Monday, September 28, 2015


1. Use a tripod, because you will need to set slow shutter speeds due to low light conditions. For example, 1/8th of a second or slower depending on the available light.
2. Underexposing your shot will result in richer, deeper colors and shades of reds, oranges and yellows.
3. If you want a small sun in your composition, use a wide angle lens. If you want a larger sun seen within your composition then use a telephoto zoom lens.
4. For composition purposes, don’t place the sun dead centre in the frame. Try and imagine a grid over your composition, like the one shown in the image below.
If you always ensure the sun’s position is over one of the overlapping areas, you’ll come out a winner every time.
5. Like any landscape, don’t place the horizon dead centre of the frame either. If there is a lot of color and light in the sky, then make sure that area takes up the top 2/3′s of your composition. On the otherhand, if there is a lot of color or reflection in the foreground, then compose your shot so the foreground takes up the bottom 2/3′s of the shot. You can view examples of both of these compositions in the video below.
6. Take off all filters when photograhing towards the sun. Otherwise you will end up with a ghost image of the sun, which will ruin any sunrise photograph. It’s also important to remember that a polarising filter is only useful in creating a more colorful sky when the sun is to the right or left of your position. Therefore, in the majority of cases, polarising filters should also be removed for sunrise photography.


Basic Daylight Exposure

Exposure Tips

Middle Gray

Middle gray is the universal measurement standard in photographic cameras. To calibrate light meters, whether in a camera or hand held, the 18% gray card was conceived. It is assumed that the measurement taken by a meter gives the exposure for a shot so that some of the light reflected by the object measured is equivalent to middle gray.[4] However, many note that modern cameras generally treat 12-13% gray as "middle gray".

18% gray card - rgb(124,124,124),  #7C7C7C


Evaluative is the default setting.
The camera sets the exposure automatically to suit the scene, taking into consideration both dark and light areas. It's considered good for evenly backlit subjects like portraiture and landscapes. It's also the way to go when you're not sure which metering mode to use. This is the reason why it's the default setting for fully automatic camera settings.

Center weight setting
Center-weighted metering assigns the greatest weight for exposure from the middle area of the frame. Therefore, it's good for times when your main subject is in the middle of the frame and you want to take a quick exposure.

Center weighted metering would be effective when you have a bright background or backlit subject. For example, if you were taking a photograph of a persons face on a sunny day at the beach. You wouldn't want the strong background light, or the white sand, to effect the exposure on their face. As long as the persons face was correctly exposed, that's all that matters. It's times like this, you would choose center weighted metering.

Spot/Partial setting
Partial (Canon) metering should be used when you want to take an exposure reading on a specific area. It takes the reading from a very small area in the middle of your composition.  Use this for macro shots.

Landscape Shots

Where to focus

Camera Settings


General guidelines for handheld shots

Sunny 100
Cloudy or rainy 400
Indoors 800


Shutter Speed

Using the Manual Setting


Use the histogram to determine if a photo is properly exposed.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Canon EOS 60D

Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II

retails for $399.99 at bestbuy

Intended Use

Wildlife & Sports

At 400 mm effective focal length the EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II is ideal for even smaller wildlife (like birds). And if you'd like to add a little context to the image just zoom out to a minimum of 88 mm. But wildlife and sports photography also require low f-stops to achieve fast shutter speeds. The EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II offers f/4 at the wide end but only f/5.6 at the tele end which is a little slow. At least the excellent image stabilizer helps with slower shutter speeds but of course that can't prevent blur from subject movement.


At the wide end the EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II has just the right focal length for nice portrait shots. Again the aperture rating is not excellent but certainly sufficient for this purpose and the large zoom range will even allow closeups from far away.

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

Retails for $169.99 at Henry's Camera

The EF 50mm f/1.8 II is an incredible lens. It was introduced 25 years ago (!) and has been a success ever since. The reason is that its maximum aperture of f/1.8 enables a whole new variety of photographic possibilities at an incredibly low price. If you compare the lens to its immediate peers it doesn't excel at anything but price, size and weight but if you are on a tight budget the EF 50mm f/1.8 II will nonetheless be well worth your buck.

Intended Use

Available Light

Ever tried shooting in a club or at a party? Using your flash almost certainly looses all the ambient light atmosphere in the picture. Shooting without flash requires high ISO settings, slow shutter speeds and low f-stops. With amaximum aperture of f/1.8 the EF 50mm f/1.8 II will require a lot less light than conventional lenses like the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II or in turn allow much faster shutter speeds or lower ISO settings. In comparison with that lens's maximum aperture at 55 mm (f/5.6) the EF 50mm f/1.8 II allows shutter speeds more than 3 exposure values faster (e.g.1/200 s rather than 1/20 s) or if you don't need the faster shutter speeds go for image quality and use e.g. ISO 160 instead of ISO 1600. That's why the EF 50mm f/1.8 II is an excellent choice for available light photography.


Using the EF 50mm f/1.8 II with an APS-C camera results in an effective focal length of 80 mm which is considered ideal for portrait photography. On a full frame sensor you have to get a little closer to your subject but the focal length is still great for portrait. Most importantly the low f-stops available with this lens allow for verry narrow in-focus ranges which can be used creatively to make a subject stand out from its sourroundings.

Of course the EF 50mm f/1.8 II can also be used for a variety of other things. In fact a 50 mm lens is sometimes called a "normal" lens and was for many years the standard lens to ship with SLR cameras.