Entries by Mat Mackenzie

Prime Lenses

A great way to improve your photography is to buy a prime lens. Primes (fixed focal length lenses that don’t zoom) force you to move around to fit things into the frame, rather than just stand where you are and zoom in or out. Moving around is key to getting a great shot, and the […]

File Formats

Should I use RAW, TIFF or JPG formats for my photos?…… All of them! RAW for shooting, TIFF for processing, and JPG for publishing. RAW, as the name suggests is not really a photo file format, rather it is the raw data captured by your camera’s image sensor. A RAW file contains much more data […]

A Different Perspective

Our minds are very sensitive to perspective in the way we interpret what we see. We can exploit this in photography by the use of wide angle and telephoto lenses. For example, the stretched perspective from a wide angle lens signals to the viewer that the camera is very close, and hence gives the impression […]

Lens Sweet Spot

If you are taking a photograph of something flat, depth of field doesn”t matter, so it doesn”t matter what aperture you use – right? Wrong! Lenses all have a “sweet spot” – the aperture at which they produce the sharpest images. This is usually about 2 stops smaller than the maximum aperture of the lens. […]

Straight Horizons

Remember to keep those horizons straight. This is just about the simplest way to improve your pics. If your camera has a grid overlay on its screen or viewfinder, use it all the time. Don’t be afraid though to sometimes shoot at crazy angles for creative effect. Just make sure the angle is sufficient so […]

Thoughts on Composition

Some of my thoughts on composition… The art of composition is the selective exclusion of unneccessary objects from the frame. Less is almost always more. Good compositions comprise few stong visual elements arranged in a balanced manner. Try squinting or defocussing your eyes briefly as you look through the viewfinder to take your attention away […]

Better Holiday Snaps

For better holiday snaps, try placing the person you are shooting one third into the frame rather than right in the middle, with space for that great view in the other two thirds. Ask the person to stand at 45 degrees to you and turn their head only to face the camera. Finally, use your […]

Ramsgate Night Session

Last Saturday I had the pleasure of joing the East Kent Cameras Flickr group for a night-time shoot at Ramsgate Harbour. Despite intermittent drizzle, air quality was good, and the sparkling lights in and around the harbour made for some great photography. Once fully dark, all available light generally comes from artificial sources, creating a […]