Photography News

4 Top Tips On HDR Photography

DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY NEWS FROM ePHOTOzine - Wed 21 Feb 2024 3:00am

Image without HDR

 

When shooting HDR (High Dynamic Range) images there are two ways you can produce them. The first is in-camera with a built-in mode and the second is manually where the photographer produces various bracketed exposures and combines them in software once back in front of their computer. This isn't a technique just for advanced camera users either as you can also do HDR with images from compact digital cameras so long as you can control the exposure.

But before we look at 'how', we need to look at 'why' this feature is useful for photographers.
 

Why HDR?

A photographer could choose to shoot HDR images just to be a little more creative or because the scene they are trying to capture won't look at its best without it.

What we mean by this is the camera's sensor doesn't see how we do so if you meter for the brighter areas of the scene then chances are you'll lose some shadow detail. Do the opposite and highlights can end up looking 'blown out'. However, by working with a built-in HDR mode or shooting an HDR image manually you'll be capturing a series of exposures, known as a bracket, that will be combined into one image that has a better dynamic range (highlights and shadow detail). 
 

HDR In-Camera

Select cameras feature a built-in HDR mode which does the work for you. This captures a wide range of tones, from shadows to highlights to produce an image with a more balanced exposure. Take a look at your camera's manual to see if your model has this function built-in. Using an HDR mode can make a big difference to your images with more detail and colour becoming visible.

 

 

HDR Image

 

HDR Manually

When shooting, it’s vital that you keep the camera as still as possible between each of the shots, so as to produce identical images. This makes the blending process much easier. Mounting your camera on a tripod is the simplest way to ensure your shots stay lined-up. It'll also help if you use a cable or remote release so you don't have to touch the camera when starting an exposure. If you don't have one, use your camera's built-in self-timer.

Try to avoid adjusting your zoom between shots too as it'll be a pain trying to line them back up again and once you have your focus point, switch to manual focus (if not using it already) so the camera doesn't refocus after taking your first shot. You may want to lock the focus and switch to manual exposure to help ensure everything remains consistent throughout. It's also worth switching to aperture priority mode as this will ensure that the aperture doesn't change from shot-to-shot. 

Most cameras will have an auto-bracketing feature which makes the photographers job slightly easier as all they have to do is pick the increments the exposures are going to differ by and the camera sorts the rest. If you've checked your camera's manual and this feature isn't offered, you can use exposure compensation and bracket manually. 

Three images, at two stop intervals, should produce good results but this will depend on the contrast range in the scene you're capturing. Taking between 3 - 7 shots are common for this type of photography so do take the time to access the scene to see how many shots will produce the best result for you. Use zero as your base exposure then take your +2 and - 2 exposures and check the results. It's worth checking your camera's histogram when setting your base exposure to ensure the highlights and shadows aren't clipped. Take a look at our article on using histograms on your camera for more information on this. 

Once you have a set of images that cover the scene's full contrast range you can open the exposures on your computer in an HDR software program, various are available and bring them together in one image. Adjustments can be made to the image to produce a more accurate representation of the scene or you can go for a hyper-real shot where elements are over-cooked. Do take care with this, though, as not all scenes will work with the latter.
 

When To Use HDR

HDR won't work for every situation, you need to judge if it's needed. For example, If you have a landscape scene that's evenly exposed and well-lit you won't need to use HDR. However, if you have a scene where the camera can't handle all the different exposure levels present, HDR can help you capture a more balanced exposure. having said that, it's worth using a longer exposure before reaching for the HDR controls to see if it'll give you the sharpness and detail you're after.

You can always take a few test shots, paying particular attention to shadow areas, to see if any detail is lost before working on your HDR image.

As mentioned, do take care in post-production too as a strong HDR effect won't work for everything. Go for subtle then add more if you think the image needs it. 
 

You've read the technique now share your related photos for the chance to win prizes: Daily Forum Competition

Categories: Photography News

ePHOTOzine 'Photo Of The Year 2023' Revealed

DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY NEWS FROM ePHOTOzine - Wed 21 Feb 2024 3:00am

 

In January, we asked you to hit the 'like' button on your favourite 2023 POTW images to help us choose our 'Photo of the Year.' Now the votes have been counted, and we’re pleased to reveal that kenwil with the image ‘St Mary's Lighthouse' takes the title of 'Photo of the Year.' Congratulations!

108 'likes' were awarded to the stunning shot. The ePHOTOzine team noted, “St Mary's is a popular landscape photography spot, so it's quite easy to capture something very similar to someone else at this location, but this image goes to show how you can actually still do the very opposite and create something very unexpected.” We crowned it our 'Photo of the Week' in January 2023. 

 "A striking landscape image bursting with burning colours." - ePHOTOzine. 

As well as the 'Photo of the Year' title, Ken wins a Samsung Portable 1TB SSD T7 Shield from our 'Photo of the Week' sponsor, Samsung

The competition now starts again. All 'Photo of the Week' winners from 2024 will be included. Be sure to upload your photos for a chance to win! Once the year ends, we'll compile a list of 52 winners in our forum. Then, we ask you to cast your votes.

Thank you to everyone who voted, our sponsor Samsung, and those who continue to upload incredible photos to our Gallery.

Categories: Photography News

FUJIFILM X100VI Digital Camera Announced

DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY NEWS FROM ePHOTOzine - Tue 20 Feb 2024 5:59pm

 

FUJIFILM Corporation (President & CEO, Representative Director: Teiichi Goto) has announced the launch of the FUJIFILM X100VI digital camera (‘X100VI’). The latest model in Fujifilm’s X Series line of digital cameras, the X100VI offers exceptional image quality, compact size and a lightweight body, along with Fujifilm’s legendary colour reproduction technology.

Since the first FUJIFILM X100 model, launched in 2011, the X100 Series has established a unique position, and is highly acclaimed for its innovative hybrid viewfinder, timeless design, intuitive operation and premium image quality with unique colour reproduction.

The X100VI is the sixth-generation model in the X100 Series. While maintaining the popular design and compact size, the X100VI now features the new 40.2 megapixel X-Trans™ CMOS 5 HR sensor and high-speed X-Processor 5 image processing engine for outstanding performance.

Furthermore, the newly developed in-body image stabilisation function with up to 6.0 stops  has been incorporated for the first time in an X100 Series product, while retaining the Series' characteristic compact size and light weight (only a minimal increase from the previous model, X100V), allowing photographers and passionate creators to enjoy shooting with the X100VI in an extensive range of environments and situations.

 

 

To celebrate Fujifilm’s 90th anniversary year in 2024, an X100VI Limited Edition model will be released, with just 1,934 units available worldwide. These limited-edition models are individually numbered and delivered in a special box with strap, soft release button and history cards. The camera body is engraved with the original Fujifilm corporate brand logo from 1934, along with the unique serial number.

 

Product Features In Detail

 

(1) X-Trans™ CMOS 5 HR and X-Processor 5 deliver high image quality and performance

The X100VI is equipped with the back-illuminated X-Trans™ CMOS 5 HR sensor with approximately 40.2 megapixels. The sensor features an impressive pixel structure that allows more light to be captured than any prior X100 Series camera, and ISO 125, which was an extended sensitivity option on the previous model, is now available natively on the X100VI. In addition, when used together with the 23mmF2.0 lens, capable of resolving higher resolution sensors, the X100VI delivers sharp, high-resolution images.

The X100VI comes with a total of 20 Film Simulation modes, including the new ‘REALA ACE’ mode, giving images a diverse range of distinctive tones. ‘REALA ACE’ mode offers faithful colour reproduction and high-contrast tonality.

The X100VI incorporates an impressive autofocus prediction algorithm for reliable focusing, even when recording continuously moving subjects. The X100VI uses the X-Processor 5’s subject detection AF to accurately track a range of subjects. Built using deep-learning AI technology, it detects animals, birds, cars, motorcycles, bicycles, airplanes, trains, insects and drones.

  (2) Enhanced performance further expands shooting range

The X100VI is the first camera in the X100 Series to incorporate a 5-axis, in-body image stabilisation function with up to 6.0 stops. The newly developed system means a marginal increase in weight and size compared to previous X100 Series models, but without compromising portability.

The ‘Advanced Hybrid Viewfinder’ allows the user to switch freely between the optical viewfinder (OVF) and the electronic viewfinder (EVF), pursuing the rangefinder style of photography that has been a hallmark of the X100 Series. The EVF is equipped with a high-resolution OLED panel with approximately 3.69 million dots, enhancing the immersive shooting experience.

The ‘Electronic Range Finder’ (ERF) function allows a small EVF to be simultaneously displayed on the OVF, permitting the photographer to capture the subject in the OVF and magnify the in-focus area in the small EVF, thereby increasing the capabilities of the viewfinder. The ERF function is highly convenient for snapshots, etc.

For the first time in the X100 Series, the X100VI offers 6.2K/30P movie recording. The camera is also equipped with a tracking AF function during movie recording to ensure high-quality content creation.

The X100VI supports Frame.io Camera to Cloud without needing any additional accessories. The camera permits users to wirelessly connect to an active internet connection, authenticate to Frame.io, and automatically upload photos and videos moments after creation, dramatically speeding up the workflow process from shooting to final editing.

 

 

(3) Iconic, sophisticated product design

As with its predecessor, the top and bottom of the X100VI camera body are built from aluminum. Aluminum, which has a high degree of freedom in forming, is pressed and machined for sharp edges, and the surface is finely blasted for a smooth texture. In addition, anodised aluminum is used on the surface for a premium finish.

The X100VI’s ultra-thin tilt LCD monitor can be stored in a fully flat position, a design borrowed from the X100V. The stylish, integrated body design allows for a variety of shooting styles, from high to low angles. The high touch-response performance and intuitive operation of the X100VI also make it exceptionally simple and elegant to use.

The ergonomic shape of the grip has been fine-tuned to ensure just the right feel. The buttons on the back of the X100VI camera have been moved to a position that is easy to operate with the right hand, enabling extremely comfortable shooting while looking through the viewfinder.

 

(4) Rich accessories expand photographic field

Weather resistance is provided for the X100VI when the optional AR-X100 adapter ring and the PRF-49 protection filter are used in conjunction with the X100VI’s lens. This allows the user to continue taking images in challenging weather conditions, for added peace of mind when nature takes an unexpected turn.

Fujifilm’s optional LH-X100 lens hood is also compatible with the X100VI. In addition to being lightweight and precisely crafted from machined metal, the hood is cleverly designed to include a slit so that it does not obstruct the field of view when looking through the viewfinder, thus achieving light-shielding performance.

Two types of conversion lenses allow the user to adjust the focal length without changing the optical performance of the X100VI, thereby enhancing the photographic field.

 

1) Wide conversion lens (WCL-X100 II)

WCL-X100 II is a dedicated wide conversion lens that multiplies the fixed focal length by approx. 0.8x, converting it to 28mm (35mm format equivalent).

 

2) Tele conversion lens (TCL-X100 II)

TCL-X100 II is a dedicated tele-conversion lens for narrowing the field of view by multiplying the fixed focal length by approx. 1.4x, converting it to 50mm (35mm format equivalent).


The premium LC-X100V real leather case provides added protection. Its innovative design ensures the memory card and battery can be inserted and removed without removing the camera from the case.

 

Compatible accessories
  • WCL-X100 II Wide conversion lens
  • TCL-X100 II Tele conversion lens
  • LH-X100 Lens hood
  • Weather-Resistant Kit (AR-X100 Adaptor ring and PRF-49 Protector
  • filter)
  • LC-X100V Premium leather case


Further information can be found here.

 

 

Pricing and availability

 

The FUJIFILM X100VI Black and Silver models will be available in the UK from 28 February 2024 from authorised FUJIFILM retailers and the FUJIFILM House of Photography in London at a suggested retail price of £1,599 including VAT.

The FUJIFILM X100VI Limited Edition (only available in Silver) will be available in the UK from 6 April 2024 exclusively from the FUJIFILM House of Photography in London. The UK price will be £1,934 including VAT.

Categories: Photography News

17 Top Sports Photography Tutorials For You To Learn From

DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY NEWS FROM ePHOTOzine - Tue 20 Feb 2024 5:59pm

 

For today's tutorial, we thought we'd bring together all of the features and techniques ePHOTOzine has published on sports photography so next time you're at a match or trackside, you'll have the knowledge you'll need to shoot some top sports imagery.

[HOOK]position_1[/HOOK]
If you already have some sports shots you want to share or are heading to a game/race over the next few days, why not post your images in the Competition forum? You never know, you may have an award-winning shot that'll give you the opportunity to win our competition prize this week. 

 

18 Top Sports Photography Tutorials:

  1. Top Tips On Shooting Water Sports Photography
  2. How To Capture The Action At Running Events
  3. Why Use A Support For Motorsport Photography?
  4. Tips On Photographing Athletics
  5. Photographing Polo
  6. Sport Photography Tips
  7. 10 Things To Do When Photographing Parkour
  8. Cricket Photography Tips
  9. How To Photograph Wakeboarders & Waterskiing
  10. Photographing  Kitesurfing
  11. Bowls Photography
  12. Capturing Cricket
  13. Football Photography
  14. Photographing Snowboarding
  15. Surf Photography Technique
  16. Top Of The League Sports Photography
  17. Throw The Winning Punch With Your Boxing Photography

 

You've read the article now share your related photos for the chance to win prizes: Photo Month Forum Competition

Categories: Photography News

10 Top Tips On Adding Blur To Water For A Creative Effect

DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY NEWS FROM ePHOTOzine - Tue 20 Feb 2024 2:59am

Love it or loathe it, blurred water can look great in the right situation so it is always worth a try. For those who are new to the technique, here are 10 tips to get you started in turning even small cascades can look like raging torrents. 

[HOOK]position_1[/HOOK] 

1. Time Of Day

Waterfalls are a favourite landscape subject and early morning or late afternoon on an overcast day is the perfect time to photograph them using this technique. Bright sun stops you using slow shutter speeds and the contrast can be horrendous. 

 

2. Camera Set-Up 

Switching to shutter-priority so you can control the length of the time the shutter is open for makes this technique easier so take a camera out you can do this with. DSLRs are an obvious choice but if you want to use a smaller bodied camera, take a look at a high-end compact or Micro Four Thirds System.

 

3. Use A Support

As you're using slow shutter speeds you need to use a tripod, self-timer or a remote cable release to ensure the camera stays completely still. Using the camera's mirror lock-up can also help with this, as it will avoid shutter shock. 

 

4. Find Your Filters

A polariser, as well as a neutral density filter, is handy for cutting down the amount of light reaching the camera sensor, thus allowing even slower shutter speeds. 

 

5. Slow Shutter Speed

The slower the speed you choose the more blur there will be. Try a speed of 1/8sec to 1/15sec but if this doesn't work, change the shutter speed and take the shot again.

 

6. Volume, Flow And Distance

There is no right or wrong speed for this as this changes depending on how much blur you want, the volume of water (large amounts need shorter shutter speeds), the speed of flow (slower flows need slower shutter speeds) and the distance between the camera and water (shorter the distance the faster the shutter speed needs to be).

 

7. Metering Tips

Take care when metering water as the large areas of light tones can fool the meter into underexposing, making the picture look dark. It's always worth bracketing, perhaps shooting at plus and minus one stop.

 

8. Take 2 Shots

Slow shutter speeds will add blur to anything that moves so if grass or plants surround the waterfall these could end up blurred too. To combat this, you can take two shots: one with a slow shutter speed to capture the waterfall and one with a faster shutter speed to capture the surroundings. You then combine both images later during post-production. 

 

9. How To Shoot

To create impact, fill the frame with the waterfall. Taking a low angle will also make the waterfall more dominating. Shooting straight on will allow you to capture water patterns. 

 

10. Away From Waterfalls

This same technique can be applied to wave imagery. You can create lava-style flows of water by choosing a slow shutter speed. Simply mount your camera on a tripod and choose an area where the water is crashing against rocks so the shape of it changes. 

 

You've read the technique now share your related photos for the chance to win prizes: Daily Forum Competition

Categories: Photography News

10 Top Transport Photography Tips

DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY NEWS FROM ePHOTOzine - Mon 19 Feb 2024 8:58am

Transport is, probably, one of the easiest photographic subjects to find but with so much choice, how do you go about capturing the best shots of cars, trains and planes you can? That's where this article comes in as we've listed 10 top tips to help you perfect your transport photography skills. 

 

1. Not Just Cars

 

Cars are probably the first mode of transport that comes to mind when you think of transport photography but there are plenty of other subjects that are worth a shot or two. Bikes, trains planes and boats can be slightly more challenging to capture but can produce good results.

Trains are predictable as they have to follow a track, leave and arrive at certain stations and have a schedule they have to follow. Finding a spot to shoot from should be quite simple then all you have to do is perfect your technique. If you need a few tips on shooting trains, take a look at our technique: Railway Photography

Most of us don't have to go that far to photograph boats. We are usually not a million miles from the coast, rivers with boats, canal and inland waterways or even water-sports centre to be able to photograph this form of transport. For tips on shooting boats, take a look at these tutorials: Boat Photography and A Guide To Boat Photography

[HOOK]position_1[/HOOK] 
For plane photography, airshows are probably the best place to perfect your technique and there's usually planes on the ground you can photograph too if you don't fancy photographing them while up in the air. Have a look at ePHOTOzine member, David Pritchard's Air Show Photography Guide for more tips on plane photography.

If you fancy trying your hand at sports photography, motocross is a great event to try. It's fast-paced, interesting to watch and there are plenty of events held around the country which means you shouldn't have to travel far to shoot some action shots. For tips on photographing motocross, take a look at our tips: Shoot Motocross Action

2. Continuous Shooting

 

To further increase your chances of capturing your subject as they pass through your point of focus, switch to continuous shooting mode to capture a series of shots. Start shooting just before your subject goes through your focus point and you should get at least one shot that's spot on.
 

3. Look For Detail

 

As well as shooting photos where you get the whole car, plane or train in the frame, take some close-up shots of the patterns, badges, paintwork and other detail the vehicle has.
 

4. Continuous Auto Focus

 

Most cameras feature quick and accurate AF (Auto Focus) systems making them great for capturing fleeting moments or action shots. Of course, how fast your subject is moving, how much light is around and how quickly your lens can focus will come into play but at least your chances of capturing a sharp shot will be increased with the help of Auto Focus.

 

5. Capture Light Trails

 

For more creative shots, try shooting light trails in towns and cities at night. Dusk is a good time as there's still usually a good amount of traffic around and there will still be detail in the sky. For tips on shooting light trails, have a look at this tutorial: Photographing Light Trails

 

6. Location, Location, Location 

 

Think about your location carefully - a 4X4 will look great at the top of a mountain but stick a little car up there and it can look lost. If you live on a busy street, move your car to another location as a messy background will just distract the viewer. For more advice on shooting locations, have a look at this technique: Car Portrait Advice

 

7. Use A Support

 

When using long lenses, as you do for many shots of transport, having some sort of support handy will stop you straining your arms and shoulders. A tripod can be used, however, if you're at a busy air show or by the track where there's not much space, a monopod is much more useful.

Panning plays a big part in some transport photography and even though you can pan quite easily without the help of support, some photographers do prefer to use a tripod or monopod, it's really down to personal preference.

  

8. Work With Angles

 

Doing something as simple as crouching down can make your shots more exciting so do take the time to walk around the vehicle you're shooting to look for angles, shapes and lines that will really help improve your shots.


9. Use Reflections

 

As mentioned in our 5 Ways To Be More Creative With Transport Shots article, there are various ways to use reflections in transport shots. You can use car mirror's, reflections in bodywork or look away from the vehicle for puddles and other reflective surfaces.


10. Back At Home

 

When it comes to photo editing, you really can spend hours tweaking and changing your shots. You can add emphasis with a vignette, darken skies to add mood, give older transport a vintage feel with lomo tweaks or by turning them black and white or how about having a go at HDR? Take a look at ePHOTOzine's techniques for some inspiration.
 

You've read the technique now share your related photos for the chance to win prizes: Photo Month Forum Competition

Categories: Photography News

Amazing Capture Of Canadian Goose Wins 'Photo Of The Week'

DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY NEWS FROM ePHOTOzine - Mon 19 Feb 2024 6:08am

 

A splendid display of wildlife photography, featuring a Canadian goose, captured by an ePz member Danny1970, has been awarded our ‘Photo of the Week’ (POTW) accolade.

Titled ‘Canadian Goose’, the image exudes a serene yet lively atmosphere with the goose calmly floating on the water. One can almost hear the soft honks of the goose echoing across the tranquil lake. The attention to detail is impeccable, with the feathers and reflections intricately captured. It’s a wonderfully framed snapshot of a charming aspect of Canada’s wildlife.

All of our POTW winners will receive a Samsung 128GB PRO Plus microSDXC memory card with SD adapter offering memory storage across multiple devices. Plus, we will also announce our 'Photo of the Year' winner who'll win a Samsung Portable 1TB SSD T7 Shield in January 2025 courtesy of Samsung.

Categories: Photography News

5 Half Term School Holiday Photography Themes & Ideas

DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY NEWS FROM ePHOTOzine - Mon 19 Feb 2024 2:57am

 

With some schools closed for the half-term break this week we thought we'd give you some suggestions on where you can go with the kids that'll keep them entertained and still give you the opportunity to get your camera out of its bag.

[HOOK]position_1[/HOOK] 

1. The Coast

 

With arcades, beaches, ice cream and fish and chips, the coast is a great place for a family day-trip. Plus, with lighthouses, piers, promenades and plenty of other photographic opportunities available your camera won't be spending too long in its bag. 

Here are 10 techniques for you to take a look at before you head for the seaside: 

  1. Coast Close-Up Photography With Compacts
  2. 5 Tips To Improve Your Coastal Landscapes
  3. Photographing Lighthouses In The Landscape
  4. Long Exposures At The Coast
  5. Coast Photography Tips For The 'Golden' Hours
  6. How To Photograph What The Sea Washes Up
  7. Photographing Piers
  8. Photographing Under The BoardWalk
  9. Lighthouse Photography Tips
  10. Out Of Season Coast Photos

 

2. Castles


From sweeping majestic castles with interactive features to ruins of castle walls that once protected its occupiers, these great structures offer ample opportunity for photographers and their gear. Attractions such as Warwick Castle are both photogenic and entertaining thanks to tours and other activities taking place during opening hours. The summer months tend to be the times when more entertainment is put in place, however, a quick search online will soon show you what locations are hosting what events/activities during the half-term break. 


For tips on equipment choices and shooting angles, have a read of these castle photography techniques:

 

3. The Zoo

 

A day out at the zoo is something loved by children and families, but they're also a great place for photographers, too. They're brimming with photographic subjects but the screens and fences that protect them, and us can be a bit of a nightmare for photographers. They put distance between you and the animal and as you can't generally photograph over them you have to shoot through them. However, there are a few ways you can make your day out at the zoo more of a photography success as we explain in these articles:

  4. Your Local Park

 

Among the concrete jungle, there are pockets of green that break the greys of the city skyline up and whether you're snapping the blankets of alternating colour from a distance or are among the trees yourself, city parks have plenty of photographic opportunities to keep you busy. Plus, with plenty of grass for kicking a ball around and swings for entertainment, your children won't be bored either!


Have a read of these tutorials for park photography tips: 

 

5. Set-Up A Portrait Shoot


One way to keep the kids entertained at home that'll still give you the opportunity to get your camera out is a portrait shoot. This could be indoors or out, posed and with guidance or have a more candid style to it. Whichever you decide, here are a few tutorials to help you out. Plus, you'll find even more portrait-related articles in ePHOTOzine's technique section. 

 

You've read the technique now share your related photos for the chance to win prizes: Daily Forum Competition

Categories: Photography News

3 Simple Top Tips For Flower Photography At Home

DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY NEWS FROM ePHOTOzine - Mon 19 Feb 2024 2:57am

 

We're a bit off from Spring but that doesn't mean you can't photograph flowers as florists and supermarkets will be bursting with interesting flowers that you can photograph in your own home. To get you started, we've put together quick, basic and helpful tips that will aid you in creating a simple still life set-up at home so you can begin capturing floral themed images. 

 

1. Simple Backgrounds 

Flowers can look great when simply lit by sunlight. However, if you're working indoors next to a window they often look out onto gardens, streets and other distracting objects which don't make great backgrounds and can spoil the shot. You can, of course, remove the background with editing software but by simply placing a plain object behind your subject you'll save yourself a lot of time. A simple piece of card or cloth will work just fine.

 

 

2. Don't Block Too Much Light 

You have to be careful where you place your new background as it can block the sun but by holding it or, if you can, getting someone else to hold it, the background can be moved around while you look through the viewfinder to see what position works the best. The trick is to move it as high up behind the object without any sun being shielded. Don't position the object you're photographing too close to the background either as no light will be able to get to it. If you enjoy doing these sort of photos you could even create a purpose-built set up that could be used again and again for indoor still life shots.

If you have to position your camera/background so some of the window creeps in at the top don't worry; you can crop it out later when you get your image onto the computer. 

 

3. Shutter Speeds & F-Stops 

When holding the flower take care with your shutter speed as going too slow will result in shake and as you're working with direct light, going too slow will leave you with a shot that's over-exposed. Don't use a too wider aperture as the petals towards the front and back of the image will start to lose focus. Try starting with f/8 and reduce/increase from there.

 

You've read the technique now share your related photos for the chance to win prizes: Photo Month Forum Competition

Categories: Photography News

5 Top Tips On How To Use Window Light For Indoor Portraits

DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY NEWS FROM ePHOTOzine - Sun 18 Feb 2024 2:50am

 

Daylight is free and it is wonderful for portrait work as not only is it flattering and photogenic but it's really easy to work with so it's a good place for beginners to start. You don't need a fancy studio, either, as you can pick a location outdoors or simply set-up next to a window in your own home.  

[HOOK]position_1[/HOOK] 

1. Light & Time Of Day

To take good portraits with light from a window you don't need a lot of space but do try and avoid an area/time of day where direct sunlight is flowing through the window to avoid contrast problems. If you can, work on an overcast day because the light will be naturally diffused and won't be too harsh. 

As we are working with window light, you don't want other light sources spoiling your shot so turn your house lights off for neutral results.

 

2. Use A Reflector 

You'll probably need to bounce some light onto your subject's face and the best way to do this is with a reflector. You can either use a purpose-made one, some white card or some silver foil stuck onto a sheet of MDF will do.

In case you don't have someone to hand, a tripod makes a good reflector holder or you can hold the reflector yourself and set the camera on a self-timer. Or, you could use a reflector designed to be held by a photographer. If you are shooting tightly cropped images, the model can hold the reflector for you, too.

 

 

3. Metering Tips 

If you use manual metering, take a reading from the model's face and not the window. If you meter from the window it will think the scene is brighter than what it is and as a result, your subject will be underexposed.
 

4. Get The White Balance Right 

It is worth trying different white-balance settings. Auto white-balance can work well, but try shade or cloudy for warmer looking images.  
 

5. Framing & Capturing Your Portrait 

Get in as close as you can to capture/use as much daylight as possible. A tripod is useful, hand-held can work just as well but make sure you are shooting at a reasonably fast shutter speed and remember to focus on the eyes. Crop in tight on the face and if you wish, you can use the window to help frame the shot.

Most people are not natural posers so communication and guidance are important. For posing ideas, check out the fashion magazines and images in our gallery, too.
 

You've read the technique now share your related photos for the chance to win prizes: Daily Forum Competition

Categories: Photography News

2 Easy Themes For Interesting Glass Photography

DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY NEWS FROM ePHOTOzine - Sun 18 Feb 2024 2:50am

Glass – we look through it or drink out of it every day, but rarely look upon it as a subject for photography. The equipment you need will vary as much as the subject you're shooting, but usually, a long lens (and tripod) are good for the best results.

 

1. Focus On Glass Objects

Photo © Markus Pettersson

 

With glass as a subject, there are many ways to shoot or light it. I took a wine glass full of white wine, and simply put it on a window sill, the inverted image of some trees outside the window lifted the simple composition and made the glass more interesting. 

To photograph glass indoors, it always looks best lit through the glass, I stood a lightbox on its side and placed a glass sheet in front of it – I actually used an old fish tank, this allowed the glasses to be lit from below and behind all with the same light source, to bring out the shape by highlighting the edges of the glasses. A good way of really emphasising the edges is by bringing dark panels in at the sides, which reflect and emphasise the shape still further.

 

2. Turn Your Attention To Glass In Buildings And Windows

Whether we photograph from the inside of the building through the glass, or from the outside, capturing reflections, shooting glass is often about simplifying.
 

Stained Glass Windows 

 

Stained glass windows in churches make a great subject, but people often fall into a couple of easy mistakes. Firstly they try to get all the window, including all the surrounding stonework in, and secondly, they stand too close.

Trying to get too much in the shot typically results in too much small detail, failing to bring across the real detail within the window. The surrounding area of dark stone usually records no detail, and by affecting the meter reading also causes blown-out highlights in the window. Standing near the window and pointing the lens up to get the whole window in creates converging verticals which need too much adjustment later in Photoshop.

I try to find the element, pattern or scene in the window that I find appealing, and by using a long lens, from as far back in the church as I can get, point the camera up as little as possible. These techniques make metering easier (although if the window has a few clear areas, you might need to use -1/3rd stop compensation to avoid losing detail in those); and will minimise converging verticals. I have used up to a 400mm lens at the far end of a church for window details. If it is important for you to keep detail in the surrounding stonework, you may find it necessary to bracket exposures and combine them using HDR software for the best results.

With stained glass, the weather makes a big difference too; a sunny day with the sun streaming in the window is about as bad as it gets – the best time for stained glass is on an overcast day when the shadows of the protective mesh that is so often fitted outside do not show. If the sun is shining through the window, try shooting the abstract patterns of light that the sun creates.
 

Office Blocks 

 

Windows in modern office blocks can reflect the most amazing reflections and abstract patterns. Again, it's not necessary to get the whole building in the shot, in fact, it often works well when juxtaposing two adjacent buildings of slightly different styles. Try a longish lens to help isolate detail, a 70–200mm would be ideal.


 

Rainy Days

 

Another technique for glass could be shooting through a window on a rainy day when the raindrops create a pattern in their own right. As an added dimension, try to get something appropriate through the window, as it can give a feeling of what you'd like to be doing if it wasn't raining.

Glass in all its forms can clearly make for an interesting and varied subject, with no real limitations – so get out and give it a go.
 

You've read the technique now share your related photos for the chance to win prizes: Photo Month Forum Competition

Categories: Photography News

How To Create A Vignette In Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY NEWS FROM ePHOTOzine - Sat 17 Feb 2024 2:47am


 

Vignettes aren't a new editing trick, in fact, when darkrooms were still widely in use photographers would apply dodging and burning masks to images during the processing or use filters on their camera lenses when taking the shots. Now the effect is usually re-created digitally with software but the reason for applying them hasn't changed. They are still a simple yet, subtle way to guide/draw the eye to your main subject and frame shots.

The effect has also grown in popularity thanks to cameras such as Holgas becoming popular again. This 'hipster' look is now rather desirable so using techniques that re-create this, what was an unintentional vignette, on digital images is now something even apps are doing. In fact, creating vignettes on photos taken with mobile phones is one of the effects that's listed in our Ten Photoshop Techniques To Do On An iOS App article.

 

How And Why

When it comes to applying vignettes, less is usually better than more as if you make the effect too strong and obvious, it can end up spoiling your shot rather than enhancing it. Of course, there are times when a stronger vignette will work, such as with moody black & white landscapes, but most of the time subtle will be the way to go.

You should apply a vignette once all your other edits are complete as adjustments such as cropping may change the overall look of the image and the vignette could end up sitting in the wrong place or highlighting part of the shot you didn't want it to. This isn't true in Lightroom, though, as we'll explain further into the tutorial.

You can create vignettes in several applications including Photoshop, GIMP and Lightroom. For those wanting to learn more about the vignette options available in Lightroom, carry on reading this tutorial. For those looking for tips on how to create vignettes in Photoshop or GIMP, click on the following links:

 

 

Vignettes In Lightroom

When you open the develop module in Lightroom you'll see there are two Vignetting options. The first can be found under Lens Corrections and this is designed to decrease or even fully remove the vignetting caused by the lens when the image was taken. The changes are applied to the corners of the full-frame image and two sliders allow you to alter the strength and positioning of the effect.




 

Move the Amount slider to the right and the figure will increase, lightening the corners as the slider moves. Pull it to the right and the figure will decrease, darkening the corners. The Midpoint slider alters the area the vignette is applied to. Move the slider to the left and the vignette amount adjustment is applied to a larger area away from the corners, pull the slider in the opposite direction and this will restrict the adjustment area nearer to the corners of the image.




 

The Post-Crop Vignetting tool is one that's designed for more creative purposes and once applied, will stay on your image even if you decide to crop the shot again. There are also more editing controls available under the Post-Crop Vignetting tool, giving you more control over how the final vignette will look.

Three types of vignettes are available and these are accessed from the Style menu. These three options will alter how the vignette you apply blends with the photo you're editing. Highlight Priority is set as the default option and will create a vignetting effect that you're most familiar with.

Once you've picked your Style (we are using Highlight Priority) you can use the various sliders to adjust the vignette.
 

Amount

Pull this slider to the right and the vignette will lighten, pull it to the left and it will appear darker.






Midpoint

This will change how much of the image away from the edges the vignette is applied to. Pull the slider left and the vignette's size will be increased, pull it to the right and it will retreat back into the corners of the shot.






 

Roundness

This changes the shape of the vignette to give it rounder or straighter edges. If you pull the slider to the left the shape is more rectangular/square while pulling it the opposite way will make the vignette more circular.






 

Feather

This adjusts how hard or soft the edges of the vignette are. A harder vignette (which you get by pulling the slider to the left) generally doesn't look as good as feathered vignettes as it creates a shape that's too defined. The second image, which shows a vignette with a higher feathered value, is much softer.





 

Highlights

When in Highlight or Colour Priority the Highlights slider becomes active if you've used a negative value when adjusting the amount (so the vignette is dark). Pulling the Highlights slider to the right will, according to Adobe, 'control the degree of highlight contrast preserved'. In other words, it allows you to control how little or much highlight contrast there is in your vignette.

See the difference in these two images when the slider is set at 0 then 45:




 

You've read the technique now share your related photos for the chance to win prizes: Daily Forum Competition

Categories: Photography News

OM System M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm F4.0-5.6 II Lens Announced

DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY NEWS FROM ePHOTOzine - Sat 17 Feb 2024 2:47am

Image by OM System

 

OM Digital Solutions Corporation is pleased to announce the launch of the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 9-18mm F4.0-5.6 II, with a 35mm equivalent of 18-36mm. This wide-angle lens complies with the Micro Four Thirds System standard, providing users with a versatile tool to explore a wide range of photographic possibilities. The lens is set to hit the market on March 2024.

The M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 9-18mm F4.0-5.6 II stands out as the lightest and most compact option among the three M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ultra wide-angle zoom lenses. Photographers can fully leverage its wide-angle capabilities to capture expansive natural landscapes and take wide macro shots of flowers and trees from a low angle, encompassing the sky in the composition. This approach emphasizes perspective by bringing the subject closer, resulting in an effortless expansion of the photographer’s creative palette in outdoor photography.

 

Pricing & Availability for OM SYSTEM M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 9-18mm F4.0-5.6 II Lens

The M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 9-18mm F4.0-5.6 II lens will be available from March 2024 at a suggested retail price of €699.00 / £599.99

 

Detailed Product Specifications for the OM SYSTEM M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 9-18mm F4.0-5.6 II Lens

Please see the OM SYSTEM website for detailed product specifications:

https://explore.omsystem.com/m-zuiko-ed-9-18mm-f4-0-5-6-ii

Image by OM System

 

OM SYSTEM M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 9-18mm F4.0-5.6 II Lens Features & Technology Detail

 

An Ultra Wide-Angle Zoom Lens for Enhanced Photographic Versatility

Featuring a focal length spanning 9-18mm (equivalent to 18-36mm in a 35mm format), a closest focusing distance of 25 cm across its entire range, and a maximum image magnification of 0.11x at the wide-angle setting and 0.2x at the telephoto setting in a 35mm equivalent, this lens proves to be an invaluable tool for expanding your photographic horizons in nature scenes.

Whether you’re capturing vast landscapes, utilizing the distinctive wide-angle capabilities inherent in an ultra wide-angle zoom lens, or taking wide macro shots of flowers and trees from a low angle, seamlessly incorporating the sky into your composition while emphasizing perspective by drawing closer to your subject, this lens delivers a wide array of creative possibilities. Moreover, its wide-angle framing is well-suited for capturing video footage of scenic outdoor landscapes.

 

Exceptionally Portable and Lightweight Design (Dimensions: φ56.2 × 49.3 mm, Weight: 154 g) Delivering Outstanding Image Quality

Boasting a brilliantly compact and lightweight build, with dimensions of φ56.2 × 49.3 mm and a weight of just 154 g, this lens ensures the highest image quality.

The lens employs a well-thought-out-design, featuring two DSA (Dual Super Aspherical) lenses positioned at the front to capture a sweeping 100° wide angle. Additionally, a dual aspherical lens at the rear effectively corrects aberrations, contributing to the achievement of remarkable image quality within its compact form. When paired with an OM SYSTEM OM-5 interchangeable lens camera body, this lens forms a user-friendly, lightweight system, weighing in at just 568 g.

Furthermore, the lens is equipped with a retracting mechanism that minimizes the typically bulky profile of ultra wide-angle lenses, allowing it to shrink to a manageable 49.3 mm in total length, further enhancing its ease-of-use.

Image by OM System

 

Freshly Redesigned Lens, Includes Innovative Petal-Shaped LH-55D Lens Hood

This lens showcases a brand-new color and knurling design, harmonizing its appearance with other M.ZUIKO lenses for a user-friendly and premium aesthetic. As a bonus, the newly introduced petal-shaped LH-55D lens hood is included and can be conveniently inverted for storage while on the move.

 

Separately available accessories

LH-55D Lens Hood (bundled/sold separately)

Minimizes the intrusion of unwanted light in backlit situations while also providing lens protection. The petal-shaped design allows for convenient storage in an inverted position during transport.

€ 34.90 / £29.99

 

LC-52D Lens Cap (bundled/sold separately)

Provides lens protection during transport.

€ 14.90 / £14.99

Categories: Photography News

John Duder's Interview With Steve Crampton

DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY NEWS FROM ePHOTOzine - Fri 16 Feb 2024 5:47pm
.photo { border: 1px solid #ddd; padding: 15px; text-align: left; margin-bottom: 20px; } .photo small { display: block; font-weight: bold; margin-top: 15px; } Steve’s picture of a Vulcan in 1988 at RAF Church Fenton. Shot with the kit lens on his EOS 650.

I first really noticed Steve Crampton’s aircraft shots when I saw a lovely picture he’d taken of a French Rafale at the Cosford Air Show. Making my second visit to an air show since my thirties, I’d been struggling to take pictures of the same aeroplane, and had actually posted three shots in the Critique Gallery in search of the right way to do aircraft images. It’s an area where I know I’m a beginner, with a lot for my mind and my muscles to learn… An interview followed naturally.

 

Steve, when did you first start photographing aeroplanes? And why?

I’ve always liked aeroplanes: when I was a child, my goal was to become an airline pilot, I guess like lots of lads at the time. It never happened, but I never lost the love of aircraft, so I think that’s where the idea of photographing them started. I’ve always had a camera, from a Kodak Instamatic as a child, a Zenith Lomo at some point, but I guess photographing aeroplanes didn’t start until I got my first SLR, probably around 1987. I was quite lucky – I had a friend who had a cousin who owned a camera shop, so I got some discount on a Canon EOS 650 and a kit lens – and that’s where I started.  

 

I think quite a lot of people did – Canon’s first autofocus SLR.

Going from something like an Instamatic to the EOS 650 was good, because you could have it on full auto, and not have to worry about it, but then it gave you the opportunity to learn everything that you needed to learn. Very good in that sense.

 

What sort of kit did you use for your first aircraft pictures?

As I say, it was the 650 and the kit lens, which was obviously no good for flying aircraft. It was OK when you were going round the static park, but when you’re photographing aircraft, you want them in flight, and I soon realised that the little dots I was seeing on the film weren’t going to cut it, and so I upgraded and got either a Tamron or a Sigma – I can’t remember which – 70-300mm, and that’s when things really started to take off, so to speak. Probably a couple of years – Early Nineties – before I got into it properly. 

 

.photo { border: 1px solid #ddd; padding: 15px; text-align: left; margin-bottom: 20px; } .photo small { display: block; font-weight: bold; margin-top: 15px; } A quickly-grabbed portrait of Steve, taken during our interview in a coffee shop.   Do any examples of those photos survive?

Oh, I’ve got everything – I’ve got all the negatives. I don’t throw anything like that away. So yes, they survive as negatives, but not necessarily as digital images – but I’ve got some somewhere! I’ve certainly got static shots, but flying? Probably not so many. 

 

What sort of kit do you currently use?

Now, I’ve got a 5D Mk. 4, with either 70-200mm with extenders, or the 100-400mm, probably again with an extender. That just hits the sweet spot for me. 

 

.photo { border: 1px solid #ddd; padding: 15px; text-align: left; margin-bottom: 20px; } .photo small { display: block; font-weight: bold; margin-top: 15px; } Blackburn Buccaneer taken at RAF Church Fenton like the Vulcan. The kit lens may not have been the best lens for flying displays but was perfect for the static line-up.   And probably the reason I got in touch with you… What are the key attributes that make the kit suitable? I’d taken some rubbish shots of the Rafale at Cosford with a consumer micro four thirds camera with a 75-300 zoom, and then I saw your picture of it…

The 5D’s a full frame camera, and that in itself starts to improve things – you get less noise when you’re going for higher ISO, which you sometimes have to do. I started with Canon, and I’ve progressed with Canon. I just find that kit, with those lenses and the extenders just suit what I do. I dare say if I went to Nikon or Olympus or Panasonic or whoever, they’d have kit that’s equally good. It’s just that I started with Canon and the EF lenses, and I can’t afford to change it! 

 

.photo { border: 1px solid #ddd; padding: 15px; text-align: left; margin-bottom: 20px; } .photo small { display: block; font-weight: bold; margin-top: 15px; } Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II – bang up to date in terms of both aircraft and camera/lens combination. This was taken with the EOS 5D Mk.IV, EF100-400L IS USM II and Extender EF 1.4X III. For Steve, this is probably the perfect combination of camera and lens for airshow/aviation photography. Shot fully manual but allowing the camera to select ISO.   Again, thinking about the detail, the stuff that will matter to people who might be trying aircraft for the first time, what settings, what autofocus mode do you use?

On the Canon, it’s called AI Servo –continuous tracking, so that’s a must, especially when you’re tracking jets moving at ridiculous speeds. I tend to use it on one-shot mode, purely because if you use it on continuous you run thirty shots and they all look very similar. And these days, I’ve progressed to using it in pure Manual: when I first started, not knowing what I was doing, it was in full auto, then I progressed to Shutter speed priority, because when you’re shooting propellers the actual shutter is important to control prop blur. But then, as you progress taking pictures of aircraft, you realise it’s not just the shutter speed – you need to control the depth of field a bit as well. Even with one plane – say a Chinook – you can get the front in focus and not the back. So I tend to use full manual now.

 

.photo { border: 1px solid #ddd; padding: 15px; text-align: left; margin-bottom: 20px; } .photo small { display: block; font-weight: bold; margin-top: 15px; } Shuttleworth Collection, 1988. The aircraft being pushed in is a De Havilland DH.60 Moth. The one overhead is the Avro Tutor. Shot with the 6EOS 50 and kit lens.

 

What advice would you give someone starting to shoot aircraft now?

Positioning is one thing, when you get to the air show: where are you going to stand? I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve had the Red Arrows crossing behind a sign, or a loudspeaker because I’ve been in the wrong place. If you go to an air show and you get there at the crack of dawn, like most of the diehards do, you’ll see everyone rushing down to the front of the line and sticking their deckchairs down and getting all their kit out. Obviously, the closer you are to the front, the better for things like planes taking off and landing. And if someone’s just starting out, I’d say that’s probably the best place to stand. So if you can see the point where the planes actually take off and land, and if you get there, they tend to be slower, so you’ve got more chance of capturing something that’s going to be sharp. Keep an eye out around you to make sure there are no signs or loudspeakers that are going to get in the way. And get there VERY early, especially if you go to somewhere like Cosford or Fairford where the crowds really build up. Especially at Fairford, if you’re not there by about 9 o’clock in the morning, you’ll get stuck in a traffic jam for hours on end and miss half the flying.

 

Is it worth going for the premium area, the grandstand?

It has its advantages: I’ve been lucky because in a lot of cases I’ve been able to go as Press – the Press get special access anyway. When I haven’t, the grandstands are tiered, and you’re not going to get anyone right in front of you. Elsewhere, if you’ve got someone who’s six foot four in front of you, you’re not going to get any photos! One thing about the grandstands though is that you’re not as free to move about them: when you’re swinging a lens around, you may be a bit more restricted, a bit close to people in front and on either side for a 400mm.

 

.photo { border: 1px solid #ddd; padding: 15px; text-align: left; margin-bottom: 20px; } .photo small { display: block; font-weight: bold; margin-top: 15px; } The Red Arrows in formation with the F-117 Nighthawk Stealth Fighter at RIAT in 2003. RIAT is the only venue where you get these sorts of unusual formations, so it’s a must for the aviation enthusiast.

 

What are the best shows for shooting aeroplanes – and what makes the difference?

It depends on what you like shooting. If it’s fast jets, in this country it’s only Fairford – the International Air Tattoo, and they bring in all the modern jets. If you like historic aircraft, like Spitfires and Hurricanes, you’ve got Duxford or a place called Shuttleworth, which is my absolute favourite location – it’s just the most perfect spot. I’m not quite sure why, but it’s the most friendly atmosphere when you get there. Generally speaking, you can park right next to the airfield most of the time, so you don’t have to walk far from your car to get the shots, which is a benefit if you’re not so mobile. That tends to be just the Shuttleworth Collection aircraft and a few visiting warbirds – Spitfires, Catalina. That’s my favourite venue and it’s in Bedfordshire. And Duxford’s just south of Cambridge.  So sometimes you can do one air show at Duxford and another at Shuttleworth the same weekend, and it’s quite nice.

 

Are there good days and bad days at air shows – and if so, what makes the difference?

Yes! I guess good days are when the flying conditions are perfect. It doesn’t have to be completely blue sky, but you need a nice day, light winds, nice sky behind the aircraft. Bad days... I’ve been to Duxford when it was absolutely tipping it down with rain, grey overcast: and they basically cancelled the flying. The weather is the thing you’re depending on most.

 

.photo { border: 1px solid #ddd; padding: 15px; text-align: left; margin-bottom: 20px; } .photo small { display: block; font-weight: bold; margin-top: 15px; } Harrier GR.7 shot at the start of Steve’s digital journey, when he’d invested in an EOS 300D. This was taken at Kemble, now known as Cotswold Airport.

 

That’s interesting, because I saw the Eurofighter at Duxford on a cloudy day and it did a low-level display… Sort of ‘you’ve seen a Pitts Special do this, now watch a grown-up do the same things’ Then at Cosford on a sunny day it was almost out of sight.

That is the problem. Also at Cosford you’ve got the problem with where the sun is. You’ve got the sun pretty much in front of you, whereas what you want is the sun behind you. Fairford is good for that, and so is Shuttleworth. So Cosford is maybe better on a cloudy day.

 

Please tell me one day that went really well for you.

That’s an interesting one! I guess one of the best days was when I took my son when he was fairly little, and the International Air Tattoo which should have been at Fairford was moved to somewhere in Lincolnshire because the runways were being resurfaced. We had fun – the Stealth Fighter turned up, and we actually saw it… It was on the ground – that was really unusual. I guess another one, we were at RAF Mildenhall and the Stealth Bomber, the B2, came in for the first time ever. I got shots of that into a magazine, and that was my first experience of getting work published. These days, all the planes are the same – you’ve either got Typhoons or you’ve got F16s. Everybody flies them. Back in the day, everybody had different aircraft and it was more diverse. When you’ve seen one, maybe two Typhoons fly… the third, the fourth one is maybe not quite as good.

 

.photo { border: 1px solid #ddd; padding: 15px; text-align: left; margin-bottom: 20px; } .photo small { display: block; font-weight: bold; margin-top: 15px; } The Avro Lancaster – one of the most recognised aircraft from World War Two, largely because the Battle of Britain Flight includes one. Steve’s favourite aeroplane: EOS 5D Mk.IV, EF100-400L IS USM II and Extender EF 1.4X III.

 

My best experience was in the Seventies, before the Americans moved into Greenham Common – they held air shows there. Half the air forces in Europe sent flights of Starfighters – and the RAF upstaged them all with one Lightning – faster, lower, and finishing with a vertical climb.

I’ve never seen one flying, it’s an aircraft I’d love to see. Or ride in a two-seater!

 

These days, do you shoot for fun, or do you have a serious commercial interest?

I wouldn’t say I make significant commercial use of my pictures, but I do tend to work for a magazine when I can, purely because as press you get better access. That has declined over the years, but you do tend to get into some of the air shows for free, and have special press pens where you can go, so it’s useful for that. So I’d love to be commercially viable, but…

 

Favourite aeroplane?

It changes: the Vulcan, without a shadow of a doubt, when it was flying. I mean, I still love the Vulcan. The Lancaster: Spitfires always get you when they’re flying. Of all the ones that are flying at the moment, probably the Lancaster.

 

.photo { border: 1px solid #ddd; padding: 15px; text-align: left; margin-bottom: 20px; } .photo small { display: block; font-weight: bold; margin-top: 15px; } German Navy Tornado, at RIAT 2003, demonstrating another skill useful for the airshow photographer to master - panning. Controlling the shutter speed is essential to ensure aircraft with propellers don't look static, panning at slower shutter speeds also conveys motion.

 

Are you a member of a camera club, and how does that affect your picture-taking?

Yes. I’m a member of Solihull Photographic Society, but I’d say it doesn’t affect my picture-taking, not of aircraft, anyway. You tend to find that judges, when you put them into competitions, don’t really appreciate aircraft! [Laughs] In my opinion, anyway. I don’t think they understand the intricacies, or everything that people go through when they’re shooting aircraft. They tend to go for Red Arrows shots, with lots of colour and that sort of thing, rather than what I’d call some of the more difficult images. Aircraft against the sky look quite static: I tend not to put the aircraft pictures into club competitions.

 

.photo { border: 1px solid #ddd; padding: 15px; text-align: left; margin-bottom: 20px; } .photo small { display: block; font-weight: bold; margin-top: 15px; } McDonnell Douglas Phantom taken in 1990 at RAF Fairford. Eos 650 with long zoom.

 

What’s your dream aeroplane shoot?

Well, I guess it would be air-to-air, with a Spitfire or a Lancaster, or a Typhoon. Or all of them. That’s one thing I haven’t yet done, air-to-air. That is something I’d really love to have a go at, but costs are really prohibitive. I might have to settle for Tiger Moth to Tiger Moth…

 

Apart from air shows, what do you like to photograph, and why?

I guess my other main passion, at the moment, anyway, is ice hockey. I’m the official photographer for the Solihull Barons ice hockey team, so I go to the home matches and I shoot the action. And again, I think it’s because it’s fast, there’s a lot of action: it’s challenging. And it fits in nicely – the air show season finishes, and the ice hockey season starts. The technical challenges multiply because you’ve got fast-moving action, much closer to the camera and less predictable – and low light. You’re not allowed to use flash. It’s got better this season because they’ve changed the lighting, but when I first started out the lighting levels were pretty appalling for photography. Coupled with that you’re shooting through a black net – a lot of the other rinks have Plexiglas, which has other problems. Autofocus will tend to lock onto the black netting, and the secret is to get as close as you can – but then you have to watch out for the players coming round, sticks flying.

 

.photo { border: 1px solid #ddd; padding: 15px; text-align: left; margin-bottom: 20px; } .photo small { display: block; font-weight: bold; margin-top: 15px; } The ubiquitous Lockheed C-130 Hercules, taken at RAF Waddington. By the time he took this, Steve had upgraded lenses to Canon's EF100-400L and using shutter priority to control the prop blur.

 

There’s always one question that I haven’t asked. What is it, and what’s the answer?

[Pause] You didn’t ask about shooting aircraft with propellers, and in particular what shutter speed to use. And the answer is that it depends on the size of the propeller and the effect you’re trying to get. If you shoot with a high shutter speed such as 1/1000, it’s going to completely freeze the motion of the propeller and it looks like it’s just been stuck on. With something like a Spitfire, you can get away with 1/400, though I’d tend to go lower where I can – though you’ve got the balance with stability, and can you hold your camera steady enough to get the shot sharp. 1/250 gives a more pleasing prop blur. When you get to the likes of helicopters and their large rotors, or something like the Osprey, then you are going even lower – 1/30 second or something like that. And that’s the only time I’ll use a tripod or monopod when shooting aircraft, because 1/30 second with a 400mm lens is quite tricky.

 

.photo { border: 1px solid #ddd; padding: 15px; text-align: left; margin-bottom: 20px; } .photo small { display: block; font-weight: bold; margin-top: 15px; } Another classic aeroplane, the Short Sunderland. Used for long-range maritime patrols, there’s one at the Royal Air Force Museum in Hendon, which you can go inside (if you’re reasonably flexible). Taken in 1990 at RAF Coningsby. By that time, Steve had bought a telephoto zoom. John Duder

John continues to keep hold of his old cameras, including the Contax RTS that he bought in 1976, selling two Pentax bodies and taking a year's HP agreement out to do it. These days, it’s usually loaded with very fast film to give strong grain.

Occasional lighting workshops divert him, and with a bit of luck interest other photographers enough for them to go along and pay. He particularly likes spectacular, angular low key setups, with deep shadows retaining a few secrets.

As well as still shooting a bit of film, John particularly loves using some of the more characterful film-era lenses on his digital cameras. Almost without exception, they are lenses that their manufacturers are probably rather ashamed of.

Categories: Photography News

7 Things You Can Photograph On Your Way To/From Work

DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY NEWS FROM ePHOTOzine - Fri 16 Feb 2024 11:46am
    If you work full time, it can be difficult to still find time to fit in your photography so we've come up with some top tips for fitting photography in around your work. Whether you commute by car or train, or walk to work, there are still photographs to be taken! [HOOK]position_1[/HOOK]  1. Candid Tube/ Train Photography

If you commute of a tube or train, there are some great opportunities for candid portrait photography. Candids on the carriages showing people's emotions, feelings and behaviour can make for interesting shots.

Focus on the face and try to capture the mood of the person, to make the photo feel more personal. If you're on the tube, there is a lot more open space and room for more varied shots. A line of people sat down, if the tube isn't too crowded, will work well to illustrate your journey to work.

If you don't want to photograph people how about the platform, signals, trains or old stations? More tips on photography in stations can be found here. Do remember there are certain rules you have to follow when it comes to photography in certain locations so do make sure you do your homework before taking your camera out of its bag. 

 

2. Transport Photography

One thing you'll see a lot of on your commute is transport. Be it cars, bikes or trains, there will be plenty of opportunities to shoot transport. Keep your eyes open for anything unusual, like a rare or old car that you can photograph for that little something different to the norm. Use a quirky angle or take a macro shot if possible, to emphasise an interesting part of the vehicle.

 

3. Light Trails

These are relatively easy to capture as long as you have a tripod and if you can stop at the side of the road safely on your way home (obviously we don't want you to block roads are park where you shouldn't be!). Light trails work great when shot at the side of busy roads, however, if you can get high up and look down on the road, this will work well too, capturing a bird's eye view. Slow shutter speeds will be necessary to capture those all-important trails of light. Take a look at our article on light trail photography for more information.

 

4. Architectural Photography

If you work in the city, then there will be some great opportunities for architectural photography around you. Whether your subject is the busy city centre shops or the skyscrapers in the business district, some great effects can be achieved.  If you're looking for architecture photography advice then take a look at this top list of tutorials.

 

  5. On The Way To Work Documentary Style 

If you're really keen on taking photos on your way to work, then why not document your experience in photos? Photograph interesting and memorable points from your commute to create a documentary-style record of your experiences. Repeat this monthly, and see how the world around you changes over the passing of time.

Often, you won't think to take your camera along with you to work. But as this article shows, there may be some great photo opportunities you are missing by not having it with you just in case.

 

6. Sunrise / Sunset

If you set off to work early, and return just as it is getting dark, depending on the season you'll be able to get some great shots of the sunrise and sunset. You need to be ready for those all-important minutes of the sun's rays coming up over the horizon. 

  7. Landscapes, Fields And Crops

In the summer, when all the crops are out, you can take some great sweeping field vistas of oilseed rape. You can easily photograph fields from the roadside on your way home if you commute through the open country. Some great abstract and macro shots can also be taken, as well as the traditional landscape. Take a look at this tutorial for more tips: How To Photograph Crop Fields Creatively.

 

You've read the technique now share your related photos for the chance to win prizes: Photo Month Forum Competition

Categories: Photography News

ePHOTOzine Daily Theme Winners Week 2 February 2024

DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY NEWS FROM ePHOTOzine - Fri 16 Feb 2024 8:36am

[COMMENT_IMG]direct|89636|89636_1707634560.jpg[/COMMENT_IMG]

 

The latest winner of our popular daily photography theme which takes place in our forums have been chosen and congratulations go to airfreq (Day 11 - Minimalist Photography).

 

Daily Theme Runners-Up

If you didn't win this time, keep uploading your images to the daily competition forum for another chance to win! If you're new to the Daily Theme, you can find out more about it in the Daily Theme Q&A

Well done to our latest runners-up, too, whose images you can take a look at below.

  Day 9

Abstract Photography

[COMMENT_IMG]direct|311542|311542_1707471671.jpg[/COMMENT_IMG]

  Day 10

Action Photography

[COMMENT_IMG]direct|44488|44488_1707559609.jpg[/COMMENT_IMG]

  Day 12

Fruit & Veg Shots

[COMMENT_IMG]direct|20585|20585_1707735041.jpg[/COMMENT_IMG]

 

Day 13

Creative Blur

[COMMENT_IMG]direct|85831|85831_1707814033.jpg[/COMMENT_IMG]

 

Day 14

Flash Photography

[COMMENT_IMG]portfolio|21670|3402675[/COMMENT_IMG]

 

Day 15

Self Portraits

[COMMENT_IMG]portfolio|44582|3355948[/COMMENT_IMG]

 

You’ll find the Daily Themes, along with other great photo competitions, over in our Forum. Take a look to see the latest daily photo contests. Open to all levels of photographer, you’re sure to find a photography competition to enter. Why not share details of competitions with our community? Join the camaraderie and upload an image to our Gallery.

Categories: Photography News

3 Reasons Why Converging Verticals In Photos Can Be A Good Thing

DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY NEWS FROM ePHOTOzine - Fri 16 Feb 2024 2:44am

 

Most of the time, particularly in architectural photography, we are told that converging verticals and lines are something which should be avoided. But there are occasions when they don't have to be avoided by architectural or any other type of photographer.

[HOOK]position_1[/HOOK] 

1. Use Converging Verticles To Exaggerate Height

When shooting close to a building with a wide-angle lens, you can exaggerate the height of the structure with the help of converging verticals however, it can look like the building is about to fall over backwards so it isn't a style everyone appreciates. To exaggerate the sloping walls further, get lower to the ground with your wide-angle lens.
 

2. Use Converging Verticles To Focus Attention 

We've talked previously on how vertical, horizontal and diagonal lines can be used to add interest to shots and act as guides. If you take this further so you have multiple lines stretching towards the horizon, they can appear to be moving closer together, which, in turn, will help the viewer to focus on one specific area of the shot.
 

3. Use Converging Verticles To Guide The Eye

Where you set your camera up and how the lines move through your frame will change the feel of the shot. The most common way to use converging lines is to position your camera in the centre of the frame so you have symmetry as well as the converging guides working for you. But as the eye often looks at the bottom left of an image first before working across the shot to the top right corner, you can also position the lines so they flow from corner to corner. By having a line which follows this path, you will unknowingly guide the viewer through your shot. Try using multiple diagonals to guide the eye to one spot in the image by intersecting them where you want the attention to fall.

Do watch where the lines are going as if they lead out of the frame it can create a sense of wonder but equally, it could lead to frustration as your viewer doesn't know what's beyond the frame and as they've followed the direction of the line, they'll end up not looking at your shot. However, if you take the time to position yourself so the lines give the impression they meet/end where you want your main point of focus to be, you shouldn't have a problem.
 

You've read the technique now share your related photos for the chance to win prizes: Daily Forum Competition

Categories: Photography News

OM System M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-600mm F5.0-6.3 IS Lens Announced

DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY NEWS FROM ePHOTOzine - Fri 16 Feb 2024 2:44am

Image by OM System

 

OM Digital Solutions Gmbh is pleased to announce the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 150-600mm F5.0-6.3 IS (35mm equivalent: 300-1200mm) lens, a pinnacle in super telephoto zoom technology. This Micro Four Thirds System standard-compliant super telephoto zoom lens is a testament to innovation, offering an expansive focal length of up to 1200mm equivalent on its own and up to 2400mm equivalent when combined with the optional M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 2x Teleconverter MC-20, redefining versatility, delivering unparalleled imaging excellence. This lens will be available beginning in late February 2024 and features compatibility with 5-axis sync IS when used with the new OM-1 Mark II, providing up to 7 shutter speed steps of image stabilization. When used independently, it offers up to 6 shutter speed steps of image stabilization, for razor-sharp clarity even at extreme distances, eliminating the need for a tripod and allowing photographers to seize decisive moments on the fly.

Crafted with resilience in mind, the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 150-600mm F5.0-6.3 IS lens features IPX1 splash & dust-proof performance, complete with fluorine coating, making it a reliable companion in the harshest environments. Its compact, lightweight design grants photographers unparalleled mobility, enabling fast and nimble maneuverability while seeking elusive subjects.

The OM SYSTEM M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 150-600mm F5.0-6.3 IS lens heralds a new chapter in photographic excellence. Empowering photographers with unparalleled reach, resilience, and performance, it redefines boundaries and captures the extraordinary.

 

Pricing & Availability for OM SYSTEM M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 150-600mm F5.0-6.3 IS lens

 

The M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 150-600mm F5.0-6.3 IS lens will be available beginning in late February 2024 at a suggested retail price of £2,499.99 / €2,699.00 / $2699.99 US

 

Detailed Product Specifications for the OM SYSTEM M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 150-600mm F5.0-6.3 IS Lens

 

Please see the OM SYSTEM website for detailed product specifications: https://explore.omsystem.com/m-zuiko-ed-150-600mm-f5-0-6-3-is

Image by OM System

 

OM SYSTEM M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 150-600mm F5.0-6.3 IS Lens Features & Technology Detail

 

A zoom lens capable of capturing up to 1200mm, or up to 2400mm1 when paired with the optional 2x teleconverter

The M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 150-600mm F5.0-6.3 IS lens on its own covers a focal range from 300mm to 1200mm and is compatible with the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 1.4x Teleconverter MC-14 and M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 2x Teleconverter MC-20. When combined with the MC-20, it extends to an impressive 600-2400mm equivalent. This versatility is invaluable for super telephoto photography, especially when capturing distant wildlife, where getting close is challenging. Capturing full-sized images without cropping enhances image quality significantly. With its 4x zoom range, it allows for flexible composition, ensuring clear, high-resolution images across the entire zoom range.

 

Image stabilization and splash & dust proof performance, ensuring agility and ease of movement for the user

This lens is equipped with an in-lens image stabilization mechanism. When paired with 5-axis sync IS in-body image stabilization, it delivers up to 7 shutter speed steps of stabilization. When used independently, it offers up to 6 shutter speed steps of stabilization. This stability allows for steady handheld shooting, especially for super telephoto and low-light conditions, reducing the need for a tripod and allowing the user to concentrate on capturing moments in the wild.

Designed with an IPX1-equivalent splash & dust proof design, it ensures worry-free use in rainy environments or situations where water splashes are probable. The front-most lens is coated with fluorine, simplifying the removal of raindrops, dust, or dirt with a quick wipe, allowing you to resume shooting quickly.

Image by OM System

 

Ease of use and close-up shooting capabilities for a more comfortable photography experience

The M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 150-600mm F5.0-6.3 IS lens offers customizable zoom ring torque settings, allowing for adjustments between Smooth (S) and Tight (T) modes via its Zoom Torque/Lock switch, catering to various shooting scenarios. Engaging the Lock (L) mode secures the lens at the wide-angle end, preventing unintentional extension while carrying. Furthermore, it includes a Focus Limiter switch, Focus Mode switch, IS (Image Stabilization) switch, and an L-Fn (Lens Function) button, enhancing shooting convenience.

In addition, it offers superb close-up shooting performance, with a closest focusing distance of 0.56 m at the wide-angle end and 2.8 m at the telephoto end. Achieving maximum image magnification of 0.7x at the wide-angle end, and 0.39x at the telephoto end, it transforms into a tele macro lens, capturing exquisite details of small subjects like flowers and insects. When combined with a teleconverter, it rivals the performance of a macro lens, widening opportunities for outdoor field photography.

The M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 150-600mm F5.0-6.3 IS lens supports Focus Stacking mode, capturing multiple shots at various focal positions to produce a single image with an extended focus range.

 

Related Products/Accessories

LC-95 Lens Cap (bundled/sold separately); MSRP:  € 24.90 / £24.99 / $19.99 US / $26.99 CAD

Protects the lens while carrying or in transit.

LH-103 Lens Hood (bundled/sold separately); MSRP: € 99.90 / £89.99 / $99.99 US / $134.99 CAD

Minimizes undesirable light intrusion in backlit environments while providing lens protection.

Categories: Photography News

10 Top Frost Photography Tips For You To Read Today

DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY NEWS FROM ePHOTOzine - Fri 16 Feb 2024 2:44am

 

1. The Kit For For Frost Photography 

With a cool, clear night comes morning frost and it's a subject that works well for both close-up work and wider landscape shots. For your close-ups of the patterns frost creates, you'll need a macro lens or a 70-200mm zoom lens with extension rings will work just as well if you don't own a macro lens.

A tripod's handy for the times you'll be working in shaded areas and a lens hood attached to your lens will help prevent flare when shooting in the direction of the sun. Take a reflector out with you (a piece of card covered in foil will do fine) as they're useful for bouncing light into shaded spots and remember to slip a few spare batteries into your pockets if you're planning on venturing out for a while. It's also worth remembering to wrap up warm as you'll soon feel the cold when you're stood waiting for those long exposure times to complete. 

 

2. Be An Early Riser & Head For Space 

If the weatherman tells you it's going to be a cloudless night set the alarm clock to go off early, before the sun rises is a good time, as the lack of cloud cover means there's nothing to keep heat in so there's more chance of frost appearing. Head for open spaces (fields) rather than places that are sheltered (forests) as the canopy, or whatever is creating the shelter, can prevent frost from forming.
 

3. Metering Problems 

Like snow, frost, particularly when it's a thick covering, can fool your camera's meter to think the scene's much lighter than it actually is and it will underexpose the shot. If this happens, use exposure compensation and shoot half to one and a half stops over what your camera thinks is correct. You should always check your histogram to ensure the exposure's correct.

 

4. Lighting Tips  

Side and direct light will help emphasise the way the frost glistens and sidelight, in particular, can help add depth to your scene. Try shooting directly into the sun so the frost glistens, you just need to use a lens hood to minimise the chances of flare spoiling your shot.

 

 

5. Look For Shade 

Frost will last longer in shaded areas, but you'll need to use a reflector to bounce much-needed light into the shot. This will add the sparkle you expect to see when you look at frost and help remove the blue cast that's common with shade.

For shots that capture the patterns and textures frost creates, get in close and avoid using flash.

  6. White Balance Tips 

Adjusting your white balance to create a cooler colour temperature can further enhance the feeling of cold in your shot. You can also adjust the contrast of the image during post-production to give more definition to the patterns the frost has created.
 

7. Care For Your Kit 

Once home, don't take your camera out of your bag as soon as you get through the door as condensation can form on your camera/lens. Instead, leave it in your bag while it acclimatises.

 


 

8. You Can Stay Close To Home

If you don't want to venture too far have look for frost on your windows as the patterns it produces are great for macro work. Out in the garden, icy blades of grass are worth capturing early in the morning and look for fallen leaves that are covered with frost while you're out there too. Use a small aperture to make sure more of your image is sharp but if you're working with a leaf that's still on a tree, try using a wider aperture to throw the background out of focus, isolating the leaf in the process. While you're looking at branches look for frost covered berries as the reds contrast well with the white coloured frost.
 

9. Landscapes With Water 

Around ponds, reservoirs, rivers and lakes, look for frosted up reeds and branches above and around the water. They make interesting close-up studies but do take your wider lens with you too to capture a frosted landscape.
 

10. Frosted Webs 

Finally, don't forget about capturing the popular frosted spiders web. Look for webs on or facing hedges, fences and other plain, dark backgrounds as this will help the web stand out. Use a large aperture too so the darker backgrounds also thrown out of focus. If you find using autofocus doesn't give you sharp enough images, switch to manual as if the focus isn't right, your shot will lose impact and can be spoilt.

  You've read the technique now share your related photos for the chance to win prizes: Photo Month Forum Competition  
Categories: Photography News

5 Reasons To Shoot A Self Portrait Today

DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY NEWS FROM ePHOTOzine - Thu 15 Feb 2024 2:40am

 

 

1. Something New

If you're usually someone who only shoots one style of photography, having a go at a new genre can not only be fun but educational. It can also fuel you with inspiration, giving you new ideas to have a go at. As you're photographing yourself there's no pressure to get it right first time either as there's no one else to please but yourself.


2. Something For A Rainy Day

Walking around in the rain, shooting landscapes isn't fun so instead of getting wet, set up your gear at home and have a go at shooting self-portraits. You never know, you may find you enjoy it enough to take your gear outside, once the rain has stopped, to shoot some self-portraiture outdoors.
 

3. In Your Own Time

As you're not working with anyone else, you can shoot your photos when and where you want. It also means you can play around with the set-up as much as you like without having to worry about your model getting bored. You don't have to worry about time ticking away either which is something you have to consider when working with a model as they could have another shoot to get to.

 

 

4. Experiment

As you don't have a model to direct you can experiment with different poses and expressions much more easily as you won't have to spend time trying to explain the idea you have in your head to someone else. Don't' forget you can experiment with props, too.

 

5. The Challenge

Working behind as well as in front of the camera comes with its own set of challenges, however learning how to overcome problems and perfecting set-ups to help improve your technique can be fun, plus you're learning and expanding your knowledge in the process. 

Some of the questions you may ask include the following: do you want to use a tripod? How are you going to fire the shutter if using a DSLR? Will you need a remote release or do you can have a camera which can be controlled remotely via a smartphone or tablet (although, if you're capturing your images with a smartphone, this won't be so much of an issue)? Are you going to shoot one shot at a time or make the most of a continuous shooting mode? 

Take a look at our technique section for answers to these questions and more. 
 

You've read the technique now share your related photos for the chance to win prizes: Daily Forum Competition

Categories: Photography News

Pages