The value of polarising filters

I spent a few days in London, and in my camera bag I always carry a polarising filter, and the value it adds to your images are just fantastic, they are relatively inexpensive and just screw onto the front of your lens. So, what do they do you may ask? Well, they work just like a set of polarising sunglasses, they remove the glare from the image in front of you, they make the blues go bluer, and so also the greens, and that just makes an image pop. Remember when you look into water with and without those polarising […]

Sharpness is a Bourgeois Concept, a quote from Henri Cartier-Bresson

I see lots of photographers aiming for absolute pin sharp images, and that includes me, but is it really so important? Is content and “telling the story” not more important. Well, yes and no. It all depends on what YOU want. When I photograph birds, for instance, sharpness is not negotiable, and thats why I use the best lens that Nikon has to offer, a beast of a 400mm f2.8 lens. Can you imagine shooting the most beautiful kingfisher and its not a sharp photo? Its not worth the effort, whereas, you can easily get away with slightly soft or […]

My best for 2015

So, its that time of year again, when one looks back at your work, the efforts you put in, techniques you used etc. Its not a particularly difficult process, You either like your picture or you don’t, or you like lots of them and the culling becomes more difficult. Some people may not like the same as you, but the point of photography is that it is YOU. Your style, and you need to develop such to the best of your ability. As you may know, I enjoy all genres of photography, but I put the least amount of effort […]

Balancing flash and ambient, part 2, people

In the previous entry I tried to explain how to balance the ambient light with flash, and it mostly revolved around birds. In this second discussion, I will elaborate on how to manage your flash effectively for portraits and kids. As you may know, I am a great advocate of the flash, and I also understand that it scares a lot of people. Using your flash should really be as easy as using your camera, but you NEED to understand a few fundamentals, how to balance the light so the flash does not look like flash. You need to get […]

Wrong camera settings

How many times has that happened to you. Well, it happened to me just yesterday. My flash did not fire and I was ridiculously underexposed. As a matter of fact the back of my camera rendered this, a black picture. Useless, or so I thought. Then, I thought, what the hell, lets open up the exposure in lightroom and see what happens? WOW, the technology saved me, a very usable pic, but noisy as I would have expected as the sensor did not grab all the info optimally. So there we have it. Even badly exposed pictures can be saved […]

Balancing flash and ambient (Part1, birds)

Arguably, flash will add a tremendous amount of “pop” to your photographs, but if you are not careful, it can also destroy your work. I will try and explain how to do this, in 2 sections (Part 1, birds and Part 2, people/ pets/ kids), but the principles are really the same though. You just have to balance the flashes output to that of the ambient. When using flash, you have 2 options, use flash as fill or use flash as the dominant light. For the type of photography I do I mostly prefer to use fill flash, and I […]

Compressing perspective, creating depth

Do you sometimes feel your landscapes just lack depth, that the picture you took with that wide angle is just not right. Well, maybe the answer is to use a longer lens. Similarly, your portraits seem to just capture to much of the surrounding scene. Again, switch to a longer focal length, isolate your subject from the distracting backgrounds and watch the magic happen. Above is beautiful and photogenic Suvera, photographed in a playground, and I really had problems with a very distracting background, so I switched to my trusty 80-200f2.8 lens and snapped this one at 125mm, notice how […]

Gel your flash to match the ambient

  I don’t often see photographers slapping on those horribly yellow gels onto their flashes, and its an elementary mistake, and I suggest, next time you do an indoor shoot with a lot of tungsten (3700K) light around, slap that gel on, also, don’t forget to set your cameras white balance to Tungsten. The Nikon gel to use is the TN-A1. When you shoot without the gel, you adding white light (5500K) to an environment of predominantly yellow light. Most likely your camera is still on auto white balance and sadly your colours will now just be a mix of […]