quick tips

How to photograph the Aurora Borealis

This year (2013-2014) is a good time for seeing the Aurora Borealis (and its lesser-known Southern twin, the Aurora Australis) – commonly known as the Northern- and Southern Lights. I have my heart set on seeing the Lights with my own eyes in the coming year, so in this post I’d like to talk about how one can best prepare for capturing this natural wonder.

A friend, Bart Vastenhouw, travelled to the region of Varanger in Norway to see and photograph the lights. Here is one of the photographs he came back with:Aurora at Varanger

Bart captured this beautiful scene using a Canon 40D and Canon 10-22mm F3.5-4.5 wide-angle lens. The 40D was a good camera, but these days there are better ones to choose from. The lens is decent too, but for best results you’d want a wide angle with larger aperture (F2.8 or faster).

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Find your stolen camera online!

If you ever had a digital camera stolen (I have) you know how disruptive and frustrating it is. And in the worst case you may lose valuable photographs, making the loss all the more upsetting!

Did you know that most modern digital cameras store the camera’s serial number in every photo? This digital fingerprint is called the EXIF data, and accompanies every RAW or JPG file that comes out of your camera. While easy to modify or remove, most people don’t ever tamper with this data. Not even camera thieves.

Today I came across a website that can examine a photo taken with your camera before it was stolen, and then search the internet for photo’s taken with it. So if the camera thief or an unsuspecting new owner uploaded any photos with your camera you might be able to track it down!

Visit stolencamerafinder (http://www.stolencamerafinder.com/) to see for yourself. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to find any photos taken with either my or my girlfriend’s stolen cameras online, but maybe your results will be better. Give it a try!

Don't make these 10 photography mistakes!

Joe McNally is an American photographer who has been shooting for the National Geographic Society since 1987. On his blog, he lists 10 common photography mistakes that everyone — from beginner to pro can, but shouldn’t, make.

Joe McNally (photo: Wikimedia)

Here is what he has to say about it:

“My buds over at LIFE.com asked me to come up with a list of common mistakes folks make when starting out with a camera in their hands. Okay. No shortage of material here, right? And they came to the right source, ’cause I’ve made every mistake, basic and advanced, that one could possibly think of. Hell, I’ve even invented some mistakes.”

It’s not rocket science, so go ahead follow this link to check it out on his blog:

Mistakes at joemcnally.com


As a bonus, each of the 10 tips is illustrated with a catchy photograph.