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Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Hello... So we are coming to the end of year 2007... so this will be an opportunity for photographers to take fireworks pictures.. taking fireworks pictures can be a challenge for most photographers. The challenges like exposing in the dark skies with a bright flash going on and off really test the technical camera skills of a photographer... But don't be afraid of the challenge.. after all these challenges will enhance our photography skill.. So now let's take a look what are the tips for taking great fireworks pictures. This tips is just from my previous experiences and I hope to hear some suggestion from you guys to..
First thing first... the right gear...
So, what gear do you need?.. Of course you need a SLR camera.. so what else do you need?
- Batteries - Bring as many batteries as you can because the cold weather and long exposure will take a lot of batteries.
- Memory card - Bring as many card as you can, because will not want to miss the shot because of full memory. Apart from that you will also use a highest quality image. Don't forget to format the memory card first.
- A sturdy tripod - this is essential to make sure the camera is steady and shake free
- Remote release - to prevent any camera shake when clicking the shutter
- Black card - very useful when you want to block the lights between the firework burst
- Torchlight - Help you change lenses, guiding you to find place (as the fireworks happen at night only)
- Warm clothing - to warm you up at night
Check weather forecast
Watch weather forecast to help you know if is it going to rain or windy... If it is going to rain make sure you have all necessary protection for you and your gears. if it is going to be windy, the fireworks will trail off and is the weather is to still you will get a lot of smoke in your pictures. Watch the forecast and make sure you have a back up plan or view points if the weather is changing.
The right camera setting...
- ISO - Use the lowest ISO possible (100 - 200)
- Aperture - for ISO 100 ( f8 - f16 ), for ISO 200 (f11 - f22) choose the aperture by testing each setting...
- Shutter speed - There are no specific speed to use... after you have select any aperture setting, test the shutter speed starting from 5 seconds to 10 seconds. Adjust it accordingly. Use BULB setting if needed...
- Put your camera on continuous shooting mode...
- Put your camera on manual focus and focus to any subject near the fireworks..
- Use remote release to trigger the shutter to reduce camera shake...
- Keep taking pictures until the fireworks end
- Last but not least... Enjoy!!!
The steps to great fireworks pictures...
- Make sure you have all the gear ready, batteries are fully charged and memory cards are formatted
- Check the weather forecast to plan your works
- Bring some foods and drinks... You don't want to loose your spot when looking for food at the shops
- Come early to the location as you have to fight for the tripod space with other photographer
- When you arrive at the location, set up your gear first especially your camera setting.. get the right setting first!
- Take your fireworks pictures when the show starts
- Prepare for going back home
- Do not litter... Care the environment please..
- You have to enjoy what you are doing...
Check out my firework photos here...
Friday, November 30, 2007
Last night I was looking through my early days photos and found some pictures I took with my compact camera. I was using Canon A80 model and the photos was taken 3 years a go when I start my photography journey. So these are the photos which makes me fell really good at that time:So, to all the guys without a SLR camera, don't be upset because even with a compact camera you can still shoot great pictures. After all it is not the camera, it is the photographer's skills that makes a great pictures (sounds familiar uh!!). So here I am listing a few dos and dont's on how to get great pictures using a compact camera. Theses tips are just from my experiences using compact camera and also from my experience seeing people using the compact camera. So you can give comments to add or to correct any of my points. We are here to learn and I hope I can learn from you to.
- Patience. Using a compact camera means you have to be more patience. This is because you can't expect the camera to be perform as fast as the SLR camera.
- If you are shooting a moving subject, do click the shutter a second early before you reach the targeted frame. This is because a compact camera need a little bit of time after you click the shutter before the shutter reacts and take the pictures.
- Avoid shaking your hand when you take a picture as this will cause your photos to be blurred. For some new model, there is a image stabilizer feature so it shouldn't be a problem for a camera with this feature but still just don't shake your hand please...
- Wait until the camera finished taking the pictures before you move the camera.
- If your camera have manual mode, do play or practice with the mode as this will increase your control over the camera. Remember you are the boss, not the camera. You will be amazed on how beautiful the pictures can be.
- Lastly... just enjoy while taking your photograph and don't be ashamed with your camera. I have friends who use compact camera and their skills are much better than those who have SLR.
For the first one:
This photo was taken during my educational trip in Frazer's Hill, Malaysia. I was just finished my assignment for that day and spotted this butterfly on my way back to my room. During this time I am still using Auto mode. So i switched my camera to macro mode, turned off all the sounds in the camera especially the shutter and the focus sound, turned off the flash and put the camera just about 1 and half inch above this butterfly, prefocused the camera and I stand still for about 5 or 10 seconds (it might seem fast, but during that time I feel it is quite long actually) with holding my camera 1 and half inch above this butterfly and click the shutter. I remembered having about three or four attempts before getting this shot. Thanks to the butterfly for posing for me and did not fly away. This is why it is important for you to turned off all the unnecessary camera features and in this case the sounds and the flash.
For the second picture:
After I took the first picture, I decided not to go back to my room. Instead, I decided to take pictures that all evening. I spotted this spider web nearby the butterfly. For this picture, I have to take several times actually. This is because I hardly managed to focused to the entire web. The first few attempts, the camera focusing either to the building, the trees or some parts of the web. But still after a few attempts I managed to get this picture. Basically the camera setting is the same with the first picture. I used Auto macro mode, tirned off all the sounds and shutter. Hold the camera tight to make sure the camera did not shaking and click the shutter. The only problem for me during taking this picture is to focuse it well to the entire web.
For the third picture:
This picture was taken on the day I am going back from my educational trip. I was waiting for the bus to come and bored. So i noticed this leaf and just take the photo of it. Still using Auto macro mode. I turned off the flash because it will reflect on the water. Hold the camera and shoot it.
This picture is quite easy to take and remember, if you have any free time just take out your camera and start shooting. Who knows what photos you are going to
shoot. It might be an award winning photo.
For the last one:
For this last picture. There is nothing special in the picture actually. It just happen to be one of my favourite photo. I was taking pictures for my school works and just noticed my own shadow. So i just click the shutter and happy with the results. No any special tips just the same one. Don't move your camera until the camera finish it's job.
So as you can see taking photos with a compact camera is not that difficult at all. You just have to know the tricks. Hope you benefit from this and hope to hear some tips and tricks from you guys to as I said early we are here to learn and to share our knowledge.