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3.7 Rating
CX Format Image Sensor

Nikon 1 digital cameras utilize the Nikon CX-format super high speed AF CMOS imaging sensor.

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4.6 Rating
How to Use Aperture and ND Filters to Control the Depth-of-Field in Movies

Depth-of-field for video

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4.3 Rating
Macro Lenses

Reproduce objects up to life size using a Nikon Micro-NIKKOR Lens

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4.1 Rating
Taking Pictures of Fireworks

Learn how to get great fireworks shots this summer.

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For Memorable Family Vacation Photos, Focus First on Family

Tamara Lackey on taking great photos during family vacations

Beginner

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4.3 Rating
Exposure Bracketing: The Creative Insurance Policy

Get creative with your photography by using this age-old technique.

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4.1 Rating
Image Overlay: Combining Images Together In-Camera

Image Overlay lets you combine multiple images together in-camera

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4.4 Rating
Understanding Focal Length

Focal length, usually represented in millimeters (mm), is the basic description of a…

Beginner

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4.6 Rating
James Balog

Conservation photographer James Balog is a Nikon Ambassador. Learn more about his photography.

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4.3 Rating
Understanding Auto ISO

Auto ISO can simplify shooting under changing lighting conditions

Beginner

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2.9 Rating
Live View Shooting Modes

Live View Shooting Mode enables you to view and compose the shot without looking through the…

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4.5 Rating
Video Composition Rules: Establishing, Medium and Close-up Shots

Composition tips for video

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4.1 Rating
Take Control of Color using Picture Controls

Diana Robinson gets the color she wants with Picture Controls in-camera and…

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4.5 Rating
The Inspired Image

Communication is key for Dixie Dixon in creating stunning images

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3.9 Rating
Getting Creative with White Balance

Try getting creative with your camera's white balance for some interesting results.

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4.6 Rating
Bill Frakes

Sports and action photographer and multimedia artist Bill Frakes is a Nikon Ambassador. Learn more about his…

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3.4 Rating
How to Film Using Autofocus, Rack Focus and Manual Focus Techniques

Focusing tips for HDSLR video shooting

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5.0 Rating
Jody Dole Photographs Objects that Catch His Eye

See how commercial shooter Jody Dole uses anything and everything to…

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4.4 Rating
John Shaw: A Photographer's Vision Simplified

See how one of the foremost nature, outdoor and natural history…

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4.2 Rating
Using Teleconverters

Teleconverters let you extend your photographic reach

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4.0 Rating
Picture Controls Step-by-Step

Utilize Picture Controls in-camera or during post-processing to change the look of your…

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4.5 Rating
Capturing or Freezing Motion in Photos

Learn how to freeze the motion in an action scene or capture a blur to show…

Beginner

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4.6 Rating
Popular Nikon Lenses for Shooting Video

Primer on popular NIKKOR lenses for HD video shooting

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4.6 Rating
Using Picture Controls to Give your Video a “Look”

Picture Controls for video

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3.3 Rating
Rich Clarkson: The Right Place at the Right Time to Get the Shots

Rich Clarkson, an acclaimed photojournalist, who…

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4.1 Rating
Nikon 1 Advanced Camera with Interchangeable Lens System

Revolutionary camera system designed for today’s picture taker.

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3.2 Rating
Making Great COOLPIX Videos of Your Kid's Sports

Tips & Tricks from photographer Ann Cutting

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4.8 Rating
Nikon HD-SLR Video Tips

Video series of tips on shooting video with your HD-SLR camera

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4.2 Rating
Using the Histogram to Check Exposure

Checking video exposure with the histogram

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3.5 Rating
Using an HDMI Recorder and External Monitor with Your HDSLR

Options for viewing and recording when shooting video

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3.9 Rating
Tips for Shooting Sports

Sports shooter Bill Sallaz knows what he wants and where to stand in order to get it

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5.0 Rating
Outdoor Pursuit

Bill Hatcher photographs the impossible—well, let's say the extremely difficult.

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Pete Turner: Master of Color Photography

Pete Turner is a master of color, but he's also a master of content and mystery.

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4.2 Rating
Capturing the Essence of an Athlete in Photographs

Although many photographers look for the perfect moment, what Dave…

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Bill Coleman: A Long Term Photo Project

Whether shooting the Amish of Pennsylvania or the landscapes of Maine or Italy,…

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4.2 Rating
When to Use Graduated Neutral Density Filters

How to use a graduated neutral density filter to decrease extreme light to…

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Joe McNally: Shooting a Portrait with Speedlights

Joe McNally sets up a portrait on location using Speedlights

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3.7 Rating
7 Tips & Tricks to Taking Better Wedding Photographs

Joe McNally on how to take better wedding portraits

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3.8 Rating
Summit Series of Photography Workshops

Come to the Summit for the ultimate workshop experience in all areas of…

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4.3 Rating
Polarizing Filters Add POW to Pictures

An Easy to Use Accessory, Polarizing Filters Bring out the Color and Definition in…

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5.0 Rating
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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4.4 Rating
Different Types of Microphones: Audio Recording Tutorial

Using accessory microphones when shooting video

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3.8 Rating
The Importance of Composition When Shooting Nature

Pat O'Hara had to go far from home to really appreciate the…

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3.9 Rating
No Limits: For Better Photos, Think Like a Photojournalist

David Handschuh on thinking like a photojournalist

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4.2 Rating
Composing Photographs

Tips for making better compositions when photographing in the field

Beginner

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3.3 Rating
Preserve and Protect: Got a Backup Plan for Your Photos?

Don't lose those precious photos. Make sure you've got a backup…

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3.8 Rating
Cat Photography: Capturing Cats in Pictures

With a little patience you too can make great pictures of your pet cat or…

Beginner

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Reaction Time

John Solano says that for him, photographing weddings is a lot like photographing sports.

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Master Class: Just Watch and Learn

Steve Heiner discusses moviemaking inspiration

I have no way of knowing what kind of movie you want to make. Maybe it's a scripted short film; maybe just a relatively simple capture of an upcoming event or occasion. But the one thing I'm pretty certain of is that you really do know how that movie is going to look. You know that because you're walking around with an incredible resource: memorable scenes and techniques from your favorite movies.

Three of my favorites are Kurtz, isolated and speaking from surrounding darkness in Apocalypse Now; the artfully composed opening scenes of Once Upon a Time in the West; and the low-angle, wide-angle views throughout the Coen brothers' Raising Arizona.

Such scenes and techniques are practically master classes in filmmaking.

When I first saw Once Upon a Time in the West when it was released in 1968, it was the story and the characters that impressed me. Today I see much more. The film's first 15 minutes have no dialogue—the visuals tell the story with no doubt about what's going on. I marvel at the composition of every single scene in the film. The director and the director of photography plotted exactly how the camera was going to move and how the move would affect the viewer's perception. The placement of characters, objects and story elements within each frame is so flawless it's mind boggling. No, I'm not going to make a movie on that scale, and I'm not going to imitate those techniques, but Sergio Leone's brilliant filmmaking has given me a lot of ideas.

That's what movies have always given us: ideas, and awareness of methods and techniques. Not the fine points, the deep knowledge of filmmaking, but we know what a cut is, a pan, a reveal. We have the clues to what makes a movie work, and now, with the filmmaking capability of Nikon D-SLRs and the help of key accessories, we have some pretty sophisticated tools.    

No matter how you choose to tell your story, what you've seen, appreciated and thought was so cool in movies can be applied. It might be lighting, maybe a camera move or a cut from one scene to the next that you can adapt to help tell your story.

Not long ago my fascination with the Coen brothers' use of low angles and wide angles in Raising Arizona prompted me to see what I could do with that technique. Could I get, as the Coens did, the look and feel of a world where things were out of kilter? I made a short film called A Walk in the Park in My Favorite Red Shoes.

It was a solo production—I was filming my own feet as I walked along with my D7000 and 10-24mm NIKKOR zoom—so I needed a way to put the camera down close to the ground and have it move with me as I walked. I modified a flag arm—it's normally used to hold a sunshade over a camera—by adding a handle and a platform. I left the top hinge of the arm loose, so that as I walked it swung like a pendulum. The device also allowed me to move the camera around my body so it didn't look like I was the one in control of the camera. You can see the result of my experiment in this article.

What ideas would you like to try from movies that inspire you, that you remember vividly or that make you smile every time you see them? A reaction shot, the use of light and shadow, someone silhouetted in a doorway, a sudden shock cut, a slow reveal?

And how will those scenes work together as you edit the film?

Earlier this year I edited the behind-the-scenes short film that Mike Corrado and Lindsay Silverman made as Sandro Miller filmed Joy Ride with D800 cameras. From watching movies I'd absorbed editing ideas, and I'd taught myself the techniques to express those ideas. I know to mix fast-paced cutting and still images to grab people's attention; to use reverse angles for interest and pacing; when to use a reaction shot and a detail shot. The next time you view a favorite film, concentrate only on how it's edited. You'll be amazed at what you'll learn—and what you already know.

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