Landscape Photography Editing - High Cup Nick vlog images by adamkarnacz@me.com

Get an insight into how I edit my pictures in Adobe Lightroom from my latest landscape photography vlog at High Cup Nick in the Pennines. Get a free trial of Adobe Lightroom - https://www.firstmanphotography.com/get/photography-plan

Watch the vlog - https://youtu.be/5IC4xH2eSQo

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In this video I edit the images shot on my recent trip to High Cup Nick. The weather was poor and the trip was intended as a scouting mission but I am still pleased with some of the images captured.

We go through the edit in Adobe Lightroom of seven images and I discuss composition, camera settings and my thoughts I had whilst capturing the shots. I share my photo editing tactics to show you how I work in post production.

Some say that I edit my pictures very quickly and this may be true. I believe dong it quickly allows me to bring a natural feel to the edit employing the artistic and instinctive part of my brain rather than analysing things in too much detail that can sometimes lead to over processed images. I do often take a second look and tweak a couple of things and I also apply profiles and manage resolution when I print my images.

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Editing Landscape Photographs from a Canon 5D Mark IV by adamkarnacz@me.com

Landscape Photography on a Canon 5D Mark IV

The Canon 5D mark IV has changed the way that I shoot and edit my landscape photography. You will either love or hate this new trick.

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The Canon 5D Mark IV is an incredible camera. I reviewed it previously in an epic real world review - see the link below:

https://youtu.be/5HGxkQw5hto

The dynamic range of the Canon 5D Mark IV is a huge improvement over previous generations. What is truly impressive though is the amount of detail that can be pulled out of underexposed and shadow areas. Even a 2-3 stop increase in exposure will still lead to a relatively clean image, especially when shot at ISO 100.

Subconsciously I have started to use it to my benefit especially in some of the landscapes I have been shooting lately that contain huge dynamic range. Purposely underexposing the image as a whole has allowed me to capture the highlights with perfect exposure and then raise the shadows in post-production using Adobe Lightroom.

The main benefit is a huge saving of time with barely no downside. Normally capturing a scene with such wide dynamic range would require the use of multiple exposures by bracketing, HDR, blending or the faff and inconsistent results of physical ND grads. The Canon 5D Mark IV lets me do it with one exposure.

The speed at which I am now capturing landscape photography, and then later editing it in Adobe Lightroom has improved my overall work flow. I can now deploy that time on other things and really concentrating on the story I want to tell with my work. At the end of the day, that is what I am trying to do.

Landscape Photo Editing in Adobe Lightroom - Waterfalls Vlog Images by adamkarnacz@me.com

In this landscape photo editing session I use Adobe Lightroom to edit the images from the Winter Woes and Waterfalls vlog and discuss composition and post processing techniques. Get a free trail of Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop - https://www.firstmanphotography.com/get/photography-plan

Watch the Vlog here - https://youtu.be/tYVuZS_oHJE

Google NIK Collection Video - https://youtu.be/ALkbAwitdrg

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This video is the full live landscape photography editing session from the images I captured on my recent vlog at Ingleton Waterfalls and Ribblehead Viaduct. The post processing is done in Adobe Lightroom.

The video is relatively long and probably not for everyone but gives you the chance to really see how I edit my images from start to finish.

During the edit I discuss several Lightroom editing techniques such as using the graduated filter tool. I also provide more information about the composition of the shots shots and discuss the rule of thirds and leading lines.

If you find the format of the video useful please let me know and I will document my future editing sessions in the same way.

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How to do Smoke Photography by adamkarnacz@me.com

Smoke Photography made easy.

Create some beautiful, fun and abstract smoke photography using these very simple methods.

In this tutorial we look at how to photograph smoke to create some striking images that are jam packed with colour. Smoke Photography has an artistic and abstract feel freezing a moment in time that is often not given any attention. This is very similar to water drop Photography. If you have not seen water drop Photography check out the playlist below.

Water Drop Photography

Smoke Photography is easy and can be achieved with a normal camera. No special macro lens is required although, if you do own one, it can give a different feel to the smoke images that you create.

Gear required to photograph smoke

The gear you will need does not form a long list and many of us will already have the items lying around. Firstly you need a camera. Ideally it will be a camera that can fire an external flash. You will also need an external flash with the ability to fire it off-camera. Wireless triggers can now be picked up very cheaply. See the link below for all the required gear.

How to produce the smoke trails

Smoke can be created in a number of ways but I use Sandlewood incense sticks. They smell a bit but produce a nice constant smoke and are relatively safe. You then need a desk lamp to shine at the smoke to assist the camera to focus although the flash will light the smoke for the picture. If you are using a studio flash then the modelling lamp will be fine.

Photo Background

The images work best with a clean black background. Any kind of black material is fine but pop backgrounds are cheap and effective. You will also need something block the light from the flash hitting both the background and the lens as it flashes from left to right. A piece of card will do the trick just as well as more expensive barn door attachments.

Camera Settings

The images will work best with the camera in manual mode. Shutter speed should be set to the flash sync speed, this is often around 1/200 sec. An aperture of f/8 or f/11 will work well to keep the smoke sharp and in focus. ISO at 100. In the video I had the flash power set to 1/4 power but this will be dependant on the distance between the smoke and flash.

With everything set, go ahead and shoot the smoke trails. Waft your hand around to move the smoke to generate some interesting patterns in your images.

Smoke Photography is a good antidote to the winter weathe, but is also fun and creative. The abstract images you create will grab people's attention making them look twice at you work.

In the video we go into the post processing of the images very briefly using Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom.

Gear

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Landscape Photo Editing in Adobe Lightroom - Flamborough Vlog Images by adamkarnacz@me.com

Landscape Photo Editing - Flamborough

In this landscape photo editing session I use Adobe Lightroom to post process all the images from the recent Flamborough vlog.

Get a free trail of Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop - https://www.firstmanphotography.com/get/photography-plan

Watch the Flamborogh Vlog here - https://youtu.be/hiWX_DKOMRc

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Instagram - http://instagram.com/adamkarnacz

This video is the full live landscape photo editing session from the images I captured on my recent vlog at Flambrough Head. The post processing is done entirely in Adobe Lightroom.

The video is relatively long and probably not for everyone but gives you the chance to really see how I edit my images from start to finish. Especially when I made a couple of silly mistakes at the time of shooting.

During the edit I discuss several Lightroom editing techniques such as using the graduated filter tool. I also provide more information about the composition of the shots shots and discuss the rule of thirds and leading lines.

If you find the format of the video useful please let me know and I will document my future editing sessions in the same way.

Finally, for those of you who celebrate it, have a very Merry Christmas. To everyone else, i appreciate you watching, you are awesome.

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How to Capture Amazing Long Exposure Photography by adamkarnacz@me.com

Long Exposure Photography Tutorial Redux

In this video tutorial we show you how to take long exposure photographs. If you have never seen long exposure photography before you are in for a treat and capturing these images brings new challenges and creative possibilities. Essentially what is happening is by increasing the exposure time we introduce movement into our image that would normally be frozen and it gives the picture added interest and a look that would not be seen by your own eyes.

This video focuses on capturing a long exposure landscape during the day but the principles are the same no matter how you use long exposure photography.

You will already understand the exposure triangle so when increasing exposure time we need to balance things by reducing ISO or making our aperture smaller to prevent the image being over exposed. However, in daylight conditions, even with ISO at 100 and aperture at say f/16, your shot could be over exposed before even one second has passed. To achieve the desired effect we want our exposure to be at least 30 seconds. The only way to do this is to use ND filters. These are filters added to the front of your lens that reduce the amount of light passing through the lens without severely affecting the colour. ND filters are rated by how many stops of light they reduce the exposure by. For example if you attach a 2 stop filter to your lens you will need to increase exposure in your camera by the same 2 stops to obtain a proper exposure.

Neutral Density Filters

In the tutorial we are using a 6 stop filter combined with a 10 stop filter to give a full 16 stops of light reduction which allows us to get some extremely long exposures of several minutes, even in bright daylight conditions.

Exposures of this length have a number of uses. It will reduce the roughest waters to a smooth tranquil scene and add lots of movement to even the slowest moving clouds. In city scenes it can also be used to remove people from your images. At night it can be used for star trail shots and create interesting and varied light painting images.  The resulting image will often have a fine art feel, especially when carefully converted to black and white.

Shutter Release Cable

In addition to the ND filter you will also need a shutter release cable allowing you to lock the shutter open when using the bulb mode. Keeping your camera very still is also essential so a good sturdy tripod is handy. If you don't have a tripod you could also place your camera down on a wall or some raised ground. A bean bag can be used to allow a small amount of adjustment or to keep things level on an uneven surface. When using a DSLR it is worth covering your viewfinder with some gaff tape or a viewfinder cap because light can creep in and ruin your image.

Once you are armed with this knowledge and the few tools you need; get out and take some pictures. It is an amazing motivation to go and see the world.

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Image debrief from the Canon 5D Mark IV Review by adamkarnacz@me.com

We take a closer look at the images captured during the Canon 5D Mark IV review. I share some of  my thoughts, vision and feelings from the shoot.

Follow First Man Photography for the latest updates:

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You can check out all my current gear on the link below.

My gear:

How to Enhance Autumn Colours - Lightroom Tutorial by adamkarnacz@me.com

Take your Autumn landscape photography to the next level with this easy trick using Adobe Lightroom.

Try Adobe Lightroom today - https://www.firstmanphotography.com/get/photography-plan

In this Adobe Lightroom tutorial I show you how to make some very easy adjustments to your Autumn Landscape photography to make those beautiful autumnal colours really pop.

Landscape Photography in Autumn

Autumn is an amazing time if you shoot Landscape Photography as the swathe of colour we are treated too is truly spectacular. The summer of lush greens and high sun gives way to vivid oranges, yellows, reds and and maroons. Shooting a landscape photograph from one position can look completely different in the Autumn to how it does in the Spring, Summer or Winter.

Autumn Colour Gamut

Despite the amazing gamut of colour on offer, the overriding colour is often still green. Normal Lightroom edits can result in over saturated greens that leave the beautiful Autumn colours we are seeking, overwhelmed.

It can be resolved using a very simple trick where we desaturate the greens to enhance the appeal of the Autumn colours. Using Adobe Lightroom in two slightly different ways will effectively give the desired control. In the Lightroom tutorial I show you how it is done, and, how it can easily take your Autumn landscape photography to the next level.

Lightroom HSL Panel

The Lightroom HSL panel lets us easily control the saturation of colours across the spectrum. It is an effective Lightroom tool in so many areas of photography where careful control of colour is required. The colour panel will also let you adjust the luminance of colour and also the hue. If you have never experiment with the adjustment Lightroom provides in the area it is well worth a go.

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Landscape Photography - Two strong images is better than none by adamkarnacz@me.com

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Composition, settings and images from Vlog 8.

Here we unpick the images from my landscape photography vlog in Haweswater Reservoir in the Lake District. I share camera settings, compositional considerations and discuss the ups and downs of the shoot.

If you missed the vlog you can catch up with it here - https://youtu.be/muuiNNPRfsA

The day was very wet, very windy and I faced some very challenging conditions. I came home with five shots, two that I am really happy with. There have been too many days to remember now when I have been out to capture a great landscape and came back empty handed. Most often this is due to weather and the light not performing as hoped. Clouds can make or break a landscape photograph and often the difference between a great shot, and no shot is a knife edge.

One shot = Success

Long ago I decided that coming home from a day with at least one great shot counts as a success.

This video is designed to give some insight into how I compose the images from my vlog, the camera settings used and general thoughts. Hopefully you can see the composition techniques I employ and the process I go through when capturing my landscape photography. I also some of the filters I have used including and neutral density filter and a circular polariser.

Please let me know if you find the video useful and would like me to do a similar photo de-brief on all my future vlogs.

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Landscape Photography - Unpicking the images from the Ullswater vlog by adamkarnacz@me.com

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Image debrief from my latest landscape photography vlog.

Here I go through the images I captured during my last landscape photography vlog near Ullswater in the Lake District. I share my techniques on composition, camera settings and my thoughts generally.

If you missed the vlog you can catch up with that here - https://youtu.be/1k5l5Eu1vWg

Many of you have been asking me to go into more detail about each image that I capture during my vlogs, including camera settings, compositions and photo editing techniques. I have been reluctant to include this because I fear it could detract from the story of the day and slow down the pace and enjoyment of the film.

However, I am not hiding anything, I want you to have all the information. So I created this video where I discuss each image and include, settings, composition tips and my thoughts generally.

Please let me know if you find the video useful and would like me to do a similar photo de-brief on all my future vlogs.

There will be another landscape photography vlog coming this week so please subscribe to the channel.

Sunset Photography - How to do Bracketing Photography by adamkarnacz@me.com

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Improve your sunset photography by bracketing exposure.

Sunset photography is a challenging genre within landscape photography. I have talked before about how our own eyes and brain work together to let us see a very large dynamic ranges of light. We see details in shadows and very bright highlights at the same time.

Despite cameras having ever increasing dynamic range they still do not compare to the eye/brain combination. The problem is particularly felt in sunset photography where there is high contrast between the sky, where we often shoot straight at the sun, and the ground which gets darker later in the day with long shadows.

We previously got round this using graduated filters. A more modern technique is bracketing photography. Here we take a number of shots at different exposures and combine them in the computer. This creates a RAW file that contains all the details from the darkest shadows to the brightest highlights. This is exactly the same as HDR photography but we are looking to reproduce a natural sunset photography shot that our eyes perceived, rather than that HDR look.

Bracketing Photography

To capture everything that my eyes see I use bracketing photography. To do this in the camera you first need to be in manual mode. You will need a tripod. Set your ISO to 100, aperture to the f8-f16 range and then balance exposure with the shutter speed so you get an image that captures some small detail in the shadows and does not totally over exposure the sky. Use your Histogram to help you expose for the mid tones.

Turn on bracketing. On a Canon camera it is via the Q menu. When doing sunset photography going two stops either side is often the most effective.

Set the camera to fire using the two second timer to avoid any camera shake. The camera needs to be perfectly still for each of the three shots otherwise Lightroom will not be able to combine the images.

Take your shot and the camera will take three exposures. Check each image to make sure you have one that is exposed for the highlights, one for the mid tones and one for shadows.

Combine your sunset photography in Lightroom using the Photo Merge/HDR command. This combines your images into one large RAW file that allows much greater adjustment than a single shot. Process you sunset photography image and aim for something very similar to what your eyes witnessed to avoid your image looking over processed.

Cheating?

Cheating? For me no. I look to create a final image that is as close to what my eyes perceived as possible. the means whether it is with a physical graduated filter, bracketing or a futuristic camera is irrelevant.

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Straight Lines Will Take Your Photography to the Next Level by adamkarnacz@me.com

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Take your photography to the next level by employing straight lines.

Since I started making video critiques a recurring theme has been keeping lines straight. This can be everything from architecture to portraits and its especially important to keep the horizon straight in landscape photography.

Why is it important you ask? We perceive the world in straight lines. When you look at a horizon with the naked eye it is always straight.  Buildings look straight, trees are straight and we look people straight in the eyes. Even when we tilt our heads our brain will still force us to perceive it as straight.

So when we look at a picture and things are not straight, it feels wrong. A wonky horizon, a diagonal building or still water on a hill all go against our normal perceptions.

A photograph will always be more appealing when lines are straight. Clearly curves are beautiful too and often photographers will shoot things at an angle intentionally but all other times things should be straight.

Happily this is a very easy thing to solve both at the time of shooting and in post processing when things have gone askew. It happens.

First, when you look through the view finder notice your scene and think about shooting straight. Notice the background and edges of the frame and this will make the vast majority of your images straight. Secondly the camera provides tools to help keep things straight.

Some cameras have a level level tool. You can also bring up the guide in live-view and align it with your horizon or you can get a small spirit level to attach to the top of your camera. Get the bubble between the lines and then you know it is straight.

Straightening Tool in Lightroom

Lastly you sort things in post-processing. Adobe Lightroom has a very powerful and simple tool to straighten lines. The straightening tool.

If you employ these simple tricks your images will instantly look better and really elevate your pictures to another level.

Let me know what you think. I'm obviously a big fan of straight lines but I suspect many of you might feel different. Share your thoughts and we can have an interesting and constructive  discussion.

Get Adobe Lightroom  - https://www.firstmanphotography.com/get/photography-plan

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How to shoot RAW files on your iPhone by adamkarnacz@me.com

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iOS 10 will let you shoot raw files on your iPhone with Lightroom mobile. The results are simply amazing.

Most people interested in photography will be aware of RAW files. They are essentially digital negatives. They contain all the data the camera sensor collects in an uncompressed format so no data is lost. This means you have much greater flexibility when editing, giving more accurate and detailed adjustments with things like exposure, white balance and colour tone. Just not possible when dealing with compressed files like jpegs.

Thanks to a recent update in Adobe Lightroom Mobile and to Apple’s iOS 10 you can now shoot DNG RAW files with your iPhone and the results are simply astounding. It's like having a whole new camera.

In the video I will show you how to shoot the images, how you can edit them in either Lightroom mobile or your desktop and then look at a few comparison shots so you can see what can be achieved.

Lightroom Mobile

You need to actually shoot your image using the Lightroom app rather than the iOS 10 native camera app and make sure the DNG RAW setting is selected. Once you do, go ahead and shoot your shot. You then have all the editing functions you normally have using Adobe Lightroom. You can start your edit on the phone and then move over to the computer if you wish.

I am amazed about how effective the iPhone camera now actually is. Pulling detail out of highlights and adjusting exposure that is just not possible with jpegs.

Here you can see an image edited from the native camera app. Details are lost in the highlights and you are limited to how much exposure can be adjusted. Look what happens when the same shot is captured in RAW. The difference is amazing.

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The post processing that can now be done is just much much greater. Like turning an image like this:

iphone-raw-4

Into an images like this:

iphone-raw-5

Adobe Photography Plan with Lightroom Mobile

To get this feature you will need to subscribe to the Adobe Photography plan. That gives you Lightroom, Photoshop and Lightroom mobile and this awesome ability to take your smartphone camera pictures to the next level.

Get Lightroom mobile and the Adobe Photography Plan - Click here

PhotoPills Photography App - The Swiss Army Knife of Photography by adamkarnacz@me.com

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The PhotoPills app will take your photography to the next level

In this video we take a look at the PhotoPills photography app. We explain what it is and go over a few of the features to see how this app can really help you capture some amazing images.

Photography Planning App

I have talked before on my vlog about how planning and preparation is key to photography. PhotoPills is an amazing tool to do that. If you you shoot landscapes, sunsets, astro photography, long exposures, star trails or time-lapses then this app is a must for you. Essentially it is a collection of tools that makes planning your shoots easy. It includes things like an exposure calculator, a time-lapse calculator and tools to let you know where the sun, moon and Milky Way will be at certain times of the year and in a given location.

Sadly PhotoPills is not available for Android yet. They are currently in the process of making an android version now that should be out by the end of the year.

Augmented Reality

The app has some excellent features and including an augmented reality mode. If you find yourself in a beautiful location that you think might make a nice shot, you can launch the augmented reality mode and it will show exactly where the sun will be at a particular time and where it will set.

I couldn't live without this now. It saves me so much time and basically all my research and planning for a shot can be done in the app. If you spend some time getting to know the app, follow some of Photopills own excellent tutorials you really will see your photography move to the next level and you'll be capturing amazing images that no one else has.

What it doesn't do is control he weather though.

Cost

It costs about £7.99/$9.99 but that is he most straightforward £7.99/$9.99 you will ever spend. Check it out now.

PhotoPills website - http://www.photopills.com/

Download from the app store - Click here.

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Water Drop Photography - The Secret to Perfect Drop Mixture by adamkarnacz@me.com

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Next level water drop photography

In this video I’m going to show you how to make the perfect drop mixture for your water drop photography.

I am probably best known for my water drop photography. I love it, many of you love it so it's likely that every now and again it will pop up on my channel and today is one of those occasions. I now have a series of videos dedicated to water drop photography:

In this video I answer a question many of you have asked me and that is what do you add to liquid to give it that glass like effect. Well the secret is xanthan gum and I'm going to show my technique for mixing up the perfect water drop photography solution.

Like I said before you can use various liquids but I find you gain greatest control by using xanthan gum. Xanthan gum can be bought very cheaply form health food stores and will last you a long time because you only need a very small amount to thicken the water..

You want to start with around one pint of warm or hot water. Xanthan gum really does not like dissolving in water so using warm water helps it along. Take about half a teaspoon of Xanthan gum and sprinkle it into the water. Stir well and then wait. Much of the gum will stick together and refuse to dissolve but I find leaving it overnight allows the maximum amount to dissolve.

If there are any lumps left in the mixture I will sieve them out. If your mixture is really thick you just need to water it down to get the required consistency.

Consistency

You can play around with this but you do not want it to be too thick or it will not come out the dropper at the right time because it will stick in the nozzle. A consistency like melted butter or olive oil is around where you need to be.

This is then my base mixture for a shoot. During the shoot I will the add colour to the liquid in the form of food colouring to provide different types of shots and the addition of milk will add an interesting opacity to the liquid that can really add some extra interest to the shot.

This then pours into the SplashArt reservoir ready to create some beautiful water drop collisions.

I tend to go all out and make extra mixture to fill my water bath, but again, you can experiment with this.

Please subscribe to the channel for new videos every Wednesday and every Sunday.

Aviation Photography - Lightroom Photo Edit by adamkarnacz@me.com

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It’s not everyday a helicopter flies so close to my house, when that happened today aviation photography came to the front and I captured a shot. The image was far from perfect so in this video I take you through my editing process to bring it up to scratch. Get Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop today - https://www.firstmanphotography.com/get/photography-plan

The free trail has currently been replaced for a limited time purchase offer. Please see the Adobe site for details by clicking the link above.

Aviation Photography

I must admit that I am not the biggest fan of aviation photography. I really dislike shots that feature an aircraft surrounded by nothing but blue sky. This is especially the case when the rotor blades of helicopters are frozen in time.

To capture the image of the helicopter today I used my Canon 400mm f5.6L lens. I stuck it out the window, whilst handholding, and took the shot having waited for the chopper to get into a good position where I was happy with the composition.

I much prefer aviation photography when there is a sense of movement in the image. To achieve this I reduced my shutter speed down to 1/50 second. The chopper was hovering so I managed to hold the camera steady enough to capture the image with some lovely movement in the rotor blades. This caused a slight loss in sharpness and the image is far from perfect but in the video I walk you through the steps I took to bring it up to scratch.

In the video I also use the clone stamp tool in Adobe Photoshop to remove an irritating telephone wire that I could not prevent being in my frame.  Watch this Aviation Photography Lightroom photo edit it now to see how I post-processed the image.

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Best Vlog Camera Video Settings by adamkarnacz@me.com

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Vlog Camera Settings Tutorial

Since posting my video on unboxing the perfect vlogging setup I have been inundated with questions about what are the best settings for you vlog camera. So this short video is here to answer that.

https://www.firstmanphotography.com/gear/unboxing-perfect-vlog-setup

I have created a video before about the best settings to use when shooting video with a DSLR and this uses very similar settings with just a couple of little tweaks.

https://www.firstmanphotography.com/tutorials/dslr-video-settings

Firstly you will need a camera with a video autofocus function, something like the Canon 700d or the more advanced Canon 70d or Canon 80d. Switch into video mode and open the menu. make sure Movie Servo AF is enabled and the AF method is in face tracking.

Secondly.  Set your frame rate. The best frame rate to use for a vlog camera is 30fps in the US and 25fps pretty much everywhere else This is linked to your countries power frequency - google it if you want to know more. This gives the most natural feeling for a vlog as opposed the the more filmic look of 24fps and the hyper-real 60fps.

Put the camera in manual mode.

The next thing to set is shutter speed. This must be set at double your frame rate. 1/50 sec in most of the world and 1/60 if you are in the US. Once that is set you can forget about it.

It then becomes a case of balancing your exposure with the aperture and ISO.

To get an understanding of the exposure triangle I cover this in my free eBook. Head to the link below, fill in your details and i’ll send you a free copy of the ebook.

http://www.firstmanphotography.com/ebook

For those looking to get up and running quickly, set your ISO to auto and put the aperture as low as it will go. This will work in most conditions apart from really bright conditions where you will need to push the f/number up to bring the exposure down

For finer control, balance the ISO and aperture manually. For example, if you are outside during the day, set the ISO to 100 and adjust the aperture when the light conditions change. Inside, boost the ISO to something like 800 or 1600 and again, adjust the aperture to control exposure.

You will need to practice and figure out what works best for you. Make sure you stick to double your frame rate for the shutter speed and keep your ISO down as low as possible to obtain an image free of noise.

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How to Capture Birds in Flight by adamkarnacz@me.com

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Flying Bird Photography Techniques

Wildlife photography is an extremely popular area of photography Capturing birds in flight is one of the most challenging and rewarding shots to capture in all of photography especially when there is often no second chance.

In this video we going have a look at:

  • The gear you will need
  • Discuss the settings that will produce the most consistent results
  • Go through a couple of techniques for actually shooting the shot.

Gear 

Any modern DSLR will be good enough for capturing birds in flight. Many photographers talk about the extra reach a cropped sensor camera gives but I really would not worry about this. This is not the limiting factor in capturing great shots. It is much better to choose a camera with  great auto focus system.

A good long lens is a must for wildlife photography. These lenses can get expensive but the combination of length, quality and auto focus speed are what really matter. Cheaper kit style long lenses like a Cnon 70-300 often just will not focus quickly enough to capture a bird in flight no matter what camera you put it on.

Something like the Canon 400mm f5.6L is ideal and won't break the bank entirely. Check out my review of this here - https://www.firstmanphotography.com/reviews/canon-400mm-f5-6l-review

IS is not massively important because we use such a fast shutter speed that will freeze the action but a lens with lateral IS can really help tracking your subject.

You may also want a tripod or mono pod to assist if your gear starts to get heavy.

Settings

So once you have the gear we need to think about the settings we're going to use.

The first thing to set is the Focus mode.

Continuous auto focus is where you need to be. They have different names on different cameras but it want Ai servo on a Canon or afc on nikon. Where one shot focus locks in on the subject this will continue to adjust focus every time the subject moves in relation to your camera. This is what you want when tracking the bird.

You will need to keep the bird over your focus point. I use the centre focus point but this is personal taste. If your camera supports it, try using the five centre focus points or just try it on auto.

Next is our main camera mode. You can use shutter priority mode but we should start as we mean to go on so flick the camera into manual. This may sound scary but once you have practiced a bit the settings are simple and make a lot of sense.

Firstly shutter speed should be set at least 1/1000 second. This will ensure the bird is frozen and sharp. You can increase your chances of getting a sharp shot by stopping down to increase your depth of field. Use around f/7.1 or f/8 if lighting conditions are reasonable. You then need to use ISO to balance your exposure depending on your light. Many long lenses have max apertures ranging from f/4 to f/6.3 so you can expect to be using ISO settings of up to ISO 1250, especially if you stop down. To keep your image clean I would resist going beyond 1250.

Technique

I am a big fan of hand-holding and it's where I get the most positive results. It is also why I love the 400mm f5.6L because it's not too heavy and I can handhold it all day meaning I can more mobile. The technique I use is to plant my feet and then twist at the hips. See the video.

You can also have the camera on a monopod that gives you a small amount of movement. For heavy lenses you will need a gimbal head for your tripod that will provide good movement and the ability to properly track your bird.

So that's the basics, and probably the easy bit. You then need to go out and start finding our feathered friends. They are not always too keen to fly nicely in front of your lens so when the opportunity comes, don't miss.

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Other Videos - https://www.firstmanphotography.com/reviews/canon-400mm-f5-6l-review

Check out my good friend, and awesome nature photographer, Lyle McCalmont who gets me into all the right spots to shoot birds in flight. Thanks for letting me use your images again.

Check out the gear used in this video:

Canon 400mm f5.6L - UK - https://www.firstmanphotography.com/get/canon-400mm-f5-6l-uk Canon 400mm f5.6L - US - https://www.firstmanphotography.com/get/canon-400mm-f5-6l-us

DSLR Video Tips - 3 Ways to Accurately Focus Your Camera by adamkarnacz@me.com

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How to focus your DSLR when shooting video.

Accurate focus is massively important. It is very off-putting when your subject is even slightly out of focus and it can result in people quickly turning off.

In the video I show you three ways to focus your DSLR. The first is for YouTube style videos like this, the second is shooting on the move using manual focus and the third is using the advanced autofocus features of a new camera like a Canon 80d, Canon 70d or Canon 700d with face detection.

Like any photography, the most important thing to get in focus is your subjects' eyes if you are filming people.

Static

In a static situation like this, or an interview, where your subject is not moving manual focus is the best way. Before shooting a video set up something like a light stand or a microphone stand. Position it as close to where your eyes will be as possible. This will be the point where You focus the camera.

Once that is set move over to the camera, switch on live view, position the focus area on the stand at the point where the eyes were positioned, zoom into 10x and then use the auto focus to accurately focus in. Lock the focus into manual before returning to the original position. This is a good way to ensure your focus is accurate to a very fine margin. Remember do not then adjust your position, or the camera position, or you will have to go through the process again.

Manual Focus

This sounds complicated but is actual very simple. Put your camera into manual focus mode and start filming. Use the focus ring to adjust focus as necessary for your shot. Extra accessories like a follow focus, magnifying screen or external monitor can make this easier. You can also shoot with a smaller aperture so your depth of field is large. This means your focus does not have to be quite as accurate.

Auto Focus

The last way is using autofocus on newer cameras like the Canon 700d or the Canon 70d or Canon 80d. With face detection switched on the cameras do a pretty good job of keeping you in focus but you can also tap the screen to focus into that area. Combined with the new STM lenses this makes auto-focusing a real pleasure although sometimes it will hunt around going in and out of focus for no apparent reason.

The method of focus you use is entirely up to you but having the ability to use all three will ensure you are armed to focus your DSLR whilst shooting video in almost any situation.

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Lightroom Quick Tip - Black and White Photography Toners by adamkarnacz@me.com

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Take your black and white photography to the next level.

Get a FREE trial of Adobe Lightroom - https://www.firstmanphotography.com/get/photography-plan

Black and white photography is a particular favourite of mine and I will often convert a colour image to black and white. Most often I will envisage a mono image at the time of shooting knowing that the scene in front of me will look better in black and white.

Black and white works well when the tone of the image is more important than the actual colours. Some images can look messy in full colour but will look beautiful in black and white due to the really interesting tones.

Black and white processing can also be used to rescue images taken with high ISO in extremely low light. The noise introduced by the high ISO can look very pleasing in mono offering a look similar to ‘film grain’.

Once you have shot and processed your black and white photography you can potentially take it to the next level by adding a colour toner to the image. Sepia is one such tone. This colour was introduced from a particular chemical used in the dark room that increased the longevity and archival properties of a photography.

Adobe Lightroom offers the ability to add tone to your black and white photography using the split toning panel. Using this you can add colour to the highlights and the shadows independently, hence split toning.

Another method is to use the Google NIK Collection that offers a series of finishing toners that add a full array of toners that mimic those that were historically popular in the darkroom. In the video I show you how you can easily add black and white toners using Adobe Lightroom and the Google NIK Collection. Download both programs and have a go adding tones to your images to see what you think. Let me know if you agree and this can take your black and white photography to the next level.

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