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.

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.

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.

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.

Talon-ted Photographers: 10 top tips for pictures of birds in flight

Bird photography tips: 10 ways to get better pictures of birds

Are you having trouble taking decent photos of birds in flight? Don’t worry, it’s a common problem and doesn’t mean you’re not a talon-ted photographer.

From getting an accurate exposure of your subject against all that bright sky to simply being in the right place at the right time, one of the more challenging genres you’ll ever attempt will be bird photography. Tips and techniques abound, but we’ve put together what we believe are the 10 most fundamental rules you should follow when taking pictures of birds in flight.

53 essential photo ideas for winter

53 essential photo ideas for winter

Just because it’s miserable outside doesn’t mean you can’t take great winter photos. With a bit of imagination and perhaps some warm clothes, there is no reason your photography has to hibernate for the winter.

Winter offers some wonderful picture-taking opportunities, both outdoors and in, and we hope this list of 53 photo ideas inspires you to crawl out from under your duvet. Snow, rain and frost make great subjects, and the constantly changing light can be both a challenge and a revelation.

Adventure photography tips: polar explorer shares his methods

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Polar explorer Ben Saunders shares his adventure photography tips for getting great images in extreme environments like the Arctic

24 hour landscape photography guide

24 hour landscape photography guide exposure darkscene

Seize the day and get out there with your DSLR – from sunrise to sunset and into the dead of night. It’s your 24 hour guide to creative landscape photography…

Photo advice: how to win next year’s POTY competition

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Past judges from the Digital Camera Photographer of the Year competition offer their advice for success in future competitions