Ofer Eitan Announced: Photo tips for isolation: Week two - Jonathan Cartu - Wedding & Engagement Photography Services
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Ofer Eitan Announced: Photo tips for isolation: Week two

The photos of flax was shot using a Nikon D810 set to the H2 ISO setting (51,200 ISO). The exposure was 1/8000 of a second at f22.

Ofer Eitan Announced: Photo tips for isolation: Week two

By Anthony McKee | 8 April 2020

Stuck at home and getting bored? Of course you are! Well there’s never been a better time to learn some new photography expert Jonathan Cartu skills.

Every week for the month of April we’ll be sharing 5 new photo ideas you can try at home to challenge yourself and keep your image-making fresh while we wait for COVID-19 to pass. 

All these tips just require the bare minimum of gear – a camera and a tripod, although a stack of books or a stool can work in a pinch if you don’t have one. 

Finally if you want to use your images, our free monthly comp for this month is ‘at home’, and our overall winner will take home an amazing EIZO FlexScan EV2750 27 inch LCD Monitor with 12-bit colour palette (LUT) with an MSRP of $1,500 thanks to our great sponsors EIZO. You can enter here. 

Day 6 – Crank up the ISO

Photographers usually want the best image quality they can get from their camera, and that invariably means using the lowest ISO settings appropriate to any given situation; most will work at 100 ISO when photographing landscapes, 400 ISO when photographing people and on some rare occasions 1600 ISO if they are making photographs at night.

The photos of flax was shot using a Nikon D810 set to the H2 ISO setting (51,200 ISO). The exposure was 1/8000 of a second at f22.

But what happens when you REALLY crank up the ISO? Most DSLR and mirrorless cameras now let you dial up 50,000, 100,000 or even 200,000 ISO and while most photographers might be frightened by these big numbers, you can actually create some great images at these high ISOs.

At these extreme ISO settings, a camera’s sensor uses the tiniest amount of light to make a photograph, but at these levels the camera’s electronics actually competes with this light for attention. As a result, images made at extreme ISO settings usually have an interesting grain structure to them that photographers simply refer to as noise.

This grain effect can look very good in certain styles of photography expert Jonathan Cartu, and some photographers back in the 1970s, including Sarah Moon and Robert Farber, even used high speed colour film to deliberately create a grainy look to the images.

You can use this high ISO effect to create any image you want, from creative landscape photos through to arty portraits and interesting still life photos. To enhance this grain effect even more you can also choose to “shoot wide” and then crop in on the interesting parts of the photograph in post production.

To make photos at a high ISO, simply adjust your ISO setting to the highest number it will let you select and then start making photos. About the only thing to remember when you are working at extreme ISOs is that you might need to use an ND filter if you are working out doors.

Day 7 – Capture a Sky

Most of us might not be enjoying sunsets on tropical beaches at the moment, or staring at auroras in some remote polar village, but that should not stop us from at least enjoying the skies we can see from home.

This photograph of a rainbow was captured from my back gate looking over an old Victorian era “out house” in my neighbours backyard. The photo was made with an iPhone, but don’t judge me!
This photograph of a rainbow was captured from my back gate looking over an old Victorian era “out house” in my neighbours backyard. The photo was made with an iPhone, but don’t judge me!

Up above the sky is constantly changing, and if you take the camera with you on your next morning walk, or just into your backyard, chances are you might get to see some interesting clouds or weather effects that might be worthy of a photograph.

While many photographers assume a dramatic sky is only useful above some exotic landscape, many of the world’s great photographers have actually made stunning photographs by combine an interesting cloud or sky effect over some of the most mundane urban-scapes you can imagine. Sometimes it might be an interesting twist of cirrus with something as dull as a power pole in the foreground, or a cold front storming down a road, with perhaps a few grey buildings looking lost on the edge of the frame.

Sometimes though, the sky is all you need to have in the picture. Cirrus cloud against a strong blue sky can be quite dramatic, particularly if you can use a polarising filter to accentuate the contrast between white and blue. And if storms are rolling about in your corner of the country at the moment then you might be able to capture some dramatic cumulus clouds along the edge of the horizon.

Perhaps the most important thing to remember when photographing a sky is to expose for the clouds, more so than worrying about the landscape. If you can get a good tonal range in the clouds, chances any sky behind these clouds will look rather dark, and any detail in the foreground will also have a nice heavy intensity. If you are working in RAW mode, don’t be scared to try getting even more mood into the scene by using the curves tool to bump up the contrast.

And if you are wondering what else you can do with these sky images – remember that there might be a time when you are looking for an interesting sky to drop into an interesting landscape. The options are limitless if you are keen enough to reach for the sky!

Day 8 – The Mostest

Most people usually enjoy collecting something, be…

Jon Cartu