Photography is a two-dimensional pursuit happening in a three-dimensional world. When you see flat, boring, uninspiring photos, this can be just one of the causes. The photographer may not have understood the important relationship between the foreground and the background. You can use this relationship to add interest, change perspective and depth to a photo.
We hear a great deal about shutter speed, aperture and ISO, but there’s another control we need to remember and often don’t. That’s the white balance. For those of you shooting video on a DSLR it’s particularly important. Video folks spend much more time worrying about color balance than still photographers. One of the reasons is that changing color in post is more complicated in video than in still photography.
In my opinion, everyone should pay attention to white balance no matter what they shoot. It saves time in post and therefore is a good thing.
The best way to set your white balance is to use an ExpoDisc.
The difference between using an ExpoDisc and a traditional gray card is simple, as is the WHY or reason I use one.
1. The ExpoDisc doesn’t introduce any color cast
2. The ExpoDisc has the ability to give you white balance info via incident rather than reflective meter readings and is more accurate and easier to handle
3. If you go to ten camera stores and buy 10 different gray cards – even of the same brand – and you put them to the TRUE test to see if they are indeed 18% gray – using a spectrometer – you will see that each of them gives a different reading – thus no gray card is truly accurate
4. It works better in mixed lighting than a gray card
5. It’s a time saver
To take advantage of the ExpoDisc’s features, you just put it on the camera lens and point directly at you light source rather than pointing it at your scene as you would do with a traditional camera metering off a gray card. You make an exposure and use that exposure to set your white balance. As long as the light doesn’t change, you’re good to go.
For more information or to purchase an ExpoDisc, check them out in the OPG store: ExpoDisc
[MEDIA not found]
[MEDIA not found]
I’ve been using flash modifiers literally since I was a teenager. I’ve made my own and bought just about every conceivable retail modifier made – but as of this year, I’ve dumped almost everything but my HonL stuff. Here’s why…
[MEDIA not found]
Martin Bailey is a British nature photographer living in Japan. If that doesn’t get you interested in this interview, nothing will! Martin is also a member of the Outdoor Photo Gear Review Board. This article contains excerpts from Martin’s interview by Scott Bourne.
1 – Scott: Please tell me how and when you got into photography.
[Martin Bailey] My induction into photography was a long process. My earliest photographic experience was with a Polaroid camera that Dad bought when I was around 7 or 8 years old. It disappeared from our house pretty quickly though when he realized how expensive the film was. I played with my friend’s Dad’s camera sometimes, and he let me shoot the odd frame, which was a real kick. I then had a number of basically plastic toy cameras over the years, which I enjoyed shooting with, but we didn’t have a lot of money, and so the developing costs held me back a lot. In my teens I remember asking my Mum if I could paint our bathroom black and find some way of sealing up the windows when necessary so that I could make my own darkroom. You can imagine that this conversation didn’t progress very far.
For many nature photographers, there are few places on earth that can captivate the imagination and inspire us to get “out there” like the tropics. The biological riches of these exciting destinations are unparalleled and these regions are rife with opportunities for nature photography. Consider for example that tiny countries such as Costa Rica host more species of birds than all of North America, or that in just one square mile of rainforest there may be as many as 50,000 species of insects. The biodiversity of the tropics is truly incredible!
The reality however, is that many of these species can be difficult to find and nature photography in the tropics often presents special challenges. Tropical countries tend to be hot, humid and rainy. The local wildlife is often not used to human presence and are reclusive. Information may be scarce about where or how to find certain species. And, it is often the case that the areas where these treasures can be found are under towering forest canopies where slow shutter speeds are the norm. As a result, capturing pleasing images of the natural world in these places presents a challenge to even the most experienced nature photographers. The tips in this article represent a few of the lessons that I have learned during my time spent pursuing images in the tropics.
[MEDIA not found]
Reposted from the Aperture Nature Photography Workshops.
You spent big money on your new DSLR. Now consider spending just a little more to protect it.
A few months back, Scott Elowitz of LensCoat was kind enough to show me the BodyGuard Pro CB. It’s a neoprene cover that fits over your camera while attached to a lens. There is a clear back that lets you see the LCD, even while the cover is on.