Long Exposure Photography

I have been experimenting with long exposure photography for the last couple of years and finally thought I should put a bit of an album together and share a few simple tips for long exposure photography:

  • Use a tripod
  • Experiment with ND filters
  • Shutter speeds should be 1/15th of a second or longer
  • Find a subject that has some movement in it (water, clouds, people etc)
  • Experiment with the length of exposure
  • It’s not as hard as it looks

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Digital Workflow

One of the most important things to consider in the digital age is your digital workflow with your images from shooting, to editing to back-ups and storing your images.  Everybody has a different system that works for them, and I am not exception – this is what works for me.

Download images to computer – I put these into an “Ingest” Folder that is in my dropbox, this means it will then be available on both my desktop and laptop computers as well as stored off-site. I have found the most effective way for me to do this is using Photo Mechanic – it is fast and quick to give previews (my desktop computer also has an external drive for back ups)

Sort Images – At this stage I go through and delete the obviously unusable images – (blurry, out of focus, bad composition etc).  I do this in photo mechanic as well.

Edit Images – Then to the exciting part, making the images shine.  I import the remaining images into Lightroom by syncing my ingest folder, renaming, keywording and editing the images before exporting the completed images to the appropriate folder (also in dropbox).  If further edits are needed in Photoshop I go on to do that after the export.

Archive Images – Once I have finished with my raw files I archive them.  I never really got into working with the date system for finding images later, so I like to archive them in categories. I have folders, some with sub folders, for things like food, places, family, events and jobs.  My archives are on my desktop computer, backed up on the external hard drive as well as linked in dropbox.

I have found this the easiest system for me, everything is automated and I do not have to remember to do any backups and I have backups of all my main photos accessible online from any location.  The only downside of this system is if you travel a lot.  But for someone who is based in one location this system works for me.

What Type of Photographer Are You?

As a photographer it took me a long time to understand what type of photographer I was.   My grandmother had given me her SLR camera when I was a teenager and I loved taking photos with it, but as a broke teenager and young adult I was put off by the cost of it.  When digital photography arrived and I got my first digital camera, and pretty quickly afterwards a DSLR I feel in love with the medium and started my journey in photography.  In the beginning I didn’t excel at what I did, I struggled through different types of photography, trying out all sorts of things but not coming back with the results I wanted. Continue reading

Food Photography Technical Tips

Here I want to sum up some of the things that I have learnt about the technical side food photography, and the methods I use when shooting.

Vary the camera angle
For the most part I take at least 3 different angles of my food moving from the front to 45-degree angle then above it. This can also include use of wider shots or close up and macro shots. Use the different angles to enhance the feature and texture of the food. Continue reading

Food Photography: Lighting

One of the most important things in food photography, and making your food look better is the lighting.  You can see below to different samples of 6 images with different lighting in each.  In these photos I have changed the lighting direction or number of lights in each one to let you see what difference lighting can make.  I have not processed these images at all except to crop them and in all but one of the images the camera was in the same place.  Continue reading