Cleaning Lenses, Sensors, Mirrors…
Digital camera cleaning and maintenance is something many photographers (including myself) neglect to do with sometimes costly consequences.
It is too easy to come home after a days shooting, whip out the memory card, have a play with your new images and forget all about maintenance of your kit.
If you are like me, anything new that I buy over time (car, motorbike, watch, glasses etc), get cleaned immaculately at least once a day. Then after a few weeks it falls to once a week or so and then just “on the odd occasion” or when they look really dirty.
Because photography is my livelihood, I have to physically make myself grab my camera bag, go and sit somewhere quiet and take a good half an hour to an hour after a shoot to clean every piece of equipment that I have used.
This kit has cost thousands and its cleanliness has a direct bearing on the quality of my images and the longevity of its use. Not only that but as I upgrade my equipment, I may want to sell on
The Camera Phone With Video, Worth Upgrading To?
In the past we have considered adding a section devoted to your camera phone to ATP but felt the resolution and popularity of most mobile phones with cameras didn’t justify it. Now however, most mobile phones being manufactured include a high quality camera and video feature as well as all the other goodies that they pack into mobile phones these days.
Do you use the camera much on your mobile phone? Do you use the video? How important would you say the camera feature is when buying a new cell phone camera? Please share your thoughts, ideas and images at the bottom of this page, we would love to hear from you!
We will start to incorporate camera phone photography into ATP now that they have better:
- Ease of uploading images to the web
- Face recognition
- …the list goes on
So it may be time to start looking into how to take better photos with your camera’s phone.
Because these mobile phones and their cameras are so incredibly portable, we are seeing a huge surge of images being
As the weather gets warmer, many photographers are getting back into the habit of heading outside to run through a variety of nature and landscape shots, one of the most popular being photos of various bodies of water.
If that’s a compositional niche you’re looking to practice, here are a few pieces of advice for you to review before getting started:
- Exposure- In most cases, underexposing photos of water is your best bet for achieving the most flattering look. Otherwise, you will likely create too many highlights and the entire shot will appear a generally jarring, too-bright shade of white. One exception to this of course, and an additional recommendation of ours, is if you are working on an overcast day. While many people mistakenly think cloudy days should be avoided when it comes to outdoor photography, we disagree. Check out our tutorial on overcast photography here for some details on why.
- Filters- Photographing water is also a great opportunity to use a polarizing filter. If there are distracting reflections you want to remove in favor of a
Starting a photography business can be a stressful, time-consuming task.
But do it right, and you can build a business that is successful for years to come and provides you and your family with the income you need to lead a good life.
There’s a lot that goes into making a business successful, and if I’m honest, the cards are stacked against you.
It’s a fact that most businesses fail within the first year. Heck, not that many survive past two years, and fewer still are in business a decade down the road.
As with anything, building a successful business requires a ton of preparation.
The groundwork that you lay now will be a crucial element of how successful your photography business will be.
Though this isn’t a comprehensive guide on jumpstarting your photography career (that’s available here), what’s included below are a few simple and quick steps you can take to be sure that you’re starting things off on the right foot.
Let’s have a look!
Goals, Goals, Goals
I’m not really a goal-oriented person in my personal life, but you can bet that I learned how to
If you ask me, photography is just about the best hobby anyone can pick up.
Not only does it get you up and moving, but it compels you to be creative, master technical aspects like exposure, and interact with others who love photography (or who want their picture taken).
And just about everyone loves a good photo, right? So photography is a great way to bring people together for the common purpose of taking great photos (and appreciating them too!).
Of course, when you’re just starting out in photography, it can be a little confusing as to where to even begin.
That’s where this guide comes in.
If you’re a brand new photographer, consider these tips as the ideal place to start your photography journey.
It Will Take Time
I cannot emphasize this enough – mastering photography will not happen overnight.
Sure, that’d be great, but that’s just not how things work.
It’s hard to look at photos from the masters and not be able to replicate what they do.
But with time and practice, you’ll develop the understanding of photography and the requisite skills needed to create
I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to say that we all want to take photos that are sharp.
The bad thing about sharpness is that a lot can go wrong that diminishes the sharpness of your photos. This includes culprits like a subject that’s moving, camera shake, noise due to a high ISO, and plain old bad focusing.
Some of these errors are self-explanatory – if your subject is moving and they appear blurry in your photo, it could be because your shutter speed is too slow. If there’s a lot of digital noise in your images, it’s because the ISO is too high.
On the other hand, some of these problems can be harder to figure out. Camera shake, for example, could be the result of a number of factors – a slow shutter speed, not using a tripod, windy conditions (even when using a tripod), or simply having hands that are a little on the shaky side.
The same goes for bad focusing. There are a variety of issues that could cause poor focus, including being too close to the subject, having your focus point in the wrong area
It’s human nature to make mistakes, especially when you are still new at something.
We should use mistakes to learn and evolve, and this is true for pretty much anything we do in life.
But even though all mistakes have educational potential, most of you will agree that avoiding some of them just makes life easier.
It’s always better to learn from someone else’s mistakes before you make them yourself. It is the way of the wise, but that’s not to say you won’t have your share of slips on your journey to becoming a better photographer.
As always, our mission is to educate and inspire photographers, be they first time shooters or seasoned professionals looking to constantly learn something new. With that in mind, here are a few mistakes you could easily live without making.
Not Looking at Enough Photos
With so much visual content all around us, it’s virtually impossible to live a modern life without being bombarded with all sorts of images.
Just think about how much time you spend on social networks like Instagram looking at other people’s photos…
But spending hours each day looking at
Expert Advice on the Essentials
Travel photography guides can be hundreds of pages long, offering detailed advice on everything from camera settings to composition. In this short-but-sweet guide, we’ll show you the basics of preparing, taking and storing your photos – what you point the lens at is up to you!
The best way to get the top photography possible from your trip is to travel round with your camera to hand and your eyes and mind wide open. Absolutely everything you see can be made the subject of an interesting photo – just because the street is strewn with rubble doesn’t mean the dust won’t glow like fire as the sun sets. If you’re desperate for a specific shot, come back at several times of day so the scene might be emptier, busier or better-lit, depending on what the final outcome looks like in your head.
Let’s get one thing straight – you don’t need a degree in photography to get back from your trip with some awe-inspiring shots. It’s perfectly easy to wow your friends (and even get a picture or two published) with a basic camera and very little technical knowledge…
Photo Editing for Beginners
Photo editing and processing is almost as old as photography itself. Since the birth of the photo, photographers have always strived to improve their photos by developing them at home, tinting, toning, and cropping their pictures to make a good photo great. In the days when all photography was shot on film, the option to edit and process photos was pretty much limited to professionals and enthusiasts with a lot of time and patience. These days however, the development of the digital camera has meant that you no longer need your own darkroom to improve your photos. Using a fairly standard PC and a some digital image editing software you’re pretty much ready to roll. There is undoubtedly a lot to learn if you want to get into creating the kind of creative artworks produced by the likes of Justin M Maller or Calvin Ho, but if you’re just looking to improve and correct your photos, digital editing is surprisingly quick to learn. It can be a little daunting if you’ve never done it before, but with a bit of practice it’ll soon become second nature.
A wealth of options
Winter Photography – Well, it is just a few days until Christmas and the Winter has really just hit Weymouth with a bitter chill…I feel so far away from my old home in the sun!
I was used to popping on a pair of shorts, practically any day of the year, and setting off for a day’s comfortable shooting with fantastic light.One thing that played heavily on my mind when we decided to leave Spain was what would I shoot now the sun has all but gone? What of winter photography? I had been used to 300 days a year sun, beach scenes, happy people walking along promenades or browsing the shops with a distinct “holiday” feel about them.
The cold is one thing that puts me off winter photography…my equipment (camera equipment please!) and hands get so cold it is hard to concentrate let alone be creative but I decided to brave the cold winds of the Jurassic Coast for a bit to see what I could find.
Something that struck me about the UK in winter is that there is a constant golden light when the sun is out. It is so
Learn To Look After Your Camera’s Sensor and Clean it Only When Necessary
The truth about cleaning camera sensors…maybe!
Disclaimer – The nature of this article does in no way mean that I condone the repetition of its contents. Nor do I suggest for one minute that anyone copies my actions, this is just to alleviate some of the unnecessary panic and stress when faced with a dirty sensor…its not that bad!
I am by no means an expert and the reason I am writing this short article for All Things Photography is not to make any recommendations or suggestions but simply to point out a few facts and mistakes to avoid.
So to start – The Dirty Sensor – How does it happen?
Many believe that leaving the camera switched on when changing lenses causes the electronic “charge” to act like a magnet and attract dust that way. I am not so sure about this as the mirror and shutter should be closed anyway therefore preventing any dust being attracted to the sensor during this time.
The most obvious reason is probably due to lack of care and attention. Taking the lens off in
One of the best ways to improve your compositional skills and expand your portfolio is to experiment with new equipment whenever you get the chance. If you’ve never worked with a speedlight before, using this tool is a great way to improve the strength of your flash as well as how far said flash can reach. Compared to the units that are built into your device, speedlight flash typically offers a better range.
Not only that, since they aren’t technically a part of your camera itself, using a speedlight doesn’t kill any additional battery power- they run on a battery life of their own, so they’re great to use when you’re on the go. If you want to try adding this element of flash to your next series of shots, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Flexibility- something worth taking advantage of whenever you’re using an external flash unit is the added flexibility. Unlike build-in flash units that are restricted in the direction in which they can shine their light on your subject (directly to the front), speedlights are portable and can be placed wherever the angle of the flash looks best.
Want to work on your sunset photography as the weather warms up? Check out these 6 tricks to make sure you always capture the best shot:
- Consider Timing-This is probably the most common mistake made by amateur sunset photographers. Don’t leave too early! Too many people pack up their gear and head home immediately after the sun dips below the horizon. Unfortunately, those people are missing out on the period of time (usually about 20 minutes later) when the sky lights up again with a stunning, colorful glow (some say it’s almost like a second sunset)!
- Don’t Overexpose-If you slightly underexpose a sunset shot, you’re more likely to bring out those rich, striking colors with better definition. By selecting a fast shutter speed and working in manual mode, you can better achieve this look.
- Make a Silhouette-Too many photographers make the mistake of composing sunset shots with the horizon line smack dab in the middle of the shot, every single time. Stop doing this! For a more compelling and colorful shot, put the horizon in the bottom or top third of your image instead.
- Avoid Filters-Too many amateurs make the mistake of using
Just out of reach of the longest selfie stick and the lowest hovering helicopter, drones can capture what no other technology is typically allowed or capable of capturing. That’s particularly liberating in a world where 350 million photographs are uploaded to Facebook daily.
1. Fly Prepared
Find a location worthy of your drone’s battery life. Start from a place of inspiration – for example, follow aerial photographers on Instagram (I have a pretty good drone photography feed if I do say so myself). Then, make a list of nearby locations and regional points of intrigue. Utilize tools such as Google Maps to examine the feasibility of each of your ideas. If you were to go there, think about what the backdrop of your image might be and how the light would interact with your subject at different times of the day.
2. Light Your Way
Endeavor to fly when the light is most tantalizing. Golden hour refers to the soft yellow-tinted light that fills the skies as the sun begins and ends its journey across the horizon. Blue hour is another special stage in the day when vibrant blue hues take over
If you’re a photography enthusiast, we’re almost positive you’ve heard of the infamous golden hour. A compositionally magical time of day, this key block of time is best known for offering artists some of the most flattering possible natural light to work with in developing stunning shots. For those who want to make the most of Mother Nature’s golden hour opportunity, here are some of the best ways to take advantage:
- Time it Right- When should you be ready to shoot? According to experts, the golden hours happen during the first hour right before the sun rises and during the last hour of light right before it sets. At these precise times, the sun is closer to your subject because it’s going through more of earth’s atmosphere. Because of this key positioning, it will shed a stunning, soft, diffused light on your shot. Predicting these exact times can be tricky, especially depending on where you’re located. Lucky for you, this NYIP grad developed a Smartphone app for photographers that will do the calculating for you.
- Perfect your Lighting- Depending on the look you’re trying to achieve, there are different ways you should adjust accordingly to
Learn to Take Amazing Travel Snaps
Let’s dispel a myth right away – you don’t need to be a professional to take travel photos. You just need to know the basics of your camera and follow a few rules. Some of the best photos you’ll take will be from being in the right place at the right time, and that happens often when you’re travelling.
I have broken this short guide into five sections to give you some fast tips on travel photography. Happy snapping!
There is no standard equipment for taking photos but when travelling you best make sure you have the necessities with you. Most people will be taking a point and shoot or a DSLR due to space constraints. For both cameras the following is recommended:
- Make sure you have a big enough memory card for the camera – Rather than buy one huge memory card, I would recommend buying three or four smaller ones and keep them separate from the camera. That way if you lose your camera you don’t lose all of the photos.
- Bring a charger – Nothing is worse than being in a foreign country and
How to Nail the Perfect Shot and Become a Great Travel Photographer
I really love photography. I love taking photos, I love visiting photography exhibitions and I love talking about photography with friends, but as with most creative activities, I find my inspiration and drive comes in bursts.
I’m sure photographers of all skill levels will agree that sometimes it can be a real struggle to find the inspiration to get those ‘killer’ shots. It’s sometimes taken for granted, but inspiration truly sits at the heart of all great photography and, for many keen photographers, this is where much of the value of travel lays.
Beautifully vivid magazine shots of Indian markets may inspire others to visit, but the inspiration to take those great photographs will have undoubtedly come from the fascination and sense of wonder the photographer felt when he or she was there, amid the bustle and shouting and smells. This is the symbiotic relationship that exists at the heart of travel photography. Travel inspires photography and photography inspires travel.
It’s probably fair to say that I’ve never been one of life’s natural planners but when it comes to
Photography Fatigue: There’s More to Travel Than Filling Your Phone
There comes a time in everyone’s life when they’ve had enough of clicking the shutter on their camera. It may take years, months, hours or even minutes but at some point I can guarantee the average person will get photography fatigue and just want to put the camera to one side.
I travel with a Go Pro, an iPhone and a point and shoot camera, I feel ridiculous but they’ve all got their purpose. Sometimes I even add a DSLR on top of that too. I’ve increasingly noticed lately that I’m just not in the photography mood, and as a full time blogger, my snapping can come more from duty than from love.
I just feel like people are taking all these photos, thousands for every trip, but what do they do with them all? Is it not better to live an experience for real, rather than view it from behind the lens?
1. Look up
When I went on safari in the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania everyone was stuck to their viewfinder. You can get the same view as they did if
Money for Nothing, Clicks for Free
Not long ago, I made lots of money for doing absolutely nothing.
I hadn’t won the lottery, and the size of my student loan hadn’t compelled me to join some kind of criminal organisation (yet). All I did was sell the licensing rights to my gap year photos.
A few months earlier, while kayaking in New Zealand, a baby seal clambered onto the back of my boat. I grabbed my camera and started filming. Back in London, I reminisced about my incredible trip by posting the footage on Reddit. When this proved popular, I sold the photos and a short clip to the news agency Barcroft.
While I didn’t make millions, and you won’t find me gracefully swan diving into piles of cash any time soon, I did make enough to recuperate the cost of my return flights. As a graduate returning from a gap year with a hefty overdraft, this was a welcome development. Selling your story to a news agency is a great way to earn some extra funds. Here’s how to do it.
I’m in – what can I sell?
If you’re hoping to
Gone are the days of taking a cheap disposable camera on your gap year – now, anyone can get their hands on a camera that’s capable of capturing great images. But how do you achieve shots that are truly jaw-dropping and stand out among the mass of shared photos online?
Make sure you read these top tips before you head out on your travels.
1. Pack the right gear
Have you ever tried capturing that once in a lifetime experience on camera, only to find that you don’t have a back-up battery to hand when your current one inevitably dies? Battery life is crucial to ensure you capture the best footage, but there are dangers to recording for long periods of time.
Keep in mind that your camera can overheat, which can damage it or stop you getting your footage or photo. Look out for cameras with their own heat management system to help avoid overheating when capturing high-resolution footage. Ensuring you pack the right gear is vital for ensuring you get the perfect shots without any setbacks.
2. Know your equipment
Get used to your equipment before you head off on