Bringing in the Horses – fairly High ISO

Sunset Photo - "Bringing in the horses" - Canon 5D Mark III at ISO 6400

Sunset Photo – “Bringing in the horses” – Canon 5D Mark III at ISO 6400

Sometimes you just need to use a higher ISO (in this case ISO 6400) to get the Shutter Speed you want…

Shutter Speed was set at 1/160 sec as I wanted the horses to be fairly sharply focused (and not motion blurred).

I did need to get fairly aggressive with the noise reduction in Adobe Lightroom (Luminance 52 and Color 36) – it results in a little softness – bordering on ‘painterly’ when zoomed in. I chose to have a little softness through noise reduction rather than a LOT of motion blur that would have resulted from a slower shutter speed.

Usually, I would keep ISO around 1600 or lower if I want really low noise on my images but that’s not always possible if light is low and subjects are moving.

When it comes to ‘ideal settings’ Photography is often a trade off in quality. What will result in the best possible image?

It’s also about removing the biggest obstacles in your photography. In most cases people can improve their images dramatically be removing the biggest photography hurdle first – the thing is – the number one hurdle is different for different people – Click here to find out Your # Photography Hurdle


Happy Mother’s Day and a Chance Capture…

Merganser bird photo

Happy Mother’s Day! – this photo is dedicated to all those mother’s out there who seem to be able to ‘run on water’ with their amazing ability to manage the kids, the household, careers and hobbies all with a smile πŸ™‚

I took this photo the other day at the creek near my house.

Totally unplanned…

I had just taken some creek photos and was relaxing looking over the water when I saw this colorful bird cruising on the surface at the corner of my eye.

I slowly reached for my camera so as not to startle the bird (fortunately I had my 70-200mm f/28L lens on my Canon 5D Mark III at the time).

By the time I had my right hand on the camera, ready to pick it up, I saw our dog Bali (the Australian Shepard / Border Collie mix) charging towards the creek in the left corner of my view…

She had spotted the Common Merganser on the water – leaving me all of 1 or 2 seconds to get the camera to my eye and snap off a few shots.

I managed to get 4 shots as the bird took flight from the water. The one above was the best.

The ISO was really low – set at 100. Typically for action photography I would choose an ISO of 400-1600 to get a faster Shutter Speed.

As it turns out my camera was set to Aperture priority (which I recommend leaving your camera on) and set to Aperture f/3.5 and the Meganser was in the sun so I had a Shutter Speed of 1/320 sec. This gave me a reasonably fast shutter speed but you can still notice some movement blur as I was zoomed in at 200mm.

Panning with the bird, as it ran on the water, did help keep it in fairly good focus. But you will notice some blurring which I find gives a better feeling of motion.

This is the track and pan method I describe in my “Shutter Speed” video of the DSLR Basics Module in my EasyDSLR Digital Photography Course (Blue Membership).

If you want to learn this method…

OR are just a little curious about what else is in the course then head over to my >Special for Blue Membership here< This Special is for limited time – click the link to see how much time is remaining.


Explosive Color: Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

Took a little family trip through the Skagit Valley North of Seattle last week.

Just happened to be during the Tulip Festival πŸ™‚

It’s an amazing explosion of color – really hard not to get some great photos. These are a few of my favorites. I won’t show you the other 235!

I was trying out some different perspectives using a Canon 5D Mark III paired with a 70-200 mm f/2.8 L lens and a 16-35mm f/2.8L lens. The first 3 were at 70 to 80mm. The 4th and 5th photo were at 200mm – I was using this focal length to ‘compress’ the perspective giving condensed bands of color. The last photo was at 16mm just holding the camera at arms length above a bed of tulips for a unique perspective.

I used different Focal Lengths and Apertures in these photos to modify the Depth of Field (how much is in focus) to give a different look to the photos. >>Click here to find out How to Isolate your Subject with Narrow Depth of Field <<

I hope this gives you some interesting angles to try out in your flower photography.


What is a Wide Angle Lens?

You may have wondered “What is a Wide Angle Lens?

OR “Why are Wide Angle Lenses so expensive”

In the Video above I talk about what a Wide Angle Lens is as well as:

  • Why they can be expensive but not as much as Telephoto Lenses
  • The BEST use of Wide Angle Lenses (you definitely want to watch that part if you were thinking about using them for Portraits).

This video is the *missing Photo Snack #2* for those who saw the earlier posts EASYDSLR Photo Snack #1Canon vs Nikon and Photo Snack #3 Are Bigger Pixels Better?

If you are looking at getting a Good Quality Wide Angle Zoom for a crop sensor Camera (like Canon T5i or Nikon D5300) then I would seriously consider getting a Pro Lens in the range of around 16 – 35mm like:

These are top Quality Lenses and are not cheap but are much more affordable than their f/2.8 “bigger brothers”.

The reality is that most wide angle photos you are likely to be taking will need a lot in focus – meaning a large Depth of Field. This means you will be using narrower Apertures in the range of f/11 to f/22. So the extra cost for f/2.8 will not be justified.

On a Full Frame sensor camera the above lenses will be VERY Wide and I find I use a lens in the 24 – 70mm range more often (24mm on a Full Frame Sensor is fairly WIDE – I explain all this in my Composition Video in my EasyDSLR Course)

So for Full Frame Cameras these are my BEST recommendations (I use the 24-70mm on my Canon 5D Mark III around 60-80% of the time).

You may be interested in doing Video with your DSLR and want that super Narrow Depth of Field but may not be able to afford either of the f/2.8 lenses above – in the next article I will give you a great option for affordable Video lenses that will do the trick and not break the bank.