Topic: Technique

Astrophotography

What Does Astrophotography Mean? Astrophotography is the art of photographing nighttime skyscapes and astrological objects such as stars and planets in the night sky. Successful astrophotography requires knowledge of various photography techniques such as use of long exposures for creating star trails, knowledge of camera sensitivity to avoid excess noise levels in photographs of dark skies, and the use of camera steadying equipment such as tripods to aid in the capture of sharp long exposure images. Astrophotography techniques can even be used to capture images of objects that would otherwise be invisible to the naked eye for example far away...

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Bulb Mode

What Is Bulb Mode? When selecting the shutter speed on a camera, almost all cameras are limited to shutter speeds up to 30 seconds long (see shutter speed chart).  If you want to shoot a photo which has an exposure time of longer than 30 seconds, you need to use bulb mode.  Many cameras have a “B” setting on the mode dial next to the “M” for manual, and this indicates bulb mode.  Sometimes a camera might give access to bulb mode when yo try to change your shutter speed past the 30 second mark as well.  Again, if...

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Chimping

What Is Chimping? Chimping is the act of looking at your camera’s LCD screen as soon as you have taken a photo.  The term is jokingly derived from the noises that photographers often make when they see a shot they like on the back of the camera (oooh ohh), followed sometimes by “ape like” hand motions for others to take a look. To Chimp Or Not To Chimp, That Is The Question….. There’s two distinct schools of thought on this.  At events, where action is not necessarily predictable, chimping can cause you to miss an important shot.  Over the years...

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Fill Light

What Is the Definition of Fill Light in Photography? Fill light is form of supplementary light mainly used to lighten shadows in an image. Fill light is often used in portrait photography to create a contrast between the image subject and image background giving the scene a sense of depth despite the final product being 2 dimensional. In this situation the use of fill light also reduces the overall dynamic range of the scene allowing for easier selection of the exposure settings required to capture an image. When fill light is correctly applied it does not significantly impact the main...

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Light Painting

What Is Light Painting and How Is It Used in Photography? A ‘light painting’ is an image that is created by capturing a long exposure of a dark scene that contains a moving light source. By moving the light source within the scene whilst the photographic medium is being exposed the photographer is able to produce an effect which resembles the brush strokes made by an artist’s paint brush, only composed entirely of light. A classic example of a light painting is writing your name using a sparkler at a firework display. Light Paintings can be created by capturing...

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Long Exposure

What Is Long Exposure Photography? In what you might term ‘regular photography’, with your camera in an automatic or semi-automatic exposure mode, you’re likely working with a shutter speed of somewhere between 1/60 of a second and 1/4000 of a second.  These kind of shutter speeds tend to cover most normal situations, from bright sunlight at midday, to occasional indoor shooting. Long exposure photography is when we are using a much longer shutter speed, and it’s usually used as a specific technique to achieve a certain effect.  There’s no defined transition point at which a shutter speed becomes slow...

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Multi-Pattern Metering

What Is Multi-Pattern Metering and What Is It Used for When Taking Photographs? ‘Multi-pattern metering’ refers to a metering mode selectable on a camera which is designed to meter a scene accurately in challenging lighting situations. Multi-pattern metering reads light levels in multiple areas or ‘zones’ within a scene and compares the results to calculate exposure settings that will produce the clearest exposure of in focus areas. Multi-pattern metering is particularly useful in challenging lighting situations, for example backlit subjects. In this situation multi-pattern metering can ‘sense’ the difference in light between the subject and background and compensate for...

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Multi-Point Focusing

What Is Multi-Point Focusing and How Is It Used in Photography? Modern cameras often have multiple focus points spread across an active area of the cameras frame. This allows a photographer to compose a scene and then select the single focus point closest to the position to the scene subject, or alternatively to focus on the subject using the center focus point and then recompose. Multi-point focusing allows the shooter to select a starting focus point, but the camera will automatically track a subject within a frame as they move, thus utilizing multiple focus points. This technique is particularly...

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Multiple Exposure

What Is a Multiple Exposure and How Is It Used When Taking Photographs? A ‘multiple exposure’ is a type of photograph that is created by exposing the same frame of film to light more than once. Multiple exposures allow a photographer to superimpose one subject or scene over another on the same frame of a photograph. Think of the classic ghost photograph, often caused by forgetting to wind on an analogue camera between shots thus creating a ghostly multiple exposure image! Multiple exposures can also be created digitally, although this is done during post processing by overlaying multiple photography...

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Open Up

What Does Open up Mean When Talking About Taking Photographs? When taking photographs to ‘open up’ or ‘opening up’ refers to the practice of allowing more light to be recorded by a photographic medium for example a camera film or sensor. Opening up can be done in one of two ways; By selecting a larger aperture setting on a lens, or setting a longer exposure time on a camera. Both methods allow more light to be captured by the film or image sensor but have different creative effects. The challenge of of capturing a good photograph is knowing which...

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