Think the Reciprocal Rule is safe? It fails with high resolution cameras

Esther BeatonBird Images, Photography Techniques, Photography Workshops, Quick Tips, Wildlife Photography

Tawny Frogmouth (Podargus strigoides) on nest among casuarina trees, Lake Tuggerah, Central Coast, New South Wales

The reciprocal rule is handy to know when you are hand-holding your camera, especially with a long lens attached. It states “always use a shutter speed whose reciprocal is faster than the focal length of the lens”. So if you’re hand-holding a 500 mm lens, you have to use a shutter speed of 1/500 or faster. I still don’t fully trust … Read More

Tripods and heads for Bird Photography

Esther BeatonPhotography Equipment, Photography Techniques, Photography Workshops, Quick Tips, Wildlife Photography

Gimbal head holding 200-500 mm zoom lens on Benbo tripod.

A tripod comes with three features: the legs, the head and the mount. Each is an important choice. Needless to say, the more solid and heavier the tripod, the more sturdily it will hold your long lens. A well-built tripod will last decades (like my magnificent and trusty Benbo as you can see by these pics). The legs should splay … Read More

Photo Tip – Plan The Shots for Your Editorial Assignment

Esther BeatonAustralian Geographic, Photography Techniques, Professional Photography, Quick Tips

Here’s a tip for covering an editorial assignment. I’ve shot features for many magazines, but my favourite is the geographic assignment, so those are the sample photos I’ll use. The key to a successful feature in a magazine, geographical or otherwise, is diversity. To achieve that: Be sure to have three types of shots: long shots, mid-range shots and detail … Read More

Don’t frame too tight

Esther BeatonBird Images, Cute Animals, Nature and Wildlife, New South Wales, Photography Techniques, Quick Tips, Wildlife Photography

Sometimes, when I’ve been judging photo competitons, I’ve had to evaluate an image where the subject in the photo is wedged so tight in the frame that you get an uncomfortable feeling looking at it. When I’ve commented that “there’s no room to breathe” the photographer usually rebuts me by saying “but I’ve been criticised in the past for not cropping tight enough!” … Read More

Waterfall Trickery

Esther BeatonLandscape Photography, Photo Critiques, Photography Workshops, Quick Tips

It’s great when you learn from your students. The last Day Safari workshop was a big fun day out. We shot wildlife in the morning and waterfalls in the late afternoon. Participants quickly understood how to use different shutter speeds to create various amounts of “silkiness” in the waterfall. But my students taught me something about these waterfalls that I never … Read More