9 Tips to Get Sharp Focus at Night

Autofocus is so good on modern cameras that most photographers use it all the time. It seemingly never lets you down. But, let’s say it’s nighttime and you are going to do some shooting. You find a good spot. You set up your tripod. You go to focus your camera using the autofocus. You can feel the camera’s focus ring twisting back and forth, trying to focus. But it never gets there. The camera keeps hunting for a focus spot but never finds one.
Uh-oh. What are you going to do now?

Actually, this problem doesn’t arise only at night. Your camera will typically have trouble focusing in any really dark scene. So here are some tips for dealing with that situation and focusing your camera when it is dark

1. Aim for the bright spot
Sometimes you can still use your autofocus. Even though it is dark, most night scenes will have a bright spot or two. They might be streetlights, or a lit-up building, or even the moon. That bright spot can be used to set your autofocus.

Best camera focus techniques: 10 surefire ways to get sharp photos

One of the first rules of photography is that the subject should be sharp. Most modern digital cameras offer a number of ways of achieving sharp photos, and in this post we’re going to look at the most important digital camera focus techniques and the best settings to use. We’ll look at how to select the AF point and which focus mode to use.

Manual focus

Although nearly all modern digital cameras can focus the lens automatically (the Leica M9, Leica M9-P and Leica Monochrom being notable exceptions) they also allow you to focus manually instead.
Manual focus is a particularly good option with macro photography because many cameras struggle to lock onto very close subjects and the lens ends up hunting (moving in and out of focus) every time the shutter release button is depressed.
It’s far less frustrating to switch the camera (or the lens) to manual focus and do the job yourself.

Manual focus technique

What’s more, Live View technology makes manual focusing very easy because it is usually possible to enlarge the image on the screen so that you can see the precise spot that you are interested in, and then adjust the focus until it is perfectly sharp.

FAQ: Astro Photography Tool

photosaddict, shutter count, canon
Canon EOS DSLR camera models matrix

It is very nice to get your feedback after reading my blog post on finding the shutter count on Canon cameras with a PC (Windows computer) using software APT.
I will try to summary some common questions that I received in the last 6 months. Hopefully it will help you solve out some of the problem when using APT.
Question 1: I found APT a commercial software. Do I need to purchase it to find out my Canon 60D shutter count?
Answer: No. You can use free version of APT to get the shutter count.

Question 2: Does APT support Canon 7D mark II?
Answer: Not yet. But as you know, APT is updated frequently. The new cameara should be supported soon.

Question 3: I had a Canon 30D, installed APT on my Windows 7 64 bits. When I plug it in, APT said it does not support my camera series.
Answer: Unfortunately, the DIGIC 2 cameras (20D, 20Da, 30D, 350D, 400D) is not fully supported by ATP under Windows 7 64 bits.
You can try to install APT on 32bits Windows 7 computer or configure a virtual 32bits machine on your 64bits Windows 7 machine to use APT with your DIGIC 2 camears.
All DIGIC 3 and 4 cameras are fully supported.

10 Tips for stunning portrait

You often take a portrait for your friends, your children and your clients. The following 10 tips can help you improve your photo and make you different. If you have chance to take a children portrait, you also can read my other post on children portrait as well.

Tip #1 – have your subject look up at you
It’s slimming and flattering (see images above). Bring a small step stool to stand on and photograph your subjects from slightly above their eye line. Watch double chins disappear. Keep a step stool in the trunk of your car so you don’t even have to think about adding it to the list of gear to bring when you prep the night before. It’s there, ready to go.
Tip #2 – capture the moments in between poses
Personally this is a favorite of mine. If you’re noticing the images look too posed, or your subject is uncomfortable in front of the camera, shake things up. Ask them to do the most ridiculous pose or ask them to pretend to laugh really hard. Take that photo, but keep the camera up and wait. The moment after that photo happens you’ll find their guard will come down, they will laugh authentically or give you a moment that feels much more real.

Keyboard shortcuts for Photoshop - Secret for success.

This series will introduce keyboard shortcuts for Photoshop. It will help you to save a lot of time when playing with photoshop.

8 Photography Training Tips You Can Do To Help Improve Your Work

Photography is like any other pastime or profession. You need to constantly improve your skills and work on areas where you feel there is room for improvement. It doesn’t matter if you are a pro or an amateur, you are never too good to learn. But people often find it difficult to improve their photography skills as you can get into a habit of a particular style or working in a specific way that becomes difficult to change. Here are a few training methods and ideas that can help you improve your photography.

1 – Only Use Prime Lenses
Prime lenses are ones that have a fixed focal length, unlike zoom lenses that allow you to change the focal length by zooming in or out. Although most people tend to avoid prime lenses simply because zoom lenses offer greater flexibility, the real benefit of prime lenses is that it means you have to actively move around to get the photo you want to capture. This often means moving in closer to your subject which also means you have to engage with them.

7 Prompts to Help you Pause and Take Better Photos

Photography is one of those professions or hobbies that you simply need to practice in order to improve. Once you have learned the basics and the theory, it is as much about trial and error as anything that you can read in books. With that practice comes experience which, over time, becomes almost like your blueprint for taking photos. The more you practice the quicker you learn and ultimately it all works subconsciously. To start you off on your process, here are 7 questions to ask yourself before you take a photo.

1. What am I trying to communicate?

One of the common mistakes that all new photographers make is that they click away, taking photos without really thinking about the image and the message or story it communicates. Digital photography makes the process of taking a photo risk free. Apart from taking up a bit of memory on your card, there’s no harm in just clicking away. Back in the days of film, every photo essentially cost money. So anyone who has ever used a film camera will tell you that you had to be much more selective about when you took photos.

So instead of just clicking away, try to think about what the message is that the photo is communicating. Imagine if you saw this image in a magazine without any words to accompany it, what would you think? By thinking about the message or story in the photo it will also help you to think if you can improve it in any way. Over time this process will become much quicker and you will subconsciously recognize scenarios and the stories they can tell.