Technique: Shooting autumn colours

Jackie  Autumn 2- 007

Jackie Ranken gets us ready for the arrival of autumn’s kaleidoscope of colours

Submerge your creative self with colour, texture, patterns, spaces and shapes. As the landscape changes from greens to golds and reds, each transition offers us another opportunity to reinvent or redefine our photography. The more opportunities you take, the better the chance of being in the right place at the right time with the right light.

The aim of the article is to bring you up to speed with your camera craft and offer a few starting points in regards to ideas. I believe no matter what the light is doing, if you have a good idea then you can adapt your shooting techniques and come up with some great shots. Some points to consider:

Gather images together to make a series — there are many times when a series of images is stronger than an image on its own.

Know your camera and practice your camera craft. To be a better photographer you should understand what button to press, when to press it, and be able ...full story

Back to basics: Technical essentials for photographers

Digital imaging expert Hans Weichselbaum takes a look back at the technical essentials every photographer should know

I am OK with JPEGs

“I don’t need RAW files”. You hear this all the time. True, 90 per cent of JPEGs turn out fine, especially if you take care with your exposure settings. But there are three issues here:

  1. JPEGs only have eight bits of information per channel (RAW files have at least 12 bits)
  2. RAW files have a larger exposure latitude
  3.  JPEG means lossy compression

Let’s look at these three points in more detail. You need to remember one thing: JPEGs also start out as RAW files, but the onboard computer has processed them according to your settings (white balance, colour saturation, contrast, sharpening, etc.). If your exposure and light temperature settings were correct (or if the camera’s automatic has made a good enough guess), you will be happy with the JPEGs.


On the other hand, if the shot was underexposed, it will need major corrections in levels or curves. Look at the histogram after fixing a badly exposed ...full story


One of New Zealand’s leading photographer’s, Mike Langford, offers simple tips to improve D-Photo reader’s photos. If you would like to submit your image for consideration send it to with the subject ‘Critique’.

Nevis Crib

Nevis Crib A


The slightly flat overcast light is perfect for a subject like this Central Otago crib. As is the use of the wide-angle lens, which allows us to see where the crib lives in the landscape. Unfortunately all the light values in this shot are equal and the foreground is particularly uninteresting. By cropping into the foreground and highlighting the faint track that runs from the right-hand side in towards the crib, we can create a lead line to the subject.

In addition to this I have darkened down both the foreground and the background and lightened the crib so that it becomes the obvious place for the eye to settle. This creates a more three-dimensional light effect that makes the shot much more rounded and alive.

Nevis Crib B


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How to: Shoot sports with off-camera lights

Outdoor lifestyle photographer Mead Norton outlines the basics of shooting outdoor action with off-camera lighting 

Adventure sports photography is one of the most demanding subjects to shoot, especially if you want to shoot events. Not only is the location you are shooting in not very camera-friendly (dust, rain, snow, mud, rocks), but to get the best shots you have to get away from civilization, which can mean hiking, riding or skiing into the woods to find the best shots.

using on camera flash and off camera flash together

Using on-camera and off-camera flash together


Chasing the dark: Mark Gee

Astrophotographer Mark Gee talks to D-Photo‘s Point-Shoot blog about his latest video production, City Lights to Dark Skies. Produced to help promote the cause of Dark Sky Week in raising awareness of the affects of light pollution, the video takes us from the vibrant city streets of Wellington to the rich night skies of the surrounding countryside.

D-Photo: What compelled you to put together the City Lights to Dark Skies video?

Mark Gee: Every year during International Dark Sky Week I try to make some sort of contribution to the week through my photography. This video is something I really wanted to do last year, but even though the idea was there, I didn’t have enough good footage and it would have been a rush job. So I put the project on the back-burner and worked towards it for this year.

How long did it take you to create?

I’d been thinking of the actual idea for over a year but didn’t really start shooting most of the footage until the end of January this year. The last few weeks ...full story

Gear talk: Shooting in Program mode


There’s nothing more tragic than a lovely DSLR camera that’s forever stuck on auto mode — D-Photo and Dion Mellow from Snapshot Cameras explain program mode as your first step to creative freedom

If you have recently stepped up to a DSLR camera then you’ve probably already noticed the decent results you can get using Auto mode. But no matter how fancy automated features may get, you’re always going to take better, more rewarding pictures once you take manual control of the camera. Knowing when and how to use the many different features of a DSLR can be confusing to begin with, but switch your dial from Auto to Program mode (P on the mode wheel) and you’ll be taking a simple first step towards truly mastering your camera.

All camera brands and models do things slightly differently — if anything here doesn’t make sense for your camera, consult your manual (more…)

Kids Photo Comp extended

Glenn Elvy
The deadline for the latest edition of D-Photo‘s Kids Photo Comp is being extended; you now have until 5pm, Monday, April 28 to submit your images and be in to win a Moleskine Photo Book Plus and the chance to be critiqued by a professional photographer.

Last issue’s winner was Glenn Elvy. His image (above), titled The Gamer, was chosen by photographer Esther Bunning for its compellingly dramatic lighting and strong graphics created by the tight crop.

“The chosen format gives a strong sense of direction, as the hands play an integral part of the image storytelling,” Bunning explains.

“A beautifully controlled image with sensitivity and intrigue, with a sense of friction at play in his intense stare — this leaves the viewer wanting to know more about the child and the emotions behind the image.”

Congratulations also go out to our runners-up, who submitted the extremely strong images displayed below.

For your chance to have your favourite kids portrait critiqued by a pro, see your mage published in D-Photo and possibly win an elegant Moleskine Photo Book Plus, get your entries in for the ...full story