Living a dream as a photographer & filmmaker

Digital Photography Tips...

Digital Photography Tip 1 - Busting The Dust:

Digital SLRs with removable lenses are prone to dust landing on the sensor. Static electricity around the sensor can possibly contribute to attracting dust particles, or other elements to this sensitive area of your camera.

To get rid of the dust you can use a camera blower brush, and tilt the camera down while blowing. Take care not to get any of the hairs snagged inside!

Digital Photography Tip 2 - Shedding Light On The Night:

For night photography using only a flash can leave you with a well exposed - but isolated - subject against a dark background. Most digital cameras nowadays have a slow-sync flash feature, which combines the short flash exposure with a proper exposure for the rest of the background. On a camera such as the Olympus SP500, this feature is a preset mode called "Night Portrait".

To ensure expert nighttime shooting, a good digital photography tip is to look for a digital camera with the following features: shutter speed of up to 30 seconds; shutter priority mode; manual ISO settings at least to 400; slow-sync shutter mode.

Digital Photography Tip 3 - Nit-Picking About Pixels:

When buying a digital camera you will be confronted with a vast choice of various megapixel specifications. It is worth knowing that not all pixels are created equal!

Some cameras have more pixels crammed onto the same sensor size as another model. More pixels in this case means smaller, and therefore less effective pixels. In this situation the camera with fewer pixels on a similar-sized sensor, might actually produce better images all round.

Digital Photography Tip 4 - Spice Up Your Space:

With digital photography you will find yourself taking more pictures - and chances - than ever before, without the worry of the cost of failure. However, that means you will need a lot of digital storage space, especially if you are diligent about making backup copies of your best work.

If you're doing out-of-town nature photography, a digital photography tip to keep in mind is to make sure you take along enough storage devices, such as a laptop, DVD's, and external hard drives. RAW images can quickly get you into storage problems!

Digital Photography Tip 5 - Remember To Flash:

For great outdoor portraits, make sure you use your digital camera's fill flash, or flash on mode. Don't wait for the camera to decide whether or not the flash is necessary. It might decide that there is generally enough outdoor light.

The fill flash mode will ensure proper exposure for the background and enough flash to expose the subject in the foreground, leaving you with a professional looking portrait.

Lastly, remember that, if someone offers expert advice, they may expect a generous digital photography tip!

For more information visit

Rika Susan of researches, writes, and publishes full-time on the Web. Copyright of this article: 2006 Rika Susan. This article may be reprinted if the resource box and hyperlinks are left intact.

Article Source:

Improving Your Landscape Images - Part 2

We use filters in photography to bring back an image to the way our eyes have perceived the original scene. Some times it’s not possible for our cameras to record an exact scene - so we have to rely on the manufacturers of camera products.

If you are only going to buy one filter for your landscape photography a polarizing filter is the one you’ll use most. A polarizing filter can be used with colour or black and white and is probably the most important filter on the market today.

Lets take a quick look at the science behind it. A polarizing filter is made up of two pieces of glass which when rotated cut out all glare on non-metallic surfaces. Light travels in waves - these waves travel in all directions and at different rates and speeds. The polarizing filter works by limiting the amount of waves that enter your lens. You decide how many waves pass through your lens by rotating the filter.

The polarizing filter is most effective with side lighting.

For example: if you are taking a picture of a scenic lake area and there is a messy reflection of the clouds in the lake; it will be too much of a distraction in the final picture. This can be simply removed by rotating the polarizing filter ‘til the clouds disappear. You can view the filter working in the viewfinder of your camera.

The polarizing filter will also darken the blue sky to give it a strong rich colour. It will make mist stand out and can be also used to give fast flowing water a misty effect.

You don’t have to rotate the filter the full amount to get the maximum affect you need, sometimes you will only have to rotate it a small amount. You can decide best for yourself by viewing through your viewfinder while you rotate the polarizing filter.

This filter is not just for a landscape photographer.

There are many different uses for a polarizing filter, which make it so important for all photographers. Property photographers would find this filter extremely handy - when taking an image of a shop front, the polarizing filter will remove glare that reflects off the glass.

Take extreme care when calculating exposure. Remember that you will have to add two stops of light when using the polarizing.

TJ Tierney. Award winning Irish Landscape Photographer. If you are looking for more tips visit Photo tips. To view some of his images visit his on-line gallery: Pictures of Ireland.

Article Source:

How to Buy Digital Camera Lenses

"It's not the camera, that makes a photo, it's the photographer... and the lens" - S.B.

With new technology comes new opportunity. This statement is particularly true in the case of digital cameras, and more importantly, as the title of this article suggests, in the case of digital camera lenses.

There are so many different lenses with varying specifications available that it can be quite overwhelming to find exactly what it is that you require from a lens, but that is where we step in to help.

This article acts as a guide to explain the jargon and to allow you make a better-informed purchase the next time you are shopping for a new digital camera lens.

Choosing a Suitable Focal Length

Focal length is probably the most important factor that should be considered when choosing a lens, and for good reason: focal lengths determine the field-of-view of the photos you will be able to take successfully with your camera.

The two main types of focal length are telephoto and wide-angle, and while telephoto lenses have a narrow field-of-view and are best suited for close-up shots and portraits, wide-angle lenses have a wider field-of-view which is perfect for indoor photography and landscapes.

Keep in mind that the performance of lenses can differ from camera to camera, with the magnification power behind a lens generally being greater on a digital camera than on a 35mm film-based camera.

The Need For Speed

When you hear about fast and slow lenses, reference is being made to a lens's maximum aperture, which is the maximum amount of light that a lens can let in. A simple rule of thumb is that a fast lens lets in a lot of light, while a slow lens lets in less light, which defines how your photos will look.

Maximum apertures are measured in f/stop numbers, which are actually a ratio of the size of the lens aperture and focal length. The smaller the f/number, the more light is let in. An increment in the f/stop number doubles the amount of light let in, so f/2.0 lets in twice as much light as f/1.4.

This may seem quite confusing at first, so the easiest way to make sense of it is to remember the following: fast lenses are best suited towards successful photography in darker lighting conditions, and slow lenses are targeted towards photography in lighter conditions.

The Ins and Outs of a Zoom Lens

Unlike a fixed-focal-length lens, a zoom lens often gives you the diversity of a range of focal lengths all rolled into a single adjustable lens. This can be great if you often have to switch between various lenses for different shots, but it is important to remember that not all zoom lenses have a constant maximum aperture, and those that do are often larger and more expensive.

Although the maximum aperture may be reduced as you zoom in using a lens with a variable maximum aperture, this may not be as important to some photographers as the reduced cost and size of such lenses. Keep this in mind when purchasing a zoom lens.

Add-on Lenses

Add-on or accessory lenses are targeted towards compact digital cameras, and allow owners of such models to significantly lengthen or reduce the camera's built-in focal length while at the same time being able to automate camera functions including f/stop settings and focusing.

These lenses can be an excellent low-cost add-on to your digital camera, with telephoto add-on lenses being able to increase focal lengths by up to 300%, and wide-angle versions allowing for reduction in focal lengths of up to 30%.

Final Considerations

There are several other terms to take into consideration when buying a digital camera lens to make sure you are making the best purchase. If your lens utilizes aspheric lens elements, then you can rest happily with the knowledge that your lens will help produce sharper photographs and help keep lens weight to a minimum.

Lenses using internal and automatic focusing also keep lens weight down thanks to less moving parts, and of course allow for faster focusing. Low-dispersion glass leaves photos looking less hazy or fuzzy, while stabilization systems help to keep images sharp when taken using slow shutter speeds.


Hopefully this article has helped you to better understand what to look for in a digital camera lens. There are a lot of terms to remember here - so before shopping for your new lens it may be a good idea to take the time to make a list of what you want to do with your camera. Then you can double check your requirements against the features of different lenses. If you are still unsure if a lens will cater for your needs then by all means try to test it so that you can see some results before you buy!

Gary Hendricks runs a hobby site on digital photography. Visit his website at for tips and tricks on buying digital cameras, as well as shooting great photos.

Article Source:

"Hands" by Sergykal

This photo was taken at a concert in late July 2006. Some basic adjustments then were applied in Picasa, as well as some cloning in Photoshop. I'd like to know what you think about it!

Camera Reviews

Book: Sergykal Procedure

This is a project that I have been kinda working on for a long time; it's just now I decided to take a bit more action about completing it. This book will feature some of my photographs taken during my 7 year tour with the US Army. It will also include some of my creative ideas and projects covering approximately 10 years (1996-2006).

Not sure, when the book is actually gonna come out, but if you're a member of Sergykal Studios, you'll get a free copy (e-book or hard copy - your choice), so register now (FREE membership!)

I will keep ya'll updated on the progress here at Sergykal Studios Blog.
I am also planning on posting a few sample photos, to give you a taste of how the book is gonna look.

Photoshop CS2 Channels Book by Scott Kelby

"Hope" - a portrait of a young Afghan girl

I shot this image of a young Afghan girl in late 2005, while deployed to Afghanistan with Task Force Lightning, US Army. We've participated in a lot of humanitarian aid missions there, and once again we went out to a village about an hour away from Bagram.

The girl was standing in a group of other girls watching US Soldiers downloading the truck with school supplies, clothes, shoes and toys. I caught her looking at a US Soldier, who was getting ready to pass out a toy. Her eyes said it all. There was hope. To her, we were bearers of good, these strange people from a land far far away from where she lived, yet she trusted us to do good, and her smile expressed her feelings.

After distributing all the supplies, we went back to our base. I looked at the photo, and was overwhelmed with emotions. I was sad that this girl couldn't have even basic amenities, the ones that we (Americans) are so used to and take for granted. At the same time, I saw that sparkle in her eyes, that indicated to me that there's hope and maybe one day, she'll live a better life.

Note: The the background in the original photo was blurred in Photoshop 7.0. I wanted to get viewers attention on the girl by blurring out elements of the photo that are not important. I could have achieved the same effect by using a longer focal length lens, but at the time, I wanted to capture her emotions; there was no time to change lenses.

Weekly Polls

Here are a few previous polls. They are open, meaning that you can still cast your vote!
Your participation is appreciated.