DPS Bites: Night Photography

5 Tips For Better Night Photographs

night photography courses dublinNight photography is a massive genre & can cover a huge range of subjects from astro photography & light painting, to landscapes taken under moonlight, traffic light trails & everything in between. Each one of these specific styles has it’s own rules & techniques that are popular among there practitioners, however this article is aimed at the beginner venturing out at night to photograph things like cityscapes with light & traffic trails. So, if you have just managed to get you head around ISO, F-stops & Shutter Speeds, then you will be well on your way to nailing down traffic trails & night cityscapes.

Use A Tripod:night photography dublin

Like any good landacape shoot, night photography starts with a tripod. When using a tripod you are able to keep your camera steady & can use much longer shutter speeds without camera shake. The longer your shutter is open, the more chance you will have of creating traffic trails & turning any movement into ghosting.  Tripods range in price & quality &  finding the right one for you may requirs some decent research. Two tripods that Dublin Photography School recommend are, the  Hahnel Triad Lite 60 Tripod & Manfrotto Compact Action Tripod . You can order them here (cheeky plug). When looking for a tripod it should satisfy a very simple requirement ….it has to be stable enough to keep your camera steady, after that, material, style, height, head & brand are a matter of personal preference.

Use A Low ISO:

Something that surprises many newbie photographers is using a low ISO….they have learned that a high ISO is used in dark & low light conditions & yes that is generally true (if you are shooting hand held at night), however since you went to all the hassle of dragging your tripod into town, you might as well achieve the best reuslts by using a low ISO. Your image will have less noise & less grain, & by creating longer shutter speeds you will add more creativity to your shot.

White Balance:

awb night photography

Most cameras by default are set to AWB (automatic white balance) & while this does a good job for about 99% of scenes, it will struggle to get colours correct at night, as the scene will be lit by multiple light sources, for example headlights, neon lights, traffic lights & street lights. This can easily confuse any camera system. The solution is simple however, you can change the white balance in your camera to match the scene. Try setting your camera to ‘Incandescent or Tungsten’ to eliminate that strong orange colour in your night images. Make sure to set it back to AWB when you are finished night shooting.

Try Using Manual Focus:

Many cameras will struggle to achieve focus in low light situations & how much it will struggle will depend on a couple of things. Firstly, how well lit up the scene is & the second is the camera model itself. To get around this & to make sure you have full control of your image, try turning on your camera’s manual focus & adjust the focus to the most prominent subject of interest in your scene. If you are not sure, simply focus one third of your scene as this will put a large amount of your scene into clear focus. Again remember to turn back on your ‘auto focus’ when finished, as it may result in all your images being out of focus when photographing later if you don’t.

Turn Off VR, IS, OS or SS:

night photography tripod

Image stabilization systems are designed for producing sharper handheld shots by utilizing tiny motors that cancel handshake & barrel vibration. This works fantastically & should always be left on when shooting handheld, however when used with a tripod, these motors  can actually cause the image to be slightly softened & look unsharp. So, remember switch it off while you have it on a tripod & then turn it back on once you have finished shooting.

Bonus Tip:

travel photography courses dublin

Why not  join the 7 week Beginners Course  at Dublin photography School. It includes two on location night shoots.

 

DPS Bites: 5 Tips For Better Night Photography

5 Tips For Better Night Photography

night photography courses dublinNight photography is a massive genre & can cover a huge range of subjects from astro photography & light painting, to landscapes taken under moonlight, traffic light trails & everything in between. Each one of these specific styles has it’s own rules & techniques that are popular among there practitioners, however this article is aimed at the beginner venturing out at night to photograph things like cityscapes with light & traffic trails. So, if you have just managed to get you head around ISO, F-stop & Shutter Speeds then you will be well on your way to nailing down traffic trails & night cityscapes.

Use A Tripod:night photography dublin

Like any good landacape shoot, night photography starts with a tripod. When using a tripod you are able to keep your camera steady & can use much longer shutter speeds without camera shake. The longer your shutter is open, the more chance you will have of creating traffic trails & turning any movement into ghosting.  Tripods range in price & quality, &  learning about them requires some decent research. Two tripods that Dublin Photography School recommend are, the  Hahnel Triad Lite 60 Tripod & Manfrotto Compact Action Tripod . You can order them here (cheeky plug). When looking for a tripod it should satisfy a very simple requirement ….it has to BE stable enough to keep your camera steady, after that, material, style, height, head & brand are a matter of personal preference.

Use A Low ISO:

Something that surprises many newbie photographers is using a low ISO….they have learned that ISO is used in dark & low light conditions & yes that’s generally true (if yoy are shooting hand held at night), however since you went to all of the hassle of dragging your tripod into town you might as well achieve the best reuslts by using a low ISO. Your image will have less noise & less grain & by creating longer shutter speeds you will add more creativity to your shot.

White Balance:

awb night photography

Most cameras by default are set to AWB (automatic white balance) & while this does a good job for about 99% of scenes, it will struggle to get colours correct at night as the the scene will be lit by multiple light sources, headlights, neon lights, traffic lights & street lights. This can easily confuse any camera system. The solution is simple however, you can change the white balance in your camera to match the scene. Try setting your camera to ‘Incandescent or Tungsten’ to eliminate that strong orange colour in your shots. Make sure to set it back to AWB when your done.

Try Using Manual Focus:

A lot of cameras will struggle to achieve focus in low light situations & how much it will struggle will depend on a couple of things, first off, how well lit up the scene is & the second is the camera model itself. To get around this & to make sure you have full control of your image, try turning on your camera’s manual focus & adjust the focus to the most prominent subject of interest in your scene. If you are not sure, simply focus one third of your scene as this will put a large amount of your scene into clear focus. Again remember to turn back on your ‘auto focus’, as it will result in all your images being out of focus when shooting later if you don’t.

Turn Off VR, IS, OS or SS:

night photography tripod

Image stabilization systems are designed for producing sharper handheld shots by utilizing tiny motors that cancel handshake & barrel vibration. This works fantastically & should always be left on when shooting handheld, however when used with a tripod, these motors  can actually cause the image to be slightly softened & look unsharp. So, remember switch it off while you have it on a tripod & then turn it back on once you have finished shooting.

Bonus Tip:

travel photography courses dublin

Why not  join the 7 week Beginners Course  at Dublin photography School. It includes two on location night shoots.

 

DPS Bites: 5 Tips For Better Wedding Photography

5 Tips For Better Wedding Photography

wedding photography course ireland

With the summer months upon us & the wedding season fast approaching, many of you out there may have been asked to photograph a family member or friend’s wedding. Saying ‘no thanks’ may not be an option, even though this may not be an area of photography that you are used to & you don’t really know where to start.

Wedding images should reflect the atmosphere, spirit & beauty of the occasion & as either a newbee wedding photographer or someone who has been asked to do a ‘favour’ for  a  family member or friend, these tips should get you going in the right direction.  Each wedding is unique & different in it’s own way, so for each one  go above & beyond & capture the warmth, emotion, beauty & romance of the day.

Create Your Shot List:wedding shot list - dublin photography school

 

Get  the  bride  &  groom to have a good think about the type of shots they want on their big day. Create a comprehensive shot list with everything included, from the preparations, through the wedding ceremony & onwards throughout the rest of the day.

Details, Details, Details:

wedding details - dublin photography school

Many couples will want everything photographed throughout the wedding day, a story from start to finish. Details make up this story. The dress, shoes, veil, button holes, mass booklets, flowers, menus, table settings & so on.

Shoot In Burst/Continuous Mode:

burst mode - dublin photography school

When it comes to those reportage/candid style shots you will need to think & act fast. If shooting with two cameras, switch one to continuous shooting mode so no opportunity is missed. Sometimes it’s the shot after the shot you meant to take that captures the moment beautifully.

Add Some Variety:

It is not always about showing the newly married couple kissing or in a loving embrace. Sometimes just connecting to each other by chatting, laughing or walking in the distance can itself be enough & can create a beautiful image.

Stay Out Of The Pros Way:

wedding photographer training ireland

It is very easy to get caught up in the excitement of the day, however with that in mind if you are not the official or designated photographer on the day, try to stay out of the way. The main photographer has been hired for a reason & should have priority. If you want to give the couple a fantastic array of images, let the professionals do their job & you can present a collection of images from different subjects & angles, documenting the day from a whole new perspective.

Bonus tip:

wedding photography training ireland

Why not come along to our  Wedding photography workshop on the stunning grounds of Russbourgh House. Although it’s not exactly a tip, it will teach you all the skills to start capturing the big day like a pro!

 

DPS Bites: 5 Tips For Better Travel Photography

5 Tips For Better Travel Photography

stewart kenny

When we think of travel photography we often think of the famous landmarks, monuments & attractions of the city or country we plan to visit. However for many people these famous sites are just the tip of the iceberg when visiting a new destination. To us here at DPS travel photography is so much more than just landmarks. To us it is a sub-genre of documentary & reportage photography that involves looking at landscapes, cultures, customs, people & their history. It conveys in an image a feeling that expresses the feeling of a particular time and place.
When we return from a holiday often it’s not the big things e.g. the Eiffel Tower or the Leaning Tower of Pisa that stick out in our mind but the smaller things. Details & quirks of the trip that spring to mind are e.g. small coffee shops, local markets or the artisans that ply their trade on the roadside. Food & art are things that make a culture unique. When we go away what we are looking to find is not what is similar to our own culture, but what is different. With all of this in mind, here are a few simple tips on what to look for when photographing on your adventures & travels.

Plan Your Kit:

travel photography tips for beginners

This is one of the most important considerations and one of the first things we teach on our travel photography workshop. Think about what kind of shots you want & make a list. If it’s mostly scenic landscapes then pack a wide angle lens, if it’s people a 50mm fixed or if it’s a mix of both, consider a zoom lens. Remember that it’s not always about what is in your kit bag!, a good compostiion can be achieved on a camera phone or a compact camera, will still look great on a web album or e.g. Instragram.

Be Prepared For Low Light:

DPS

A lot of the action takes place in the evening, especially in hotter climates where the heat of the day can be a little over whelming. Be prepared for shooting in low light & carry something portable that you can use as a tripod to create slow exposure effects. A mini gorilla pod or a table top tripod are small & portable & they will fold up neatly into your kit bag. They are ideal for use anywhere. However if you are stuck, then you can use a bean bag, a wall or a rolled up t-shirt.

The 1/640th Rule:

travel photography tips for beginners

When travelling we are often looking for a shutter speed that will freeze about 90% of everyday action. Try setting your camera to 1/640th of a second, while this will not freeze every scene, it will freeze most day to day scenes that you will come across where people & moving subjects are part of it.
Start walking around with your camera in TV or S mode. This will allow you to focus on framing & composing your image.

Buy Something For A Portrait:

travel photography courses ireland

A great way to break the ice with a local trader for example is to buy something small from them, then ask if you can take their portrait! Get chatting to them. Even if language is a barrier they will see from your body language that you have no alterior motive & they will often allow you to take their photograph. Stall holders, shop keepers & street musicians are often asked by travellers for photographs & will generally be willing to have their portrait taken. If fact many of them often play up for the camera.

Get Up High:

stewart kenny

High vantage points can be found almost everywhere. Even if your only photographing down-hill, it will make a massive difference to your images.
Get great scenes by getting up high, this can be as simple as photographing from your hotel window or by hiking up a hill, or even taking a drive into the mountains. Try to a have a point of interest in the foreground as a focus point so as to make the shot more interesting.

Bonus Tip:

travel photography courses dublin

Why not Take a travel photography workshop or photography holiday with DPS. While it is  not exactly a tip, it will teach you all the skills you need to know to capture that trip of a lifetime!

 

DPS Are Delighted To Have Teamed Up With The Guys In F1.0 Camera Repair

camera repairs dublinDPS are delighted to have teamed up with our friends at F/1.0 Camera Repair, to offer a fantastic discount* on DSLR/Bridge or Mirrorless camera and lens repairs to all Dublin Photography School members and students.

F/1.0 Camera Repair have a reputation for excellence and diligence, with an emphasis on outstanding customer care. The DPS staff have highly recommended them for a number of years now and are delighted to be able to offer this attractive incentive. Why not pop over and have a quick read of some of their Facebook reviews here.

To avail of the discount simply contact F/1.0 Camera Repair here and mention the course code which was issued to you by the DPS tutor on the day of your photography course or workshop (this is the same as your E-notes download code). There is a up to 10% discount* on camera repairs and sensor cleaning.

Please Note: When you contact F/1.0 Camera Repair, you must state the course code to avail of the special DPS discount. This code cannot be given at a later date. All discounts and dealings are at the sole discretion of the guys at F/1.0 Camera Repair.

*T&C’s Apply:

dublin photography school camera repairs

 

 


Please Note: Dublin Photography School have NO INVOLVEMENT with Camera repairs, we are simply offering an affiliate discount. All correspondence, quotes, repair advice and remittance are handled solely by F/1.0 Camera Repair.