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Your Nikon School Guide to Photographing Spring

Spring flowers Whatever your subject choice – buds, flowers, foliage or blossom – a shallow depth of field will isolate it in pin-sharp focus against a blurred background and foreground, to really make it leap out. To get this degree of control over your depth of field, shoot in aperture priority. Micro-NIKKOR lenses are built specifically for close-up work, enabling extremely shallow depth of field at the widest aperture (lowest f-number e.g. f/4) – just millimetres of front-to-back focus – compared to what is achievable on a standard lens. However, there might be occasions where this is simply too restrictive (the merest breath of wind will ruin such a shot, for example), so experiment with smaller apertures such as f/8. On a DX, try the 40mm or 85mm Micro-NIKKORs, while as far as standard lenses go, the 35mm f/1.8 (50mm equivalent on a full-frame camera) is a great all-rounder that is also capable of excellent close-ups at f/1.8 and f/2. With an FX camera such as the D750, the 60mm f/2.8G ED Micro is a great choice, while the 50mm f/1.8 is also a good standard-lens option. Alternatively, use the long end of a medium telephoto lens to compress the background […]
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NIKON ASSIGNMENT: OCTOBER 2018

Would you like to have your image displayed in Nikon House Centurion? Participate in our monthly Nikon Assignments and you could be one of seven lucky photographers who will get the opportunity to have their image displayed. Each Nikon Assignment will have a unique theme to challenge photographers to get creative and use their photographic skills. Emotion One thing that makes a great photo is its ability to convey emotion. Capturing a moment of pure emotion is part of the beauty of photography. Some of the most powerful photographs out there are the ones that successfully convey a certain mood or emotion. The brief Submit the one image you feel best captures ’emotion’. To participate in the assignment, you must: SNAP – Take an emotion-filled photograph GRAM – Post your image on Instagram TAG – Add the hashtag #MyNikonAssignment and tag @IamNikonSA in the Instagram caption FOLLOW – Follow @IamNikonSA on Instagram Only one assignment entry per photographer. Your entry must be published on Instagram during the assignment dates (1 – 31 October 2018). The award Seven lucky photographers will get the opportunity to have their images on display at Nikon House in Centurion in the month following the assignment. Who can participate […]
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Adding Gels to Speedlights for a Trendy Lighting Effect

This portrait was made using four SB-900 Speedlights. The main light is in a European 8×12 softbox, for which there are many comparable models on the U.S. market. here’s one flash in each 16×16 Westcott Mini Apollo softbox, left and right of the model, and one aimed at the background reflector. The Westcotts are fitted with egg crate grids. “They help prevent light spill by channeling the light more directly at the subject without it contaminating the background color or coming into my lens,” David says. A 30-inch Lastolite TriGrip reflector, with a Softsilver surface, bounces some of the main light’s flash up to the model’s face. It’s easy to tell that gels played a part, too: there’s a cyan gel on the main light, red gels on the Apollo softboxes and an orange gel on the background light. Once again, David used the Creative Lighting System’s group capability—with the main light Group A, sidelights Group B, background light Group C—and exposed the image by independently adjusting the power output of each group from the camera position. There’s a lot going on here, but due to his skill, experience and the capability of the tools at hand, David says that […]
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On the Road with Nikon

Join us as we follow the journey of Nikon photographers as they discover the stories of the world and…. be inspired. This week we share the story of Leticia Cox, a Nikon photographer, who will be travelling to Iceland on the 20th of September to join internationally acclaimed and award winning commercial photographer / photo instructor  (also former Nikon Ambassador) Bobbi Lane and a team of five other photographers.  They will be photographing everything from mountains and glaciers, glacier lagoons, waterfalls, lava fields – people, places and things… and of course the breathtaking Northern lights! We will be sharing photos of Leticia’s exciting photographic expedition to Iceland, so keep an eye on our Facebook page and make sure you don’t miss her trip. For now, have a look at all the Nikon gear Leticia will be taking along on her trip. View video here. Nikon D850 (2 bodies) AF-S Nikkor 200-400mm f4G ED VR II lens; Nikon AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR lens; Nikon AF-S 14-24mm f/2.8 G ED lens; Nikon AF-S 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5E ED Fisheye Lens; Manfrotto MK190X3-2W Aluminium 3-Section Tripod with 2-Way head; Nikon MH-25 Quick Charger for EN-EL15 Battery; 4 extra EN-EL15 Batteries; Nikon TC-145E III 1.4 x (AF-S converter) […]
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How to use Off-Camera Speedlights

On-camera flash is on the same axis as the lens, which can flatten your subject’s features – not a good look. Instead, add more dimension by keeping your main flash off-camera, using a Speedlight. Start with the background first, choosing something colourful and clean that doesn’t detract from the subject. Next place the subject in the scene, being careful that there is nothing distracting behind their head, and avoid reflective surfaces – like windows and mirrors – behind them, as these bounce the flash straight back to the camera, resulting in messy images. Move the off-camera Speedlight as close to the subject as possible without it being in your frame and angle the flash head to point toward their face. With some Speedlights you can also manually zoom the head in and out to control the area of light the flash projects. Next, take a test shot. If the subject looks overexposed, turn down the power on the off-camera Speedlight to something like 1/32 power; if the subject is too dark, turn it up to 1/4 or 1/8 power. Take another test and repeat until you have the desired effect. If you’re shooting a moving subject such as a cyclist, […]
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Understanding ISO Sensitivity

Photography is built on the three pillars of exposure: shutter speed, aperture and sensitivity. Shutter and aperture are controls for adjusting how much light comes into the camera. How much light is needed is determined by the sensitivity of the medium used. That was as true for glass plates as it is for film and now digital sensors. Over the years that sensitivity has been expressed in various ways, most recently as ASA and now ISO. The “normal” range of ISO is about 200 to 1600. With today’s digital cameras you can sometimes go as low as 50 or as high as 204,800. The number chosen has two important qualities associated with it. First, it sets the amount of light needed for a good exposure. The lower the number, the more light required. The more light that’s required, the more likely a slow shutter speed will have to be used. That means low ISOs, like 100 or 200, are most often used in bright situations (like sunlight) or when the camera is mounted on a tripod. If you don’t have a lot of light, or need a fast shutter speed, you would probably raise the ISO. Each time you double the […]
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Top tips for using Speedlights on location

There are many ways to shoot great portraits with speedlights on location – the following tips may prove useful in providing a shortcut to your learning curve. Shoot in Manual mode which will allow you to easily balance the ambient light of your surroundings with the light from the Speedlights. If your camera is in manual mode, the exposure settings shown on the camera is for controlling the amount of ambient light recorded To achieve high quality images your need to set your ISO to either 100 or 200, and an aperture value which will give you sufficient depth of field to record your subject in sharp focus – F/4 is a good place to start. Set the Auto FP function in your camera (if it has it) which will allow you to sync the flash with shutter speeds up to 1/8000th of a second. By moving your shutter speed (higher or lower) you can control how much ambient light is recorded in your image. You can use the speedlights in either TTL or Manual mode to light your subject, it is best to try and keep the lighting as simple as possible, and for portraits remember that ideally you […]
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How to take great images in low light

Photography is all about using light to paint a picture, and low light photography is no exception. In situations where light is limited, it can be a little trickier to capture a high-quality, sharp image – but don’t let this put you off! With the right know-how, you can capture stunning shots in any given low light situation. Try out these tips and get creative with your low light photography: When shooting with slower shutter speeds, make sure you either have a sturdy tripod or are able to rest the camera on a solid surface. Hand shake will become obvious when the shutter is open for longer periods, resulting in a blurry image. To obtain the sharpest possible image when using a tripod, use a remote trigger to release the shutter – and don’t forget to turn off the VR on the lens. Consider using the ‘MUP’ function, or in the latest generation of D-SLRs the ‘Electronic Front Shutter Curtain’ feature on the camera, to minimise any possible movement. This will prevent the vibration that occurs when the mirror moves up and down, which can cause the image to have a slight blur. In order to make interesting abstract images, […]
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Nikon Assignment: September 2018

Would you like to have your image displayed in Nikon House Centurion? Participate in our monthly Nikon Assignments and you could be one of seven lucky photographers who will get the opportunity to have their image displayed. Each Nikon Assignment will have a unique theme to challenge photographers to get creative and use their photographic skills. Time in Motion Delve into the wonders of long exposure photography and capture time in motion in a single shot. Reducing your camera’s shutter speed can transform simple activities and settings into a fantastic world of pure imagination. Balancing stationary and moving images, as well as light sources, can warp time and create static motion in a still image – from silky smooth water ripples to light trails from cars winding through city streets at night. The brief Submit the one image you feel best captures the theme of ‘Time in Motion’. To participate in the assignment, you must: SNAP – Take a long exposure photograph GRAM – Post your image on Instagram TAG – Add the hashtag #MyNikonAssignment and tag @IamNikonSA in the Instagram caption FOLLOW – Follow @IamNikonSA on Instagram Only one assignment entry per photographer. Your entry must be published on […]
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WOMEN’S MONTH FEATURE: SHANNON WILD

1. How have your experiences shaped your thinking and your photography? Every new experience shapes my work and my learning of not only photography and visualising but especially animal behaviour, intuition and interpretation, key elements to being a good wildlife photographer and doing justice to my subjects.   2. Where do you see your photography going? Video.  I’ve already transitioned into filming as a natural progression and it should be no surprise to people with the exponential increase of video content on social media especially.  Camera manufacturers have also acknowledged this transition with the inclusion of increasing quality video functions on DSLRs.   3. Who has been an inspiration in your life and to your photography? There are countless individuals, businesses and creative works that have inspired me over the course of my life and certainly well before I ever picked up a camera.  Those that conduct their lives with integrity and leave a positive legacy really inspire me and what I aspire to.  Those that have doubted me or criticised me have also influenced me to try harder, to keep going and push on.  Turn those negative comments or experiences into positive fuel.   4. What are your key […]
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