motorway night photography

Night Photography Tips

When it comes to night photography, you’ll need to know the ins and outs of your camera, it’s settings, and for the best results, manual photography. Below are some night photography tips that can help you capture stunning shots.

Preparation

Before you even leave your house, make sure your camera kit and you are prepared to spend a long period of time outside. Wear warm clothing, take a hat and gloves (it will get cold!), extra batteries as cold weather can drain your camera batteries quickly. Take a torch! Just in case you can’t see all of your camera buttons and settings and makes setting up your tripod easier.

Manual mode

Shooting in manual mode will give you complete control of your camera settings, allowing you to adjust your shutter speeds, aperture and ISO to suit your situation.

ISO

As mentioned above, when adjusting your camera settings in manual mode, you can control and adjust your ISO. For night photography, you will need to set your ISO as low as you can go. The higher the ISO, the grainier your photos will be.

Tripods

Night photography requires long exposures, and therefore you will need to set your shutter speed to 10 seconds or more. As much as you think you’re keeping perfectly still, we can guarantee you’ll have some movement and blurriness in your photos. Having a sturdy tripod can o the hard work for you.

Shoot in Raw

As we’ve mentioned before in a previous blog post, shooting in RAW has its benefits in post-processing. It allows you to edit your photographs to make additional enhancements that you will be limited with if it’s just a standard jpeg file.

We hope these night photography tips help you create some beautiful long-exposure photographs that you can be proud of. But more importantly, have fun with it, experiment and see what results you get from trying different settings.

Flower and Ladybug Macro

Macro Photography

With the weather getting warmer and the days getting longer, many of us are finding ourselves back in our gardens, taking strolls in parks and nature reserves, enjoying the beauty of the flowers all in bloom. With this comes the insects; spiders, bees, beetles, and beautiful butterflies. Have you ever tried to get up-close with the camera on your phone, and your creepy crawly insect is blurry? This is where a macro lens and macro photography are the way forward.

Macro Photography can open up a whole new world! Looking at the magnified beauty of leaves, plants, insects, and small animals and immersing yourself in their natural world, we guarantee you will not be disappointed.

Details count! It may take some practice and research to achieve the results you’re after in terms of composition, subject, and lighting, so we will give you a few tips.

Lighting

The best lighting is on those bright yet overcast days to capture the vibrant colours of flowers and those gorgeous butterfly wings. And here’s why – sunny, cloudy days are perfect because the brightness will mean you can use a fast shutter speed to capture those busy bees going about their daily routines in sharp focus. And having clouds in the sky will act as a natural diffuser for your camera so that you won’t have any sharp-looking shadows in your photos.

Composition

Never be afraid to experiment with angles! Put yourself in a bug’s shoes and capture the flowers from the ground with the sun leaking through the petals (great idea, huh?). When shooting insects or small animals, make sure the eyes of the subject are in focus so they are clear and crisp. Don’t lose hope if your subject moves, scurries, or flies away; it will take practice and patience!

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Tripods are your friend

Tripods are an essential piece of kit when it comes to macro photography. Whether you decide to get a tripod with a reversible head so that your camera can face down to the ground or spread the legs of the tripod to a nearly horizontal position so you can take photos at ground level, tripods will keep your camera sturdy for those fast capture moments.

Wessex Photo has numerous lenses, tripods, and other camera equipment that can help you capture those maco photos you’ve always dreamed of taking. Whether you’re a novice photographer or an expert, we have products to suit all budgets, so why not look at our shop or come and visit one of our branches and see how our team can help you find the right equipment for your macro photography.

Why a wide-angle camera lens needs to be in your camera bag

There are so many different camera lenses on the market today, with so many different specs, it can be hard to know which lens you need to suit your particular photography style. Below are reasons why a wide-angle lens needs to be in your camera bag.

Capturing the whole scene

Wide-angle lenses are the perfect choice for scenery. You can tell a story with just one image. You can focus on a particular building or focal point yet still capture the scene’s essence around you.

Greater depth of field

The wide-angle lens gives a greater depth of field. Depth of field is the distance between the nearest and furthest elements in your scene that appear in sharp focus within your photograph; this is why a wide-angle lens is a favourite tool amongst every photographer.

Giving portraits context

When doing portrait photography, many photographers capture the close-ups and the subject’s personality. However, capturing the context of your subject within your shot is one of the most effective ways to capture a successful portrait. It tells a story and gives a deeper meaning to your photography.

Creative flair

When taking photographs with your wide-angle lens, you will understand the many different ways one lens can enhance your images. With Lighting, camera settings and positioning, you can create a range of different moods and atmospheres, so let your creativity take over and push those boundaries for the best photographs.

What photography is a wide-angle lens good for?

Real Estate

Whether you’re in real estate, a wide-angle lens would be the perfect tool for taking images of the interior of homes. Not only can they capture the essence of the room, but they can also make them appear more spacious.

Landscape Photography

Wide-angle lenses are perfect for capturing landscapes, as you can almost get a whole 180-degree angle. Perfect if you want to sell panoramic views on canvases.

City and Seascapes

People love an excellent scenery photographs; we like to take photos or buy imagery of places we’ve been, things we’ve seen and have that memory for a lifetime. Cityscapes and seascapes captured with a wide-angle lens are the perfect examples of the most popular souvenirs from our travels.

If you’re looking into wide-angle lenses, take a look at our new and used options, or if you would like to know more about wide-angle lenses, why a wide-angle camera lens needs to be in your camera bag and if they could suit you and your photography needs, have a chat with one of our team who will be happy to assist you.

Spring Photography Tips and Tricks

Spring Photography Tips and Tricks

Spring is right around the corner. With daylight slowly starting to last longer again, you’ll be looking forward to what spring brings if you’re a keen photographer. It’s the best season for capturing new beginnings. Flowers will be in full bloom, nature brings new life, and the weather is perfect for spending time outside exploring.
Below are some spring photography tips and tricks to get the most out of your photos.

Polarising filters

Spring brings colour and lots of it, from clear blue skies to the green of the trees and all the colours from a field of flowers. A polarising filter attached to the front of your lens is an inexpensive way to prevent any unwanted glare or reflections and creates contrast and saturation.

White balance

Before you start shooting, check your white balance. Different types of light have different characteristics. Colours can look more blue, green or orange than in reality. So be sure to check your white balance so that the colours you capture are well balanced.

Depth of field

Experiment and have fun playing around with your camera and its settings so that you can find your photography style. Experimenting with your depth of field on manual or aperture priority mode can give you a new view of your subjects. Remember, the wider the aperture, the more focus you’ll have in your foreground. The narrower your aperture will bring everything in view into focus.

Our team at Wessex Photo want you to get the most out of your camera and can help you pick the right equipment for what photographs you want to take. We have a wide range of camera lenses, filters, tripods and remote switches so you can capture the perfect shots. Contact us or visit one of our branches, and we’d be happy to get you fully equipped for spring.

New Year, New Camera!

New Year, New Camera!

Whether you’ve had a new camera for Christmas or have treated yourself to the camera you’ve always wanted, you might think you’re all set to go out and about and take your new camera out for a spin. But have you gotten the right accessories to get the best out of your new camera?

Let’s take a look at some of the camera accessory must-haves!

Lenses

If you have a DSLR camera, you will need to look at the different lenses your camera can have to capture the perfect photographs. If you’re looking to use your camera for candid family photos, holidays and general documenting, the lens your DSLR camera came with should suffice. Known best for their ability to capture the finest of details up-close to subjects such as flowers, plants, insects and animals, or even product photography, a macro lens is excellent to have in your camera bag.

We have a range of macro lenses for Canon, Nikon, Sigma, and Fujifilm, all ranging in focal lengths. Macro lenses can be slightly pricey if you have a Canon or Nikon DSLR. A great alternative to this is the Sigma macro lenses that have a Nikon F mount or a Canon EF mount, for example, the Sigma Macro 105mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM lens.

You could also have the perfect balance between zoom and close up photographs with a telephoto lens. Telephoto lenses have a range of focal lengths from a typical 70mm -200mm to a super-telephoto lens with focal lengths longer than 300mm. If you’re taking photos from a fair distance to your subject, this is the perfect lens to consider having due to its range of f-stops and shutter speeds.

Batteries

If you’re a seasoned photographer, you know how long your batteries can last; however, to be on the safe side, you can never have enough batteries! For extended excursions, day trips, and holidays, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Instead of missing out on memories, make sure to take enough fully-charged batteries with you.
Make sure to keep your batteries warm in colder months as the cold weather can shorten the battery life (even when not in use).

Memory SD Cards

The worst thing that can happen, other than losing battery, is using up all the memory on your cameras memory card and not having another to hand. Always make sure to have spares!
Shooting in RAW can take up more memory than standard photographs, so bear that in mind when deciding on the size of your SD cards.

If you would like any help with picking the right lens for your DSLR camera to suit your needs, you can pop into one of our branches, and our team would love to help you find the perfect match. You can also contact us via our enquiry form, or over the phone.

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Photographing Christmas

Everybody loves this time of year, not for the presents or the food, but to spend it with family. Christmas brings a lot of joy to many, and if you’re an avid photographer, you’ll want to capture those moments. Below are a few tips to get the most out of your Christmas photographs this year.

Using the Flash

While using the flash on your camera comes in handy sometimes, in low light situations such as Christmas Day, where people rely on their Christmas tree lights and fireplaces for light to create a cosy feel to the day, using a flash can create some harsh-looking photographs. Use the light around you and make some dynamic and relaxed photos to look back on.

Bring life to your photos.

We all have obligatory family photos in front of the Christmas tree, where we all smile and get blinded by the flash. Instead of capturing posed photos, why not capture the candid shots. Your mom opening her present, the dog ripping up all the wrapping paper, your children playing with their new toys, and if you want that particular group family photo capture it without them knowing when you’re taking the shot. Take multiple pictures, take continuous shots, and capture them whilst they’re talking, laughing, or getting into position. You’re sure to find a favourite. Taking less structured and posed photographs can capture your families true Christmas.

Continuous Mode

Continuous mode on your camera can be a perfect way of capturing multiple photos of the same subject in short spaces of time. Perfect for reaction shots to your family opening their presents and seeing their faces light up with excitement and joy.

Capturing the details

Many families go ‘all out’ for Christmas. The fancy plates come out of hiding that only get used once a year, the table is decorated with crackers and candles and multiple glasses and utensils, the tree is filled with baubles and homemade tree decorations that have been accumulated over the years, and now it’s their debut! Sometimes it’s those little details that bring Christmas together, that bring happiness and laughter. So don’t forget to capture those little details!

Merry Christmas!

From all of us at Wessex Photo, we would like to wish you all a safe and Merry Christmas, and we will see you all in 2022! We look forward to printing your Christmas photos!

Having the right camera equipment for winter

If you’re a keen photographer, nothing will deter you from venturing out into the cold this winter to capture some magical shots. With the frosty mornings becoming a regular sight, making a glittering blanket of ice on the ground, the misty mornings just as the sun starts to break through the trees. You can truly get some fantastic photographs, and who knows, maybe you can make your own Christmas cards out of them!

Take your family or friends for an adventure in the snow and capture the laughs and giggles of your children enjoying snowball fights, making snowmen and snow angels. Your dogs running, jumping, and making pawprint trails in the snow. Not only will it be a fun time outside, but you’ll capture some ever-lasting memories.

We all know to wrap up warm as the temperatures drop, wellies or walking boots, coats, gloves, hats, and scarves at the ready. You might be all dressed up and ready for winter walking, but is your camera equipment?

Yes, that’s right, your camera needs to be cold weather-ready too!

Wrap up your camera

Make sure to take your camera in a camera bag to minimize its contact with the cold. You can even wrap it in a microfiber cloth before placing it in your camera bag, so the cold doesn’t cause any damage. By damage, we mean moisture. When outside in the cold for some time and then being brought back home where it’s warm can create condensation on your camera, and the moisture of that going into the camera’s body can cause some long term damage. So on your return from being outside, make sure to wipe your camera down.

Bring spare batteries

Many photographers will tell you; the cold kills batteries. If you’re going out for a long day of shooting, you know to take spare batteries with you. Even when not in use, the batteries charge can drain in the cold. To extend their life, keep them warm. Place them in your pockets and use your body heat to keep them at a warmer temperature, or place them in a sock before putting them in your camera bag.

Ready, steady, tripod

If you’re taking long exposure shots or taking photos in low light conditions, you will need your tripod handy for steady and accurate photographs. Shooting in those cold conditions without a tripod can lead to shaky stills if you’re doing them by hand. With a tripod, you won’t need to try and stand still for the prolonged exposure to be done whilst you’re dithering away. The tripod can handle it.

If you’re looking to capture super close-up stills of the pretty frost-covered leaves, a macro lens is a perfect piece of camera equipment to have in your arsenal. We can help you and your camera kit get winter-ready. Pop into one of our branches or take a look at our shop for camera lenses, camera bags, tripods and other accessories that can help you take the photographs you’re after.

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Photography: Going Manual

Many photographers will say that you’re not a ‘proper’ photographer if you don’t shoot manually. Maybe such things as f/stops, shutter speed, and ISO are putting you off giving manual photography a go? Don’t worry too much if you’re not ready to go full-fledged manual just yet; two partial automatic modes can give you the control you need and a glimpse into what going fully manual would help you achieve – Aperture priority and Shutter priority.

The Auto setting ensures your image is exposed correctly, meaning the highlights aren’t too bright, and the shadows aren’t too dark. Aperture, shutter speed and ISO all contribute to this – your aperture; the size of the opening through your camera lens, the shutter speed; the amount of time the shutter stays open, and the ISO; the image sensor’s light sensitivity.

Mastering Manual

If you’re going from a smartphone to a compact camera or DLSR, you wouldn’t have had to worry about any settings before. In Auto mode, your camera will handle a lot of that for you. However, if you’re willing to venture into the world of manual photography, you will open all sorts of creative opportunities.

So let’s take a look at those manual settings you’ll need to know.

Aperture

Aperture is all about controlling the depth of field, effectively deciding which areas of your image you want in focus. For example, if you’re shooting wildlife or people, you can determine if you wish to keep them in sharp focus while blurring everything behind them or whether you want the whole image in focus.

If you love visiting zoos and safari parks, you could use the Aperture setting to capture beautiful photographs of wildlife in sharp focus whilst their cages are so close to the lens that they would blur enough to disappear from the shot.

For an image with the subject in sharp focus with a blurred background, you will need a wide aperture (a small f/stop number) if you want everything in focus; for example, in a landscape, you will need a narrow aperture (a large f/stop number). Experiment with the aperture settings; it’s up to you how you want to do it.

Shutter Speed

Shutter speed captures motion. Light trails and waterfalls are perfect examples of using shutter speed settings to create magical photographs. Being able to set your shutter speeds, you can slow down movement, or capture fast-moving objects in sharp focus.

ISO

ISO controls the quality of your image. If the sensor is more sensitive to light you will have a high number, so the shutter doesn’t need to be open for so long. ISO helps you get shots in low-light conditions without using a flash. However, there is a downside, the higher the ISO, the more noise your image will have, so it may look grainy. Some cameras are better at handling this than others, but how much noise on your shot is entirely up to you. In general, you’ll want to use the lowest ISO setting you can get away with.

Manual Photography

When shooting a series of images that you need to be the same, the same light level, the same aperture, then shooting in manual is your best option. If you take a series of images in Auto, you won’t get the same lighting, so all photos in your series will be different, which may not be what you want and may need editing further in post-production.

A feature that is incredibly useful in photography is shooting in RAW format. Unlike general jpegs, RAW files contain much more information and therefore can be edited further than the standard jpeg in post-production on programmes like Photoshop.

 

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The Magic of Autumn

Autumn is a beautiful season that offers a wide range of photographic opportunities. From bright yellows to vibrant red and orange tones in the leaves to colourful but foggy landscapes, it’s easy to see why Autumn is the favourite season amongst photographers.

Here are a few tips you can use to capture some autumnal magic this year.

Sunrise or Sunset

The sun at dusk and dawn have the best kind of light. Commonly referred to as the ‘Golden Hour’, the times around sunset and sunrise are when the light is softest. Landscapes light up with a stunning golden glow, which will help the vibrant autumn colours to ‘pop’ and help create the perfect atmosphere for your shot.

The Magic of Autumn

Falling Leaves

One of nature’s most beautiful times of the year is when the many shades of yellow, orange and red Autumn leaves eventually fall to the ground. Some of photographers favourite things to shoot during this time of year are leaf-covered canals, woodland trails, or if you have a little model at hand (children or pets), you can capture some incredible memories. The fallen autumn leaves not only help to add texture and a pop of colour to your photographs, but they will also help as leading lines in your compositions and also convey motion.

The Magic of Autumn

Don’t Be Put Off by Bad Weather

I know, it’s easier said than done, those cold foggy mornings, you want to stay in bed. But don’t let the bad weather discourage you; Autumn has the unique ability to provide you with some brilliant colours and contrast. Woodland areas or bodies of water are perfect places to venture to on those overcast mornings.
Before heading out, check the weather and be prepared for anything.

The Magic of Autumn

White Balance

Experiment with your white balance settings for those moments that need just a little bit more of a helping hand to capture. If you want to add a warmer look to your photos to enhance the golden glow of a sunrise or sunset, try different white balance levels and adjust to suit.

The Magic of Autumn

Autumn photography is a season many landscape photographers love due to the many opportunities as the season goes on, but not without its challenges. Take your time setting up your shots and experiment with your compositions, subjects, perspectives, but most importantly, have fun!