DSLR SALES UP 132%, MIRRORLESS CAMERA SALES DOWN!

DSLRs are back! Sales increase 132%, while mirrorless cameras decline 57%

I follow reports from several well known camera magazines, and they keep me informed of what is going on in the market with camera sales, along with new information about new cameras, etc. And of course, I would bring this information to you to keep you informed as well.

WHY THE BIG CHANGE IN SALES? WHY IS MIRRORLESS CAMERAS DECLINING IN SALES?

In a startling turn of events, DSLRs – which had previously seen shipments slump in favor of their mirrorless counterparts – have had a 131.8% increase in sales while mirrorless cameras have received a 57.1% decrease in the United States year on year.

The pattern of digital SLR cameras outselling mirrorless models is similar, albeit not nearly as pronounced, in the rest of the world. Globally, DSLRs only achieved 80.5% of their sales figures from the same period last year but mirrorless cameras slumped to 70.7%. 

So, with the DSLR VS MIRRORLESS CAMERA war largely thought to have been won by mirrorless, the question is… what the heck is going on here? Well, while it’s tempting to start playing LL Cool J and proclaim that DSLRs are making a comeback, there’s a little more going on here than meets the eye. 

The principal reason for the shift in sales – information provided by industry body CIPA (with a tip of the hat to Digital Camera Watch) isn’t necessarily that the appetite for DSLRs is suddenly greater than that for mirrorless cameras; rather, that DSLRs are actually still available where their counterparts are largely missing in action due to the component crisis. 

Where mirrorless cameras, with a lot of cutting-edge technology (and also by virtue of simply being newer to market), are struggling to stay in production, DSLRs didn’t really suffer shortages in the same way. So if you want a brand new camera and there’s only DSLRs available, your choices are limited.

It’s also possible that there are a lot more beginners starting out in photography (something that we’ve witnessed in terms of reader behavior on this website), where the best cameras for beginners tend to be cheap and abundantly available DSLRs.  

Either way, with the shortages and supply chain issues showing little sign of abating, this resurgence of DSLR sales may continue for some time.

DSLR VS. MIRRORLESS FOR 2022

PROS AND CONS OF DSLR VS. MIRRORLESS

One thing I like to do on my blogs is to keep you up to date with the technology from the major camera manufactures. Even though I have a picture of Nikon DSLR vs. Sony mirrorless, all camera manufactures are still trying to decide which way is the best to go.

Today, I hope to go over the differences and then you can decide on which camera is right for you, if you choose to buy one soon.

FROM DIGITAL CAMERA WORLD, HERE IS THE BEST ARTICLE ABOUT THIS:

DSLRs and mirrorless cameras differ in their construction and design, but not in their sensors, image quality, technologies and indeed many of their features. A Nikon D850 DSLR will give the same image quality as a Nikon Z7 II, which has essentially the same sensor – bar a few more recent developments in image processing.

The differences are elsewhere, both on the outside in terms of body design, and inside in terms 4K (or even 6K or 8K) video capture. But one huge factor that should not be forgotten is personal preference. Ultimately, your choice between mirrorless and DSLR will likely come down to which one you like more!

Pentax makes only DSLR cameras and they have made significant changes and improvements in their DSLR camera that many mirrorless camera owners wish they had.

THE MIRROR:

DSLRs and mirrorless cameras both show the scene through the camera lens itself as you compose the picture, but the way they display it is completely different. DSLRs use a mirror to reflect an optical image up into the viewfinder. When you take a picture, the mirror flips up so that the image can then pass to the back of the camera where the sensor is exposed to the image.

DSLR’s use a mirror in the body to reflect the image up into the viewfinder. The instant you take a picture, the mirror flips up and out of the way.

Mirrorless cameras take a different approach. They use the ‘live view’ captured by the camera sensor itself to create an electronic image that can be displayed either on the rear screen or in an electronic viewfinder. There is no mirror mechanism to flip up and out of the way.

But what sounds like a win-win situation is a little more complicated than that. First, many people prefer the optical image of a DSLR viewfinder. Second, digital displays consume a lot more power, and mirrorless cameras still can’t compete with DSLRs for battery life.

AUTOFOCUS:

The key difference here is that mirrorless cameras use a single autofocus system for both rear screen and viewfinder shooting, whereas DSLRs – confusingly – use two.

DSLRs use dedicated ‘phase detect’ autofocus sensors which are in the base of the camera behind the mirror. When you take a picture, the mirror flips up and out of the way and the AF sensor is no longer available.

Back when DSLRs didn’t have live view, this wasn’t a problem. But when the demand grew for live view shooting using the rear screen, DSLRs had to switch to autofocus systems that used the image formed on the sensor itself.

So you have a situation that persists to this day – DSLRs have one autofocus system for the viewfinder and a different one for live view shooting.

Once, the dedicated phase-detect autofocus systems of DSLRs gave them a speed advantage over mirrorless cameras, but now mirrorless cameras have caught up and, in many instances, surpassed DSLRs.

Many newer DSLRs like the Nikon D780 also have on-sensor phase-detect autofocus for fast live view shooting, as do Canon DSLRs – but they STILL have two different AF technologies when swapping from viewfinder to live view shooting.

One of the most popular mirrorless cameras is the Fuji Film cameras. Well built, and designed with only 1 autofocus sensor, unlike the DSLR

Mirrorless cameras can now be successfully used for fast-moving sports and action photography that once demanded a DSLR. In fact, if you look at the capabilities of the hybrid on-sensor autofocus system in the latest Sony A7 IV, even DSLR diehards would have to concede that the separate phase-detect AF systems in DSLRs are dinosaurs by comparison.

VIEWFINDERS:

The design of mirrorless cameras means they need to use electronic viewfinders. These have improved hugely in a very short space of time.

This is the Panasonic mirrorless camera. The screen on the back and also inside the viewfinder show exactly what will be recorded on the image sensor.

The latest and best electronic viewfinders available today have such high resolution that you can hardly see the ‘dots’ and they have a clarity that genuinely approaches optical viewfinders. 

Viewfinder lag is less of an issue than it used to be thanks to faster refresh rates, and the most recent area of focus for manufacturers has been in the blackout effect you would typically see when shooting continuous bursts of images.

Electronic viewfinders can show a more clearly visible view of a scene in low light, and have zoom functions for precise manual focusing – two highly underrated benefits of electronic viewfinders. Because of their auto-gain light amplification effect, electronic viewfinders let you compose and shoot images in near darkness, and have made small-aperture telephotos like the Canon RF 600mm f/11 and RF 800mm f/11 perfectly practical to use.

It’s also worth pointing out that if you are a fan of vintage manual lenses which need to be used in stopped-down mode, a DSLR viewfinder will be way too dark but a mirrorless EVF will be fine.

However, many photographers still prefer the ‘naked eye’ view of an optical viewfinder over a digital one. You’ll soon see the image the camera has recorded in playback mode anyway.

DSLR optical viewfinders are still popular because they offer a ‘naked eye’ view of world with no screen lag or digital artifacts.
The Fujifilm X-Pro3 offers a hybrid viewfinder, one that combines both optical and electronic types. Almost every other mirrorless camera either has no viewfinder or an electronic one.

Optical viewfinders have another key advantage that’s particularly relevant for sports and action photographers. There is unavoidable screen blackout in the camera’s burst shooting mode as the mirror flips up and down between exposures, but this is rarely an issue – the key point is that there is no lag, and it’s much easier to follow a fast-moving subject with a high-speed DSLR like the Pentax K3 III, for example, than it is with the average mirrorless camera.

BATTERY LIFE:

Even very basic DSLRs will happily offer 600 shots per battery charge, but the entry-level Nikon D3500 DSLR, for example, can capture up to 1,550 images on a single charge. The very best pro DSLRs can rattle off almost 4000 frames per charge, although this is admittedly with considerably larger batteries. With the Nikon D6, Nikon claims a stunning battery life of 3,580 shots – and twice that if the camera is used for high-speed continuous shooting.

The DSLR camera batteries still are the winner as they get a lot more shots off one battery charge than a mirrorless camera.

Mirrorless cameras, however, fare far less impressively here, with around 350-400 frames per charge being the norm while some are a whole lot less. The Sony A7R III ushered in an extended 650-shot battery life almost double that of its predecessors, and the Sony A7R IV even improves on that slightly, so that’s a significant step forwards, but the Canon EOS RP can only manage 250 shots. 

Mirrorless cameras are inherently more dependent on battery power than DSLRs. Either the LCD display or the electronic viewfinder is on all the time. Furthermore, the fact that most manufacturers try to make mirrorless models as small as possible means that their batteries are also small, which also presents a limit on their capacity.

SIZE:

The most often claimed advantage of mirrorless systems is that they are much smaller than DSLRs. This is the main sell of mirrorless systems: the same size of sensor and image quality as offered by a DSLR without the bulk.

But there are often trade-offs in making a mirrorless camera body so compact, such as battery life, the way a camera handles with larger lenses, and how much space there is for external dials and buttons.

Small bodies also means small controls, and users with larger hands may not find smaller mirrorless bodies easy to use. This extends to touchscreens too, with virtual buttons and controls often too small for then to be keyed comfortably, so although the Nikon D850 DSLR seems huge in comparison to today’s full frame mirrorless camera, many of its pro users will prefer its size because it makes it much easier to see and change camera settings – and because it balances better with big lenses, which is what we cover in the next section.

Size has certainly been an issue in both ways with some photographers. Photographers who have had mirrorless cameras are coming back to the DSLR camera because it is easier to handle than the mirrorless cameras. And it also goes the other way: DSLR users are going to the smaller mirrorless cameras because they are smaller and not so much weight to carry around.

This is where you need to hold the two cameras, and see the difference in your hands. Then you can see which one feels the best for you.

LENSES:

DSLRs still have an advantage for lens choice, simply because they’ve been around and supported for decades. Anyone that opts for a Canon EOS DSLR today has 30 years’ worth of native optics to choose from, and many more when you factor in compatible third-party options. Nikon and Pentax are in a similar position with their DSLR ranges.

However, the development of new DSLR lenses has slowed dramatically. Canon and Nikon now put almost all of their lens development effort into mirrorless lenses. Not only that, wider mirrorless lens mounts and shorter back-focus ‘flange’ distances have given lens designers a blank slate, and many new mirrorless lenses out-perform older DSLR equivalents.

Nikon and Canon have been especially clever with their new full frame mirrorless cameras. Nikon makes an FTZ mount adaptor for using any of Nikon’s current DSLR lenses without restriction. Canon has also launched lens adapters for its EOS R full-frame mirrorless cameras, opening up its entire range of EF DSLR lenses to these cameras. Although putting a larger DSLR lens on a smaller mirrorless camera with the adapter, seems like you are defeating one of the reasons for having a mirrorless camera.

Panasonic’s healthy range of lenses for its mirrorless cameras is joined by further compatible options from the likes of Olympus, Sigma and Samyang and, for its full frame Lumix S models, there are lenses not just from Panasonic, but Sigma and Leica too.

Fujifilm and Olympus have also had time to develop their own native lens systems, to the degree that none of the mirrorless camera brands is now at any real disadvantage regarding lens choice.

HOWEVER, mirrorless camera lenses are non inherently smaller. Mirrorless camera makers can indeed demonstrate that their camera bodies are a lot smaller than their DSLR counterparts, but the same can’t be said for their lenses.

The Canon RF 28-70mm F/2L USM is a remarkable mirrorless lens, but just look at the size of it! (Image credit: Future / Matthew Richards)

It’s the sensor size that largely determines the size of camera lenses, not whether. the camera is mirrorless or not. Some mirrorless makers have produced small or retracting lenses that do offer a size saving, but when lens makers produce mirrorless lenses to match the specifications and performance of DSLR lenses, they end up pretty much the same size.

This not only undermines the ‘mirrorless is smaller’ argument, it produces handling issues with small-body-big-lens combinations. Sony’s A7-series camera bodies are remarkably small, but many of its lenses – especially its top-quality G Master lenses – are unexpectedly big. You might find yourself buying a battery grip for your mirrorless camera just to make it handle better with your favorite lenses.

VIDEO:

This is where mirrorless cameras have a considerable advantage, and for two main reasons. First, their design makes them much better suited to the constant ‘live view’ required for video capture. Second, this is where camera makers are concentrating their video capture technologies and where you’re going to get the best video features and performance.

But let’s not forget that DSLRs can shoot video too. The Nikon D90 brought HD video to the consumer market, and the Canon EOS 5D II brought DSLRs into the professional videography and film-making arena. 

For today’s DSLRs, video capture is a standard feature, and the Nikon D5, D850 and Canon EOS 5D IV offer 4K video capture, while the Nikon D780 is as effective for video as any mirrorless camera. 

Even so, when it comes to 6K and 8K capture, raw or 10-bit video, high frame rates and more, all the effort and development work is going into mirrorless cameras.

Don’t assume DSLRs can’t shoot video – the Canon EOS 5D IV is actually pretty good at it.

CONCLUSION: WHICH IS BETTER? DSLR OR MIRRORLESS

Read through all the advantages of each. See which one fits your needs better. Also, get to a store and compare the two formats. And then check out the viewfinder and see which way you like to go. The DSLR will give you a true image in the viewfinder, while the mirrorless viewfinder is a screen, like a small TV screen to look at. Which way would you like it? Also, take a look at the difference in sizes between the DSLR and the Mirrorless. The difference is size is not so great anymore as the DSLR manufactures have found ways to make their cameras smaller as well.

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TIPS ON HOW TO TAKE PHOTOS OF “SOMETHING WEIRD”

Photo by Bruce Warrington on Unsplash
51 DIFFERENT SUBJECTS FOR PHOTOGRAPHY! AND I AM GOING TO DO THEM ALL!

Going down the list of “subjects in Photography”, I still keep coming to this thought: “How did anyone ever come up with this list?” Because some of these subjects are really strange, and honestly, I don’t know that some of these are real subjects. So, I will attempt to cover each of these subjects, no matter how strange they are, because someone may find some great tips on how to do a special assignment.

And today’s subject is: “HOW TO TAKE PHOTOS OF SOMETHING WEIRD”. When I read that, the first thing that came to mind was: What might be weird to me, may not be weird to everyone else”. So, with that in mind, the best I can do is try to cover this subject from my perspective. At least the photos may be really strange, and at least entertaining.

Photo by David Kovalenko on Unsplash

As I was looking over the photos that are available to me, and the many different styles of “weirdness” you can find, the one thing I think makes a great “weird” photo, is just to take the photo when you see, and don’t let it pass you.

Have you ever seen something really weird, and did not take a photo, but, when you got to a group of friends or family, you want to tell them all about the “weird thing you saw this day, and you have to explain it, rather than just show them a photo.

Photo by David Kovalenko on Unsplash

We live in a wonderful world right now, as far as being able to take photos. If you don’t carry your camera with you, will certainly be the time you see something “weird”. So, your next best alternative is to use the camera that is built in to your cell phone. And the newer cell phones take pretty good photos. They won’t compare with a good DSLR digital camera, but, it’s what you got at the time, and it will work.

Photo by Xavier von Erlach on Unsplash

Now the time to take photos of “weird” things, is when it just seems so “out of the ordinary” for this to happen. This photo above, has a story to this, and that is why it becomes even “weirder” : Derelict scene of a piano played by a broken manequin. I came across this setting when walking in the middle of nowhere near the city of Vallorbe, Switzerland.

Photo by Alex Iby on Unsplash

Another thing to do to get some “weird” photos, is to have your family or friends help you create the “weird” Photo. Get some help from them by having them do the weird thing that makes them your friend. Everyone can pull faces, or stand on their head, so get pictures of that. It will be good for you collection as well.

Photo by Alex Iby on Unsplash

A photographer who captures great “weird” photos, is one who can just grab their camera, or their cell phone, and get it quick before something changes. These kind of images are usually rare and timing is everything.

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HOW TO TAKE GOOD PHOTOS OF CLOUDS:

two person on boat in body of water during golden hour
Photo by Johannes Plenio on Pexels.com
Special note: recently I was looking for a subject to write on for this blog, and came across another website that was showing how many different subjects there are on photography. And they came up with:

51 different subjects !

I have decided to take on that challenge and see if I can share my knowledge of all 51 different subjects.

FIRST ON THE LIST: TAKING PHOTOS OF CLOUDS !

white clouds
Photo by Ruvim on Pexels.com

In scenery photos, I believe the best photos will include clouds. Generally, as long as you have a foreground or a true landscape photo with the clouds in the picture, you can just follow the light meter. But, be aware of certain clouds that could throw the exposure setting off on your landscape photo.

Photo by Nicole Geri on Unsplash

If you have a lot of “white” clouds in your photo, the light meter of your camera may turn the rest of the landscape dark to compensate for all the white. The photo above has 2 issues to watch out for: 1- if you just use your light meter in automatic mode, the white clouds will probably not be white. They will be a darker shade, almost grey in color. That’s because the light meter thinks everything is grey. So, these clouds are not as white as they were in real life. 2- Also, because of that the landscape is now darker as well.

Here is a better view of what the image really was: The clouds are white, and now we have a better exposure of the landscape as well. Oh, there’s color in the landscape that was missed with the first photo. But, perhaps you like the first one better? You decide, but the first one is way underexposed.

What to do: make sure if you are shooting with automatic mode, try using your “over / under” exposure compensation dial, and over expose (+) your photo.

What if you want to make your clouds the important part of the subject, like a sunrise or sunset:

Photo by Igor Kasalovic on Unsplash

In this case, for a sunset, the clouds in the photo just adds to the colors. The capture the reflections they get from the actual sunset and make their own color. Often you can get this type of photo, just by using your camera in automatic mode. But, I would certainly experiment with this by taking the photo at what the camera light meter does, and then take one picture over expose (+) and then one underexposed (-) to see the color differences. It will mean the difference between a good photo and a bad photo.

I have on my Facebook page, a photographer that shoots the sunset every night, and the colors are incredible. I have someone else who lives in a different part of the valley shoot the same sunset, and I am bored. And then I saw it myself, and I will go with the first photographer. So, experiment with the exposure control even if you like what you got, and see if you can get a better one.

Photo taken by Lanny Cottrell

Now take a look at this above photo, with a variety of clouds and the mountains in brilliant color. This was taken with a circular polarizing filter, and this totally enhanced all the colors, plus, kept the exposure perfect. This is because there is more “scenery” in the photo than the clouds. But, look at that photo again, and picture it without the clouds. Not quite so pretty is it? So, clouds are truly important when taking photos.

seaside
Photo by Fabian Wiktor on Pexels.com

I love what another photographer put as the steps necessary to get good cloud photos:

1- Use all your lenses, telephoto zooms, wide angle lenses, general walk arounds. Zoom in, zoom out, photograph panoramas, shoot them both horizontally and vertically. But mostly shoot them wide and get as much into one scene as possible. You can always crop and resize as you wish later on.

2-Use a polarizing filter to help bring out as much detail as possible.

3- Photograph all types of clouds. Dark angry clouds, happy fluffy clouds, Cirrus and Cumulus are my personal favorites. Photograph them at sunset, sunrise, midday or midnight for that matter! Overcast days, sunny days, just keep shooting whenever you see a dramatic sky formation.

4- Keep your camera ISO setting low. Personally I don’t go over 200 ISO for clouds. You want to keep them clean and noise free.

5- Keep photographing clouds and the sky from every direction in reference to the sun and lighting as well. When you clone in a new sky the lighting on the main subject needs to match the lighting on the sky. After all, you want it to appear believable.

6- I set the lowest aperture f-number possible. A sky or cloud formation is so far away your camera aperture setting becomes virtually unimportant. Just make sure the camera is focusing on the actual sky and not a nearby object.

Another thing to watch for is the different timing on your sunset photos with the clouds. The photo above is a photo taken at “twilight”, which occurs after the sun goes down, and colors that you pick up are the purples and blues creating even a more beautiful sunset. Don’t just take your sunset photo and leave, wait to see if you can get some of the “twilight” colors too. You will be glad you did.

If you have any questions in regards to this subject, contact me at: question.123photogo@gmail.com

LEARN TO TAKE PICTURES RIGHT THE FIRST TIME!

woman taking picture near lake with view of mount fuji
Photo by Casia Charlie on Pexels.com

Photography has certainly changed a lot from the days when I first got involved in photography. The film era created real professionals, because they had to do it right the first time, because there was no Photoshop to help fix their mistakes. It kind of bothers me that almost every photographer relies on “Post Production” work to get their photo the way they want it.

So, what is the big difference between the “film” photographer and the “Digital Photographer” really? I think the difference is that film photographers had to use “filters” or “lens filters” to do some of the work that we do now with Photoshop (or equivalent). I think of the countless hours photographers spend now working their magic on Photoshop. The “film” photographer would have to know how to fix a photo by adding a filter on the camera lens, in order to get the photo to turn out the way they want.

I know now there are a lot of “film” photographers who still use filters when they take photos on their digital camera. I asked one why? He said, “so I don’t have to spend so much time in “post Processing”. I want to get it right the first time.”

So, this blog today is to introduce you to filters that you can use to get great photos the first time. Once you understand what filters will do for you, you can get time back on your side. Now, I admit I do use Photoshop and Lightroom occasionally, but, I know what filters will get me what I want so I don’t have to go use that “post production” stuff so much.

Today and tomorrow, I will spend time going over certain filters so that you too, might be able to take the photo right the first time. Understanding filters is just one more thing to learn in the great photographic world.

As you go through this article, you will see words in red. Clicking on that word in red will take you to a link on Amazon.com that will give you the price, and sizes needed to purchase these filters. I want to make sure you have all the tools available.

Let’s start off with the most important filter you can own. The UV Filter or the Skylight 1A filter is, by far, the most important filter you can own. How much do you value your lens you have on your camera now? Did you spend $100, $400, or more? The Skylight 1A filter or the UV filter has no real help for your current digital camera lens other than to protect it. All digital camera sensors have a UV/IR filter in front of the sensor, so there is no more need to use UV filters on DSLRs. But, it’s value is incredible. If you have ever dropped your camera, or imagine that it happens to you, you can probably guarantee that it will land on the front of your lens. If you have clicked on the links (the words in red), you will notice that these are not very expensive. Good ones are around $7.95 depending on the size. With the Skylight 1A filter and the UV filter, you might break that filter. But, it’s only $7.95! How much would it cost to replace your lens if you didn’t have that filter on there? Or to even get it fixed. I have recently heard a photographer who sent their lens in for repair, and the repair facility said it could cost up to $800 to repair it. It only cost him $400. Really photographers. You have to invest in your equipment or you may lose it in one small accident.

One thing you have to make sure before you purchase a clear filter, is that you buy high-quality glass with the special multi-resistant coating (MRC). The worst thing you can do is mount a low-quality filter in front of an expensive lens. Not only will it hurt image quality, but it will also add nasty reflections, ghosts, and flares to your images.

The next most important filter is:

The next most important filter to have on your lens is the polarizing filter.

There are two types of polarizing filters – linear and circular. Linear polarizers should not be used on DSLR cameras, because they can result in metering errors. Circular polarizers, on the other hand, are perfect for DSLRs and do not cause any metering issues due to their construction. Circular polarizing filters are essentially linear polarizers, with a second glass element attached to their back that circularly polarizes the light, giving accurate exposure results when the light hits the light meter. When the two elements are aligned at the right handle and orientation from the sun, the captured image could have more saturated colors, bluer skies, fewer reflections, and higher overall contrast. Polarizing filters can also reduce haze, which is very useful for landscape photographers. It reminds me that this piece of glass works a lot like the “dehazer” setting in Lightroom, and Photoshop. This filter eliminates the haze in the sky. Our eyes don’t really see the haze so much out there, but it’s there. Every little piece of dust floating out there in the air, actually reflects light, and thus causing a haze. The circular polarizing filter will take off the reflection from all those little dust particles, and give you a beautiful landscape photo. This is how they used to do it with film, and you can still do it with a digital camera.

You will find once you use this circular polarizing filter, you won’t leave home without it.

There are a couple of potential issues that you need to understand when using a polarizing filter:

  1. There is a minimum and a maximum effect of polarization, depending on the filter alignment. You should rotate the filter every time you compose for best results. Take a look at this example of minimum and maximum effect of polarization:
NIKON D700 + 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 26mm, ISO 200, 1/640, f/8.0

2- The effect of polarization changes relative to the sun. The maximum effect of polarization is achieved when the lens is pointed 90 degrees from the sun (in any direction). A simple trick is to form a pistol with your index and thumb fingers, then point your index finger at the sun. Keep pointing at the sun and rotate your hand clockwise and counter-clockwise. The maximum effect of polarization will be where your thumb points in any direction.

3- Avoid using a polarizing filter on ultra wide-angle lenses. You might end up with a partially dark sky that will be tough to fix in post-processing. Here is an example of what happens when using a polarizer on a wide-angle lens:

Wide-angle lens polarization

4- In some cases the maximum effect of polarization can result in an unnatural-looking dark blue sky as shown below:

Extreme case of polarization

I have seen photos enlarged, and hanging on the wall of this unnatural dark blue sky. So, some people really like it.

5- There is a loss of approximately 2 stops of light when using polarizing filters, so you should watch your shutter speed when shooting with a polarizer hand-held.

6- circular polarizing filters are typically thicker than regular filters and therefore can result in unwanted vignetting.

To avoid vignetting,circular polarizing filter should not be stacked with other filters. Due to light loss, you should also use a polarizing filter only when needed. In some high-contrast situations, it might be necessary to stack a circular polarizing filter with a neutral density filter (see below).

As you go through this article, you will see words in red. Clicking on that word in red will take you to a link on Amazon.com that will give you the price, and sizes needed to purchase these filters. I want to make sure you have all the tools available.

One more filter that is very valuable to have:

Neutral Density (ND) Filter

The purpose of neutral density filters is to reduce the amount of light that gets to the camera and thus decrease the shutter speed and increase exposure time. These types of filters are particularly useful in daytime, because of the abundance of light that cannot be significantly reduced by stopping down the lens aperture and decreasing ISO. For example, if you are photographing a waterfall and your starting point is ISO 100, f/2.8, 1/2000 that results in good exposure, stopping down the lens to f/22 will only slow down the shutter speed to 1/30 of a second. This would be too fast to create a “foggy” look for the falling water. By using an 8 stop Neutral Density Filter, you could slow down the shutter speed all the way to 2 seconds while keeping lens aperture at f/11 instead of f/22 (using apertures beyond f/11-f/16 in normal lenses decreases image quality due to diffraction).

A Neutral Density Filter does not have any color to it. It looks gray in color, but, it is a light reducing filter, not a change in color.

NIKON D3S + 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 32mm, ISO 200, 6 sec, f/9.0

That is all the filters that I want to explain today. There are 3 different types of filter categories. The protective filters that include the Polarizing filter as well as the Neutral Density Filter. The second group of filters would be the “Color Correction” filters (and we will discuss that on Thursday. And the third group of filters is the “special effects” filters. And we will discuss that on Friday this week.

Just a note: some of this blog or article was also written by Nasim Mansurov. The bulk of this article written by Lanny Cottrell of 123PhotoGo

Special items of interest:

DAY 8 OF 10 – LEARNING BASIC PHOTOS SKILLS: “ZOOM IN”

Day Eight: “Treasure” — Zoom In

Objects, places, people, moments — we all cherish something or someone. Anything deeply meaningful to you can be a treasure.

A treasure can be grand, like a precious heirloom, or teeny-tiny, like the first plump blackberry of spring atop a tart:

Or perhaps it’s the vintage coat passed down from your grandmother, your once-in-a-lifetime trip through the Himalayas, a quiet space in the woods, or your children. What’s your treasure?

Today’s Tip: Get close to your subject. Use the zoom function in your camera, or physically move closer to it. Often, our goal is to capture as much of a scene as we can. This time, zoom in on your subject or a particular detail to tell a more interesting story.

Day Eight: “Treasure” — Zoom In

So far, we’ve focused on establishing shots, horizontal and vertical images, and getting comfortable with moving around and experimenting with point of view. Today, get close to your subject.

Dragonfly resting on a branch in Ubud, Bali. Photo by Brie Anne Demkiw.
Dragonfly resting on a branch in Ubud, Bali. Photo by Brie Anne Demkiw.

As you photograph your treasure, consider photographer Brie Anne Demkiw’s tips on macro photography:

  • You may need special equipment to get a great close-up shot — not every camera can do macro photography. Simple point-and-shoots and iPhones are limited to how close you can get.
  • Try going abstract. Play around with how shapes, colors, and textures change as you get closer to your subject.
  • Experiment with shooting objects outdoors — shoot on a cloudy day for better lighting. Shooting outside on a cloudy day may impede your exposure a bit, but, for the real close shots, I recommend a tripod.

If you want to get real close, you will obviously need either close-up filters, or extension tubes for cameras. (click on those links). Or, if you have a camera that will take interchangeable lenses, a macro lenses will do the job very nicely.

DAY 1 OF 10: “LEARNING BASIC PHOTO SKILLS” – AT HOME !

cute stylish child playing with chalks in the garden t
Photo by Allan Mas on Pexels.com

Day One: “Home” — Get Oriented

When you think of home, what do you imagine? You might picture a house from your past, your favorite neighborhood hangout, or a city you miss. And while home is often found on a map, it can also be less tangible: a loved one, a state of mind, a forgotten time.

Here’s a literal (and tiny) interpretation of home:

What does home look like to you? Share an image in a new post.

Today’s Tip: Before we dive into this course, make sure you’re comfortable with your camera! Brush up and read your camera manual, or explore the features in your camera phone. You’re free to use any type of equipment, from your smartphone to a point-and-shoot, or your dSLR or something else.

Day One: “Home” — Get Oriented

Photo of the San Francisco Bay Bridge by Cheri Lucas Rowlands.
What does home look like to you? Photo of the San Francisco Bay Bridge by Cheri Lucas Rowlands.

If you’re just getting to know your camera, poke around. Press buttons. Find features like:

  • a switch to turn your auto-flash on/off
  • a button to zoom in and out
  • a switch to turn a grid on your screen on/off
  • other basic built-in editing tools

You won’t use these buttons and tools right away, but it’s good to know where they are.

Posting on the go? If you’re taking pictures from your iOS or Android device and want to draft and publish posts while you’re out and about, download the WordPress app (for iOS | for Android) and test it out!

THANKS FOR JOINING US FOR 10 MORE DAYS AS WE EXPLORE THE BASICS OF HOW TO GET COMFORTABLE WITH PHOTOGRAPHY. THIS COURSE DEVELOPED BY WORDPRESS IS A BASIC COURSE TO HELP YOU PRACTICE BASIC PHOTO TECHNIQUES SO YOU CAN MASTER YOUR SKILLS IN PHOTOGRAPHY. STAY WITH FOR 5 DAYS THIS WEEK, AND 5 DAYS NEXT WEEK.

HERE IS SOME MORE BASIC IDEAS OF SOME THINGS YOU CAN PRACTICE TAKING PICTURES OF, RIGHT AT YOUR HOME:

white and grey kitten smelling white daisy flower
Photo by Alex Bargain on Pexels.com
vegetables people garden agriculture
Photo by Kampus Production on Pexels.com
cozy rattan sofa with cushions in tropical garden
Photo by Skylar Kang on Pexels.com

DAY 10 OF 10: DEVELOPING YOUR EYE – “CONTRAST”

Day Ten: “Triumph” — Turn Up the Contrast

Triumph comes in all shapes and sizes: Your short story, accepted for publication in your favorite magazine. Your baby’s first step. Or the reward at the end of a cold winter walk: a massive elm tree standing beautifully in the light.

What does triumph mean to you?

Today’s Tip: Triumph usually denotes drama, no matter whether it’s big or small. Playing with contrast is a great way to enhance a photo for a more dramatic effect. Pump up the contrast in today’s snapshot.

Day Ten: “Triumph” — Turn Up the Contrast

Contrast in photography generally refers to the difference between the lights and darks in an image — and the interplay between white, black, and gray. When someone says a black-and-white photo has high contrast, oftentimes the white and black are prominent, while a low-contrast image includes subtler tones and layers of gray. In color images, contrast might refer to the juxtaposition of two bright colors, or a cold color (blue) next to a warm color (red).

Tips on increasing or decreasing contrast:

  • Increase to bring out bold accents (a red lantern, a yellow balloon).
  • Increase to make the blacks blacker, the whites whiter.
  • Decrease slightly to even out a blue sky.
  • Don’t boost the contrast too much — you’ll lose the details.
  • Tweak pictures of people with care — you can easily “wash out” faces.

You can use Photoshop, Lightroom, or other software to tweak the contrast on your images, but our favorite free image editors PicMonkey and Pixlr Express work great, too.

Here is a few more photos that show contrast, in both black and white and color:

Photo by Carlos Quintero on Unsplash

This concludes this series of “DEVELOPING YOUR EYE”. I hope you enjoyed this series and you had a chance to think about what you want to do in your photographs. Refer to these often to help you become a great photographer.

STARTING MONDAY, APRIL 26TH, DON’T MISS OUR NEXT SERIES OF “DEVELOPING YOUR EYE” -THE BASICS! Some simple things to think about as you learn photography.

Hungry for snacks? Click here: snack foods

Interested in what lenses are available for your camera? Click here: camera lenses

Want to try something amazing for your computer? Click here: computer launch pads

One of my favorite cameras was not a black camera, but a white one. See this beauty from Pentax: