Photography News

Retouch4Me Offers Plugins from Skin Retouching to Color Correction and Detail Enhancement


In the rapidly evolving world of photography and image editing, professionals are constantly seeking tools that can streamline their workflow and enhance the quality of their work. One such innovative solution that has been making waves in the industry is Retouch4me plugins.

Retouch4me offers a comprehensive suite of plugins designed to revolutionize photo retouching using cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI) and neural network technologies. These plugins are tailored to meet the diverse needs of photographers and designers, providing a wide range of editing capabilities to achieve professional-grade results.

One of the standout features of Retouch4me plugins is their ability to automatically identify and correct problematic areas in photos. By leveraging advanced algorithms, these plugins can detect imperfections and apply precise adjustments, saving users valuable time and effort typically required for manual retouching.

From skin retouching to color correction and detail enhancement, Retouch4me plugins cover a spectrum of editing tasks essential for various genres of photography. Whether working on portraits, commercial projects, or creative endeavors, photographers can rely on these plugins to elevate their images to new heights.



Another key advantage of Retouch4me plugins is their intuitive interface, making them accessible even to beginners. With user-friendly controls and straightforward workflows, photographers of all skill levels can quickly master these tools and start producing high-quality images with ease.

Overall, Retouch4me plugins represent a powerful and convenient solution for anyone involved in photo editing. By harnessing the power of AI and neural networks, these plugins empower users to achieve professional results efficiently and effectively. As the demand for fast and reliable editing solutions continues to grow, Retouch4me remains at the forefront of innovation in the field of image retouching.

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Categories: Photography News

5 Top Pier Photography Tips For Coast Photography Fans


Piers are strong structures that stand along the coastline of many of our favourite seaside resorts and they're a brilliant subject for a photographer. Not only can you photograph them as a whole, but you can also get in close with a macro lens, focus on patterns, point your lens at passers-by or wait for the sky to change and capture these historical structures at sunrise/sunset. 

With so many ways you can photograph piers, you really can keep yourself busy for quite a few hours so with this in mind, here are our 5 top ways you can photograph a pier next time you're at the coast.  


1. What Photography Kit Do I Need For Pier Photography?


Wide-angle lenses will always be useful when photographing piers as you'll be able to capture shots of the beach, sea and pier as well as interesting sunsets or sunrises, depending on what time of the day you're visiting the coast. Close-up lenses or better still, macro lenses will allow you to get detailed shots of textures in the wooden boards, patterns in rust and more. Don't forget your tripod and pack a polarising filter to reduce glare and increase saturation so blue skies appear to be even brighter. This doesn't mean you can't shoot on a dull day, however as rain clouds building in the background of your beach landscape will add mood and create a different feeling in your pier shots.  


2. Go Wide On The Beach


Shooting from the beach will give you a cracking shot of the pier in its surroundings that works particularly well at sunrise/sunset. For added atmosphere try slowing your shutter speeds down to blur the movement of the sea as it crawls up the beach.


3. Get On The Pier, Guide The Eye


Take a walk along the boards early morning before the tourists arrive and the empty pier can be used to guide the eye out to sea. If you want to emphasise the bustle of the seaside resort try using slower shutter speeds to blur the movement of the people walking up and down the pier.


4. Walk Under The Pier 


If it's safe to do so go and have a walk under the pier as you'll often find a symmetrical structure that creates a strong graphical shot when photographed from the beach. The supports closer to the sea will often have interesting tide line patterns, seaweed and creatures worth a quick snap with your macro lens too. Just keep an eye on the tide if you venture under as you don't want you and your kit getting wet or worse still, swept out to sea.

5. Patterns Can Be Perfect 


When you've photographed the popular pier angles, the patterns in the wooden boards, rust on bolts and peeling paintwork on railings make great texture shots you can blend into other images in Photoshop.

Bonus Tip: When you're back at home remember to wipe down all of your gear to remove sand, sea salt etc. and leave it to dry out completely. 

You've read the technique now share your related photos for the chance to win prizes: Daily Forum Competition

Categories: Photography News

A Beautiful Shot Of Cloud Formations At Bali Has Won Our 'Photo Of The Week' Award


Titled ‘Bali - Cloud Formations’, we are captivated by the balance and harmony in this shot. Yogendra has captured a morning on the beach front in Bali, with a view of the background cloud formations that is nothing short of superb.

The reflection is as striking as the sharpness of the clouds against the serene sky, filling the background of the shot where you see just a glimpse of the distant horizon adding even more interest to the shot. The composition is spot on, too, as is the overall mood.

This image is a splendid display of the tranquil beauty of nature in its most serene moments. The balance between the sky and the sea, the play of light on the water, and the majestic cloud formations all come together to create a scene of breathtaking beauty.

All of our POTW winners will receive a Samsung 128GB PRO Plus microSDXC memory card with SD adapter offering memory storage across multiple devices. Plus, we will also announce our 'Photo of the Year' winner who'll win a Samsung Portable 1TB SSD T7 Shield in January 2025 courtesy of Samsung.

Categories: Photography News

10 Handy DIY Photography Tricks & Hacks To Learn Today


Not everyone's a fan of DIY but building your own camera and creating your own filters can be fun, plus it's usually cheaper and who doesn't like to save a pound or two? So, here are 10 DIY photography tricks & hacks for you to try on a rainy day.

1. Build Your Own Camera

This one does involve spending slightly more than just a few quid but at the end of it, you do get a camera that's fully functional. The Bigshot DIY Camera and Lomography Konstruktor are a couple of examples of the kind of kits you can purchase. 

  2. Create Your Own Filters

Filters, particularly DIY ones, can be used with all types of cameras (including phones) and they can help you create interesting effects without having to break the bank or learn a new photo editing technique. Something as simple as a sweet wrapper (think Quality Streets) wrapped around your lens and secured in place with an elastic band can add colour to your shots while a pair of tights cut to size and pulled over your lens will give you a soft focus effect. 

  3. Create Your Own Bokeh Effects

Who doesn't like a bit of Bokeh? But you don't just have to settle for circular out of focus highlights as you can use a few tools and your creativity to change the appearance of the shapes that appear. You need to get a black piece of card, decide on a shape, cut it out of the card then fasten the card around your lens like you would a lens hood. Try to not make your shapes too small or complicated as they won't stand out very well in your final shot.

  4. Reverse Your Lens For Ultra Close-Ups

Macro lenses are great for getting close to subjects, but as with all lenses, they're an investment and aren't something all of us can go out and purchase. However, with the help of a reversing ring, you can shoot close-up work in an inexpensive way. You simply attach the reversing ring to the filter thread of your lens which then allows you to attach your lens to your camera in reverse. They can be tricky to use but they do offer one of the cheapest ways of capturing macro shots. For more tips on working with reversing rings, have a read of this article: Reversing Your Lens For Ultra Close-Ups

5. Use A Magnifying Glass & Shoot Macros

Another way to shoot macros without a macro lens is by taping a magnifying glass to the front of your camera. You can use most magnifying glasses as close up lenses as long as the magnifier is big enough to cover the front of your lens. For more tips, have a read of this: Macro Photography With A Magnifying Glass


6. Make Your Own Reflector

Nothing beats the tin foil sheet that you'd normally wrap the turkey up into throw masses of light back into your subject. You just need to cut out a piece of card, apply glue or tape to it, carefully roll the tin foil over the glued cardboard, smooth out the tin foil with a sponge or cloth and leave to dry. You may need to trim the edges and you can apply tape around it too if you want it to look a little neater. 


7. Create A Beanbag

A tripod is usually the support photographers turn to but when you want to travel light or venture to places where tripods and similar supports aren't allowed to be used, you have to look for an alternative. One of these alternative options is a beanbag and even though you can purchase ready-made models, they're not hard to make yourself and the materials aren't expensive either. Basically, you just need some fabric, beans/polystyrene balls and a sewing machine or needle and thread. There are plenty of tutorials online with step-by-step instructions on how to construct a beanbag, including these found on Instructables: Camera Bean Bag Instructions


8. Make A Home-Made Flash Diffuser

A flash diffuser is a useful tool but why buy one when you can create your own at home? Click the following link to view a tutorial that will take you through the steps for making your own interchangeable flash diffuser, with changing filter options, for whatever light source you come across when taking photos: Build A Flash Diffuser



9. Building A DIY Modular Flash System 

Flash accessories can be made for next to nothing, all that is needed is a little creativity and a little spare time, as site member Paul Morgan explained in this tutorial: Building A DIY Modular Flash System


10. Get Creative With Light With An Old Lens

There's a technique you may not have come across called Lens Wacking and the idea is you allow more stray light to reach the sensor and to do this you shoot with the lens detached from and held in front of the camera body. It can be tricky to master but can create some really interesting, dream-like lighting effects and bokeh with just the help of an old, cheap manual lens you have at home. For more tips on how to perfect this technique that gives your images a cinematic feel, have a read of the Lens Wacking tutorial on Pentax User. 


If you have any DIY photography tips or hacks others should have a go at, feel free to post them in the comments below.

You've read the technique now share your related photos for the chance to win prizes: Daily Forum Competition

Categories: Photography News

How To Shoot A Spring Drag Landscape - 5 Top Tips



1. What Are Drag Landscapes? 

When you look outside and see the sky's grey and dull you may think your day of landscape shooting is ruined but you're wrong. OK, capturing pin-sharp vistas may be out of the window but you can have a go at drag landscapes. Now, when we say drag we don't mean they're boring! In fact, they are quite the opposite. A drag landscape is about finding a scene with strong lines, pressing the shutter button and as the exposure processes, drag your camera up, down left or right. By doing so, your final landscape will have an abstract or even painting feel to it and you'll be glad to hear that the grey, boring sky is well disguised! The technique also works in harsh contrasty light normally regarded as being no good for photography.


2. Flowers As Drag Landscape Subjects

Drag landscapes are something that can work all year round on a variety of subjects but as we mentioned this technique back in March when talking about photographing Daffodils, we thought they'd make the perfect subject.



3. Drag In One Go

You need to move the camera in one clean, steady movement. Using your arms is a good way to control the movement with freedom or you can use a tripod if you prefer a more structured movement. Make sure you've packed your telephoto zoom lens and if you're venturing quite away from home, don't forget the essentials such as spare batteries and memory cards. 

You can think of drag landscapes a bit like a zoom burst except instead of twisting the lens you're moving the entire camera. You need to find your subject, focus up, then move so your lens is pointing away from it. When you're ready, pan back in and when your subject comes into view hit the shutter button.

Don't stop panning until you're past your subject as your shot won't have the blurry, streaks of lines we want to create if you do. You may have to turn Image Stabilisation off as it will want to create a sharp image and this isn't what we are trying to do.  If you look at the screen and see you have diagonal lines it's because you moved to the side slightly as you moved your arms down which you may like the look of but if you don't, the beauty of digital means you can delete it and just try again. Getting the right exposure can be tricky, we found a 10th or 6th of a sec was just about right but if you do need to slow it down, even more, try fitting a polarising filter.


4. Change Direction

Once you have the hang of it try panning in different directions, paying attention to the shapes and lines of the object you're photographing. If your subject's a waterfall, for example, pan up or down following the flow of water. Lines of trees and bright colours such as fields of Poppies and Rapeseed also work well.

5. Less Drag

If you want the image to be slightly more recognisable start the exposure and pause before you begin dragging. If your subject doesn't have any hard edges you can create an abstract shot that's more about texture. Dragging your lens in a circular motion rather than in a straight line will further enhance the abstract feeling but it's not something that will work with all subjects. 

You've read the technique now share your related photos for the chance to win prizes: Daily Forum Competition

Categories: Photography News

Leica Oskar Barnack Award Announces Jury Selection For Its 44th Year



With the announcement of the members of the jury, the 44th edition of the renowned photography award enters a decisive phase.

Once again, the world-renowned photography award will be making an important statement with regard to the role and significance of contemporary photography, by presenting and honouring a selection of current image series. The international jury appointed each year has now been established, and the selection process for the next instalment of the Leica Oskar Barnack Award (LOBA) – first granted in 1980 – has begun. As previously, the award winners will be selected on the basis of proposals from a panel of nominators made up of more than 80 photography experts from roughly 50 countries. The shortlisted series and the winners in the Main and Newcomer categories, are chosen by a fivemember jury. The jury this year is made up of:


Dimitri Beck, Head of the Photo Department of Polka (magazine, gallery, factory) France

Per Gylfe, Head of the Education Department at the International Centre of Photography (ICP), New York, USA

Ciril Jazbek, Photographer and 2013 LOBA Newcomer winner, Slovenia

Amélie Schneider, Head of the Picture Editorial Department, Die Zeit, Germany

Karin Rehn-Kaufmann, Art Director and Chief Representative Leica Galleries International, Austria


The jury will get together at the end of May, at Leica Camera AG headquarters in Wetzlar, to consider and put together a short list of up to twelve series, and decide upon the winners of the Main and Newcomer categories. The selection is made from among proposals submitted by over 80 photography experts from roughly 50 countries. Based on their personal expertise, each of the nominators presented up to three photo series, each comprised of 15 to 20 photographs. The prerequisite for a nomination for the Leica Oskar Barnack Award is that the pictures are documentary or conceptual-artistic works that deal with the relationship between people and the environment. This humanistic constant has accompanied the LOBA since the initial competition was launched in 1979, the year in which Oskar Barnack, the namesake of the competition and developer of the Ur Leica, would have turned 100 years old.

The Leica Oskar Barnack Newcomer Award, which has complemented the main category since 2009, and honours photographers under the age of 30, will once again be determined in collaboration with and through proposals submitted by international institutions and universities from 20 countries. In addition to information about the LOBA, and interviews with former jury members and nominators, the current list of all nominators for the LOBA 2024 can be found on the LOBA website:

The LOBA’s reputation continues to grow steadily, and its financial endowment also makes it one of the most important international photography awards. The main prize is endowed with 40,000 euros and Leica camera equipment valued at 10,000 euros; while the newcomer receives 10,000 euros and a Leica Q3. Furthermore, the LOBA winning series, together with those shortlisted, will be presented in a touring exhibition, which will first be hosted at the Ernst Leitz Museum in Wetzlar in October. Afterwards, the series will be on display in Leica galleries and at selected photo festivals worldwide. The series by the two winners and all the shortlisted nominees will also be presented in depth in the accompanying catalogue.

In the coming summer months, all the shortlisted series will be presented on the LOBA website. The announcement and award ceremony for the winners of both categories will then take place in Wetzlar in October 2024.


For more information, please visit the Leica Oskar Barnack Award's website.

Categories: Photography News

Top Tips On Capturing Arty Style Flower Photographs


If you're a fan of black & white photography, with a twist of fine art and macro flower photography thrown in, you've come to the right article as we're teaching you how to get all Mapplethorpe at home with one flower and a few photography tools. 

  Light & Equipment 

The location for this shoot was a living room, making most of the light pouring through the window. Direct sunlight is too harsh for this work so the set up was placed away from the window. A macro lens is ideal for this subject and it's always a good idea to mount your camera on a tripod for stability. Use a remote release, if you have one, to fire the shutter and if your camera has it, the mirror lock-up facility can also help minimise any risk of camera shake.



The background needs to be plain and a piece of black material will work fine. The examples shown here were shot against a black fleece draped over the back of a chair and some on black slate slabs which goes to show you really can use anything! 

Exposure & Focusing 

Focusing was done manually, which is always best for macro work when the lens can search for focus and aperture-priority was used, along with the exposure compensation facility to fine-tune the result. With a white lily against a black backdrop, the risk of poor exposure is quite high, so you may need to make minor adjustments as you go along. 


For the above shot, the lens was set to its smallest aperture (f/36) for maximum depth-of-field which gave a shutter speed of 2secs. All the pictures here were done at ISO200.

Next, the flowers were moved closer to the camera and the lens was opened to its maximum aperture to throw the closer flower out of focus.


Closer still, these shots focus on the flower's stamen, with the shot to the right excluding the black backdrop completely. Depth-of-field, when you’re this close to the subject, is minimal even at a small aperture, as the images to the right shot at f/36 shows.



Quite a few cameras have a multiple exposure feature which will allow two or more exposures to be captured on the same frame. To create the effect shown in the following shot you need to capture one exposure sharp and one totally defocused.


If photographing the flower straight-on doesn't produce the look you're trying to create, try laying it down on a plain surface. The flower in the following shot had to be held in place with a piece of tape to open up the petal.

Black & White

Most digital cameras, even modest compacts, have a monochrome mode, which offers a quick way to enjoy black & white photography. However, convenient though this mode is, the image file straight out of the camera can lack contrast and may need some work in your editing software if you’re going to get the most from it.

The shot on the left is the JPEG monochrome file straight out of the camera and it looks a little flat. The right image is the same shot but the Levels were tweaked in Photoshop which gives more intense blacks and brighter whites.


It’s worth remembering that if you’re shooting in JPEG format, images shot in the monochrome setting will record in black & white only and you can’t produce a colour image should you change your mind later. Shoot Raw and even though the camera monitor might show the mono result you have the full-colour file at your disposal. The best option, if your camera has it, is to shoot in Raw and fine quality JPEG at the same time. 

In-Camera Edits 

Many cameras have the option of letting you modify your shots using contrast filters (yellow, orange and red are the most popular), toning effects and Art Filters. Some of which can work well with this type of photography so it's worth experimenting with.

Used sparingly, toning monochrome images is a very effective technique and if your camera doesn't allow you to apply effects while shooting, you can always adjust your shots in image editing software.

You've read the technique now share your related photos for the chance to win prizes: Daily Forum Competition

Categories: Photography News

Nikon Triumphs With Four Wins At This Year's TIPA World Awards


Nikon recently announced that it has been successful across four categories at this year's TIPA World Awards. Nikon's latest mirrorless camera, the sleek and stylish Z f, was crowned the 'Best Full-Frame Expert Camera', while the Z 8 was awarded the prestigious title of "Best Full-Frame Professional Camera". When it came to the lens categories, Nikon scored two awards with the NIKKOR Z 135mm f/1.8 S Plena being voted the 'Best Professional Portrait Lens', while the NIKKOR Z 180-600mm f/5.6-6.3 VR took home gold for the 'Best Super Telephoto Zoom Lens' award.

The TIPA jury praised the Z f for being an 'excellent example of convergence between classic design and modern technology', highlighting its great appeal to photo enthusiasts both young and old. Meanwhile, the Z 8 was celebrated for its ability to pack a range of impressive Z 9 features into a 'smaller, lightweight' body - making it the perfect camera for both photographers and videographers on the go. The NIKKOR Z 135mm f/1.8 S Plena was recognised for its 'edge-to-edge buttery bokeh', while the NIKKOR Z 180-600mm f/5.6-6.3 VR particularly impressed the jury, who noted that 'it's often the small touches that make a big difference in the field'.

The four awards showcase Nikon's dedication to producing innovative equipment, combining advanced technology and superior performance to empower photographers to push creative boundaries, but above all, to 'keep inspiring'.


TIPA comments on the Nikon Z f, winner of the 'Best Full-Frame Expert Camera' award


TIPA members praised the 24.5MP Nikon Z f as an excellent example of convergence between classic design and modern technology. Combining a Nikon SLR retro style look with still and video features that invite creative engagement, the Z f camera has proven to have great appeal to photo enthusiasts young and old. On-camera controls include precision dials for settings and an easy flip switch for choosing still or video capture. Framing and POV flexibility are enhanced by a vari-angle LCD for live-view shooting that can also be used for quick menu selections. Plus, there's a pentaprism-style OLED with 100% coverage. Advanced video recording and vlogging capabilities include UHD 4K 30p and Full HD 120p recording, and SnapBridge, Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity.


TIPA comments on the Nikon Z 8, winner of the 'Best Full-Frame Professional Camera' award

Sharing many attributes with the flagship Nikon Z 9, the Z 8 hits a sweet spot in terms of size and weight for enthusiast and working pro on-the-go photographers and videographers. The choice between the two has more to do with the photographer's mode, professional demands, and need to fit into a production regime than any major feature trade-offs. Lightweight at just 2 lbs. (0.90kg), the Z 8 is ideal for use with a gimbal for video and, being 30% smaller, is ideal for all day jobs, when kit bag weight is an important consideration. But being smaller and lighter does not mean a loss of features found in the Z 9, with sensor size, framing rates, and all the AI and tracking functions, among other specs, shared.


TIPA comments on the NIKKOR Z 135mm f/1.8 S Plena, winner of the 'Best Professional Portrait Lens'

It's rare for Nikon to name a lens, so we looked it up and Plena is defined as "the condition of quality of being full." If the compliments paid to this lens by photographers from around the world are any indication, the appellation is apt. Aimed at commercial, wedding, portraitists, and even landscape and nature photographers, pro reactions have been overwhelmingly positive worldwide. In particular, there has been special praise for its edge-to-edge buttery bokeh for stills and cinematic video, thanks to its 11-blade diaphragm; its edge to edge brightness and minimization of ghosting, flare, and fringing, due to special elements and coatings; and its customizable control and function buttons, notable for cinemaphotographers who admire its smooth aperture transitions and Nikon's Multi System Focus AF performance.


TIPA comments on the NIKKOR Z 180-600mm f/5.6-6.3 VR, winner of the 'Best Super Telephoto Zoom Lens

Specifically designed for nature, wildlife, and sports enthusiast photographers, this long-range zoom lens brings it all together in terms of focal length range, fast, responsive autofocus, an STM motor for quiet and smooth video capture, and weather-sealed construction with a fluorine lens coating that, to quote, "anticipates a high frequency of lens wiping." TIPA editors know that in pro offerings it's often the small touches that make a big difference in the field, and with this super tele it's the ability to adapt 1.4X and 2X teleconverters, maintain lens size when zooming, only a 70-degree turn to zoom out to maximum focal length, 5.5 EV image stabilization, and a host of on-lens controls to switch or lock modes and settings.

The TIPA World Awards is universally recognised as celebrating top-class companies and the highest quality products in the industry. It also serves to provide an important benchmark and guide for consumers when making their purchasing decisions.

Please visit the TIPA website for more information:

You can also visit Nikon's website for their latest product offerings.

Categories: Photography News

5 Ways To Get 'Arty' With Your Flower Photos


As we are well into spring now and flowers are rapidly starting to take over gardens, we thought we'd carry on with the flower photography theme but this time we're taking things indoors and are adding an arty twist to the scenario. Have a read of the tutorials, have a go at the techniques then why not upload your results to the ePHOTOzine gallery?


1. Photographing An Arty Flower Shot


The location for this shoot was a living room, making most of the light pouring through the window. Direct sunlight is too harsh for this work so the set up was placed away from the window. A macro lens is ideal for this subject and it's always a good idea to mount your camera on a tripod for stability. Use a remote release, if you have one, to fire the shutter and if your camera has it, the mirror lock-up facility can also help minimise any risk of camera shake. 


2. Photographing Flower Blooms With A Lightbox

In this article, I want to share my techniques for using a lightpad and one of the best uses for the lightpad is to help create a high-key look for your photographs. I started with a dead Hydrangea bloom; I removed the delicate petals from the stem and placed them in a random pattern on the lightpad.  Then, I turned on the lightpad and by doing so I could see the veins in the petals.


3. Abstract Flower Photography Tips


The most popular approach to flower photography is to include the whole flower but by getting in very close or by choosing a less conventional crop you can create a rather exciting image. Plus, it's a technique you can try all year round as you can just buy your flowers from the supermarket when there's none showing their heads in your garden.


4. Five Top Tips On Low Key Flower Photography


Photographing a flower head on a black background is a simple but effective way to make yourself a piece of wall art. The bright petals against a stark, dark background make a vibrant image that wouldn't look out of place on the shelves of stores that are designed to fill your home with accessories and decorations.


5. Flower Photography With A Difference

When you think of flower photography your first thoughts will usually be of shots of a single head taken from an overhead angle or a cropped in shot that focuses on the shapes and colours of the flower. There's nothing wrong with these shots as they do work well but for something different, take a look underneath the flower head.


You've read the technique now share your related photos for the chance to win prizes: Daily Forum Competition

Categories: Photography News

Fun Photography Challenge: How To Photograph Numbers And Letters With Everyday Objects


If you want an interesting challenge, head out with your camera and search for numbers and letters or better still, objects that look like numbers and letters. You'll be impressed with how many you'll actually find and when they're put together they can make an interesting panel to hang on your wall. All you need is your camera, a good imagination and some decent weather!


What Can I Photograph?

If you're looking for ideas, a lighthouse can be used as a number one, chimneys can look like a number 11 and a traffic light can be a 3 or and E depending on the direction they're facing.

When we say photograph numbers/letters, you can take this literally or you could put your imagination to the test and look for them in places other people wouldn't think to look.

If you have a door number start with that then take a walk up your street and into your town snapping shop signs, adverts and road signs. Make sure you fill the frame with what you find and watch out for reflections and glare bouncing off shiny door numbers.


More Ideas 

When you're ready to give your grey cells a bit of a work out start looking for objects that look like numbers and letters. You may need to stand and imagine what the object looks like flipped the other way or crop into a part of it to get the number you're looking for but with a little work with your imagination, you'll soon be on your way. Make sure you take a quick look at what's surrounding your subject as a busy background won't make the number jump out of the frame. Try using a large aperture to throw the background out of focus leaving all attention on your object.


You've read the technique now share your related photos for the chance to win prizes: Daily Forum Competition

Categories: Photography News

8 Photography Rules You Can Ignore


Compositional rules are there as guides, but that doesn't mean you always have to use them. Sometimes breaking the rules can help you create an image that's far more striking, so here are 8 more ways how breaking the guidelines can help you create an image that has far more impact.

1. Centre Your Subject


With the rule of thirds, you have to ensure that your main point of focus is positioned on one or more of the four intersecting lines on the nine-square grid you have to imagine is sitting over your image.

However, there are some shots where placing your subject in the middle of it will give you a more striking image. For example, a road or path stretching off towards the horizon, starting so it fills the frame and winding away until it vanishes can look better when positioned in the centre.

The same goes for shots with lots of symmetry. A long table that's set for dinner with rows of chairs and lines of plates, glasses and cutlery on it will make a more interesting photograph if positioned in the centre of the frame, while photographing escalators, steps, piers and tunnels so they sit in the centre of the frame can help exaggerate their length, giving the impression that they go on forever. Portraits are more pleasing to the eye when you use the rule of thirds grid but if you're shooting a portrait that has a more creepy, unusual feel to it, positioning your subject in the centre of the shot will enhance this uneasy feeling.


2. Split Your Image In Two


When you're working with the horizon or lines you should avoid splitting the image in two, so horizons should be slightly higher or lower, depending on where the interest is and lines should be positioned to the left or right of the centre line. However, cutting your image in two will give you a shot that has a lot of impact, particularly if you're going for something more abstract where strong blocks of colour are your focus.

  3. Work Wonky


Keeping your horizons level and your shots straight is a rule that's important for landscapes but there are other subjects where tilting your camera will give them more energy and a sense of excitement/fun. If you're going to do this, make sure you do it properly, really turning your camera. If you don't, it'll look like you were going for a straight shot and angled your camera by mistake.

4. Play With White Balance


Capturing shots with the right colour temperature is something that's important the majority of the time, however, there are occasions when using the wrong preset or making adjustments after in post-production will help boost colours, make shots more interesting and fun. For example, you can emphasis the coolness of a winter scene with blue tones and give more warmth to Autumn landscapes to enhance the orange and yellows that are prominent during the season.


5. Use Higher ISOs


For shots that are clean and sharp, you'll generally need to use the lowest ISO possible. Of course, there are many cameras now that cope quite well at higher ISO levels, and they won't leave noise in your shots. However, if you have a camera that still struggles at higher levels, use it to your advantage, shooting some grainy images.

If you don't want to create the look in-camera, shoot at a lower ISO and run your image through photo editing software and apply your grain digitally. The grain works even better with black and white shots so while you have your editing software open, try converting your coloured shot into something much moodier. Portraits are good subjects for this but if you have a few landscape shots you've taken on dull days, try converting them to black and white, add a little grain and a grungy frame and you'll breathe life back into a boring shot.


Make The Most Of Out Of Focus Shots


For a more dream-like composition, try throwing your whole frame out of focus. A wide aperture will be needed and you'll probably have to focus manually to stop your lens focusing on something in the frame. You want the shot to be out of focus just enough to make it look like you did it intentionally but still leave enough detail to make the scene recognisable. Your other option is to blur what would be considered as your main point of focus and have something in front or behind them sharp. A more subtle way to use the effect is by creating a soft-focus portrait. Take a look at our Photoshop Tutorial for more information on how to do this.


Move Your Camera While Taking A Shot


The 'try to keep your camera as still as possible' rule only applies when you're not going for a strong, abstract shot that's full of energy. If you're photographing action, a car speeding along a track or dancers spinning in a circle, moving your camera while you take your shot will add a little blur that can increase the feeling of speed and excitement.

Using a slightly slower speed than you'd usually use to capture action will further enhance their movement and you probably don't need to move your camera to do this. Again, having part of the shot a little sharper than the rest will give your viewer a focus point. Try zooming your lens barrel out or in through the exposure too to create a zoom burst. You'll probably want a tripod to hand for this as it makes it easier to turn the barrel of the lens. Zoom bursts work well on stained glass but they can give equally good results on groups of fast-moving dancers who are making their way towards you.

Try removing all sharpness from the shot with a drag landscape. We've covered this on-site in a previous technique which you can find here: Drag Landscapes


Shoot From The Hip


OK, so shooting with your camera held to your eye or using your camera's screen to frame your shot isn't a rule, just more of a thing that everyone does because that's the way camera's work! But by leaving your camera by your side and 'shooting from the hip' you can get some interesting results. Sure, it can be a little hit and miss but as it doesn't look like you're taking a photograph you stand the chance of capturing much more candid results, particularly on the street.


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Categories: Photography News

How To Photograph Lighthouses In The Landscape




The UK's coastline has many lighthouses which are worth a visit with your camera. Some are open to the public and are definitely worth exploring, but here we discuss using lighthouses within the wider landscape.


1. What Kit? 

Take your camera and all your usual lenses and you will not go far wrong. You may find a camera with a smaller body more useful as they can be often fit in jacket pockets or if you prefer to carry your gear in a bag, it'll take up less room leaving space for a flask of tea and your packed lunch! 

A tripod is needed if you intend getting there early or staying in late. Other than that, it is perfectly fine to shoot handheld. Filters are also definitely worth packing, especially the polariser that can be used to cut-down glare to enrich colours and saturate blue skies.

In terms of lenses, wide-angle and telephotos are equally valid. Wides let you use more of the foreground while telephotos let you pull in detail and are also excellent at putting the lighthouse within its environmental context.



2. Do Your Research 

If you're looking for lighthouses have a look at the Trinity House website for more information and locations close to you. Have a look at where other photographers have visited too, plus a quick online search will find you visitor information as well as GPS coordinates and directions quickly.

Use your feet! Walking around your subject is always advised and is especially effective with using lighthouses. That way you can put your subject into context of the beach or town that the lighthouse is situated.



3. Time Of Day & Weather

Many lighthouses are still in use so a good time to shoot them is at dawn or at dusk when there is colour in the sky and the lighthouse's lamp is on. Do remember the lamp will be considerably brighter than the whole scene and you can end up with a light that's overexposed if you don't meter correctly. 

At this time of day, there's not much light around so you will need the tripod and a remote release. If you set a sufficiently slow enough shutter speed you will get a complete rotation of the lamp.

Low light and stormy skies shouldn't be overlooked either, particularly if you can capture the waves crashing against the lighthouse or rocks nearby. 

Lighthouses look photogenic in most lighting situations, but bright sun can be tricky because of high contrast problems – white is a popular lighthouse colour. Bland white skies are also an issue for the same reason. Other than that, get shooting.


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Categories: Photography News

Learn How To Take Photos With A Shallow Depth Of Field With These 3 Top Tips



You don't have to venture far to take a great image. In fact, if you get down on your knees in your garden a simple blade of grass can look great in a photo! A blade of grass? We hear you cry. Yes, if you use a shallow enough depth-of-field a blade of grass can look pin-sharp and picture-perfect against a very blurry background. Of course, you can pick other photogenic subjects such as flowers, plus, if parts of your garden are a little untidy this technique will hide this too!   [HOOK]position_1[/HOOK]  How To Take Photos With A Shallow Depth Of Field: What You'll Need

A macro lens is needed and if you can, use one that has a slightly longer focal length like a 100mm rather than a 50mm for better compression. It does mean, though, that focus is even more critical because depth-of-field is so shallow. A groundsheet, kneeling mat or even a bin liner will keep your knees or if you're laying down body dry and if you need extra support you could use a bean bag or just shooting hand-held would okay.


  How To Take Photos With A Shallow Depth Of Field: Top Tips


1. Wide Aperture 

You need to use a wide f-stop to get the right effect. The aim is to get as much of the subject in focus as possible without losing the nice blurry feel but doesn't over blur the shot as this will distract from the subject. Try f/5.6 and use the camera's depth-of-field preview button to check the aperture's effect on the background.

2. Get Closer

Although the main way to control depth of field is with the aperture the positioning of yourself and your subject can also enhance the blur. You want to, ideally, close the distance between the camera and subject but have as much distance as possible between your subject and the background.

3. Subject Choices

It works great on blades of grass, insects and small flowers. later in the year, if you live near a rapeseed field try isolating a specific flower or part of the field out to draw attention to it. You could try blurring part of the foreground as well as the background to create a frame for the subject.


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Categories: Photography News

There Is No Such Thing As Bad Weather: Top Landscape Photography Tips For Rain Or Shine



The right light is an interesting concept. I am a firm believer that there is no such thing as bad weather – only different types of lighting. I get annoyed at the number of articles that say you can only take creative landscape photographs in the hour after sunrise and the hour before sunset. To me, that leaves a whole chunk of the day with a camera sitting unused in a bag!


It's Wet Out!

Certainly, though, certain subjects work better in particular lighting conditions and when the rain is hammering on my office window I'm fairly happy to be sitting in front of the computer rather than trying to capture landscape photographs! That said, I have been at the side of Buttermere in torrential rain and high winds and still managed to work with the conditions.

Mist and fog also create ideal light for pastel, almost painterly pictures, easily isolating foreground elements from the background; and while these conditions are certainly more prevalent early morning, they can happen at other times. Heavy snowfalls can also create monotoned, isolated elements, even resulting in pen-and-ink style pictures that are perfect for black and white.



The Sun's Out

When the sun does shine through, make the most of the textures, shadows and lighting angles; and even that doesn't always mean early or late in the day, I have a number of Lake District locations where the sun offers excellent graze lighting, really bringing out the textures of barn walls or dry-stone walls even in the middle of the day.

The best way to know where the sun works best in any location is to know the location well, and photograph it regularly; ideally even knowing which month offers the best elevation as well as the angle of the sun. If you're new to a location check on a map – remembering that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. Even Google maps can provide some help if there is a road anywhere near your chosen location. Computer-based maps can give a good idea of the terrain and are sometimes easier to realise the contours than a traditional map.

Certainly early and late in the day offers low lighting angles which can naturally create longer shadows, but to truly reap the benefits, you need to either have side-lighting or even be shooting into the sun.

By all means, plan some of your shots before you go out, but always be ready to adapt to the conditions - don't come back without any photos because the light wasn't exactly what you had planned, but adapt to the lighting that's there. Only by doing that will you train your eyes to see opportunities that otherwise would be so easy to miss.


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Categories: Photography News

126 - A Revolutionary Number!

.photo { border: 1px solid #ddd; padding: 15px; text-align: left; margin-bottom: 20px; } .photo small { display: block; font-weight: bold; margin-top: 15px; } Where this article started – with a gift of two outdated rolls of film. Did I get any images from them? Read on…  

My second camera was a Kodak Instamatic. A very basic one – from the original range when they arrived on sale in Britain, an Instamatic 100: no aperture control. One shutter speed. Fixed focus. It had been preceded by a Box Brownie Six Twenty Junior, which was, in retrospect, a more sophisticated camera. But more of that later.

Kodak have always based its marketing on the idea of making it simple to take pictures. The instant attic range takes this to a new level by a pushing the film into a plastic cartridge which you drop into the back of the camera. It was incredibly simple, and I’m sure that it sold a lot of cameras and a great deal of film.

  .photo { border: 1px solid #ddd; padding: 15px; text-align: left; margin-bottom: 20px; } .photo small { display: block; font-weight: bold; margin-top: 15px; } Taken on an open day at Tittesworth Reservoir near Leek, the town where I grew up during the Sixties. There’s now a visitor centre at the far end of the water, well worth a visit, and you can walk all the way round, should the desire take you. I’m impressed by the straightness of framing that I achieved something over 50 years ago.  

Simplicity always comes at a price, though. In the case of the instamatic range, the big casualty was the flatness of the film – and therefore the maximum quality of images you could shoot reliably. This was no big deal with Kodak’s original range of Internet six which had smaller aperture lenses and no focusing mechanism.  Later on, when Rollei and Kodak themselves produced sophisticated single lens reflex cameras taking 126 film, it may have become a bit more of an issue.

The problem was that instead of the carefully machine and positioned pressure plate and film gate, the film and its backing paper were simply one through the plastic cassette. Good enough at f/11, the situation changed radically at a wide aperture and with longer lenses.

The cameras were simply and cheaply made, but still have a reasonably substantial field to them. They have a structural integrity that I find Holga and Diana cameras lack, and if they have escaped sand and sea water, 60 year old cameras are probably still fit for use if you can find any film! (It’s common advice to improve the light sealing of the medium-format plastic cameras with black tape – this is unlikely to be necessary with Kodak’s Instamatic bodies.)

  .photo { border: 1px solid #ddd; padding: 15px; text-align: left; margin-bottom: 20px; } .photo small { display: block; font-weight: bold; margin-top: 15px; } Personal history: I was a keen aeromodeller for a number of years – the idea behind my first developing tank was that if I processed my own films, I would have more money to spend on balsa wood and diesel fuel. It didn’t quite work – within six months, I’d given up on the models, and was asking for more pocket money for film and developer… (I suspect the model on the left belonged to my aero mentor, Michael Lovenbury.)  

126 film is 35 millimetres wide, but instead of sprocket holes on either side of the film there is a single hole for each frame, which engages with a pin inside the camera and locks the winding mechanism until the frame has been exposed (anyone who has ever used a box camera will remember how difficult it is to avoid double exposures and blank frames). Each frame is 26mm square, and offset to one side of the film.

  .photo { border: 1px solid #ddd; padding: 15px; text-align: left; margin-bottom: 20px; } .photo small { display: block; font-weight: bold; margin-top: 15px; } Above: the strip of 126 negatives, showing the prefogged frames around the images, as well as the edge markings and the single perforation next to each frame. This engaged with a pin inside the camera to lock the winding mechanism.  

This article was inspired by the kind gift of two rolls of 126 film, which a model friend had been given, and which she passed on to me: she had not noticed the promise date on the boxes. Suffice it to say that my first thing to check was whether the films predated the current C-41 process which has been around for something like 50 years. Anyway, thank you Lottii, for a present which has inspired an article!

In the course of putting this article together, I found a little box full of black and white 126 negatives, so I started scanning some of them. It was a fascinating trip back to my early teens and a world of model aeroplanes, playing in the garden, and a visit to Jodrell Bank. It reminded me of when everything was exciting, new, and inviting questions like ‘Why?’ and ‘How?’ As a result, I’m including more pictures that are of limited relevance than I usually do in these articles.

  .photo { border: 1px solid #ddd; padding: 15px; text-align: left; margin-bottom: 20px; } .photo small { display: block; font-weight: bold; margin-top: 15px; } Memory fails me here: I have no idea where I took the picture – I wonder if anyone can suggest the location, during the Sixties? Note that there’s tone in the sky, which is still often a struggle to achieve.  

Scanning presented an additional problem, because the scanner’s negative holder is designed to be used with ordinary 35 millimetre film, with sprocket holes on both sides. The single offset hole per frame on 126 film means that the image is offset and one edge is hidden. The inherently inaccurate viewfinders of my instamatic cameras mean that this usually doesn’t matter, because Kodak left such a margin for error that many shots include more context than was ever visible in the viewfinder. A camera ideally designed for an over-eager and slapdash 11-year old boy! Anyway, I hope you will enjoy the trip down my personal memory lane.

  .photo { border: 1px solid #ddd; padding: 15px; text-align: left; margin-bottom: 20px; } .photo small { display: block; font-weight: bold; margin-top: 15px; } The camera-facing side of a 126 cartridge. Black backing paper fills the film gate, and you can see, bottom right of the gate, the aperture to allow the holes in the emulsion to engage with the pin in the camera.  

Handling the 126 negatives reminded me of what may have been an important part of how 126 worked. Instead of offering a version of their mainstream emulsions in the plastic cassettes, Kodak sold their box camera film, Verichrome Pan, presumably because of its extreme exposure tolerance and thicker, less flexible base material. I reckon that this contributed to the flatness of the film in the camera – but it wasn’t quite enough for those later SLRs and their wide-aperture lenses. 

A look at eBay indicates that there was a Schneider f/1.9 standard lens, likely to give unpredictable results at full aperture. I also discovered a later model, the 704, with manually-controllable shutter speeds from 1/60 to 1/250 and an f/2.8 37mm lens. Mostly, though, development was downwards, with models that make the bent metal back of the 100 and 200 seem like heavyweight engineering.

  .photo { border: 1px solid #ddd; padding: 15px; text-align: left; margin-bottom: 20px; } .photo small { display: block; font-weight: bold; margin-top: 15px; } After you’ve opened the cartridge, you’re left with a lot of sharp plastic, a strip of paper (white on the back, to allow easy reading of frame numbers through the window on the back of the camera, and black on the front, next to the film, to help reduce halation, and to prevent fogging). I wonder if the broken bits have any collectable value?  

After I’d run the two films that Lottii gave me through an Instamatic 200, I was able to inspect the pressure plate inside. It’s really not a precision mechanism! But this is probably entirely OK with simple meniscus lenses and apertures that don’t go wider than around f/8. In the process of opening the cartridges, I also came across a good reason to avoid 126 – the plastic is quite robust, and you need to actually break it to extract the film and backing paper. I didn’t injure myself, but there were some sharp edges among the bits.

I still have a clear memory of carrying my Instamatic in the pocket of my school blazer – while there are no pictures of the bulging pocket, I did find a picture of me with one of my Instamatics slung from my shoulder: the standard strap was a very short one, to allow the user to wear the camera as a bracelet. (Recollection suggests that the 200 that I owned later on had a long lanyard.)

  .photo { border: 1px solid #ddd; padding: 15px; text-align: left; margin-bottom: 20px; } .photo small { display: block; font-weight: bold; margin-top: 15px; } For anyone in doubt about the value of their own family snaps, this is an object lesson… A look at Google Earth shows how much things have changed, including some of the buildings. I am pretty sure this was shot looking across Whitehall towards Richmond Terrace, just behind the two Minis on the left of the picture. At the time, the BMC 1100 on the right was the epitome of family car development. Note the excellent cloud detail.  

Looking at the scans, which I have done very little work on (generally, cropping a bit, and a Levels adjustment), I’m impressed by the quality that mass processing achieved back then. And although I recall owning a yellow clip-on filter, I think that the good tone in several cloudy skies may owe as much to Verichrome Pan’s abilities as anything else.

I ended up taking a lot of pictures of old cameras for this article, because images taken with them are old – the film has now been out of production for some years, with Kodak discontinuing it in 1999. The films I acquired were much older than this, and hadn’t survived well. Although there’s an image visible from my shooting, the most notable feature is the frame numbers right across the middle: I surmise that the black ink on the backing paper transferred to the emulsion it was wrapped against for 50 years, and this led to light areas in the images!

  .photo { border: 1px solid #ddd; padding: 15px; text-align: left; margin-bottom: 20px; } .photo small { display: block; font-weight: bold; margin-top: 15px; } Faint signs of a Škoda Octavia: very clear indications of frame numbers! Tudorcolor film, warranted up to 1972…  

I mentioned that an instamatic was my second camera, and I still have it – I handed it down to my sister, who used it at school, and then passed it back to me: apart from a little rust on the steel areas of the (real leather) case, it’s in remarkably good condition. In the course of writing this article, I bought a nearly-identical Kodak Six-20 Brownie to the one I was given when I was eight. The finish is different (mine was cream and brown, and was a Six-20 Junior), but the design is very close. As the view of the ‘top plate’ (actually the right side, in normal use) shows, there are several controls. All are useful: to go with the B shutter setting, there’s a tripod bush in the middle of the bottom of the camera.

  .photo { border: 1px solid #ddd; padding: 15px; text-align: left; margin-bottom: 20px; } .photo small { display: block; font-weight: bold; margin-top: 15px; } All the controls are on the right side of the camera: along with a large and effective ‘brilliant’ viewfinder (top left). To the right, there’s the shutter lever, offering Instant or Bulb exposure, the shutter lock, and the shutter release button, plus a cable release socket. Below the lever are two tabs which pull either a close-up lens or a yellow filter into position behind the lens. To the right are flash contacts, and directly below them is the winding knob.  

620 film is identical to 120, but the spools are different: 120 spools are slightly larger in diameter, with thicker end plates – a while back, I had the pleasure of handling a camera which had a wooden spool with it. I attempted to adapt a roll of FP4 to fit, but it jammed, and I shall have to spend a little while finagling it to fit properly! I have little doubt that the camera is still operational, and I may report back another day.

  .photo { border: 1px solid #ddd; padding: 15px; text-align: left; margin-bottom: 20px; } .photo small { display: block; font-weight: bold; margin-top: 15px; } Kodak didn’t call it a ‘Box Camera’ for nothing – the styling is boxy in the extreme!  

While I was writing this article I discovered that Kodak have introduced a non-disposable camera heavily modelled on the original Instamatic series, but shooting half frame images on conventional 35 millimetre film. I suspect that this is a camera which ought to be mandatory equipment for the Lomography brigade, combining the simplicity they crave with a good measure of mechanical reliability. The price is quite high, at around £50 – though I suppose that this isn’t too out of the way in relation to the price of film! A website advertising cameras for under £20 proved to want to invoice me for the same amount as everyone else charges, once I’d registered, which struck me as sharp practice. The Kodak Ektar H35 looks remarkably like an Instamatic 100.

  .photo { border: 1px solid #ddd; padding: 15px; text-align: left; margin-bottom: 20px; } .photo small { display: block; font-weight: bold; margin-top: 15px; } The camera that set off my interest in photography as a hobby – one of the original Instamatic range, the Instamatic 100, introduced in 1963. John Duder

John continues to keep hold of his old cameras, including the Contax RTS that he bought in 1976, selling two Pentax bodies and taking a year's HP agreement out to do it. These days, it’s usually loaded with very fast film to give strong grain.

Occasional lighting workshops divert him, and with a bit of luck interest other photographers enough for them to go along and pay. He particularly likes spectacular, angular low key setups, with deep shadows retaining a few secrets.

As well as still shooting a bit of film, John particularly loves using some of the more characterful film-era lenses on his digital cameras. Almost without exception, they are lenses that their manufacturers are probably rather ashamed of.

Categories: Photography News

Neurapix SmartPresets Now Available In Black & White


Image Credit: Neurapix/Formaphotography


The German photography company Neurapix has released a new feature: SmartPresets can now be created and used in black and white (B/W) for AI-assisted image editing. This provides photographers the opportunity to offer their clients complete shoots in their own distinct black and white style.

Using a B/W SmartPreset operates just like with a colored SmartPreset: After clicking "Edit photos" in the Lightroom menu, the B/W style is simply selected and used as a normal SmartPreset. If a photographer has initially processed a shoot in color, they can then easily reprocess it with a B/W SmartPreset (possibly based on virtual copies).

Creating a B/W SmartPreset is straightforward, too. In the classic creation of a color SmartPreset (at least 500 images), the B/W style is automatically additionally created, provided there are at least 20 edited B/W images included.

Those who wish to specifically create just a B/W SmartPreset can use the "Kickstart" option to create their own look in a few minutes. Only 20 images need to be exemplarily edited. As usual, photographers can create as many of their own B/W SmartPresets as they want, free of charge.


Image Credit: Neurapix/Formaphotography


No additional costs for Flat-rate customers

For Flat-rate customers, the new function is available without additional costs. For photographers who are using the Pay-per-Picture model, everything remains the same: Editing an image costs - as with any other SmartPreset - 3 cents. Optional features such as straightening or cropping incur a maximum of one cent extra.

"Photographers often provide a portion of their photos in black and white to their clients. Previously, it was often around 10-15 percent of the total. From now on, it can also be 100 percent - without additional effort for manual editing!", says Neurapix co-founder and CCO Simon Diegmann. "This provides photographers with a whole new way to enhance and sell their product."

For more information, please visit the Neurapix's website.

Categories: Photography News

Don't Miss Our 5 Top Basic Beach Photography Tutorials


The coast is a popular destination for many at the weekend (even more so if it's a Bank Holiday weekend which gives us an extra day or sometimes more to play with). So for those of you who are heading off on a day trip, we've got 5 top tutorials all about beach photography which should come in handy when you're down by the sea. 


1. Take Better Photos At The Beach With These 6 Tips

When the sun's out us Brits pack the car up with buckets, spades, the dog and family members and head to the beach. But as well as eating ice cream and playing the odd game of cricket or rounders take some time out to take a few beach photos. It doesn't even have to be a gloriously sunny day for photography either as waves crashing against the sea wall will look just as good as a family snap on the front.


2. 12 Ways To Improve Your Beach Photography Today


From advice on what gear to pack to tips on turning around rather than just looking out to sea.... this tutorial has 12 top ways you can improve your seaside photography without too much effort on your part. 


3. How To Capture Beachcomb Coastal Close-Ups


Beachcombers find all sorts of treasures that make perfect photographic subjects. So while you're at the coast, take a walk along the beach to see what interesting objects you the sea has washed up for you to photograph. To find the most interesting objects you need to follow the tide lines just after a good storm or strong winds have blown in. head out not too late after high tide to give you the best chance of uncovering some photo treasures before they get picked up or the surrounding sand's spoilt with footprints.


4. 5 Tips To Instantly Improve Your Beach Shots Taken With A Compact Camera


If your camera will be packed along with the buckets, spades and sunblock, take a look at these 5 tips so your shots of the beach look as good as the real thing. We have advice on switching away from auto mode, tough camera tips, ways you can boost sunset colours and why changing your angles is well worth a try. 


5. 4 Top Tips On Photographing Beach Huts


A popular shot to capture when you're photographing beach huts is to use a wide-angle lens to get a full line of these colourful structures in the frame. If you plan on doing this, try to get a large expanse of sky in the shot too. Be careful if you're using a particularly wide lens as you can end up with objects creeping into the frame that you didn't want to capture and keep an eye on your exposure.


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Categories: Photography News

3 Quick Top Tips On Why You Should Use People In Your Landscapes

    Next time you're at a popular tourist spot, don't get annoyed by people in your landscape shot as when captured the right way, they can actually add interest, create a story and, more importantly, add a sense of scale to an image that will make the person viewing it go 'o, wow!'    1. Landscape With People Vs A Portrait Outdoors Bring a person or a group of people into your landscape shots and they suddenly get a different feel/look about them. But you have to be careful that it doesn't turn into an outdoor portrait where the person is the main focus of the image rather than part of the overall scene.   As you're not shooting an outdoor portrait you don't want to pose your subjects or better still, let them know you're taking their photograph at all. Make sure they're not bothered by you or your camera and are focused on whatever they're doing before you take your shot. For more tips on shooting candidly take a look at our article: Candid photography.



2. Create A Connection 

An empty shot of a forest or a mountainous landscape may be inspiring and pleasant to look at but if you add people to the shot the viewer can become more connected with the image as the person/people can help create more of a story. A sunset shot with a couple sat to one side of it will feel romantic while a rock climber scaling a cliff wall that's sat in your wide, landscape shot will create a totally different feeling.



3. Add Scale 

People can also help create a sense of scale within an image, for example, a backdrop of mountains suddenly turn into dominating structures that tower above two walkers or a lake stretches out for miles past a single man out fishing for the day.



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Categories: Photography News

Sony Releases Large Aperture Wide-Angle Zoom G Lens 16-25mm F2.8 G


Image Credit: Sony


Balances the supreme expression capabilities of a wide-open F2.8 with a compact and lightweight design for excellent portability


April 16th, Sony is pleased to announce the latest addition to its full-frame α™ (Alpha™) E-mount lens line-up. FE 16-25mm F2.8 G is a large-aperture wide-angle zoom lens that maintains an F2.8 maximum aperture over the entire zoom range from 16 mm to 25 mm, combining supreme image quality with excellent portability due to its compact and lightweight design.

This new lens offers high-resolution performance, beautiful bokeh, and high-speed, high-precision, quiet, fast-tracking AF (autofocus). Weighing an impressively light 409 g, it is highly portable so you can easily enjoy every day shooting that emphasises the sense of perspective that can only be achieved with a wide-angle lens. It benefits from the same filter diameter, operability and roughly the same size and weight as the "FE 24-50mm F2.8 G" announced in February 2024, easy to use when shooting hand-held or when combined with a gimbal. The FE 16-25mm F2.8 G expands the range of photographic and video expression for creators in a variety of scenes such as astrophotography, landscapes, architecture, portraits, general snapshots, and selfies.


Key features of FE 16-25mm F2.8 G
  • Compact and lightweight design with the latest optical and mechanical design.
  • Filter diameter φ67 mm, maximum diameter 74.8 mm, length 91.4 mm, weight approximately 409 g.
  • By effectively arranging three ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glasses and four aspherical lenses, including one ED aspherical lens, various aberrations such as chromatic aberration are reduced, and high-resolution performance is achieved from the centre of the screen to the corner.
  • The 11-blade circular aperture and optimisation of spherical aberration provide the beautiful bokeh that is the hallmark of Sony G lenses.
  • High close-up shooting capability with a minimum shooting distance of 0.18 m and a maximum magnification of 0.20x [i].
  • Equipped with two linear motors, it enables high-speed, high-precision, high-tracking, and quiet focusing even on fast-moving subjects. It also supports high-speed continuous shooting with AF/AE tracking of up to approximately 120 frames per second for the α9 III full-frame mirrorless camera[ii]. Smooth tracking even when shooting 4K120p/FHD240p[iii] high frame rate videos that require precise focusing. 
  • The adoption of linear response MF during manual focus allows for smooth and high-quality image expression. 
  • Reducing the focus breathing allows high-quality movie expression. 
  • Compatible with the α series camera's image stabilisation "Active Mode"[iv], achieving high image stabilisation effects. 
  • High operability, including a focus hold button, aperture ring, aperture click ON/OFF switch, and focus mode switch. 
  • Designed to be dust and moisture proof[v] with a fluorine coating that prevents dirt from sticking to the front surface of the lens.


Pricing and Availability

The new FE 16-25mm F2.8 G will be available in the UK and Ireland for approximately £1250 and €1400, respectively. It will be sold at a variety of Sony's authorised dealers throughout the UK and Europe.

A variety of exclusive stories, videos and exciting new content shot with the newest cameras and other Sony products can be found here. Sony’s European photography hub is available in 22 languages and details product news, competitions and an up-to-date list of Sony events in each country.

A product video on the new FE 16-25mm F2.8 G can be viewed here:

For more information about FE 16-25mm F2.8 G, please visit the Sony UK's website.

For other latest product launches and updates, take a look at our news section.


[i] Maximum magnification is 0.2x (AF)/0.23x (MF) with a minimum focus distance of 0.18 m (0.59ft) (AF) / 0.17 m (0.56ft) (MF) at the 16 mm end of the range and 0.24 m (AF) (0.79ft) / 0.22 m (0.73ft) (MF) at the 25 mm end of the range.


[ii] Sony test conditions. Maximum continuous frame rate may be lower in some shooting conditions. Continuous shooting speed may vary depending on the lens used in AF-C focus modes. Visit Sony’s support web page for lens compatibility information.

[iii] Depends on the camera used.

[iv] Compatible models only

[v] Not guaranteed to be 100% dust and moisture proof.

Categories: Photography News

How To Photograph Rainbows In 3 Easy Steps


  To Photography A Rainbow, You Will Need: 
  • Tripod - Stability when using longer shutter speeds
  • Polarising Filter - Enhance the rainbow's vibrancy
  • Wide Angle Lens - Sweeping landscape with the full arc of the rainbow
  • Telephoto Lens - For distant objects that you want to frame with the rainbow
  • Standard Lens - Capture foreground, background and the rainbow with not too much trouble
  How To Photography A Rainbow, Step-By-Step: 


Step 1. A Bit Of Luck Needs To Be On Your Side 

Unfortunately, due to the conditions that are needed for a rainbow to appear, you really do need to be in the right place at the right time (you might see a few more at this time of year though due to the rainy nature of April). Don't fancy waiting for one to appear in the sky above you? You'll also find them in bubbles and near other water sources such as fountains in town squares and around waterfalls.


Step 2: Get Your Positioning Right 

If you do happen to stumble across one, position yourself so the rainbow can act as a frame for a building, interesting rock formation or whatever photogenic subject you may find. If you don't, your shot will just look empty and boring. For added interest, position yourself so the rainbow intersects your subject as this is where the eye will be drawn to.



Leading lines such as deep shadows and long roads will draw the eye into the picture as well as add interest to the shot. If you do this use a small aperture so the foreground and rainbow are both in focus. You also need to work quickly as they can appear and vanish within a matter of minutes. 


Step 3: Don't Meter From Dark Skies

As rainbows need moisture and sunlight to appear more often than not you'll have clouds full of rain lingering in the back of your shot but this isn't a bad thing as the dark colours of storm clouds will help enhance the vibrancy of the rainbow, making the colours really stand out. Just make sure you don't meter of this part of the sky though as your rainbow will end up losing some of its punch.

 If you get the chance, do spend some time assessing which angle the rainbow looks most vibrant at to make it really stand out from the sky behind it.

You've read the technique now share your related photos for the chance to win prizes: Daily Forum Competition


Categories: Photography News