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BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY: A BIRD’S EYE VIEW

Birds can be one of the most exciting and peculiar wildlife subjects to photograph, but, it’s harder than it looks. Birds are easily startled and are quick to fly away when they sense danger. They also have fast and unpredictable movements, which can change your composition in a split second. However, when the right steps are taken, the results can be simply stunning. The aim is to capture a wonderful photograph full of colour and character. COMPOSITION The background of your shot is extremely important, so here are some tips on how you should frame your composition. Try photographing the bird when it is in front of some neutral textures, such as the bark of a tree or grass. This will help to naturally emphasise the shape and colours of the bird. If you are shooting against a busy background, try using a shallow depth of field to create a bokeh effect. The wider the aperture, the more pronounced your subject will be in the frame, bringing its colour to the fore. A very well-known tip is to focus on the eye of the bird. This allows you to have a natural point of focus in your shots and helps […]
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Your Nikon School guide to improving your photography

It can be daunting taking your first DSLR out of the box – the sight of all those controls can leave you worried about leaving the safe shores of Auto shooting in case you press the wrong button and mess everything up. Yes, our cameras have a lot of functionality (i.e. buttons, control dials and menus!) , but did you realise that the average working professional photographer probably only uses 10-20% of those functions day in, day out? They’ll only trouble the remaining 80-90% in very specific situations. So, make like a pro and concentrate just on the 10-20% of the functions you’ll probably use the most – which is where these tips come in… 1. Main controls One of the key things you need to do to leave Auto behind is develop the muscle memory for instinctive use of your DSLR’s main controls. When I was starting out, I used to get off the tube at the second-to-last stop, then walk the rest of the way home taking pictures. It didn’t matter what I was shooting; it was all about becoming familiar with the controls, so it became second nature to find them and use them. Key controls on […]
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Valentine’s Competition

  COMPETITION: BE PART OF A LUXURY LUNCH & CHOCOLATE TRUFFLE EXPERIENCE  AND ENJOY SOME TIME BEHIND THE WHEEL OF A JAGUAR VEHICLE, 15 FEBRUARY 2018. Nikon in South Africa, in partnership with Jaguar Land Rover Centurion invites you to indulge your senses this Valentine Month. Arrive at Jaguar Land Rover Centurion and enjoy some time behind the wheel of a Jaguar. Thereafter you will be introduced to the “History of Chocolate”on arrival at Casalinga Ristorante Italiano, Johannesburg with some chocolate tasting experiences. Get your hands dirty by creating your own deconstructed chocolate truffles. Use your imagination and creativity with the fruits, biscuits and nuts provided to make your own unique creations. Take your hand crafted truffles home. Finish off this culinary experience with a luxury lunch at Casalinga Ristorante Italiano, Johannesburg. Prize: Tickets for 10 couples to the Luxury Lunch & Chocolate Truffle Experience & Time behind the wheel of a Jaguar vehicle. How to Enter:  – Please note: Only Entries from Gauteng can be considered due to the Venue. – Send us your name & email address to alishao@premiumgroup.co.za – Entries ends tonight at midnight (12/02/2018)
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Creating Bokeh in a Photo with the AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G lens

Professional photographers often talk about the “bokeh” (pronounced Bo-kay) of a lens or the bokeh in a photograph but I bet you’re asking yourself what is bokeh and should I even care? Simply put, bokeh is the effect of a soft out-of-focus background or foreground that you get when shooting a subject. The lenses usually associated with bokeh are fast lenses like the AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G lens. The f/1.8 aperture is what makes this lens fast. Smaller numbers, like f/1.4, f/1.8 or f/2.8 correspond to wider apertures and the wider the aperture of a lens the faster that lens is said to be. Sometimes bokeh is very noticeable—like the out of focus, soft blobs of light that may be in the background of a photograph. That’s bokeh. And, sometimes bokeh is less noticeable, there’s just a pleasing quality to the out of focus background of an image. The 35mm lens is ideal for taking images with a pleasing bokeh because it’s a fast lens, with a wide aperture of f/1.8; portraits of people or animals, groups of people, flowers, landscapes, nature and architecture are all great subjects for this lens. The bokeh in the background of this photograph […]
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Image Layering

Multiple exposures used to be a complex procedure back in the days of film, however with today’s Nikon DSLRs, once you select the number of exposures you’re going to make, the camera automatically layers the images for you. Multiple -exposure mode is in the camera shooting menu. Depending on the DSLR you have, you can choose anything between 2-10 images to be recorded as a single sequence or a series of images which are overlaid on top of each other. You can also choose the blending mode – whether you want them lighter or darker, or to average the exposures as you shoot them. This method of shooting multiple exposures is done live at the point of capture, therefore creating the multiple exposure once you have taken the set amount of images (these images can be RAW or JPEG). There is another alternative, called Image Overlay, and it’s especially useful if you decide you want to blend images after taking them. Found in your camera’s Retouch menu, this blends two or more images – the only provisos are that they must be on the same memory card and they must be captured as NEF (RAW). Not only is this quick […]
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5 things you need to know if you’re thinking of turning your photography hobby into a career in 2018

A new year brings new intentions and for some that means a workplace re-think. If you’ve been dreaming of turning from hobbyist to pro, picking up your camera full time, here’s Portrait Photographer Holly Wren’s top 5 things you need to know: Failure is inevitable in Photography Don’t expect every frame or every shoot to be a success. Failing is part of the process and it’s essential to learning. After each shoot, look at those images that didn’t work and ask yourself “why”? Dissect the image, and consider what you need to change next time. It’s easy to get the shot you want when conditions are perfect, but when you’re a pro there are times you can’t control the conditions so you’ll need to have a bank of answers to your “what if” questions and the only way to learn and build these up is to practice. So, embrace the failed shoots and missed shots, because those failures will teach you way more than the successes. Research is essential Research will be key to your success in the world of professional photography because, if your wanting to photograph full time, it’s essential you know your market. Who your clients are, […]
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Photographing the Supermoon

Tips by Brendon Cremer  With the supermoon coming up I would like to offer a few tips on how to get the best results whist photographing it. Equipment you will need A good sturdy tripod A high resolution DSLR camera (the higher resolution the better) A telephoto lens (the longer the better, and a teleconverter if your lens can take one) A remote shutter release is advisable Tips Set your camera and lens up on the tripod, preferably in an area with the least amount of light poloution If you do not have a remote shutter release cable, I would suggest setting your camera to a 2 or 10 second timer delay mode. The idea here is to minimise camera shake as much as possible Turn the vibration reduction or image stabilisation off on the lens, as this is       not going to help much at all and can cause slight focus issues. Set your camera mode to Manual as you want to fully control the exposure. Set your ISO, I find 100 or 200 is a good place to start. You may need to increase the ISO a little later, if the shutter speed is too slow. […]
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How to use Live View on your Nikon D-SLR

Live View shooting mode is essentially what it says on the tin – you’re seeing what the camera’s lens is seeing, and what the sensor is recording, but on the LCD rather than through the optical viewfinder. Live View is activated by either a switch or an ‘Lv’ button on the camera body. It enables you to view and compose the shot on the LCD screen, enabling you to shoot with the camera at an unusual angle or away from your body. Plus, it enables you to check the effects of settings such as white balance, colour processing and exposure which you can’t see in the viewfinder. And it’s terrific for precision focusing, as it enables you to check all areas of the subject for sharpness by using the magnifying function on the LCD, then correct any dodgy areas by manual focusing adjustments. DSLR phase-detection AF sensors are blocked whenever a camera raises its reflex mirror to expose the imaging sensor, and this is what happens in Live View’s handheld mode. Since the imaging sensor constantly streams data for the LCD display during Live View, the mirror must be continuously held up while Live View is in use. When you press […]
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Introduce your kids to photography

It’s the summer holidays – so what better time to get the kids interested in taking their own pictures? Try our advice to help them get snapping in style… The basics Make sure they’re holding the camera level and steady (elbows tucked in, holding it in both hands, leaning against something if they can). Remind them to keep things simple by filling the frame with their subject as much as possible, to reduce distracting elements. Get them used to checking what’s in the frame before they press the shutter, so they can avoid the usual beginner error of trees growing out of people’s heads. Encourage them to shoot with the camera on its side as well as in landscape mode, for vertical shots that are great for portraits, trees and buildings (and giraffes). Now get them experimenting with… Taking lots of pictures Back in the day when we had to buy film and processing was expensive, the tendency was to hold back on shooting. These digital days, that’s no longer an issue, and it’s great news for learners of all ages, as they can shoot away and see their results immediately, so their learning curve can be a lot quicker. […]
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Top Tips for Taking Photos of Sunsets

Sunsets are one of the most popular photography subjects, and the great thing about them is that they keep on giving. Even after the sun has dipped below the horizon, the twilight afterglow that lights up the sky 20 or so minutes later can yield truly beautiful results. Try our tips for making the most of these magical moments. A handy way of anticipating a promising sunset is to look at the clouds: high, spotty clouds with lots of space between them are ideal, as each separate cloud will grab a little bit of light and colour and create a visually pleasing scene. Sheets of clouds are not a good sign! Another indication of a decent sunset is often a rainy day – if the rainclouds start to clear around sunset, you could be onto a winning shot. With any sunset shot, you’ve got to react quickly – you’ll have maybe 20 minutes to make something happen, and from one minute to the next the photo can be dramatically different because of the way the light reflects off different things and how its intensity changes. The key is setting up in advance, because if you’re mucking around with your tripod […]
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