Top 10 Fall Photography Tips for Better Foliage Photos

The fall season is, by far, the most rewarding time of year for any landscape photographer. Nature’s transformation rewards us with unique color pallets that exist only during the season of fallen leaves.

The fall season is relatively long and, depending on the year, can last anywhere between 50 and 90 days. What truly makes this time of year unique is that nature’s transformation is in constant flux. The temperature, wind, and humidity affect the speed of the transformation and we, as photographers, must be ready to capture different stages of the season as it changes.

For example, a cold night with negative temperatures during the peak of the fall season will accelerate the changing colors of the foliage. The landscape will look different the following day.

Another example is the frequent fall storms that are notorious for blowing the leaves off the trees, completely changing the look of a scene in just hours.

What this means is that you can’t afford to wait for good light or favorable weather. If you find an interesting composition with exciting colors, you have to seize the opportunity right away before it vanishes.

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How to Know What Aperture to Use

Every starting photographer knows that the aperture of the lens controls the amount of light that enters the camera. The bigger the aperture, the more light reaches the camera sensor.

However, the aperture has a second function of equal or even higher importance. The choice of aperture will determine what our image will look like in terms of sharpness.

The goal of this article is to help you figure out when to use big or when to use small apertures, regardless of the light conditions.

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Types of Lenses Used in Photography – In Depth Guide

When we think about image quality in photography there are generally two things to consider - the camera body and its lens.

The body is the brain of the whole camera configuration because all processing happens there. But its potential cannot be used to its fullest extent if it’s not paired with a suitable lens.

You may wonder what lens is suitable for your camera. There isn’t a simple answer to that question because the choice of lens depends on what you want to shoot.

Types of Lenses Used in Photography – In Depth Guide

My goal with this article is to preview all the major types of lenses you will ever need. If you’re serious about photography, chances are you will actually need more than one.

Let’s see what you can choose from.

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My New Favorite Photo Accessory That Costs Less Than $12

Since I switched camera systems from Sony to Fujifilm, I noticed a change in how I take photos.

I use the tripod less often and take more photos handheld.

There are two main reasons for such a change:

First, the Fujifilm XT2 produces better quality high ISO images. When shooting with the Sony a6000, I always tried to keep the ISO at bay around 100 to 200. But, the Fuji XT2 produces clean photos at an ISO 800. I am no longer afraid of shooting landscapes with an ISO 1000.

Second, the Fuji XT2 has an advanced Auto ISO functionality. It calculates the minimum acceptable Shutter Speed value based on the focal length in use.

For example, I have the Fujinon 18-135mm attached to the camera, so the Auto ISO sets a different minimum Shutter Speed when I shoot at 18mm, 70mm, or 135mm.

Read moreMy New Favorite Photo Accessory That Costs Less Than $12

How to Take a Photograph with a Blurred Background

People who are just starting in photography often ask me how they can blur the background in their photos. Many are aware of this effect, possibly having seen it in photos in magazines or on the internet, but don’t know how to achieve it with their own camera.

The good news is that almost all cameras can blur the background, one way or another.

Here I’ll present the basic idea of blurring the background as well as a few ways you can achieve it yourselves.

Why would I blur the background?

The general purpose of blurring the background is to create a visual separation between the subject of your composition and the background.

The blurry background allows you to “discard” or rather “mute” anything else that would ruin your composition by creating clutter and distracting the viewer’s attention.

It is most often used in portrait photography. It is also applied in wildlife, sports or macro photography.

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Understanding F-Stop In Photography

Beginner photographers are often confused by the term “f-stop”. They know it is somehow related to the concept of aperture and has something to do with depth of field but aren’t sure what exactly it stands for.

Do you feel the same? Don’t worry because you’re certainly not alone. F-stop is indeed one of the most complicated concepts for everyone who makes his first steps in photography. It is also a very important one that you can’t really do without.

My goal with this article is to explain in plain words everything you need to know about f-stops. I hope at the end all your questions will be answered.

Let’s begin.

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Mastering Depth of Field in Photography

It is a common misconception that professional photographers shoot only in manual mode, that is selecting the three most important settings – aperture, ISO number and shutter speed – manually.

In my experience, the most useful and convenient shooting mode is actually the Aperture Priority mode. With it, you can still control your ISO but your camera sets the shutter speed automatically, prioritizing your choice of aperture.

Why do I think so? Because the choice of aperture is the main way to control the depth of field – one of the most important concepts in photography.

Mastering the depth of field will unleash your creative freedom, allowing you full control over how sharp your image will look like.

If you aren’t sure what depth of field is and how you can use it in your photography, keep reading. This article is right for you.

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The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly from Adobe

Last week, Adobe made a big announcement that directly affected a wide range of photographers—from professionals to passionate hobbyists—who use Lightroom.

Here is the breakdown of Adobe’s announcement:

  • Adobe retired the stand-alone Lightroom, which means version 6 is the last of its kind. All support and updates will be terminated by the end of 2017.
  • They introduced a new cloud-based version of Lightroom called Lightroom CC
  • They renamed the current desktop version of Lightroom CC to Lightroom Classic CC.
  • Adobe, at least somewhat, addressed the performance of the desktop version of Lightroom and added a new useful feature.

I had time to think about Adobe’s new development over the weekend and took time to read a handful of articles and watch numerous videos on the topic. I also installed the new Lightroom CC and upgraded my desktop version to Lightroom Classic.

Now, I am ready to give you my opinion and a prediction into where I believe Adobe is heading.

Read moreThe Good, The Bad, and The Ugly from Adobe

The Partnership between PhotoTraces and Mediterranean Photo Tours

I am happy to announce the official partnership between PhotoTraces and Mediterranean Photo Tours.

Mediterranean Photo Tours is adopting the Lightroom Rapid Editing approach for the post-processing part of their photo tours. I will be an advisor to help the company in creating a post-processing curriculum.

The photographer and central driving force behind Mediterranean Photo Tours is Ugo Cei, a talented photographer, educator and podcaster. He runs a popular podcast dedicated to travel photography where he interviews the best travel photographers from all over the world.

I had the privilege of being interviewed by Ugo and was featured on his podcast episode #35 titled “Finding Simplicity.” This is when we realized that we have a great deal in common in regard to how we approach travel photography and how we diligently try to simplify it.

During the podcast, I outlined the concept of my Lightroom Rapid Editing and how it was specifically designed for travel photography. When Ugo realized its potential, this is when our discussion started about adopting Lightroom Rapid Editing for Mediterranean Photo Tours.

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Quick Tutorial: Long Exposure Photography in 5 Minutes

One of the most effective techniques while shooting running water is a long exposure photography. The concept is simple, you keep a shutter open for a longer period of time letting a camera to capture the movement of the water.

But it takes some practice to master the technique because it requires the use of additional equipment and specific camera settings.

Joshua Cripps managed to squeeze the essence of long exposure photography while photographing ocean waves into 5 minutes tutorial, making it one of the most comprehensive tutorials on long exposure photography.