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Nikonians Articles

Resources to save time and money, reduce the pain and speed up the learning curve.

Showing all articles with keyword(s): tips
Traveling Tips - Washington, USA
How-to's Travel Stories

Traveling Tips - Washington, USA

User

First off, I'm not a travel photographer. I don't have the resources to travel to exotic places for extended periods of time just to make photos. Second off, when I do wind up visiting some place new, it's typically for a visit with family or a non-photography, work-related event. Either way, time is often limited when I travel. That was the case last week when my wife and I flew 2,699 miles across the U.S. to Washington to visit with family. Read more...

Shooting at Twilight
How-to's

Shooting at Twilight

User

Your eyes can still see perfectly, but your camera can't keep up with you. Shooting at twilight can be challenging, but if done properly, you will be rewarded with beautiful sky colors in the background. How to work with lighting to get the right exposure for your photographs? Read more...

Balancing Ambient Light with Flash
How-to's

Balancing Ambient Light with Flash

User

I've got an understanding of apparent light size. I know what happens when I change the distance between my light source, my subject and my background. And I've moved through diffuse and direct reflections. Now it's time to get into some of the practical aspects of flash photography, and there's no place better to start than balancing ambient light with flash. Read more...

Specular Highlight Control
How-to's

Specular Highlight Control

User

In my last post I started looking more closely at diffuse and direct reflections and how both reveal the form and surface texture of a subject in a photograph. Through my exercises, I was able to exert better control over the placement and look of direct reflections, or specular highlights, and now I want to apply that knowledge to a subject where this has a dramatic impact on the end result: metal. Read more...

Get To Know Your Gear
How-to's

Get To Know Your Gear

User

Josh Larkin says: "We all know that telling a photographer that their camera takes really good pictures is like telling a great baker that their oven makes amazing cakes." Newer camera models might make it somehow easier to take good photos, but it is still about your will to learn the equipment to find its strengths and weaknesses. Read more...

Better Black and White Images in Lightroom
How-to's Software Reviews

Better Black and White Images in Lightroom

User

A guide to producing better black and white images in Lightroom. If you're going black and white with any photograph, the end result can be made stronger by doing things yourself and not just letting your software decide how to create the tones and contrast that ultimately make for a powerful black and white image. Read more...

Neutral Density & Color Graduated Filters
Accessories Reviews

Neutral Density & Color Graduated Filters

J. Ramon Palacios (jrp)

Quite often the correct exposure for a background in a scene is not the best one for the foreground or viceversa. The most common problem is that the bright sky is reproduced perfectly while the landscape is underexposed; in fact pitch black most of the times. These are the occasions where the color and neutral density (ND) graduated (grad) filters can make the difference between a bad image, a good image and a better one. Read more...

Reflections
How-to's

Reflections

User

In my quest to better my own lighting techniques by going back and working through lessons in various books and on websites, I've looked at apparent light size and the inverse square law. Both of these topics and exercises gave me a better handle on the three aspects of light as it relates to a subject: the lit portion, the shadow portion and the transition areas that fall in between. Read more...

Lightsphere Flash Diffusers
How-to's Accessories Reviews

Lightsphere Flash Diffusers

J. Ramon Palacios (jrp)

We are often faced with complex lighting situations when we want to balance the light coming in from several sources into a scene and our subjects. Weddings and social events at noon time in large rooms, or churches, with large windows can become a nightmare with its mix of harsh light and strong shadows. After using for long a white card with a rubber, various solutions came to market and I have successively used most of them. Read more...

Control Over Your Lights With Distance
How-to's

Control Over Your Lights With Distance

User

In my article on Apparent Light Size, we saw the differences in light produced by large and small light sources. I demonstrated this by starting with a flash in a small softbox set up very close to a small object, therefore making a large light source. I then moved the light farther and farther away, thereby simulating a smaller light source. Read more...

Apparently, size does matter...
How-to's

Apparently, size does matter...

User

Despite what you may have heard, size matters. Of course, I'm talking about the size of your light source here, which is what you were thinking, right? Portrait photographers often use large modifiers -- think 50" softboxes, 43" umbrellas, etc. -- to soften the light hitting the subject. And that's what we want most of the time (film noir shooters excluded), nice soft light that transitions slowly from highlights to shadows. Read more...

Learning to Light (Series 1 of 6)
How-to's

Learning to Light (Series 1 of 6)

User

My first experiences with flash photography involved the on-board flash, me fumbling around with camera settings, and a subject that wound up looking like he, she or it had been nuked. I quickly learned that the pop-up flash is really only good for a few things: mug shots and drivers licenses. Read more...

Making Hay When the Sun Doesn't Shine
How-to's

Making Hay When the Sun Doesn't Shine

User

"Too bad it's such a bad day for taking pictures." I'd just gotten my tripod set up and the camera locked in when she rode by on her bicycle. "Well, I suppose that depends on what you're taking pictures of," I replied. Read more...

A Guide to DOF and Hyperfocal Distance - Tables & Calculator
How-to's

A Guide to DOF and Hyperfocal Distance - Tables & Calculator

J. Ramon Palacios (jrp)

You may have wondered "How do pros make those wonderful landscapes where everything seems to be in focus?" Well, it is not merely by closing down the aperture of superb wide angle lenses. They maximize DOF (depth of field), the region of acceptable sharpness, by focusing at the hyperfocal distance. A simple function of lens focal length, aperture and the diameter of the Circle of Confusion. Read more...

What is White Balance
How-to's

What is White Balance

Ned S. Levi (Ned_L)

It turns out that White Balance is a difficult term to define for most people. Here's my try. White balance is the process of adjusting color casts, so that objects which appear white to human eyes/brain are rendered white in the photograph by the camera. So what the heck does that mean? Read more...

Color management basics: Additive and subtractive colors
How-to's

Color management basics: Additive and subtractive colors

Hal Becker (HBB)

I prepared these charts as an aid to a few people I am tutoring in basic color management concepts. This is not meant to be a rigorous treatment of color theory or management, simply an introduction for those interested. Read more...

How to use black background for floral macro photography
How-to's

How to use black background for floral macro photography

User

I’ve received several comments (thanks!) on some of my floral macro photos posted on my site and some questions on how to do it, so I thought I’d post some details for anyone who wants to give it a try. Read more...

Five easy composition tricks
How-to's

Five easy composition tricks

Tom Bone (flashdeadline)

Do you want to take better pictures? Sure you do. If fast, to the point info is what you're looking for, we have it condensed into five easy tricks. Read more...

Beginner's guide to waterfall photography
How-to's

Beginner's guide to waterfall photography

J. Ramon Palacios (jrp)

The question comes up frequently in the forums. How do I achieve that "milky" look of water in rivers, streams and waterfalls? Read more...

What’s the Best ISO Setting? Native, Pushed or Auto?
How-to's

What’s the Best ISO Setting? Native, Pushed or Auto?

User

The ability to dial in ISO sensitivities in the five- to six-figure range in 1/3-stop increments is pretty heady stuff. With the exception of some of the highest ISO ratings, the image quality of the resulting imagery remains surprisingly decent and is equal to or better than the image quality of the fastest film stocks, which speed-wise were nowhere near the ISO sensitivity levels we can squeeze out of our (H)DSLRs. Read more...

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