I searched this city up and down for film cameras and film photography equipment. I put that knowledge into this film camera buying guide, detailing and ranking all the places with a steady...Read More
Unless you are an avid point and shoot film camera collector, it's likely you have never heard of the Rollei AFM 35. First of all its a marvelous little camera, but the misconception that it lacks...Read More
One of the most well-known photos of our time is that of the 'Afghan Girl'. Taken by photographer Steve McCurry while on assignment for National Geographic in Pakistan in 1984.Read More
Like it or not, there has not been such a movement in photography since the Kodak Brownie in 1900 as the iPhone; or iPhoneography. TIME Magazine's best iPhone photos of the year have been revealed.
“This year’s entries were especially impressive ranging from intimate, thought-provoking moments to stunning, captivating imagery,” - Kenan Aktulun, Award's Founder
Reviewing thousands of photos from entries all over the world, a first, second, and third place were chosen across the 19 categories which included travel, architecture, food, portraiture, and more. So anyway, let's get to it!
Head over to TIME.com to see the first, second, and third place overall winners!
With news of a Sony A6000 predecessor coming mid-June, two things come to mind for current A6000 fans. One, it's time to buy the latest and greatest; and two, a price drop on the current model only adds to its appeal. Even though the coming A6XXX is said to be a successor and not a replacement, let's take a look at the current A6000 and see how it stacks up to other popular cameras after a solid 15 months on the market - with the Sony A6000 vs Everything.
Canon EOS M3 vs Sony A6000
If Leica wasn't already the pinnacle of luxury digital and film cameras, here's a set of special edition Leica cameras that will leave you checking the blue book value on your car. Enjoy!Read More
In this article we will take you out of the studio and into the real world, simply trying to find the best shot for each lens type. If you don't yet know difference between an 18mm and a 50mm, read on.Read More
First reported by AppleInsider, Apple has been working on a patent implementing the potential for both wide angle and telephoto lenses into their phones.
Cell Phones & Digital Zooming
In a post earlier this week titled "Types of Digital Cameras Explained, What’s the Difference?", we detailed camera types from cell phones to large format cameras. The first outstanding feature lacking in cell phone cameras is the ability to optically zoom or even have a prime telephoto focal length.
Optical Zoom vs Digital Zoom
A camera or lens that features an optical zoom, means that physical lens elements and/or groups are internally moving, changing the focal length. An image captured in this manner uses the full capacity of the camera's sensor to capture a more narrow field of view, giving you a zoomed image.
A digital zoom is nothing to brag about, in fact it is hardly a feature at all. A digital zoom is when a camera's processor simply enlarges your normal non zoomed image. The picture quality from zooming in on your iPhone is the same as if you take an image without zooming, and then crop in on it later.
So while optical zooming and digital zoom seem similar by they name, the results in image quality of the two really do not compare.
Can You Fit a Zoom Lens into an iPhone?
Probably not. At about 7mm thick, the iPhone likely has no room for more moving lens elements. If Apple were able to pull this off, I imagine the small change in focal length possible would not be worth the trouble.
With all the requirements for a zoom lens considered, it's probable the answer lies in a Dual Lens System, that's actually not a zoom at all.Rumors of Apple working on a dual lens system first came out late last year. Suspicions are that it may first be seen in the iPhone 6s if not the iPhone 7.
Possible iPhone Telephoto Lens Specs
The secondary lens will likely be a fixed telephoto focal length around 50mm with a slightly higher aperture ratio than the current f/2.2.
Pixel Size, sensor Size, & Crop Factor
Current pixel size on the iPhone sensor is 1.5 µm. The patent calls for use of sensors with 1.2 µm diameter pixels or smaller.
A secondary sensor matching the megapixel resolution of the first, but with smaller pixels, means an overall smaller sensor. Smaller sensors mean larger crop factors, giving images lenses telephoto characteristics by narrowing the field of view.
Doing nothing more than taking the existing iPhone 6 camera system and shrinking the pixels by 0.3 µm would give the effective focal length of about 43mm compared to the current 29mm.
With a slight change in optics and the reduction in sensor size, it's very possible that the new iPhone will feature a fixed 50mm lens in addition to the familiar wide angle 29mm lens.
Looks like we're going to need a longer selfie stick!
View more on the contents of the patent at AppleInsider.com
YongNuo a longtime photographic equipment manufacturer released their first camera lens last month, the sub $70 YongNuo 50mm f/1.8. This lens is a direct competitor and nearly a carbon copy of the 'Nifty Fifty' Canon 50mm f/1.8.
As recent rumors suggested, YongNuo has now released a second lens, the 35mm f/2 lens for the Canon EF mount.
Focal Length: 35mm Maximum Aperture: f/2.0 Minimum Aperture:F/22 AF & MF Modes Lens Structure :5 Groups, 7 Elements Min. Focusing Distance:0.25m / 0.8ft
The YongNuo 35mm f/2 is at first sight, a rival to the current $550 Canon 35mm f/2 IS. Though with a lack of image stabilization in the YongNuo, a more accurate comparison would be to the original Canon EF 35mm f/2 which also lacks IS.
Being that the non IS Canon 35mm is now discontinued, it can be had used for about $300 and up.
What lens would you like to see next from YongNuo? Comment below!
Today, Wednesday the 22nd of April, marks the 45th year of Earth Day. A day dedicated for support of environmental protection. In celebration of Earth Day, let's take a look at our planet through the eyes of an astronaut and photographer.
Donald Pettit is an American chemical engineer and NASA astronaut. With seven missions to space and two long stays aboard the International Space Station, Donald gives us and inspirational insight into the vast possibilities of seeing things differently.
NASA Space Photographer: Cupola Frontier
Time-lapse Earth from Space & Aurora Borealis
More Awesome Space Pictures from Donald Pettit
For more images visit Don's SmugMug Photo Gallery.
Street photography is the photography of street life, be it people, animals, architecture, nature, or public spaces where they all combine. Street photography is built on basis of candid photography, which is defined as subjects having a unposed appearance often with a lack of acknowledgment to the cameras presence.
Cameras like the Fujifilm X100T and Ricoh GR are modern classics in the street photography scene. With full frame focal lengths equivalent of 35 and 28mm, they sport focal lengths that are widely accepted as the best for street photography.
With such wide focal lengths, it is essential to get physically close [compared to standard and tele. lengths] to your subject if it is the focus of your composition, especially if you are trying to capture an emotion through a portrait.
Getting close without breaking the candid relationship with your subjects can be extremely difficult. A skilled street photographer will find the composition, adjust settings, get close, frame the shot, capture the image, and move on all in a matter of seconds and without being noticed.
It's the fast pace of street photography that can sometimes lead to dutch angles, slightly blurry shots, and improper exposure. While unacceptable in a studio situation, these elements add to the charm candid nature of street photography.
What is a Candid Image?
Being that street photography is so closely related to candid photography, let's take a closer look at the meaning of candid photography. Here are some excerpts from the Official Nikon Nikkormat Manual (1977).
"So much of the best 35mm photography today is unposed, that the term 'candid' has almost lost its meaning. However, we'll limit our discussion of candids to those shots you are attempting to take in a natural surrounding with your subject almost or entirely unaware of your intent."
"Try avoiding confusing backgrounds. Make use of your depth of field to throw confusing backgrounds out of focus."
"Wait for peak expression or peak excitement to occur before shooting"
"If you intend to shoot many candid shots, investigate the 85mm f1/.8 Nikkor Auto, which is a lens with exceptional speed and sharpness and can make close-us from some distance."
So now it seems we have a bit of conflicting information. The best focal length for street photography is widely accepted as about 35mm, but the essence of street photography is based on the candid, which is most easily achieved by a telephoto length.
Perhaps it's best to settle somewhere between. Say a nifty fifty (50mm lens)? Like most of photography it's a little more art than science. So there is no official best focal length for street photography, the best focal length is what works for you, but 28mm to 85mm is a great place to start.
Street Photography with A Telephoto Lens
Taking the idea of introducing telephoto lengths to street photography a bit further, I wanted to personally explore the candid in a most unobtrusive way. Completely leaving wide angles in the dust, I chose a (Canon FD) 200mm lens on a Sony A6000, giving an equivalent full frame focal length of 300mm.
With an 11 mile walk through the city, I was able to capture a small glimpse of the most iconic and diverse street life of Manhattan.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Using a Telephoto Lens for Street Photography
Using a large telephoto lens for street photography presented several new challenges and advantages. Firstly the physical size was a challenge. It's no secret you are taking photos. Though it is not easy for a bystander to pinpoint what is it you are gazing at. Additionally, with the reach of a telephoto lens, extreme changes in lighting are easy to come across with a simple pan of the lens. From blinding sunlight to a heavily shaded stoop, these situations are not new to a street photographer, and are ones where a camera with a wide dynamic range will prove its value.
The biggest advantage of using a telephoto lens for street photography is of course the optical reach of the lens. With the narrow field of view of a 200mm lens, even standing across the street may be too close to capture a head-to-toe image.
Being further away from your subjects make it much easier to maintain a candid relationship. This also lends the ability for the photographer to take their time waiting for a peak moments of interest, in a way that wide angle street photography often does not.
Conversely though, putting distance between you and your subject can make it difficult to get a clean shot in crowded areas. And with these distances the subject is more in control than the photographer. If you are about to capture a portrait and your subject turns around completely, you may have to walk half a block to get on the other side of them to mimic the composition you intended to capture but just missed.
Looking back at the idea of street photography and the results from shooting it with a 200mm lens:
With its narrow field of view, a 200mm lens captures very compress images, that is your foreground and background appearing to be compressed together. A 200mm lens is commonly accepted as yielding 'unflattering' results when taking pictures of people. Though the ability to take your time composing images [unnoticed] is a clear advantage of using a telephoto lens for street photography.
Considering the pros and cons I think there may be a sweet spot in using an 85mm to 105mm lens. These two focal lengths are telephoto lengths that still support a realistic and flattering amount of compression when photographing people, and put enough distance between you and your subject that you may get a bit more time to wait for the moment of peak excitement.
 Amphora Editorial Board. Official Nikon Nikkormat Manual. Garden City, New York: American Photographic Book Publishing Co., Inc. 1977
Technical note: Other than slight cropping and some highlight adjustments, these images are mostly as-is from the camera. Shot on 'Soft High Key' picture setting which gives a low-contrast look similar to that of the RAW video from a Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera (BMPCC).
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM II |
EF Mount L-Series Lens 3 Mode Optical Image Stabilizer Internal Focus Ring-Type USM AF Motor Weather-Sealed Design One Fluorite and One Super UD Element Air Sphere and Fluorine Lens Coatings Rounded 9-Blade Diaphragm
A long-reaching telephoto zoom characterized by a sophisticated optical design and advanced image stabilization technologies, the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens is part of the esteemed L-series developed for full-frame EOS DSLRs. One fluorite element and one Super UD element have been incorporated into the lens' construction, and both help to reduce aberrations and distortions throughout the zoom range in order to deliver notable clarity, image sharpness, and faithful color reproduction. An Air Sphere Coating has also been applied to lens elements in order to reduce lens flare and ghosting for more contrast-rich imagery. Benefitting the optical components of the lens, a four-stop effective Optical Image Stabilizer helps to minimize the appearance of camera shake and can be dedicated to different styles of shooting. Furthermore, a redeveloped rotation-type zoom ring pairs with an internal focusing mechanism, and an Ultrasonic Motor, to deliver quick and intuitive handling to benefit handheld shooting. Positioned as a versatile option for sports and wildlife photographers, this lens' list of attributes make it a viable telephoto zoom for a variety of shooting applications. [s]
Canon 100-400mm II Quick Look
Hands on review, Canon 100-400mm II
Review & Sample Photos, Canon 100-400mm II
Lens Review, Canon 100-400mm II
Canon 100-400mm II Video Sample, Gulfstream g650 Landing
HANDS ON REVIEW, CANON 100-400mm
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM II Full Specs
100 - 400mm
Maximum: f/4.5 - 5.6
Camera Mount Type
35mm Film / Full-Frame Digital Sensor
Angle of View
24° - 6° 10'
Minimum Focus Distance
3.2' (97.54 cm)
Yes Removable - rotating
Approx. 3.7 x 7.6" (93.98 x 193.04 mm)
3.5 lb (1.59 kg)
Box Dimensions (WxHxD)
7.4 x 7.2 x 12.5
As photographers we often find ourselves waist deep in odd-jobs searching for that next big opportunity. From the inaugural $150 wedding job to the corporate client that pays more for three days of work than you've ever made in a month; opportunities can take you anywhere and everywhere in-between.
How about the opportunity to investigate a murder? Heck, maybe even solve one? Well this is the day to day reality of London Metropolitan Police Department Forensic Photographer Nick Marsh. With 30 years on the force, and 20 of them as a forensic photographer, Nick's uses his analytical approach to photography fusing art and technique to unearth some of London's most gruesome mysteries.
The Forensic Photographer
The Photographic Eye
Imagine this: There's a young woman sitting in a café near the window...
The portrait photographer notices how the contours of her face are gently lit by the setting sun, while the photojournalist sees the empty seat in front of her and the constant glances outside. The forensic photographer sees a perfect lipstick mark left on the coffee cup, while the fashion photographer prefers a lighter shade.
First popularized by Malcolm Gladwell's book "Outliers: The Story of Success", it's commonly said that to become an expert at something, it takes 10,000 hours of practice at the given skill. That's roughly 20 hours a week for 10 years.
While that may be true, it surely doesn't take that long to develop a habit. Meaning it doesn't necessarily take 10 years behind the camera to start to think like a photographer. As photographers we train ourselves consciously and subconsciously through experience and muscle memory. With all the places photography can take you, it's interesting how each of us interpret our surroundings differently, what I call - how we perceive the woman by the window.
This short documentary by director David Beazley provides an intriguing look at one photographers such interpretations of the world around him.
It's All About the Light
One recurring piece of insight you'll find time and time again from professional photographers is that it's not about the camera it's about the photographer. On the importance of photographic equipment, Nick Marsh would tell you:
"As a matter of fact the camera in most types of photography we undertake is irrelevant, it's about light. It's about understanding about the way light is going and what we need to see in our image."
..And the Knowledge
Sure you need equipment capable enough for the type of work you are doing, but beyond that it's not about how many bells and whistles you've got or how big you camera case is. Nick stresses the importance training in photography. For him the artistic eye is used to unearth the fact of the matter, while being sure not to misrepresent the reality of the scene.
"If you've got limited training, say for example a fatal accident, and you're trying to recreate that for the jury as-is with true perspective, one of the most common things I see is the use things like a wide-angled lens. Which clearly distorts perspective and appears to make the the vehicles look twice the distance they are away. So if you put that into court you're actually giving them false information.. The Level of knowledge is reduced."
The Proactive Use of Light in Forensic Photography
In the video Nick mentions an investigation of a murder where crucial evidence was discovered on the wall of a flat by use of infrared imaging. In his book Forensic Photography: A Practitioner's Guide he details the crime further.
... In this case a suspect was arrested for multiple murders around the St Pancras area of London. On his arrest his flat was searched and half a torso was found in his bedroom. When the rest of flat was treated with luminol in the search for blood, it was clear that thcrc had been a lot of previous activity. When a light source search was carried out for latent linger marks to ascertain who else might have been there, in terms of victims or other suspects, a small area of erased writing was found, as in the above case. In this case, however, it was almost illegible even under the laser. As is standard practice we then repeated the search area using a tunable light source through the spectrum, starting at UV finishing at IR. To mist with the viewing of IR, a video camera with an IR viewing mode was used and this time the area showed a girl's name. The walls of the flat were then speculatively searched and vidcoed (as required) using IR and another four or five names were found. These names subsequently turned out to be the names of previous victims.
If you're curious what it takes be a London MET Forensic Photographer, well first you've got to already be employed as Police Photographic Officer. Second, you can take this course:
Professional Forensic Photography Attendance Criteria
This course is for police staff currently employed as Photographic Officers.
To enable the student to develop advanced stills techniques to use at Scenes of Crime.
The student will be able to:
Demonstrate using the equipment Describe relevant procedures and policy that impact on crime scene photography Demonstrate the ability to adapt techniques to different scenes Describe legal issues that impact on crime scene photography Demonstrate completing relevant paperwork Conduct critical assessment of their work
Duration; 15 days Course number; CS209
"Spray and Pray."
You won't find this in any text books, as it's typically used to poke-fun at your mates. Anyway the point here is, what do we do with all those images once we get back to the computer? You've got your social media, your online portfolio, and maybe even a few prints. But how do you possibly choose the best images over thousands upon thousands?
Could you narrow it down to 100? Could you do 50? How about 6?
Well that's exactly what a new website is asking you to do. International photography magazine InMyBag has introduced what they claim to be:
Should You Choose to Accept...
On their website, photographers will create a profile, add their equipment to the gear list, and choose their 6 best images. Users will be able to browse the database and compare up to 12 photos from photographers profiles, including the gear used to get the shot. The site boasts 3 unique searchable features that enable users to find what they're looking for.
- Kit Wars compares photographers and the gear they use side by side
- Talents drills down awesome photographers by genre, location, etc.
- GearHeads gives you the low down on tonnes of gear and who uses it.
How Can I Enter?
Being as is just getting off the ground, those who sign up get a chance to win $4,400 USD (£3,000) worth of gear. You can sign up at the bottom of the page here.
I Though it was About the Photographer Not the Gear..
Comparing photographers based on gear is a touchy subject for many. InMyBag is claiming that the ability to browse by gear will be a valuable resource enabling users to view the full potential of a given camera or lens. I think centrally comparing photography cameras with real world examples will indeed be a useful tool for many. Is it right for you?
Full Press Release
If you love photography, then you’ll love The World’s Only Searchable Database of Photographers and their Gear from international photography magazine InMyBag. You can now select photographers by different criteria- for instance, genre, location, equipment etc and then Inmybag’s clever visual search engine presents you with the best images of each photographer.
This ‘Kit Wars’ system lets you select up to 12 images you love, stack these photographers and their gear side by side to discover new talent and see what gear they have in common. So, whether it’s wedding photographers from the USA or Car photographers from around the globe, or creative portrait photographers in general, you can get a new and fascinating insight.
‘Gear Heads’ provides a new perspective on photography equipment and shows you the best image from each photographer who uses that item. It really shows you the potential of the gear and acts as inspiration for up and coming photographers.
“We wanted to utilise all the information we capture by featuring and promoting a different photographer per day on Inmybag. We’d like to become the Wiki-tographers of the internet: providing a free resource which will enable us to build a historical and evolving picture of photography as it embraces shifts in technology.”
“We want to be able to pull out fascinating observations about photographers, for example, how little gear woman photographers tend to use compared to the male counterparts, to the most popular lens for portrait photographers and how it varies by country.” said Simon Ellingworth, Editor of Inmybag.
What’s interesting about this project is it has an open door policy and so embraces photographers of any skill, level, genre, or location. It doesn’t matter if you use an iPhone, GoPro, video or traditional film – everybody’s welcome.
To encourage photographers to submit, this month Inmybag have teamed up with Swiss lighting specialists Elinchrom and are offering the chance to win £3,000 ($4,400 USD) worth of gear.
Submission is simple; each entrant to the site generates an online profile which features their 6 best shots, web and social media links which helps promote their photography to our global audience.
There's much to be debated when asking "Is film dead?" In my opinion it could best be summarized by saying, "Film is not dead, it's just not a necessity." Though some film purists would disagree.Read More
Introducing the all new Lensbaby Velvet 56 Classic Portrait Lens
One of the biggest gripes photographers have with lenses from the 1980's and earlier is that they are just not as sharp as the lenses produced today. When stopping down to apertures of f/1.8 there is a clearly noticeable soft glow, a hazy or dreamy kind of look.
But what makes these lenses less desirable for most is exactly what Lensbaby is embracing in their new Lensbaby Velvet 56 f/1.6 portrait lens.
"Our Velvet 56 classic portrait lens gives you a velvety, ethereal start with a smooth finish, from the big picture to the smallest details. Bringing modern-day simplicity to the carefully crafted build and look of mid-20th century portrait lenses.." - Lensbaby.com
56mm Focal Length f/1.6-16 1:2 Macro Focus: 5" to Infinity Metal Construction Black or Silver Edition (SE)
Velvet 56 Release Date: April 13, 2015
Lensbaby Velvet 56 Images: Bhphotovideo.com
With the Velvet 56 coming in a black version and silver edition (SE), it's a shame they don't refer to the first as Black Velvet. I guess that was taken.
Full Press Release:
PORTLAND, OR and ST. LOUIS, MO–(Marketwired – Apr 7, 2015) –(ShutterFest 2015) — Lensbaby, providing creative effects lenses to photographers that ignite their creativity and expand their unique visions of the world, today announced the Velvet 56, a new high-end classic portrait lens. Velvet 56 will be on display for the first time during ShutterFest 2015, being held April 7-8 at St. Louis Union Station, St. Louis, Missouri.
Velvet 56 is a 56mm f/1.6 SLR and mirrorless camera lens with 1:2 macro capabilities. This “new classic” portrait lens delivers a velvety, glowing, ethereal look at brighter apertures, and beautifully sharp but subtly unique images as you stop down — with gorgeous, velvety tones that give digital images a film-like, organic quality. Incredibly versatile, Velvet 56 enables photographers to move seamlessly from shooting an environmental portrait, to capturing details in a subject’s clothing or jewelry. Nature and macro photographers will find its close-focus capabilities, combined with effects varying from impressionistic to just a touch of velvety smoothness, provide a set of visual tools that will expand their vision of the world.
Evoking the image style and construction quality of classic portrait lenses of the mid-20th century, Velvet 56 features the heft and smooth, dampened manual focus of these early lenses. Velvet 56, with an all metal body, will be available in two colors: traditional black, plus, Velvet SE, a special silver edition. Velvet SE will feature a beautiful clear-anodized finish, along with engraved aperture and focus markings.
“Excited was an understatement. When the box arrived, I ripped it open…5 minutes later I ran down into the studio shooting test shots…Result? LOVE LOVE LOVE. This is going to be a huge hit.” – Sal Cincotta, photographer, educator, founder of ShutterFest, and publisher of Shutter Magazine —www.salcincotta.com and www.behindtheshutter.com
“I am IN LOVE with this lens! The thing that makes me most excited, and the reason I never want to take it off my camera, is the way it jumps from macro to far away shooting. I adore it! It is the perfect lens for a portrait or lifestyle session because you never have to take the lens off.” – Caroline Jensen, portrait photographer & educator, www.carolinejensenblog.com
“I don’t know what it is about this lens that makes me so emotional, but when I opened this photo up on my desktop it made me cry…have never experienced that before, it’s like this lens sees like I do…It’s like coming home…” – Kathleen Clemons, nature photographer & educator, http://kathleenclemonsphotography.com/
Velvet 56 allows direct access to the creative process of making beautiful and compelling images. This lens is a fluid extension to the photographic experience — the touch of the flawless metal, the tactile feel of minute details etched into its surface, the sensation of smooth, dampened manual focus. Photographers can effortlessly evoke classic appeal and transition from distant subjects to macro easily, capturing a variety of details in any given scene.
“Velvet 56 is the result of our tireless efforts to offer a brand new lens design that combines the best qualities of classic lenses while eliminating the negative aspects of classic lenses,” said Craig Strong, Lensbaby Co-founder & Chief Creative Officer. “Utilizing a never before used singlet-doublet-singlet optical design, we have combined a variable glowing highlights with tack sharp latent details even at the maximum, f/1.6, aperture. This groundbreaking design, combined with macro focusing, gives photographers one of the most versatile lenses ever made, helping them create images of any subject matter with unique heart and soul. Portrait photographers can now add a new must-have lens to their bag of most-loved equipment. Nature and macro photographers will appreciate the subtle variable, buttery-smooth aesthetic.”
Velvet 56 Specs and Features
- 1:2 Macro
- 62mm filter
- Focuses from 5″ from front element to infinity
- Metal lens hood included with Velvet 56 lenses for mirrorless cameras only
- Dimensions (DSLR) 86mm at infinity to 112mm at Macro, 71.96mm diameter
- Dimensions (mirrorless without hood) 94mm Infinity to 120mm at Macro
- Weight ~400 grams
Pricing Velvet 56 retails for $499.95 (MSRP) and $599.95 (MSRP) for Velvet SE. The lenses will be available in Canon, Nikon, Sony A and Pentax mounts beginning 4/13/15 at lensbaby.com, B&H, Adorama, and from select specialty photo stores worldwide. Mirrorless mounts including Micro 4/3rds, Sony E, Samsung NX and Fuji X will be available in early May 2015.
From guaranteed sharp pictures every time, to stunning astrophotography photos, here are 7 lesser known photography tips and principles.
1. Shutter Sharp
This tip doesn't really have a name. I'm dubbing it Shutter Sharp. Shutter sharp is a simple calculation to determine the minimum shutter speed that will ensure a sharp shot every time, when shooting handheld on non image stabilized lenses. For this one all you need to do is set your shutter speed to double your focal length.
Shutter Speed = Focal Length x 2
So if you are shooting with a zoom at 250mm, your shutter speed should be 1/500th or faster. If you are shooting with a 100mm lens shutter speed should be 1/200th or faster and so on.
Getting the Most Out of Shutter Sharp
Many of you out there have an APS-C or smaller sized sensor. Make sure to note your sensor size and use this rule based on the Full Frame Equivalent given by your lens and sensor. On a Canon 7D MKII for example, you would have a Canon APS-C sized sensor giving a crop factor of 1.6x. In this scenario a lens at a focal length of 250mm would have a full frame equivalent of 400mm. Giving you a suggested shutter speed of 1/800th of a second.
[pmath size=14]800= 2(250 x 1.6)[/pmath] or 250 x 1.6 x 2 = 800
You can see it put into practice here, as well as 7 addition causes of blurry photos and how to fix them.
This is not a rule but a guide. It's possible to shoot at lower shutter speeds than shutter sharp suggests, but the likelihood of doing so is much less when you go against it.
2. Hyperfocal Distance
Hyperfocal distance is a way to achieve the maximum amount of sharpness (depth of field) on a given lens. This is most useful in street photography and landscape photography. Hyperfocal distance is:
The shortest distance at which a lens can be focused where the depth of field spans from exactly half that distance, out to infinity.
As there are no numbers in this base principle, it's best understood in practice. This is nearly impossible to do on modern lenses with no focal distance scale written on them like older manual focusing lenses.
Depth of field is exponential, so with any lens as you focus further away the depth of field increases. It increases more so forward than backward from the point of focus. At some point you will achieve focus where the depth of field spans from half your current focal distance out to infinity. That is your Hyperfocal Distance.
For example if you used a Nikon D4 with a 50mm lens, your hyperfocal distance would be about 35ft. It's at that focal distance that you would have everything in focus from about 17ft onward to infinity.
3. Sunny 16
This rule goes all the way back to the mid 1800's and can be used today to the same effect. The Sunny 16 is a method for obtaining correct exposure when shooting outdoors without any metering. Basically it sets the par for proper exposure in the sun, and with some knowledge of photography Reciprocity, this little tip goes a long way. It is as follows:
Correct exposure outdoors on a sunny day: f/16, 1/100th, 100 ISO
Getting the Most Out of the Sunny 16
Use the photographic Reciprocity Law below to match exposure to the Sunny 16 while getting the aperture or shutter speeds you want.
4. Reciprocity Law
The reciprocity law is probably the most significant of this list. Once you understand and apply it to your work, you'll find your abilities and confidence as a photographer broaden in ways you didn't know possible.
The density of a photographic image is directly proportionate to the density of light
Essentially this is a method of calculating exposure equivalence. If you can multiply and divide simple numbers by 2 as well as observe the aperture of your lens, you can calculate reciprocity. By knowing what setting changes are equal to one stop of light change, you can compensate for almost any gain or loss of light from one setting, by changing another. This knowledge will give you control of the image while maintaining proper exposure. You will do this by using aperture, shutter speed, and ISO.
Doubling or halving the shutter speed or ISO once equals a change in 1 f-stop. Increasing or decreasing to the next common aperture is also equal to a change in 1 f-stop.
Lets start in a scenario where The Sunny 16, is in effect, which is f/16, 1/100th, 100 ISO.
If you wanted more shallow depth of field in this situation, you could compensate the light increase of lowering the aperture by increasing the shutter speed. Changing the Aperture from f/16 to f/5.6 would add 3x the amount of light (3 stops) to your image. To compensate you would double the shutter speed 3 times equalling 1/800th, reducing 3x the amount of light. Both settings balance out and total light input to the image remains the same.
5. Inverse Square Law
This law is most closely associated with the use of flash or studio lights.
An object at a distance 'A' from a given light source, will receive 1/4th the illumination when distance is doubled to distance 'B'.
Therefore if you have a proper exposure and lighting, then move your subject twice the distance from the light source, it would require 4x the amount of light to achieve the same amount of light when it was half the distance it currently is.
6. The Astrophotography 500 [AKA 600]
If you haven't explored simple astrophotography before, I can tell you its surprisingly easy to expose an image long enough that the stars in your image have slight trails to them rather than being a pinpoint of light. Unless done to extremes this is undesirable. At long exposures the rotation of the earth can act as a sort of camera shake, as you are moving but the stars are [comparatively] not.
This is a simple mathematical calculation for determining the longest exposure possible before star trails begin to emerge.
Shutter Speed = 500 / Focal Length
Simply take the number 500 and divide it by the focal length you are using, the result is the maximum amount of time (in seconds) you can expose the image before star trails begin to emerge.
If you were shooting the night sky with a 24mm lens:
500 / 24 = 20.83
So this means you should shoot at about a twenty second exposure or faster to capture pin sharp star images. Some use the number 600 which gives a similar results, but I find 500 to be a bit more conservative and therefore better results.
Getting the Most Out of the Astrophotography 500
With the maximum shutter speed determined, you can then lock that in and use aperture and/or ISO to increase the light input for your image. In astrophotography you'll want to increase the ISO to its usable limits and the aperture to its minimum. The more light, the more stars.
7. Scheimpflug Principle
Austrian army captain and aerial photographer Theodor Scheimpflug (1865-1911) stated that:
"If the lens pane is tilted down, when extended lines from the lens pane, the object plane and the film plane intersect at the same point, the entire subject plane is in focus."
This principle shows its effect in swing and tilt movements of view cameras, and tilt-shift lenses. In landscape photography for example, this means that the lens can be tilted downward, so that the plane of focus is no longer perpendicular to the ground but parallel to it. This acheives focus from near to infinity no matter the aperture.