Still life photography: depth of field mastered in 8 steps

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If you use a point-and-shoot camera or cameraphone, it’s often almost impossible not to get everything from your feet to the distant horizon in focus. But the large sensors built into DSLRs means it can be surprisingly difficult to get everything in the frame looking sharp.

That’s because the bigger sensors used on DSLR cameras mean less depth of field (DOF). While blurred backgrounds can be a real bonus for subjects such as portraits, the limited zone of sharpness can be a problem for other types of photography.

Canon unveils new professional accessories

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Canon has extended its range of accessories for use with both its professional and mid-range EOS cameras. The new releases follow the Canon announcement of the long-awaited Canon EOS 5D Mark III full frame DSLR.

Sitting at the top of Canon’s range, the Speedlite 600EX-RT is Canon’s first flash unit to feature inbuilt wireless radio connectivity and replaces the advanced Speedlite 580EX II. Partnering with the new Speedlite Transmitter ST-E3-RT, this new model offers enhanced opportunities for photographers wishing to explore creative lighting techniques.

What is hyperfocal distance: 6 tips for sharper landscapes

What is hyperfocal distance: 6 tips for sharper landscapes

What is hyperfocal distance? Hyperfocal focusing is a specialised application of depth of field theory that’s perfectly suited to landscape photography. Calculating hyperfocal distance actually quite simple to get your head around.

When managing depth of field, you need to think in terms of the zone of sharp focus as a distance range, from the near limit (the closest object that will appear sharp) to the far limit (the farthest). With hyperfocal focusing, you place the far limit at infinity, and this automatically maximises the depth of field available.

Steam Trains: 6 tips for tremendous train pictures

Steam Trains: 6 tips for tremendous train pictures

Steam trains remain a popular subject no matter what letter your generation may be. Thick plumes of smoke, strong leading lines and big wide angles: this classic shot of steam trains is forever etched in our minds.

But often you only get one attempt at getting this. Below we’ve offered 6 essential train photography tips that will help you be ready to capture stunning rail pictures the next time you go out to photograph steam trains.

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.

Family Portraits: 10 tips for setting up your home photo studio

Family Portraits: 10 tips for setting up your home photo studio

Whether you’re taking portraits of your friends or you’ve been commissioned to photography a family – or whether you’re taking your own family photos – working from your own home photo studio can be exceptionally rewarding.

Below we’ve compiled 10 expert tips on how to set up your home photo studio, with fundamental photo ideas for how to light, pose and set up your camera to shoot family photos.

13 tips for better pictures of babies, toddlers and teenagers

Portrait photography tips: 13 tips for better pictures of babies, toddlers and teenagers

Babies, toddlers and teenagers (oh my!). After the Panamanian kinkjou they might be one of the most challenging subjects to take a portrait of. Below we’ve spoken to the pros who do this for a living and found the 13 best portrait photography tips for getting better pictures of babies, toddlers and teenagers.