• Shoot from 3m away – any closer may expose the person (white look)
  • Shoot with a long telephoto lens and use flash
  • Stand back, zoom in, increase flash to maximum intensity
  • In daylight : use f/14 SS 1/80
  • Lens 50mm : give a good focal length
  • Lens 70-200mm : photog favourite choice, good to zoom in and take candid shots
  • Lens 24-105mm : always works well
  • Lens wide : never use – big No -  just makes a person look fat
  • Aperture f/4 – to blur the back ground and capture a person eyes
  • Aperture Priority Mode f/5 to f/11
  • Choose a large Ap (f/1.8) nice blurry back & will decrease DOF, leaving subject in focus
  • Low ISO 100-200 for smooth shots
  • SS at least 1/60 Or faster 1/125 better if no tripod
  • Take pictures in the Shade or on a Cloudy Day
  • Do NOT shoot pictures in the middle of the day
  • Use the flash in & out doors
  • Don’t use direct flash – bounce off white roof / surface
  • Try to use the available light, position the person where the light is soft.
  • Ask the person sit down. This helps them to relax.
  • Subject facing AWAY from sun, photog facing sun, sun behind subject, sub won’t squint
  • Children or Pets – get down to their level
  • Pick the person’s ‘best side’. Get one shoulder turned towards the camera.
  • Dress your subject up if possible. Solid, dark or light colours work best.
  • Try to shoot slightly above the person to make the eyes open more.
  • Tell the person to think of something they like doing. This will bring lights in the eyes
  • Compose vertically. Turn the camera on its side.
  • Hands can look awkward. Lightly closed fist is usually neutral. Let hands rest on knee/lap
  • Convert some photos to Black & White – has a timeless look

Self Portrait

  • Use a Timer or Remote
  • Use Google Images to find a “Focus Target” load & stick to wall at head level and use it to focus or stick coloured tape to mark the bottom of pic, normally at chest level.
  • Mark a spot on floor to stand
  • Hook up to a Laptop to be able to view on screen where you should stand
  • Manual focus
  • f/10 will give you DOF
  • Another photo op : put camera in fridge and remote click as you open fridge door
  • “Gorillapod” will allow you to attach your camera around a climbing frame, branch of a tree or other objects.  You will get shots you never dreamed off

Natural Smile Techniques

  • Don’t say “cheese.” It stretches your face & mouth into an unnatural position
  • Instead, say a word that ends in an “uh” sound. Yoga.  Mocha.  Grandpa.
  • Laugh while the photo is being taken. It can be just a little chuckle that helps relax
  • Lift the tip of your tongue up behind your front teeth, helps position lips in a relaxed pose.
  • Relax your face. With a genuine smile, the face is completely relaxed except at the mouth and the corner of the eyes (i.e. smiling eyes). Try to replicate that and not stiffen your cheeks while smiling.

Subject Placement Tips

  • Doing it wrong. Most people take their subject and place it slap bang in the middle thinking that is the right place to go. How wrong can you get?
  • Going for the centre.  Despite what just said about centrally placed subjects, there is a place for it in photography, just that it works in limited ways. Subjects like people portraits can work well with a central subject. Other subjects or objects like buildings that are symmetrical work well as do cars taken from the front and subjects cropped tightly.
  • Off-centered  If you want to place a subject in the middle of an image try to off center it just a little so that it’s not right in the middle. This will help make a more pleasant image.
  • The rule of thirds this rule discovered by the early Greeks and used for centuries in art and painting. Two horizontal lines and two vertical lines dividing the scene into thirds. Where these lines intersect are your key points. It’s on these points that you can place your subject to the best effect.
  • Placement of rule of thirds. If you have a tall object or a person standing up then place it or them on one of the two vertical lines. The same goes for a landscape image with a horizon. The horizon should always lie on one of the horizontal lines and not in the middle, creating a striking landscape photo.
  • Two third rule. By placing your subject according to the two thirds rule the image becomes more balanced and pleasing to the eye. You can add another focal point to the image but it should never compete with the main subject so it has to be smaller and not dominate the photo. Placement of a subject is key to every image so experiment and practice using these tips on placing your subject as you learn digital photography.


Outdoor Portraits


  • Don’t place your subject looking towards the sun. This will cause her to squint.
  • Don’t shoot you subject in place with a mix of light & shadow, creates an uneven pattern


  • Use fill flash. This will fill in some of the shadows and create a catch light in subject’s eyes.
  • Place your subject’s back towards the sun. Will create a nice rim light on her hair
  • Shoot in the shade. This will provide a very diffuse and even lighting.


Moon Photography Tips

  • Aaron’s choice F11 SS 1/500 ISO 200 (IS/VR off)
  • Erv‘s choice     F8 Ev-3 SS1/250 ISO 200 (IS/VR off)
  • Mirror lock up. 
  • Focus with enlarged LCD image.   
  • Must use Tripod. 
  • Image stabilizer IS to OFF or Vibration reduction to. OFF
  • A prime lens will always be sharper than a zoom lens. 
  • The longer the lens, the less cropping required to enlarge image
  • Most make the mistake of a slow shutter speed, but they forget the moon is bright
  • Sharpen image using ‘Contrast tool’ in PSE11
  • Suggested       F16 SS 1/200 ISO 200   best option
  • Here are basic setting, that work well
    All the times and f-stops are for 200 ISO,
    • Full moon, or moon more than half visible: 1/60 sec. at f/16
    • Half to one-quarter of the moon visible: 1/30 sec. at f/16
    • Less than one-quarter of the moon visible: 1/15 sec. at f/16
    • Just the edge of the moon lit: 1 sec. at f/16
    • Fully eclipsed at beginning and end of totality: 4 sec. at f/5.6
    • Fully eclipsed, deepest totality: 8 sec. at f/5.6


  • Moon Daylight (only).  F6.3       SS 1/400      ISO 400

Kids Pictures

  • Photograph at their level. Get down close.
  • Shoot a lot. If you’re using a digital camera, there’s no waste.
  • Pre-focus half depressing the shutter to lock the focus then wait for the right time
  • Set the exposure beforehand, so all you have to do is compose
  • Talk to your subject, engage them in conversation.
  • Use a long telephoto lens especially if you’re in the bright outdoors.
  • Don’t get in their faces the whole time. Not every picture has to show their faces.
  • Be flexible. Some of the best pictures of kids are not posed. Keep camera handy.
  • Shutter priority,  let the camera select the aperture.
  • High shutter speed since kids seldom stay still.  Shutter speed set at 1/500th of a second

Pets (Cats & Dogs)

  • f/5.6 to f/8
  • SS 1/200 or 1/250
  • ISO 6400
  • First step is to mentally pre-visualize what you want the end result to be.
  • Try use well lit environment – hence no flash (means no pet distraction)
  • Dogs are basically pack animals and there is a distinct hierarchy in the pack.
  • Alpha dogs and so on.  There is a competition between you as a photographer and the dog.
  • Eye contact is the first stage of a fight.
  • Don’t give the dog treats as a way to make them stay in place.
  • They will be looking down at, and chewing on, the food and won’t be able to get a shot.
  • Then, as soon as the treat is gone, they’ll come over to you, hoping for more.
  • For Dog use “squeaker” . Keep it hidden from the dog, until ready for shoot, gently squeak.
  • Don’t let the dog see the toy. When loses interest in the squeaking, flick it into the air
  • The longer it takes for it to figure out what is making the sound, the more shots you will get
  • Cats use visual stimuli, peacock feather flicking around.
  • Cats won’t look at a camera for the simple reason that you want them to.
  • Auto Focus from one metre away
  • Shoot at the dog’s level.
  • Focus on the eyes! Sharp eyes are vital and can save many otherwise not so hot photos.
  • Get back far enough so that the eyes can be sharp without blurring or distorting the nose.
  • Be sure to get a catch light in the eyes.
  • Without the dog knowing, have a squeaking dog toy.
  • When the dog is positioned properly, squeak it.
  • The dog will whip it’s head around to you, will be at attention & a good photo op
  • Auto focus – half pressed. Be ready and focused
  • Dog sees the lens as an eye staring at them & if a shy dog, to avoid a fight, it won’t look


Sunny f/16 rule 

  • Option 1: f/16   SS 1/100 or 1/125   ISO 100 (same SS & ISO)
  • Option 2: f/16   SS 1/200 or 1/250   ISO 200 (same SS & ISO)
  • Option 3: f/16   SS 1/400 or 1/500   ISO 400 (same SS & ISO)


In general, the adjustment is done such that for each step in aperture increase (i.e., decreasing the f-number), the exposure time has to be halved (or equivalently, the shutter speed doubled), and vice versa.


  • There is a nice app called The Photographer's Ephemeris for sunset times
  • Wait for "second sunset" aka "blue hour" abt 20-30 min after sun drops below the horizon.
  • In Auto rule of thumb set exposure compensation to -1.
  • Without EC the cam will see the dark areas & brighten the pic. This will blow out the nice colours.
  • If in a snow or very bright outdoor / beach scene, + EC to get the true brightness.
  • Sunset without clouds just doesn't do it, clouds following a storm are ideal.
  • Look for broken cloud cover with wispy looks
  • Sunsets at the beach: try some low angle shots with foreground interest, sky colour in the wet sand at low tide.
  • Shooting in manual mode with a wide aperture (f/2.8).
  • Recommended shoot in RAW not JPEG
  • Keep the f-stop the same and then adjust your shutter speed and keep adjusting SS
  • Most shoot auto white balance
  • No photographer should ever be at home on a rainy day, because that is when the best possible sunset photography presents itself.
  • Some prefer white balance to "shade", shooting in "shade" tends to warm up the photo.


Winter / Snowy Photography Tips

  • Winter photographs are best early. The fresh snow will not be disturbed and the lighting is better.
  • Overexposure is the biggest problem in photographing a winter wonderland.
  • Aperture mode and check your the pictures occasionally for the winter whiteout.
  • Find enough contrast (trees, rivers, buildings, rocks) in your shot to solidify the picture.
  • Be sure to take extra care when changing lenses, batteries, etc.
  • Have a soft cloth handy to help reduce fog on the lens.



  • f/25     SS 1/3sec. Liked soft look
  • f/3.4    SS 1/50.   ISO. 100
  • f/22.    SS 1.3sec. ISO. 400
  • F 9.     SS 1/5.      ISO. 100
  • SS 1/13sec ISO. Shows water moving
  • Shoot f/18 to f/32. SS  1/10th sec   ISO. 50 or 100
  • Suggested SS 30sec or 15sec
  • Suggested 1/13th sec (kind of a nice mix if you like reality).It isn't still & it isn't pillowy
  • Death knell for moving water is SS between 1/25 and 1/250
  • Use a Wide Angle lens
  • Shots require a very cloudy day.  Avoid falls in direct sun light
  • All shade or overcast is best
  • Must use a Tripod
  • Take the photo more downstream with falls in view
  • Let the flow of water compose your photos


Splashing water to see droplets

  • Faster Shutter speed 1/500s
  • Use tripod and timer
  • Splashing water with a blur speed 1/30s (need not use tripod)


Vivid Lights

  • Tripod
  • Remote
  • Lens 18-300mm
  • Lens Hood
  • VR/IS off - lock on tripod
  • Auto – no flash (check settings)
  • App 5.3  SS 1/3sec to 1/5sec  ISO Auto
  • Remember to do a video Rotate selector > Press LV button > Focus (half press) > Press Red record button > To stop press Red button > Press LV to exit live view mode (Pg 161 D7100)


  • Tripod use – impossible to hold a camera still for longer than 1/30 sec
  • Aperture between F8 and F16 (mostly F16) never use F3.5
  • SS – “B” setting or 1-4 seconds (opens shutter for long exposure)
  • If Remote press the shutter release just before the actual burst of the fireworks.
  • ISO 100
  • Set focus to "infinity"
  • IR/VR off
  • White Balance set to Auto
  • Camera on manual focus,  off "auto focus" cause by time camera detects pic – it is too late
  • Suggest using wide angle lens to cover greater width of sky
  • Try to get a water reflection
  • Tip: a black card over lens when setting on bulb & just remove it when fireworks explode.
  • Another option : F11, SS six seconds, ISO 100


Lightning Boltz

  • Tripod
  • Aperture F4
  • SS – “B”
  • Lens in manual – set to infinity
  • IR/VR off
  • Use Remote (since its in B mode – hence keep button pressed)
  • If there is no lightning in sky in about 2 to 4 seconds, advance to next frame
  • Keep experimenting – pressing remote as mentioned above  every 2 to 4 seconds



Windows Shots (when light is in the background) – Active D-Lighting

I want to take shots with a window in the background or against a sky.




Flowers with Black Background

  • Manual mode (attempt to shoot in late / dark or shadow conditions)
  • Look for flowers in shade or dark background (better if light shone directly on flowers)
  • Aperture f/5.6 or try lower f/2.8
  • SS 250 or some suggest fast SS the better to keep light out
  • ISO lowest i.e. 200 or 100 (lower the better)
  • Bring in the Flash or flashlight direct on flower / subject
  • Exposure Compensation minus -3EV (-3 step)


Capture a Silhouette


  • One could say that photography is the negative exposure of other forms of art.
  • Photographs have a majority of the available light to be dedicated to front lighting, this is to say we want to reflect light off the front of the subject to expose details that render the subject recognizable.
  • This is generally why we use camera-mounted flash, or have the subject face the light source.
  • Back lighting a subject means the light source is projected directly toward the camera and is sourced from behind the subject.
  • When there is a higher ratio of available light dedicated to back light, the subject becomes dark as highlights are overcome by shadows.
  • Creating a silhouette requires the photographer to take the camera out of the automatic setting.
  • When the automatic setting is used, the camera will attempt to lengthen the exposure time in attempt to increase the highlights on the subject.
  • Camera in the shutter priority mode and set the shutter time to 1/125 of a second.
  • If camera has shutter bracketing-the ability to take sequential shots at varying exposure settings-set the shots to two increments apart.
  • ISO should be set to 100 to reduce grain and to lower the light sensitivity.
  • Mount the camera on a tripod and take your shot.
  • When you review your shot, you should look for a number of indicators to determine the quality of your silhouette.
  • First, verify the composition. Large shadow areas that have little relevance will either need to be cropped or reformatted.
  • The next element you want to review is the histogram.
  • The histogram should have spikes on the shadows and highlights, with little in between. If your histogram shows positive spikes on the mid tones, then your shot will contain unwanted detail.



  • Basically just following the movement of the subject with the camera.
  • Aperture f22, the smallest aperture
  • In order to get the streaks in the background, need to have a SS 1/90th of a second
  • The exact shutter speed you need for the best effect depends on how fast the subject is traveling, how far you are away and how blurred you want the background
  • A slower speed would have made the streaks longer.
  • If you're going for really slow speeds you need to put the camera on a tripod.


Street Photography

  • Focusing  – sharpness and depth of field – street scenes – use f/11 or small
  • A Large aperture (lower f )when shooting in shade or low light in markets or buildings
  • Good depth of field will – you will find many smaller objects, you did not notice before
  • Manual Focus
  • Wide Angle lens covers more width in the photo
  • Consider a theme – convert colour to Black and White perhaps.


Christmas Night Lights WA

  • F3.5.   SS   1/40   ISO 200
  • F3.5.   SS   1/13   ISO 200
  • F4.5.   SS   1/33sec   48mm
  • F3.5.   SS   1/77 sec.  18mm
  • Shoot from low position include sky
  • Slower shutter speed, often ¼ second to 2 seconds or more will be required.
  • Shoot into the after glow of evening
  • Once picture is framed set camera to white balance "tungsten"
  • Use a tripod
  • Best time to photograph outdoor holiday lights is after sun goes down but before it is dark.
  • That time period is usually less than ½ hour, probably more like 15-20 minutes.
  • Turn your flash off when taking pictures of outdoor lights.

Christmas Tree

  • F3.5  SS  6sec. ISO 200 18m
  • F16   4sec. ISO 100 lady & tree

Bermuda Caves

  • F8    SS 1/125   ISO 1000. Glow cave

Low Key for Dark Portrait

  • F8.   SS 1/125   ISO 100
  • Subject 8-10ft from a dark wall
  • Use strip box with speed light inside positioned above eyes & facing down.   
  • I think use direct lamp pointed to subject upper body from above in a dark room
  • Also suggested F5.6 to 8    ISO100
  • SS  1/60.  Use tripod


  • Tripod and attach cable release – always photography thru a house or car window for safety
  • Set focus to infinity
  • SS set to BULB (B setting) or long exposures (several seconds or more)
  • Set camera to shoot for a certain amount of time …. 30 seconds
  • App between f/2.8 to f/8 (some suggested  f/11)
  • Turn off Auto focus
  • ISO 100
  • Lock Shutter to shoot continuously
  • Point Camera to a promising part of the sky
  • Open Shutter, lock cable release
  • Wait for lightning flash then release cable lock


Additional Low Light Photography Tips

  • Use Tripod
  • Large App f/5.6 lets in more light
  • Slower SS – if hand held no slower than 1/60th of a second or use a Tripod
  • Avoid pop up flash
  • Higher exposure - purposefully “overexpose” the photograph.



How to Photograph Star Trails


  • Tripod
  • Lens wide angle, wider the better, help you capture as much of the sky possible.
  • Lens to manual focus
  • Focusing to ‘near infinity’
  • Aperture widest f/3.5 or 4 good enough
  • ISO high 1600
  • SS – keep it at 30 sec
  • Set shutter for continuous shooting, where you just hold the shutter down and click
  • Remote shutter release, to lock shutter open, cause camera shake if kept shutter pressed.
  • It is a little odd to do that with a 30 seconds exposure, but it works great.
  • Your camera will now shoot a new pic every 30 seconds.
  • After the test shot is done, zoom in and check if the stars are sharp
  • If not re-adjust the focus and keep taking test shots until the stars appear sharp.
  • LR to process the RAW files, allows to easily apply same settings to entire set of images.
  • The images will have a orange tint, and bad colours, as happens with most night time shots.
  • But this can be corrected. Check the white balance, and correct the exposure settings.
  • You want the stars to be bright and nice, and the sky to be dark.
  • Adjust the black levels and white levels and apply the same settings to the entire set.
  • After this export the set as jpeg files into a single folder, and stacks them together.
  • Keep an eye on the sky too. Clouds might ruin your images.
  • They might come and go just for a couple of minutes, but be locked in long exposures.


Bulb Mode / Long Exposure / Night Trails (Page 52 D7100) 

  • Tripod ensures no camera movement. Don’t have to use a tripod so long as the camera is on a solid base, like a wall. Turn off the any VR
  • Remote Shutter Release prevents vibrations as you press the shutter button. In Bulb mode you will record vibrations, however small. Or else, use the camera’s built-in self-timer delay. A two second delay will be adequate.
  • Manual Mode Since metering is completely irrelevant when using the Bulb exposure setting. Choose an appropriate aperture, f/8 or f/11, as these apertures offer the best image quality. Also, set the ISO to 100 or 200 in order to minimize sensor noise. Finally, experiment by taking several test shots.
  • Replace the rubber eyepiece with cover provided
  • SS set to Bulb
  • Press and hold remote for period of “Time” to capture image
  • Bulb - special setting that goes beyond the longest auto shutter speed setting of 30 seconds.
  • This special setting allows infinitely longs exposures to be made.
  • The shutter speed range on a DSLR camera finishes at 30 seconds.
  • Manually holds the shutter open (as long as is required) as shutter button is pressed down.
  • The camera bulb exposure setting is only available in Manual mode.
  • Bulb mode is creative feature. Allows shots to be taken that are mins long, rather than secs.
  • A typical image to capture using this feature is one of star trails when the night sky is clear.
  • Simply aim the camera to the north or south celestial pole
  • Another common image to capture is of the trails of vehicle lights when it is dark.
  • Moving lights will create artistic streaks of white & red patterns emitted from the head lights and tail lights of passing traffic.
  • If you are near a traffic junction you may capture orange streaks from indicator lights.
  • And if you’re lucky enough, you may get a streak of blue from the flashing light of an emergency vehicle.


Night Photography

  • Much longer exposure times are required when shooting at night
  • Tripod with Sand bags to secure or flat surface
  • Remote or Timer button
  • Manual focus
  • Aperture to around f/5-6
  • SS to around 3-4 seconds or SS Set the camera to 'bulb' - 'bulb' will appear on the LCD.
  • The shutter speed required to take this type of shot can be up to 30 seconds.
  • The longer you leave the shutter open the lighter the image.
  • ISO to 100 or 200.
  • Lens set to infinity.
  • Lens Wide Angle 10-22mm or 16-35mm
  • Lens Hood to prevent flares


Oscar Shot Harbour Bridge:  f/8  SS 30sec ISO 100


Long Exposure Night Photography Tips in the Mountains

  • Aperture   f/2.8  Shutter 1/30s  ISO 3200
  • Use a lens with an aperture f/2.8 or wider to allow maximum amounts of light in with shorter exposure times.
  • Manually adjust the focus to infinity.
  • Start with an ISO of 3200, take a test shot, and adjust the ISO as needed increasing or decreasing in increments of 100.
  • Begin with an exposure time of 1/30 seconds and fine tune in increments of 5 seconds until you are happy with your exposure.


Shooting star trails

  • Tripod a must
  • Shoot RAW (suggested)
  • IS set to Off
  • WB auto
  • User timer or remote to avoid shake
  • Aperture f/4 or less
  • Lens set to infinity
  • Not bulb.  SS set to 25 secs or so.
  • Lock remote shutter release for continuous shooting
  • Set Camera to continuous shooting
  • The longer the SS the longer the star trails
  • Require lots of space on memory card


Sports / Dancing or People on Stage (fast movement & avoid blur)

  • Single focal point is best
  • Lens 70-200 f/2.8 recommended
  • Use S priority – this will allow you to set the SS
  • High Shutter Speed (vip)  – will freeze the action 
  • Use SS 1/500 best (or next best 1/300)
  • Aperture f/4-5.6
  • High ISO 1600 to 3200
  • If sunny day – find a spot with sun to your back whilst shooting to avoid shadows
  • Sports Rugby use Low Shutter Speed and ISO 1000  F/16 Low light



  • App priority mode F/1.8   ISO 1600


Pictures off TV

  • Suggested best: SS should be less than 1/15th of a sec
  • Or to ensure a complete picture we need a shutter speed of 1/25sec or slower


Shutter Lingo Understanding

  • SS The 30" would tell you the shutter will be open for 30 seconds.
  • Without the " needs to be read as a fraction. 30 = 1/30th sec or 1000= 1/1000th of a sec
  • The long exposures (such as 30 seconds) are fun for night photos, such as "light painting" or deliberate blurring, as in having people walk through the frame slowly or showing lights on moving vehicles.



Airplane window photos

  • Switch your camera from the auto focus to the manual focus. The reason is that the camera gets confused when you are shooting through the glass. When you switch to the manual focus mode and lock the focus on the main focal point you will achieve better results.
  • Always turn off the flash when you shoot from an airplane. The reason is that a flash will not be of any help. An in-built flash will only work for a few meters and will aggravate the problem of reflection.
  • Windows of the airplane will often ice up or get condensed when you are flying for a long period of time. Therefore, you must make it a point to shoot early. Your shots will be much clearer and better.
  • If you are looking for the aerial shots of the ground, there will be fewer opportunities when you would be able to do it. Therefore, the key is to be ready for those moments. These opportunities occur when the plane begins to bank off before landing or after taking off. You will get very few opportunities to capture these shots. Therefore, always be ready to shot at the right moment.
  • There are times when the scene outside the airplane is just breathtaking. These are the scenes that you will never want to miss. But after you have captured these scenes you would really feel that they do nothing to inspire you. When shooting from airplane look for a main subject that will bring light on your photograph.



Candle-Lit photos

  • This is an indoor portrait taken in near darkness, resembling a birthday cake shot.
  • Need a darkish room that doesn’t have a lot of stray light coming in
  • One or more candles
  • Mode: Aperture Priority
  • ISO: 800 or so (there will be very little light)
  • White Balance: Custom
  • Aperture: Lowest f-numbers captures the most light
  • Watch out for: The shutter speed. In a dark setting in Aperture Priority mode, your camera will choose the best shutter speed for the aperture value you selected. Don’t be surprised if it chooses a very slow speed, like ¼ to 1/15 second. You’ll have to stabilize both your image and your subject. You can increase the ISO, but at some point you’ll either hit the top ISO of your camera, or the noise of the camera’s sensor will make the image quality poor.
  • The Pose: This is your choice, but I recommend a shot almost even with the candles, with the subject’s face above. You will want to make sure they can stay very still if the camera’s shutter speed is below 1/60.
  • Framing the Image: Your choice here. If you are practicing for a birthday celebration, I recommend a landscape orientation with the cake at the bottom and the subject above. Since the wide aperture creates a narrow zone of focus, you can choose to either focus on the candle flame (which will render the subject out of focus), or the subject (fuzzing the candle). Both are good images.


Selfie Photo Tips

  • Self-Timer using the self timer on your camera or a remote shutter release
  • Tripod or substitute a chair or another piece of sturdy furniture.
  • Lighting is one of the things that sets apart amateur photography from professional
  • If shooting indoors, look for a window. Stand with the light falling on your face and not coming from behind your head for best results.
  • Outside, it’s often best to find a shaded area for photos, especially if the sun is bright.
  • If you’re taking a close up of your face and the light is coming from a particular direction, you might find that one side of your face looks brighter than the other. If this happens, you can take a car reflector, mirror, or a piece of white poster board, and use it to reflect light onto to the darker side of your face in order to even it out.
  • Scenery - An easy way to spot a self-portrait is by noting the background of a photograph.
  • If you want to take photos at home, try to hang a plain-colored sheet n an uncluttered area.
  • You can then use the sheet as a backdrop for your self-portrait.
  • For best results, hang the sheet so that a foot or two of the material can cover the floor, thus creating a seamless background from the floor to the wall.
  • Best solution would probably be to go somewhere besides the home to take a self-portrait.
  • A local park is a wonderful place to take photos, and you’ll have lovely scenery
  • Editing - try to make any photo editing you do look very natural.
  • People are likely to spot an over-processed self-portrait.


Checklist for A Camera Shoot

  • Camera batteries recharged after each and every shoot – no exceptions.
  • Flash batteries recharged after each and every shoot
  • Flash off.
  • Format memory cards – will ensure max shots
  • Check for spare memory card.
  • Settings to RAW & JPG fine.
  • Check that the camera body and any/all lenses are set to autofocus
  • Visual examination of the camera &check lens surfaces, the screen.
  • Gear like tripods, light stands, etc. They all go back in their individual bags and covers.
  • Set ISO to 200 or auto.
  • Set shutter speed to 1/125. This is a decent shutter speed for most of the lenses
  • Set mode dial to Aperture Priority
  • Set white balance to AUTO.
  • Set exposure compensation to “0.”
  • Reset the focus point to the centre – single point. This is my preference for most shoots.


HDR images using Nikon

Camera settings

  • Aperture Mode (and the camera will determine the SS) never change aperture
  • Start at f/11 or f/13 (experimenting your way up or down – some suggest f8)
  • Set Camera to “Auto White Balance” using “Custom White Balance”.
  • ISO 100 – lower ISO the better to decrease noise (do not set to AUTO)
  • Switch focus mode on lens from M/A to M so the camera doesn’t try to refocus your shot
  • Turn off auto focus on camera to manual
  • Set focus ring to infinity
  • Tripod required
  • If using a remote, cover the eye piece
  • Keep finger pressed on button until you hear all 3 photos are taken   or
  • If required Timer set 2 sec (camera will fire off all 3, 5, 7 exposures in sequence)
  • Use a wide angle lens about 28mm wide (suggested 24-700mm is a favourite)
  • Lens under 28mm range is going to start getting pretty wide – won't work as good
  • Shoot in Raw much more exposure detail than JPG. (AB : have done in jpeg looks ok)


Camera Bracketing

  • Custom Setting Menu, Bracketing/flash –> e5 Auto bracketing set. Set to AE only.
  • Next option, e6 Bracketing order. Set to Under > MTR > over. This makes your series come out from under- to over-exposed, in that order.
  • Hold down the BKT button on the left side of the body and rotate the command wheel 1 click to the right so the top LCD screen reads “3F’ (3 shots) and the BKT indicator is on.
  • Press and hold the BKT button & Rotate the sub-command wheel until the number is 2.0. This number represents the number of EV stops in between each picture
  • Can leave them like this all the time and take whatever kind of pictures (read “non-HDR”)
  • Fire off the set of 3 pictures and wait until they are all complete (see below for options)


Taking the shot - Options

  • Continuous High (CH) Release Mode. On this setting, you simply hold down the shutter release button until all the pictures in the series are taken. Better cause you don’t have to press the button multiple times. Just make sure you hear 3 sets of 2 clicks before you move anything to ensure the entire series has been taken.
  • Or Self-Timer Release Mode (the symbol kind of looks like a stopwatch, to the right of the Q). In my opinion, this is by far the best approach if you are using a tripod (which you almost always should be). Go into the Custom Setting Menu and access c Timers/AE Lock and then c3 Self-timer. Set this to 2 seconds (2s). Right before you take your bracketed series, switch the Release Mode dial to Self-timer. Shoot the series by pressing the shutter release button once.
  • Select a high contract scene, landscape or cityscape
  • You’d pretty much only want to attempt this when there is lots of light, like outside on a sunny day, so all 3 exposures are fairly quick. Of course, brightly lit scenes are not typically the best candidates for HDR shooting.
  • Import into Photomatix and merge.



Camera Modes


  • The Program mode. This is the mode that I shoot in most of the time. The camera does the exposure and the focus. You can however set the exposure compensation, which is the only control (other than the flash) you need most of the time for snapshots. The nice thing about this mode is, it is completely automatic, but you have control over the flash, which is what you need for your snapshots.
  • The Automatic mode. This is what most people set when they look at a camera for the first time. The problem with this mode is that the camera will invariably choose the wrong moment to turn on the flash, usually ruining your planned picture. Really, just use mode P, and turn on the flash when you want it.
  • The Shutter Priority mode. Here, you can set a shutter speed and the camera will set the correct aperture for the light conditions. If you need to capture a speedy subject, choose a high shutter speed. If you want to blur the motion, choose a lower shutter speed. You can also play around with longer shutter speeds like 1-5 seconds to get nice some effects on water fountains or similar things.
  • The Aperture Priority mode. Here, you set the aperture and the camera chooses the correct shutter speed. It is useful for mainly two things. First is the ability to choose the depth of field, set a wide aperture for shallow depth of field and a narrow aperture for larger depth of field. Secondly, the image quality with almost all lenses are better when “stopped down”, i.e. not at maximum aperture, but a couple of stops below.
  • The Manual mode. Here, you set both the shutter speed and the aperture. The camera does not adjust for the correct exposure in this mode. If you set unsuitable values and the exposure is all wrong, tough luck. This mode is useful in order to keep the exposure constant, when taking a couple of images to stitch together a panorama or something. I almost never use it.


The Rest ……

  • Portrait mode. Here, you want to have the background blurred and out of focus so that the whole picture is focused on your subject. You need shallow depth of field, so you need to use mode A, and set the maximum aperture (lowest f-number).
  • Landscape mode. Here, you want to have pretty much the whole picture in focus, everything. So, you need a wide depth of field, simply set mode A, and choose a lower aperture (low f-number). It is a good idea not to go with the lowest one, because diffraction decreases image quality, go with 1/3 from the bottom (f11-f16?).
  • Sports mode. Here, we want to freeze the subject motion. In order to do that, we need a high shutter speed, set mode S and try to guess a suitable shutter speed. Take a few test shots to see if your chosen shutter speed can “freeze” the motion. If not, choose a higher one. On the other hand, if you want to blur motion, you should choose lower shutter speeds.