Eyes of Nikon
Some of you might have seen we retweeted about Nikon starting its Eyes of Nikon gallery in the Nikon Plaza Shanghai on the 27th August. It will be running till the 30th September and will show-case photographs from around the world, taken with Nikkor lenses. This is all part of the celebra-tions for Nikkors 80 years of lens manufacture.
If anyone gets to go, please do send us a little review as we would love to hear what it is like.
If you like us can't make it then you can at least have a read about the event on the Nikon blog
Distortion control V2
Firmware updates for the distortion control software of supporting DSLR's is now out.
A recent publication on the Nikon blog
, where the download is also made available, has a list of cameras that use this software if you don't know and are also helpfully astrixed on the Nikon USA's firmware download page
. Make sure your camera firmware is up to date first though as you may cause all of society to collapse or something.in-my-viewfinder
Blurred is the word Feature penginnoikari
Is the winner of our blurred is the word competition winner with the first image seen above and was chosen by you!
Shaun from the USA is a true champion of smearing light all over his images (just look at his avatar this guy just can't sit still!) and rightfully wins this feature on our gallery.
His work takes every day places and finds hidden interest or deeper meaning and might even get out his paint set once in a while to.
Please take the time to see what Shaun can do and maybe give him a little pat on the back for being so good at smudging his photographs amongst many other things.in-my-viewfinder
Making the most of what you have
I don't know about you but in this wrld of consumerism it can seem that you never own everything you need to be an even passable photographer. You read books, journals and magazines that all talk about how they used that specialised bit of kit to get the perfect image and it make soyu look at your kit bag and wonder when it will ever end?
The purpose of this tutorial, such as it is, is it pat all of this into perspective and to not only make you happy with what you may have, but make better use of it to.
So you own a camera, a Nikon as well so you are already awesome in our eyes! If we are talking SLR here then we are assuming you own a kit lens.
Whatever else you have is an accessory to make this camera more specialised or better in whatever type of photography you do. These things are nice to have and may seem like you couldn't live without them but in reality you could manage without, you would just have to change your style to cope and that’s our point.If you could lose kit and still cope then you can manage to do other things where you don't own kit and cope just as well.
Here are some kit examples and how you can work around them:
Our three legged friends are almost indispensable when shooting at night, landscapes or any situa-tion where you want sharp shake free images.
They can be picked up cheap and a budget tripod is better than no tripod at all (my first one was £10 and served me well for a couple of years) but on those days when you travel light or when you are just starting out you will have found yourself improvising. Placing your camera on a bag or wall is a simple way of steadying your camera. Even using a sturdy stick as a makeshift monopod will help remove shake but I wouldn't suggest letting go unless you like fixing cameras. Funily enough a camera placed on the floor with a couple of lens caps wedged under the lens to get the enge right can give a fun low angle to an image that can make things more interesting than just using a head high tripod. So go tripodless for the win!
VR lenses are usually a fair wedge dearer than non VR lenses but they do give you a bit of help steadying your camera when shooting.
VR effectively allows you to shoot a couple of stops slower than you would otherwise so the obvi-ous thing to do if you are sticking with your non VR lens is to set your shutter speed a little faster.
For the slowest shutter speed you can shoot at with your lens you can use the old formula where you use the shutter speed that is the reciprocal of the Focal Length.
If the focal length of your lens is 50mm, then, the minimum shutter speed would 1/50s so pick the closest setting above you camera offers. If your lens is 200mm then the minimum shutter speed would be 1/200s and so on. This is as relevant to compact users as it is to SLR's. You can find out the equivalent focal lengths of your lens on the Nikon Coolpix
page within their descriptions.
Try this out and experiment. You might get better results with improved camera handling techniques and camera steadying tools like tripods and monopods help to if you own them if not you can always go with the floor camera, it's for winners remember.
Speedlights are almost indispensable for most kinds of shooting. You will have better control of the light with the best direction and temperature control. You can use them to take control of the light-ing situation and remove ambient light completely or blend them in to subtly highlight and remove unwanted shadows.
This doesn't mean you can't live without them though. Any light producing or reflecting item can be used to perform the same task. I once used a white plastic chair to reflect sunlight onto my subject when I was caught out by a bright sunny day and a lack of speedlights.
Allot of cameras have a built in flash which is quite usable when shooting close up. You can make the most of it by using light shaping devices that can be a simple as a piece of white card to bounce light wherever you want it, add some tin foil for a harsher bounce card or cover the flash entirely with light weight fax paper (as white as you can get it) to give the flash a soft defused feel for glamour portraits on a shoe string.
Studio light ing might look like a must have but you will be surprised what you can accomplish with some paper and selotape.
You would be forgiven for thinking that if you can't use Photoshop, you will get nowhere in pho-tography. It seem that every piece of advice out there is about using curves, unsharp mask or layers.
For those who actually buy this program, it is a steep bit of software but can be avoided all together.
First off you need to know what you want to accomplish as your end image. With this in mind you need to put all of your skills and thoughts into getting this effect in the first place. Take your time, use your preview screen if you have one and use good techniques when shooting. This will save you ever having to need to use Photoshop.
Sometimes you will have captured an important moment but soething isn't quite right. But you can't go back and reshoot. This is when you need to post process and there is a huge host of programs you can use for free. Picasa
is a good simple program for basic image editing. This is especially useful if you find the world of post processing a touch daunting. Gimp
is a more advanced program similar to Photoshop CS2 for the open source UNIX platform but can also be used on mac and windows. On the subject of Photoshop CS2, you can now download this for free with no need to activate it so you can have Photoshop
for free after all. So even when you need to get image editing you can still keep that wallet in your pocket.
Something you definitely have along with your camera is a Deviant art account and membership to the Everything-Nikon
group. We are in one of the best art communities on the web so make the most of it!
You will find on here a huge collection of very knowledgeable individuals who will gladly help you make better use of the camera you have got and guide you in how best to use it.
But this only works if you are part of the community. Simply uploading images is good, you get feedback and recognition but you will get even more by joining in the discussion, entering contest and joining dev-meets. If you don't see a dev meet in your area then make one yourself. It is easy to do, just come up with an idea, send it in to us and will post it for all to see. Then when you all meet up and go about your way, cameras in hand you will learn off of each other and generally have a good time.
If you don't fancy that but still want to descuss a subject then let us know and we will see about tailoring a journal tutorial for you, or you could even write one yourself!
We have built up a great group of people, now lets talk to each other and make this a great commu-nityin-my-viewfinder
Depth-of-field preview and function buttons. How do you use yours?
We asked how you use your depth of field and function buttons on your DSLR last month. We know there are some great uses for these buttons that some might not have thought of so please do share on here if you have a special use for these custom buttons for a special reason.in-my-viewfinder
- "I use my fn button to quickly try spot metering. That way I can see if my subjects lighting is radically different to whatever matrix metering has come up with. Also good for checking your highlight and dark areas to see the range you are working with.
This saves wasted shots and allows me to decide on what flash set up I will be using.
My peview button remains as normal as it is very useful to fet an idea of your DOF but it also pre-views your strobes so you get a feel for what the light will be like and if your CLS is playing ball today."JestePhotography
- "I use the fn button and thumb wheel to scroll through my shooting banks, very handy when something surprises you and speed of switching camera set up is of the essence." in-my-viewfinder