Friday, December 30, 2011

Weather Not Cooperating

Today was not a good day.  Snowed a little in the morning, and then it was cloudy all day.  Really had no chance today to go out and try and get some good photographs.  Tomorrow is not looking good either.  I really need bright sunlight in order to use my larger telephoto lenses in order to photograph birds, and bald eagles so cloudly days are not the best.  Hopefully soon i will be able to get out and try and get some good photographs. 

Photographing the Moon

To photograph just the moon by itself, without any objects in the foreground, you will need a long telephoto lens in order to fill as much of the frame as possible. Even with a good telephoto lens setup though, you will most likely be cropping the final image.  Only a telescope would be able to provide enough magnification to fill the entire frame. With your telephoto lens mounted in your camera, secure it on a tripod and point at the moon. Make sure that your tripod is good and stable enough to accommodate and hold your lens and your camera. When it comes to shutter speed, aperture and ISO, here is what I recommend for general use:
  1. Camera Mode: Set your camera mode to full Manual Mode.
  2. ISO: Set your ISO to 100 if you have a Canon DSLR and to 200 if you have a Nikon DSLR Make sure “Auto ISO” is turned Off. (basically, whatever base ISO you have in your camera). For most other brands, the base ISO is also 100. If you have a point and shoot camera, see if you can find a menu setting to set your ISO to 100.
  3. Aperture: Set your aperture to f/11.
  4. Shutter Speed: Set your shutter speed to 1/125 on cameras with base ISO 100, and to 1/250 on Nikon DSLR's with base ISO 200.
  5. Lens Focus: Set your lens to manual focus (either through a switch on the lens or on the camera) and set your focus to infinity. Be careful while setting the focus to infinity, as some lenses allow focusing beyond infinity. Try setting your lens to the center of the infinity sign, then take a picture and see if it came out sharp by zooming in the rear LCD of the camera.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Water Motion Blur

Today I went out to the lake to see if I could find any bald eagles or any other wildlife.  I saw some mallards and mergansers but did not get a good shot.  So I decided to stop and take some water motion blur photographs of the stream near the lake.  In order to take pictures like these you need to have a low shutter speed.  For most of my pictures I used a 1/5th of a second shutter speed.  Also you need to lower the ISO.  I used a 200 ISO.  Because the shutter speed is so slow, the camera will allow more light into the camera so the ISO can be low.  Also I used a high f-stop.  I used between an f-11 and f-20 depending on the shot.  The higher f-stop helps limit the amount of light into the shutter because of the slow shutter speed, and it also increases the depth of field so more of the photograph is in focus.  To read more on f-stops and the amount of light it allows into the shutter check out my tips and tricks page.  

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Eagle Photography

These are photographs of eagles I took last year.  I can't wait to get out this year and try my new equipment.  Hopefully soon the weather will cooperate, because it has been raining and snowing everyday this week, and I need bright light to use my large telephoto lenses.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Bald Eagle Photography

This time of year is when the bald eagles will migrate south for the winter due to freezing waters north of New York State.  When the water freezes it makes it hard for the eagles to catch food so they will fly south until they find open water.  In my area every year me and hundreds of other people will set out to try and capture these magnificent birds in action.  Hopefully within the next few days the weather will clear up giving me a chance to see if I can find any eagles to photograph.