eventually get it right.
Posted on October 15th, 2010
Halloween is celebrated by those young and old. Kids and adults alike enjoy the costumes, candy, and parties during this time of the year. At the same time you want to capture these memories and shoot the best photographs possible. With Halloween just a couple of weeks away I figured we would provide some helpful tips for Halloween photography.
Pictures at Halloween can be great but you can also get very creative with your shooting. Use vintage costumes and plugins and filters to shoot your photographs. Try making your photos really stand out.
Let’s talk Jack-O-Lanterns for a few minutes. Be sure when you finish your jack-o-lantern that wherever you place it to shoot a photo that the background or setting does not distract from the jack-o-lantern. Try placing the jack-o-lantern in a garden or background of leaves. If you decide to wait until night to take the picture of your jack-o-latern you may not get the effect you are looking for. You want to have at least 3 candles inside your jack-o-latern to get that inside glow. Then be sure and override the flash by put your finger over it. This will cut down on the amount of light thrown on the subject.
Next we talk about all the creatures that go bump in the night. Everybody enjoys putting on a scary Halloween costume and having fun. In fact, you may be surprised to learn that in recent years, sales of costumes for adults have outpaced costumes for kids! Make sure to take a photo of your favorite creature with and without the mask. Let’s say you want to take a portrait of your little boy (or kid brother) or even a friend in a “scary” costume before he goes out trick-or-treating or going to a costume party. First, figure out what’s the best part of the costume. Then get in close and fill the frame with the parts you’ve decided are best.It’s usually better if you don’t shoot from head to toe since shoes are often the weakest part of a costume.
Other basic tips:
Rule of Thirds
Fill Your Frame
Increase your ISO
Slow Down Shutter Speed
Use a Larger Aperture
Try all these things when shooting photos for Halloween. As I said above, be creative, take as many photos as you can and play with all the settings to get that Halloween effect. You don’t have to go with a expensive camera to do this as most basic digital cameras will take awesome photos for this time of the year.
Posted on July 28th, 2010
The summer is in full swing and so is traveling to state parks, gardens, museums, monuments and public buildings. There is no doubt you will be carrying your camera along to get pictures of these wonderful places. It’s sometimes difficult though to convey the power and size of a public memorial in a photograph. Take the Lincoln Memorial or Washington Monument for example. People are always so shocked by the size of these monuments once they see them in person.
The remarkably beautiful settings and the fine details of these monuments always makes them a good choice for photography. The best way to provide the viewer with an idea of the actual size is to focus on the fine details of these monuments. If taking photographs of a statue you might trying focusing in on the hands or face of the monument. This will allow the photo to be more dramatic. Try being directly under the memorial or close to it and take multiple shots. You might also focus on an object in the background that will allow comparison with the monument you are shooting. This will provide a scale of how enormous the monument actually is.
Another way to take interesting images of monuments is to do so in unique lighting conditions. A park that floodlights its monuments like the Washington Monument makes for a challenging collection of subjects, but ones that are accented in ways that the sunlight cannot accomplish.
Clearly the way to photograph monuments is to check them out in advance to ensure they are adequate subjects and then simply compose the photograph in a way that allows the viewer to see them in a slightly different fashion that allows them to feel like they are there.
Posted on July 7th, 2010
Black and White photography is often seen as one of the most inspiring aspects of photography. Black and white photography have the disposition if making photos look more artistic. Black and white photography is an excellent way to train the eye to recognize what makes a striking composition. Thanks to great digital cameras and photo editing software, black and white photography is making a comeback.
If you have the opportunity to use RAW, just do it! This gives you more control of the image’s appearance. The drawback is that RAW files need to be processed later. By using RAW files your computer and not your camera will process the records and generate a picture from it. There are other ways to get great black and white photos if you do not have RAW on your camra.
When you remove the color, your eyes become more sensitive to the light intensity. We naturally pick out areas of contrast — it’s how we distinguish one thing from another. As a black & white photographer, your main objective is to make your point with shades of gray. Use contrast to show your onlookers what’s important and what’s not.
You can use contrast to help your main subject stand out – for example by photographing a light subject against a dark background – and also to add depth by including a variety of tones and shades in your photo.
Patterns are look better in black and white photographs as colors aren’t taking the attention from them. So if you want to take a photograph and like to emphasize on the patterns, then choose black and white tones instead of color. Many patterns, particularly subtle ones, often go unnoticed in color photos, because the colors draw attention away from the pattern itself.
Textures can be lost in color photography just like patterns. When we photograph in black and white we pay more attention to elements such as texture, making them appear much more prominent.
Light is the key to all great black and white photograph because it effects all of the elements. Consider your lighting when taking black and white photos. The right setup often produces the most dramatic shots.
If you are looking for cameras for black and white photography then stop by 42nd Street Photo.
Posted on June 10th, 2010
Here some surf photography basics you can use this summer.
Surf photography can be very risky, sharks, broken bones, run over by surfboards and possible drowning are all risks when involved with surf photography.If you are up for taking risks to get that great shot its always worth it. You basically deal with the same elements surfers deal with when you are out there.
To start with if this is your first time do not use expensive equipment. Fuji and Kodak make great throw away waterproof cameras. If you are going to drop a few dollars then I would suggest either an Olympus or Pentax. They both makes underwater cameras that run in $300 range. Also consider a monopod and ball head might help to reduce the stress on your arms depending on how long you plan on shooting.
If possible only shoot in RAW mode at the highest resolution. If you shoot JPGs its easy to blow out the whites or get the wrong color contrast in high contrasting seas. Use the fastest shutter speed possible. Shutter speed should be equal to or faster than the ratio one over the focal length of your lens. Shutter speed should be about one over your ISO, so, if your ISO is set to 800, your shutter speed would be 1/800th of a second. Obtaining proper depth-of-field, for many scenes, will make the difference between a good shot and a snapshot.
Make your own judgment call. When it comes to getting out in the waves and shooting make your own judgment call. Never trust what a surfer says about the waves. An understanding of the break is even more important. Need to know where the wave will pitch or bowl so you can be right inside of the action.
Always be creative and have fun with it!
Posted on April 7th, 2010
1. Show only your best work
Only the best shots should be in your portfolio. Try to keep to short and sweet. The more photographs an employer or client has to look through the less the impact is from the previous ones. Include anywhere from 15-20 photographs or a very good balance between quality and quantity. A slim selection can leave the client asking questions where too many photographs can be overbearing. As your career grows and you learn more you will want to change out your work for things you have done more recent.
2. Get an outside opinion
Talk with someone who is an expert in this field and that you trust and get there honest opinion. You may get a better insight to what potential clients are looking for.
3. Diversify your Portfolio
Each photo should show the aspect of your ability. Do not show 100 photographs from a certain angle. Consider what types of photos will be included. Prove to the client you can diversify and handle any assignment they offer you. Every image should work toward the goal of expressing your eye and capabilities as an excellent photographer.
4. Start strong, End strong
Start your portfolio out strong, catch the clients eye. Keep this in mind with your last photo as well. This is where you want to place your standout photo, since it’s the last photo the client see. You want leave a lasting impression with the client so why not go for it. Also be sure and include a great photo the the middle of your portfolio so the client keep looking at all the photos.
5. Make different formats available
Some clients may prefer a CD, other may prefer a book. Have more than one format available. You might also consider building a website to show off your work. This will allow you to reach a wider audience.
We hope these few tips will help you build a great portfolio.
Posted on March 30th, 2010
Today we are going to talk about nautical photography or taking photos while on a boat. This can be any type of boat whether you are on a lake or in an ocean. Always keep the basics in mind that we have posted in our articles. Things like camera is accessible, camera is operational, lighting, focus, take plenty of photos, etc. With digital cameras being so affordable why not give it a shot.
Well we hope you have a boat and if you do here are a few things to think about.
Keep your horizon straight – Keep an eye on the horizon as you shoot, its easy to lose track of the way the boat is rolling.
Shoot with fast shutter speeds – Due to the fact you are on a moving boat and you are shooting a moving boat this can cause blur and fuzziness in your photos. Turn up the shutter speed to 1/1000 or higher.
Don’t shoot at mid-day – The best time for shooting is early morning and late afternoon. Overhead sun is harsh on boats and scenery.
Look around alot – Keep looking around, you would be surprised what you just might come across that makes a good shot. A good trick to ensure a sharper shot is to track, or pan, the camera with the moving object, instead of trying to grab the action as it passes through the frame.
Reflections – The sunlight that bounces from water can add a magical, reflective sparkle to the hull. Ask the captain or whoever is driving the boat to rotate the bow until it lights up.
We hope this few tips help taking shots the next time you go boating.
Posted on February 23rd, 2010
We are going to offer a few tips for the beginner photographer. This article is more for the people who want to get into photography and are just looking for the basics to get started.
Start with an inexpensive camera. There is no use in spending a lot of money if you are just starting out. First buy an inexpensive camera and take plenty of photos to get the feel for what you are doing then you will know what to purchase next. I would suggest a point and shoot until you starting getting serious then move up to a SLR.
Carry your camera at all times, photo opportunities came when you least expect them too. Most digital cameras are small enough to fit in a small carry bag and you can even add a tripod if you like. You might also find a location you want to come back back and take photos of if you don’t have your camera.
User free resources to learn more about photography. Check out your local library and even the wealth of free information on the Internet.
Play with your camera settings. Learn what each setting does and how to use it. Read the manual that comes with the camera and don’t be afraid to experiment with them.
Take photos all the time and any time. Take photos everyday if possible to practice on a regular basis.
We hope these help any beginners that are interested in photography.
Posted on January 28th, 2010
Pet Photography can be tricky. If you are not careful you can cause pets to look blurry, angry or frightened. We are going to give a few tips that will help capture your pets personality.
- Avoid using a camera’s flash, this can effect your pet’s eyes and make them look red. Light can make or break the photos of your pet.
- Use outside light if possible. If you can go outside then out your pet next to a window.
- Lie on the floor and put your pet on a higher surface for an original perspective. Don’t look down at your pet. Try not to take shots where your pet is looking directly in the camera.
- Try to capture your pet at its best moments. Try to capture most characteristic expression and pose of your pet.
- Keep the picture simple. Your pet needs to be the focus of the picture.
- Fill the frame with your pet. Very little background is a good effect.
- Shoot close-ups of your pet’s face.
- Be patient. Don’t get upset, sometimes these things take time. You might want to bring out your pet’s favorite toy or treat if that gets his attention.
We hope these few tips help when taken photos of your pet.
Be sure and stop by 42nd Street Photo for all your camera and camcorder needs.
Posted on January 19th, 2010
Today we are going to talk about photographing the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights. If you have the chance to travel far enough north to witness this phenomenon then I suggest you take a few photos because it’s something you will want to remember. The lights in the sky are caused by the Earth’s magnetic field interacting with energy from the sun. Here are a few tips to help you along the way.
The best months to view the Northern Lights are March and September usually in the far northern or southern hemisphere. The times of best activity seem to be from 10:00 P.M. to 2:00 A.M.
A few things you might need
Wide Angle Lense
Remote Shutter Release Cord or Remote Control
Extra batteries for the cold
Folding Chair (unless you prefer to stand and wait)
You will need a fast wide angle lense. Most wide angle lenses that are included with SLR cameras are f/3.5. This is not fast enough. Try using a f/2.8 or, if you are serious then use a f/1.4. The faster (wider maximum aperture) the lens the better.
Get the best picture
If your camera has the ability, shoot in RAW mode to capture the most detail. For starters shoot in manual mode, roughly ISO 400 to 800, an aperture of f/2.8, and a shutter speed of 30 seconds. If you do not have the f/2.8 capability, you will need to bump up the ISO to 800 or 1600.
Since the Aurora is far away, set the focus to infinity. Be sure and test your lens in daylight. You may need to back off from full infinity for correct focus.
Aurora photography takes patience. You might have spend many nights waiting for the perfect shot.
We hope these few tips can get you started if you want to shoot the Northern Lights. Also be sure and visit 42nd Street Photo for all your camera needs.
Posted on January 9th, 2010
Today we are going to talk about sports photography and offer a few tips that may help you out. Sports photography can be challenging if you do not have the right equipment. This is also probably one of the purest forums of photography. Most sports are very quick paced events and usually there are quite a few players and plays happening at once. These few tips ensure great action shots on the field, court or wherever play is taking place.
Snapshot digital cameras are difficult to use for sports photography due to the time lag while the camera focuses and the shutter opens. These cameras are not very good under low light conditions due to the very small pixels. They also have built in zoom lenses which may be good to shoot a sport like basketball, but not good enough for sports like baseball and football.
DSLR cameras like the Canon 40D and Nikon D300 are more suitable for sports photography. These cameras usually include a decent kit lens like an 18mm to 50mm zoom. The one issue with these lenses is that ther are usually slow in terms of focal ratio. For a sport like football you will need a lense that is at least 200mm to 300mm.
Get in the Game
Timing is of the essence for a sports photographer. Make sure you are paying attention to whats happening on the field/court as well as whats happening on the sidelines or dugout. Record the reactions of teammates and coaches to great plays and disastrous errors by their team or the opposing team. They just as effective in capturing the memory of a great play as the play itself. Be sure and also take photos as fast as possible. The action can move pretty fast in a game like football. Try to get as close to your subject as possible for the best resolution.
Understand the game you are shooting. If you understand that game and teams playing it will make it easier to capture those great moments.
Pay attention and expect the unexpected. In all sports anything can and will happen. The one time you put your camera down could be the one time a great play happens. You need to have the camera focused a second ahead or you’ll miss your shot.
Sport photography takes practice, so take as many photos as possible. You will get better as time goes with each shot. Good luck.
Posted on December 29th, 2009
Today we will give you a few tips on shooting star trails. Many photographers work to capture the beauty of the heavens with their cameras. Photographing star trails is quite easy. Your lighting though will have to meet certain conditions.
- No ambient light is the best. Avoid light pollution. Most types of photography we concern ourselves with direction, intensity, and the color of light. Shooting start trails the opposite is required. The farther away from city lights the better. Moonlight is also undesirable.
- The sky should be as dark and clear as possible.
- Have all your equipment. Lens, tripod, memory, camera protection, flashlight, and power. Capturing star trails can even require 2-3 hours of continuous shooting so you need to be prepared.
- There should be a foreground subject. Star trails simply do not look good without it.
- Exposure (Aperture) The aperture partly controls how bright the trails are going to be in the photograph. If you use a very fast lens wide-open you will usually get more trails than you probably want.
- Exposure (Shutter Speed) – Exposure time partly defines how long star trails are going to be in the picture and does not influence brightness of the actual trails.
- Film speed. ISO50 and ISO100 are great.
We hope this tips will help and that you have an enoyable time while shooting star trails.
Posted on December 26th, 2009
If you travel a lot during the holidays if might have the chance to see a beautiful sunrise or sunset in the location you are at. Here are a few things you might consider if you want to photograph these moments.
If you do decide to have a go at taking a sunrise / sunset picture, then winter is probably the best time to start. Why? Because the nights are long and the days are short, which basically means, you don’t have to set off at a too late/early of an hour.
- Do a web search to find the time of the sunrise or sunset.
- Shoot at a variety of focal lengths
- Set the ISO to 100 for the cleanest (little digital noise) possible photograph.
- Frame the scene so that the horizon line is not in the center of the frame. Placing the horizon line near the top or bottom of the frame is more pleasing.
- Remove any filters on the lens so as not to get a ghost image of the sun in the photograph.
- Keep Shooting, a sunset or sunrise constantly changes over time and can produce great colors.
- Include a silhouette, add some depth and perspective to your photos.
- Carry a notebook and log any great locations you find.
These are just a few tips and we hope they help you when shooting sunrises and sunsets.