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Yesterday I went to a local botanical garden to see a light show, which was basically massive display of Christmas light decorations. I decided to bring my trusted Nikon D200 with me to take some family photos. I also stuffed my little Canon Powershot S95 in to my pocket. I thought I could use it to take some videos because the photo quality would suck but it could take high definition videos with decent quality.

The lights were impressive and the garden was crowded even though it was freezing cold. However I had a heck of time trying to make a few good shots of the kids. The auto focus hunted like crazy in the dark and very often it wouldn’t let me take photo at all. Read More…

Posted in Tips and Techniques on December 24th, 2011. No Comments.

Check out the photo below. What problem can you see?

Over exposed photo

It is quite obviously over-exposed. The photo was taken using an iPhone 4S in a local aquarium. The big lizard was in a cage with uneven lighting. The automatic exposure decision made by the iPhone4S was clearly poor. But the phone is only partially responsible. It really doesn’t know how I wanted the exposure when facing a difficult scene. Unlike most point-and-shot camera, the iPhone 4S doesn’t have anyway of adjusting exposure (exposure compensation). Read More…

Posted in Tips and Techniques on December 17th, 2011. No Comments.

Recently I took a photo walk with some local photographers to capture the Fall colors in a local park. We were scheduled to meet at 7AM. I was a little puzzled by the time. The sunrise time was supposed to be around 8:15AM. What were we going to do in the darkness?

It turned out that some of them wanted to take long exposure photos of night skies. Unfortunately the sky was covered by a thick cloud. So some of us started to shoot across a pond with camera mounted on tripod.

The following is the one of the photos I took with camera set to IS0 100, f/6.3, auto WB. The exposure was determined by trial and error in bulb mode. It turned out to be 45 seconds.

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The photo has a blue tint in it. It is certainly not strange considering the light source at that time: the sky. Even with a cloud cover, more blue light came through. To make this dull photo a little more pleasing, some type of color correction, or white balance adjustment can certainly help. Read More…

Posted in Tips and Techniques on November 7th, 2011. No Comments.

Nikon Canada shares some tips with our readers on how to get the most out of your easy-to-use compact and digital SLR cameras. The following article is submitted to DPTnT by Nikon Canada’s public relations company.
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It’s that time of year again for shorts, sandals, t-shirts and sun! With days at the beach and cottage getaways approaching, there will be many photo opportunities to take advantage of this summer. It’s time to grab some sunscreen and your digital camera, and start capturing memories to last you all season long. See below for some tips to keep in mind when taking photos this summer. Read More…

Posted in Tips and Techniques on July 7th, 2011. No Comments.

The following is a question submitted by DPTnT reader Daemon via our contact form.

Hi Max

I’m hoping you can help me understand some behavior I’ve been experiencing with my D700 and a couple of older flashes.

I’ve been hacking away with some older flashes; an SB-28DX and an SB-26, mounted together in a homemade bracket, and sync’ed together with an (I think) AS-10 cord. I can put an SB-800 on camera, trigger the two older flashes with a Pocket Wizard in the PC sync of one of the flashes, and the Pocket Wizard transmitter in the PC sync socket of the camera. If I keep the older flashes in full manual dump, I can get usable flash illumination at very high shutter speeds. I haven’t found a way to make this gear useful in the field, though. Too many variables and too much setup time. Also, there’s no way to vary the flash output, except for ND filters over the flash heads or some kind of physical obstruction of the amount of light that’s put out. I can send example images if you’d like.

My main question is: why does this work? What is it that the SB-800 does to my camera (D700) that allows it to incorporate the flash exposure from the two older units into the high-speed camera exposure? Without the SB-800 attached, the light from the older flashes will simply have no effect on the camera’s exposure. I’ll see the flashes go off, but they evidently are triggered too late to have any effect on the D700’s exposure. Do you see any way to answer that question?

Thanks, Daemon

Daemon,

Thanks for contacting us. Your question can be answered by our previous article titled High Speed Sync. If you have further questions, please feel free to contact us.

Max

This post was submitted by Daemon Baizan.

Posted in Q & A, Tips and Techniques on July 4th, 2011. No Comments.

Macro with

Reversed lens macro photography is probably the cheapest way of getting high magnification macro photos. We have discussed that here and here. It doesn’t need more than a proper lens and a reversed lens macro adaptor for your particular brand of camera and lens filter size.

If you don’t mind the inconvenience and inconsistency, you can even skip the adapter ring and just handhold the lens instead. The image above was taken using a Nikon D3000 and a Nikkor 35-70mm f/3.5-4.8 reversed and handheld in front of the camera by Fajar Pangestu. It is not bad at all!

Here are a few recommendations if you’d like to try it yourself.

  • Be very careful not to scratch the front element of your lens. The metal lens mount on the camera can easily scratch the glass lens. For lenses with a deeply recessed front element this is not a problem but it could be a problem for many lenses.
  • Use a lens with an aperture ring, it will make it a little easier. For lens without the aperture ring, there should be a small lever on the lens you can push to open the aperture. Use one hand to hold the lens, open the aperture using one finger. Use the other hand to hold the camera and trigger the shutter. You need both hands to work together in order to align the camera and lens, and to properly focus on the subject.
  • Be careful not the bump the exposed rear lens element into the object you are trying to photograph.
Posted in Tips and Techniques on June 18th, 2011. No Comments.

I received the following question about Capture NX2 from one of my readers.

Goods Afternoon,

I hope you can help me!

I’m getting into real estate photography and am struggling with getting excellent interior and excellent exterior shots i.e. in the one photo through windows etc.

I know in Photoshop you can take two photos; one exposed for outside and one exposed for inside and somehow put the two together to make one awesome perfectly exposed image.

Do you know how this can be achieved in Capture NX2?

Thank you in advance for any help you can give me.

Warm Regards,

Alice G.

Read More…

Posted in Q & A, Tips and Techniques on June 18th, 2011. No Comments.

Nik Software, the maker of the famous Nikon Capture NX and NX2 software for Nikon RAW image processing, has released a software called Snapseed developed exclusively for the iPAD.

With Snapseed, photo editing is as simple as tapping and swiping your fingers on the iPAD. You can easily adjust images for brightness, contrast, saturation, etc. It is also very easy to straighten leaning photos and crop them to the size you want. Nik didn’t forget to bring their excellent U Point selective local area adjustment to Snapseed either. People who are familiar with Nikon Capture NX or NX2 software will really appreciate this great feature for intuitive local adjustments without complicated layers and masks.

The software also provides some special effects such as black and white, grunge, vintage film, center focus, etc.

With built-in sharing function, it is easy for users to share edited photos by email or on social networking sites (Flickr and Facebook are supported).

Snapseed for iPAD is currently available from iTunes App Store for $4.99.

Coverages of Snapseed on the web

Posted in Digital photography, Photo Editing, Software on June 8th, 2011. No Comments.
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