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Photography Lenses - What You Need to Know

Photographic Lenses - A perspective from an avid shutterbug

Have you ever wondered why photographs turn out different than what you saw through the viewfinder? Why is my photography blurry or out of focus? How do I capture more of the subject area in the photo? How can I get closer to the subject? Why is the photograph darker than suspected? I have had these questions over the years and have studied photography lenses so that I can select the most appropriate camera and camera lens for my subjects.

Today, with the most wonderful world of photography , and the technology at hand, it is much easier to shoot those prize photos even for the weekend shutterbug. But, if you understand even a few basics your photographs can turn out much better than you anticipated. It has become really easy for anyone to pick up a point and shoot fixed lens digital camera and take a great photo. With the influx of many high end, high megapixel cameras available for under $200.00, anybody can put memories in their pocket.

I started out shooting photography and using several types of photography lenses in the early 1980's. My uncle introduced me to Pentax SLR equipment as he had a wholesale representative contact in Denver. I was able to purchase thousands of dollars worth of equipment for pennies on the dollar. And, so began the journey with my Pentax LX professional line of equipment. My photography lens arsenal was made up of many types such as wide angle, zoom, telephoto, macro, and standard camera lenses . I had a motor drive, high end camera flash, tripods, camera lens filters, lens hoods and more to get me started. As an athlete my first love was shooting sports which involved fast film, fast lenses, and a zoom lens. I soon fell into shooting landscapes, wildlife, and weddings. And, let me say, all for free. I loved taking pictures and giving them away to people who did not understand how to capture those prize memorable moments behind the lens.

So, what makes up the chemistry of photography lenses? How do they work and when should I use one over the other? Today it is so easy to get that all automatic digital SLR camera and lens and hope that the subject turns out as you thought it should. I think these automatic cameras are great. However, if you understand how to utilize other photography lenses in a manual mode you can still produce beautiful photographs. I actually have a Nikon D70 digital SLR camera today in addition to my Pentax LX and Nikon Coolpix pocket digital.
Photography Lenses Explained
Camera Lens Types:
  1. Wide Angle The wide angle camera lens enables the photographer to shoot a photograph when you wish to encompass more of the subject scene than would be possible with a standard lens such as a 50mm focal length. Wide angle camera lenses are typically a shorter focal length under 50mm and allow the photographer to change the perspective of the scene. A moderate focal length is about 24mm to 35mm that have apertures of F/2 or F/2.8 which allows more light in. There are also extreme wide angle lenses , called fisheyes, that can produce almost a 180 degree photo. These photographic camera lenses can be fun however, make sure you understand that the lens may produce a rounded image and the depth of field can be limited in low lighting conditions.
  2. Standard Standard lenses are typically the 50mm lenses. These are a fixed focal length and are the lens of choice on most SLR cameras . Everyone should have this camera lens . It typically will be used the most for everyday common photography. The 50mm standard lens is about what the human eye can see in the field of vision. It also produces the most relative size of the subjects and objects in the photograph. This camera lens can be one of the fastest lenses in your camera bag. It can be purchased with a low aperture of F/1.4 which will allow for very low lighting photographic opportunities.
  3. Zoom The zoom lens is my favorite lens. This camera lens gives the photographer so many options especially if you are not carrying two camera bodies with you. The zoom camera lens is not limited to one focal length but has movable elements in the lens that allow for multiple ranges. Zoom photographic lenses are available in many sizes but the typical lengths give you anywhere from 35mm - 70mm and 80mm - 200mm. I recommend these two lengths for the weekend hobbyist so that a full range from 35mm - 200mm can be achieved. These lenses can be expensive especially if the aperture is under F/4.0. They are typically not used in low lighting conditions or with motion photography unless you are shooting in daylight with sunny conditions. For most photography hobbyists, the 80mm - 200mm works great for sideline photographs and has enough focal length to capture images such as wildlife from a distance.
  4. Telephoto Telephoto camera lenses have a focal length that is longer than a normal 50mm lens. The longer the length of the telephoto camera lens the more magnification you can get and the closer you can draw near to your subject. These camera lenses differ from the zoom in that they are fixed and cannot provide the photographer a range of lengths. Most telephotos are used where the subject is static and situations where you are restricted to keeping your distance. They usually come with a smaller aperture somewhere around F/4.0. Careful selection and use must be made when using these lenses as they can be heavier and blur photographs with the slightest movement. I would recommend a tripod or monopod for use with lenses longer than 200mm. They are absolutely great for sports and wildlife photography. I have used anywhere from 100mm to a 500mm mirror telephoto. The 500mm mirror lens was really nice when shooting at an air show.
  5. Specialty There a couple of specialty camera lenses that I'll talk about. The first photographic lens that is a must for close- up photography is the macro lens. This lens can come in a few focal lengths that are typically less than 100mm. The macro camera lens enables the photographer the ability to shoot subjects extremely close-up such as flowers, insects, and commercial products. These camera lenses are really fun and can produce beautiful images that fill the frame with wonderful color and detail. I have done a lot of macro photography and recommend that a tripod be used when shooting these subjects so that blurring is limited. These lenses can also have lower apertures so that long exposure under low lighting can be accomplished. The other type of specialty lens is the perspective control lenses that will take close up photographs and keep the subject sharp in focus and prevent the depth of field from distorting the subject. I have not used these types of lenses so I cannot give you a real life example. However, for most non-professional photographers this lens may not be worth the investment. Finally, I will mention the 2x converter. This photography lens cannot stand alone but augment another lens by boosting the focal length by two times it's standard length. You simply add it between the camera and your lens of choice and the optical mirrors magnify the image by two. I use this often outdoors shooting sports on sunny days where I have a bunch of light. This will boost my 300mm zoom to 600mm. And, I can get really close to my subjects from the sidelines.

Photography lenses today provides the shutterbug an array of opportunities for photographic design. Depending on the type of photographer you are, it will determine the types of camera lenses you put into your camera bag. I would suggest that everyone has at least a mid-range zoom. If it is the only lens in the your budget at time of purchase, you can add other camera lenses later. The 35mm - 70mm would be my recommendation. If you are going to shoot athletics you will most likely be on the sidelines or in the bleachers and will need up to a 300mm telephoto or zoom. Depending on your budget I would suggest a lower aperture but nothing more than F/4.0.
Have fun and remember that you can take oodles of pictures today and test your photographs much easier with digital SLR photography . If you don't like your results, delete them. Then, go out and take more pictures!

To your photographic success.
Mark Brozovich is an avid photographer from Denver Colorado. He specializes in sports, landscape, portrait and wedding photography as a hobby. He got started shooting photographs with manual SLR cameras in 1980. His understanding of photography lenses grew as he became a serious photographer and now primarily uses a Nikon D70 Digital SLR camera for most of his photographic needs. Today, Mark helps people understand their cameras and photography lenses in person, in the field, and on his photography lenses web blog. Hopefully this information has helped you with some basic understanding of camera lenses and how they are used. For more information about photography lenses, cameras, and photography education, visit our site at
Mark Brozovich

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Knowing the Top Photography Schools in the US

The photography industry is one of the most lucrative industries. Many people have decided to enroll in a photography school in order to get hired as soon as they graduated. Enrolling in a top photography school increases the possibility that you will be paid with a higher salary. There are several top photography schools in the United States including American Intercontinental University, Boston University, Harrington College of Design, Brooks Institute of Photography and New York Institute of Photography.

The American Intercontinental University has one of the top photography schools in the United States. It has several campuses across different states. It offers both traditional and online courses. The lecturers are successful photographers who hold a day time job. The photographers will educate the students on different photography topics such as fashion, advertising, and etc, Boston University offers photography courses at the Center for Digital Imaging Arts. The certificate programs will teach students basic skills about taking photograph. Students will also learn about the business management skills.

Harrington College of Design offers an associate degree for applied science in digital photography. Students who enroll in this course will be prepared for the future workplace. Student will learn about photojournalism and how to conduct a photography business. Under the guidance of the lecturers, they will be able to develop unique artistic styles in photography.

Brooks Institute of Photography offers four types of undergraduate programs. Some of the undergraduate programs offered by Brooks Institute of Photograph include Visual Communication, and Professional Photography.

The New York Institute of Photography is a famous photography school in the New York City. It was established since many decades ago. It has a large campus and is rank as one of the world's largest photography school. Over twenty thousand students from different countries in the world are enrolled in this famous institution.

The International Academy of Design & Technology offers accredited photography degree. The photography degree course will teach the students how to use the industry standard cameras. Students will learn how to operate the software and lighting. In addition, the students will learn several career skills including wedding photography and portrait.

The Ohio Institute of Photography and Technology offer courses that allow the students to develop necessary skills for their career in photography. It offers several types of degree courses including professional and commercial courses.

Beside the schools stated above, there are other top universities that have photography programs. Many top universities offer online courses. People who are working can enroll in the online course. By enrolling in the online course, you don't have to attend the classes at the college. You can get brochures from the colleges to compare the tuition fee. The online course may be cheaper because you don't have to pay for the petrol fee and dormitory fee. When enrolling in a degree, you will be asked to provide the official script for the high school. The top photography schools are very selective in the students. Students that are enrolled in the program must show good performance at school. offers information about the Top Photography Schools for students that are interested in taking up degree program on photography.

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Secrets In Choosing The Right Style Of Wedding Photography On Your Wedding Day

What is Wedding Photography?

For most couples, this may sound an odd question to ask, most would answer that wedding photography is the kind of photography done during weddings. That is partly correct. But that over simplifies the meaning of wedding photography. The art of wedding photography has change tremendously in the past twenty years. Today it may even have a different meaning for each couple.

In the past, wedding photographers are technicians behind a black box almost mystical that very few would even try to operate it. Back then, wedding couples are hiring wedding photographers to produce wedding pictures of their big day. It is to simply record the event. And the one they chose might be doing six weddings a day.

In 2010, almost all wedding guests have their own digital camera that could produce well-exposed pictures at very minimal cost. What it means is that the professional wedding photographers must have something more to offer to their wedding couples. At the same time, the digital revolution also allowed wedding photographers the new technologies to offer something different. This is one of the reasons why wedding photography has improved compared to what it was years ago. It also attracted people who would never venture into wedding photography if not for the new technology of digital photography. Wedding photographers who at their prime offer beautiful and stunning photos that record the wedding in an artistic and narrative, sometimes evocative and most of the time in a flattering manner.

But it also means that being a wedding photographer today; one has to be able to offer something not seen before. True to the complexities of wedding photography today, it would not be true anymore that all wedding photographers are the same and that all wedding couples desire the same kind of photography.

Here is a Guide to Photographic Methods:

The good thing about the Internet is it makes it easy to research the work of a big number of wedding photographers. Check some photographers' website and you will be amazed by the different photographic styles.

Reportage photography is also known as documentary or photojournalism photography; it is best described to have an approach which simply covers and document the event without directing the wedding couple or its guests. Instead it tries to capture the event as it happens in the most natural and creative way possible.
Traditional wedding photography is use to describe the old fashioned way of lining up the wedding couple, their guests and family for traditional photos.

Contemporary wedding photography can be described as glossy which can be trendier than traditional wedding photography.

My humble advice is to look beyond the labels of wedding photography. It can be more confusing than being helpful in deciding which kind of wedding photography suites you as a wedding couple. Another reason is that the style often times is a combination of several photography styles anyway. Third, it implies that wedding photographers offer just one style of photography during their wedding coverage.

In reality, weddings offer a chance for wedding photographers to show different photography styles. Wedding photographers sometimes just can't ask the couple to move to a spot where there is a better light during the wedding ceremony. Also, it is quite often that couples expect to have formal photographs which show them at their best. Even the most modern weddings will require having traditional and formal family shots.

Many photographers excel in one style of wedding photography and emphasize their skill and it may even be part of their marketing strategy. Some would describe their kind of wedding photography as a mix of classical and modern. It may be a mix of reportage and contemporary. It is quite necessary to have a time with the wedding couple wherein they will be directed to be at their best. It will give them the kind of photographs that can be described as fine art. The limited time of weddings make it important for wedding photographer to be a good director.

Choosing Your Photographer

For couples, the best way would be to decide which wedding photographer is right for you is to decide together what kind of wedding pictures you expect You may want something traditional which means you like a professional account of the wedding day without having too much interruptions.

You may be a photography enthusiast as well, and desire to have a creative set of wedding pictures. You may be looking at high end and contemporary photography style.

Once you both as a couple decide on what type of wedding photographs you desire, you can start examining different galleries of photography for quality. Be warned that galleries represent the best work of photographers, so it is quite important to see a sample of a whole wedding to be sure of consistency.
Awards of excellence can help you decide which photographer could be best suited for your wedding. A membership to well know professional body is also something to consider.

It is of utmost importance that you as a wedding couple can communicate with the photographer and have the rapport to be able to share your wedding photography goals. As much as photography style is an important factor, you and your wedding guests would expect to have a high level of professionalism, organization and experience on your wedding day. Finally you need to consider the wedding packages being offered by the photographer.

Budgeting For Photography

There is no such thing as an appropriate budget for weddings. What can be more helpful is the percentage in terms of value to the total wedding cost.

Professional wedding photography will be what will define the memories of your wedding day. You are going to entrust a photographer to use his skills to document your wedding as if it was taken through your eyes. Discuss with your wedding planner what you think is the best budget for your wedding photography. A good wedding planner would be able to help you with the right budget and if you need to allocate more to get the kind of photography you desire.

The price of a good wedding photographer sometimes comes as a surprise to wedding couples. But quality wedding photography comes at a price. The better skilled a photographer is the higher the fees he can command. One should note that it is not a one day event for wedding photographers but it takes days to plan, shoot the wedding, and spend time on post processing the images and designing the wedding album Ultimately you as a couple must have to make the final decision on how important having a high quality of wedding photographer and if it the price is worth paying for.

Explore more of Nap Beltran powerful Internet Marketing Tips on Photography. Be sure to visit his blog for more tips on how to help your business succeed online. Visit for specific "how-to's", along with more all-free lessons, advice and, photographer's forum, contributor's gallery and much more. It's a MUST-VISIT for photo enthusiasts!

Nap Beltran is an Online Media and PR Consultant who has traveled the world and loves photography. He has attended photo courses [] and seminars in Manila. He is an award-winning wedding photographer in Manila who provides wedding photography services.
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By Co-Author: Ansel Scott Adams