We’ve been impressed with what we’ve seen so far! Wonderful colors and very crisp footage. Sure, some post production was done, but overall, we’re extremely excited to see that the Nikon D4 is living up to it’s hefty price tag of $6000.00
Category Archives: Photography Tips and Tricks
Melissa is our latest Wide Open Tees Facebook Photo Contest winner! Congratulations and we hope you enjoy your photography shirt from Wide Open Tees!
About the Photography and Photographer:
(Exif: 111mm – f/3,5 – ISO 125 – 1/1000). This photo was taken at a photoshoot for a small horse magazine. The woman whose riding the horse has been national champion a few times. Watching this horse take very sharp turns at such a high speed was amazing to watch. Taking the photo at the right moment was difficult. She only did 3 or 4 runs, and it all goes so fast, so you need fast fingers and fast eyes!
What a wonderful depiction of speed, Melissa! The movement of the dirt is spectacular! Keep up the great work.
Don’t forget to Like our Facebook Fanpage for your chance to win awesome gear from Wide Open Tees. Submit your photo today! We’ll also announce tons of promotions there first!
Our 5th photo contest on POTN forums has ended! Ed is our winner with his amazing submission below:
About the Photographer and Photograph:
Canon 50D, Sigma 18-200mm OS, 1/100 ex, f/8, ISO800. Shot on a rainy day, and the rain added a cool effect to the shot I think. Processed as a single-shot “pseudo-HDR” with Paint Shop Pro X2. Basically a group of photo friends got together and went to Gary Indiana to shoot the popular Gary Methodist Church, and then went to this abandoned train station. The police came and asked us to leave, so on the way out I looked back and thought it’d be a cool shot.
Mood plays a huge part in photography and Ed captured the mood very well in this photo! Really great shot! Especially love the movement of the rain to add that final touch. Congrats and enjoy your photography shirt from Wide Open Tees, Ed!
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Wide Open Tees fans, supporters, and customers are the absolute best! Recently, Jake put together a Steadicam review with Learning-DSLR guru Dave Dugdale. Jake took the time to sport a Wide Open Tees Photography shirt in the very informative review below. Check it out!
We love supporting photographers who help others become better photographers. That’s what Wide Open Tees was built on! So take the time to check out Jake’s wonderful portfolio here!
Wide Open Tees doesn’t discriminate when it comes to amateurs or pros. Many thanks to Jake and Dave for providing kind and helpful information for all levels of photographers. Keep up the amazing work guys!
With Fourth of July right around the corner, I thought that an article about photographing fireworks would fit the bill perfectly! It’s a little intimidating knowing you only have about 20 minutes to get a great shot. There isn’t much time to perfect your settings out there. Not to mention fireworks only shoot about 4-6 times a year, it’s not something you can readily prepare for. The following article is a bit more technical than I’d hope, so my apologies for those who aren’t versed with terms such as ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. Many point and shoots now come with a fireworks setting. Some cameras yield good results, others not so much. However, there is still time for you to whip out that manual and learn how to play with these settings! Most likely, your camera (yes, your point and shoot camera included) will allow you to change these settings easily. Likewise, those who own DSLRs but don’t stray away from auto mode can learn these settings as well. It shouldn’t take you more than 10-15 minutes to learn how to play with these settings.
DIFFICULTIES AND COMMON MISTAKES
Many people think that because fireworks are a nighttime affair, their major concern should be the low-light. However, it’s the complete opposite. Capturing too much light is much more common! This is where our cameras get confused. The bursts of lights that last only a few seconds, accompanied with multiple bursts will throw your light readings all over the place. If you’re setting your shutter speed to more than 4 seconds, you’re most likely going to get huge bursts of lights. Many people bump their ISOs higher because of the low light, resulting in a noisy night sky, which isn’t very attractive.
A TRIPOD IS IMPORTANT
The low light does affect one thing, your shutter speed. For those who aren’t photography nerds that know the ins and outs of photography, shooting at night usually results in blurry shots. This is because the shutter needs to stay open longer to allow more light in. Therefore, when your subject moves, or when you inadvertently move the camera, your shot comes out blurry. A tripod will definitely fix this! Tripods are useful because they keep your hands off the camera, keeping the camera completely still. If you don’t want to spring for a tripod just for this one fireworks show, then find a ledge or tabletop that is steady. You might find yourself having to fandangle some type of contraption to point the camera towards the fireworks as well, which can be a pain. Can you shoot without a tripod? It’s possible if you have a steady hand and shoot closer to 1-2 seconds. Give it a try, you might surprise yourself!
APERTURE (f/#), ISO, SHUTTER SPEED, AND TIMING
Start off by setting your ISO to the lowest amount your camera offers to combat noise. I recommend shooting at or around f/8 with a 2-3 second shutter speed. Now, the shutter speed is actually the one element you can change to your liking. If you let the camera try to figure it out, you will most likely get a shot with a huge light burst, because it’ll suggest 10+ seconds. You want to stay in the range of 1-4 seconds. 4 seconds is a little long, but might work under your circumstances. The longer the seconds (shutter speed), the more flares/tails you will get from the fireworks. The shorter the seconds (shutter speed), the less flares/tails you’ll get. It’s all personal taste at this point. Timing is also a big deal. You want to catch the firework right as it’s exploding. Some have an eye for the tiny lit tail that is shooting up, which is great. You can watch it burst and hit the shutter. If you don’t have a keen eye, listening for the burst works well as some of my colleagues have suggested. Lastly, because you’re manually setting your shutter speed, you can keep the flash off!
“Shooting RAW is the only way to shoot!”
I see that quite a bit, but is it always true? For semi-professionals, professionals, and hobbyists who have the proper software and time to edit these RAWs, it’s a great way to get absolutely beautiful photos. But does that mean shooting JPEG is the “wrong” way to shoot? This article’s here to help!
Before I begin, I’ll do my best to help explain it in the simplest terms so you’re not bored with drawn-out, long-winded definitions.
RAW shooting gives you the ability to easily manipulate the photograph using photo editing programs like Adobe Photoshop in post-processing. Post-processing, sometimes referred as “PP”, is the photo editing process a photographer applies after he/she takes the photograph. When the camera snaps a RAW photo, the image will be recorded to the memory card rather bland and dull. Some shooters think shooting in RAW is the best way to get the best shot straight from the camera. That’s not the case at all.
JPEG shooting is almost the opposite of RAW shooting. When you shoot JPEG, you’re telling the camera to do all of the compressing for you. It automatically applies all of the right corrections in order to get a good photo. This correction is different on every camera. So it’s wise to do your research before selecting the right camera for you, but that’s another topic!
PROS FOR RAW:
RAW shooting can lead you to amazing photographs. Say you take a photograph of a beautiful landscape, and the sky isn’t quite the right shade of blue for you. You can easily change it to the right shade that fits your standards. However, this isn’t the only correction you can make. When shooting in RAW, you’re in charge of what the photograph looks like in the end. You have the ability to work with the brightness, contrast, colors, saturation, exposure, and so much more.
PROS FOR JPEG:
Shooting in JPEG has its own benefits. First, JPEGs file sizes are much smaller. The difference can range from 800kb JPEG to a 25Mb RAW depending on your camera and camera settings. Secondly, you might not have the budget for expensive software like Adobe Photoshop ($200). Third, you might not be very interested in post processing. Photographers would much rather be out shooting!
CONS FOR RAW:
As mentioned above, RAWs are huge files. If you don’t have the patience or hard drive space, shooting in RAW isn’t for you. Secondly, photo editing software is not as easy as Windows Paint, not to mention expensive.
CONS FOR JPEG:
You lose the ability to edit your photos easily. Sure, photo editing programs can edit JPEGs, but it won’t be able to clean up your photo as well as it could with a RAW photo.
SO WHICH IS THE WAY TO GO?
Simplistically speaking, you’re working with many more levels (not to be confused with exposure levels) when it comes to RAW files. Therefore, you have a bit more freedom when it comes to editing your photos. When it’s all said and done, it’s all personal preference. It depends on where you are in the realm of photography. If you’re an enthusiast that loves to point, shoot, and upload, then shooting JPEG should be sufficient. If you’re a hobbyist who wants to get into more detailed photography (maybe even becoming a pro), RAW is the way to go. Both have pros and cons, but it depends on which pros and cons outweigh each other for you. Don’t let others tell you that shooting in RAW is the only way to shoot. It’s not for everyone, and with today’s technological advancements, trusting the camera to do all of the fine tuning usually ends rather well!
Here is a photo taken with a Canon 7D. I purposely shot into the sun to show levels, contrasts, and brightness within the trees in the foreground.
The first set is straight off the camera (RAW version vs JPEG version). You can see that the trees are underexposed in the raw version, and the JPEG version did it’s best to correct that, resulting in a “better” version.
The set below is the “best case scenario” after editing.
You can see both JPEG and RAW after post processing yields great results. The RAW version did better when it came to the underexposed trees and details in the sky (see the cloud details). The difference is also in the variety of post processing. The JPEG you see in the second set is pretty much the only good version that will come out after post processing. With the RAW, you can obtain many more results that turn out beautifully. Say, you wanted to add a nostalgic-element and push your white balance towards the yellow side. The results:
You can see that the sky in the JPEG version is completely blown out on the right side. Likewise the sunlight on the tips of the trees are completely washed out as well. With that being said, it’s not impossible to correct that. You can always bring down the brightness, but that would completely darken the trees in the foreground. Bumping the fill light beyond this point will only make the JPEG more noisy, which is a no no. Of course you can always start mixing multiple layers (background, foreground) to fix this unevenness, but that would of course take you more time and patience. That’s starting a whole different subject (HDR, or High Dynamic Range).
Shooting RAW has it’s benefits. You can see it in the photo proof above. However, that doesn’t make JPEG completely obsolete. It all comes down to personal preference. When people say, “RAW shooting is the only way to shoot.” They aren’t explaining all of the advantages and disadvantages to you. You have to consider the price of RAW-capable cameras (which are usually expensive DSLRs), price of photo-editing software (usually expensive), and the ability to actually edit photographs (which takes time to learn). The biggest misconception is when people buy RAW-shooting cameras expecting to get amazing photos when they shoot in RAW, without realizing that the benefits are in the post-processing.