Photo Tips - Objects and Subjects

Objects and Subjects

As Shared on the Tech Net by Jim Austin

Autumn Scenery
A tripod and a long exposure can capture the subtleties of autumn scenery, such as clouds, mist, or light fog. Include lakes, waterfalls, or streams for added interest.

Beach Finds
For small items, find a dark background and have your light source come from the side. Use the macro setting. For larger items, you can soften the light source, and fill the frame with your object.

Birds in flight - Use a fast shutter - 1/2000th / second.
Use a 300mm lens with a long zoom setting.
Keep the camera still on a tripod or other platform.

Dolphins - When photographing dolphins, use very fast settings, such as 1/1500. If dolphins are close in, this will capture water spray and droplets too.
Flamingos - For warmer colors, change the auto white balance (AWB) to "cloudy".
Lizards - Take the picture from their level with the sunlight coming in from the side.
Lobsters - To get some scale on it, include a loved one or a pet. Put your subject in the shade and hold the lobster out a bit. Shoot the lobster in front of that black wet suit.
Query: Should I use a fill flash?
Jim: Yes. It will bring out the colors.

Place flowers near the corners, off center. Use a manual focus on the flower and the background will be blurry and soft. A small aperture will make the image of the flower sharper. Have some contrasting color in the background.

* Look for leading line that leads the eye to the background.
* Keep it simple; not too busy
* Find a pattern, use a few flowers in a grouping.

Flowing Water
Use a slow shutter speed, 1/115 or look in your menu settings to look for this option.

Group Shots
Don't just line them up. Change perspective.
Move in close and be creative. Be a picture director.

Nature Photography
Don't rush. Stand still 3-5 minutes.

Stand still until the object of your attention confirms your presence." ~Minor White~

Add a person to your landscape photo to provide scale.

Moon (Shooting the Moon)
Moon pictures turning out overly white and blurry is typical. You don't need a tripod. Use a faster speed of 1/125th and also F-11.
If using a point and shoot camera, use the landscape mode. Shoot as if it's a bright sunny day.
For a full moon, underexpose the camera and set to sunny F16. Shoot just before the sun comes up.

Moving Objects
On a bright day wait until a cloud blocks the sun. Use a long exposure and pan a moving target for an interesting effect.

Use a big opening F2 or F28. It blurs the background softly. Focus on your pet's eyes and fill the frame; up close. If your pet moves around, use sports mode.

Photo by Jim Austin
After taking a series of three pictures, from left to right, with an overlap of 1/2 or 1/3, use photo software to stitch them together and crop. HP printer software, Photoshop, or Photo Elements are all good programs to use.
Query: How to work with points of light on the horizon?
Jim: The software should match them up properly. Try to keep the sun behind you. Use more overlap while taking the pictures.

Take portraits at eye level. Avoid under exposure.

Take three pictures of your subject using -1, 0, then +1 settings on exposure compensation. You'll get one good picture in three. This is helpful when light suddenly changes outdoors. You may want to under expose in extreme bright light only. The purpose is to expand the dynamic range.

Don't ask.  Just make them smile.
Say something lighthearted or use a look to bring about natural smiles.

Remember to keep water lines horizontal. If you take an image of a lake or the sea, make sure to keep the horizon level. Even a slight skew of half a degree will make the viewer feel uncomfortable with the picture.
Add color to the foreground of blue water scenes. Add green or foliage for added interest and depth.

Underwater Objects
Query: What can be done about glare on the water's surface?
Jim: Use a circular polarizing filter, set your camera to overexpose, and having the sun behind you or directly overhead will reduce glare on the water.

How to Photograph Your Catch
1. Move into the shade. Full sun will blow out the colors.
2. Use your fill-flash to even up the shade and bring out the color and reduce sharp contrast.
3. Position yourself at eye level of either the catch or the person holding it. and turn your camera vertical.
4. Include the fisherman's hands.

Hold the fish at arms length to increase it's visual size. (Cat Tales)
Hold the fish out toward the camera and focus on the catch. This will soften the fisherman.
Use the wide angle setting to enhance the foreground.

How to Photograph a Launch
Three-Two-One Lift-Off
3. Get the longest lens you can find, even longer than 300 mm if you can. If not, you can get great images of the fire trail.
2. Set your camera to continuous shooting mode, and keep the shutter release button down.
1. After the shuttle is gone, get great pictures of just the cloud formations, as we've all seen in photos of the shuttle, but not necessarily a beautiful one of the rippled cloud tail the shuttle leaves behind.

Ideas for Photo Adventures

Take a photo of someone you love.
Photograph something you pass every day.
Take a macro shot of something you've never seen before.
Shoot the shadows of buildings, boats, trees, or other objects.

Spontaneous Workshops Happen


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