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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…

5 things to know for getting started with off camera DSLR flash photography

DSLR photography is all about light and seeing how it affects the photos we take. As a beginner, we first understand how to adjust camera settings according to the available light only. This is achieved by varying any value of exposure triangle (Aperture, ISO or Shutter speed). But what if there is no light or less light? Or the user does not want to bump the ISO or decrease shutter exposure time? The first natural thought that comes to mind is adding light.
Light can be added in so many different ways, off camera flash is the most common technique. Addition of flash opens up a whole new world of learning opportunities which is the inspiration behind this beginner focused post. While getting started with DSLR flash photography, there are a few important topics that must be understood beforehand. We will discuss these in a list wise order one by one. 
1) AF assist beam: This is a red color focus beam light generated by the external flash unit to help the camera focus in dark situation…

How to do exposure bracketing in digital photography?

Previously, we talked about various DSLR metering modes with examples and how they impact the output image.  In this post, we will focus on another important feature offered by modern day DSLR cameras known as automatic exposure bracketing. This feature is widely used by real estate and landscape photographers. Another major field of usage is HDR post-processing. 
Difference between AEB and Exposure Compensation: Exposure bracketing is a technique used to take multiple different exposure photos of the same scene. The topic of exposure bracketing is very closely related to exposure compensation, but they are not the same. Exposure compensation is when we tell the camera to expose a little less or little more than what the green exposure meter needle says. In more simple terms, we know how the output exposure would look like so we tell the camera to not follow the camera metering and do what the user says. The exposure is varied by the user in every shot. In automatic exposure bracketin…

What is White Balance and how it affects your DSLR photos

Ever took a photo that looked either too blue or too orange? This is a very common problem faced by DSLR photography folks when choosing a white balance setting.  Measured in degree kelvins, white balance helps to make a real-life white object look white in photos too.  In more layman terms, it makes the image colour temperature taken by the camera match closely and accurately with the real scene outside as seen by human eyes. White balance will not change your image exposure in any way, and varying the exposure settings will not impact the colour temperature of the image.  In order to get a realistic looking image which matches what we actually see, DSLR cameras allow us to adjust the white balance. Some of the commonly available preset white balance settings available in DSLR cameras are: -Tungsten -Fluorescent -Daylight -Flash -Shade -Cloudy These preset values work amazingly well only if you are sure of the lighting. If not, there is always automatic white balance mode which leav…

Photo taking modes in a DSLR and their differences.

Purchasing a DSLR is an exciting moment for every beginner, it opens a whole new world of learning opportunities. One thing that confuses us the most while taking photos with a DSLR is about understanding how different shooting modes work. Learning the mode control dials located on the top of a camera can be a daunting task. In this post, we will talk in depth about various photography modes in a DSLR and how they are different from each other.

Aperture priority: A mode or Av mode. For a shallow or deeper area in focus, aperture priority is the mode that could help. In this mode, we are guiding the camera to prioritize the value of aperture (F-stop ) over everything else. Let's say we want a sharp landscape image with good details. Assuming the aperture value to be set at F/7, the camera will take care of shutter speed and ISO (If in Auto). You can set threshold settings to let the camera know when to favour an increase in ISO instead of exposure time and vice-versa.  This mode do…