Tag: dale young

Holiday Snaps – Freedom From Faff

DSCF6765-2

Holiday snaps – it’s just one of those things right? Even though you LOVE taking pictures, LOVE capturing beautiful scenes of beautiful places, sometimes you simply can’t be bothered to figure out the following:

  • Which lenses should I take?
  • What bag am I going to use to take all this stuff?
  • What ND filters should I take?
  • What about chargers, spare batteries, neck strap, lens cloth (which you have temporarily ‘misplaced’ but don’t want to admit you have lost to your Wife)
  • And what about my tripod, how will it fit in my luggage?
  • Sighs..

This Is Where The Fujifilm X70 Comes In..

If you’re like me and already have a Fujifilm X Series camera, you have become very accustomed to quality photographs and probably shudder at the thought of using anything substandard.

And this could be for many reasons – but for me, it is this simple:

“What if I see something amazing while I’m on holiday? It could be the next picture to go on my wall at home.”

Now I know that if I shot the image on a smartphone there is no way that I would want to print it due to the lower image quality, and so I would always want to have an X Series with me.

With this in mind I decided to take only the X70 on my recent holiday to Mallorca. Now I have to admit that I was a bit nervous about not taking all my camera gear with me. I think this is because it all becomes a bit of a comfort blanket, I would think to myself:

“I’ve got the 10-24mm for my wide shots, my 55-200mm for my tele…” etc.

So ‘only’ having the fixed focal length I thought this might limit me creatively a bit, but all I can say is WOW – it really doesn’t! 

DSCF6686-2
X70 – Old cobbled street in Mallorca – processed in LightroomDSCF6684-2

I was trying to put my finger on what it is that makes this camera stand out from the crowd, and I think it really comes down to these 3 reasons:

The Image Quality Is Superb

This little camera creates beautiful images. It has the same sensor as found in the X-T1 (X-Trans CMOS II) and can easily produce stunning A3 / A2 prints.

And I have even seen great images printed at 2 by 3 metres from this sensor!!

DSCF6703-4

DSCF6705-2

DSCF6657-2


It’s Really Easy To Use

Whether you understand shutter speed, aperture and all that jazz or not, it really doesn’t matter with the X70 because this camera will cater for your abilities.

If you’re still learning the basics of photography you don’t need to worry as the camera has a handy little AUTO switch you can use to keep things simple.

But if you are like me and LOVE playing with all the settings, adjusting your depth of field and all of that then the X70 will be a great choice for you as all of the useful features are either a switch or a dial at your fingertips.

Not only that but the camera itself will charge like a phone in that you can use a USB cable straight into the side of the camera, the battery will then charge internally. It’s a simple thing, but in reality it’s really handy, as every night I’d just plug it in and place it on the bedside table to keep the power topped up.

Another great feature I use all the time is the built-in WIFI. When on holiday or travelling, a lot of us like to share our images with friends through Facebook or similar. With the WIFI feature on the X70 you can transfer over your images from camera to smartphone, edit them in Snapseed or similar and then upload – simple.

DSCF6700-2

The Caves of Drach - Mallorca
The Caves of Drach – Mallorca – looking straight upwards for those wondering

DSCF6693-2


It Fits Into My Pocket

This is perhaps the simplest reason, and yet it is still one of the most important as to why I love this camera.

Unlike any other camera in our range the X70 actually fits into my pocket, which I find truly liberating.

It means that wherever I go, I have my camera with me without having to take a camera bag – which as I’m sure many men out there will agree – our ultimate aim is to carry everything of use within the pockets of our jeans.

My Wife beating me at pool...Again
My Wife beating me at pool…Again
Keeping things healthy at dinner time
Keeping things healthy at dinner time..

pic_04And The Super Technical BONUS Reason…

My Wife LOVES taking couple selfies, and it just so happens that this camera makes that really easy too as the screen flips up fully. 😉

To find out more about the Fujifilm X70 Click Here.

Until next time, happy snapping

Dale 🙂

DSCF6730-2
My first ever tram ride.. It was brilliant!

Which shutter speed should I use?

w360_6415757_tutorialbannerfordotmailer

If you are like me, knowing what shutter speed to use when you are trying to capture a particular type of action can be confusing at times. So I’ve put together a little ‘cheat sheet’ to help you get a good idea as to which shutter speed to use for particular shots.

In terms of how to use this ‘cheat sheet’ I recommend you print it off, stick it in your camera bag and, whenever you get a chance to shoot something more tricky, have a look at it and try out the relevant shutter speed. Alternatively, find yourself a willing volunteer to practice with!

Before you get started; Put your camera into ‘Shutter priority’ mode; to do this set your aperture setting to ‘A’, the ISO setting to Auto and moving your shutter speed dial off the ‘A’ position. This ensures you only need to worry about the shutter speed that you choose and nothing else.

Download the ‘Shutter speed cheat sheet’ here


Star jumps at 1/4000 to freeze motion 

4000

Important tip! As a good rule of thumb, always use a focal length that is equal to or less than the shutter speed when not using a tripod – this will help against unwanted blur in your images. For example if the shutter speed is 1/30, you should shoot with a focal length of 30mm or wider (28mm, 18mm, 16mm etc).

Walking fast at 1/250 to freeze motion

250

Walking fast at 1/15 for motion blur effect – panning the camera with the subject

15

Walking fast at 1/4 for motion blur effect – camera on tripod

4

Important tip! If you find that using a slow shutter speed makes your image overexpose consider shooting with an ND filter or shoot at sunset/sunrise.


These are just a few examples to get you thinking about which shutter speed to use – the cheat sheet should assist with other types of shots.

The most important thing to do is just go out and try them, don’t worry about getting it wrong and blurring your shots, as over time with practice you will start to get the shots that you were hoping to get.

If you have a friend that is interested in photography go and learn this with them. You can bounce ideas off each other to create some great shots. And… you can get them to perform star jumps for you until you get them perfectly sharp and in focus!

Until next time

Happy snapping! 🙂

Dale

Why do you love photography?

1 (121)

So I’ve been thinking.. Why do we love photography so much? I thought I’d put brain-to-keyboard to see if I could justify it all.


Firstly let me say welcome back to our blog! As with anything I’m sure you won’t agree with all of my reasons for loving photography, but I wanted to share my thoughts to see whether you agree, disagree or even have different reasons why photography is great. So don’t forget to share your reasons for loving photography in the comments section below..

We are emotionals.

The first and foremost reason we love photography is not because of a particular brand, it’s not because of a particular photographer or even because we love being creative. It is simply that pictures make us feel something; something that words fail to describe – It could be the love shared between newly-weds at their wedding, that picture that takes you back 20 years or even the shot taken just as your son wins his first sports day race.

It is a moment, caught in time and a feeling, caught in time – forever.

10463791_10154255879545534_6150971098107823474_o
And here is the picture that takes me back 20 or so years (on the right!)
We are observers.

Just think when you have had a hard day in the office or a tough time at home, everyone needs a release – some people run miles & miles until their feet ache, some try their hand at baking, but for you and me – we keep our eyes wide, wide open to see life and to capture it in its most fleeting yet beautiful moments, as it happens.

10959427_10155186013300534_6218363277761802904_n

We are storytellers.

Because it’s so easy to pick up the basics in photography and pretty much everyone has a camera of some sort, we write our own lives down for others to see & remember, it’s just that we don’t use words to do it – we use pictures.

And this isn’t anything new either, this has been going on for many a year. The only difference is that it’s easier for people to take part in it. If you think about it, most families have a few old tea stained images that show members of the family that you wish you could’ve met. And it tends to jog the memory of people that did know them. You might find out that your old Great Aunt May was in fact a star musician in her day playing the sousaphone! You are part of this trend for your family’s family in years to come. They can look back and say “Wow what super pictures your Great Grandad Dale used to take!”.. 😉

11333999_10155654524060534_2721496617978110973_o

We are light chasers.

We love to chase good light and when we can’t find it, we create it. Once we’ve found a good subject, we want it to look its best or sometimes its worst depending on the emotion you’re trying to portray. This is where creating or finding the right light is so important. I think this is why the great photographers are great – they find the light and sculpt it to fit their intimate needs. Whether it be a beam of light, lighting a dark cold corridor for dramatic effect or the soft lighting from a window to create beautiful, natural looking portraits. This is one of the most fun and creative things a photographer can work with, after all it’s all about light.

10945093_10155295265865534_5264280997394703249_o

10460865_10155080157000534_7647043384773184242_o (1)

We are creatives.

My final reason is that it allows us to explore our imaginations once more; just like when we were kids playing with Transformers pretending to save, or in my case, destroy the world. And we can create any world we like, any emotion just by working with our own creativity and developing it.

Imagine if every photographic idea you’ve ever had was an individual ball in your very own ball pool, just dive in and lose yourself in your own creatively until you hone your style.

1534989_10155011540260534_1247545834587891144_o

10887486_10154978404765534_7655395448031080396_o

 We are photographers

And there we have it, my top reasons why I believe people love photography. Agree? Disagree? Or have a different reason? Why not share it with us below.

Happy snapping & keep enjoying photography, whatever the reason may be! 😉

 

 

 

Tutorial: To take great pictures first you have to S.E.E.

w360_6415757_tutorialbannerfordotmailerSo how do I take better pictures?

Great question, glad you asked! There are so many ways to take better pictures, but I would say the easiest way to improve is to read tutorials, watch tutorials and try all the techniques you see to develop your skills. Think of every tutorial as a new recipe that you can add to a larger collection, then when you need a certain flavour of image, you just choose the relevant recipe. It not only means you will feel more confident when shooting, but you’ll also start producing consistently good, consistently your-style images, which is very important.

And don’t worry if you don’t quite get a technique straight away, because you will, and when you do, embrace it. Use it over and over until it becomes part of your very own photography recipe book.

So with this in mind, I want to introduce you to a new recipe to add to that book. This is a simple mnemonic that I want you to memorise, and then try out as soon as you can.

S: Search – E: Evaluate – E: Emphasise

S : Search

Being a budding photographer, I can assume that you are always looking for an interesting subject to take pictures of and this is what this step is all about. Search for the perfect photo any time you have a camera handy ( which of course, you always do 😉 ) because an interesting shot can find its way to you very quickly in almost all circumstances. Whether you are doing street photography and suddenly a flash mob arrives, or maybe it’s some landscape photography and you notice a small glint of the sun peeking through some trees. Be mindful of these possibilities and be ready.

Now, here’s the important part – when you find an interesting subject, don’t just shoot a picture of it and move on. This is a habit of many photographers, and it doesn’t mean that they will take bad pictures, on the contrary, they could be good photos. But, to take great photos, consistently, look to the next step..


E: Evaluate

So you have found something to take a picture of? That’s great! Now ask yourself this very simple question:

Why do I want to take a picture of it?

Think about what makes this subject special? Is it the colour of the ladies hair? Is it the shape formed from the shadow of that building? Maybe it’s the emotion that you want to capture? Or could it be the sharp stylish lines in the car? If you cannot answer this question, it probably isn’t worth taking a photograph. But, if you can answer it, take that knowledge to the next step.


E: Emphasise

So now you have a potential shot in mind, and very importantly, you know what makes it interesting. So this last step is to emphasise that point. Here are some ideas and examples to this way of thinking:


The red haired girl

11075265_10155408130050534_5931365906495866649_o (1)

Let’s say you’re taking an image of a red haired girl, if the reason you chose her as your subject is because of her beautiful hair colour, don’t shoot her in black and white – consider complimentary colours in the background (greens usually work well) to help her stand out from the background. You could even increase the saturation ever so slightly to boost the colour further.

Tip: Your eye is always drawn to the warmer colour palette first in an image followed by cooler tones (blues).


The aggressively styled car

car

If it is a car you’re shooting, and the reason that you chose it is because it looks mean and aggressive, getting down low to the ground, close to the car and shooting upwards can really add to the drama, especially if you add a little dutch tilt as well.

Tip: Using a wide-angle lens like the XF10-24mm or XF14mm can really increase the mood further as it pulls the centre of the frame forward, towards the viewer.


The modern city building

building

If it’s an interesting bit of modern architecture you’re shooting, and the reason that you chose it is because of its modern lines and edges. Consider following one of these lines of the building from one edge of the frame to the other. Look at capturing the symmetry of the building, try it in black and white and also look at increasing the contrast to make the building ‘pop out’ from the image.

Tip: Try shooting in the 1:1 ratio (square crop) to enhance the symmetry and pattern-like nature of the image.


Why S.E.E. can help you

If you don’t go through these steps every time you go to take a picture, there is a high chance that you will only ever take good photos, not great ones.

This process is there to remind you to squeeze out every last drop of special into every photograph you take. After a while you will know this recipe off by heart and it will become second nature, very much like the difference between learning to drive and being able to drive – it just happens naturally with a little repetition.

And most of all.. have fun and keep snapping!

😀