Monthly Archives: August 2012

Once in a blue moon for August 2012 – Last chance in three years to capture this

The phrase ‘once in a blue moon’ is used when the full moon phase occurs twice in the same month. Tonight, (Friday) 31 August will be such an occurrence when the second full moon for August occurs. The first one was on 1 August. The next time this will happen is only in 2015.

The moon

The moon, crisp and clear

So, tonight everyone wiil be out shooting the moon. Below are a few tips on how to achieve nice crisp and clear photographs of the moon.

  1. Zoom lens.Use your longest zoom lens, preferably 200mm or even up to a 500 mm lens if you have one. For a point-and-shoot camera, zoom in as much as possible using optical zoom only. Digital zoom does not work for this. 
  2. Use a tri-pod. If you have a tri-pod available use it, else place your camera on a very stable surface to avoid any camera shake.  
  3. Shutter release cable, camera remote or self-timer. This is another way to avoid camera shake and get crisp photographs. Use whichever one you have available. 
  4. Camera settings. As the moon is a direct light source you won’t need a very slow shutter speed or high ISO setting. For point-and-shoot cameras without A / AV or T/TV settings, experiment with the camera on night portrait or landscape settings. For cameras that can set ISO, aperture, etc, use ISO 100 *you can always go up if it does not work). Set camera to A/AV (aperture priority mode) start with aperture on f/8 and then go up to f/11 or f/16 if you need to.For those who would like to use manual mode, ISO 100, f/8 to f/16 and shutterspeed of around 1/125. Remember that the moon is a bright light source, so you won’t need a slow shutter speed.
  5. Make sure that you focus directly on the moon
  6. Shoot! And then post your photographs here so that everyone can see what they look like.

 If you have any other suggestions of photographing the moon, please post them here for everyone to read.

What to do on the day of your Matric Farewell photo shoot

What to do on the day of your Matric Farewell portrait photo shoot

What to do on the day of your Matric Farewell portrait photo shoot

By now the outfit is ready, the accessories have been picked. The date is not far away anymore and you are really looking forward to this once in a lifetime party.

But have you given a thought about the photographs of the day yet? Continuing on from my first article, How to prepare for your Matric Farewell photo shoot, herewith a few tips for the actual day of the photo shoot.

1.       A good night’s sleep. It is important that you get a good night’s sleep the night before your photo shoot to make sure you are refreshed on the day.

2.       Plan your day. Plan your day beforehand to ensure you have enough time to get ready before your photo shoot.

3.       Small things do matter. Check all the small things such as facial hair, nails, lips etc. Your hands are definitely going to feature somewhere in the photo shoot, so make sure your nails are perfect.

4.       Accessories.  Make sure that you have all your accessories ready the day before. Missing something on the day will just add to stress, which you don’t need, it is a day to enjoy. Guys, check that your shoes are clean, dusty or dirty shoes don’t make for interesting photographs.

5.       Final check. Just before you leave for the photo shoot or before the photographer arrives, double check in the mirror or asks a family member or friend to check that everything is in place and the make-up etc is looking great.

6.       Gather ideas. It is a great idea to look on the internet or in magazines on poses for photographs. This could give you an idea of what you would like from your photo shoot on the day.

7.       Practice makes perfect. In the week leading up to the photo shoot and especially on the day, practice your poses and remember to smile naturally. That cheesy smile in photographs is one of the biggest no-no’s.

8.       Most important. Enjoy your day. It only happens once, so make sure you enjoy the day and especially the photo shoot. It will make for far greater portrait photographs if you are relaxed and enjoying it.

To avoid disappointment, visit PiKs Photography today to book your Matric Farewell portrait photo shoot. Remember to inquire about our 2012 Matric Farewell Portrait Photo Shoot special. Upon booking, we will also send you your very own “Matric Farewell Photo Shoot Checklist” containing 40 hints and tips to make the most of the day.

Photography Basics #2 – Shutter Speed In Photography

Shutter speed - Freezing action or creation motion blur

Shutter speed – Freezing action or creation motion blur

In the second of my blog articles on photography basics, I will elaborate a bit more on shutter speed and how you can put this to better use in order to create better photographs.

Shutter speed in film photography was the length of time, measured in seconds or fractions of a second, the film was exposed to the subject being photographed. In digital photography it is the length of time the camera’s sensor is exposed to the subject being photographed.

Shutter speed controls the light and influences the motion being captured in a photograph. The faster the shutter speed the less light, and thus it will freeze the motion, i.e. 1/500th or 1/1000th of a second.

A slow shutter speed will allow for more light and will blur motion, i.e. ¼ of a second, 2 seconds, etc.

It is recommended that with slower shutter speed, the camera is placed on a tri-pod or a sturdy surface to try to avoid camera shake associated with a slow shutter speed.

If hand-holding the camera is the only option available, to avoid camera shake, the shutter speed must preferable be at least 1.5x the focal length. For example, if you have a fixed 50mm lens on the camera and you are photographing using a slow shutter speed, the shutter speed should not be slower than 1/75th of a second and if you have zoomed in of your zoom lens to let’s say 150mm, the shutter speed should not be slower than 1/225th of a second.

There are other changes that can be made in order to allow for a faster shutter speed if needed, i.e. change the aperture or ISO, but these will be discussed in a future article.

Shutter priority is best used when capturing motion blur or freezing motion in sports photography or action photography. It is also used when you want to blur the motion in landscapes with water, such as a waterfall or waves washing up onto a beach. Shutter speed will also come into play in low light conditions, when a slower shutter speed is required, however be aware of camera shake in such cases.

Your exercise for the next few weeks are to find photography opportunities where you want to either capture motion blur or freeze action. Feel free to publish your photographs on the blog article for everyone to see.

Related posts:
Photography Basics #1 – What are all the modes on the camera dial?

If you have any questions or comments regarding this article, please leave a comment below.

Feel free to regularly visit PiKs Photography website for information on Portrait, Event, Corporate and Commercial Photography and Photographic Products such as canvas prints and photo books.

Ulrike and little baby sister Beate, what a great baby and children photo shoot.

It is always a joy and pleasure photographing children and babies. They make such awesome images with their innocence. With baby sister Beate and Ulrike it was no different and the sparkle in those beautiful eyes are still going to break many hearts.

Baby photography, Gauteng, Alberton

Beate – So much to explore when you are young

Children photography, Alberton, Gauteng

Ulrike – Such a pretty little face

Baby photography, Alberton, Gauteng

Beate – Beautiful eyes full of joy and innocence

Children photography, Alberton, Gauteng

Ulrike – A lady in the making