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Category : Camera Settings

27 Dec 2016

The Little Lions and Crocodile

In a split second, a potentially great wildlife photo is here and gone, forever. That’s why I suggest shooting in burst or continuous high release mode when there is a possibility of fast action. With continuous high release, when you press and hold down on the shutter-release button, the camera will take the maximum number of photos possible until the memory buffer is full or you lift your finger. The benefit is you have a sequence of the action shots…

01 Dec 2016

Ron Hayes asks What’s On Your Mind?

Just over eight years ago I was fortunate to make the acquaintance of a photographer by the name of John Timmis. John is not one of the “big names” but he likely should be. He is a regular contributor to Outdoor Life and Field and Stream magazines, his images adorning multiple covers. He is also a videographer; much of his work has been featured on PBS Natural World documentaries. John is a New Yorker, he is extremely verbose and there…

10 Dec 2015

Taking Photos in Snowy Conditions

Getting a good exposure in snowy conditions can be a little tricky. Does the snow look gray in your photos? This tip explains why this happens and what to do about it. Camera meters are designed to give exposure readings perceptually in the middle between white and black, a middle- tone value. When your scene is mostly snow, the camera meter gives a reading that brings the tonality back to neutral gray, which causes the image to be underexposed. In…

10 Dec 2015

Demystify Depth of Field

Depth of Field is how much of a given photograph is in sharp focus from the foreground of what’s in your frame to the background. Only what your focus point is on (shown as a square or dot when you look through the view finder) will be razor sharp. Other elements in front of (closer to you) and behind (further away from you) will be somewhat sharp. A “shallow” depth of field means a limited part of the photo is…

09 Sep 2014

How To Make A Fence Disappear

Is there a fence in your way? No problem! Use these camera settings to make the fence disappear in your photograph. Use the longest focal length of your telephoto lens. If you are able to put the lens within an inch or two from the fence, a 100mm focal length will work. The farther away you are from the fence, the longer the focal length you will need to make the fence disappear. Generally, if you are a few feet…

09 Jun 2014

Camera Settings Checklist

Check the settings each time you use your camera. Use this 10-step checklist to be ready when a wildlife photo opportunity presents itself. Set Exposure Mode: Choose Aperture Priority (A or AV) to control depth of field. Choose Shutter Priority (S or TV) to blur/freeze movement. Choose Manual to control both. Set Aperture f-stop (In Aperture Priority or Manual): f/4 – f/7 will soften or blur the background and enable faster shutter speeds. Set Shutter Speed (In Shutter Priority or…

09 Apr 2014

Maximizing Autofocus

“Auto” focus is more than one button on your camera. There are actually two functions and multiple combinations that on one hand give you the best possible chance of getting sharp focused photos. And on the other hand, when there are multiple choices, which one do you use when? Here are the two functions and optimal settings for various wildlife photography situations. Auto Focus Mode. Determines whether the camera focuses once or continuously when the shutter is pressed halfway. Choose either…

10 Aug 2013

Camera Settings for Hummingbird Photographs

Without Flash Both of the following photos were taken without flash: Photo A: Camera: Nikon D3s, Shutter Priority Mode, Shutter speed: 1/2000s, Aperture: f/5.6, ISO 2000, Matrix metering, Spot focus, Auto-focus Continuous. Lens: Nikon 200- 400mm f/4, focal length 400mm. On tripod. Photo B: Camera: Nikon D3s, Manual Mode, Aperture: f/4, Shutter speed: 1/1250s, ISO 1600, Spot metering, Spot focus, Auto-focus Continuous. Lens: Sigma 180mm Macro f/3.5. On monopod. Shutter speed is the most important setting when photographing hummingbirds in…

10 Jul 2013

How To Increase the Number of Sharp Photographs

There are specific camera settings and equipment factors that influence sharpness of the subject and overall photograph. Get the most value from the camera’s focus functions by understanding and applying these tips: Depth of Field Depth of field is how much of a given photograph is in sharp focus, from front to back. Only the subject you are focused on is tack sharp. Other elements in front of and behind the subject will be somewhat sharp. The following factors control…

10 Jun 2013

Capture Picture Perfect Butterfly Photographs

Follow these tips to get picture perfect butterfly photos: Use a macro lens with a minimum focus distance 12 inches or less so you can capture close-up, full frame detail. Position yourself at eye level to the butterfly. Keep the composition very simple. Do a four corner perimeter check around your frame and physically move your body to eliminate or add elements. Look for butterflies that are in pristine condition (i.e., no chips in their wings, both antennas, all legs, etc.).…