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How to take Beautiful Portraits on your Holidays

Composition Check in the LCD screen or against the crop marks in the viewfinder that body parts haven’t been accidentally amputated, or that trees and signs aren’t growing out of heads; you might need to move slightly so you can recompose to prevent this. Turn the camera on its side for full-length shots, and never be afraid to move in close – frame-filling portraits can be very effective. Take care with focus to ensure the eyes are sharp, otherwise the picture won’t work. Lenses A lens with a focal length around 18-135mm is ideal for most portraits. Get too close with a wideangle and you’ll start to distort facial features, making noses and chins appear larger; a medium telephoto lens setting of around 70-135mm creates a more flattering result. For candids of the kids that won’t disturb their fun, try the long end of a telephoto zoom – you can shoot from a safe distance, and the focal length will create shallow depth of field that focuses all attention on your subject, with distracting backgrounds and foreground softened into a pleasing blur. Light Daylight gives the best results for portraits. Late afternoon sunlight has a warm glow, while cloudy, overcast […]
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Video Composition Rules: Establishing, Medium and Close-up Shots

Composition is how you choose to frame the video you’re about to capture; and composition is just as important for video as it is for still photography. Rule of Thirds One of the most basic composition rules is the Rule of Thirds. When you look through at your subjects, using Live View on the LCD screen, imagine a tic-tac-toe grid over the scene. Notice where these lines intersect. The rule of thirds suggests that these intersection points are the ideal places to position your subject. Doing so will generally result in a pleasant and balanced composition. Try moving your camera so your subject appears where two of the lines meet. The subject doesn’t have to be directly on the intersection but somewhere close to it. Try a couple of different compositions to find the one you like best. Establishing Shots, Medium Shots, Close-up Shots When shooting video, you want to vary the types of shots for a more interesting feel. There are three types of shots that you’ll always see in videos and movies from big Hollywood productions to commercials and even wedding or occasion videos. The Establishing shots are the wide shots. It allows the viewer to take in […]
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Nature’s Best Photography Africa 2017

GLOBAL PHOTOGRAPHERS PRESENT AFRICA IN ALL HER GLORY As the exclusive camera partner to this prestigious event, Nikon in South Africa is proud to announce that Cape Town visitors and residents will once again be treated to an annual exhibition of breath-taking, African focused photographs coordinated by Nature’s Best Photography Africa and Iziko Museums of South Africa. The exhibition featuring a total of 75 award winning photographs that were taken in Africa by global photographers will run at the Iziko SA Museum from 8th November until the 4th of March 2018. An expert panel of local and international judges, considered thousands of images to select the winners. The winners competed for prizes made up of photographic safaris to some of Africa’s richest wildlife regions with a combined value in excess of R1 million. This is the largest prize value of any nature photography competition in the world and is made possible by the kind support of & Beyond, Chobe Safari Lodge and CNP Safari’s. The exhibition aims to foster a love for and desire to protect the natural resources of Africa amongst all segments of our population and those who visit our continent. We would like to encourage schools, parents, […]
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Moviemaking 101 – 6 Tips On How To Make A Video

Follow these six tips for a better movie making experience with your Nikon HDSLR: Pre-production planning. A Hollywood movie never begins shooting without all aspects of the film being planned out in the pre-production stage. Take a tip from the pros and plan out the story you want to tell using video. It can be as simple as writing out a shot list (a list of shots you want to capture); a simple outline; the dialog you wish to capture; or it can be more formal, with a script and storyboard (illustrating your movie shot by shot). This way you can keep track of what you’ve shot and what is remaining. This lets you make sure that you don’t forget to capture any important footage when you make your video. Capture a variety of shots. Telling a story will be more interesting if you’re capturing a variety of shots. The best videos are made of short clips edited together. In the film world the wide angle shot is known as the Establishing Shot and it shows the overall scene. Medium shots often include one or more subjects. Close-up shots can be cropped at the head and shoulders like a portrait, […]
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How to use Focus Tracking to capture moving subjects

  Moving subjects – like birds in flight or dogs chasing after a ball – are more difficult to keep in focus than static ones using the standard (auto) autofocus mode. While auto AF mode can alternate between single and continuous autofocus when it identifies a moving subject, selecting continuous AF mode (AF-C) will give more consistent results. AF-C enables you to keep the focus bang on track, focusing on your subject continuously all the while the shutter-release button is half-depressed. Here’s how to get set with AF-C: Choose AF-C by holding down the AF-mode button on the front left of the camera and simultaneously rotating the main command dial until you see ‘AF-C’ in the viewfinder or on the control panel. Choose the focus point position: flick the focus selector lock on the back panel down from ‘L’ to the small dot. Use the multi-selector arrows to choose the focus point you want, and press OK, then flick the selector lock back up to ‘L’ to stop the focus point changing next time the multi-selector is pressed (for example, during image playback). Now quickly compose your shot and half-depress the shutter. As long as the button stays half-depressed, your […]
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Experimenting with lightning photography

Lightning is the occurrence of a natural electrical discharge between clouds or between a cloud and the ground. Generated in electrically-charged storm systems, temperatures of lightning bolts is hotter than the surface of the sun and can therefore be very dangerous. While lightning is a terrifying natural phenomena, it is also one of the most beautiful. Lightning storms are unpredictable and can strike anytime and anywhere so trying to get a photograph can be quite a challenge, but not impossible. Safety First While capturing lightning can be a very rewarding experience, it is also important to keep yourself safe from harm. To determine whether lightning is near you, try to listen for thunder. If you do hear the sounds of a thunder, it is advisable to go indoors. If your hair starts to stand on ends or if your skin starts to tingle, there is a high chance that lightning may be about to strike. Do not photograph lightning in open areas, especially where water, tall trees, or structures are nearby. Preparation is key Once you’ve found a lightning storm that is happening near you, try to look for a spot that will give you a good view of the […]
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Learn the DSLR Basics

Key camera controls Menus– you’ll find these on the LCD screen. Access your choices using the arrows on the multi-selector button on the back panel, or use the touch screen if your camera has it. Main command dial– top right on the back panel. Mode dial – left on the camera’s top plate.Rotate the mode dial with your thumb and middle finger (some models may require you to press down the little button in the centre with your forefinger) WB(white balance), QUAL(image quality), ISO and info buttons on the back panel or as part of the menu screen, depending on camera model. Your basic settings If you’re just starting with DSLR photography and are feeling slightly overwhelmed by the plethora of menus, dials and buttons, shorten your learning curve and boost your imaging confidence with these quick settings tips. 1. JPEG or NEF (RAW) files A JPEG is processed by your camera, so it’s ready to view as soon as you’ve shot it, and as it’s compatible with most software and devices, it’s highly shareable too. The downside of this format is that you can’t do much with it in post-processing, so what you see is essentially what you get. A NEF (RAW) file […]
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Choosing the right NIKKOR Lens

Chances are, your Nikon DSLR came with a kit lens so you could get cracking straightaway with the types of subjects and situations people generally want to capture – travel, family events, landscape, nature, action… Soon, though, as you discover the possibilities of DSLR photography, you might also discover that there’s one specific type of photography that especially captures your imagination. The clue that you’ll need a new lens to explore it lies in your feet. If you’re constantly walking closer, stepping back, circling around to get a closer or wider view or an angle that eliminates distractions from the frame, then it’s time to think about a lens best suited to what you now want to achieve. But there are rather a lot of NIKKOR lenses to choose from, so if you don’t know your ED from your G, or your FX from your DX, if you can’t decide between prime and zoom, or you’re confused about which is the right lens to invest in for landscapes, portraits, wildlife shots, our comprehensive guide will help you get some focus… DX and FX Let’s start with format – the size of your camera’s image sensor. At 24x16mm, the Nikon DX-format is the smaller […]
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How to take great videos on your DSLR

Want to unleash your inner Spielberg? Here’s how to start shooting D-movies with your Nikon camera… And action! 1. Basic settings Use these basic settings to get you up and running. Set your camera to Program so the exposure will be set automatically, leaving you free to concentrate on being creative. In the shooting menu, go to Movie Settings and choose the quality/frames per second. Most videos are shot at 1920×1080/30p – that’s full HD (high definition), recording 30 frames per second. For a more cinematic or filmic look, go for 24p for 24 frames per second. Remember: the higher the image quality, the larger the file. Switch ISO to Auto to allow your camera to automatically make any necessary ISO changes. Select the Focus Mode. For general video shooting, AF-S will be fine, as long as your subjects aren’t moving – in which case switch to AF-F. The other choice is MF (manual focus), which you could try as you become more experienced. Choose the AF Area Mode. Normal should be fine for most subjects, and there’s also a Wide option. In Face Priority your camera will focus on faces, while Subject Tracking is great for moving subjects. Turn […]
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5 Tips for the Foodie Photographer

1. Lighting is important. Window light is a great light source. It is large and when diffused it can wrap around your subject nicely. When you’ve got harsh light coming through the windows, incorporate shadows into your composition. 2. Composition is everything. Since the food is the star of the image, limit the distractions in the background. Using a fast lens will allow you to use the shallow depth of field to your advantage in throwing the background out of focus. Turn the plate around so you can see which side is best to shoot. 3. Keep it simple. When you’re shooting in a restaurant, be polite to servers and fellow diners. Stick to available light. Bump up the ISO if you have to and shoot at wider apertures. 4. Reshoot! If you don’t like the images once you get back to your computer, but do like the subject matter, odds are the dish will still be on the menu when you return. 5. Experiment. This is easiest when you’re shooting in your own kitchen. Use an eclectic collection of dishes or glasses; experiment with the lighting, or by changing the white balance to alter the mood of the image.
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