How-to photography technique articles by professional photographer Philip Dunn

Photographing older people

Photographing older people can be a joy for many reasons. To start with, a lived-in face is usually more interesting than that of a callow youth. Also, older people are usually more generous with their time. So here are some tips of photographing older people.   I life story in every portrait It’s said that a person has the face he deserves by the age of forty. Maybe these days sixty would be more appropriate. Certainly as far as photography is concerned, the older a person gets the more of their life story will be…

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ISO Settings

With shooting modes, apertures, ISO settings, shutter speeds and white balance, it's not surprising novice photographers get confused - even before they point the camera. So what's the first thing to set on your camera before you go out and take pictures? Which camera setting to set first? I teach a great many novice photographers. Without exception they all get confused by the sheer number of settings on their camera. Nearly all ask the same question - which should I set first? The Aperture or the Shutter Speed? ISO settings Well, before you set either of…

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Photographing in fog
photographing in fog - colour saturation and shadows are drastically reduced

Photographing in fog

Foggy conditions can tranform almost any setting into a beautiful, mysterious or ominous scene. Photographing in fog can be hugely rewarding if you get it just right. However, there are some adjustments needed to your photo technique if your finished pictures are to capture what you actually saw with your own eyes.   Why is photographing in fog so difficult? On a foggy day, the air fills with tiny water particles. These scatter and redirect the light rays. This means that there are no hard shadows and the light appears flat. Subjects lose the '3D'…

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Photographing sunsets
Even a poor Balinese fisherman gathering supper for his family will stop to appreciate the beauty of a sunset over the sea. Don’t be afraid to point your camera straight into the light in these situations. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Photograph by Philip Dunn

Photographing sunsets

There’s more to photographing sunsets than just capturing the colour. Philip Dunn reveals how you can inject more visual appeal, drama and romance into your sunset pictures.   Composition and good camera craft Sunsets have always attracted photographers and artists, and so they should. But there’s more to capturing a photograph that demands attention than just pointing a camera at a colourful sky. It is unlikely that you will need to improve on the colour of a really good sunset, either with filters or in Photoshop. However, if you want to capture the romance and…

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Capturing the action
Precise timing has caught the exact moment when this beach tumbler's fingers have touch the sand. It's a photographer's skill that does not need 'continuous' shooting mode

Capturing the action

There’s more to capturing the action than simply freezing the movement by using a fast shutter speed and shooting at 10 frames per second. Philip Dunn explains that good action photography starts with anticipation and an understanding of your subject. It is far more important to capture the right moment than freeze the wrong one No motor-drives, or multiple-shooting modes were used when capturing the action in the picture above. It was taken on a basic Nikon F2 many years ago in the West Indies. I captured the action simply by pressing the shutter at…

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Photographing craftsmen and women
William was keen to show me the sailmaker’s palm used by his grandfather and still in use today. This was the ideal opportunity to take a close-up of his strong-work-calloused hands. I preferred this in black and white. Photography by Philip Dunn

Photographing craftsmen and women

Photographing craftsmen and women is, for me, always a joy. Call them artisans, makers, or skilled workers, these are the capable people who can create things with their hands. Practical, dexterous and accomplished, they are almost always worth photographing, and they often work in photogenic places. The sailmaker Everything about the sailmaker’s loft was purpose-built to inspire a photographer. That included William Leitch himself. He is the sailmaker and owner. A big, gentle, bear of a man with a great bushy beard and a mischievous twinkle in his eye. William is the third generation of…

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Nervous of photographing people in the street
The chap didn'r see me photographing him groping about in the water, but when he grabbed a fish in his bare hands, spotted the camera and showed off his catch with a great big smile on his face

Nervous of photographing people in the street

Too nervous for Street Photography? Are you nervous of photographing people in the street? Frightened they may see you pointing a camera at them? Just what's the first thing to do if your subject spots you taking that candid shot? It's easier than you think Here, Philip Dunn offers advice from his long experience covering Travel and Street Photography for The Sunday Times and other major newspapers and magazines. Many photographers share this dread of being caught red-handed taking a candid picture; they feel embarrassed, exposed and vulnerable. Positively the first thing to do is…

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NEW Street Photography Workshop date
A fun candid shot of a butcher chatting on the phone in Shrewsbury's wonderful indoor market hall. It was taken during one of our Street Photography Workshops. Photograph by Philip Dunn.

NEW Street Photography Workshop date

Here's a NEW date for the next Photography Workshop with Philip Dunn Street Photography Workshops in Shrewsbury  - the next workshop will be on Saturday 26th January 2019. From 9.30am to 12.30am. So something special to look forward to in the New Year. New approach to your photography The tricks and photo techniques you learn on these workshops could be the starting point of a whole new way of approaching your photography. Street Photography has been the mainstay of my career since I left The Daily Express way back in 1986 and turned my back…

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Hand-held flash – a student’s question
Irene's shot of Venice. It's a great attempt, but Irene's has not quite pulled it off - just a bit too dark. Why?....

Hand-held flash – a student’s question

Hand-held flash - get the balance right with available light I was taking about hand-held flash in my previous post. A long-time student of mine, Irene Dunton, commented that on her recent trip to Venice she had tried the technique of using a time exposure with flash. Her results proved a little disappointing, so she asked me what went wrong. 20 second exposure and flash Irene wrote: "I had a bash at this technique just last week in Venice. I did a long exposure of San Georgio Maggiore (20 secs) and towards the end fired…

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Shropshire One-to-One Photography
Landscape Photography in the Shropshire Hills. Brian Pierce on his Shropshire one-to-one photography course. The weather closed in soon after this picture was taken - but not before we had managed to get some good photographs of this wonderful scenery

Shropshire One-to-One Photography

It's been a busy time with the Shropshire one-to-one photography courses this last few weeks, and I've certainly had to cover a wide range of interests and needs from the photographers On my Shropshire One-to-One photography courses I seem to have entertained just about everyone. From keen landscape photographers to students who wanted to get to grips with the mysteries of Street Photography. There have even been several photographers who preferred not to go out taking pictures at all - what they really wanted was to sit and talk about camera techniques and how to…

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