Best Recommended Filters for Landscape Photography

Having a variety of filters to choose between is essential for many landscape photographers. The use of filters allows you to control light and achieve certain picturesque effects. It’s true that some of these techniques can be done in post-processing but the result is rarely as good; filters are often preferred in order to remain the highest possible quality.

That being said, they can also be rather expensive and it can be difficult to choose which filters to get. Hopefully, this introduction to the recommended filters for landscape photography will make it a little easier to understand what you need.

Neutral Density Filters

Neutral Density Filters are placed in front of the lens to reduce the amount of light entering the camera. This makes it possible to use a slower shutter and create motion blur and/or create a shallower depth of field.

Let’s say that you are photographing a waterfall and want the water to be silky. To achieve this, you’ll need a shutter speed of 5 seconds, known as a long exposure. You might be able to reach that shutter speed by using the narrowest aperture but this will also impact that image quality.

If you instead want to use the optimal aperture for landscape photography, achieving the 5-second shutter is not possible unless you’re photographing in dimmed conditions. That’s when an ND Filter comes in handy; being a darkened piece of glass it reduces the amount of light passing through the lens, allowing you to use a longer exposure to get the desired effects.

I needed to use an ND Filter in order to get a silky effect in the water

Top 12 Bird Photographers in the World

Photography is a pleasurable experience for sure. Bird photography is mind-blowing because of the variety. They are also challenging to photograph. You wouldn’t get tired anytime.Here’s a list of 12 top bird photographers in the world who are never tired. They are photographing birds from several years to decades. They will continue to do so.

Their bird photographs are magical. Some are out of this world. They are unbelievably good.You know the secret of creating good to great bird photographs?

It’s quite simple. Study their bird photographs.

Don’t just say wow. Look in deeper. Imagine how they would have taken that shot. What if you were there? How would you take it?

The more you think of it, better your photographs will become. It’s the easier route to success in bird photography.

OK. Enough said. Here’s the list of the mighty bird photographers who will make your day. They will put a smile on your face. They will make you get up and get going with your gear.

1. Alan Murphy

Alan Murphy is an award winning photographer with numerous publications, a Nikon Professional Service member, a Wimberley Professional Service member, the author a CD book entitled The Guide to Songbird Set-Up Photography, and the author of two popular eBooks “The Photographer’s Guide to Attracting Birds” and “The Guide to Songbird set-up Photography.”

Alan Murphy. Top 12 Bird Photographers in the world. Best Bird Photographers in the world. Nature Photography Simplified.

He enjoys traveling the country speaking at festivals and photo clubs.  Alan and his wife Kim raise their children in the Houston area, where he can be found immersing himself in the local and migrating birds along the coast, valley and hill country of Texas.

These 7 Incredible Wildlife Photographers Are Some Of India’s Best

Wildlife photography is widely believed to be one of the most challenging and rewarding genres of photography, in that the subject of the photograph is dynamic. Animals move, they blink, they turn their heads or they fly off in some cases. Every encounter comprises a thousand bad photograph opportunities and if you’re lucky, a couple of good photo-ops. Photographers have to be vigilant enough to be able to capture the perfect moment.

Wildlife in India is abundant and diverse, to say the least. The sanctuaries and national parks across India provide wildlife photographers an incredible outlet for their work and wildlife photography is far more significant than a majority of us realize. Their work, whether purposeful or not, are a visual representation of the much larger cause of wildlife conservation. Several species of animals are dangerously close to extinction and documenting these animals ultimately leads to the masses being educated about issues that inevitably throw the eco system out of balance.

Homegrown introduces you to a few Indian wildlife photographers that are actively participating in raising awareness for the cause using their wonderful work as vehicles.

I. Rathika Ramasamy

DD National has featured Rathika as the first woman wildlife photographer in India. Based out of New Delhi, she started her stint in wildlife photography in 2004. She was quickly drawn to bird photography and now she specializes in the field. Over the last decade, she has traveled to most national parks and sanctuaries in North India and Africa to document some of the rarest bird species – many of which are endangered.

Her work is an endeavor to educate people about the rich natural resources this country possesses and the importance of preserving them. Ramasamy has also had her work showcased by numerous domestic and international publications. She went on to be I. selected as one of the top bird photographers in 2008 and her work was exhibited alongside several other bird photographers. Her first book, ‘Bird Photography’ was published in 2010.

Best 10 Tips to Help You Become A Better Nature Photographer

When it comes to improving upon your nature photography,  you are already an expert because you love being outdoors and camping close to nature. That love will naturally lead to some great shots so the good news is, you can continue glamping and use these extra 10 ways to become a better nature photographer while having a ball!

1. Go for a different angle, on a rock or picnic bench to shoot down at the subject or squat down and shoot up.


2. Use flash with a night portrait setting right after sunset to brighten up the low light of twilight.


3. To grab a sweet shot of tall trees,  lay flat on the ground and try different views.


4. Take extra time and shoot the same photo on several different device settings.  For example, night portrait, bird-watching, sunset, moon and then automatic.  Jot down the settings and study the photos later to get a good grasp of what your device will do for you.

How To Take the Most Breathtaking Nature Photos Ever

Everyone loves a good nature photo. Whether it’s capturing the majesty of a bear catching a salmon as it jumps from a stream, the grace of an eagle skimming across a mountain lake, or simply the beauty of long, rolling hills in the afternoon sunlight, there’s peace and beauty in these images that can inspire and leave us in awe. It’s enough to want to try your hand at it yourself sometimes.

However, many people feel that they don’t have what it takes to be able to take amazing nature photos, either because they don’t have the right equipment or education. This couldn’t be farther than the truth. In fact, nearly anyone can learn to take the most breathtaking nature photos ever – all without having to spend years studying the art or spending hundreds of dollars on expensive, high-tech camera equipment. In fact, all you need is time, dedication, and to keep just a few important tips in mind.

The Rules of Photography

Rules of PhotographyPretty much anyone can take a picture, and sometimes you might stumble into one or two situations where those pictures turn out interesting, artistic, and enjoyable to look at. However, there are ways you can approach your picture-taking with an eye towards producing a higher number of better quality photos overall, and all it takes is to keep a few “rules” in your head while you’re lining up a shot. Luckily, they’re all fairly simple and easy to keep in mind.

Rule 1:

One of the simplest rules – and the most versatile – is to try to avoid putting the subject of your photo in the center. This might seem like an odd thing to do, especially when it comes to nature photos – but you need to remember that the subject of your photo isn’t going to be the only thing in it. This isn’t like you’re taking a posed picture in a portrait studio with a nondescript background behind your subject; you’re trying to capture the entirety of the world as it exists around whatever it is you want to showcase, and one of the best ways to do that is to photograph your subject off-center. This will draw the viewer’s eye much better.


A well executed portrait has the ability to stir incredibly strong emotions deep inside of us. It can sum up a mood, environment, and sometimes an entire person’s being in a single image. The criteria for what makes a portrait “good” is completely subjective of course, but there are many photographers who are pushing the boundaries of this art like it’s never been pushed before. Here are 12 portrait photographers working today, who are leading the way in exploring this art form.

1. Erik Almas

Almas hails from Norway, and has made a name for himself with his beautiful composite landscapes and portrait work. He utilizes his lighting wonderfully and draws out some very intense moods.

©Eric Almas

2. Steve McCurry

Probably best known for his extensive shooting throughout India, McCurry has an incredibly colorful and vivid style. He’s been honing his craft for over three decades and has published over a dozen books.

Steve McCurry 2

“What is important to my work is the individual picture. I photograph stories on assignment, and of course they have to be put together coherently. But what matters most is that each picture stands on its own, with its own place and feeling.”– Steve McCurry

©Steve McCurry

10 Christmas Photo Ideas for Making Personal Christmas Cards

‘Tis the season to be creative. And what better way to show off your photography skills than with some personalised Christmas photo cards? Here are ten of the best examples and how to capture them.

10. The Funny Christmas Card

Everyone’s family loves a little comedy around Christmas. And if they don’t, even the more reason you need to make one. The only limit here is your creativity. Many families (and single people) capture themselves with alcohol. But, if that really isn’t your bag, then take a note from this Scandinavian photography group below.

To make it Christmas themed, look at all the connotations that surround this time of year. Santa, reindeer and elves are just one part, so expand your range to gifts, trees, snow, singing… The list goes on. These Christmas photos are great for friends, and families that are fun loving and easy-going. But we don’t recommend these Christmas photo ideas for your boss.

9. The Matching PJs

For a relaxed Christmas photo cards image that is neither comical, nor entirely serious, go for matching pyjamas. This shows the family in their habitat, loose as a Christmas goose. It’s a little more intimate, showing how the family are together on Christmas day.

How to Take Great Smartphone Photos (No Matter the Light!)

Some days have such good lighting conditions for photos. Street, portraiture – every kind of smartphone photography is a dream when you have the best lighting. But some days the light is so awful you want to leave your camera at home and forget it exists.

That’s what we’re here to change. With these few tips, we’ll show you how to make the most of every lighting situation. From direct sunlight to your phone’s flash.

8. How to Tackle Direct Sunlight

Taking photos in direct sunlight often creates unappealing images. Apart from the bad shadows, the harsh lighting often blows out the highlights of your image. But sometimes there’s no avoiding it. Photography moments don’t wait around for us to get the right light. Here’s what to do to never miss a shot again. The first strategy you can try is to look for shade. Shooting under the cover of trees or a building allows you to limit the harsh light hitting your subject.

If you have to shoot out in the open, then do it before or after 12pm. Why? Because it’s during this time when the sun is the highest (and harshest) in the sky. Wait until it starts to come back down, so it shines on your subject at a better angle.  Finally, you should also adjust your exposure to prevent losing your highlights. Make sure you do this every time you shoot. Otherwise, you’ll lose a lot of detail once you try to edit your image.

7. How to Make the Most of the Golden Hour

So you’ve survived the harsh midday sun. Your photography reward is the golden hour. This happens right after sunrise or before sunset. And it’s the perfect light for different types of photography. The golden hour is ideal for taking portraits because it makes the skin glow. All you have to do is take photos and let the light do its magic. The golden hour also has the best lighting for silhouettes. Since the sun sits low on the horizon during this time of the day, it provides natural backlighting.

How to Create Cinematic Looking Portraits

Cinematic photography looks like a screen grab from a movie. It involves controlled lighting and composition, lens choice and model direction. And some post-processing know-how. In this article, I will show you how to create portraits with a cinematic look and feel to them.

Camera Orientation for Cinematic Portraits

The camera aspect must be horizontal to create a cinematic portrait. Movies have a wider aspect ratio than still cameras. You need to keep this in mind when you are composing your portraits. Leave enough space above or below your subject. Or you will not have room to crop it well. And turn your camera or viewfinder’s grid display on. This will help you make your portraits fit the right dimensions.

Visual Story Telling

Movies are about storytelling. Cinematic portraits must tell a story as well. They need to tell the viewer something about the character. But this does not always need to be obvious. Creating a photographic story is about directing the model and composition. You need to communicate well with your model so they understand what you want from them. They need to know your vision and the idea you want to express through the portrait.

The photo below was one of the first I made during a two day session in Bangkok. My model was nervous and it was showing. But I explained I want natural looking photos. The aim was to focus on her with the other three models in the background. I talked her through it and she understood the intention. Then I suggested she use her phone as a prop. She called a friend and chatted with her. And the result is a natural portrait. Everything around your model is important to story telling. If there are elements in your composition that do not support your story, remove them.

How to Choose the Right Camera Settings for Portraits

Choosing camera settings for portrait photography can be difficult. And knowing which lens is best is even more so. Let’s take a look at each basic setting to know and lens options so that we can clear up some confusion for you.

Which Lens?

Before we even talk about camera settings for portraits, let’s discuss the lens. Many focus on the camera brand and model. But the piece of gear that has a major effect on the final look of a photo is the lens. It’s hard to know whether you want a telephoto lens, a mid-range prime lens, or a wide angle. To be honest, it often comes down to personal preference and what you have envisioned for the final look.

If you want a classic portrait look with a very soft bokeh, use a telephoto. The 70-200mm/f2.8 is a great example of a solid lens for this look. If you’re tight on space or want to have the background play a bigger role in the photo, try a 50mm or 85mm lens. If you’re looking for a more dynamic and off-beat effect, try a wide lens for portraits! You do need to keep in mind subject placement in the frame, though. The lens distortion will be much stronger with a wide angle. It will become more noticeable on the edges of the frame. I also encourage renting lenses before purchasing. A lens can cost just as much as, if not more than, your camera body.

Shooting Mode

You know what I’m going to say here. First, you need to get out of Auto mode! You want to be shooting in full Manual mode. It gives you the most control and consistency. This can be tough at first, though. If you’re not quite ready to take the leap to Manual mode, try switching to Aperture Priority mode. This will give you control over aperture. And it will let the camera choose the shutter speed. The ISO is set to what best fits your shooting conditions.