How to reduce camera shake
The way to reduce camera shake would to use a tripod. Using a tripod you will get a clean and sharp image because they provide much more stability than by shooting an image by hand, but tripods can also be unstable if you are not sure of the center of the tripod's gravity. A tripod has three legs that have the weight of the camera and the lens spread out between them there by having a wider spread of the legs it will spread the weight over a much greater area which then increases the stability throughout the tripod.
In the process of using the tripod, the thickness and also the weight of the legs also come into play, with the thicker of the legs of the tripod the more they will decrease the vibrations of the shutter but also the thicker the legs the heavier the tripod. then you have the lighter tripods which are more pron to the shutter vibrations but also have less contact with the ground, the lighter the tripod also have a higher chance of not surviving the wind. Which is one of many reasons why the manufacturers give a maximum support weight of their tripods, which is the maximum weight that they recommend having on tripods to ensure that they have a decent stability at the height default.
For most of the DSLR users with their standard/zoom lens and their camera combinations which are the support weights that are irrelevant as the maximum weight of your equipment which will most likely be less than 2KG but for the users of a long telephoto lens for example (200-400mm, 400mm F/2.8, 500mm F/4 and etc.) or with any large format cameras it would be essential to choose a tripod that matches your kit. For more information click here.
Top 10 recommended Tripods
- TVC-33 Versa Series 3 Carbon Fiber Tripod and BH-55 Ball Head
- Gitzo GT2532 Mountaineer Series 2 Carbon Fiber Tripod and GH1382QD Series 1 Center Ball Head
- FEISOL CT-3472LV Elite Rapid Carbon Fiber Tripod with Leveling Center Column and CB-40D Ball Head
- Induro CLT203 Classic Series 2 Stealth Carbon Fiber Tripod and BHM2S Ball Head
- 3 Legged Thing Equinox Winston Carbon Fiber Tripod with AirHed 360 Ball Head
- Benro TAD37C Series 3 Adventure Carbon Fiber Tripod and V2E Triple Action Ball Head
- Oben CC-2381 Carbon Fiber Tripod with BE-126 Ball Head
- Manfrotto MT055XPRO3 Aluminum Fiber Tripod with MHXPRO-3W 3-Way Pan/Tilt Head Kit
- Slik Pro 700DX AMT Tripod with 3-Way Pan-and-Tilt Head
- Oben AC-1361 3-Section Aluminum Tripod with BA-117 Ball Head
- To get More information on these tripods and to why they are recommended click here.
Built in camera flash
With using the built in camera flash the main thing is to remember that you are working with both the flash light and the ambient light. When using the two light sources the images are about getting a pleasing balance of the both light sources. The camera flash is triggered when you press the shutter which is just a pulse of light which is brief compared to the ambient light exposure. The shutter speed will affect the exposure of the ambient light, Traditionally though the aperture does not only effects the exposure of the ambient and also the depth of field but it also effects the flash exposure.
With controlling the amount of light that is from the flash hitting the sensor within a split second, it can control how dark or light that the flash subject is illuminated. for the aperture to be wide open at F/2.8 for example which is wide open then the subject of your photograph will be brighter than what it would be at F/4 and then it will still be darker at F/5.6. But with changing the aperture we need to remember that it will also effect the exposure of the ambient light.
That it the basics to using the camera flash as if you are going to control every element of the exposure such as from the shutter speed through to the power of the flash. Which is the way of the pros working as it will give them the complete control over the shot which also is not always practical whereas if you are starting with a new kit it can seem very complex.
Which luckily the technology of the flash has evolved a bit over the years, which is making it easier for everyone to achieve this great looking flash photography as well. Most of all this is mainly down to the DSLRs and the CSCs which feature the TTL "Through The Lens" flash system. They can transmit the pre-flash as soon as the shutter if fired to assess the level of the light that the exposure does provide which does this before setting the main flash power to deliver a well balanced shot. For more information click here.
Continuous and Painting with light techniques
Painting with light is a photographic technique which involves the movement of the light whilst the shutter on the camera is still open. To capture the moving light source in a image then you would need to set your shutter speed to a long exposure which is anything from 10 seconds to several minutes if needed which is all dependent on how much light you would wish to expose. painting with light is also best if done in a dark and a fairly undisturbed area so you can stay in control of the image and also the light you wish to expose to the camera sensor.
This is an example of painting with light with steel wool.
There is many ways to create a more abstract and to also improve your painting with light techniques, such as using industrial glow sticks, sustain pedal foot switch, phone apps, steel wool and more. Sean Lenz and Kristoffer Abildgaard are two of many photographers that have used the industrial glow sticks to create the the different lights throughout a waterfall shown here. They have many other photographs of their work using the industrial glow sticks that have a more effective and eye catching effect that what normal glow sticks do. Here is a image of what the Industrial glow sticks/Lumica light Military looks like. As you can see they are just like normal glow sticks but are much thicker therefore the would be brighter to capture and more easier to use.
Sean Lenz and Kristoffer Abildgaard "Glow sticks down a Waterfall"
For painting with light you can also use a sustain pedal foot switch, for doing this technique it can be hard to do solo, and most times it can also be hard to arrange for someone to assist. But there is a good easy and cheap way/hack to use either a keyboard/piano sustain pedal for your camera as a foot switch. if you go to Instructables Tutorial there is gives more instructions for soldering a stereo cable to the proper plug for your camera. However there is plug adapters that allow you to do so without soldering, which makes this an easier alteration. Once you have set this up you must put your camera setting to Bulb and then run the pedal to anywhere you wish to provide light.
Image above is a sustain foot pedal switch
Image using the sustain foot pedal switch
Continuous Light or (Light Trails) can be created with anything from moving cars, to lights on a merry go round. With the cars moving at just the correct speed and also because they are dark enough they are not present in the shot physically, but we are able to capture the side lights and the headlights as they are passing by. For these images it is all about the timing, such as getting the correct amount on light in the sky, and also the main thing would to be to have an eye grabbing background location with a very unique perspective and the most important thing would be to have enough cars passing by.
To create this shot most people use quite small aperture at F/11 to ensure that they have a large depth of field so that the background is in focus. On the website Digital Photography School they talk about the best subjects for light trails. Such as cars, bus, train and sometimes even aircraft can work well. The camera settings for this is very simple such as the
- Aperture :- Which you would want for your aperture would to have it between F/5 and F/11 which does determine how much light is in the scene and how long you want for the exposure.
- Shutter Speed :- With this shutter speed it does depend how the light within the scene, with that your shutter speed should be at least at 10 to 15 seconds if needed necessary then longer. You would also need to keep an eye on if your shutter speed in long enough for you to capture a great distance of light trails.
- ISO :-For the ISO it would have to be as low as what is possible could be, the advised ISO and more or less the most efficient would be ISO 100. If it had to be set to 500 or more then the exposure would be shorter and would be at greater risk of overexposing the highlights.
Reflectors are used to enhance your photos a reflector enriches your photograph as well. When getting a reflector there is different sizes and colours :-
Sizes :- If you are wanting a more portable option then the best option would to go for a smaller one. With the larger reflectors they diffuse the light over the larger space which then makes the light softer. They are collapsible which makes it easier to carry and to take out to photo shots. There is also reflectors that have several surfaces that if needed or wanted can be changed.
- Silver which is used to expand the amount of highlights and provide a high contrast photograph. The silver would be great for things such as Videos, Product Shots, Or Black and White Photography.
- Gold which constructs a natural and golden warm fill which would be great for mainly sunsets or indoor portraits.
- White which produces a very smooth light tone bounce that works well as a fill light source.
- Black which is mainly used to absorb the light and can also be used to create more subtract light.
- Translucent which is used to spread light which then produces broad light and soft effects.
A reflector is also a secret weapon to get amazing portraits as it fills up shadows, and you are even able to get some catch light in the eye.
Flags and Diffusers
- Flags :- Flags are used to cut light or flags light off a subject and it also creates shadows. Flags also block light so it stops it from spilling onto things that you don't wish to be lit, because flags purpose is blocking part of a ray of light there will be a shadow line that will have to be deal with. depending on how sharp the show line will be is down to the size of the flag, the sharpness of the light means how hard or soft and also the distance from the flag towards the shadow. For the amount of consideration towards the controlling and also the cutting of unwelcome light should also be given to applying light. In difference to the Flag and the Barndoors is that Barndoors block light by obstructing the ray of light from the outside of the edges only, whilst a flag just often does it like that too but also takes a piece of the beam center or control the portion of it with very unique shape within the space and then leaving the rest of the beam simply untouched.
- Diffusers :- Diffusers are used to spread the light which is entering the camera or in the district of the shot. As the light is spread across it creates a soft light and that is where the shadows are muted without any of the hard edges. When diffusing light it can be created in two main ways which are the optical method which uses a filter or any glass element and the other diffused light can also be created with using a piece of cloth or any other translucent material which allows light to go through. The main reason for a diffuser is to terminate the hard ray of light. There is different diffusers such as Optical Diffuser, Cloth or translucent diffuser, Flash diffuser, Diffusion Gels, Diffusion reflectors, Softbox and Umbrella.
Types of Diffusers :-
- Optical Diffuser: Which is the diffuser that creates the light that softens the focus with the use of filters and any glass element which is attached to the camera itself.
- Cloth or Translucent Diffuser: Which is the diffuser that would normally be either a light white cloth, white polythene material, translucent paper or fine mesh, which causes the light to pass through and will also reduce the intensity and will spread which will allow no direct ray of light towards the shadow side.
- Flash Diffuser: The camera light creates a quite hard light, with the strong directed ray of light it often creates a more harsh, and extreme washed out scene and overexposed. But with using the a diffuser on the flash it will then soften the rays of flash and it then reduces the harshness. It can simply be a piece of tissue paper over the flash to diffuse it.
- Diffusion Gels: These are mainly used to provide either diffusion, colour or sometimes both, they are mainly used for theatre or studio lights.
- Diffusion Reflectors: There is some diffusers which are actually reflectors, with the light hitting the surface and then spreading through the area mainly because of the characteristics of the surface.
- SoftBox: This is mainly used as a diffuser of beam, they have a large opening at the front which then scatters the light, whilst the light is simply reflected from inside of the softbox, and even someitmes there is a diffusion screen which fits over the front that then creates more light being diffused.
- Umberella: Umbrellas are essentially diffusers within photography, they can either be used to diffuse light by reflective diffusion or they can also be used by shoot-through diffusion.