Saturday, January 22, 2011

Disclaimer - I apologize for my poor spelling and grammar on this blog! Please bare with me as I am learning as I go. I am a Photographer first, Fly Fisherman second but usually first, LOL and writer last. Thank you to all who have visited and taken an interest in my work, I very much appreciate it!!


Friday, January 21, 2011

Better Photo Techniques Part #2 - Understanding ISO

2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. A high ISO of 1600 was used to increase my shutter speed allowing me to shoot hand held in a dimly lit location.
Sun Set, North Vancouver. shot with an ISO of 100. The image is nice and smooth, no grain.
Sun Set at Coho Creek, North Vancouver, shot with an ISO of 100. to aid in a long exposure and help with low grain. Nice and smooth, great for printing!

Better Photo Techniques Part 2 - Understanding ISO

All of our digital cameras have an ISO setting, most point and shoot small cameras will decide this for you in automatic mode. If we are using cameras that will allow us to set the ISO to a desired number than we need to understand what ISO is in order to take full advantage of this feature. So what is ISO. ISO stands for International Standards Organization but more importantly what does it mean and how does it benefit us with our photography. For those of us who have shot film we may remember ASA, this was labeled on the film canister and it refers to the speed of the film, so ASA 100 film was a slow film and that meant longer exposure time and also cleaner smoother images. As the ASA of the film increased the film becomes faster and there for allows for faster shutter speeds especially in low light. This is beneficial for those shooting fast action sports or trying to shoot hand held in dimly lit environments such as concerts. So back to ISO on digital cameras, ISO is digital ASA and is by definition the film or in this case the camera sensor's sensitivity to light as it enters through the lens. Most digital cameras offer a wide ISO range usually from 100-6400. Like film the lower the ISO is set, the slower the shutter speed will be and vice versa, the higher the ISO is set the faster the shutter speed.
There are advantages to using your ISO correctly for instance if you are shooting a land scape and a slow shutter is required than a low ISO of 100 will help you with two critical things, the first is a slow shutter and second is silky smooth grain free images, great for print! On the other hand if you need a faster shutter speed for shooting hand held in low light or you may need to speed up your exposure to stop an action shot than you can increase your ISO but be warned on any camera with exception to the highest level pro body's you will start to see visible grain, usable yes but weak when it comes to printing. The Tip here is to shoot at the lowest ISO possible unless the situation demands an increase of shutter speed. ISO from 100 to 400 is recommended!

I know I said that Part 2 would be Depth of Field but this topic was on my mind, so the D.O.F.
will be covered in part 3. Hope you enjoy and can use the tips when out shooting your own photos!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Snow in Vancouver, sweet! Looking west towards the sea wall and Granville Island.

Epic Sky, a beautiful evening with a little fresh snow along the sea wall.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Better Photo Techniques Part #1 - Shutter Speed

Secret Creek near Harrison Hot Springs, BC. shot with a tri pod and a slow shutter speed to show movement in the water. That silky look.

Grizzly Bear, small river near Hagensborg, BC . shot hand held using a fast shutter speed.
Steelhead Burst, Thompson River, BC. shot hand held using a fast shutter speed to stop the action.

As part of a quest to make this blog more educational I am going to write a a number of short articles to help try and take some of the guess work out of our photography. If we understand some pure fundamentals than in theory we should all be able to become better photographers. For some this all may seem second nature and repetitive but I believe we can all use reminders and for those who are looking for some tips than please read on. Topics will include, shutter speed, Depth of field and ISO, to choosing the right camera and camera pack.

Better Photo Techniques Part #1 - Shutter Speed.

Shutter speed simply is the amount of time the shutter is open and light is allowed through the lens and on to the film plane or digital sensor. Shutter speed determines a few critical things for us as photographers, first a fast shutter speed allows us to stop action and freeze the moment, verse a slow shutter speed witch would show movement such as a river looking all silky. Also a fast shutter allows us to hand hold the camera with out visible hand shake were as a slow shutter speed would likely need to be stabilized from a tri pod to eliminate the blur caused from camera shake. When we have lots of available light during the day the shutter can be set very fast but when the light gets low it takes more time to expose there for the shutter will be set much slower.

When using a camera in a manual mode we can set the shutter speed our selves giving us complete creative control, cameras with auto setting such as sport mode or land scape set the speed for us. Sport mode being fast to stop the action, landscape is slower to allow more depth of field ( more on this later ). Ultimately the amount of light we have when shooting will determine how long the shutter will need to remain open however understanding a little more about how the shutter speed effects our photographs should help us take better photos. Generally hand holding a camera with a shutter speed slower than 1/30th of a second will show blur from shaky hands and the use of a tri pod would be help full.

Photo 1 shows lots of movement, a slow shutter speed of 1/15th of a second or slower will be needed.
Photo 2 and 3 show the action stopped in a split second, a fast shutter speed of 1/40th of a second or faster will be needed.

The next article will be understanding your F-stop and how this relates to your shutter speed and depth of field.


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Tonight I saw one of the most epic sun sets of my life. The coulor was intense and amazing! Right now I am short editing software (it crashed, time for an upgrade) so this photo is straight out of the camera. Some times light just happens and tonight was one of those, the sky just lit up a few minutes after the sun went down. All though cold it was well worth the wait. Jan 1 2011, so far the new year is shaping up nicely. Happy New Year.