Friday, March 1, 2013

Rule of Third in Photography

Rule of Third in Photography - One of the main factors that distinguish between an impressive photo with a common photo is COMPOSITION or how the object / subject is placed in a photograph. Using the Rule of Thirds is not a fixed rule, but only a simple composition rules or guidelines to improve the composition of your photos.

Rule of Third is the development of symmetry Golden Ratio which has long been known in the art. In the Rule of Third image frame is divided into three vertical sections and three horizontal sections.

Four lines with dots between them identify a part or place of the "Point of Interest" and that is certainly where you should put the subject (along the lines or at the intersection) to create balance and impressive photographs. An easy way to remember is: Rule of Thirds avoid placing the subject in the CENTRAL square section.

The concept of the Rule of Thirds contrary to the habits that occur in novice photographers with their photos always put the subject right in the middle of the frame or often called dead center. Rule of the composition is a foundation for the balance of picture elements so that the overall picture looks more impressive. Rule of Thirds naturally guide the audience eyes to the point of "Point of Interest" or "Focal Point", and not to the middle of frame. This rule identifies the Point of Interest (POI).

The Principles of Rule of Third

1. Although it should not be strictly correct, the placement of objects in the frame should be adjusted to the subdivision.
2. Try to put the most interesting part of the object on one of the four points of intersection.
3. The most interesting part of the object can be anything, for example: eye, face, natural boundary, the contrast of light and shadow, etc..
4. Not all four points must be filled simultaneously, just one. And elements of a point of interest can be either a human or an inanimate object.

Thus, in applying the rule of third in the photo that you need to consider before push button release are:
1. What is a point of interest (POI) of our pictures. Which part becomes the main point of the most interesting in our photos?
2. Then divide the image in the viewfinder into the intersection as shown above.
3. At what point is a point of interest is to be placed? Select one of the four lines meeting points.


Cropping is a powerful weapon to get the right composition. Setting composition when shooting will take time and you may miss the moment. It is therefore an object shoot using the highest resolution with the free space around the object rather relieved to be free to do the cropping.

Have a nice shots!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Hyperfocal Distance

Hyperfocal Distance - call it a zone of focus - is the distance from the lens to the focal point, which from the focal point to the point of infinite distance (infinity) is sharp all. By using this technique we also get half of the hyperfocal distance point in the direction of the lens take sharp, in terms of photography is called acceptable sharpness.

From the picture above, if we peep from the viewfinder and put focus point at point A, then from the point A to infinity will be entered in the field of DOF (depth of field) . But we also get the sharpness that is half the distance from point A to the lens also sharp. Or in other words, from the point B to infinity will be sharp.

At the time of celluloid camera lens we get "zone of focus" by reading the enclosed space of the aperture used. See the pictures below:

If you want to make a landscape photograph with the lens and f16 aperture (smallest aperture), set focus about 6m, the closest foreground focus is about 2.9m. It means from the distance 2.9m to infinity will be sharp focused at f16 aperture.

The main goal of knowing the hyperfocal distance is to get the sharpness wide open from the focal point to the point of infinity in landscape photography. So the point is to find the right focus distance to get the focal plane broadest of foreground to background, because in landscape photography we often include foreground and background in the same photo frame in sharp condition evenly.

Thus, Hyperfocal Distance is a useful feature that is the function of the lens aperture (f stop), distance and focal length.

The use of a narrow aperture (e.g. f11, f16 or f22) is helping this process. This is due to the narrow aperture sharp space tends to expand. However, landscape photography is often even more demanding. Foreground that we use often is no more than 20-30 cm in front of the lens. Besides all the areas in the picture sharpness is very important for landscape photographers, they do not want any area that is not sharp. This requires precise autofocus point selection.

In these cases we use hyperfocal technique. This technique essentially select an object at a certain distance to be the focal point. By selecting an object with a certain distance we "maximize" sharp space available. This technique depends on the type of camera body (i.e. sensor size) that is used, aperture and focal length used.

In these cases we use hyperfocal technique . This technique essentially select an object at a certain distance to be the focal point. By selecting an object with a certain distance we "maximize" sharp space available. This technique depends on the type of body that is used, aperture and focal length used. To calculate you can use DOF Master Calculator . This software is available free of charge either online or on the iPhone and Windows Mobile. And you can make a table according to the device you want to take photography.

In the "DOF Master Calculator" you must first enter the "body type" that you use, "aperture" and "focal length". Once you enter this parameter is then seen in the red box no. 1 appears the number "hyperfocal distance". After that we enter the hyperfocal distance to the "subject distance" so "far limit" in the blue box no. 2 to "infinity". If it has not reached the "infinity" increase slightly to reach "infinity". The number "hyperfocal distance" is the distance obtained where we have to do focusing.

"Near limit" in the blue box no.2 is the shortest distance from the lens is still in the category of sharp. While "far limit" is the furthest distance that is still in the category of sharp. Or "zone of focus" were among the "near limit" and "far limit".

Reference to calculate hyperfocal distance can be found in 


  • Hyperfocal technique is especially needed if we use the foreground within the "extreme" close to the lens. If the distance is far enough away from the lens (i.e. 3-4 meters) the technique is no longer relevant.
  • Make a stop down to ensure sharpness. Suppose you use a Canon 50D body, 18mm focal length and aperture f11, resulting from the DOF Master Calculator 1.53m hyperfocal distance and near the limit of 0.76m. To assure sharpness, you set the aperture at f16 (1 step below), so the foreground with a distance 76cm in front of the lens certainly sharp.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Tips on Buying Used Lens

Tips on Buying Used Lens - After you read guide to buy a DSLR camera lenses on this post and this post, one time you need a lens, but the financial situation is not enough to buy a new lens, so the solution is you have to look for second hand lenses. Excess buy second-hand lens is the price is cheaper than a new lens, but you should be careful before buying, so that your savings are not worth it.

Here are tips before you buy a second-hand lens:
  1. Determine the required camera facility, type and brand of lenses that fit within the desired range of the available budget. To get an idea of price ranges, contact some camera stores over the phone.

  2. Go to store lens, try a new lens, watch AF ring and zoom ring. some lenses rotate AF ring as it searches for its focus, this will affect the use of circular polarize filter (CPL). As you understand the conditions of the new lens, you will be expected to get a reference of comparison to the used lens.

  3. Make sure you try first lens you want to buy. Make sure the autofocus-motor works smoothly (if the lens autofocus)

  4. Check also part of the lens, do not get any scratches, dewy, or fungi.

  5. Note the bolt on the outside and inside of the lens, if the bolt is not good, it means that the lens has been opened before.

  6. For conditions inside the lens, bring a small flashlight to see it, either from the front or from the rear, notice the dust on the inside of the lens, if it can be tolerated or not.

  7. Try to put the lens on the camera for checking the DOF (depth of field), use a sheet of newspaper, put the paper on a flat surface, take the photo paper at an angle of about 40 degrees. focus on one word, e.g. the word "lens-kit", see the results, if the word "lens-kit" clearer than the surrounding words, means the lens is still in good condition, but these pictures could show the wrong focus sharp if not the word "lens-kit" is. This checking is very useful especially for a lens with a large aperture specifications, such as f/2.8 aperture or below, and make sure all lenses functions running properly.

  8. Check that the lens aperture setting close fit in the shooting. Go to the back of the camera, set in Bulb mode, and press the shutter. Perform this test on the entire range of the lens aperture.

  9. Avoid lens with a zoom or focusing mechanism falters, too hard, or too loose.

  10. Inspect the filter thread on the front of the lens, and make sure there is no damage or jam. When in doubt, do a test by installing a filter on the lens.

  11. Avoid buying lenses online from an individual seller you do not know very well, because it's been a lot of fraud. Also avoid to transfer a down payment or pay in full with the promise of the lens will be shipped the same day, except to an online thrift shop that you know well.

  12. Also make sure you receive a receipt from the seller for warranty claims, if any, and also to make sure that the lens you buy is not illegal.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Consider Before Buying Digital SLR Camera Part 2

Consider Before Buying Digital SLR Camera Part 2 - After you read non-technical considerations before buying a DSLR camera on previous post, now I try to discuss technical considerations. Considerations in choosing a DSLR camera can be very different from the pick pocket camera. This difference is caused among others by:

1. DSLR is a system that can be customized according the specific needs of the owner, is very different from a pocket camera that is all in.

2. The difference in lens technology, sensors, image processors and operating the buttons on each camera, which in turn distinguishing character results.

3. Almost all compact cameras use CCD sensor size 1/2.5" Sony products, while the DSLR has plenty of options other than CCD technology, such as:

  • Canon-developed CMOS (and later also used by Nikon)
  • NMOS used by Olympus
It also has sensors with different physical sizes, namely:
  • Full-frame, used for high-end camera Pro
  • APS-C, used in camera entry level and semi-pro
  • 4/3, used by Olympus and Panasonic.
4. Availability accessories & supplies in addition to body & lens.

The availability of equipment and accessories can be an important consideration. Buying a DSLR is basically buying a system. Once you buy it, the system will 'lock' you always use supplies and accessories that are compatible with.

In this case, I think Canon and Nikon have the advantage because - as an old player who leads the market - is a lot of 3rd party accessories available on the market, for example:
  • Lens: Sigma, Tamron, Tokina
  • Flash: Nissin, Metz
  • Battery grip: different types of brands.
Certainly in terms of accessories, the lens becomes a major consideration (learn before buying lens here and here). And it does not mean other brand cameras, in addition to Canon and Nikon, have no excess. Some of the advantages to be noted are:
  • Sony can use the Carl-Zeiss and Minolta lens.
  • Olympus has an advantage in dynamic range and color saturation in addition to innovative technologies.
  • Pentax can use the many old lenses that have been proven sharpness & quality.
However, if you want to pursue photography, you should pay attention to the system, buy a DSLR camera is to buy a system. Especially if you are experienced and have the equipment to one brand. The benchmarks that you should consider are:
  • Technology will continue to evolve. Today's sophisticated body, in a few years will be out of date.
  • The lens has a longer lifespan than the body.
  • Ability to operate a photographer, sensitivity of capturing moments and technical ability are more important than the pursuit of technological development.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Tips to Avoid General Fault in Photography

Tips to Avoid General Fault in Photography - In practice we usually see the results of our photos we did not expect, such as blurred images, photo speckled dark, or perhaps the subjects of our photos with red eyes. This post will provide information on how to avoid the common mistakes encountered in photography that produces images that we did not expect.

Reducing Shocks in Camera

Camera shake is caused by a combination of hand movements photographer or inability to keep the camera in a stationary or fixed condition, shutter speed and focus lens (focal length) long so that it will produce images that are blurry or out of focus. The focal length of the lens when combined with a slow shutter speed will create a situation in which the shutter speed is too slow to freeze the image.

Camera shake can be prevented by using a tripod, hold the camera with the right position or raise the shutter speed to a value greater than the focal length (focal length). For example, if the same focal length to 100mm so its shutter speed should be set to 1/100 sec or faster.

Note: Some lenses have image stabilizing features (eg IS Image Stabilizer on Canon lenses), which allows the photographer to take pictures with the shutter speed value is smaller than the focal length of the lens.

Eliminate the Red-eye Effect

Red-eye effect caused by the reflection of the flash directly behind the retina subjects we photograph. Basically, since most of the built-in flash which made ??only one or two inches from the lens, flash sends light that bounces off the back of the human retina, and reflects directly back into the camera lens. Reflections are seen in the image as red, thus creating a red eye effect. Blue-eyed people are very prone to red-eye phenomenon because it has less pigment to absorb light.

There are several ways you can do to minimize or eliminate red eye in pictures:

1. Red eye reduction feature

Some cameras have a red eye reduction feature that forces objects iris shrink before the picture is taken. Almost all digital cameras have this feature. This feature causes the flash to light up twice in two micro bursts. The first little flash to cause your subject's the pupil to contract and shrink, which reduces the amount of retina affected by the flash. When the second flash is triggered, contracted retina produces almost no visible red-eye effect.
The main problem with this method is that it often forcing objects to deliberately turn a blind eye before the picture is taken and not always completely eliminate red eye effect.

2. External flash

External flash hot-shoe mounted on the camera, the direction can be changed in the direction of the ceiling, or even use it without mounting the camera body and steer a little to the right or left of your subject.

3. Post production
If the images have been exposed to the red-eye effect, the photographer also still be able to eliminate it, using computer software such as Photoshop or the other, which will be discussed in upcoming posts.

Reducing Digital Noise
Digital noise is the effect polka dots (spots) on the image for long exposures or high ISO images with the lack of lighting situations.
Digital noise can be reduced by using the ISO setting between 100 and 400. Setting ISO 400 will give you more exposure but ISO 400 reduces digital noise. In anticipation of a long exposure, you need a tripod to freeze the image.

Currently DSLR cameras usually have a noise reduction feature, if its noise reduction is turned on it will automatically be activated when taking pictures with long exposures. The negative side of this feature is the camera takes a significant time-lag between taking pictures. One way to avoid this time-lag is to turn off noise reduction feature on the camera, and use the aperture setting noise reduction after transferring images to the computer.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

8 Steps Before You Shoot

8 Steps Before You Shoot - Good photo is not obtained because of luck, but more to the decision-making. Lots of things to think about before making a photograph. For beginners, it's hard to think so many steps. But with a continuous exercise, I'm sure we'll be able to do it naturally. Here are 8 steps before you take pictures that you can use as a reference:

1. Find an interesting subject

Try to choose a subject of interest, such as busy roads, try to take portraits of people, a building, a car or an activity. Be careful not to put too many elements in the photo. Too much detail will make the people who see the picture became confused about what you want to convey.

2. The quality and direction of light

Knowing the quality and direction of light greatly affect the atmosphere of the photo. In general, there are three types of light:
  • Hard light: Usually obtained from a relatively small light source / concentrated. For example: the sun, the camera flash, flashlight.
  • Soft light: Usually obtained from a relatively large light source. For example, soft boxes, reflectors, ceiling surface.
  • Diffused light: This light comes from a light source is relatively very large. For example, in the cloud or the sky covered with clouds.
Direction of light (front, rear, side, top, bottom) is also an important aspect to give a certain impression. Look carefully at the direction and quality of light.

3. The Composition

The first step in making a good composition is starting from choosing the background. Background clean / plain is a good first step. Then position the subject in layers. Arrange in such a way that the composition of the picture looks interesting.
If you are just starting photography, you can always learn the formula composition as a reference. Many of the rules of composition that can help you create an interesting composition as the rule of thirds, golden ratio, scale, etc.

4. Choose aperture

Aperture determines how much light into the camera body. Aperture also adjust the depth of focus (depth of field). The larger the aperture, the thinner the depth of focus and vice versa. We must determine whether the photos we take have a thin depth of field or thick.

In general, for portraits, we want a thin depth of field so that it looks more artistic portraits, so that wide aperture should we choose. But if we shoot landscape, we usually want all the elements in the images look clear and focused, then aperture that we should choose small.

5. Choose shutter speed
We must determine whether we want to freeze the subject of the picture, or record the movement of the subject. If we want to freeze the subject, we need to set the shutter speed carefully.

To prevent blur due to hand / camera shake, we also have to follow the rules of the lens focal size. Then we observe how fast your subject moves. Your subject moving at high speed requires a very fast shutter speed. Read posting How to Avoid Blurred Photos

6. Choose lens with optimum focal length

Not all lenses produce the same results. There is a wide lens, standard lens and a telephoto lens. Each focal lens has its own characteristics. Wide lens gives the impression dimensions, distortion, and thick depth of field. On the other hand, telephoto lenses make photos into two-dimensional (compression effect), make a thin depth of field and enlarge the far subject.
Try taking photos with different lenses and different focal lens to better understand the effects caused by each lens.

7. Determine the optimal exposure

The camera is usually automatically determine the optimal exposure. But sometimes the camera settings made are not to our liking. For example, if we want to make the photo low key (dark-toned photo) or high key (bright-toned photo), we must adjust itself so that the optimal camera settings.

Determine the camera exposure settings depending on what you visualize the end result with manual mode or use the exposure compensation function, when using automatic or semi-automatic settings (P, S, A)

8. Timing

Decide also whether the time of shooting is important or not. For photos still life (the subject is not moving), the timing might not be too important. But for candid photos, especially sports, timing is very important. If so, practice can take photos with the correct timing. Exercise anticipation, patience and controlled camera / photographic equipment so you can take photos with the optimal timing.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Setting for Golden Hour

Setting for Golden Hour - Now that we know How to Get Golden Hour and Why Golden Hour is always awaited by photographers on previous postings, this time you should know these tips camera settings to get the golden hour.

Here are 4 tips that can be practiced to capture the sunset, but the settings are really right for each occasion is not the same, so you may need to shift back and forth setting the following tips to get the right settings for your moment.

Setting #1 - General Setting

The goal is to capture the nuances of orange that appears before sunset. All you need to do is determine the speed & aperture settings right. To obtain the approximate setting, I use:

  • mode A, f/16, ISO 100, metering SPOT
  • metering the bright spot under the sun
  • review images obtained
  • shift mode from A to M and adjust the speed.
In settings like this, the sun is usually obtained with a round orange and object in the foreground silhouette.

Setting #2 - Foreground Silhouette

After obtaining the best setting to devote the setting sun, keep your setting by using the mode M. Look for interesting objects in the foreground so that the images appear more attractive.

Setting #3 - Fill In Flash

If you want to display the object in the foreground, there must be an additional light to compensate for the strong light in the background. The use of flash to be alternative solutions so that objects in the foreground appear.
Noteworthy is the maximum sync speed (the highest shutter speed that can be achieved when the flash is on). It will be one of the restrictions on the setting and should be compensated by the ISO or aperture settings.