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How to take stunning Reflection Photographs

Reflections can make for really eye-catching images, and once you start looking, you’ll spot them everywhere – so here’s how to maximise their potential. Water The image that probably comes to mind when you think ‘reflection’ is the classic lake-as-mirror. If you want pin-sharp reflections, you need still conditions, as even a slight breeze will ruffle the water’s surface and distort the reflection. Lakes are often still and windless first thing in the morning, so it might be a good idea to set that alarm clock – and it will also give you the opportunity to catch reflections of the sky’s dawn colours. Late evenings can also be a good time for windless conditions, and have the advantage of the sunset adding drama to a reflected sky. Go slow You can get beautiful effects with a slower shutter speed, which gives the water time to move during the exposure for a more abstract and textured effect. Using a neutral density filter will cut down the amount of light hitting the sensor and allow for longer daylight exposures than would otherwise be possible. With slow shutter speeds you’ll need to shoot tripod-mounted, with a remote release to trip the shutter, otherwise […]
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What is XQD and Why Should I Use it?

XQD is a media card format that was designed to be a successor to the CompactFlash card. XQD has been adopted by Nikon and was first incorporated into the D4 and D4S and subsequently into the D5, D500 and D850 DSLRs and Z 7 and Z 6 full-frame mirrorless cameras. The XQD format is designed to take advantage of the speed that these cameras can offer photographers. For instance, the Nikon D4S can shoot at 11 frames per second and can record up to 67 Uncompressed NEF images or over 200 JPEG images in a single continuous burst. Recording to XQD, the D5 can shoot up to 200 shots Lossless 12-bit or JPEG/Fine/Large or 14-bit lossless compressed (When using Lexar Professional 2933x (2.0 card)) JPEG/Fine/Large 1/250 sec or faster. The two main benefits of the XQD format are its blazing fast read/write speeds (current and proposed for the future) and high capacity storage limit. The cards were introduced with a read/write speed of 125 MB/s [N series] and future series cards will be able to go as high as 500 MB/s and beyond. The projected maximum storage capacity of the card format is over 2 TB. For photographers shooting sports, […]
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Nikon Photo Contest 2018-2019: Call for Entries

Johannesburg, South Africa – Nikon in South Africa is pleased to announce that entries for the Nikon Photo Contest 2018-2019 will be accepted from 1:00 p.m. today, October 18, 2018 until 1:00 p.m. on January 31, 2019. Nikon Photo Contest 2018-2019 website  www.nikon-photocontest.com/en   Nikon Photo Contest is an international photo contest that aims to provide an opportunity for photographers around the world to communicate, as well as to enrich photographic culture for professionals and amateurs alike. Since the first Contest was held in 1969, photographers from countries and regions around the world have participated and shown their support. To date, more than 410,000 photographers have submitted over 1,620,000 imaging works, making it a truly international event. In the previous (36th) Contest, a total of 21,511 photographers from 170 countries and regions submitted 76,356 works, marking a new record for the Contest in terms of the number of countries and regions from which entries were submitted. Neville Brody once again selected as Lead Judge We welcome Art Director Neville Brody as Lead Judge for the Nikon Photo Contest 2018-2019, for a second term following the previous 36th Photo Contest. Brody’s work spans over more than three decades, and ranges from […]
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A quick guide on using Polarising Filters

Would you prefer deep blue skies in your shots or wishy-washy pale ones? If you want deep blue, then that can be achieved by investing in a polarising filter. In fact, this amazingly versatile little accessory will improve your imaging in a whole range of ways. A polarising filter comprises two pieces of glass set in a filter ring that screws onto your lens. The outer piece rotates, and as you look through the viewfinder you’ll see the effect of the rotation. You don’t need to use it at full strength – rotate it around to see which degree of polarisation gives you the best effect. A polariser won’t work with the sun directly behind or in front of you, however, so make sure you position yourself with the sun at your side. Polarisers are most often associated with darkening and adding drama to washed-out skies and clouds, and they will also cut through the hot smoggy hazes you often get in city street shots. Use a polariser to increase colour saturation (vibrancy) in your subjects, such as boosting the greens of plants and tree foliage. They’re especially useful for reducing or removing glare and reflections in water and other […]
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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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