Images by John 'K'

Life as seen through my lens…

Tag Archives: tips

Following the ball…

Another shared photography blog from B&H – written by sports photographer Chris Nicholson about photographing tennis games, but with a little adaptation can apply to a lot of sports photography…


Shooting at ‘The Gate’

The Golden Gate Bridge has to be one of the most photographed bridges in the world. It’s shape, it’s color, it’s backdrop (the beautiful city of San Francisco) just cry out to be captured.

It is such a prominent landmark that it can be seen for miles in the greater San Francisco Bay area, but there are a few places where you can take really spectacular pictures of this iconic bridge.

San Francisco from Mount Diablo

If you want to see the city of San Francisco in the background, you have to cross the bridge and almost immediately head west onto the Marin Headlands, up Conzelman Road. There are a number of stops up the road (each with allocated parking) where you can get out of your car and admire the view, and the further up the road you go the more your viewing angle of the bridge will change.

The Golden Gate Bridge at night 2007-03-31_San_Francisco (27)

If you want to get a different perspective on the bridge, you need to exit highway 101 just before you cross the bridge and head down Long Avenue to Marine Drive and get to Fort Point. From there you can see the bridge from sea level looking north with the beautiful hills of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in the background. This is a fantastic place to get a shot of the bridge as the sun sets as the setting sunlight will make the twin towers of the bridge glow golden red.

Golden Gate Bridge Golden Gate Bridge

For yet another interesting perspective, get onto the bridge itself. The towers that support the span look spectacular as they reach to the sky when photographed from close to their base. For fans of detail there are many interesting “bits” of the bridge that can be photographed when on it – for example the huge bolts that hold the bridge together or the cables that suspend the bridge.

Supported Strength Suspended

Another aspect that makes the bridge such an interesting subject is the climate in the San Francisco Bay. In the warmer months the bridge is often partially shrouded in fog, and it is possible to get some beautiful and visually stunning shots of the towers as they emerge proudly from it.

Another option is to take one of the many short cruises that will take visitors around the sights of the San Francisco Bay. From these frequent sailings you can get to view and shoot the bridge from underneath and from many different angles.

However you get to see it, the bridge makes for some beautiful pictures that will capture forever the beauty of this spectacular landmark.

I’ve put some of my shots of this beautiful bridge into a photo-set on Flickr. You can view it here.

Shooting the moon


Moon, 38% off, originally uploaded by Images by John ‘K’.

After much early experimentation trying to get something I considered to be a half-way-decent photo of the moon using the equipment I have, I came up with the following guidelines….. (these are based on my experiences with 2 Nikon cameras, a D40x and a D5000, usually with my AF-S NIKKOR 70-300mm 1:4.5-5.6 G lens – feel free to adjust this to fit your equipment!)…..

* Have no filters on the lens (you want as little unneeded glass between you and the moon as possible)
* Have the camera on a good tripod (if not possible, be sure to brace yourself against something solid)
* Don’t use VR unless you are shooting freehand (if the camera is stable you don’t need it)
* If you can (especially if on a tripod) use remote shutter, or timed shutter release (eliminates shake from shutter press)
* Set to spot focus and spot metering
* Use Shutter Priority
* Set shutter speed so the camera thinks the exposure will be dark (this will vary dependent on how full the moon is and what lens you have)
* Use as low an ISO setting as your camera will allow (ideally 100)
* Pre-focus the shot and then turn AF off for when you take it (sometimes AF will do funky things when you don’t want it to).
* If you want clarity, don’t shoot with the moon low on the horizon.
* If you really want clarity, you want the moon to be fairly high in the sky at a time when the sky itself still has some light (dusk).

Moon shots typically need a bit of post-processing, but be careful to not overdo it.

* Contrast and level adjustments give the most bang for the buck.
* Keep sharpening to a minimum.
* Do what you can to remove noise from the sky
* If the color is odd (and you don’t like that!!) consider converting black and white.

If you use my suggestions, please let me see how your shots come out! If you have a recipe of your own that works well, please share it!