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Low light with fast shutter speeds #photography

When you’re shooting in low light, your shutter speeds can be a little slow. I shoot a lot on aperture priority and when you’re shooting a landscape and there isn’t enough light for the right exposure the camera will slow the shutter speed. That is unless you have your ISO on auto, which I don’t. On Sunday, I was shooting in poor light as the sun was starting to set and it was misty. The conditions were good for some atmospheric shots. I decided to shoot on manual and watch the exposure meter. My first shots were partly into the sun. I moved around until the sun was behind a tree but even though my scene then looked quite dark there was quite a lot of light hitting the lens.

low light with fast shutter speeds

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Shooting at 300mm #photography

I went out as usual on Sunday hoping to dodge the showers and was pleasantly surprised when the sun came out. I almost exclusively use a 28 – 300mm lens now so I don’t have to change lenses very often. I shot some landscapes but my best shot of the day was of St Mary’s church from just outside my house. I had to zoom in to 300mm and so camera shake and movement was a problem. At 300mm to get a sharp picture I needed to be faster than 1/300 of a second. If you can hold the camera very still and there is no vibration then I suppose you could shoot it slower. I took the shot at 1/320 of a second and shot wide-open at f/5.6 with an ISO of 250. It wasn’t a bad picture but there was still a slight blur that I sharpened in editing. I like the final result.

300mm

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What use is art anyway? #photography #media #art

Sometimes people ask, what is the use of art anyway? Media studies has also provoked some less than charitable remarks. Art is all around us and gives us our advertising, television and movies. I also include music when I think about art. What would we do without music?

what is the use of art anyway

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Developing artistic practice #art #photography

Whatever type of art you practice, you have to develop your skills and your style. I’m still developing a photographic style and I know one thing is certain. I won’t be copying anyone else’s style. If you Google fine art photography you’ll see that all the images are in the same style. There are a few things driving my distinctive style. Firstly, I don’t go outside the Black Country and I’m confined to a relatively small area. The camera also helps define my style and so too does the lens. The 28 – 300mm lens allows me to zoom in and take candid shots and get quite unusual shots from some distance away. It also allows me to photograph signs and the features of buildings. I hope these restrictions will drive my style and it will become more distinctive. When you’re developing your artistic style, you need to allow it to develop naturally. Developing artistic practice is about letting things happen rather than making things happen.

Developing artistic

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Photography at Christmas #photography

You’ll probably want to take a few photos over Christmas perhaps of family and friends or even your presents. How can you ensure they are sharp photos and not blurry? Many of you will use a camera while others will use a camera phone. Whichever you use, keeping the camera still is important. Photography at Christmas can be difficult because it is usually in low light. Remember that you are capturing light reflected off your subject and so if you’re photographing a person position them in as much light as possible.

photography at Christmas

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Adapt to the conditions #photography

Every photo-shoot is different and you have to adapt to the conditions. I went to a book launch in the library on Saturday. I set the white balance on fluorescent. It was a cold day and the people I was photographing looked slightly red-faced. The natural light coming through the window made their faces look a little purple! I changed to auto-white balance and it improved things a little. When I was editing I changed some of the pictures to monochrome.

adapt to the conditions

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Raise the ISO in low-light #photography

We have had a lot of rain recently and dark skies and so any landscape photography has been difficult. I don’t often take dark moody pictures and prefer to wait for a sunny day. I took a few photos of a flooded road at the weekend and I did raise the ISO to take account of the dark sky. I raised the ISO to 1600 for this shot and decided to shoot on aperture priority. The camera set the shutter speed at 1/80 of a second for an f-stop of f/7.1.

raise the ISO

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The four seasons #ramble #photography

It’s Sunday morning and so once again I’ll share my thoughts with you. My arthritis flares up and then subsides when I take an anti-inflammatory. I got stuck in traffic on Wednesday trying to get to the food bank to make a donation and it happened again on Wednesday. On neither occasion was my engine warm in the car so the heater was cold. That triggered the arthritis. It is only Autumn now, what will I be like when winter comes? Out of the four seasons I don’t really have a favourite. I like the spring, I try to take snow pictures in winter, I like the autumn colours and of course the warmth of summer is good for my arthritis and other problems.  Whatever the weather we just have to get on with it…

four seasons

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My Amazon wish list #shopping #photography

My Amazon wish list is like my bucket list but things I would like to buy before I die! A recent addition to my wish list is the Feiyu Tech Vimble 2 Extendable Handheld 3-Axis Gimbal. A gimbal acts like a gyroscope and will keep my smartphone level and stable while I shoot video. My camera shoots better video but it’s heavy and so most of the time my phone would be a better device to use.

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Through the lens flash photography #photography

Through the lens metering to control the flash isn’t always accurate but is usually better than manually setting the flash. I have had problems with flash photography and I realised there were several problems. The first is the flash bouncing off the wrong things. When I’m photographing people the flash can bounce directly off their faces and that doesn’t look good. One thing I can do to prevent that is to bounce the flash off the ceiling or a wall and that gives a softer light and then flash can even be set manually.

 through the lens

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Another bright idea #ramble #photography

It’s Sunday morning and so once again I’ll share my thoughts with you. It is dark and grey this morning but I still have photography on my mind. I’ll be going out and intend to buy some drinks for Christmas and then wander around and try to find something interesting to photograph. I need a bright idea for a really interesting photograph.

bright idea

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Creating art with a camera #photography

The 64 Million artists weekly challenge this week was about 10 things around us or about us that were good. You can look and see all sorts of interesting things and I decided to photograph what I saw and create a collage. I share my creation with the 64 Million artists group on Facebook. So yes, I am creating something to share with other people. That is what art is about, sharing your creations. Using a camera is much quicker than traditional artist methods, of course. It can even be very quick if I turn on the Wi-Fi and send pictures to my phone where they can be instantly uploaded to social media. Creating art with a camera is something anyone can do quickly and easily.

creating art with your camera

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Winter photography #photography

It isn’t quite winter yet but we do have to cope with low-light. How much light is there exactly? On a DSLR you have a light meter that will tell you how under-exposed or over-exposed your picture will be and measures the light quite accurately. You can decide to take quite dark wintery pictures or increase the exposure a little and take lighter pictures making the most of the available light. Winter photography doesn’t have to be all dark and dismal and we do get the sunshine sometimes.

winter photography

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Full steam ahead #photography

This Saturday there will be a steam train, the Illuminati going from Birmingham to Blackpool so that is a good photo-opportunity. It will stop at Tame Bridge but I am inclined to think I’ll be better photographing it as it goes through Bescot sidings. A steam locomotive looks quite powerful when it’s going full steam ahead so I want to try to capture that power. I think I need to be on the platform with the camera tilted upwards as the train comes through.

full steam ahead

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The autumn season #ramble #photography

It’s Sunday morning once again and here in the UK we had an extra hour of sleep last night because the clocks went back an hour. So I was wandering around changing the heating and various clocks before I went to sleep last night. The autumn season brings lots of autumn colours and I’ll soon have the remembrance parade to photograph and then before we know it the winter solstice will be here and winter will arrive.  Then, of course, Christmas.

The autumn season

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The advantages of a DSLR #photography

The advantages of a DSLR camera are huge compared with most other cameras. The new compact smart cameras are smaller and lighter and great for point and shoot but the DSLR gives the photographer full control of the camera.

advantages of a DSLR

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Developing my skill #photography

I took up photography just over 10 years ago and mostly shot landscapes with my little Fujifilm S5600 which served me well. I’ve come a long way in 10 years and had pictures exhibited in several exhibitions. I have gone from shooting in scenes modes with a bridge camera to using a full frame Nikon on a manual setting. I am still learning, of course and I’m now trying to set my white balance better in certain situations. That is a matter of practice and experimentation to get just what I want. I will keep developing my skill and I think I will never stop improving.

Developing my skill

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Dial M for manual #photography

Some photographers always shoot in manual and in raw. This is the sign of a true professional and they can even denigrate other photographers who aren’t so clued up! Is shooting in manual better or necessary? This week, I dial M for manual and look at the possible uses. Most of the time, however, I shoot with my dial on aperture priority and I shoot in jpeg.

Dial M for Manual

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Publishing on social media #photography

I photographed a Safer Six event in Wednesbury yesterday and I had to cover my camera at the beginning and shelter under a canopy to take the first few shots. I took a few shots at a narrow aperture to get the flavour of the event and when the rain subsided went wide-open for some close-up shots of the dignitaries and stalls. The shots were intended for publishing on social media but sometimes I do send photos to the local newspaper.

publishing on social media

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The quality of the light #photography

The quality of the light greatly affects the nature of a photograph. I have photographed artists on stage under coloured lights and obviously a blue light make the artist look blue and a pink light gives the scene a pink glow. I photographed the Tipton Canal and Community Festival on Sunday which had more or less finished because of the rain.  The dark clouds gave the scenes a dark greyish look. You can alter the white balance to compensate for the greyish light and of course you can compensate for the lack of light by increasing the ISO and shooting some wide aperture shots but the images have a greyish tinge and I would have preferred a sunny day!

The quality of the light

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Taking pictures for Instagram #photography

You have probably seen great photos on Instagram and realise that they haven’t been taken with a phone. You can take your photos with a camera and then upload them to Instagram with your phone. My camera has Wi-Fi so I can send my pictures to my phone and then upload them. The images can also be shared on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr at the same time.

taking pictures for Instagram

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A pictorial history #photography

Besides being a photographer I also run a local history page and it is difficult to explain history in terms everyone can understand. History is political and the country is deeply divided politically at the moment. I think I will have to emphasize our pictorial history for a while and curate the collection of historic photographs. I can also add to our pictorial history by taking photographs. Photographs remind us of events and of the various seasons in our lives. I went for a walk on Sunday in Sandwell Valley and that helped me get some exercise and made me more aware of the world around me as I looked for things to photograph.

VALLEY (20)

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Something to photograph #photography

There is always something to photograph. Yesterday, I went to an event in the town hall and photographed the audience, the compere and the singer. If you don’t have an event to go to there is always landscape photography and street photography is very popular these days too. You have to be more careful when you do street photography because many people don’t like their photograph taken. Legally you can photograph more or less what you like but you must do no harm. If you cause damage such as distress to people then they can sue you for damages.

something to photograph

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Finding your niche #photography

I think anyone who enjoys photography needs to consider how best to enjoy it. Some people like being at one with nature and shoot wildlife photographs and others like to just snap the peculiarities of life. Finding your niche can be difficult but it should be something you’re comfortable with. I do events but I’m never very comfortable with them and find just photographing interesting buildings and scenes more relaxing.

finding your niche
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