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Learn digital camera techniques and tips that will help you flex your creative skills as well as improve the quality of your images.



Available Light Portraits
Learn to make maximum use of natural light to create exciting outdoor portraits
Available Light PortraitsI just love natural light," remarks photographer David Stoecklein, whose modern yet timeless portfolio of the American West is proof he knows how to wrangle available light. Stoecklein is constantly on shoots in areas that don't always have running electricity. No power usually means no studio lighting—but it isn't only for practical reasons that Stoecklein has become a master at using available light to create stunning portraits.

Photographing Festivals
Tips For Capturing The Fun, Action And Excitement Of Special Events
Photographing Festivals

The action, costumes, colors and performances at festivals, special events and reenactments make them a ton of fun to attend and photograph. Taking snapshots is easy, but if you want to turn your snapshots into great shots, you have to pay careful attention to everything that's going on around you, as well as realize the importance of your camera settings and lens choice. After all, you may get only one chance to photograph the event.


Effective Flash
Five ways to improve your flash photography
Effective Flash

I'll be the first to admit, old-school flash photography intimidated me. Just the thought of figuring out guide numbers and flash charts put me in a cold sweat. If I was in a spontaneous shooting situation, say, photographing a colorful market, I just put my flash away and shot using available light. This resulted in a lot of mediocre photographs.


Trick Shots: Action
Stop fast action with these tips on everything from shutter speed to lenses
Trick Shots: Action

From baseball to soccer, race cars to dance, flying birds to breaching dolphins, the world around us is filled with action that just demands to be photographed. In this article, we'll give you tips and techniques on how you can improve your action photography and increase your percentage of great shots. And while it can be frustrating—everyone, even the pros, have their share of missed shots—you'll get better with practice and experience, so hang in there if your first efforts aren't perfect.


Trick Shots: Snow
Jump in to winter photo opportunities with these tips
Trick Shots: Snow

Taking pictures in the snow is cool, literally and figuratively speaking, but snow scenes present certain photographic challenges. First, all that white can fool a camera's exposure meter into thinking that the scene is brighter than it actually is, therefore setting the camera for an underexposed picture. The remedy: Set your exposure compensation dial to +1. The increase should give you a better exposure, which, of course, you can fine-tune further with exposure compensation and in the digital darkroom.


Trick Shots: Low Light
Discover how high ISOs can improve the quality of your photographs
Trick Shots: Low Light

While recently critiquing the work of one of my students, I noticed that several of his images lacked sharpness, which I immediately attributed to camera shake. We looked at the images' EXIF data to find out at what shutter speed he was shooting while using a 200mm lens. He had been shooting at 1⁄30 sec.—far too slow a shutter speed to use with a telephoto, particularly without the camera being mounted on a tripod. When I asked him why he didn't increase the camera's ISO for a more reasonable shutter speed, his response was an all too common one.


Master White Balance For Better Color
Auto white balance is an effective tool, but you often can do better with other, more controlled settings
Master White Balance For Better Color

White balance and the digital camera are like the engine in a car for many people. As long as it works, they don't worry about it, and for many users, automatic white balance works just fine. But if you want the optimum color and consistency from your images, plus more creative work from your camera, it helps to understand and use white balance beyond automatic.


Trade Tricks: Selective Focus
Using depth of field creatively
Trade Tricks: Selective Focus

Using selective focus is a powerful technique to help frame and present your subject. Playing with depth of field will help transform your image from one that looks like a quick snapshot to one that shows you've put some creative thought into how you want to present your subject.


Point And Shoot Like A Pro
Why à la modes?
Point And Shoot Like A Pro

All digital SLR cameras offer the traditional exposure modes: program AE, shutter-priority AE, aperture-priority AE and metered manual exposure control. These are the mainstays of "serious" photographers because they provide control over important aspects of each shot.


Knockout Color!
Think color from capture to finish for stunning images
Knockout Color!

Good color in pictures is subjective. Some people like pictures that pop with saturated hues, while others prefer pictures more subdued. What's more, we see colors differently at different times of day—even our mood affects how we see colors. In this article, I'd like to touch on the basics of color in digital photography, with the focus on getting the best possible image at the time of capture. To illustrate the techniques, I'll use some pictures that I took on a recent trip to Panama, where my goal was to take color pictures of the three indigenous tribes: the Kuna, the Emberá and the Ngobe.


Inside North Korea
The challenges and discoveries of a photographer’s journey in the most reclusive of countries
Inside North Korea

I've traveled to some amazing places. But to visit North Korea, which has been largely closed to the outside world for more than 50 years, presented special challenges, particularly as an American. The public face the Democratic People's Republic of Korea chooses to present to the few visitors allowed in, and the unscripted moments glimpsed, are all the more fascinating for the country's closed and defensive stance as a "hermit kingdom," a nickname originating in 19th-century Korea's closed-border policy, which attempted to limit foreign encroachment.




 
 

 
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