Photography blog

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When taking urban photos one should consider that although cities took over nature, its essence remains. It is impossible to imagine cities without the existence of vegetation, birds, small mammals or the blue sky, even if contamination prevents you to see them sometimes.

Yellow car invading black & white image of urban nature

These lively elements, which one can find in streets and buildings, are the reminiscent of our origins and help to lighten up the coldness of the cement, of the concrete, of the stress and even of our faces. The pleasant symbiosis between artificial and natural things can be captured through general views or very interesting foregrounds.

Capturing those snapshots requires observation skills, sharpened attention and a lot of patience, especially if you want to photograph animals like pigeons, sparrows, swallows, cats or dogs

Very often taking urban photos requires mastering movement. Using a high shutter speed will help you to improve your dynamic snapshots. If you do not have a tripod, use any object to set your camera and get higher definition.

Try out with different lighting set ups, diverse focal lengths and zoom positions. Also, remember that high-angle shots and low-angle shots usually show powerful perspectives.

Play with the contrast created between the elements of nature and human construction, these sometimes capricious juxtapositions will offer you an original frame. And if your camera allows it, take your pictures in RAW format.

Paul Raphaelson, Britta Jaschinski o Andy Rouse are some of the most inspiring photographers for this topic, all specialized in the search for intriguing urban nature.

Trucofoto suggests: Get your camera and go on an urban safari. You must capture live those nature traces that still remain in your town’s architecture.

 

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Luna amarillenta sobre la noche de una ciudad en blanco y negro

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Taking pictures of the moon shouldn’t be so hard, but you need to follow some useful tips if you don’t want to perish in the attempt of trying and trying.

Luna amarillenta sobre la noche de una ciudad en blanco y negro

Find the moon (doesn’t matter it isn’t full moon or too dark outside). We recommend getting a stable tripod, although you could achieve a good free-hand picture with a catadioptric lens (also called mirror lens or reflex lens). A shutter release cable can also be very helpful. Play around with different values of exposure, shutter speed and sensitivity and take test pictures until you get the ones that produce the best results. Check the following suggestions and… Shoot!

  • Customize light measurement to get sharp details. If your camera does not have such function, try adjusting exposure to under expose, as exposure time should be short. Review the histogram after shutting and make sure the picture has not burned out.
  • Focus to the infinite using the manual mode. If you do not have that option, search for some far enough object, focus it, and while keeping that focusing point, frame the moon and shoot.
  • Use a high shutter speed (from 1/125 sec.) to counterbalance the movement of the moon. If you use a very long focusing distance, you’ll need to use an even higher speed. To take good moon pictures you’ll need a lens of at least 300mm., otherwise we recommend using a telephoto lens.
  • Try bracketing, a technique that helps you to use different settings for different exposures. This can be achieved by modifying the settings of the diaphragm aperture (ideally in the mid range of your camera) or those of the shutter speed (manipulating your exposure values)
  • Set the ISO sensitivity at the lowest possible position of the camera. If your camera has very limited exposure settings, lower at least one point the opening diaphragm (f/5,6) or slightly increase the shutter speed (1/100). A good combination for efficient exposure would be ISO100, 1/125 and f8.
  • It is advisable to adjust the shooting speed considering the weather conditions or the phase the moon is in, as well as taking different photos to get the sharpest image. If you shoot in RAW, you will be able to balance the exposure later. Once in the dark room, make sure to review the pictures taken at your zoom’s 100%.

Trucofoto suggests: take your moon photos using a filter and your moons would look different.

 

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Ángulo contrapicado de un árbol en blanco y negro, donde inciden los rayos amarillos del sol

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Most of the times, light makes the difference between a professional photography and a conventional one. Light and photography go hand by hand, consequently a good photographer must know it, search it and learn how to play with it. There is a minimum need of illumination for an image to have light however, nowadays, thanks to the improvement of the photographic techniques and the arrival of the digital era, the human eye can appreciate things that were impossible to notice before.

Botton up angle of a black and white image of a tree, under the reflection of sun light.

Regardless of what your eyes tell you, the shine and brightness of colors do not change, no matter the source of lighting. Today, the photographic possibilities exceed the shortcomings of the human eye. For example, years ago the lack of light produced an increase of image noise (film grain). This has improved, due to the use of a wider range of glare not only in the equipment but also in the touching-up phase.  In addition, image stabilization technologies allow working hand-held camera even in long exposures. Hence, dependence of electronic flashes to produce high quality pictures in a scarce-lighting environment has become less and less common.

Currently, a digital camera can help you obtain good quality photos even under high levels of shine and contrast. It is advisable to make excessive use of underexposure techniques to guarantee that lighted areas do not result in pure whites, should this occur it would be more difficult to recover real colors in the postproduction phase. Digital functionalities (such as Curves adjustment, Shadows/Lighting, RAW files manipulation…) also help emphasize or diminish certain details in an image.

Do not overlook light in photography. Take care of its direction, color, source or strength and try to capture it in the precise moment. Sunrise and sunset provide some of the best lighting opportunities and countryside landscapes are the ideal scenario to play with the lighting. For instance, just by going around the same spot one can obtain at least four or five illumination effects. The combination of dark shadows and well sun-lighted areas lead to a High Dynamic Range, i.e. the greater possible luminosity difference between reflections and shadows. To avoid sparkles, use a polarizing filter, which eliminates shine and provides saturated colors.

 

Trucofoto whises… May the light be with you

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Mujer fotografiando con una cámara en blanco y negro, y la marca de la misma (Nikon) en color amarillo

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Nowadays many people buy a Reflex camera with no intention to learn how to use it. The development of a photographer is directly proportional to the attitude he/she maintains with the controls of his/her camera, but we all agree that the best school is practice. Trucofoto wonders… Do you know how to use your camera correctly?

Black and white picture of a women taking photos with a camera branded with yellow Nikon logo

The shutter speed is the main tool for control. Depending on the opening of the diaphragm, the quantity of light registered in the sensor will be different, and therefore the movement of the objects, so it will cause higher or lower definition. The lens is crucial to achieve this, but ensuring a precise focus, reducing the movement of the object and the camera, and having a short exposure, will help as well.

Scope depth is related to how one sees and manages the space (image plasticity). Opening the diaphragm, maintaining a certain focal distance and the use of magnification are some ways to control this element. One technique, Bokeh, defined as the blur produced in the out-of-focus parts of an image, is an aesthetic quality of image as appreciated as definition

Image resolution helps to measure the degree of detail registered with a certain level of contrast. Good quality (measured by the number of pixels) is not always a consequence of good resolution, as there are other factors like the kind of lens used. Related to resolution is the so called “noise” of the snapshot, also known as “grain” in the case of analogic photography. It comes in the form of specks or irregular sparkles and may be caused by the heat, the nature of the electric signal or the sensor activity. It is advisable to experiment with varied ISO values to know all the representations of the “noise”.

White balance, the process of removing color casts, increases your possibilities of correcting the colors thus improving your photos under a wide variety of lighting conditions. In the same way, the right exposure offers more flexibility in relation to picture shine. Working with a large color scheme is essential in order to produce the richest variety of colors. The safest way to evaluate color quality is to use a high quality screen and to avoid the reflection of natural light in your computer.

We wish after reading these tips you know how to use your camera.

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Vista de humo amarillo sobre fondo negro

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Within your circle of friends, would you be able to differentiate those who photograph from those taking photos?

Vista de humo amarillo sobre fondo negro

The word photography comes from the Greek terms “phos” (light) and “grafis” (to write). That would bring us the expression “writing with light”. The metaphor is a brilliant definition of the photographic technique, but unfortunately somewhat limited.

Taking photos is a two-century-old practice that has become more and more common and accessible to all publics. In fact, it is weird being in a crowded place and not seeing someone taking pictures with a cell phone or a camera.

Photography is much more than taking photos. It paints, draws or registers a moment, capturing reality and moving the spectator. It it has several types: portraits, travel photography, nature photography, architecture, sports photography, historical or artistic. Photography is a whole, formed by a group of elements that acquire their real meaning in a snapshot. The photographer – with his particular world vision – and the camera – with its own technical characteristics – take the leading role in this movie.

As you will see, at Trucofoto our passion goes beyond taking photos, beyond writing with light. Obviously we wont exclude the possibility of actually doing so, for example we will show you how to write or draw with light. (i.e. if you let a stable source of light point to your camera and leave periods of long exposure you can get really cool things)

Art is the human creation of something beautiful through the imagination or the imitation of reality. That is photography for us: art that speaks a universal language without words. However its interpretation can vary depending on the eyes and the culture one looks at it.

Trucofoto wonders what is photography for you? Do you take photos or do you photograph?

 

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Cámara fotográfica en blanco y negro con una pegatina amarilla, con la fecha de caducidad

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Reality is as shocking as that: whatever is born, dies and your photo camera comes with an expiration date. Good news is that nobody can confirm that its life expectancy is going to conclude that very same date.

Cámara fotográfica en blanco y negro con una pegatina amarilla, con la fecha de caducidad

There are several indicators to define the lifespan of your new photo camera, which can change depending on the various types (reflex, digital-reflex, compact), brands and models. The best-known lifespan indicator is related to the number of possible shots, which can fluctuate from 25.000 to more than 200.000 frames. Most photo cameras enjoy a healthy life for over ten years – even using them professionally – but they can also suffer a heart attack at any time.

Talking about the lifespan of the equipment is only an aspect; we should as well consider the life of each of its electronic circuits and mechanic components. One of the first things to worry about is the shutter or sensor (in the digital cameras), due to the wearing out that light produces every time it comes into the camera through the lens. Also, the release button and the battery should be taken into account given the continuous use we make of them.

Damage in any of the components of your photo camera should not be identified with its funeral though. Your camera has probably a guarantee to cover most breaks and malfunctions and, sometimes, the manufacturer offers a competent repair service in exchange of a flat-fee. Worst-case scenario you can always buy a new component, but first you should consider if is worth to spend your money in bits and pieces or buy a new camera. For those willing to buy second-hand equipment, consultation with an expert regarding the general condition of the camera, and in particular the number of shots already made, is advised.

The existence of an obsolescence programmed by the manufacturer is a reality, it shortens products life with the aim of increasing sales and it has been done for over a century. Your camera might have been induced to suicide, but who is going to hold responsibility for that?

Trucofoto reminds you that it is in your hands to extend the use and enjoyment of your photo camera. It is a delicate object that needs your care and attention. She likes being nice and clean, does not enjoy bangs or extreme temperatures and water can change her forever (do you recall The Gremlins?).

 

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Queremos celebrar contigo el 2º aniversario de Trucofoto –photography tricks- con un regalo muy especial, como símbolo de agradecimiento por acompañarnos en el fotografiar desde aquel 10 de Junio de 2012.

Sabemos lo que estás pensando: que aún no ha llegado esa fecha. Entonces, ¿por qué ahora? Pues porque somos muy impacientes y no podemos aguantarnos más la sorpresa en forma de nuevo servicio para nuestra plataforma de fotografía: Trucofoto hablará Inglés.

Enseñar y compartir fotografía, mediante unos contenidos de calidad sencillos de entender, son dos de los pilares que sostienen nuestro proyecto. Así, aprender fotografía te resultará más fácil.

Enseñar y compartir es crecer como personas.  En Trucofoto queremos crecer abriendo nuestra fotografía al lenguaje universal de Internet: el Inglés. De esta manera haremos más universal el arte de hacer fotos (que ya lo es de por sí) y más amig@s palabra a palabra, foto a foto.

Deseamos compartir nuestra fotografía con el mundo anglosajón e invitar a la comunidad hispana a aprender o practicar un idioma -cada vez más necesario- que acerca culturas y abre mentes. De este modo en breve podrás empezar a leer en Inglés –casi todos- los artículos que hemos publicado, conforme los traduzca nuestro servicio de interpretación.

Fotografía en blanco y negro de la comunicación entre un niño y una niña dibujados en una pizarra

We want to celebrate with you the second anniversary of Trucofoto – Photography Tricks – with a very special gift as a token of appreciation for your unconditional support since June 10th, 2012.

We know what you are thinking: the date has not arrived yet. So…Why now? We are very impatient and therefore we cannot hold the secret anymore: we are launching a new service in our photography platform: Trucofoto will speak English very soon.

Teaching and sharing the art of Photography, through quality contents easy to understand, are the two pillars that support our project. With Trucofoto learning photography becomes easy and accessible.

Teaching and sharing are also two essential abilities for personal growth. At Trucofoto we want to grow by bringing our photography to speak English, the universal language of Internet, so the art of making pictures will be even more international. And thus pic by pic, word by word we will also grow in friends and fans.

We wish to share our photography with the Anglo-Saxon community and invite the Hispanic one to learn and practice a language that brings cultures closer and opens minds. Therefore in a few days you will be able to enjoy most of our published articles in English, with the cadence established by our translation service.