Stephen Studd Photography

Travel Gardens Plants


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Photo Tip Friday; Equipment list

After leaving behind an important lead once on a foreign travel shoot, I now have an equipment check list. Nowadays there are so many electrical leads and cables to remember, plus all the other photography equipment, memory cards etc, you have to be sure all the equipment is going away with you. Making a tick list ensures everything is packed.

Angkor Wat Cambodia smiley face

Photo Tip Friday is taking a break and flying south until the new year. Next stop Cambodia where I will be making final arrangements for my Digital Photography Holidays to Angkor Wat in 2013. Really looking forward to getting back to Cambodia, the smiles, the people, the food and of course the amazing temples. So much still to explore and see as the temples are spread over 400 square kilometres. I will be adding a few posts while away to keep you up to date. Until then;  chum ree-up lee-ah

Details of the travel photography holidays to Angkor Wat and also Bangkok can be found at http://www.digitalphotographyholidays.com Also in late 2013 I will be hosting one to Myanmar, you can register your interest on the website too.


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Easy steps to photograp into the sun

My camera is always set on manual mode, if your camera is on auto and you photograph into the sun you will most likely get underexposed images.

When shooting into the sun your meter will underexpose the scene (the histogram will be way too far to the left). Photographing into the sun is a great way for you to learn to take control of your camera.

If you are after a warm glow around the sun then photographing at sunrise or sunset are the best times to achieve this.

Digital photography holidays Myanmar, Bagan,  temple at dawn, silhouette

Myanmar, Bagan, silhouetted temples at sunrise

Set the aperture you are after and meter for the scene without the sun in the frame as a starting point. Keep this meter reading then shoot with the sun in the shot and see how this looks.

For the shot above of the temples of Bagan in Myanmar I wanted to leave some detail in the silhouetted temples whilst giving a very warm feel to the image. You can try different exposures using the exposure compensation dial to see how the different exposures will look. The camera was mounted on my tripod and I focussed the scene manually, then avoided looking directly through the eyepiece to save my eyes from any damage. Between shots I put the lens cap on too.  To avoid flare it is best to remove any lens protection filters you might have on your lens.

If you are after a bright burnt out sun with blue sky then shooting around mid day can ahieve this, though this one is much harder on the eyes, so be careful. The shot below of the Allium Purple Sensation against the sun I wanted to convey the feeling of nature bursting into life with the power of the sun in summer. For this the sun had to be overhead with me lying on the ground. This shot was harder to achieve as I was hand holding and having to focus on the allium and meter.

Allium Purple Sensation against the sun

Allium Purple Sensation against the sun
f11 1/400th sec @70mm 100 ISO

The backlit flower against the sun shows off its shape and form and the colour of the petals is accentuated. In this shot the sun is more burnt out and there is flare which adds to the feel of the power of the beating sun.

When taking these type of shots please be careful of your eyes, you don`t want to damage them.

I am leading travel photography holidays and tours in 2016 and 2017 to Burma (Myanmar), Vietnam and Cambodia. Details can be found on the Digital Photography Holidays website; http://www.digitalphotographyholidays.com


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Photo Tip Friday; Monitor calibration

After accidentally breaking my monitor calibrator what better time to stress the importance of having a monitor calibrated.

Have you ever been into a tv or computer showroom and seen a vast aray of screens and noticed they all look different? The reason is they haven`t been calibrated. If you work on a screen that isn`t calibrated then your images will look totally different on someones screen that is calibrated. Also when printing your photographs they will come out looking different to your screen.

Calibrating your monitor sets it to a standard so that an image on my calibrated screen will look the same as on other calibrated screens. This is vitally important in your digital workflow. It is very important when testing your monitor that it is turned on for about half an hour to let it warm up.

With my Eizo monitor an annoying but useful reminder pop up warns when so many hours have passed since the last calibration.

Now I have an updated calibrator after breaking the old one and after completing the test there was only a very miniscule change since the last one.


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Photo Tip Friday; Back up your photographs

Backing up your valuable photographs is a really important task that so often gets forgotten until it is too late. Incorporate this into your digital workflow.

Being extra cautious/paranoid with my extensive library of images I have 3 external hard drives with a back up of all my images on each. For  extra safety when leaving the house one of the hard drives goes with me.

There are lots of solutions as to where to back up your images, choose the one that`s best for you and remember to back up regularly.


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Photo Tip Friday; How do you keep those horizons horizontal?

In my camera bag I have a spirit level that fits onto the hotshoe of my camera. When the camera is on the tripod you get spot on level horizons. This one has been round the world with me. Camera spirit level


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Photo Tip Friday; keep an eye on frame counter & battery

After a Friday off last week back again with Photo Tip Friday.

If you are planning on photographing a sequence or you anticipate that light will be changing really fast, keep an eye on your camera frame count & battery monitor. If the memory card only has a few frames left, replace it. Same with the battery if it`s getting low change it.
It`s at these times when you will be working fast that you really don`t want to waste time changing memory cards or batteries and kicking yourself later for the shots that got away.


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Photo Tip Friday; The cheapest bit of kit in my camera bag?

After last weeks compass tip I was asked if that was the cheapest bit of kit in my camera bag? The answer to that is no as the cheapest thing in my camera bag is a rubber band!

I carry this as sometimes when unscrewing a round filter or an adaptor ring for Lee filters they become stuck on the lens and can be a pain to remove, particularly when you want to be quick when light is changing fast and your fingers are cold. When this does happen the rubber band gives a good grip making it easy to remove the filter or adaptor ring.

At a cost of under a penny you can even splash out and carry a spare, but hopefully not have to use it too often! You could also follow your postman as he usually leaves a trail of them saving you money!

Rubber bands

Whats the cheapest accessory in your camera bag?