Places Project 2

Here is my research powerpoint on methods of how to reduce camera shake, built in camera flash, continuous and painting with light techniques, reflectors, flags and diffusers as outlined in the 'Places, Project 2, Project brief'.


Camera shake can cause blur in your photograph. You can reduce camera shake using a variety of methods. First of all, you can increase the shutter speed. If the shutter is moving faster, then there will be less camera shake captured in your final photograph. You can calculate your minimum shutter speed depending on the lens you use, as the focal length you are using is important to remember when trying to reduce camera shake. For instance if you are using a 50mm lens and you are holding the camera, you should set your shutter to, at a minimum, 1/50th of a second - you can calculate this easily and set your shutter speed accordingly depending on the length of lens you are using. More information can be found on this topic here. Other ways to reduce camera shake is to use a remote trigger, or to set your camera and use the delay button for a certain amount of time, ie. a 2 second delay can be used before the photograph is taken to reduce camera shake. Another way of reducing camera shake is to use a tripod. There are a variety of tripods on the market that you can use. These range from inexpensive to expensive. When buying a tripod there are certain things you can look out for. For example, if you need to get photographs quickly, depending on the type of photography you are working on, you may consider buying a tripod with a quick release plate and flip leg locks. A good tripod will enable you to capture sharper images and to make photographs in a wide-variety of conditions. A cheap, plastic tripod, is not built to last. Tripods that are made from aluminium are sturdier and slightly more expensive. Carbon-fibre tripods are lighter than aluminium tripods and are more expensive. These tripods have many benefits as well as being lighter, they can hold more of a load. There is more information about this here.


Built-in camera flash: You can set your camera to 'Auto' and let the camera decide when to activate the built-in camera flash. However, you can have more control over this function if you manually set your camera flash, enabling you to use it more creatively. Using the pop-up flash allows you to light your subject, fill in shadows and if you are photographing people (or anything that is not inanimate) you can get some catch-light in their eyes, which makes them look more interesting. Using the pop-up, built-in flash can cause red-eye, you can reduce red-eye by changing your settings in the camera. You can also use photographic software, in post-production, when optimising your photographs if you need to reduce red-eye captured by the built-in flash. When using the flash, you shouldn't be too close, or too far away from your subject in order to get the best effect. You should get the correct exposure by changing your camera settings in the first instance, then you can change the power of your flash, by increasing or decreasing the intensity of it until you are happy with the final result. More information on this topic can be found here.


Continuous light: You can creatively capture photographs where the light is facing the camera, this is referred to in this instance as continuous light. A good example of capturing a continuous light photograph is using a long exposure to capture light trails left by traffic. However, there are many other ways to capture a continuous light photograph. To capture light-trails, you should use a tripod as you will be using a slow-shutter speed to allow the trail of light to be photographed. Using a lens-hood is an advantage as is a remote shutter cable or control. These types of photographs are good to capture just as the sun is going down. Using a low ISO and manual focus is essential, and using 'Bulb' mode on your shutter speed will give you more control over how long you want your exposure to be. More information on this topic can be found here.


In this instance painting with light is referred to when you paint the light onto the subject you are photographing, the light therefore is facing away from the camera and illuminating something that would otherwise be in darkness/not illuminated. In order to achieve this technique, you can take a photograph in the dark, use a torch, or another light source, and point it away from the camera, onto your subject. You would set your camera's shutter to create a long exposure, use a tripod and create a painting with light photograph. You can use this technique in a variety of ways and create multiple exposures in one photograph. Again, using a low ISO and manual focus is essential. More information on this topic can be found here.



Reflectors help photographers bounce light back into their photograph, whether shooting in the studio with artificial light, or when using natural light. They can be used as a tool for the photographer to gain more control over the light they are working with. Reflectors come in all shapes and sizes, they can be big or small, and they come in a variety of geometric shapes - triangles, circles, rectangles etc. They can be different colours, ie. white, silver, or gold. Reflectors will add a fill light onto the subject you are photographing. You can use a reflector to make your subject's eyes light up and look more appealing, you can also use it to get rid of any unwanted shadows. Distance plays a part when you use a reflector, being too close or too far away will change the effect of the light reflected back into your photograph. Reflectors can act as another light source, they can control and sculpt the shape of the light and how intense it is in your photograph. As with a tripod purchase, you can increase the quality of the reflector you buy depending on the material used to make it and the size of it. More information is contained on this topic here.


Flags are used in photography to control light, but instead of reflecting light they allow you to add contrast to your photograph, to remove unwanted or to block- out light. Using a flag allows you to get rid of unwanted reflections in your photograph, giving the photographer more control over the final outcome of the image. Flags are usually found in the form of a piece of black card, paper or foamcore. When purchasing a reflector you can check to see if it comes with a black side, which can be used as a flag. As with reflectors, flags come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are found at different price points. A simple introduction on to how to use a flag can be found here.


The surface of a diffuser is translucent, this allows the light to be diffused and appear softer, and less harsh. You can use a diffuser to soften the light from your flash, which will give your final photograph a more natural look. Diffusers also help you to control how harsh the shadows are in your photograph and instead of your subject looking like a spotlight is on them, the diffuser will spread the light out. You can diffuse the light coming from your pop-up camera flash by using a white piece of paper and re-directing the light from the flash onto a white wall, or ceiling, and when this light bounces back onto your subject, the light will appear less harsh as you have diffused it by bouncing it off of something else. You can also use a diffusion cap, and place it in front of your camera flash. In addition, you can buy a flash diffusion dome and soft box for your camera. These diffusers, as with tripods, reflectors and flags come at a variety of price points and shapes and sizes depending on your needs. More information can be found here.

Diffusion Cap:

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