12 Things to Consider When Photographing Boats

12 Things to Consider When Photographing Boats

12 Things to Consider When Photographing Boats

By Allan Weitz

 

12 Things to Consider When Photographing Boats

Photographs © Allan Weitz

 

 

 

Many photographers have niche specialties for which they are known, intentionally or otherwise.

My niche (one of them anyway) is… boat photography, a specialty I innocently and unintentionally stumbled into many years ago.

The following 12 elements are worth considering when setting out to photograph boats, large or small.

Some aspects over which you have control include cameras, lenses, shooting platforms, accessorizing, and the ability to choose when and where you make pictures.

Other issues, such as weather and having the ability to delay or change the times for sunrise or sunset are beyond your control—you have to live by and work around these elements.

1. Light

Photography is about light, and boat photography is no exception.

As with landscape and architectural photography, the best time to photographs boats is almost always early morning and late afternoon.

Boat hulls typically taper toward the waterline. Early morning and late day sunlight illuminate the deeper recesses of the boat’s hull.

As the sun climbs upward, contrast builds and these recesses fall into shadow.

The color balance is also warmer and less contrasty earlier and later in the day, compared to the harsher, colder tones of midday sunlight. 

12 Things to Consider When Photographing Boats

Photographs © Allan Weitz

12 Things to Consider When Photographing Boats

Midday light tends to be cooler and more contrasty, compared to early morning and late afternoon light. Shadows also tend to be darker. You can take good boat pictures during the midday hours, but you have to work within these parameters.

2. Wind

Winds also tend to quiet down at sunrise and sunset, resulting in still waters and better-defined reflections, especially when photographing boats at rest.

If, however you’re photographing sailboats, the lack of wind makes it hard to fill the sails and get the boat moving fast enough to get good running shots.

As a failsafe, many sailboats have auxiliary power that moves the boat along, but be aware—a boat powered by wind cuts through the water and fills its sails differently than a boat under power.

12 Things to Consider When Photographing Boats

12 Things to Consider When Photographing Boats

3. Cameras

You can photograph boats using any camera-and-lens combination, as long as you understand what your camera and/or lens can and cannot do.

Larger sensors produce sharper pictures, but sharpness alone doesn’t define what makes for a good photograph, boat or otherwise.

12 Things to Consider When Photographing Boats

4. Lenses

Firefly, a tandem sliding seat rowing boat, was photographed with an 18mm lens on a full-frame camera.

The photograph of the Hinkley motor yacht was photographed with a 300m lens on a full-frame camera.

When angled properly, wide-angle and telephoto lenses can be used to render boats faithfully and realistically. 

The best focal length to use when photographing a given boat is greatly determined by the camera-to-boat distance. If you’re shooting a boat at rest, fixed focal length lenses are perfectly fine.

Conversely, if you are shooting a boat under way, you’re much better off with a zoom lens, regardless of whether you are shooting from a fixed position on land or from a chase boat.

The key is to maintain a balance between boat, water, and sky.

 

If you would like to read the rest of this article click here:  Boat Photography

 

12 Things to Consider When Photographing Boats

Taking Zoo Photographs That Don’t Look Like They Were Taken at the Zoo

Taking Zoo Photographs That Don’t Look Like They Were Taken at the Zoo

Taking Zoo Photographs That Don’t Look Like They Were Taken at the Zoo

Being a photographer is seriously awesome.

There are about a bazillion reasons why, but I’ve compiled 54 really fantastic ones for your reading pleasure.

Now, why would I bother taking the time to write this massive list?

Well, maybe you’re just curious about photography, but aren’t sure if you should really dive into it.

Fair warning, these reasons will totally convince you that photography is an amazing skill to develop. I’m sure of it.

Here’s the deal. I think everyone should get into photography. (Yes, everyone). You don’t ever have to do it professionally. That’s not what being a photographer means (you can read more about our thoughts on that here).

Being a photographer just means you really love photography. And hopefully after reading all of this, you’ll see that it can give you more than you ever imagined.

One last note before we jump in. These reasons aren’t all just made up off the top of my head. We actually just wrapped up a giveaway, and asked the question “What first got you interested in photography?”.

With 250 responses we were able to get an amazing peek at what makes photography so special for lots of folks. So we read all the responses, took notes, and pulled out the common themes. That’s what makes up this list! So credit for all these awesome reasons goes to our fantastic readers. Thanks for sharing so openly everyone. You rock.

1. CAPTURE A MEMORY THAT YOU CAN HAVE FOREVER

With a photo you can capture a moment, and have it forever.

I think we take that idea for granted, with photography being so ubiquitous these days.

But seriously just take a second to appreciate that.

If you did that in Ancient Greece they’d call you a sorcerer. Or a god.

54 Reasons Why YOU Should Be A Photographer

2. NOTICE THE DETAILS

Photography changes the way you see things.

It’s actually quite an incredible transformation to experience.

Suddenly you notice light, shapes, colours, textures, people, bulidings, trees, flowers…

Everything around you looks different when you start to see the world as a photographer.

3. SEE THE BEAUTY IN THE EVERY DAY

Once you start noticing details, you inevitably start to see how much beauty is all around you.

Every day is filled with it—in the most ordinary or unexpected places.

When you start to derive happiness from seeing some particuarly awesome light, you’ll realize that photography has changed your everyday experience.

54 Reasons Why YOU Should Be A Photographer

4. LIVE IN THE PRESENT

And to round out this theme, photography, through it’s ability to help you see details and notice the beauty around you, helps you to truly live in the present.

When you shoot you have to be aware of everything if you want to capture it.

You can’t be thinking about the movie you watched last night, or what you’re going to have for dinner.

Photography focuses you on the now, which is incredibly valuable!

 

5. FORGET YOUR WORRIES

Photography is something you get immersed in (see above!).

You lose yourself in shooting, and all your worries and daily stresses just melt away.

 

6. SHARE IT WITH THE IMPORTANT PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE

One of the top ways people got into photography (according to our results) was through someone important to them.

People credited their mother, father, aunt, uncle, grandmother, grandfather, sibling, friend and even great-grandparents.

Photography is a passion that you can share with the important people in your life.

You can pass it down to the next generation, and spur their love of this amazing art.

 

7. DOCUMENT YOUR FAMILY

And the MOST common reason folks got interested in photography was because of family—particularly having their own children.

Photography is a way to document the lives of your kids, and that alone is worth learning all you can about it.

One day you may also be documenting the lives of your grandkids!!

 

If you would like to read the rest of this article click here:  Why YOU Should Be A Photographer 

 

54 Reasons Why YOU Should Be A Photographer

54 Reasons Why YOU Should Be A Photographer

54 Reasons Why YOU Should Be A Photographer

54 Reasons Why YOU Should Be A Photographer

Being a photographer is seriously awesome.

There are about a bazillion reasons why, but I’ve compiled 54 really fantastic ones for your reading pleasure.

Now, why would I bother taking the time to write this massive list?

Well, maybe you’re just curious about photography, but aren’t sure if you should really dive into it.

Fair warning, these reasons will totally convince you that photography is an amazing skill to develop. I’m sure of it.

Here’s the deal. I think everyone should get into photography. (Yes, everyone). You don’t ever have to do it professionally. That’s not what being a photographer means (you can read more about our thoughts on that here).

Being a photographer just means you really love photography. And hopefully after reading all of this, you’ll see that it can give you more than you ever imagined.

One last note before we jump in. These reasons aren’t all just made up off the top of my head. We actually just wrapped up a giveaway, and asked the question “What first got you interested in photography?”.

With 250 responses we were able to get an amazing peek at what makes photography so special for lots of folks. So we read all the responses, took notes, and pulled out the common themes. That’s what makes up this list! So credit for all these awesome reasons goes to our fantastic readers. Thanks for sharing so openly everyone. You rock.

1. CAPTURE A MEMORY THAT YOU CAN HAVE FOREVER

With a photo you can capture a moment, and have it forever.

I think we take that idea for granted, with photography being so ubiquitous these days.

But seriously just take a second to appreciate that.

If you did that in Ancient Greece they’d call you a sorcerer. Or a god.

54 Reasons Why YOU Should Be A Photographer

2. NOTICE THE DETAILS

Photography changes the way you see things.

It’s actually quite an incredible transformation to experience.

Suddenly you notice light, shapes, colours, textures, people, bulidings, trees, flowers…

Everything around you looks different when you start to see the world as a photographer.

3. SEE THE BEAUTY IN THE EVERY DAY

Once you start noticing details, you inevitably start to see how much beauty is all around you.

Every day is filled with it—in the most ordinary or unexpected places.

When you start to derive happiness from seeing some particuarly awesome light, you’ll realize that photography has changed your everyday experience.

54 Reasons Why YOU Should Be A Photographer

4. LIVE IN THE PRESENT

And to round out this theme, photography, through it’s ability to help you see details and notice the beauty around you, helps you to truly live in the present.

When you shoot you have to be aware of everything if you want to capture it.

You can’t be thinking about the movie you watched last night, or what you’re going to have for dinner.

Photography focuses you on the now, which is incredibly valuable!

 

5. FORGET YOUR WORRIES

Photography is something you get immersed in (see above!).

You lose yourself in shooting, and all your worries and daily stresses just melt away.

 

6. SHARE IT WITH THE IMPORTANT PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE

One of the top ways people got into photography (according to our results) was through someone important to them.

People credited their mother, father, aunt, uncle, grandmother, grandfather, sibling, friend and even great-grandparents.

Photography is a passion that you can share with the important people in your life.

You can pass it down to the next generation, and spur their love of this amazing art.

 

7. DOCUMENT YOUR FAMILY

And the MOST common reason folks got interested in photography was because of family—particularly having their own children.

Photography is a way to document the lives of your kids, and that alone is worth learning all you can about it.

One day you may also be documenting the lives of your grandkids!!

 

If you would like to read the rest of this article click here:  Why YOU Should Be A Photographer 

 

54 Reasons Why YOU Should Be A Photographer

Getting Started With Off-Camera Flash

Getting Started With Off-Camera Flash

Getting Started With Off-Camera Flash

by David Peterson

Those of you who read my tips know that I don’t have a very high regard for flash. I think it usually gets in the way of taking a good photo, and it tends to suck all of the natural beauty from your images. If you want a sure-fire way to turn a potentially good image into something so-so, just turn on your flash, get up close your subject, and take the shot.

But today I want to talk about something different. I want to talk about off camera flash, what it does differently, and how to get started with using it. I want to provide you with an understanding so you can go and start pursuing it on your own.

Why use off-camera flash? What’s different about it?

Image by Banditos by Flickr user Amin Choc]

 

Why use off-camera flash? What’s different about it?

There’s a reason those pictures you take with your on-camera flash look so dull and amateurish. It’s because you’re shining a light directly at your subjects, and it’s reflecting directly back into the camera. Just like a deer in headlights, your subjects look pale and lifeless. Simply put, the light from a flash is just too harsh for it to look natural when fired directly at your subjects.

Flash also causes red-eye when fired straight on. The light from a flash reflects off of the blood that naturally circulates through your eyes to keep them healthy and functional. When the light is particularly bright (as it is with a flash), a lot of red light gets reflected back toward the lens.

How to take pictures with an off-camera flash

Use off-camera flash to
create mood lighting in situations
where it would otherwise
be unavailable

By taking the flash off of the camera and using it somewhere else in the scene, you are making the light from the flash less harsh and bringing more of it under your control. You can say goodbye to red eye, and hello to a world of new creative possibilities. Now you no longer have to light everything from the front. You can create shadows and play with contrast, all while creating a more natural look in your photos.

What you need to get started

Half the reason most people don’t start using off-camera flash is because it’s expensive, sometimes prohibitively so. Some setups require wireless remote triggers and multiple flash units, all at a cost of around $2,000. There are other ways to do it, of course, but you will still have to pay for a good flash unit, and those will cost you at least $300. I hate to say it, but this is one of those areas where paying for good equipment does help out.

If you would like to read the rest of this artical, please go here: How to take pictures with an off-camera flash

Getting Started With Off-Camera Flash

Photographing Sports Indoors and Out

Photographing Sports Indoors and Out

Photographing Sports Indoors and Out

 

Almost all of us have times when we need, or want, to shoot a sporting event.

Perhaps your child is in a soccer program, a friend’s kid is on a school softball team, a nephew in high school competes in track, or you’re taking your camera to a professional event.

Regardless of the sport, you can do several things to make the best pictures possible.

 

Catching the Action

First, think about where you want to position yourself.

Think about where most of the action occurs in the sport you’re photographing.

In some sports, you can catch the action coming at you, if you’re positioned correctly.

Sometimes the top of the bleachers is the best place to shoot from, for that high angle, looking down on the court (especially good for volleyball).

With amateur events, you can often move around and try different spots.

If possible, leave the stands and go to the sidelines.

That will put you closer to the action and at the players’ eye-level.

 

Once you begin photographing a particular sporting event, you’ll begin to realize that each sport brings its own sense of timing of the action.

The more you shoot, the better your timing will become.

Even the pros practice shooting at the beginning of a season to hone their sense of anticipation of the action of the game.

The best photos are taken at the peak action; this would be right as the basketball player jumps up to make a basket, just before a volleyball serve or when the cheerleaders have completed a pyramid.

In baseball, action in the infield (catching, throwing, plays at bases and home plate) usually make the best pictures.

In soccer, the most important action usually happens near the goal.

 

COMPOSITION: Think about your composition. Is the background cluttered?

See if you can safely move to another position where you can compose an image that isn’t full of distractions.

LENS CHOICE: More than likely you’re going to want to use a telephoto lens on a Nikon D-SLR, or a COOLPIX camera with a large zoom range.

The most popular zoom lenses often reach out to 200mm or 300mm. The tighter you can shoot (the more you fill the frame), the better the pictures will look.

AUTOFOCUS: If there’s fast action, make sure to change your camera’s autofocus setting to Continuous.

That way it will track the action to keep the photo in focus.

And you may also want to set the AF points to Dynamic Autofocus to make it easier to keep the focus on your subject.

If your camera has scene modes, you can choose the sports setting, which tells the camera that you are shooting sports and will need a fast shutter speed to capture the action.

 

Reactions among players make for great candid photos.

Elizabeth Barbieri
D50, 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 lens, 1/1250 sec., f/5.6, ISO 400, Matrix metering. Reactions among players make for great candid photos.

 

FOCUS LOCK: If you seem to have trouble following the action and keeping it in focus, try setting the focus at one place and waiting for the action to get there.

For example, during a baseball game, you can focus on a particular base and wait for the runner to get there.

And, if you’re pre-focusing on one spot, use either the focus lock button (often labeled “AF-L, or “AE-L AF-L””) or switch the autofocus to Manual and adjust it by turning the focus ring on the lens.

 

If you would like to read the rest of this artical, please go here: Photographing Sports

 

Photographing Sports Indoors and Out

Understanding ISO Sensitivity

Understanding ISO Sensitivity

Understanding ISO Sensitivity

 

Photography is built on the three pillars of exposure: shutter speed, aperture and sensitivity.

Shutter and aperture are controls for adjusting how much light comes into the camera.

How much light is needed is determined by the sensitivity of the medium used.

That was as true for glass plates as it is for film and now digital sensors.

Over the years that sensitivity has been expressed in various ways, most recently as ASA and now ISO.

 

The “normal” range of ISO is about 200 to 1600. With today’s digital cameras you can sometimes go as low as 50 or as high as 204,800.

The number chosen has two important qualities associated with it.

First, it sets the amount of light needed for a good exposure.

The lower the number, the more light required.

The more light that’s required, the more likely a slow shutter speed will have to be used.

That means low ISOs, like 100 or 200, are most often used in bright situations (like sunlight) or when the camera is mounted on a tripod.

If you don’t have a lot of light, or need a fast shutter speed, you would probably raise the ISO.

 

Understanding ISO Sensitivity

Understanding ISO Sensitivity

 

Each time you double the ISO (for example, from 200 to 400), the camera needs only half as much light for the same exposure.

So if you had a shutter speed of 1/250 at 200 ISO, going to 400 ISO would let you get the same exposure at 1/500 second (providing the aperture remains unchanged).

This is why high ISOs are so often used indoors, especially at sporting events.

Needing a fast shutter speed to stop action, photographers regularly choose ISO 1600 or above.

To read the rest of the artical please go here: Understanding ISO

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Understanding ISO Sensitivity

 

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