Showing posts with label Photography. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Photography. Show all posts

Friday, September 14, 2018

Bird Photography

Photo: Pixabay
Birds have been one of the greatest subjects for photographers for centuries now because they have an inspiring beauty and mystify us with their gift of flight and diversity. When it comes to photographing birds and their behavior, catching it on film will add a tremendous visual impact and feeling to any picture. There are different locations where birds gather, but really the best place you may what to start is your backyard. The thing about birds is that they are busy little bodies and a bird feeder in the backyard is a great place to get a picture when they are feeding or even the bird in the air getting ready to pounce one of the birds that are currently feeding.

When you venture out of your backyard to look for birds to photograph your vehicle may just become your newest piece of equipment. Birds see our cars less of a threat than a person carrying a long lens underneath their arm. A vehicle makes for a great blind and along with this patience is a virtue. When you find a location such as a prime feeding ground, park a bit of away from it and stop your engine to cut down on a noise that may scare them.

Standard, wide-angle and short zoom lenses can be used for photographing birds, but for serious bird photography, a quality 500 mm or 600 mm telephoto lens is ideal.

Please keep in mind to avoid any situation that can put stress on the birds and their surroundings. If you notice a bird that is starting to show any kind of stress, this means that there is a nest or chicks nearby. Any further picture taking should be disengaged and you should leave the immediate area. As a photographer of birds or any wildlife, it is a good thing to remember not to put ourselves or the birds around us in any kind of danger.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Using Filters In PHOTOGRAPHY

Photographic filter is an attachment that will allow certain kinds of light to be able to pass through, and able to reduce or block out other unwanted light sources.In short, the term filter really means anything that modifies the incoming light in some way and includes: polarizing screens, multi-image prisms,close-up attachments, soft focus filters, neutral density (ND) filters, graduated ND filters, and color filters for black and white photography. Filters come in two main shapes: round and square.
English: Four photographic filters; clockwise ...
Four photographic filters; clockwise from top left, infrared hot mirror filter, polarising,
UV, and a Cokin-style polarising filter. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Filters add color and a certain touch to a photo that complements the individuals style of photo taking. When you are using a black and white film with filters, you can darken or lighten the tone of the subjects color. The color filters that are used can darken the tone of an opposite color and brighten the tone of the color filter that is being used. For an example, a red filter will make the red leafs on an autumn tree look very rich and bright, while on the other hand the sky behind it that was blue, is now almost black. 

Neutral density filters reduce the light entering your camera so that a slower shutter speed,or a larger aperture can be used. Graduated ND filters are used to balance out bright skies against darker foreground scenes.

A neat filter is called the star filter. This type of filter in photography is placed on the cameras lenses to create a star look effect form any source of light. This is very popular with television game shows and used for portraits to provide a soft overall diffusion. A split field lenses is really a full lenses but only half of it is close-up, it is great for taking a picture of something close-up at the bottom like a small flower or bug in focus. The top of the lenses is just blank or empty and the camera uses its lenses to background in focus, say the mountain in the distance.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Let There Be Light - FILMMAKING

Filmmaking is an orchestration of various elements that brings about the desired result, your story literally brought to life.  Screenplay, crew, actors, location, camera, lighting, sound, and editing are all working together to bring you the finished product.  One literally cannot do without the other.  Lighting however is what makes your production look professional and if you are looking to actually market your film you want it to be as professional as possible.  

Illustration of three-point lighting
Illustration of three-point lighting (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
There are many professional lights kits on the market and many of them are quite reasonable, but in many cases they are not necessarily needed.  You can make your own light kit with a few things that can be purchased at the local hardware store.  There are lights found at the hardware store used in garage repair shops that are metal and that have a high reflectance.  These come with clips at the end and can be clipped and moved wherever you might need them.  These are great to use and you can use a number of different bulbs that will give different wattage and color.

The next items you must have in great numbers are extension cords.  These will be used in every other part of your filmmaking, but you really need them with setting up your lights.  Another very useful tool would be old sheet music stands or something similar that has a 3 leg stand that can be raised and lowered.  These can either hold the clip-on lights or a light diffusion material of some sort.  You will also need white board for white balancing your camera before you shoot, also white boards can be used as bounce cards for bouncing light back on a subject.

The last thing in your light kit will be some sort of diffusing material.  That can be any gauzy white material that the light will pass through.  You can use your stands with binder clips on them to clip the material too.  Shine your light through the material and this in turn will diffuse the light on the subject keeping it from being to bright or "hot" as they say in the business.

A consideration that most people starting out with lighting don't consider is that light comes in different colors.  Only when you start using a camera do you find this out.  If you shoot in a room at night and you have only the interior lights to use, you may find the overall color of the light will be a little yellow.  This is because the bulb lights in your house are Tungsten light and these give off a yellowish cast.  Fluorescent lights give of a greenish cast that is quite unattractive, so if you film in an office building then that is a consideration as will.  Outside light is blue light and while you always want natural light, things may be a little too blue for you, especially when you shoot in the shade.

The absolute best time to shoot, to get that magical quality, is that time right before the sunset.  The sun is hanging low and directly on the faces of the subjects and gives everything a Carmel colored warm glow.  The only drawback here is that the sun sets quickly so have everything ready in anticipation of shooting the final minutes before the sun set.  Look at things at this time of day during late spring or in the summer and you will see what I am talking about.

The first thing to learn is the three-point lighting set up.  This is a standard lighting technique used by professional photographers, television taping, and shooting film.  This consists of three things: a key light to shine on the subject, a fill light to fill in the shadow created by the key light, and a backlight or kicker to use behind the subject to add dimension the subject.  You will use variations of the 3-point lighting set-up in most work you do.  I advise strongly that you practice this lighting set-up and shoot it to see how effectively it works.  You will have to move the lights a little here and there to get the desired effect but this is the must useful lighting strategy that there is.

It is always good to use natural lighting whenever possible.  Always remember that high noon is usually a harsh lighting situation and will cast unflattering shadows under the eyes and nose of the subject making them appear tired.  You will have to use a light low down on the ground to counter-act this effect.  Also anytime you light a subject from the ground as opposed to above the subject, you will get an eerie spooky effect that can be used in moments of suspense.  If you are not looking for this effect though it might be disturbing to viewers.

This is lighting in a nutshell and I would highly recommend that you take some production classes in order to practice and get some tips on lighting.