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Making Pictures in the Rain

Just because it's raining doesn't mean there aren't great pictures waiting to be made.

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3.6 Rating
Setting White Balance

How do I set my camera’s white balance for different lighting situations?

Beginner

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4.6 Rating
Better Sports Photography

Which settings should you use depending upon which sport you're photographing

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4.3 Rating
How to Photograph Lightning

Storm chaser Jim Reed offers valuable tips for making photos of lighning while staying safe.

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3.2 Rating
How to Set White Balance for Video

Video white balance tips

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4.4 Rating
How to Take Pictures of Water Using Long Exposures

Getting that "silky" look when photographing moving water isn't…

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Do a Test Run for Important Portrait Shoots

Dave Black discusses setting up shoots in advance

Beginner

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4.1 Rating
Nikon Electronic Format (NEF)

Nikon's RAW file format contains all the image information captured by the camera's sensor.

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4.9 Rating
A New Sharp Shooter

Mike Corrado on shooting with the Nikon D810

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4.4 Rating
Video Tutorial Series: Getting Started with your Nikon D3300 DSLR

Series of six videos to help you set-up and shoot and…

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3.4 Rating
Setting up the COOLPIX S800c

The COOLPIX S800c offers wireless connectivity, learn how to set it up easily

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Dedicated Time Release Movie Mode and Time Lapse Using the Built-in Interval Timer

Deciding which technique to use with…

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Speedlight Tutorial: Day to Night Technique

David Tejada uses Speedlights to create the illusion of a night scene

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Advanced Wireless Lighting

Advanced wireless lighting is the use of multiple Speedlights set up for wireless remote…

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4.6 Rating
Introduction to ISO, Aperture, Shutter Speed & Other Advanced Settings for HDSLR Video

Advanced settings for HDSLR video

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Setting Up Your D4S or D4 DSLR for Networking with the WT-5

Video tutorial on setting up the D4S and WT-5A for wireless…

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Using Fast Shutter Speeds for Action Photos

Lucas Gilman on action photography settings

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Understanding Auto ISO

Auto ISO can simplify shooting under changing lighting conditions

Beginner

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Benefits of Using the AF-ON Button for Autofocus

Three pros discuss using the AF-ON button for AF control

Advanced

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Shooting Wirelessly with the Nikon WR-R10 and WR-T10 Wireless Remotes

Learn how easy it is to use the WR-R10/WR-T10 for…

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Setting up the D4S/D4 and WT-5 for Networking: HTTP Mode or FTP Server

Video tutorial on setting up the D4S/D4 and WT-5…

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4.7 Rating
Speedlight Tutorial: Bounce Technique

David Tejada uses Speedlights wirelessly for pleasing portrait illumination

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The Sum of the Parts

Making Movies with the D5000

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ISO Control

For digital photography, ISO refers to the sensitivity of the camera's sensor. The ISO setting is one of…

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3.5 Rating
Getting the "Cool" Look

My daughter, Kiara, wanted some pictures of herself with her new guitar. She was looking for some…

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Camera Tips: Using the Multi Selector Center Button Controls

Customize your DSLR to to check focus in playback and more

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Photographing Sports Indoors and Out

Capturing the action of a sporting event is easy when you follow a few simple…

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One Shot: Purple Haze

Turning an ordinary photo into something special in-camera

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Remotely taking photographs

Flexible wired & wireless remote shooting options expand your photo taking capabilities

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Marketplace: A #1

Shooting with the COOLPIX A

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One Shot: Supermoon

Sam Garcia photographs the Supermoon

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Photographing the Night Sky: Star Trails

Astrophotography: tips for making great star trail images

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Photo Editing with Nikon's Capture NX 2

Learn to use editing features of Capture NX 2 software to get the most from your…

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Learning How to Use Your Camera's Histogram

The histogram is a useful tool that analyzes tonal range and helps in…

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What to do When you Need Stills while Shooting HD Video

Shoot simultaneously or save a frame options with the D4 or D4s…

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Active D-Lighting

Active D-Lighting optimizes high contrast images to restore the shadow and highlight details that are…

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Absolutely Free

It was while working on stories for the Learn & Explore section of the NikonUSA website that I was reminded how far digital photography has enabled us to push our ideas, techniques and results. I thought of the trial-and-error, experimentation and cost that went into working out the guidelines when we worked with film. These days all the creative risk-taking we could want is ours for the taking.

The L&E stories concerned image overlay—impossible with film—and multiple exposure—possible, but tricky. Today, in select Nikon D-SLRs and COOLPIX cameras, both are easy invitations to creativity.

So are picture controls, which I've been using to subtly shape photos to my taste and style. When I began taking pictures I learned that each film had its own characteristics. I used Kodachrome for its vivid reds and yellows; Fujichrome for bright and brilliant greens; Ektachrome for its blue-green sensitivity; and black-and-white for its look of photojournalism. I developed relationships with processing labs, so I could tell them I shot a certain film a certain way and rely on them to get the color and the effect I wanted. Today I have onboard picture controls and, in effect, the camera is the lab. By accessing a menu I can literally change the look of my photos, shot to shot, to react to light and color and bring to the photos the mood I want. I can get a neutral response, with tones and colors in mid-range, and I use that setting for some portraits; I can shoot the scene in Vivid mode to punch up the colors, and I like that setting when I'm shooting on an overcast day or when autumn is my subject.

An added bonus is that even though I can select the preprogrammed responses of these settings, I have the option of customizing them to my taste. If a vivid response looks too vivid, I can take down the saturation until it's exactly where I want it to be—and then that custom setting can become my definition of vivid for as long as I want it to be. I can do the same with contrast and hue. In all my cameras, my vivid setting is one or two steps down from the program.

Try this: with your camera on a tripod, take the same scene with the settings at standard, neutral and vivid. Then go into those settings and customize them. Feel free to make several variations; you can store up to nine custom settings.

Another creative, custom choice that digital puts at our fingertips is white balance. Simply set a white balance control and you can photograph in daylight or by incandescent or fluorescent light. Or set auto white balance and let the camera decide. What I really like to do is adjust individual color temperature settings. I set my camera for Live View, look at the scene I'm photographing, then, using the color temperature section of my white balance control, I alter the color temperatures. I don't pay attention to the number—it might be 3200 degrees Kelvin or 5700, it doesn't matter. What I'm looking at is the change that takes place in the image as I make the adjustments. When the scene is esthetically pleasing to me, that's my setting. (If your camera doesn't offer Live View, make the setting, take the shot, view the results and adjust if necessary.)

Amazing possibilities are becoming commonplace as digital photography takes us way beyond just getting the right exposure and into a world of personal creative choices where images can be custom made.

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