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PHOTO TIPS | CITIES : How to shoot Sacred Places?

1. The most important thing is to be respectful & remember what you are photographing. These places are primarily for religion, not for tourists. So, make sure you ask permission first.

2. Sacred places often have large spires or domes on top of a thin building, so it can be hard to fit everything in the frame. If you want to capture the entire building, a wide angle lens may help. Otherwise, you can try a panaromic from several photos.

3. Try to photograph at a time when the sun is to the side of the building, rather than behind it. If the sun is behind you instead, this can also be OK as long as there aren't any large shadows cast on the building.

4. Look for distracting elements in your frame & try to exclude them. Examples include signs, parked cars & rubbish bins.
5. You might also look for distracting elements which would be good to include in your frame. These might include a gravestone, a welcome sign, prayer mats & so on.

6. If photographing inside the sacred place, the light is likely to be poor. If you have a tripod & you've asked permission, make sure you use it!

7. Usually the best settings for poorly lit interiors without a tripod are to increase the ISO level to 200 or 400 & set the aperture to be f/8 or f/11. If the shutter speed is still too slow you may need to use a smaller f-number or increase the ISO level further.

8. Unless you are the only person inside, don't use you flash.

9. Some sacred places will have people selling things outside. These can be a good photography subject, but make sure you buy something small of give them a donation before taking their photo.

  • Mode - Aperture Mode (Av)
  • Aperture - Middle Range f-Number f/11
  • ISO Level - 100-200
  • Equipement - Tripod preferred

PHOTO TIPS | OUTDOORS : How to shoot Flowers?

1. If you're taking photos of flowers during a sunny day, try to do this or late in the day. Flowers look good to the eye during the middle of the day, but look better to the camera at other times.

2. Shooting flowers on cloudy days can work well, as harsh bright sun can wash out their color & lessen the impact.

3. Shooting early in the morning is the best time if you have the choice, as the winds be at a minimum. There may also be some early morning dew around.

4. A flower is usually most beautiful just after rain, but it can be difficult to get these shots & still keep your camera dry. Try spraying some water on your flower with a spray bottle rather than waiting for the rain to come.
5. Even a slight breeze can cause flower to move & blur, so for the sharpest photos use a tripod & keep the shutter speeds to 1/250 of a second or faster. Shooting early in the morning will also minimise the wind.

6. As you probably using a tripod, there is not much reason to use High ISO levels. Set your ISO at 100 to get the clearest image.

7. If you can't find some nice flower to shoot, try a flower shop, playground garden or flower arcade! To really bring out their color, take then home and try shooting against a solid black or white background.

8. Try getting down low & taking photos of flowers from a different perspective. People see flowers from top-down every day, but rarely see them from side-on or even looking up.

9. Try taking a photo of a single flower & using a large aperture (a small number like f/5.6), so that the background is blurred. This will keep the focus of the photo on the flower & remove the distracting background.

10. You don't always need to get the whole flower in focus. Some images can look great if the back of the flower is out of focus. To try this, you'll need to use your widest aperture (smallest f-number) & focus on the front of the flower.

11. Don't forget that there are many sides to a flower. Try moving yourself around & looking at it from a different side or if you're shooting flowers in a vase, spin the vase around to find the best side.

  • Picture Mode - Aperture priority (Av)
  • f-Number - Small Medium f/5.6
  • ISO Level - 100
  • Equipment - Tripod & Polarizing Filter.

PHOTO TIPS | OUTDOORS : How to shoot Plants?

1. Try to pick the best time of day for your photos. Theres no point taking photos of plants that are obscured by shade or have their colors washed out from bright sunlight. Early mornings will usually be the best.

2. If you're shooting in the middle of the day, a polarizing lens can help to cut down on the harsh light entering the camera & bring out the colors of the plants.

3. Use a tripod if you can, as plants are usually quite fragile & sensitive to even the slightest of movements.

4. If you're using a tripod, set your ISO level at 100 to get the clearest images.
5. Try using a large aperture (low-f-number) to blur the background & keep the focus on the plant.

6. Get down low & take photos of the plants from an angle that they wouldn't normally be seen.

7. Watch out for distractions in your photo, such as a hose or supports. Try to fill the frame with your plants so that they are the real focus of the image.

  • Picture Mode - Aperture priority (Av)
  • f-Number - Small Medium f/5.6
  • ISO Level - 100
  • Equipment - Tripod & Polarizing Filter.

PHOTO TIPS | OUTDOORS : How to shoot Fireworks?

1. A tripod is pretty much essential for shooting fireworks. If you're without one, try to learn against something sturdy like a fence railing or a wall.

2. Be sure to arrive early to pick out a good spot & set up your gear. Generally people will steer clear & give you room if you've set up early.

3. Try not to set up with the wind blowing towards you, because it can blow smoke in front of your shots.

4. Don't set up near bright lights (streetlights), as they will ruin your photos.
5. If you have one, use a remote to trigger the shutter. Even if you are using a tripod, releasing the shutter. Even if you're using a tripod, releasing the shutter yourself can cause vibrations will which cause your shots to be out of focus. A remote will also make it easier to see what is happening around you.

5. The most important part or shooting fireworks is the shutter speed. You'll need to keep the shutter open for a minimum of 1-2 seconds & possibly up to 30mins depending on what you want to achieve. Try experimenting to see what works best.

6. If you want more control over the shutter, switch to bulb mode. Then, release the shutter just before the burst & turn it off when the burst begins to fade.

7. If you want to capture lots of burst, you can switch your camera to bulb mode so the shutter stays open as long as you choose. Then, between each burst cover the lens with a black cloth to prevent too much light getting in.

8. Set the aperture to f/8 or f/11 to get the clearest photos.

9. If you are capturing a single burst, portrait mode will work best. If you are including multiple burst in your shot, landscape will likely work better.

10. Zoom-in so that the fireworks fill the frame. This will make your photo look closer to the action & thus more impressive.

11. Look around to see what else you can include in your shots. Things like buildings, bridges or water can add interest to your photo. Using a wide angle lens cap/dark card-board help to get everything in the shot.

  • Picture Mode - Shutter priority (Tv)
  • Shutter Speed - 5sec - up to 30sec
  • ISO Level - 100
  • Equipment - Tripod, Dark Cardboard.
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