To find out more about James Neale Photography, check out my website by clicking here

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Beginners Guide to Photographing Fireworks

Now its getting that time of year again when you will all be attending firework displays. These events can make for some stunning photos, as long as you follow these tips.

Firstly you are going to need a tripod. The camera is going to need to be kept steady.

How you fire the camera will also make a difference. A remote is best so you don't physically have to touch the camera. Don't worry though if you don't have one of these, Just make sure that you press the shutter button as carefully as possible, or use the 10 second timer feature on the camera.

So you arrive at the display and get the camera on the tripod. Next you are going to have to change some settings.

Put the camera into Manual Mode (M)

Set the aperture to f8 to begin with. If the pictures are too bright narrow the aperture down by raising the f number.

ISO - Keep this low 100/200

Focusing - The camera will struggle to focus in the dark and so you are going to need to manually focus.
To do this, wait for the first firework to go up and manually focus on it. Now as long as you don't move the camera you should be fine for the rest of the display.

Now the shutter speed is going to be a little trial and error to start with, What you need to do is guess how long it takes for the firework to go up, explode and then come down so that you capture the whole thing. I would suggest starting somewhere around 5 seconds and see what you get. Press the shutter button just as the firework is launched.

You should then be on your way to getting some great firework photos.

To learn more about your camera why not book yourself on to on of my Beginners Guide to Digital Photography Workshops in Norwich.

You can book your place or buy a voucher by following the link below.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Beginners Guide to Photographing the Moon

This Month I am going to tell you how to get some stunning shots of the moon.

This is something that a lot of us will try, but many will get it wrong and end up with over exposed blurry shots.

The main thing people get wrong when trying to photograph the moon is they think that because it is night, they must have to use long exposures to get it, this isn't the case. The Moon is an extremely bright subject to photograph due to it reflecting light from the sun. The other reason we cant use a slow shutter speed is the fact that the earth is rotating. a slow shutter speed will cause the image to blur.

What are you going to need?

Camera with Manual Features
Zoom lens of at least 300mm

Camera Settings

Depending how much of the moon is visible (half moon / full moon) settings will vary slightly. A full moon will reflect lots more light that a half moon.

To begin with we need to put our cameras in Manual (M)
Key in an Aperture of f6.3
Select a Shutter speed of 350/1
ISO set to 400

Place the camera on the tripod and zoom in on the moon. You don't have much time between shots before the moon has moved out of the frame and you will need to keep readjusting the tripod.

Now take your first shot. zoom in on the moon in camera and see what it is like.
If it is overexposed (to bright) you need to increase the shutter speed. If its underexposed (to dark) you will need to decrease the shutter speed.

Do this until you get the shot you like and then just crop the photo to make the moon larger in the frame.