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Learning Centre



Embrace the cold. Capture the beautiful winter scenery around you.

Try these 5 tips for taking better landscape photos in winter.


1. BE PREPARED
For photographing in cold weather, you will need to make sure you're dressed appropriately. Landscape photography takes time, so you want to be comfortable.

·         Wear water-proof shoes.

·         Bring warm gloves with you.

·         Take a tripod - when the light is low, you need to be able to shoot at slower shutter speeds.

·         Make sure your batteries are fully charged. The cold drains them faster than usual. 

·         Pop an umbrella in the boot too, just in case you're going to shoot some awesome wet weather landscapes.


2. LOOK FOR LEADING LINES
Lead the viewer into your image by using natural or structural lines, such as a ray of sunlight, a fence line, tyre tracks and rows of trees. Place them in your frame in a way that draws the viewers eye to what you want them to look at. No lines in your scene? Make tracks of your own. For instance, try carefully walking over frosty grass to make a trail into your image. 


3. SHOW OFF PATTERNS
There are tons of patterns in nature. Add interest by bringing out patterns in your landscapes. You might find them in the details or in the entire landscape.

  • Look for repetition of shapes, like the way a line of trees grow, or a stack of mountain ridges creating rugged lines in the distance.
  • Is there symmetry in the scene? 
  • Can you see interesting spacing of elements in your view?
  • Look for elements that break the pattern too, for example, one tree that grows different from the rest. This will give your image a focal point.
  • Look for any colours that create patterns.
  • They don't have to be still patterns, look at passing clouds - is there a repeating shape? Or a flock of birds - what formation are they flying in?


4. TRY SHOOTING IN MONOCHROME
Landscapes don't have to be colourful to pack a punch. By shooting in monochrome you can emphasize lines and shapes, create a mood and emphasize contrasts.
Keep your exposures bright for highlighting snow and ice, but bring them down if you want to create mood and bring out texture in your image.
Also try long-exposures while in monochrome mode, this will give you some dreamy results.
Throw on some filters, like a polarizer, or a neutral density to control the light and contrast.

5. GO OUT EARLY IN THE MORNING
Winter sunrises are gorgeous. But that's not the only reason to start early. 

  • Early in the day, there might be fog or mist still around, which adds beautiful depth to images.
  • The sun is low, so the light is directional, giving more definition and texture to subjects.
  • It's not all about wide-angles, think about getting up close to capture details, like dew on a bare twig, or frost on a flower, and ice patterns. If you have a macro lens, you'll love looking for details even more.
  • The sun rises later in winter, so you don't have to get up too early!


Wrap up warm and get out there! Then enter your photos in our Winter landscapes Photo Challenge and you could win a Cokin Filter kit. This kit includes 4 ND filters, holder and adapter. Armed with this kit, you can get even more creative with your landscape photography. Talk to us about how these filters work. We'll show you what they can do.

 




Taking a photo walk can be a creativity boost for any photographer. Even if you’re not a street photographer, doing a walk for fun is another way you can hone your skills. So here are 5 ways to improve your street photography:

1. CHOOSE A THEME
Wondering what to photograph? Simply choose a theme. It could be a series of a certain type of object or architecture, or maybe a concept or study on something you see around you on the streets in your city. Look around you when you head out and see if you can develop a theme based on what you see.


2. WORK YOUR COMPOSITION
Take time to look for ways to add interest to your images. For example, you could try:
  • Looking for reflections
  • Look for light vs shadow
  • Look for shapes, lines and patterns
  • Shoot from above
  • Shoot from below
  • Frame your subject
  • Find symmetry or asymmetry
  • Look for colour
  • Play with depth of field

3. TRY A NEW TECHNIQUE
What have you been wanting to experiment with? Are you wanting to take a new lens for a good spin? Have you used all the features packed into your camera? Or maybe you've seen something you've always wanted to try, like long exposure of traffic light trails, or black and white architecture etc. Head out with those things in mind and give them a try.  


4. PHOTOGRAPH WHERE YOU LIVE AND WORK
Capture the life and culture of where you are from. Even if there are not many people, capture shots of life without people. Walk around your city or suburb looking for candid life moments.You know these areas well so you can show their meaning and tell a story.


5. DON'T LET THE WEATHER PUT YOU OFF
It is winter, and the warmth of inside is calling, but for street photos with a difference, embrace the bad weather. The elements - such as rain, fog, or frost - can turn a good photo into an amazing one. Layer up, and pack a flask.


Go with another photographer and share other photo tips with each other. You will enjoy your expedition even more, and come back creativity charged! We're holding a street walk on June 17th, so come with us!



HOW TO TAKE MONOCHROME PORTRAITS
 


Monochrome portraits can make a very strong portrait, tell a story or convey deep emotion because they help the viewer focus on the people. The contrast and deep tones of a monochrome image can make it very expressive, full of meaning, depth and mood.

How to do it:

  • Set your camera's shooting mode to Monochrome
  • Shoot in RAW and jpg. This means you have more flexibility for fine tuning things like skin tones later
  • Use 'Live View' to compose your portrait and preview the lighting
  • Look for contrast, shape and texture. These give monochrome images their power
  • Set your exposure for whites to create a low key, moody image (under-expose)
  • To bring detail out in the mid tones and shadows or create a high key look, expose for the blacks (over-expose)
  • Focus on the eyes particularly if your subject is looking at the camera
  • Control the contrast with your light source. For more contrast and strong shadows, choose a harder source of light, or bring it closer to your subject
  • If you like soft tones and subtle shadows, then you want a softer light source




Autumn’s here and there’s no better time to go for a walk with your camera. We've composed a quick list of 6 simple ways to help you at this beautiful time of year to take fabulous photos you'll be proud of.



Look for the simple beauty in a single leaf or highlight it’s colours by looking for contrasts. Try a close up of the details in just part a leaf.



Show off the colours in an entire scene with a wide angle lens. Shoot from a lower viewpoint and try to avoid sky (unless it's blue) to prevent fringing.



Take advantage of all those leaves in the backyard. Photograph leaf fights. Rake leaves into heaps and have fun. This allows opportunity for spontaneous portraits of kids and adults alike.



Filters can bring out rich colors by eliminating the reflections that desaturate them. They can deepen the blue in the sky, or water, increase contrast, or stop light to allow for slow shutter speeds.



Shoot the scene with the light behind the subject for vibrant colours and to show leaf detail. Use spot metering and increase your exposure by one stop.



For warm, bright reds and yellows, take photos on a sunny day just before sunset or after sunrise when the sun is low in the sky, and the light is warm. Shoot on landscape mode, or at f/11, with a tripod.





Summer time is a great time to get snappy!  With the ability to take so many photos, what are the best ways to keep them safe and organized? What if your device or hard drive fails, or if photos are accidentally deleted? We've compiled a list of 5 ways you can make sure your photos will be both safely archived and easily accessible for years to come.

1.  Backup your images regularly.  

It's hard to keep track of how many photos we take, but the best way to ensure they are saved somewhere other than our camera or device is to schedule a regular upload, like once a week, or immediately after an important event or holiday.
Methods vary, but some common ways to download images to your computer are card-readers, USB cables and wireless transfers. Alternatively, images can be easily uploaded to cloud software. This has many advantages. You can schedule automatic backups, and view your images from your device when connected to the internet, and use this storage space as a backup if you're computer or device crashes.


2. Archive on portable hard-drives.  

Don't rely solely on your computer or cloud software for keeping your back up safe. It is a good idea to use external hard drives to hold your images. Many of these portable devices are compact and easy to store. It's best to keep multiple copies of your back ups, to back up to them regularly, and check them often to make sure they are still ok. Only use good quality hard drives. Always keep one of the hard drives at a separate, safe location in case of unforeseen occurrence.


3. Backup on USB Drives.  

USB drives (memory sticks) are ready available and affordable. Like backing up to hard drives, more than one copy should be kept, and checked regulary.  They can be used in printing kiosks, and will load faster since they will not be storing so many photos. Quality makes a big difference, cheap drives may mean cheap manufacture and more prone to falilure. Always check your drive has backed up correctly after each backup.


4. Organize your photos.  

Each time you save your images, develop the habit of organizing them. This will spare you from a big job down the track, and you will find it easy to locate particular images again. An easy way to organize them is to create a folder for each year and then inside that each month, and a new subfolder each time. Name it something like this: "Year_Month_Date_Description" (eg. 2016_01_10_New Years Holiday. Then back it up to your external hard drives or USB drives.


5. Print your photos.  

Prints will ensure a hard copy and that your photo will be enjoyed. Use an online service or a store kiosk. Look for a printing lab that knows it's stuff, and can deliver good quality prints. Ask if they offer a hand-printing service for those special occasion photos. Frame your photos, or put them on display as canvas prints
Why not put together a photo book at the end of each year featuring the best moments of that year? When you're saving your images, create another folder called 'The best of the Year' and save the your favourites in it as you go.



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