Best Photographic Equipment

  • Light Painting Photography 101 – The Basic Steps to Stunning Shots
    Art of Photography Guide,  Best Photographic Equipment,  Tips for Beginners

    Light Painting Photography 101 – The Basic Steps to Stunning Shots

    light painting photography is one of the most appealing techniques in the modern digital world. Despite being extremely easy to put into practice, the results are nothing short of stunning. In fact, it is a very pleasant way for beginners to visualize just how much they can do with their cameras.

    This technique requires very few prerequisites and a lot of creativity. In this article, we will teach you the basic steps of light painting photography, along with the camera settings you need to use to take amazing pictures of your own. We will also tell you all about light painting brushes and other devices that you can use for this technique.

    Light Painting Photography 101 – The Basic Steps to Stunning Shots

    Light Painting Overview

    Light painting photography is actually a subtype of long exposure photography. Your lens will be open for 30 seconds or more and it will capture the background image you select, as well as the light you place in the frame.

    The long exposure enables the camera to record the full movement of the light in one picture. Light painting photography makes use of this fact and controls the movement pattern to create a wide variety of shapes. The mastery of some photographers has turned this technique into a very impressive art form that is simply impossible to ignore.

    1. Long Exposure Time

    When you use the typical exposure times of one second or less, you only get to record the light in a static position. As such, even the strongest light will appear as a dot or a line, depending on the movement of the light source.

    Prolonging the exposure time to 30 seconds or more will give you the time you need to record more complex movements of the light source. This way, you can use the light to essentially “paint” anything you want to appear in the final shot.

    2. Dark Settings

    To maximize the intensity of the light source, you will need to shoot your pictures in a dark setting. You can either choose to shoot at night or turn the lights off in the room. Your main aim is that the source of the light you will use for painting is significantly more intense than the background light.

    3. Light Movement for Painting

    You can use flashlights, light pens, or glow sticks as your light source for painting. During the 30 seconds of exposure, move the flashlight to create the image you want in your photo. Your camera will capture the complete shape you have outlined.

    Light Painting Photography 101 – The Basic Steps to Stunning Shots

    Required Tools for Light Painting Photography

    A light painting photography session requires only a few basic tools that any beginner photographer has access to. Here is the complete list of prerequisites for the light painting experiment:

    • DSLR Camera. The settings for the light painting shots must be set manually. As such, a DSLR camera is required for this type of shooting.
    • It is essential that the camera remains perfectly still during the entire exposure time. As such, the camera must be secured on a tripod to capture the light movement accurately.
    • Light Source for Painting. Anything from a flashlight to a glow stick can be used in light painting photography. The light source must be more intense than the background light, but it does not have to be extremely strong in itself.

    Camera Settings for Light Painting Photography

    To achieve light painting, the camera must be set to focus strictly on the main light(s) rather than the background. As such, all the settings must be adjusted to achieve this goal. In this section of our article, we will offer photographers looking to experiment with light painting a few details on how to get their cameras ready.

    1. File Format

    RAW formats are preferred for light painting photography because these will ensure better quality editing. However, these are not mandatory. Cameras that do not support RAW formats may also be used for this experiment.

    2. Aperture

    To ensure that the lens is focused on the painting light (the main light) and not on the background light, your aperture must be f/8 or higher. f/11 is the preferred setting, go as high as possible on your camera.

    3. ISO

    As we have mentioned above, the lens must be focused on painting light and not the background light. As such, the ISO must be as low as possible to avoid adding artificial light into to your background. Cameras should be set for ISO 100 for this experiment.

    4. White Balance

    The white balance is typically selected according to the type of light used for painting. As such, “Tungsten” and “Incandescent” are the most used presets. However, this setting does not influence the results significantly, which gives the photographer the chance to choose.

    5. Exposure

    The exposure must be set manually for light painting. Any exposure time longer than 30 seconds is excellent, but good results can be achieved with shorter exposures as well.

    6. Focus

    The background of the photograph will be dark, which makes focusing quite difficult. We recommend that photographers use their flashlights on their subject to set the focus for the final photo.

    How to Use Light for Painting

    The shape of the light painting is determined by the movement of the light source during the exposure time. As such, photographers can experiment with various types of sources, such as flashlights or glow sticks of various colors shapes and sizes.

    The movement pattern can be adapted to create specific shapes such as spirals, orbs, domes, and even words or phrases. There are special techniques that can lead to specific shapes, but photographers can adapt these according to their imagination. Click here for HDR photography.

    Guidelines for Light Painting Photography

    While the photographers’ imagination can roam free, there are a few guidelines they should keep in mind to get the most out of their light painting experiment. Here are the most important things to remember:

    • Remaining invisible is key. Photographers must essentially blend in their dark backgrounds. To do so, they should wear dark colored clothing but most importantly, they should remember not to aim the light painting source at themselves.
    • The light painting source must always move. A fluid and continuous motion will lead to even lines in the final picture, whereas stopping will determine harsh lines and/or very bright spots that will stand out.
    • The light must not be aimed at the camera. The light must be aimed at the subject, rather than the camera, as this will create unwanted bright spots.
    • Getting close to the subject will create defined lines. Lighting up the subject from afar will create a discreet wide line. The closer the photographer gets to the subject, the narrower and more intense the light line gets.

    Ideal Settings for Light Painting Photography

    Photographers can use the light painting technique in virtually any type of dim lit setting. But there are a few key settings that they should include in their first experiments to get an idea of the boundaries of light painting.

    Light Painting Photography 101 – The Basic Steps to Stunning Shots
    • A Dark Room

    This is ground zero for light painting photography. Photographers can exercise their technique in a studio or even in their own homes. They can begin their experiment by turning off the lights and trying out their flashlights and glow sticks to see what they can do.

    • Gardens or Forests

    Trees look fantastic at dusk, which makes gardens and forests excellent settings for light painting photography. Photographers can begin shooting as the sun is setting and determine when the background light is dim enough for light painting.

    • Urban Settings by Night

    Urban settings are excellent for light photography. The street lights are static, which means that they will create bright spots in the final picture. Photographers can imagine shots that include these bright spots and that use them to create a certain effect.

    • Amusement Parks

    Amusement parks are filled with moving bright lights. In fact, these are excellent light sources for painting because they will create impressive shapes in the final shots. This is an excellent setting for beginners because they will be able to see the wonderful results of light painting.

    Light Painting Brushes

    These amazing tools enable photographers to create certain shapes with the light painting technique. They are called brushes because the texture of the light determines the type of lines created in the final shot. Here are some of the most used light painting brushes:

    • Fiber Optics. These create multiple thin streaks in the final shot. They can be used to create numerous effects like wings or fire.
    • Fiberglass Diamonds/ Feathers. These create wide lines in the final shot.
    • Opaque Light Writers. These create thick intense lines in the photo and they can be used for writing or drawing.
    • Light Sword. This creates the widest type of line and it can be used to color large parts of the background.

    Sharing Your Results

    Using the right tools, choosing the perfect location, and letting your imagination roam free is key to great results. Once you are happy with your light photography technique you will be proud to share your mesmerizing images. You can do so using online platforms like Flickr or DeviantArt or your personal social media channels.

    However, if you want to get a hard copy of your work that you can exhibit or offer as a gift, you should use professional printing services. Bumblejax.com provides an array of uniques styles you can choose from in order to turn your photographs into wall art.

    Conclusion

    Light painting photography is a modern technique that enables photographers to put their imagination to very good use. It is also the best possible experiment for understanding the complexity of long exposure photography. It is truly impressive what can be done with a camera, a tripod, and a flashlight.

    Comments Off on Light Painting Photography 101 – The Basic Steps to Stunning Shots
  • Akaso EK7000 Action Camera Review
    Best Photographic Equipment

    Akaso EK7000 Action Camera Review

    Akaso is known for their action cameras, which have become increasingly popular over the past decade. The EK7000 is one of their most advanced models and its main selling point is the 4K shooting capability. It’s a great asset for individuals who participate in extreme sports and want to document their adventures. The camera has been on the market for less than two years and has amassed thousands of reviews. It is also ranked as a #1 Best Seller on Amazon in the Cameras category. If you are not sure this is a good purchase for you, find out more in this Akaso EK7000 action camera review.

    General Specifications

    As we kick off this Akaso EK7000 action camera review, let’s take a quick look at the technical specifications and features that the camera has to offer.

    Type: Digital sports action camera
    Resolution: 1080p, 2.7K, 4K
    ISO:

    • Native ISO: Not specified
    • Extended ISO: Not specified

    Continuous shooting rate: 25 fps, 30 fps, 60 fps
    Size: 0.9″ x 2″ x 1.5″
    Weight: 1.4 pounds
    Media storage: MicroSD card

    Key Features

    With the Akaso EK7000 action camera, you have the option of shooting in 4K at 25 fps, 1080p at 30 fps, and 1080p at 60 fps. The camera has a 2″ LCD screen for viewing videos and a super wide angle lens that makes it easy to capture videos in all kinds of weather. We love the fact that you can use this camera 100 feet underwater without worrying about damage, thanks to the included waterproof casing.

    The WiFi capability is a nice bonus for individuals who love showing off their work to family and friends. You can also take advantage of this feature when editing or viewing videos on a phone or laptop. The Akaso EK7000 action camera also comes with a USB cable, a lens cloth, a protective backdoor, a bike stand, helmet mounts, and clips.

    Akaso EK7000 Action Camera Review

    Image Quality and Performance

    The whole point of owning a camera is taking quality shots and shooting great videos. That said, it only makes sense that our Akaso EK7000 action camera review touches on the camera’s image quality and performance. The Akaso EK7000 action camera is capable of shooting professional 2.7K footage at 30 fps and 4K at 25 fps. It captures 12MP still photos at up to 30 fps. The 170-degree wide angle lens is a welcome addition that creates a great immersive effect. For a camera in its price range, the auto focus is spot on and the colors are incredible.

    You can capture footage and still photos in any of the available modes including single photo, burst photo and time lapse. The sensor can capture 12MP still photos at 30 frames per second. Contrary to what you would expect from a 4K camera, the Akaso EK7000 action camera recordings don’t look very good when shot in slow motion and at higher resolutions. Videos shot at standard frame rate are not too shaky and look smooth. For more information about image quality and performance on https://ctb.ku.edu/maintain-quality-performance

    Design and Controls

    If there is one area where the Akaso EK7000 action camera excels, it is design and controls. All of the components are housed in a smooth silver build, which is then encased in a transparent cover. The Akaso EK7000 action camera is quite compact compared to other models and the sensor protrudes from the body, but this isn’t too much of a problem. It ships with a 2.4G RF remote control that allows you to record and take still photos while on the move.

    You can also use it to frame photos without using your hands. WiFi capability makes it easy to pair the camera with your iOS or Android device. However, you will have to download the Akaso app to take advantage of this feature. This camera is powered by two rechargeable 1050mAh batteries that allow for up to 90 minutes of recording time. It also ships with a waterproof casing that is IP68 certified, allowing you to use it at a maximum depth of 100 feet underwater without worrying about damage.

    Note: If these aspects are important to you but this camera isn’t exactly what you’re looking for, we also recommend reading our review of the Victure Action Camera.

    Pros

    There are many things to love about the Akaso EK7000 action camera some of which are mentioned below.

    • Has WiFi capabilities.
    • Compact and lightweight construction.
    • Shipped with handy accessories.
    • 4K ultraHD recording.
    • Has a 170-degree wide angle lens.
    • Picture quality is crisp and sharp.
    • Great sound quality.
    • Spare batteries are easily available.
    • Compatible with GoPro mounts.
    • Waterproof casing works for a maximum of eight hours.
    • Great color production and exposure.
    • Has the ability to shoot time lapse videos.

    Cons

    • Doesn’t have any internal memory.
    • Low resolution still photos could be better.
    • Battery life could be better.

    Recommendations

    If there is one thing that this Akaso EK7000 action camera review has revealed, it’s that this is one of the best sport action cameras on the market. For one, you can shoot 4K footage at 25fps. You can also opt for 1080p recording at 60 frames per second if you want the smoothest video quality. We love the waterproof casing as it allows you capture still photos and videos almost 100 feet underwater. What’s even better is that the inbuilt WiFi allows you to remotely control the camera via iOS or Android.

    Pro Tip

    The Akaso EK7000 is a great investment – in fact, its the best action camera in its price range. It has great video quality and behaves extremely well in all weather and visibility conditions. However, if you’re serious about your action videography and only want the best, we recommend also taking a look at the GoPro HERO6. It’s a bit more expensive, but it makes up for the extra investment with great still image quality and functionality. Learn more techniques about abstract photography.

    Verdict

    For the adrenaline junkie who loves documenting their adventures, the Akaso EK7000 action camera would make a great investment. It works great for documenting skydiving, skiing, surfing, bike rides, runs and hikes. The camera boasts superior recording and excellent performance, something that extreme sport enthusiast look for. Users can mount it on the helmet, surf board, chest or bike and utilize their phones or remote control to frame shots. This action camera comes with many useful accessories including USB cable, remote control, bike stand, helmet mounts, batteries and more for an exceptional shooting experience.

    Comments Off on Akaso EK7000 Action Camera Review
  • Canon PowerShot SX620 Review
    Art of Photography Guide,  Best Photographic Equipment

    Canon PowerShot SX620 Review

    If you are looking into cameras, whether DSLR, SLR, or point and shoot, you have likely noticed that there are a lot of options out there. Each model you look at probably has something different or unique to offer, so finding the right camera for you has become a battle of compromise and prioritization. Our goal here is to clarify models like the Canon Powershot SX620 and its competitors, so you can know exactly where they stand in terms of what you are looking for.

    Trying to find a camera that has the right balance of what you need in terms of features, specs, and budget can be quite a long night’s worth of research.  If you are looking for something with a kick in the area of specs and features, but maybe doesn’t make such a dent in your budget, then this is the article for you!

    What Is Canon PowerShot SX620?

    The Canon Powershot SX620 is a point and shoot camera that utilizes high tech specs to put in on the map as a day-to-day camera for beginners, or a traveling photographer’s back up or portable option. It brings 20 megapixels to the table which is great for daily photography and on-the-go photography as well. 

    It also has a 25x optical zoom with 50x ZoomPlus, which is a good range for most basic photography needs. With a shutter speed range of 15-1/2000 seconds, the Canon Powershot SX620 has most types of photography handled in that range.

    Canon PowerShot SX620 Review

    The Canon Powershot SX620 offers many shooting modes—some standard like portrait and night scene, but many creative modes as well like fireworks, hybrid, fish-eye, poster effect, long shutter, and more. While there is no manual shooting option, the various creative and standard modes offer a wide array of pre-programmed specs to play with.

    Wi-fi, GPS, and NFC pairing are available with this model as well as print connection to make syncing, sending, uploading, and printing pictures fast, easy, and part of the photo-taking process.

    PRODUCT SPECS  

    This camera offers 20 megapixels which works well for most, and is high enough for some editing and a little blowing up. While on the lower end, the 25x optical zoom does help fill the gap users feel between a point and shoot and a DSLR model in terms of range, and the added image stabilizer helps ensure a clean photo. 

    The shutter speed range of 15-1/2000 is great—especially for the firework mode—and there is a lot of room in there to play with, but the ISO range is lacking at only 80-3200. The lower end of that range will work decently for low-light environments, but the rest of the bracket is fairly standard—if not below the standard—when compared to many cameras on the market now.

    The Canon Powershot SX620 offers a lot of standard and creative shooting modes that each come with pre-programmed settings. So, while the lack of a manual mode will be felt, there are a lot of options to play with in an attempt to alleviate that gap.

    Wi-fi, GPS, and NFC abilities round out this model in terms of up-to-date features that have become necessary in today’s photography world. The Canon Powershot SX620 also offers a video mode of 1080p full HD.

    Unlike many point and shoot cameras, the Canon Powershot SX620 is not meant to be a one-time only camera, so it also offers rechargeable batteries to replace the need for carrying an endless supply of AAs on every vacation with you. This addition is incredibly helpful for all users, though we do wish the battery life would last longer than 280 shots.

    Pricing  

    Prices on the market are always changing, and this is especially true for cameras. On average, we found this model online, which has a fair price. However, if you are looking for less expensive options, Amazon.com always has used and refurbished options that may fit well in your budget.

    Canon PowerShot SX620 Review

    How It Compares

    We picked a few similar products available on the market to see how they compare.     

    As we said, this is a fair price, but we understand if it is a little outside of the budget for some. We recommend looking into used or refurbished options if you need a little more wiggle room in that price bracket.

    Ease of Use

    The Canon Powershot SX620 is designed to be easy to use. It is a great grab-and-go camera and has an easy setup and simple interface so you do not need to do much fiddling to get the camera where it needs to be for that perfect shot. 

    This camera body is small and compact, but that does not mean it is lacking in support. Though it is slim, the Canon Powershot SX620 still offers a grip around the side of the body as well as a thumb rest to aid in better handling.

    Our one real complaint is the lack of a touchscreen, which would make menu navigation and photo editing so much easier and faster. This would also appeal more to the users of today’s generation and would be more second nature to many users in general.

    Performance

    With decent megapixels and a higher optical zoom than the previous model, we expected a little bit more from the Canon Powershot SX620. As is, while the shooting modes are fun and offer lots of creative input, the combined specs of image quality and creative shooting or editing is not something new. In fact, it is something most users have in their pocket already: a smartphone. 

    With the exception of the zoom, many users may feel it is a slight downgrade from their smartphones as many newer phones offer manual mode-like editing and adjustments. If you do not have or plan on having a smartphone, then this camera may be worth the money. Otherwise, you probably already have all the specs and features this model offers sitting next to Facebook and Candy Crush.

    Design Quality  

    The design is slim and easily portable, which users appreciate, and the screen (though not a touchscreen) is very bright and colorful in any type of lighting. Everything the camera offers is easily accessible, and we cannot fault the Canon Powershot SX620 for the thought that went into the design. We can, however, suggest the addition of a rotating touchscreen to help in interface quality and variability in shooting angles.

    Warranty  

    Canon has a 1-year limited warranty for parts and labor for errors on their end. For a model in this price bracket, that is not a bad deal. However, given the retreat Canon has had with their lower end models on the market, it may be difficult to get replacement parts from them.

    PROS

    • Decent megapixels
    • Lots of shooting modes
    • Bigger zoom than smartphone
    • Wi-fi/GPS/NFC

    CONS

    • No touchscreen
    • Most features are already available on smartphones
    • No manual options

    This model offers 20 megapixels, but only 15x optical zoom. As a compact camera, the lens sensor is relatively large at 1 inch, which means this camera should work well in low-light environments. Like the Canon Powershot SX620, this camera works well for those on the go or needing something small to travel with. This model has 4K video capabilities, which is rare for such a small model, and the added touchscreen means there are lots of navigational and editorial options.

    This is quite a price jump up from the Canon Powershot SX620, and while this model does offer more, we really cannot say that we agree with the price. If you have your heart set on this model, though, look through the used or refurbished options on Amazon—you will likely find one that fits better in your budget.

    The aid of a touchscreen makes navigation even easier on this model, and it was easy to begin with. We have no complaints, nor have we found complaints on how this model operates and navigates. The build is intuitive and simple to pick up and go—no tutorial needed. 

    Compared to the Canon Powershot SX620, this camera has more options that your smartphone cannot give you in terms of shooting modes and quality; however, the price is just too high if you are simply wanting to outdo your phone. For a couple hundred more, you could get a decent beginners’ DSLR kit and have a lot of options that are not available to you otherwise. 

    Canon PowerShot SX620 Review

    One thing to look at in this camera is the 4K photo isolation. It happens in-camera and you can pull great images out of 4K videos—which is something many smartphones would have a hard time with. This camera also has in-camera RAW photo editing and angle prediction when shooting video.

    The lens was one feature many users were excited about. It is a lens that works well with wide-angle shots as well as telephoto shots and most things in between. However, this is also where this model saw the most complaints. Many users felt that the lens and shutter operated slowly and were a bit clunky. Click here for beginners Photoshop tutorials.

    This model is well designed to be compact and easily portable. It is also a full-metal camera, which does add some points in terms of durability. Our only suggestion (which is the suggestion of some users as well) would be to add some weather proofing since the camera’s specs work well in different environments.

    Warranty  

    There is a limited warranty for manufacturer errors; however, we feel that with the cost of this model, some added protection would be appreciated.

    PROS

    • Decent megapixels
    • Durable body
    • 4K video
    • Photo isolation
    • RAW options
    • Touchscreen
    • Wi-fi

    CONS

    • Lens is slow
    • No tilting screen
    • High price

    Similar to the previous models, this camera offers 20 megapixels. However, it does have a higher optical zoom at 35x. It is not the zoom that helps this camera stand apart, though; it is the manual shooting option. Being able to switch over to manual is a coveted option for point and shoot users, and this model gives just that. This camera also has 4K video and Bluetooth connectivity so on the go users have nothing to worry about—no matter what they are shooting. While there is no viewfinder on this model, there is a tilting 3-inch screen to show you what you are looking at any angle.

    While this model has good specs, the sensor is a little small for this price point. Low-light shots will not be well captured, and this is a wide range of shots taken by users, so we feel the price should show that.

    Ease of Use

    While the use of the camera’s photo-taking settings are simple and easy to understand, setting up Snapbridge to sync photos or videos can be a pain. It is not as intuitive as some users hoped, and can be confusing to use with different computers or phones as some are less compatible. 

    Performance

    Given the specs, we were excited to explore this model. However, it fell short in more ways than one. The battery was our biggest complaint, and many users agree. It struggles to get through the promised 29 minutes of 4K video—often not making it halfway. Many users have needed to replace the batteries soon after purchasing as they do not seem to hold a charge well. This can be a real pain, especially if you want this camera for travel purposes.

    Our second issue was with the photo focus, which is soft at best and nowhere near as clear as we were hoping, especially after 15-20x zoom. This can really impact photo quality and was disappointing.

    Design Quality  

    While this model is a compact camera, it is on the clunkier side of the spectrum. There have also been complaints about how easy it is to crack or scratch the screen.

    Warranty  

    While there is a limited warranty, many users have had trouble using it, especially when it comes to replacing batteries so often.

    PROS

    • 4K video
    • 35x optical zoom
    • Bluetooth
    • Tilting screen

    CONS

    • Slow zoom and shutter
    • Poor image clarity after 20x zoom
    • Weak batteries
    • Not durable

    This camera was built as a rugged point and shoot. It offers 16 megapixels and is waterproof up to 50 feet and shockproof up to almost 6 feet. With only 5x optical zoom, it is not even in the competition for zoom range, but the fact that it can be taken almost anywhere to capture such a variety of images is a feat on its own.

    Given the rugged nature of the camera, we think this price is pretty fair.

    Ease of Use

    This really is a get-up-and-go camera. It is structured to be basic and easy to pick up so you do not need to spend time fidgeting with it.

    Performance

    The 16 megapixels do not do a lot to help quality, but the fact that this camera can perform where many others cannot is commendable. The zoom is almost negligible, though, and with not many shooting options this camera is fairly basic in terms of performance. 

    Design Quality  

    While there is always a more waterproof or shockproof camera out there, we feel that what this model has to offer fills many users’ needs. It’s designed to be compact and durable, and that is exactly what it is.

    Warranty  

    While there is a warranty, it is limited and we feel that rugged cameras especially require a different warranty to match their more risky usage.

    PROS

    • Waterproof
    • Shockproof
    • Durable body
    • Easy to use

    CONS

    • Low megapixels
    • Poor zoom
    • No unique features

    CONCLUSION

    After looking through each of these cameras and comparing specs and features, we feel the Canon Powershot SX620 deserves 3 out of 5 stars overall. It is mainly its performance bringing it down as we feel many users will likely have all of this camera’s capabilities and more in their smartphone already. While the specs and features are not poor, they are definitely behind, so we recommend looking elsewhere for newer features and more creative shooting opportunities.

  • Family Picture Ideas: 12 Ideas to Give your Photos More Relaxed and Natural Vibes
    Art of Photography Guide,  Best Photographic Equipment,  Tips for Beginners

    Family Picture Ideas: 12 Ideas to Give your Photos More Relaxed and Natural Vibes

    With the proliferation of camera phones, anyone can take a photo, and with the amazing quality of the lenses on the most recent generation of smartphones, it’s easy to take a good one. Nevertheless, with all the suggestions out there for family picture ideas, it can be difficult to decide what to do, and the bar seems to have been set rather high by professional Instagrammers and Facebook enthusiasts.

    The “selfie age” is a very different time from when photos were taken on film, and each shot was precious. You might think you had it tough as a child posing for school photos, but things were even worse a bit further back in time. When Victorians had their pictures taken and photography was the latest thing, the photographer would first put the subject’s head in a clamp to make sure they couldn’t move and spoil the photo, and it could take as long as fifteen minutes of sitting very still just to take one picture.

    What Is a Family Picture? 

    If you think of a family picture, the first thing that springs to your mind may be a rigid posed photo with frozen smiles, taken against a strange background in a professional photographer’s studio. However, it doesn’t need to be like this. Though you may still choose to use a professional photographer, there are a whole host of fun, modern family picture ideas that you can try out to give your photos a more relaxed and natural vibe.

    Is There a Need for Family Pictures? 

    Fewer people are having photos printed now that they can store thousands of images on their phone, on their computer, or in the cloud. But that doesn’t mean photos aren’t still needed. If you’re a parent, you’ll want to have photos of your kids as they grow up, and everyone wants to have photos of happy events and vacations so they can remember the good times.

    In addition, in a world where extended families are living increasingly far away from each other, photos can help distant relatives to stay informed on how your family is doing, and what they all look like now. The epitome of this concept is, of course, “The Christmas Card Photo,” but many photo-bloggers and Pinterest boards suggest family picture ideas which can be taken and sent to friends and family at all times of the year.

    Family Picture Ideas: 12 Ideas to Give your Photos More Relaxed and Natural Vibes

    General Photo Tips

    Before we move on to the family picture ideas, here are some general tips to help you take better photos. Firstly, good lighting makes a good photo, so try to take your photos in natural light. When shooting outside, if possible, make sure that the sun is behind you. This will make the colors seem brighter and more vivid.

    For people who don’t like having their photo taken or freeze up when told to smile, try to encourage them to look at the photographer and not the camera. If you’re taking the pictures, tell some jokes to lighten the mood and get everyone smiling naturally. It may take more tries to get a photo, but the end result will be a hundred times better if everyone has a genuine smile on their face.

    12 Family Picture Ideas

    We’ve put together a list of family picture ideas to help you raise your photo game, as well as tips and pointers for helping camera-shy kids enjoy the photo-taking experience.

    Ugly Christmas Sweater

    You’ve all seen the ugly Christmas sweaters pop up every year as soon as Halloween is over. Now you can use this most charmingly hideous of garments as they key feature of a family photo. Your family could get matching sweaters, or all go down to Target or Walmart together to choose the ones you want. This can be a way of helping kids who don’t like having their photo taken to get into the swing of things. Getting to choose what they will wear can help them feel more comfortable when the time comes to take the photos.

    Reportage

    Reportage is a photo-taking style sometimes known as “documentary photography.” The photos taken in this style are unposed and natural, and capture people in the moment. If you have a friend with a camera, why not get them to come round and hang out with you and your family for a couple of hours? Do something all together, and forget about the camera watching you. This should capture the authentic look of your family all doing something they enjoy together. This is the perfect approach if any of you do not like having to smile for the camera.

    Black and White

    There is something classically elegant about a black-and-white photo. Luckily, simple photo editing programs now come not only installed on computers but also phones. If you want to put your family photo into black and white, there should be a variety of filters available for you to get the black-and-white look you prefer.

    Pets

    They’re part of your family anyway, so if you have pets, why not include them in your family picture? Not only are pets usually cute, but you never know what they’re going to do next. This can lead to your family pictures having a more informal and spontaneous look to them, which is great.

    Costumes

    Whether for a holiday occasion or just for fun, taking family photos with costumes and props can be a good way of having fun with your photo shoot. Wigs, fake noses, mustaches, and hats — you name it! Anything can be used to add some humor to your picture. This idea is another good one for your family if any of you are camera-shy, because messing around with some props or hiding behind a comic mustache can be a good way of allaying some of the anxieties associated with having your picture taken.

    Special Message

    If you want to send a special message or holiday greeting with your photo, you can do that with a set of letters cut out of colored card, or with a whiteboard or chalkboard for that quirky Instagram look.

    Family Picture Ideas: 12 Ideas to Give your Photos More Relaxed and Natural Vibes

    Album Cover or Painting

    Why not take inspiration from an album cover? You could recreate the Beatles’ iconic Abbey Road album cover at your local crossing point — just be careful not to get caught in the road when the lights change! Or, if art is more your thing than music, you might want to take your inspiration from a painting. That might mean a subtle homage to Rockwell’s “Freedom From Want” in celebration of Thanksgiving, or a less subtle, tongue-in-cheek re-interpretation of “Dogs Playing Poker.”

    Silhouette

    If you time your photo-taking right, you can get a silhouetted shot of your family against a beautiful sky. For this shot, you’ll need to have the light behind the subject, rather than behind the photo taker, or you won’t get the silhouetted effect. If you take the time to find the right moment, the results can be absolutely stunning.

    In Your Favorite Place

    If there is a place that your family loves to spend time? Why not take a family picture there? It might be somewhere on a hike with a great view or somewhere mundane like on the sofa together. Either way, the significance of the place will mean that whenever you look back at that photo, it will remind you of the good times you spent there together.

    Recreate an Old Classic

    Perhaps there is a photo you love from when your kids were younger. Or, if you’re a grown-up kid yourself, maybe there is a photo your parents like. It might be one of you and your siblings in the bath, or burying your youngest brother up to his neck in sand, or with your faces painted like different wild animals. Whatever the setting and costumes, you can recreate the old photo with your current-day selves. All you need to do is get together with whoever was in the original photo, and find a similar location and clothes. When you take the photo, try to recreate the faces you all had in the original photo.

    Family Selfie

    As simple as it sounds. Find a place with good lighting, squash your faces together, and give the camera to the person with the longest arms. This has the advantage of being one of the easiest to accomplish of the family picture ideas and does not require any advance preparation.

    Let the Kids Decide

    If you’ve got kids, and especially if they don’t all like having their pictures taken, then consult with them on what they’d like for the family picture. This might include holding their favorite toys, being allowed to wear their favorite clothes, or all doing silly faces. Even if you have to do a bit of wrangling as a family to work out what you’re going to do, allowing your kids to suggest family picture ideas and including them in the decision-making process will most likely make for a better picture overall.

    Conclusion

    We don’t want you to feel overwhelmed by all these family picture ideas. If you spend too much time on Instagram, it’s easy to feel like everybody is taking better photos than you. However, at the end of the day, you should do what works for you and your family. That might mean a lot of elaborate dressing up, or it might just mean all going for a walk together and taking a selfie.

    Comments Off on Family Picture Ideas: 12 Ideas to Give your Photos More Relaxed and Natural Vibes
  • SONY CYBER-SHOT DSC-RX100 REVIEW
    Art of Photography Guide,  Best Photographic Equipment

    SONY CYBER-SHOT DSC-RX100 REVIEW

    Since the release of the new Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-RX100 in 2012, Sony has been making updates to the cameras and releasing one iteration every year. This makes a total of five cameras in the DSC-RX100 series. The first version, Cyber-Shot DSC-RX100 has been a popular point-and-shoot camera that has widely been used among photographers.

    Named the ‘European Advanced Compact Camera for 2012-2013’ by the EISA (European Imaging and Sound Association), this feature-packed compact camera makes a good choice for discerning photographers. The camera was also named one of the ‘Best Inventions of 2012’ by TIME.

    So if you are an expert photographer looking for a premium compact camera or just want to up your point-and-shoot photography, DSC-RX100 offers superior quality and DSLR-like operation in a classy, pocket-friendly package. Let’s find out what makes this camera a solid choice for photographers in this Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 review.

    GENERAL SPECIFICATIONS

    Despite the availability of relatively small and large mirror-less models in the industry, the DSC-RX100 has been highly-regarded as the best DSLR in the market. Let’s have a look at the camera’s specs:

    SONY CYBER-SHOT DSC-RX100 REVIEW

    Type: Point-and-shoot, compact camera
    Resolution: 20.2 megapixels, max resolution at 5472 x 3648
    ISO:
    Native ISO: 125-6400
    Extended ISO: 80 – 25,600
    Shutter Speed: 1/2000 seconds maximum and 30 seconds minimum
    Continuous Shooting Rate: 10 fps
    Size: 102×58×36mm or 4.00 x 2.29 x 1.41 in
    Weight: 240g/7.51 oz. (body only), 8.47 oz. (with battery)
    Media Storage: SD Card, SDHC, and SDXC memory card

    Pricing Options:

    • Price in Sony Store: $399.99
    • New on Amazon: $398.00 free shipping
    • On Sale: $360.60
    • Used: $269.99 plus $4.99 shipping
    • Refurbished: $269.00
    • Kit Options: carrying case, power battery, charger and SD card at $47.32

    KEY FEATURES

    One of the unique features of this award-winning compact camera is that its LCD screen uses WhiteMagic™ technology to provide high contrast. Therefore, photographers who have trouble taking photos in bright sunlight do have to worry anymore. The technology uses an extra subpixel, adding a white to the blue, red and green that common cameras have. By combining this sophisticated new feature with advanced algorithms, the display becomes twice as bright.

    The Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-RX100 uses three steps to provide great shots. For starters, the F1.8 ZEISS® Vario-Sonnar® T* lens has a wide aperture that captures a larger part of the photo. The lens allows you to capture spontaneous photos and will regularly offer high-quality images full of contrast in any lighting condition. Second, the 20.2MP CMOS sensor captures extremely low light shots. Unlike the DSC-RX100, the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 iii, iv and v use a sensor resolution of 20.1 MP. Lastly; the powerful BIONZ® processor has a diffraction-reducing technology that produces smooth detail.

    SONY CYBER-SHOT DSC-RX100 REVIEW

    IMAGE QUALITY & PERFORMANCE

    Digital Camera manufacturers have done an impressive job in convincing consumers that the best point-and-shoot cameras are those with a large number of pixels. Well, Cyber-Shot DSC-RX100’s resolution is unmatched. The camera has a fairly large resolution of 20.2MP just like its successor, the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 ii. This feature together with its large sensor and high-quality Zeiss lens allows the camera to provide photographers with remarkably sharp, detailed images.

    The DSC-RX100 has a high ISO performance, but it is not up to the level of the best APS-C sensor SLRs. However, the ISO performance of the Cyber-Shot DSC-RX100 delivers as it produces images with relatively less noise at high ISO.

    Since the DSC-RX100 mainly targets serious enthusiast photographers, it does not exclude any of the most professional-oriented features. For instance, the camera can be used for manual shooting. Photographers can manually select settings like aperture, ISO and shutter speed to craft images according to their preferences. The user-definable function surrounding the lens makes composing photos enjoyable and intuitive.

    The DSC-RX100 has a solid battery life for a compact camera that produces high-quality images. Point-and-shoot cameras can shoot more than 200 images on a single battery, but the DSC-RX100 can shoot 330 photographs before it needs to recharge.

    The video abilities of the DSC-RX100 are impressive for its size. It can capture complete HD videos (1080p) at up to 60 frames per second. If these files are too large for sharing via social media or for simple home videos, you can choose from a collection of smaller, lower resolution options.

    DESIGN & CONTROLS

    The modern high-end point-and-shoot cameras have features like GPS, NFC, touchscreen displays and Wi-Fi connectivity to make it easier to display location data and share photos. The DSC-RX100 does not follow this trend but rather sheds everything including the optical or digital viewfinder to offer premium elements that enhance image quality.

    The camera has all other software features available in high-end point-and-shoot cameras. It has a SteadyShot Active Mode that corrects shaky camera movements like while zooming or walking. The Superior Auto Mode changes the camera settings automatically for sharp images with high dynamic range and low noise. The DSC-RX100’s autofocus is fast and accurate to ensure everything stays pin-sharp even in low-light conditions. In addition, there is a host of other controls that let you make quick, simple adjustments to brightness, color and other preview changes in real time.

    PROS

    The DSC-RX100 has a lot to offer enthusiast photographers regarding image quality and performance. Its strong suits include:

    • It has a fast F1.84.9, 28 100 mm Zeiss lens
    • Features a large 1in CMOS Exmor sensor
    • It produces high-quality images for a point-and-shoot camera
    • The quality of the zoom lens is incomparable
    • It has a strong built-in flash
    • The camera has a high-quality viewfinder and integrated EVF
    • It has a strong battery life of up to 330 shots
    • The inbuilt ND filter takes sharp photos and video in bright light

    CONS

    Despite being a well-regarded compact camera, the Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-RX100 has sacrificed a lot of some of the key features that could have made it unique. They are listed below:

    • It is relatively expensive for a compact camera
    • The camera has a red-eye problem
    • It does not have GeoTagging or Wi-Fi
    • It is hard to access the HDMI port located at the bottom of the camera
    • High megapixel photos take long to transfer and fill the hard drive quite fast
    • It does not have a touchscreen

    RECOMMENDATIONS

    The DSC-RX100 is ideal for portraits, travel, and street photography. It is a perfect step-up model for point-and-shoot photographers who do not prefer DSLR or compact system cameras. It is also an excellent choice for novice photographers who want to capture professional-looking photographs without having to carry a camera bag.

    Professionals who are looking for a high-quality, pocket-sized second camera can opt for the DSC-RX100.

    VERDICT

    The camera is quite expensive for a point-and-shoot compact camera. But you will understand why you spent that much money every time you transfer a batch of its pictures to your computer. You will click through them and become astonished on how the camera captures the emotion of a scene, enshrining a memory you never want to forget.

    With the DSC-RX100, amateur photographers no longer need a big camera to produce pro-quality images.

    If you love photography, you will appreciate how Sony is giving the camera industry an excellent hard shove into the future. And we are sure you will love what the brand has to offer in this model. Share your experience with us if you own the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100.

    Comments Off on SONY CYBER-SHOT DSC-RX100 REVIEW
  • SONY ALPHA A6000 REVIEW
    Art of Photography Guide,  Best Photographic Equipment

    SONY ALPHA A6000 REVIEW

    The Sony Alpha A6000 is a dynamic and sophisticated mirrorless camera with a 24.3 MP and APS-C Exmor APS sensor. It also brags of the Bionz X processor that delivers exceptional image qualities. This gadget falls in the same category with Sony’s mirrorless line-up but brings with it some far-reaching tweaks based on its functionality and performance. The selling point of the A6000 is the Hybrid Autofocus System which makes shooting a whole lot easier. This camera is suited for enthusiast photographers looking for a secondary camera or would like to try out the mirrorless cameras.

    GENERAL SPECIFICATIONS

    SONY ALPHA A6000 REVIEW

    The A6000 series is an update of the Sony NEX-6 which is a cutting edge CSC to date. However, in this Sony Alpha A6000 review, we are going to discover the new features it brings to the table together with its variation to the predecessor mirrorless camera.

    Type: Mirrorless AF Viewfinder with APS-C sensor
    Resolution: 24.3 megapixels and 1920 x 1080 video resolution
    ISO: Native ISO: 100 to 25600
    Extended ISO: 100 to 51200
    Shutter Speed: 1/4000 to thirty seconds
    Continuous Shooting Rate: 11.1 frames per second
    Size: 4.7 in x 2.6 in x 1.8 in or
    (120 x 67 x 45 mm)
    Weight: 16.5 oz. or 468 g
    Including batteries, kit lens
    Media Storage: MS PRO Duo, SD Card, SDHC or SDXC

    Pricing Options:

    • Price in Sony store: $479.99
    • New on Amazon$478.00 with free shipping
    • On Sale: $478.00
    • Used: $394.99 plus $9.72 shipping fee
    • Refurbished: $499.95
    • Kit Options: $799 for a kit containing the 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 power zoom lens.

    KEY FEATURES

    The Sony Alpha A6000 mirrorless digital camera takes after the famous mirrorless camera series from the Sony company and surely doesn’t disappoint the audience. It borrows some features from the previous model such as the build and design.

    The Alpha A6000 brings with it some major features like the zebra pattern which helps the user choose a brightness level. You can also output a clean video via the HDMI port. The menu has also been changed to a new Alpha Design making it able to be controlled through a Mac or a PC via a USB connection. It also has a Wi-Fi connectivity capability.

    The Hybrid autofocus makes the A6000 stand out from the rest in its category. In addition to the 25-point contrast detection, the number of Phase detection points has been incremented from the former 99 to 179. These new characteristics increases the camera’s coverage area to 92 percent of the frame; a feature that is very vital in shooting mobile objects.

    The Bionz X processor is way more powerful than the other cameras in the line-up providing a baseline for development of higher processing power.

    SONY ALPHA A6000 REVIEW

    IMAGE QUALITY AND PERFORMANCE

    Starting from the sensor, the Alpha A6000’s APS-C-sized Exmor APS HD CMOS in collaboration with the Bionz X sensor provides excellent image qualities with little noise in all conditions. The sensor is also responsible for high operation speeds within the camera.

    The hybrid autofocus system is integrated with a 179-point phase detection, and a 25-point contrast detection allowing the camera to achieve an accurate focus in less than 0.06 seconds. The AF brings the object into fine focus while the contrast AF adjusts the sharpness of the subject matter for better accuracy and quality. The system also provides the platform for tracking when shooting in bursts of 11 frames per second or in video shooting.

    Complete high definition recording is allowed at 24 to 60 frames per second in the superior quality 50Mbps XAVC Standard Codec. The camera can shoot even the HD 1080p at 28mbps as well as allow dual video recording. The built-in stereo microphone complements the video competency of the Sony Alpha A6000.

    DESIGN AND CONTROLS

    The camera assumes a compact and featherweight outline with an incorporation of an electronic viewfinder. The LCD in the rear is also large for better display. The camera has a refined optical system with the help of Tru-Finder 0.39″ 1,440k-dot OLED EVF that gives a full frame coverage. Its extra fine monitor enables precise compositions, image review, and smooth menu navigation.

    Sony A6000 supports a customizable user interface that contains the function button plus other seven buttons. You can assign to them any of the forty-seven possible functions for controlling the camera’s operations. Consequently, additional buttons at the top provide an instinctive way of selecting important camera settings. There is an inbuilt pop-up flash for low light conditions.

    You can also attach extra kits such as flashes, video lighting, and voice outputs through the multi-user interface. The two ports in the door on the left of the camera are the multi-interface port and the USB for charging or attachment of a wired remote.

    SONY ALPHA A6000 REVIEW

    PROS

    • The 24.1-megapixel camera is the best among the other members of its category.
    • It has a fast continuous shooting speed of up to 11 frames per second.
    • The hybrid autofocus is leading in its class.
    • It has a great video control as well as an excellent manual exposure.
    • The viewfinder is top notch and very responsive.
    • The sharpening of the camera produces good JPEG images.
    • Additional features such as the sweep panorama and automatic object framing make it stand out from the rest.
    • It is Wi-Fi supports with a variety of options
    • Charging it is quite convenient based on the USB-support feature.

    CONS

    • The flash exposure is overrated.
    • It lacks the capability for raw conversion within the camera.
    • Noise reduction with the A6000 can be rather cumbersome for some people.
    • It has a limited battery life despite the fact that the information on utilization and remaining charge is indicated.
    • The positioning of the movie record button may lead to a shaken footage at the beginning and end of clips.
    • Its lens range is rather minimal as compared to that of competitors in the market.

    RECOMMENDATIONS

    The Sony Alpha A6000 mirrorless digital camera is the company’s first E-mount camera to replace the NEX branding that initiated the production of the mirrorless designs. Despite borrowing a few features from the NEX-6, it has ground-breaking features making it a whole different photography tool. The only hitch you may note is that the viewfinder has been slightly downgraded in the A6000.
    Otherwise, there isn’t another camera with a fast shooting and high focusing speeds at the price of the Alpha A6000. In fact, it is on a pedestal slightly higher than most other mirrorless cameras. Therefore, having reviewed its features, it is accurate to say that it is a perfect tool for enthusiast photographers. If you are trying E-mount mirrorless cameras for the first time, then this is the best option. Click here to get also about Fujifilm X-Pro2.

    VERDICT

    The Sony Alpha A6000 certainly is an excellent gadget as portrayed by its cutting edge features in this review. You can purchase it as a personal camera and use it for some outdoor shooting expeditions.

    The inbuilt flash will also work great for you in dimly lit indoor environments. It is worth trying since finding all its features at just $479.99 is quite hard, except in the Sony Company. Therefore, we are looking forward to a taste of your shooting experience with the Sony Alpha A6000 if you already own one or planning to buy one.

  • HDR Photography: A Beginner’s Guide
    Art of Photography Guide,  Best Photographic Equipment,  Tips for Beginners

    HDR Photography: A Beginner’s Guide

    HDR Photography is the solution for an annoying problem every amateur or professional photographer encountered at some point – finding the correct lighting in a high-contrast picture

    More than often, we must take photos of scenes with contrasting lights. However, the images are sometimes too dark or too light. This causes the subject of the photo to not appear clearly, due to a loss of quality.

    In high contrast situations, this can become very frustrating. Using standard photography techniques makes it almost impossible to find the right lighting combination for your photo. This is where HDR photography comes in. The HDR feature basically allows you to capture the image just as you see it with your own eyes, by using some techniques and photography magic tricks to go around the problem.

    Together, we will take a look at what HDR photography is and at what principles stand behind it. Then, we will present the equipment you will need in order to successfully use HDR photography, while also guiding you through every step required for the preparation and execution of an HDR photo shoot. Finally, we will list some editing software you might need and also introduce further tutorials you can watch.

    What is HDR Photography?

    HDR Photography, where HDR stands for High Dynamic Range, is a photography technique through which you can capture a much wider range of luminosities than normally possible with standard photographic dynamic range. The dynamic range is a ratio representing the amount of light that can be captured when taking a photograph.

    In normal photography, the standard dynamic range (SDR) cannot assimilate strong contrasts. If photos containing such contrasts are taken, a part of the photo, or all of it, will appear either too light or too dark. This can happen, for instance, when we take a photo of someone standing in front of a window in broad daylight. The person will appear shadowed and details will be lost, because the camera’s standard dynamic range cannot cope with the contrast between daylight and the person’s shadow

    HDR Photography: A Beginner’s Guide

    However, our eyes don’t have this problem, because our ocular mechanisms can make incredibly precise and quick adjustments to different light variations. As such, we see in HRD and the camera sees in SDR, this being the key problem. So, how do we make our camera see in HDR? Simple! By taking more than one photo, with different exposures, and then combining them in order to create an incredibly detailed picture, which closely resembles what our eyes actually see. If you use specialized software to work some further magic, the results can be amazing.

    How to Do HDR Photography?

    While all of this might have sounded a little complicated, the ever-increasing complexity of standard-use devices has made HDR photography accessible to the general public. Whether you’re using a Canon or just your iPhone, you can easily take HDR photos if you follow a few basic steps.

    Remember that, basically, an HDR photo is a combination of photos which have different exposure times (camera shutter speed). The different exposure times help capture different luminosities on different objects. While our eyes instantaneously merge all of these together, our cameras will need a little help, namely an HDR photography software. So, let’s get started with the necessary equipment you will need.

    What do you need for HDR Photography?

    High-quality HDR photography also requires the right tools for the job, of which the most important ones are:

    1. A good camera, with integrated AEB

    What the AEB(Auto Exposure Bracketing) function basically does is to automatically adjust exposure times. The best part is that it does it for each photo in an HDR photo set. The purpose is to capture all the necessary luminosities for later compiling the final HDR shot.

    If your camera doesn’t have an AEB function, you can still adjust it manually between each shot. However, this makes it very likely that you will move the camera. Because the photos in the HDR-set need to be perfectly aligned, moving the camera will result in a blurry final picture.

    In addition, manually setting the camera will take time, which increases the chances that the photo’s subject will move. HDR photography and moving subjects simply don’t work because, as we said, the pictures must be aligned to a pixel for optimal effect. If you don’t know whether your camera has AEB, look it up in this list.

    HDR Photography: A Beginner’s Guide

    2. A Stabilizing Device

    A standard tripod would do best here, as it will allow you to keep the camera perfectly steady, a must when compiling an HDR photo. If you take the shots separately, by hand, there is a good chance you will miss the exact same angles. Thus, you will then face difficulties when aligning the photos. So, either way, stability is a key requirement for a good HDR photo.

    3. HDR Photography Software

    While some devices and cameras have HDR functions which allow you to automatically take HDR shots, the best visual effects require using specialized HDR photography software, which allows you to subtly manipulate every aspect of the HDR photo set in order to obtain a perfect final picture. If you’re looking for a state of the art app for this purpose, check out Photomatix. If you still want to experiment, download Luminance HDR, a free online HDR photography software. Photoshop can also be quite useful when adding the final touches to the final photo.

    HDR Photography: A Beginner’s Guide

    HDR Photography Tutorial Tips: A Step by Step Approach

    1. Find a stable spot and a stable subject. Remember that HDR is about putting more pictures together. It follows that those pictures must be stable in order to achieve a sharp final photo. To do this, choose your location carefully. Make sure that whatever you’re shooting does not move. A moving car, for instance, would not be a good subject. By contrast, a landscape or real estate site would be a great choice.

    2. Find areas with strong luminosity contrasts and learn when the contrast is strongest. It is these situations that really make an HDR photo shine, due to the complexity of the entire dynamic range. You couldn’t capture such a range in a single normal photograph.

    3. Avoid using JPEG or JPG to shoot your photos, as they use a lot of compression which might reduce the quality of your photos. Use TIFF or RAW instead. Make sure you have a good SD card, with sufficient memory and optimized for photography, such as this one.

    Check out a great tutorial for HDR photography here:

    HDR Photography – Capture everything Your Eyes Can See

    HDR Photography is the best way to capture the entire spectrum of color and natural beauty. Through HDR, you won’t lose any detail to shadows and extra luminosity. From night shots to portraits and from people to wedding events, HDR photography is the perfect way to make stunningly beautiful photos, in terms of color richness and nuances. All this while also capturing the world in pictures which truly reflect our own visual experience.

    Comments Off on HDR Photography: A Beginner’s Guide
  • FUJIFILM X-PRO2 REVIEW
    Art of Photography Guide,  Best Photographic Equipment,  Tips for Beginners

    FUJIFILM X-PRO2 REVIEW

    The Fujifilm X-Pro2 is a top notch mirrorless rangefinder camera that succeeds the first Fujifilm’s X-mount camera, the X-Pro1. The camera brags of a 24-megapixel with an APS c sensor together with other ground-breaking features that are unmatched in the mirrorless camera class. The camera has been improved significantly to a more user-friendly and powerful photography tool.

    Based on its lens, it is best suited for enthusiasts, semi-pros, and even some professionals. Therefore, we will go straight to the Fujifilm X-Pro2 review to show you its flagship features in case you are in need of a new camera.

    GENERAL SPECIFICATIONS OF THE FUJIFILM X-PRO2

    Could this viewfinder camera be the leader of the mirrorless compact cameras in its line? We can only confirm that by looking into its specs and capabilities.

    Type: Rangefinder mirrorless AF camera
    Resolution: 24 Megapixels with CMOS iii sensor APS-C-size
    ISO:
    Native ISO: 200-12800
    Extended ISO: 100-51200
    Shutter Speed: 30 sec minimum, 1/8000 seconds maximum with 1/250 seconds flash sync
    Continuous Shooting Speed: 8.0 frames per second
    Size: 141 mm x 83 mm x 56 mm (5.55 in. x 3.27 in. x 2.2 in.)
    Weight: 495 grams, 1.09lb or 17.46 oz.
    Media Storage: supports SD card (2 slots), SDHC (up to 32GB) or SDXC (up to 256GB)

    Pricing Options:

    • Price in Fujifilm Store: $1549.00
    • New on Amazon: $1549.00 free shipping
    • On Sale: from $1300.00
    • Used: $1329.00 plus $6.49 shipping fee
    • Refurbished: $1480.00
    • Kit Options: $1871.99 body plus Fujinon xf 35mm lens and batteries

    Amazon will always give you the best prices for new cameras, used ones, and other accessories. Therefore, you can visit their store here for the fujifilm x-pro2.

    FUJIFILM X-PRO2 REVIEW

    KEY FEATURES

    The X-Pro cameras from Fujifilm features a retro-modern look that gives them great aesthetics as well as better handling. However, we are going to go deeper than just its looks to find out the real stuff behind its magnesium alloy body. At its core is the 24mp x-trans CMOS iii sensor that features a 273-phase detection autofocus points. This is so far the best resolution ever produced by the Fujifilm.

    The camera is also integrated with a much faster image processor and a new focal plane shutter of 150k actuation. It has a high mechanical speed of 1/250 second flash sync. In addition to that, you will love the electronic shutter option that makes it capable of high speeds of up to 1/32000 seconds. The resolution of the LCD has been improved. Its continuous shooting speed can go up to 8fps besides its ability to shoot videos at HD 1080p at 60 frames per second.

    Some of the new features that make it stand out from the rest include ‘ACROS’ mono-film simulation, inbuilt Wi-Fi, uncompressed or lossless RAW file options and a new hybrid viewfinder. The X-processor pro on which this camera runs is responsible for its unmatched processor speeds as well as low-light performance.

    IMAGE QUALITY AND PERFORMANCE

    The Fujifilm X-Pro2 resolves finer images than its sister the XT1. At the same time, it performs wonderfully with its color filter array, eliminating moiré without having to use the low pass filter. The X-pro 2 maintains crispy images and gives you the finest of detail in its pictures. You will love the results if you are a fujifilm fan. It allows you to provide larger images and zoom options without distortion in the image quality.

    With the aid of the X-trans 2 feature, this camera allows you to output 2 inches taller and 3 inches wider than its sister cameras. The 273-point hybrid autofocus system in the x-pro2 enables you to gain focus quickly and precisely. In case you want to take a picture of a mobile object, the 77 phase detection point of the camera will come in quite handy. The focus points cover forty percent of the imaging area offering a larger compositional freedom without weighing down on its autofocus performance. Checkout quality metrics for fused Image on www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214241X15000206

    FUJIFILM X-PRO2 REVIEW

    The ISO performance on this gadget is also great. At low ISO such as ISO 200, it provides detail in raw files and JPEG images. As compared to the X T1 which shows objects slightly smaller at the same ISO, the Fujifilm X-Pro2 is a beast. The optical viewfinder outputs clear surreal view of the target contributing to better composition and tracking. The EVF on the other hand mimics the operation of the mechanical rangefinder for an easier focus.

    DESIGN AND CONTROLS

    The design of this camera features a durable weather resistant body crafted off of magnesium alloy material. It also has weather sealing feature against dust, moisture and cold making it adaptable to usage in harsh weather conditions. We also found that it supports a 3-inch 1,62m-dot rear LCD for a crystal view when shooting. It has an excellent menu navigation and image playback as well.

    Fujifilm x-pro2 has the capability to sort images quickly and in a flexible manner with the help of the two memory card slots. There are controls on the top plate that include aluminum dials for exposure adjustment, shutter speed dial, and the shutter speed control. It also contains the ISO dial that enables you to confirm the sensitivity without having to turn on the camera.

    X-pro2 contains a front and back command buttons which allow the setting of other six functions. There is a dedicated focus lever that gives you an automatic control over particular focus points when shooting. Its GUI has been updated with a My Menu option from where you get 16 controls. The Q menu which is adjacent to it also provides you with other frequently-used controls such as image size and quality, AF and film simulation to name a few.

    PROS

    • It has great color modes and fantastic JPEG output
    • As compared to members of its class, it has good RAW performance as well as ISO performance.
    • Excellent ergonomics with weather sealing and robust outer build.
    • Good single autofocus performance with relatively good continuous autofocus.
    • The hybrid viewfinder is unique among its class members.
    • The ‘My Menu’ option provides quicker access to frequently used controls.
    • The film simulation modes provide great video shooting results.
    • The inbuilt Wi-Fi allows faster sharing of images.
    • The DR modes provide easier access to the sensor dynamic range.

    CONS

    • The video and other support features are not state-of-the-art.
    • The lagging experienced during continuous autofocus tracking is the greatest among its class.
    • The Electronic viewfinder consumes the battery big time.
    • It lacks a USB charging option, hence less convenient.
    • The automatic ISO mode does not have a threshold dependent on the focal length.
    • The Q menu restricts different exploration setting options.

    RECOMMENDATIONS

    As portrayed by this Fujifilm X-Pro2 review, the camera is cutting edge and worthwhile. It will certainly appeal to photographers who like the modern-retro looks. If you work well with viewfinder mirrorless cameras, then this is the perfect tool for your professional photography career. However, it is rather pricey as compared to the other APS-C sensor cameras in the market today.

    VERDICT

    The Fujifilm X-Pro2 mirrorless rangefinder camera boasts an excellent processor speed and image quality, making it a great tool for an enthusiast and semi-pro photographers. After reviewing its flagship features compared to other viewfinder mirrorless cameras, it can be branded an excellent enthusiast camera. If you are comfortable with the slightly high price, then this is the camera for you. If you already own one, share your experience with us.

  • Akaso EK5000 Review
    Art of Photography Guide,  Best Photographic Equipment,  Tips for Beginners

    Akaso EK5000 Review

    If you have experienced the frustration of missing proud moments in your children’s athletic history or your hobbies involve quick moving items, you might wish to consider an action sports camera. In this Akaso EK5000 review, we highlight the features that make this a suitable tool for immortalizing those wonderful moments or scenes.

    As to you read our take on the Akaso EK5000, understand what features can make this a smart choice for an action sports camera for you.

    Akaso EK5000 Specs

    Does the Akaso EK5000 make the cut as one of the best action cameras? As you make up your mind, consider these technical specifications:

    Type: 1080p HD with WiFi
    Video Resolution: 1080p-30; 720p-30
    Photo Resolution: 12MP
    ISO: N/A
    Shutter Speed: N/A
    Continuous Shooting Rate:
    Size: 2.3 in. x 1.65 in. x 1.22 in. (6 x 4.2 x 3.1 cm)
    Weight: 1.19 lb (540 g)
    Media Storage: MicroSD Card, Micro SDHC, Micro SDXC Class 10, UHS-I

    Key Features

    The Akaso EK5000 features a 170-degree wide-angle lens providing extensive views. As we discuss more fully in this Akaso EK5000 review, this camera affords you numerous options for image resolution, time lapse photography, and video playback.

    Other features include WiFi for uploading content, a waterproof casing that protects the camera for up to 30 meters deep, 19 mounts and accessories, a 2-in LCD screen and an HDMI output for display on HD devices.

    Absent from this model is 4K video, but the Akaso EK7000 has this feature.

    Akaso EK5000 Review

    Image Quality & Performance

    With the Akaso EK5000 comes a video resolution 1080p, or full high-definition, at its maximum. This means your camera displays videos in 1920 horizontal pixels by 1080 vertical pixels. You also have HD, however to a lesser extent, with 1280 pixels by 720 pixels. In the Akaso EK7000 model the 4K option affords you 4096 pixels at horizontal resolution.

    The resolution for photograph images ranges from 200W to as high as 1200W. You also have options to view at 500W and 800W. The maximum 1200W, or 12 mega pixels, affords very high quality prints, especially if you are printing large ones. You might opt for the lower resolution photograph settings if you’re using email that has limited capacity can handle memory.

    Design & Controls

    If you want underwater shots, the Akaso EK5000 is waterproof up to 30 m, or 98 ft, under water.

    You have at your disposal a number of photo modes for those action shots. The “Burst” mode takes three photos in 1.5 seconds. In the time-lapse mode, you can program the camera to automatically shoot in intervals of two, three, five, ten, twenty, thirty or sixty seconds. Of course, you can also take a single photograph for still scenes rather than action.

    Akaso EK5000 Review

    For storage of your videos and images, the manufacturer recommends a Class 10 SD card. The Akaso EK5000 is compatible with memory SD cards up to a maximum storage of 32GB. While this seems a lot and generally is standard among action cameras, it is less memory than some other products. For example, the GoPro HERO 6 comes with 64GB SD card compatibility.

    With the two-inch LCD screen, you can view images and videos. You can also call this camera the Akaso EK5000 WiFi, as it can transmit a WiFi signal up to ten meters away. You will need to, as the manual says, download the iSmartDV app on your tablet or smartphone to use the WiFi. Note that the Akaso EK5000 WiFi feature facilitates uploads only to devices with the app, not to a cloud.

    PROs

    The Akaso EK5000 comes with many attributes that allow you to capture those active moments:

    • A burst setting that generates three photos in 1.5 seconds
    • Seven time-lapse options, ranging from two seconds to one minute
    • Megapixel settings from two to 12 for flexibility of uses, such as emailing or printing high quality large photos
    • Full high-definition resolution for viewing photos and videos
    • Wi-Fi for uploading photographs
    • Ability to fit into a pocket
    • 19 camera mounts and accessories
    • Affordable price for HD action cameras

    CONs

    The Akaso EK5000 does have some drawbacks, as reflected by Akaso EK5000 review comments from international Amazon sites and from Akaso’s information

    • Batteries last, in some cases, less than one hour
    • No 4K resolution
    • WiFi does not upload content to cloud-based storage
    Akaso EK5000 Review

    Recommendations

    The Akaso EK5000 seems best suited for individuals or families wanting to preserve memories and those who want to capture nature especially for hobby or personal use. The burst and multiple time lapse settings come in handy for capturing touchdowns, baskets, soccer or hockey goals and other hard to photograph actions. Proud parents may find this especially attractive or reassuring. Experienced swimmers and scuba divers can get shots of aquatic environments and life by being able to plunge up to 98 feet into the water.

    Professional photographers or videographers of sports or fast-moving animals may similarly benefit from these action settings. However, the Akaso EK5000 has a maximum of 12MP and no 4K. As there are models that have more than 12 megapixels, professional still photography may not prove optimal with this model. While 12 megapixels can provide clarity for large photos, you may get even more vibrant and clearer printouts with 14 and 16 megapixel cameras. Further, the lack of 4K may cause you to miss out on the ability to draw those interested in the highest-resolution displays.

    Pro Tip

    If you’re looking for something with more clarity, consider the EKEN H6 Ultra HD. It comes with 14 megapixels and 4K video, unlike the Akaso EK5000. Without detracting from the Akaso EK5000 burst mode, the EKEN boasts a burst mode that yields three photographs in a second, seven in two seconds, 15 photos in four seconds, and 30 photos in eight seconds. The YI Lite Action Camera comes with 16 MP capability and 4K. Another 16MP option comes from the Polaroid XS 100 Extreme Edition.

    If you wish to stay in the Akaso brand, consider the Brave 4 4K, which comes with 20MP. Akaso’s EK7000 has many of the features as the EK5000, but notably adds the 4K resolution that doesn’t come with the EK5000.

    Verdict

    In this Akaso EK5000 review we’ve highlighted the features that promise high quality and the ability to get shots of actions and other sudden and quick movements. We have considered the manuals and information from the manufacturer and reviews by international purchasers of the Akaso EK5000.

    Taking all of this into account we conclude that the Akaso EK5000 affords a very good value especially for those interested in capturing family moments or who want to photograph natural habitats as a hobby. Other models may prove more effective if you have designs for professional photography or display.

  • 11 iPhone Photography Tips for Better Shots & Selfies
    Art of Photography Guide,  Best Photographic Equipment,  Tips for Beginners

    11 iPhone Photography Tips for Better Shots & Selfies

    Mobile phones are powerful photography tools, especially when you know how to take great pictures with an iPhone. To get excellent results, you will have to learn the basics of iPhone photography like the perfect camera settings and configurations. Getting a sophisticated DSLR may not do the trick for most people depending on their photography skills. In this article, we will give you 11 of the best iPhone photography tips starting with few camera tweaks and continuing with the actual techniques of taking photos.

    This way you will be guaranteed of eye-catching photographs like never before. Now, here’s how to take better iPhone pictures.

    1. Clean Your Camera Lens

    This is the initial most vital of the iPhone photography tips discussed here. Depending on how you store your iPhone, the camera may pick up dust or fluff from your pocket or handbag. The result of that could be blurry or noisy pictures, despite your high-resolution lens. Therefore, have a soft cloth for wiping the lens before going out on a shooting expedition.

    2. Use Your iPhone’s Built-in Editing Features to Compose Your Image

    The grid feature can allow you get more characters in a comprehensive picture. To enable it, go to the camera settings, pick on the Photos and camera and turn on the grid feature. You can go through the rule of third to get a better understanding of how to operate it. This is yet another tip geared towards teaching you how to take great pictures with iPhone.

    11 iPhone Photography Tips for Better Shots & Selfies

    3. Use of the Burst Mode

    The burst mode involves taking several pictures in rapid succession to bring out a series of events. It usually produces some of the breath-taking action shots people brag about in the social media. To perform this, simply hold down the iPhone camera’s shutter until the desired moment is past. You can then single out the best pictures while eradicating the blurry or out-of-focus images. For instance, a bird taking off can be captured in burst mode to produce different images in different angles.

    4. Choose the Back Camera over the Front or Selfie Camera

    Usually, the back camera is always of higher resolution in the different iPhone versions. Therefore, each chance you get to shoot with the back camera, use it for superior resolution photographs. That is, especially in the low light conditions. This hint is among the basic tips for iPhone photography for starting photographers.

    5. Keep the Photos Simple

    It is common for most beginner photographers to crowd their pictures with several points of focus. This way the attention of the viewer is drawn to several portions of the image at the same time. Keep your photos simple by creating a surreal and harmonious composition in your pictures. Among the iPhone photography tips, this one is more advanced and will need some work before you can master it. Single out a subject while increasing the negative space to come up with a captivating photograph on your iPhone. Click here for Eye-catching abstract photos reveal mining’s scars on our planet.

    6. Vary Your Shooting Techniques

    It is important to consider other shooting techniques other than the regular shot from the chest height. You can significantly improve your pictures by finding different shooting perspectives such as considering a lower angle. The lower angle technique has three major effects on your photos. It will allow the viewer to see the world in an intriguing way. Second, using the sky as your background is a creative way of making your subject stand out. The third importance is that it allows you to capture key aspects of the foreground.

    11 iPhone Photography Tips for Better Shots & Selfies

    7. Show Depth in Your Pictures

    These iPhone photography tips could be either tactical or mental. Bringing out the depth in your shots is a mental skill that will guarantee you more appealing iPhone photographs. When dealing especially in landscape photography, it is important to convey depth in a manner that captures the viewer’s focus into the scene. To create depth, you can employ leading lines such as roads, railway tracks, ripples on the water surface and water edges in the beach.

    8. Use the Shortcut for the iPhone Camera

    Moving away from the technique-oriented iPhone photography tips, some widgets could help better your iPhone photography such as the camera shortcut. You can quickly access the camera if you need to take an instantaneous shot without having first to unlock your iPhone, via the shortcut. Just swipe up on the camera icon on the lock screen to utilize this feature. While on another application, you can do the same by just swiping from the bottom to the launch control center, then tapping on the camera icon to get your iPhone camera ready for action.

    9. Adjust the Focus of the Photo in the Camera Viewer

    It is one of the simplest among the photography tips for iPhone. While viewing the object, you can tap on the screen of your iPhone to focus and enhance on a particular subject. Tapping the screen also allows you to change the lighting of the image. This way you will produce sharp and detailed images. The above iPhone photo tips will help you unlock the real powers of the iPhone camera.

    10. Experiment with the Various Shooting Modes Apple has to Offer

    In the iPhone, there are several default camera modes for picture taking such as panorama, square and photo. Therefore, depending on the purpose of the image you need to make, it is important to pick the most appropriate to avoid further editing that could be prevented in the first place. Get more information on support.apple.com/en-us/HT207260https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT207260

    11. Try out some of the Third Party Photo Apps

    These apps have the permission from Apple to play a role in improving the ISO, shutter speed, white balance, and exposure among others. They may work well with your operating system to add an edge to the photographs you produce via your iPhone. You can also add these apps to your dock for quick accessibility, as a way of going about the fact that these apps cannot be assigned a camera shortcut.

    12. Hold the iPhone with Both Hands for Extra Stability

    Blurred photos can be very artistic, but the result rarely is satisfactory if the burred effect is not intentional. Hold the phone with the left hand and use the right hand to control the shutter. To further decrease the chances of a photo coming out blurry when you are aiming for a clear picture, we also advise you to gently release the button to minimize shaking and have some extra control while the phone snaps the picture. Click here to get information about Fujifilm X-Pro2 camera.

    Conclusion

    These iPhone photography tips are quite handy for any amateur photographer that wants to up their style and create stunning compositions.

    Comments Off on 11 iPhone Photography Tips for Better Shots & Selfies