How to Shoot Your Underwater Journey: A Beginner’s Guide

How to Shoot Your Underwater Journey: A Beginner’s Guide

This post was last updated on October 24th, 2016    As much as we love taking landscape and aerial photos when traveling, there will always be something intriguing and magical about shooting underneath the sea. Dive in and go deep into underwater photography each time you go diving or island hopping to experience what it’s like to shoot photos of schooling fishes, colorful live corals, and other marine creatures. Take a plunge, discover, and conquer the wonders of the underwater world through your camera lens! For beginners, here are some tips on taking amazing photos of your underwater adventures:   Get Your Camera Protected   Photo by Mila Boychuk / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0   First things first: you’ve got to get your camera ready for underwater photography. It’s scary to dip your precious and expensive camera into the water without any protective gear, right? Invest in underwater camera housings that are durable and compatible with your camera model. The housing should also allow easy access to the important buttons on your camera.   Use Macro Lens and Wide-Angle Lens     A macro lens is perfect for underwater photography because it can magnify small marine creatures and emphasize details like fish scales and colors of coral reefs. But if you’re going to shoot whales and enormous reefs, use a wide-angle lens for the perfect wide-angle shot.   Use Strobe or External Flash     As you flap your fins, sand and plankton will float around the body of water, causing backscatter in your photos. Backscatter makes your underwater photos look blurry and out of focus; to minimize or prevent...
Mastering Your Light Meter for the Perfect Exposure

Mastering Your Light Meter for the Perfect Exposure

This post was last updated on October 11th, 2017It’s been a fantastic couple of weeks in the U.S. We got to see family and friends, spend the holidays in NYC, and even celebrate and photograph the marriage of two wonderful friends from college. But now it’s time to hit the road again. When this post goes live, we’ll be in the air on our way to hot and sunny Costa Rica – woohoo! In honor of being the photographer at our friend’s wedding this past weekend, I decided we were past due for another travel photography lesson. Today, it’s a quick and easy post all about mastering your light meter for the perfect exposure. Enjoy, and stay tuned this week for lots of live updates from Costa Rica!   One of the greatest advantages of the DSLR cameras is the multitude of features that you can use to more accurately and creatively capture the photos you want. So while Auto can be helpful, the real beauty of the DSLR comes from playing in the Aperture, Shutter, and Manual Modes. Using these modes allows for freedom, but also more room for error. It is far easier to underexpose (too dark) or overexpose (too bright) your images while using the Aperture, Shutter or Manual modes. While there are plenty of editing tools out there to help you correct these mistakes, see more on that topic, it’ll save you lots of time and energy to get it right the first time. The easiest way to avoid improper exposure is by mastering your light meter. The purpose of the light meter is to make sure that your...
Understanding White Balance Settings

Understanding White Balance Settings

This post was last updated on December 28th, 2014It’s official: Casey has finished her Yoga Teacher Training program! She is so excited to share more about the life-changing experience, but wanted to take a week or so to process what the month meant to her. So that means you’ll be hanging out with me this week for another travel photography lesson! We’ll be going over one of the most overlooked aspects of photography—white balance settings.     White balance, though easily disregarded, has a surprisingly dramatic effect on the look of your images. In today’s post I will be talking a lot about the different qualities of light, so I would suggest looking over my last post on Seeing and Using Natural Light if you need a bit of a refresher.   Light Temperature   Let’s get started with temperature. Basically, different sources of light have different temperatures. These different light temperatures produce different colors. You can see this right away when you look at a florescent light bulb next to an incandescent light bulb. The florescent light bulb emits a more blue-ish light when compared to the incandescent bulb which produces a more reddish/orangeish light. Light that appears bluer is referred to as ‘cool.’ The light that is redder is considered ‘warm.’ Go outdoors and you’ll see the same effect. Have you noticed that on sunny mornings the world seems to be just a bit more vibrant compared to rainy grey afternoons? Temperature variations of light also occur with sunlight depending on the time of day and the weather. For example, the morning sun casts a much warmer...
How to Take Better Travel Photos | Tips to Getting Sharp Photos

How to Take Better Travel Photos | Tips to Getting Sharp Photos

We’ve all seen the photos. The ones that are so crisp and clean it’s like you were actually standing there the moment it was taken. Getting sharp images is something every photographer strives to achieve, but it’s not always as easy as it sounds. Luckily with just a few tips and techniques, we can take our otherwise okay travel images and turn them into super sharp snapshots worthy of showing off. Some of the general rules we’ll go over might sound a bit tricky, but don’t worry – I’ll break it all down, and you can always ask your questions in the comments below. But before we get started, it is advisable to look back over the lesson on the Exposure Triangle if things like shutter speed, aperture and ISO are a bit fuzzy for you. Also, remember that the number one best thing you can do to get sharper images – without changing any settings or even turning your camera on – is to hold your camera correctly. When you’re shooting handheld, your body acts as a tripod and it needs to be sturdy. While your right hand is on the grip and shutter, your left hand should be under the point where your lens meets your camera body. Keep both of your elbows tucked into your body for extra support. Hold your breath and shoot. Okay, now let’s get started!     Shutter Speed: A big cause of soft images is image blur. This is a result of either your camera moving during a shot or, more than likely, your subject moving and getting blurred across your photo. If you’re...
How to Take Better Travel Photos | Natural Light

How to Take Better Travel Photos | Natural Light

This post was last updated on August 6th, 2014It’s that time again…How to Take Better Travel Photos! In this lesson we’ll cover everything you ever wanted to know about using natural light to your advantage.    I’m a travel photographer living out of my backpack – which means that I don’t have the luxury of carrying around a ton of camera equipment. As such, the ability to use natural light has become one of my greatest tools. Sunlight comes in many different temperatures and intensities throughout the day, and to understand how to use these different types of natural light is absolutely essential (especially for travel photographers who rarely have any control over their environment). Depending on the time of day, the direction and the weather, sunlight will actually have different temperatures. But you already know that. Just look out your window this evening and you’ll likely see the sky changing from a warm red light to a cool blue light. Understanding these qualities and characteristics of available light at the time of shooting will dramatically affect the look and mood of your image. Let’s get started:   Golden Hour: Whether you know what it is or not, you’ve probably heard about ‘the golden hour’. The golden hour is marked as the hour before sunset and after sunrise when the sky takes on a golden color. Blue light is filtered out  as it passes through the Earth’s atmosphere, making the sky appear more warm or “golden”.  The golden color is also projected on the subject you are photographing, resulting in a warmer and more colorful image than at other times of the day. In the photo below you can...