A layman’s guide to depth of field: how to check and affect sharpness like a pro

A layman's guide to depth of field: how to check and affect sharpness like a pro

One of the first steps toward taking more creative photos is learning how to control how much of your picture is in focus. In this quick depth of field tutorial we show you how to check and affect sharpness, as well as answer some of your burning questions

Best camera settings for black and white photos

Black and white photography: the ultimate guide

Contrary to what some online photography gurus might have you believe, shooting in black and white isn’t as simple as switching your camera to Mono mode and then applying a few filters and effects in Photoshop. You can’t just convert any old picture to black and white and expect it to be a masterpiece. Below we’ll show you how to set up your digital camera so that you have the best foundation to work with when you go to convert them to black and white photos.

Photography Basics: understanding exposure

Photography Basics: understanding exposure

Do you view your memory card as half empty or half full? Don’t let poorly exposed pictures get you down. In the latest of our infographics that aim to explain some photography basics in a different way, we’ve provided you with this useful chart for understanding exposure. Someone very clever on our team had the idea of comparing exposure to filling a cup with water.

Drag and drop this graphic on to your desktop and start getting better exposures today!

Motion Blur: how to create a sense of speed in your photos

Motion Blur: how to create a sense of speed in your photos

Are you struggling with shutter speeds? Are your backgrounds sharp and cars look like they’re still, or everything is all blurred?

To create a sense of speed and movement, you’ll need to use relatively slow shutter speeds of about 1/60 to 1/90 seconds. Meanwhile, keeping the cars sharp while blurring the background requires good panning technique. To do this, spread your feet fairly wide apart, standing at right angles to the point you want to shoot. Then swivel your hips, rather than your shoulders, following the car as it moves and carry on panning for as long as possible, even after releasing the shutter.

How to use manual focus

How to use Manual Focus

Why should you learn how to use manual focus (MF or M), especially with all the amazing advances in autofocus (AF or A) technology? Well, there’ll be times when all the AF points in the world won’t help you get sharp shots. Often, activating MF is the only way of beating the dreaded blur.

Macro photographers often use manual focus to dictate their focus point. So do low-light shooters and photographers working in tricky situations, such as shooting through glass, or perhaps focusing on a distant horizon on a misty morning, when autofocus may struggle to get a lock. Sports photographers benefit from pre-focusing in manual focus, especially if they can predict exactly where the action is going to take place.

Photo tutorial: how to take a light reading using grey card

Photo tutorial: how to take a light reading using grey card

Everyone, of any ability, who has taken a picture with a digital camera knows that getting the tones right will make or break your image. Choosing the right part of a scene to meter from is crucial, but how do you which part of the scene is best?

When taking a light reading you want to find a midtone somewhere in the scene, or even just out of the frame. This could be light-coloured foliage, or even a Caucasian face. However, sometimes there won’t be anything around that’s the right tone for you to take a light reading. In these instances, using grey card can help you achieve perfect tones.

What is a histogram: how to prevent poor exposures

Digital camera tips - histogram - good exposure

What is a histogram and why do I need to use one? Histograms can be your biggest asset once you get your head round what they are. In this primer we explain how to use your camera histogram to get the best exposure

Your camera histogram is a much more accurate way of judging whether a shot needs a bit more, or less, exposure. But it’s not just used for judging exposure: the shape and position of the histogram’s graph can also tell you about the contrast of the lighting in a scene. Below we’ve tackled some of the frequently asked questions about histograms to get you started using these helpful graphs to avoid poor exposures.