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Photography Basics: Long-Focus vs Wide-Angle Camera Lenses

camera lens

For those who are beginners in the field of photography, lens types can be a daunting topic to broach. With their rather opaque naming conventions and plethora of modifying adjective, it can be hard to get a grasp on even the building block basics of lens classification. Because of this, many newbies choose to put off learning about lenses until they’re a ways in. While this is certainly an option, knowing your way around lenses can help you achieve a pleasant diversity of shot styles, as well as making it possible to get your photographs to looks exactly how you want them to. With this in mind, here’s our beginner aimed guide to a basic distinction between lenses: the wide versus long debate.

Wide-Angle Lenses


By Takashi Hososhima (Flickr) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

When distinguishing between wide-angle and long-focus lenses, the primary difference comes down to focal length. A wide-angle lens has a substantially shorter focal length than a normal lens. This means that the distance that the camera equipped with a wide-angle lens has to be from the object to be photographed is shorter than the distance a normal lens would have to be to produce a focused picture.

This kind of lens is perfect for shots of big objects that you can’t photograph from a long distance, as it will allow you to get a sharp image without putting much space between the camera and the object. It also produces an exaggerated distancing effect, where items close to the lens look disproportionately large while items far away look disproportionately small. This effect can be exploited to make the relative distance between objects seem larger than it really is.

Wide-angle lenses also capture a wider angle around the camera, which means that the image has “more” of the surrounding in it. This is evidenced by a fish eye effect, where the center of the image (what a normal lens would capture) is normal, while the edges are somewhat curved and distorted. Fish eye images have an interesting panoramic quality, and certain photographers express a great devotion to this whimsical style.

Long-focus Lenses

peacock shot by long-focus camera lens

By Keven Law from Los Angeles, USA (Peacock Suit….) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Long-focus Lenses have a longer focal length and a shorter depth of field than a normal lens. This means that they need a greater distance than usual to focus, and have a smaller range of distances at which objects will appear to be in focus at one time.

These lenses have the advantage of being able to focus over a very long distance, which makes them the lens of choice for shooting wildlife and other human-sensitive subjects. The short depth of field makes for an interesting, often cinematic effect, wherein the primary subject is in sharp focus while everything else is washed out and blurry.

Long-focus lenses also have the advantage of having relatively less distortion than regular or wide lenses. This means that they are good for taking pictures where the integrity of lines is important, like for technical photography or even portraiture. They are your go-to lens for documentation.

The Best Travel Photography Tips

travel photographer

When you travel someplace, you want to take photos of your adventures. You need to plan to bring a good camera and have enough space to take as many photos as you want to take. However, it can be hard to know how to take the best photos.

traveller photo

Best Travel Photography Tips to Help You Have a Wonderful Trip

1. Plan the type of photos you want ahead.

The first thing you need to do is make sure you have a plan of what type of photos you want to get. If you are going somewhere popular you probably want to take photos of a popular area. You should plan for that and not just assume those photos will happen when you are out and about.

2. Make a list!

Make a list of everything in the area that you want to take photos of. Make sure if you have to buy any tickets to those places that you do that ahead of time. You should also be aware of any rules they have about photography and if you can even sell any of the photos you take.

3. Don’t forget your backups.

After you have done that you will be ready to go on your trip. Make sure you bring all of your equipment with some backups. You want backup cards and lenses just in case something happens to the ones that you normally use. You would hate to be traveling and not be able to take all the photos that you want to take.

4. Hold your camera, take photos as soon as possible.

When you have arrived at your location, make sure you start taking your photos as soon as possible. You don’t want to be caught without your camera. You want to be prepared to get all of the shots that you have hoped for.

5. Tell your company about your plan to take photos.

If you are traveling with other people make sure they understand that you will need to stop often to take photos. Sometimes people don’t understand this and it can make the trip uncomfortable. If you have someone that liked photography as much as you do, even better. Then you can both stop and take a photo.

6. Start uploading your photos!

When you get back home, make sure you upload your photos as soon as you can. Go through them all and delete the ones you are not going to keep. Then you can start editing them, figure out the ones you will sell and go from there knowing you have done your best to take great photos on your trip.

Benefits of Canon Compact Cameras

Canon has been renowned for producing good cameras that can get the job done right, but what about the Canon Compact cameras? Are they good enough or should you buy something else instead? So,let’s take a look at the three benefits of the Canon Compact cameras and what they can offer to its users.


Quality Finishing

There are lots of cameras with great specifications, but do they have quality finishing that you’re looking for? What is the point of buying a camera with a low-quality finishing? It is not worth it, but with the Canon Compact cameras, you’ll be confident that you’ll get a camera with outstanding finishing.



Another value that Canon Compact cameras can give is durability. This camera is made of tough materials and designed to endure impact. Canon is well-known for paying attention to their devices to ensure consumers get the quality that they have paid for.

Canon Compact cameras are durable cameras that won’t break easily, and they will last for a long time. This is a great option for that benefit.


Long Battery Life

Canon Compact cameras’ battery life is exceptional. It takes a long time for the battery to get drained even after hours of use. These cameras are ideal for peoplewho are tired of using lifelesscameras when they need them the most. It is, indeed, a fantastic option when it comes to battery life.

These are the benefits of the Canon Compact cameras and the value they can provide to users. They are truly empowering and can bring about the results that you have been hoping for. So, purchase yours now and reap its benefits.

Tips for Buying a Digital Camera

digital camera lens

Want to buy a digital camera, but not sure about what direction to go? A lot of people go through this hard situation and are unaware of what to do. So, if you are planning to purchase a digital camera soon, consider the following tips. These tips will help you choose the right digital camera for what you’ve paid for.


Focus on Durability

The durability of the camera plays an important role, and you should not ignore this factor when making your final decision as to what camera to buy. The durability of the camera will dictate how long it can last. It should be resistant to impact and everyday use. Of course, this does not mean you have to be careless, your camera requires extra care to last.


Quality of Images Matters

Another factor to consider is the quality of the images the camera produces. Before buying a camera, test it first and check if the images are what you are looking for. Read some reviews in the web too. It can be troubling to deal with a camera that won’t only put a dent in your budget but will take a toll on your image quality as well.


Place Emphasis on Connectivity

Make sure the camera can connect to a range of devices wirelessly; this is important especially if you’re impatient in transferring files the traditional way. Also, there are so many issues that can arise when using cables to connect. This is why you should check if the camera can connect to various devices without the use of cables.

These helpful tips will go a long way for those who aim to get a new digital camera and want to make sure they get it right the first time around. Observe these tips, and you’ll surely get a camera that you deserved.

Best Lighting Options for Photography

photographer lighting

Are you the type of person who enjoys taking photographs leisurely and capturing your favourite moments throughout the day? You may be one of those people who is happy with what your cell phone will produce, or you may be someone who enjoy capturing memories through a high-end camera.

It could be that you are a professional photographer – an individual who has been hired for weddings, parties, or magazines. What will make or break a photograph is not just the focus of the camera, but how good the lighting is as well.

In some cases, you will have to modify the lighting using apparatuses, which you can purchase from stores that sell camera accessories. Here are the best lighting options for photography, whether you are doing family portraits inside, or taking pictures out in the wilderness.

Lighting Facts You Should Know

Due to the fact that camera phones today have a point-and-shoot feature, not too many people pay attention to the importance of lighting when taking pictures. Another factor that we should look at is that nowadays, the devices that we have also have the ability to modify the images using software programs and applications,

The amount of data that the camera can collect has a lot to do with how much light is available, the angle of the light, and the time of day. For instance, if you are taking photos outside, and the sun is directly overhead, you are going to have a completely different picture of the same scenery when done at dusk or dawn.

Another interesting aspect of lighting is that the broader the light source is, the softer the image appears. Essentially, if you are trying to take a picture and you don’t want to deal with shadows, the softer light is achievable by using a broader light source. This is something that photographers think about quite a bit when they are taking portraits of individuals or families to be able to capture the perfect image. Additionally, you may want to move the light source closer to your subject, as it will also soften the effects of light in each image.

Diffusing Light the Easy Way

A common problem that most photographers have when they are taking pictures of nature, especially in a canopy of a tree, is how the light will diffuse through the branches, to have a multitude of different effects. Diffusion essentially is light scattering, which means that a broader light source will make the appearance of light much softer so you might want to consider taking pictures while clouds cover the sun, or when there’s a gentle fog.

The easiest way to take advantage of these environmental circumstances is to wait for that exact moment. If you are using a camera where you can take hundreds of pictures in a very short span of time, and the light is constantly changing due to the moving clouds, or a moving fog bank, you will have the best opportunity to get the best shot.

Diffusion is also something that can happen if you are taking a picture of something where the light can easily bounce off of a solid surface. You can use a shiny reflector, such as a mirror, or even an aluminium foil, to have sparkly highlights and to get rid of strong shadows as well.

These are simple tips that you can use to improve your ability to take fantastic photos of both people and the environment. Whether you are inside, or you are trying to take natural photos outdoors, these are the best ways to ensure that your photographs look their best.

How to Improve the Quality of Your Summer Photographs

a couple eating a meal by the beach

The summer season is the best opportunity for many people to take the time to go out for vacation. When you are out on a vacation, it is a must to bring along your cameras with you. Taking photos forms a part of your memories of the good times you had during your summer getaway. It is very important that you get a camera that can perfectly capture images of events as they unfold. This article highlights some of the tips you can make use to take your summer photography activities to the next level.

Look out for beautiful events especially when you go camping or hiking. When you are trekking and the sun is bright, you must strive to underexpose the images by 1 or 1 ½ stops. If your camera has a polariser filter capable of eliminating water reflection, you will be better off using it to enhance the contrast of the images you are capturing. Cameras fitted with lens hood are preferred in this case because they prevent flares. If you are camping in the forest, beware of the overhead canopy. The canopy will obviously reduce the amount of light you get. Thus, to get quality images, it is prudent that you overexpose your images by 1 or1 ½ stops. Doing this enables you to get pictures that are bright and more vibrant.

During the night, you may want to photograph some activities around the camping fire. In such a scenario, make use of 10-42mm wide angle lens. You can also choose to use 50mm standard lens which is fine in such cases. You must use sturdy tripod to prevent the camera from shaking. You may also make use of your bag or a hard surface that can support your camera. Ensure that you open the aperture wide so that you can allow in enough light. Choosing aperture priority AV can be a great way to take shots. This is because it allows the camera to choose its own shutter speed. You may use the cameras cable release or self timer to take photos that are devoid of blurring. Never attempt using flash because it will ruin your photos especially when the fire is glowing.

You may also opt to use the cameras on external flash when you want to take the photos at night. Just check and ensure that your photos are not too close or too far away. Many cameras have a night time flash option that will ensure your pictures are evenly balanced. Use the smallest aperture f/1.4-f/4 as it can help you set your camera’s ISO to about 400 and higher.

Visiting national parks is definitely the climax of your vacation. The parks are great sources of spectacular views of nature. Here, you need to make use of wide angle lens that can help you capture mountains and vast landscape. Ensure you incorporate the natural sceneries into your photos. If the sun is bright and you are looking forward for the best portrait, remember to underexpose and make use of the polariser filter. In case of a dark subject or a shadow, it is advisable that you use fill in flash.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Black And White Photography

black and white picture of a young beautiful lady

When getting married, having photos taken is not just important. It is one of the things that must be handled and done by experts. Remember, marriage is a once in a lifetime event. So, careful preparation from the wedding reception, gowns down to photography should be given great attention. Apparently, when it comes to wedding photos, black and white photography is preferred by many people. It’s probably because of the quality of the photos you can get and the fact that black and white photos don’t easily fade off.

Black and white photography has not only become trendy in the modern days, but is also associated with class. This article discusses about the advantages and the disadvantages of having black and white photography on your wedding day.



  • Black and white photos do not fade with time.
  • It is possible to create an interesting effect if you use black and white to print on different textured papers.
  • Black and white makes every aspect of the photo look artistic.
  • It is also possible to make black and white prints from the coloured film while the reverse process is sometimes not possible.
  • If there are imperfections in the face such as red spots, small blotches, irritated skin and other facial complexions, they will all be shown in coloured photographs. However, when you choose to use black and white, such imperfections will be masked. Similarly paleness will be hidden by black and white effect.
  • Black and white photos do not reveal the actual age of the persons in the photos. Wrinkles and hair imperfections are subdued. Thus, the real age of the person will be disguised.
  • Black and white photo effects hide skin tone imperfections. This photo effect smoothen skin tone’s appeal and makes the subjects have soft features. This is because black and white photo effect reduces the skin tones’ contrasts.
  • Black and white photos will remain clear even if lighting is not sufficient. This is a plus factor especially if the event is taking place indoor where the light is insufficient. This is not possible when taking coloured photos.
  • The black and white photography reminds us of the past days and the humble beginning.
  • It makes everyone look uniform and hides irrelevant wedding suit colour. For instance, if your mother in-law wears pink or red and wedding motif is purple, the photo will not show such.



Despite all this advantages, the black and white photos have also some of its shortcomings. It is very imperative that you should be informed of these disadvantages before making your decision. These include the following:

  • After spending colossal amount of money on wedding decorations, the black and white photos will not capture the sense of colours or motif for such a big memorable event. Colours make the wedding alive, interesting and exciting, but this won’t be shown in black and white photos.
  • Black and white photography requires a skilled photographer to perfectly bring out the life and meaning in the photos. Therefore, you must be an expert if you intend to get exciting photos yourself. If you lack this skill set, then you better find someone else to deliver the job well.
  • It is easier to convert coloured pictures to black, but sometimes it is not possible to convert black and white to coloured ones.
  • There is a general belief that black and photos are outdated and have no place in the modern society.

Base from the statement above, the advantages being presented outweigh the disadvantages. This means to say that black and white photography can make wedding photos look beautiful and meaningful as well. However, if you choose this photo effect, you must ensure that you or your hired photographer will use a camera that enables for the images to be converted to coloured ones. Ensure that you have both the coloured and black and white effects to be able to compare the two and pick on the photos you believe are the best for you.

Essential DSLR Camera Accessories

photographer holding two DSLR cameras

Investing in a DSLR camera is a great way to take your photography to the next level. These professional grade models offer a number of unique features that you can’t find in compact cameras. Perhaps most importantly, they allow you to use different lenses to shoot in a variety of different conditions.

Having the right accessories can help you get the most out of your camera. The following section takes a look at a few of the most essential DSLR accessories that you should consider purchasing:

A Good Camera Bag

DSLR cameras consist of not only the camera body, but also a number of different lenses. Trying to carry everything by hand can quickly become cumbersome. A far better option is to invest in a high quality camera bag that can hold all of your gear in one place. Most photographers opt for shoulder bags simply because they are comfortable to carry and most shoulder bags are large enough to hold all of their supplies.

A Sturdy Strap

Unlike compact cameras that are lightweight, small and easy to carry, DSLR cameras tend to be a bit more bulky. A sturdy strap can allow you to wear your camera around your neck for easy access while you are out shooting. That way you don’t have to fumble every time you want to take a photograph.

Spare Batteries

Having extra batteries on hand is essential if you plan to do a lot of shooting. The last thing you want is to be right in the middle of a great photo shoot only to find out that your battery is about to day and you don’t have a backup.

Keeping spare batteries in your camera bag will help ensure that you are always ready to shoot no matter what comes your way.

A Lens Cleaning Cloth

Properly caring for your camera lenses can help prolong their lives. Invest in a specially designed lens cleaning cloth that won’t scratch the surface of your lenses. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions anytime you use one of these cloths to avoid inadvertent damages.

These are just a few of the most essential DSLR camera accessories. By making sure you have a good camera bag, a sturdy neck strap, enough spare batteries and a lens cleaning cloth, you can get the most out of your camera. With the right gear and a high quality camera, you can take pictures like a pro.

Beginner’s Guide to Buying a DSLR Camera

Photography lovers typically want to upgrade their cameras for newer technologies. Know what to expect if you want to upgrade from a point-to-shoot one to a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera. Its advantages are:

  • Takes higher definition and quality pictures, regardless of pixel capacity.
  • Lenses can be changed to powerful ones for lower noise and better quality.

Buying a DSLR camera for the first time can be challenging.  You need to consider various brands, camera capacities and other features. Below is a guide to help you decide on a digital SLR camera.

  1. Know Your Preferences and Needs for the Camera

 How you intend to use your camera should determine what type of a camera to choose.  One thing should be clear; an expensive camera doesn’t mean you’re a great photographer.  If you need a camera for professional purposes, then choose a quality camera.

  1. Get to Know Brands and Camera Capacities

Nikon and Canon may have dominated the DSLR camera industry, but there are other companies that produce great cameras, too. Find a company that provides excellent cameras you can afford with camera capacities as well. Some of its features should include among others:

  • Megapixels
  • ISO performance
  • Resolution
  • Frames per second lenses
  • Sensor size

Megapixels (MP) determine how good a photo will be, depending on printouts. Most DSLRs have a minimum of 10MP, which can be upgraded with more powerful lenses.

ISO performance is the camera’s capacity to shoot quality pictures or movies regardless of light intensity.  High ISO performance cameras can take great quality images in high and low light situations without a flash.

Frames per second (FPS) is the number of images a camera can take while in multi-mode. It helps one in choosing the best picture to use.

DSLR pictures require more memory for storage. For this reason, you should budget for a high capacity memory card to save more images and movie clips.

  1. Budget

This will also dictate which camera you can afford. High-end DSLRs may be more expensive, but it doesn’t mean basic DSLR cameras take low-quality images. An experienced photographer can take greater quality images with a 10MP DSLR camera, than an amateur with a high-end one.

Research and window shop on a great Digital SLR camera, before making an order. This way, you will be better equipped and know what you need, before you even buy it.

Understanding and Using ISO to Take Great Pictures


Today, digital cameras made taking pictures inexpensive. To get the best images, you need the correct setting, and a splendid way to learn is to experiment. You’ll discover how changing the ISO, shutter speed and angle of the shot, will give you the best outcome.

Professionals do the same thing. Once they’ve set-up an important shot, they’ll take dozens of the same shot. This ensures the best possible combination of ISO and shutter speed.

Concerning ISO

For a technical foundation to photography, understand what ISO is and how it works. Three technical pillars are involved with photography:

  • ISO
  • Aperture
  • Shutter speed

1. What exactly is ISO?

This is your camera’s level of sensitivity to light, which gathers it and turns into usable images. It’s the most expensive part of any camera.


  • The lower the ISO number, the less sensitive it is.
  • The higher ISO number means the more sensitive it is to light.

This can be easily adjusted via an internal menu (different with each camera) and in turn controls an ‘image sensor’. While this sounds like a perfect solution, there is a drawback; as the ISO increases, so does the noise (grain) in the picture.

Experiment with different ISO settings for immediate feedback. Also use your camera’s manual for an excellent overview of how everything works.

Camera Settings

The settings you use will also affect the end result. Do these:

  • Set your camera on the highest resolution and highest JPEG compression.
  • Adjust as you gain experience.

Each camera has a ‘Basic ISO,’ meaning this is the lowest number an ‘image sensor’ can use to:

  • Gather light.
  • Produce a quality image, without adding noise.

Newer cameras have a base number between 100 and 200, which varies depending on manufacturing costs incurred. For most purposes, stick with the base ISO number, then adjust as you experience level increases.

How ISO Works

You’ll find an ISO sequence like 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400. This represents a geometric x2. It might be confusing, but just understand that each double numbering increases sensitivity by 2, thus:

  • 200 is twice as sensitive as ISO 100.
  • ISO 400 is four times as sensitive (meaning it needs four times less time to capture the same amount of light for an image).
  • When in doubt, use auto-exposure and auto focus. Avoid auto-ISO for anything other than low-light action shots. Try your camera’s lowest ISO setting before venturing higher, since this will generate more noise.

ISO Speed Examples:

• ISO 100 – 1 second

• ISO 200 – 1/2 of a second

• ISO 400 – 1/4 of a second

• ISO 800 – 1/8 of a second

• ISO 1600 – 1/16 of a second

• ISO 3200 – 1/32 of a second

This may all be confusing but take heart. It only means you lack a bit of experience. Get out there, have fun, take pictures and learn from the images you capture.