– What is perspective?
– Perspective is an illusion to present 3D space on 2D surface!
Although photograph is a 2D surface, it is capable of showing 3D space by applying perspective (Read more on Wikipedia). Point of view is very important to apply perspective in photography. Look into camera view finder and move from side to side of objects, buildings, and spaces to see the effect of point of view on perspective.
Image story: Damghan is an old city in Semnan province, Iran. It was an important city in the Middle Ages, and was the capital of the province of Qumis (Qoomes), but was destroyed by the Afghans in 1723. Few remnants of that time remain; one is the ruined Tari-khaneh mosque with a number of massive columns and wood carvings and two minarets of the 11th century (Read more on Wikipedia). I took this photo of inner courtyard of Tari-khaneh mosque when I visited Damghan in 2014. This specific point of view adds perspective to the shot and shows greatness of the structure. Some post-processing has been done to better show the age of the mosque.
– How can I shoot rain?
– Adjust shutter speed to convert rain drops to lines!
Shooting in rain is challenging, mainly because of possible gear damage due to wet environment. Also, lightness and contrast are not great in cloudy sky that make it hard to get bright and sharp images. However, every moment of life is worthy to be captured, because of its uniqueness. So, there is no excuses to not to shoot rain! Lets back to the subject, shooting rain! As we discussed before, the most important thing about moving objects is their speed. As the object moves faster, your camera shutter speed has to be faster to freeze it, or you will end up with a blurry object. Rain drops are liquid objects fall from the clouds and if we freeze them by fast enough shutter speed, small pixels of water will be appeared in photo. If you try it out, you will find out that the result is nothing but a noisy image. So, how to capture real rain? It’s simple, slow down shutter speed to convert falling drops to small lines of water. This will help you to show rain in photo the same as we see it by our eyes.
Image story: Malaysian rain is really awesome. True tropical rain that makes you get wet in a few seconds. I took this photo in a rainy afternoon from the balcony of my apartment in level 5. So, there was no problem of getting wet and the height was enough to provide a great view. I used 1/160 sec shutter speed to make small rain lines from fast falling drops of rain. A little post processing made the rain lines clearer and easier to see.
In addition to adjusting shutter speed, there are some other tips that may help you to get better results. Using a tripod may help you to avoid blurry images, since you are slowing down shutter speed based on rain speed. Remember to not to fire flash, because the light will be reflected in water drops and you will get noisy image as a result. If you need more light, lower flash power and use deffuser to reduce the reflection. Adjusting f-stop is based on your desired depth of filed, so do it wisely. Last but not least is that focusing on a near object makes you able to capture nearer rain drops that are seen clearer and brighter.
– How can I shoot a moving object?
– Adjust your camera setting, look for the object path, follow it in view finder, and shoot!
If you like to shoot moving objects like kids, runners, cars, birds etc., this short note may help you to get better results. The most important thing about moving objects is their speed. As the object moves faster, your camera shutter speed have to be faster to freeze it. However, faster shutter speed means that you need brighter light source, higher ISO, or smaller f-stop (larger aperture) to maintain light balance of your image. Usually, this is not a problem in daylight and studio photography, however it would be a concern if you shoot in cloudy sky or at night. In these situation, you may use your camera flash, an external light source, or consider to use higher ISO or smaller f-stop (larger aperture) if possible.
Image story: An amazing afternoon in Ponitian, Johor bahru, Malaysia. I saw this bird standing on a rock, preparing to take off! I looked around to see if it is possible to shoot it during its flight, and yes it was. So, using the shutter speed priority mode, adjusted shutter speed on 1/800 sec, I followed the bird in the camera view finder and shoot it several times during its flight. The sunny sky allowed me to use ISO 100, and the selected shutter speed (1/800 sec) along with f/6.3 (based on my lens aperture at 300 mm) gave me the required depth of field to have a sharp image of the bird from wing to wing. A crop and a little post processing gave me this image that I like to share with you.
After adjusting the camera setting, you should look for the object path. It means that you should be able to answer two questions as “where is it heading to?” and “can you follow it in view finder?”. If you are positive, use your camera view finder to follow the object and shoot. It is important that you be aware of other objects in the scene. For example, a great shot may be distracted by an annoying object in the background. Last but not lease is your decision to use continues or single shooting mode. It’s up to you to select one of them, but you should know that your choice does not have anything to do with shutter speed and blurry images. It means that if you get blurry images, you should re-adjust the camera setting (particularly using faster shutter speed) instead of shooting continuously.
– How can I apply symmetry in my photos?
– Look for balance in the weight, volume, light, color, or other properties of key parameters, you will find how!
Check the potential symmetry lines, surfaces, volumes, colors, light sources, and objects in the scene. Find matching angle and point of view and shoot. Sometimes, a little creativity may help your image to stand out of the crowd.
Image story: I went out to have a walk and take some night photos around the lake at my university (Universiti teknologi Malaysia) in 2014. Normally, the humid and misty weather of Malaysia doesn’t allow you to take sharp images at night. However, exemption exists. The clear weather and calm lake motivated me to take a symmetrical image of the buildings, lights, and trees with their mirror image on the lake. To take this long exposure shot, I set up a tripod, mount my Sony camera on it and locked it’s zoom lens at 28mm. I selected ISO 100 to cancel out all noises, f/8 to achieve a deep depth of field, and shutter speed of 30 sec after some tests to capture all buildings and lights. To make the image more interesting, I cropped it out to have the lake shore as the center line and rotated the whole image to simulate an oil painting effect on the top part without using any filter or effect.
– What is the key parameter in photography?
– The answer is “light”, no doubt!
Light is the key. So, check the light source(s) every time you decide to take a photo. look around carefully and select your position and point of view based on the light source and direction.
Image story: I captured this image of my roommate, in a rainy day. The inside was darker than the outside and I decided to use the sky light as the background of the image. So, I selected a down angle as my point of view and shoot him in front of balcony.