Exposing the Beauty in the World Through Photography

10464235_10152636104342974_1582681524266914651_nFor as long as I can remember I have been taking photographs but it has only been in the last two years where it has really taken off for me. I owe a lot of that to Instagram. I joined Instagram last January and my photos were immediately a big hit. I reached 1,000 followers in a month and 10,000 by six months. My follower number now sits at 40,000 and rising.

I started out shooting with an Olympus point and shoot camera. It was not expensive but it had a great 30x zoom. I loved it and it helped me grasp the vital and basic understanding. All my knowledge has been self taught through trial and error. I have never attended any photography classes or paid for any courses. Photography has always been a hobby and it suddenly dawned on me that I could carry my talents further into something professional so I saved up and bought myself a Nikon D7100.

Smooth water sunset from chapel 3 copy

Smooth Water Sunset from Chapel © Danny Coy (WildCoyPhotography), PhotographyBlogger.net

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© Danny Coy (WildCoyPhotography), PhotographyBlogger.net

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© Danny Coy (WildCoyPhotography), PhotographyBlogger.net

I’m always asked for advice on what makes photos better or how to start out shooting amazing images and the best piece of advice I can honestly give is to switch to manual mode. It WILL take a while until you are happy with manual mode but then one day it will suddenly click and you will be able to adapt to different lighting and apply your own unique touches on images. This for me is what separates the professionals from the amateurs.

When you are confident with manual mode then you can start to really take those tricky images that require good photography knowledge. In this article I will share tips with you on taking those images and how to get the best results.

Star Trails

Joshua Tree Star Trail

Joshua Tree Star Trail © Danny Coy (WildCoyPhotography), PhotographyBlogger.net

A star trail shot is effectively a time-lapse of the stars in one photo. I love them so much because you can see the movement of the stars around the earth. It gives you a real sense of how small we really are. They can be tricky to capture because elements out of your control come into play. You need clear skies in an area away from a brightly populated area. On top of a mountain or anywhere that an observatory lies is always a safe bet. You need to set your camera on a tripod and to shoot at a constant interval. If the lens you are using has a vibration reduction I would actually recommend switching that off because even though it usually helps to be on it does make the camera shake ever so slightly and with star photography even the tiniest shake will ruin an image. If you are using a DSLR with a mirror up feature I would also enable this to reduce shaking even more. Set your aperture to the highest possible (lowest f-stop), ideally f2.8 or higher, and set the ISO accordingly.

I usually take around 400 photos for a star trail. I set my shutter speed to 15 seconds and my interval timer to 15 seconds so that once one photo is taken another one is taken immediately after.

Always take a couple of shots before you start the interval timer so that you are happy with the image captured.

Stars and sky

© Danny Coy (WildCoyPhotography), PhotographyBlogger.net

A little tip:
The stars circle the north and south poles, to get great curves in your trails point your camera at these points.

The Sun

The Sun

© Danny Coy (WildCoyPhotography), PhotographyBlogger.net

Sunrises and sunsets are probably the most photographed thing in the world mainly because they are just so enchanting to look at. Quite often however, the sun can ruin an image because of its brightness. I would always recommend using a neutral-density (ND) filter to soften the glare from the sun. It can also be effective because you can use an ND filter for long exposure shots in the day.

People tend to leave once the sun has set or only arrive as the sun is rising but the best time is the time before sunrises and after sunsets. If it’s cloudy the clouds can take on so many different colors. I’ve seen oranges, reds, purples, yellows and even green colors in the clouds after the sun has gone down. This always helps an image look outstanding from any other.

Landscape

© Danny Coy (WildCoyPhotography), PhotographyBlogger.net

A little Tip:
Long exposure sunset shots over water always look great as the water is smoothed out and the light reflections are emphasized more.

Panoramas

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© Danny Coy (WildCoyPhotography), PhotographyBlogger.net

Panorama shots can really give a sense of what you can see with your eyes but may not be able to capture even with a wide angle lens. They look great as prints on canvas or in a nice frame.

Some cameras have a panorama setting but some do not. Mine does not but its fine because the editing after is what stitches all the photos together. When taking a panorama shot a tripod is vital as the camera needs to pan very steadily. Make sure you get good overlaps in your pictures so that the stitching software has something to read. The rule of thumb is that about 33% of the picture should be an overlap from the picture taken before.

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© Danny Coy (WildCoyPhotography), PhotographyBlogger.net

A Little Tip:
There are a lot of post photo editing programs out there but I strongly recommend using photoshop especially for stitching together panorama photos. The built in technology does a lot of the work for you making the process stress free and much faster than it could be.

Wildlife

Untitled_Wildlife

© Danny Coy (WildCoyPhotography), PhotographyBlogger.net

For those up close and personal wildlife shots a big zoom lens is required. I own the stock 55-300mm Nikon lens and the AF 80-400mm lens. I love them both and they both work slightly differently so I have to choose wisely. These are expensive lenses but a fantastic image can be accomplished with a lower range of market zoom lens especially if you are just starting out.

I usually set up in a place I think the wildlife will appear and wait for thirty minutes. If nothing happens I move on to somewhere else. You have to remember that you have very little control over animals especially when they are in their natural habitat.

Once you have the shot take it and slowly keep moving in, depending on the animal you are photographing. Nobody wants to be mauled by a lion! I keep walking and clicking until the animal runs away. The closer you can get the better!

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© Danny Coy (WildCoyPhotography), PhotographyBlogger.net

A Little Tip:
When photographing birds in flight I always switch to auto mode. This is one of the only times I allow myself to use auto and I do this because of the speed and unpredictability of a bird’s flight.

One Big Tip:

Tents at Night

© Danny Coy (WildCoyPhotography), PhotographyBlogger.net

Never forget the enjoyment and beauty that is in the world. Getting involved in photography is definitely one of the best things I have ever done. Even when I don’t have my camera in my hand I imagine what something could look like as a photo and I have much more appreciation of the things around me. From things in macro to the stars in the sky.

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© Danny Coy (WildCoyPhotography), PhotographyBlogger.net

Untitled_Yacht

© Danny Coy (WildCoyPhotography), PhotographyBlogger.net

Untitled_Sunset

© Danny Coy (WildCoyPhotography), PhotographyBlogger.net

Untitled_Blue_Sky

© Danny Coy (WildCoyPhotography), PhotographyBlogger.net

Untitled_Beach

© Danny Coy (WildCoyPhotography), PhotographyBlogger.net

Untitled_Fallen_Leaf

© Danny Coy (WildCoyPhotography), PhotographyBlogger.net

Thank you for reading I hope I have helped you in your photography ventures.

All the best guys,

Danny Coy
(WildCoyPhotography)

You can view more of Danny’s work in high resolution, visit his website at  wildcoyphotography.com.
You can also check out his Instagram page here and Twitter here.




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8 Comments on "Exposing the Beauty in the World Through Photography"

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[…] Exposing the Beauty in the World Through Photography […]

Janice
Guest

Beautiful photos! Thank you for the great tips! I’m definitely going to try shooting the movement of the stars.

Anthony Rampersad
Guest
I love your story Danny partly because its so simple and honest but more so because its so similar to mine. I started out with a compact “bridge” camera, a Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ-18. A very potent and versatile line of cameras even for a compact. I eventually moved on to a Nikon D90 which I’m currently still using and of course enjoying. I learned everything I could by scavenging websites, Youtube, magazines and books. Your advice is spot on. I would add that developing photographers need to keep experimenting and trying all the possible settings and options until they… Read more »
Danny Coy
Guest

Im so glad you enjoyed it Anthony. Thanks very much for the kind words of course its always nice to hear. I like the addition you have added. Its so true that experimenting until you find something that suits your personal taste is crucial. The photos you take should definitely please you and make you happy above anything else! Thats what I believe anyway.

Thanks again man!

Jay Long
Guest

Very great story with beautiful images. Highly inspirational.

Danny Coy
Guest

Thanks so much Jay. I hope it helps you in your work.

Georgi Nikolov
Guest

Vary Inspiring. Great Story and beatiful images. I enjoy it a lot.

Kim Zwicker
Guest

Your photography is beautiful. Thank you for sharing your talent.

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