Category Archives: My tip for the week

My tip for the week – The mighty tripod

Camera and hammer

World © Geoff Wilkinson – All rights reserved

The mighty tripod…

Here’s a phenomenon I’ve noticed a couple of times recently watching photographers taking pictures at night, they were not my students I hasten to add.

As you probably know photographing at night generally involves long exposures, too long to handhold, a tripod is essential for sharp results. On both occasions the photographers concerned had reasonable medium sized tripods with DSLR’s mounted, so far so good you might say, then their good practice started to fall apart. Lulled into a false sense of security by their tripods both photographers started stabbing down on their respective shutter buttons like they were hammering in nails. Whoa.

Even with your camera on tripod you can still get camera shake by pushing down to heavily on the shutter button. Do the sensible thing, for a few pounds you can buy a remote release connected either by  cable or infrared  to fire the shutter on your camera. By doing this you won’t physically be touching the camera, alternatively you can use the camera’s built in self timer to fire the camera, either way much less chance of camera shake. Now if only I can remember not to kick the tripod during those long exposures.

 

My tip for the week – Ditch the filter !!!

 

Camera lens filter held in hand

World © Geoff Wilkinson – All rights reserved

Ditch the filter !!!

Not really, ignore the headline, I think it’s a really good idea to keep your expensive glass protected. A simple uv or skylight filter over the front element of your lens is a great idea, I mean which would you rather scratch or damage  a £20 filter or your expensive glass. It’s a no brainer really.

There is however a time to ‘ditch’ the filter. Shooting straight into the sun, photographing a fabulous sunset, a bright moon at night, in fact anything where there is a point light source in the picture or a bright source of light pointing straight into the lens. With the filter on there is much more chance of flare or ghosting than without, it happened to me a few nights ago when I photographed the moon, it wasn’t bad but it was there, a little light coloured flare creeping in.

So this is the answer, keep the filter on to protect the front element of your lens except when there is a bright light source in the picture.

My Tip for the week – stormy weather

DSC_9098 copyWorld © Words and picture Geoff Wilkinson – All rights reserved

Just because it’s an overcast, stormy day don’t put your camera away. I have taken some really interesting pictures when the weather has been at it’s worst.  Just be careful with your gear unless it’s fully waterproof.

I shot this picture through the windscreen of my car.  The raindrops running down made the lamp post look a bit wobbly and because I used a wide angle lens shooting up the lamp post appears to be leaning in.  This gives the impression of the lamp post being blown over by the storm.

My tip for the week- How to change the laptop dock.

Screen Shot 2013-10-18 at  copy

Moving the Dock

In the Gallery, we use an Apple iMac computer but on the move a 13inch laptop. Although it’s convenient for travel the realestate of the laptop screen is quite small. Rather than have the dock at the bottom of the screen I have it running vertically on the left hand side, it just seems to be more convenient especially when working in Photoshop. For those who are unsure how to change the dock position, just go to the apple icon on the top left of the screen and click on ‘Dock’ on the drop down menu. Then go across to the sub-menu and click the left or right hand position whichever is your preference.

My tip of the week

The perils of travel photography

Text and picture World © Geoff Wilkinson – All rights reserved

The perils of travel photography..

Ok, so this has just happened. A photographer that I know had been cleaning his equipment and packing for a long trip, he started with his camera bodies and then moved on to this lenses. Unfortunately,  the container with his sun screen is the same colour and size as his lens cleaning fluid, you can guess the rest. At least his lens doesn’t have to worry about getting sunburnt.

Always double check everything. When I clean my lenses I only ever spray the cleaner into a microfibre cloth never directly onto the glass.

 

 

My tip of the week.

Memory Cards

Text and picture World © Geoff Wilkinson – All rights reserved.

In my Nikon D7000 there are two memory card slots both SD. In slot number 1 at the top is the card that records my still pictures. In this slot I only ever use a 2GB card or at most a 4GB one. I know it’s probably a bit old fashioned but I am always cautious. Large memory cards hold thousands of photographs. If the card corrupts, if you lose the card or your camera gets stolen there go all your pictures.

In slot number 2, which is the lower slot I keep a 64GB SD card and this is set automatically just to record video.

If you spread your shoots across several cards your spreading the risk.

My tip of the week.

Sign of the times….

Text and picture World © Geoff Wilkinson – All rights reserved.

I always shoot a little ‘aide-memoire’ when I am out taking pictures. Could be just a street sign or the name of a building, in this case it was a plaque on the wall of Christchurch, Spitalfields with interesting information and dates. The Rector, the churchwarden, the architect and even the builder are mentioned. It’s a great help in remembering your exact location when it comes to captioning and filing your pictures. It’s also worth remembering that the EXIF information in your picture file will give the time and date that you took the photograph. I feel sure in a few years time that all cameras will have built in GPS to identify the spot but in the meantime…..

My tip of the week

My tip for the day

Text and picture World © Geoff Wilkinson – All rights reserved.

Protection…

I have ceased to be surprised by the number of people that carry their camera in an ordinary shopping bag. One lady I met carried hers in a plastic carrier bag from a very posh shop, maybe she wanted to avoid being recognised as a photographer but didn’t mind being recognised as a world class shopper.

It’s really worth spending some money on a decent bag. I use Lowepro and I have to say they perform really well. In fact I have never worn one out. There are however, many other makes on the market and you should check around to see what is the most practical and comfortable for you. Just make sure you buy something that is well padded inside to stop the gear knocking together and has some protection from the elements. It’s money well spent, a decent bag will last you for years and prolong the life of your equipment.

My tip of the week.

To cap it all…..

Lens Caps

Text and picture World © Geoff Wilkinson – All rights reserved.

I always carry spare lens and body caps. Maybe it’s just me but they do have a way of disappearing. Lenses and camera bodies are expensive so a few pounds spent on spare caps is a sound investment and remember they don’t have to be ‘branded’