Skip to main content

Posts

DSLR photography flash zoom explained with examples

Whether you are a beginner or a professional, flash units have proven to be helpful in low light situations for everyone. In addition to low light, flash units combined with a soft box can produce wonderful outdoor portraits. High speed sync, flash power, eTTL and iTTL are a few terms that can be easily heard during off camera flash discussions. In contrast to this, Flash zoom or flash focal length zoom is a term that does not often come into DSLR photography talks. Just like a variable focal length lens can zoom, a flash unit also has the capability to zoom in the light burst.

The zoom values given on flash unit are equivalent of 35 mm full frame camera focal length field of view. Some modern flash units adjust automatically according to the sensor format of camera (DX or FX) used, but not every flash has this add on. For better understanding, I will be using my Yongnuo 568 EX II flash unit as a test case. This unit has a built in zoom head reflector which controls the angle of ligh…

Top 3 reasons to shoot raw photos with your DSLR

There are dozens of raw formats available in today's digital photography world. Almost every DSLR camera these days has the capability to shoot raw photos. As a beginner, you might have encountered these files or heard about them already. But the big question is why shoot raw photos?  Most common raw formats include ARW, CR2, CR3, NEF, ERF, and PEF. As the name itself suggests, a raw image contains minimally processed data from the image sensor located inside the digital camera. A raw photograph has a lot more digital information as compared to an equivalent jpeg image. Consider raw as an equivalent of negatives if you shoot film. I have been shooting raw since the beginning of my photography journey, and can't say enough good things about it. The only possible discomfort I see about the raw format is the file size, but storage these days is so cheap. A good analogy about shooting raw format is like having raw ingredients when cooking a dish. Out of camera jpeg is like food c…

5 simple photography composition guidelines for beginners

Nailing the focus and exposure is one part of digital photography, other is how to compose your images creatively. Everyone has their own way of seeing things through a digital camera, but what makes a photo interesting? Either it is telling some sort of story or has a compelling composition. In simple words, the composition is how a photographer places the subject or visual elements before pressing the shutter.  In this post, we will see 5 composition guidelines that are easy to understand as a beginner. There are a lot of other techniques to compose a shot, but we can focus on the 5 described in this post for now. It is interesting to note that these are just guidelines, not hard rules. Word "rule" puts too much pressure and takes away the fun part of digital photography. Without much delay, let's discuss all 5 one by one with examples. 
1) Rule of thirds.
Also known as the simple version of the golden ratio, this guideline states to divide your scene into 3 equal col…

Five photography mistakes made by me as a beginner

Learning something new such as photography? Making mistakes is a normal part of the learning experience, everyone goes through it. The hard part is talking about those mistakes, the feeling of embarrassment and fear of being judged kicks in. Making a mistake is not some evil thing but its a step to achieve something or learn a skill. Surprisingly, this is coming from someone who was actually very afraid of making mistakes during teenage life and university.
Let's get down to what kind of things happened to me as a fresher to the field of digital photography:

1) Forgetting extra battery packs when going for photography adventures. Weather changes and long exposure shots cause faster consumption of DSLR battery power, I learned this the hard way. Took multiple shots of mini waterfalls and sunset during my first outdoor trip with a DSLR. As the night rolled in, I fixed my camera outside the tent to take multiple long exposure shots of the night sky. Within first one hour, the camera…

Top 5 landscape photography tips for beginners

The field of photography comprising natural earth elements in the form of a sunrise, sunset, weather changes, waterfall, mountain, ocean, river, lake and clouds is known as landscape photography.  It can be considered as a subset of nature photography. I started my journey of digital photography with landscape shots, and I still learn new things from like-minded people. A fair amount of background work goes in producing landscape shots. This could be in the form of post-processing, travelling to the location, waiting for the weather, etc. Without beating too much around the bush, here are my top 5 tips for every landscape photography beginner:

1) Make good use of the golden hour. DSLR photography is all about light, and golden hour is great for capturing those fantastic colours when the light is soft and vivid. Early morning sunlight (sunrise) or late evening sunlight (sunset) is suitable for any sort of photos, including outdoor portraits. Afternoon sun produces flat colours and har…

F2.8 vs F3.5 vs F4 lens aperture comparison with examples

I started the exciting journey of digital photography with 18-55 mm kit lens as my first glass. Being a variable aperture lens, it has a minimum aperture of F3.5 at 18 mm. The lens saw its fair share of adventures and ultimately was replaced with a fixed aperture lens.   Value of aperture is a part of the exposure triangle, which means it affects the amount of light hitting DSLR camera sensor. In addition to light, it also affects the amount of area in focus which is often referred to as Depth of Field. An image taken at F8 will have almost everything in focus when compared to an image taken at F2.8. Before someone jumps on me with their DOF vocabulary, this post is not about depth of field (DOF) in detail discussion. It is a simple comparison post for beginners to understand how lens aperture impacts background blur and low light performance. 
DSLR used: Canon 6D Lens used: Tamron 24-70 mm F2.8 DI VC USD
Bokeh (background blur) comparison:

Comparison animation in above photo shows ho…

Full frame vs cropped sensor DSLR focal length comparison

A user recently messaged on my Facebook page asking if they can use a Canon EF full frame lens on a cropped sensor DSLR?  They bought a second camera body and didn't want to spend money on another lens. After explaining to them the concept of change in focal length and depth of field, I thought of making a post on the same topic which will help total beginners too.  For this post, two lenses were used one by one on two different DSLR cameras. One lens is made for full frame cameras and the other for cropped sensor cameras. Canon T5i and Canon 6D were used to take the test images with both lenses. Let's see how focal length varies when a full frame lens is used on a cropped sensor camera. 
Lens: Tamron 24-70 DI VC USD Full frame EF mount lens
1) Focal length: 24 mm
2) Focal length: 70 mm
The position, lens focal length and camera alignment were kept exactly similar between both the photos used for creating above GIF animation. The crop factor which led to a change in focal len…