In this week's "Ask us Anything" we received some great questions about the best resources to learn Adobe Lightroom; how on earth do we use our camera when it's so humid outside; and some tips for night time photography.
Question: When I tried to use my camera during the summer months, the lens just completely fogged up with the humidity and pics where so blurry. I didn't use my camera again as was afraid it would get damaged. Do you continue to use your camera outside when it's so humid???
Yes the humidity is something we have to contend with a lot in the UAE especially during the summer or travelling to humid climates.
A couple of things to keep in mind would be:
- never remove your camera lens / change lenses when it's humid and your camera is steamed up as this exposes the sensor to water vapour
- use your camera bag as a bit of a 'buffer' between the inside air conditioned temperatures and the outside humidity. I.e. put your camera bag outside for 10 minutes before you want to use it outside / when you bring it in, put it back in the bag. This way it can more easily adjust to the change of temps. - you can use your lens cleaning towel to wipe the humidity off, but it will keep returning....best to just let the whole unit adjust at it's own rate as unfortunately there's not much you can do until it has adjusted itself! Hope that helps. It does involve a bit of planning in advance to let your camera adjust - this is probably when the phone camera comes in useful to use as a backup!
Question: I'd love info on photo editing please. Best tools to learn by myself.
There are three ways you can do this, by yourself / via an online course / via an in-person course.
To be honest the quickest way is going to be learning via an in-person course. Ask around, look and see if any local colleges, community centres, small photography businesses offer something like this. The downside of an in-person course is that you can often feel totally overwhelmed by getting all of the info in just a few hours!
If you would really just prefer to learn yourself, then head to You Tube and you will find loads of videos. That's how I learnt! I signed up with Adobe online and then just started from there, then referring to You Tube for anything specific, from the super simple questions like 'how to open a photo in Lightroom' to 'what is a radial filter and how do I use it'!
By learning yourself, you really know how to troubleshoot / find out the answers yourself and you get into your own workflow very quickly.
Question: How can I maximise night time photos without using flash?
There's a couple of things to talk about with night time photography - I feel like this could be a whole complete workshop! In a nutshell....
- the whole creative process comes down to LIGHT and using what you have. Artificial light, street lights, ambient light, fire light, torch light (having your phone with you is very useful for this - you can use the torch as a light source), tv screen light....it's all a light source and can be used!
- remember to open up your aperture as much as possible for your camera and lens combination. f1.4 / f2.8...as low as it will go!
- this is where the extreme ISO's come in - so push your ISO as high as you can. YES you will get grain but that's part of the trade-off for getting a decent night time shot (and helpfully, 'grain' seems to be on-trend at the moment!)
- remember that to get an in-focus steady image your shutter speed needs to be a MINIMUM of 1/60 seconds, and for moving children, 1/125 seconds. So you will be really pushing your camera to work at its extreme!
- tripod / a flat secure and safe surface...is your best friend at night. For me it's totally impractical to take a tripod with me unless I am purely shooting a night time landscape. It's just bulky and another thing to carry. So, you need to find a good sturdy and safe surface to pop your camera on. Then you can start pushing your shutter speed to slower than 1/60 seconds as you won't get as much camera shake. If you're still noticing camera shake from the process of simply pressing the shutter button then buy yourself a remote shutter and then there is literally nothing touching the camera to make it shake.
Hope that helps!
Natalie and Lianne xx