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4.5 Rating
Better Sports Photography

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

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4.4 Rating
Benefits of Using the AF-ON Button for Autofocus

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

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4.4 Rating
Reflex Action: A Surf Photographer's Top Tips

Surf shooter Jay Watson offers tips for getting great surfing action photos

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4.2 Rating
Photographing Sports Indoors and Out

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

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4.5 Rating
How a Sports Illustrated Photographer Shoots his Kid's Games

What can a Sports Illustrated photographer teach you about…

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3.4 Rating
3D Focus Tracking

3D focus tracking automatically shifts the focus point to follow the movement of the subject. With the…

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4.2 Rating
51-Point Autofocus System

The 51-point AF system positions 51 points of focus within the frame to allow photographers to…

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4.6 Rating
10 Tips for Better Camera Panning

Dave Black's tips for camera panning

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4.4 Rating
Quick Tips for Taking Better Portraits

Suggested Lens choices, exposure settings and focus modes

Beginner

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4.1 Rating
Critical Focus: Getting the Most From Your D800

Michael Clark on getting the most out of your D800 HD-SLR

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4.8 Rating
A New Sharp Shooter

Mike Corrado on shooting with the Nikon D810

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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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4.4 Rating
Summer Lyn: Photographing Babies, Toddlers & Kids

Careful planning or just being lucky—both can work in your favor.

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4.0 Rating
Photograph Family and Friends During the Holidays

The holidays are prime picture-taking time. Get some great tips on…

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

Advanced settings for HDSLR video

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4.4 Rating
How to Photograph a Lunar Eclipse

Learn the techniques needed to shoot lunar eclipses from Mr. Eclipse, Fred Espenak

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4.6 Rating
Action and People Photography

For those who want to take better people and action photos

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4.6 Rating
What is a Lens MTF Chart & How Do I Read It?

MTF charts plot the performance and quality of a lens

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4.4 Rating
How to Read Your NIKKOR Lens Barrel

Understanding what all of those markings and designations on your lens really mean.

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4.7 Rating
High Speed Sync: A Flash Technique To Add a Pro Touch to Your Photographs

Kevin Kubota on auto FP high speed sync flash…

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3.9 Rating
Basics of Exposure and Camera Controls

Ideal class for those who want to go beyond point & shoot photography

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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
Introduction to Three-Point Lighting & Other Video Lighting Techniques

Advanced lighting for video

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4.1 Rating
Tips for Photographing Birds

Birds make great subjects for photographs; tips for capturing them with your camera.

Beginner

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4.4 Rating
Destination Latin America:

Blaine Harrington on photographing Latin America

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4.4 Rating
Tips For Making Tempting Food Photos

Alison Lyons offers simple tips for taking great photos of food & drink

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

Deciding which technique to use with…

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4.5 Rating
Understanding Maximum Aperture

Learn how aperture affects the end-result image.

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4.7 Rating
Joe McNally and the new SB-910 AF Speedlight

Behind the Scenes of a Marketing Campaign Shoot

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4.0 Rating
When Center Composition can Elevate a Portrait

Tamara Lackey on portrait composition

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4.5 Rating
Photography Lighting Tutorial Part 1 - Control of Color

Go on location with Joe McNally for a video tutorial on lighting…

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4.8 Rating
Repeating Flash Lighting Technique

Joe McNally uses the technique of repeating flash to capture the grace of balletic…

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3.1 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
Joel Sartore

Conservation photographer Joel Sartore is a Nikon Ambassador. Learn more about his photography.

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4.4 Rating
Bokeh for Beginners

Have your subjects stand apart from the background with this easy technique

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3.9 Rating
Creatively Photographing Objects Up Close

The idea that less is more can be applied to the subject matter in your photos.

Beginner

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3.2 Rating
Setting up the COOLPIX S800c

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

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4.3 Rating
How to Photograph a Solar Eclipse

Learn the techniques needed to shoot solar eclipses from Mr. Eclipse, Fred Espenak

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4.2 Rating
How to Shoot a Silhouette

Photographing a subject in silhouette

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4.6 Rating
Bill Frakes

Photojournalist, documentary filmmaker and educator Bill Frakes is a Nikon Ambassador. Learn more about his…

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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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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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4.8 Rating
At the Moment

Greg Gibson trades photojournalism for documentary wedding photography

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4.7 Rating
COOLPIX Cameras and Cool Lighting with Speedlights

Lucas Gilman shows you how to use Speedlights with COOLPIX cameras

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4.4 Rating
Flash Points: The Control of Light

Color temperature, rear sync, slow sync: Three key elements in flash photography.

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4.3 Rating
Live Image Control

Live Image Control lets you preview how certain settings will affect your final image

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3.3 Rating
Top Tips for Shooting Stop-Motion Animation Video

Stop Motion video tips

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Better Sports Photography

Settings to use to freeze the action

When photographing sports, you can set your camera to specific settings in an effort to match the camera settings to the goals you wish to achieve. Sport specific settings can help as much as adjusting your timing based on the sport you're photographing. Whether subjects are moving quickly, in an erratic manner, or following the same line around a track, use the following settings as a starting point to improve your photographs.

The following tips were created with the D4 D-SLR in mind, however you can adjust most of the settings regardless of which Nikon D-SLR you're shooting with, just check your camera's manual for specifics.

Most team sports such as soccer or rugby will put the photographer in the position of trying to photograph a subject that is partially obscured by another object or when the focus shifts quickly between nearby and distant subjects. To counter this, set your camera’s settings to the following: AF-C Priority Selection to RELEASE, AF-Area Mode to DYNAMIC AREA AF (9 points) and Focus Tracking with lock-on to 3 (normal).

When photographing sports where subjects are often obscured by other athletes for example at a track event select a long lock-on to maintain focus on your subject. AF-C Priority Selection should be set to RELEASE or FOCUS + RELEASE, AF-Area Mode to DYNAMIC AREA AF (9 points) and Focus Tracking with lock-on to 3 (normal) to 5 (long).

For subjects that appear in the viewfinder suddenly or are hard to track, such as diving or ski jumping, increase the number of dynamic-area focus points. This will ensure the camera will focus based on information from surrounding focus points if the subject briefly moves out of the selected focus point. This is most effective when there is separation between the subject and background. In this case, set the AF-C Priority Selection to RELEASE, AF-Area Mode to DYNAMIC AREA AF (21 points) and Focus Tracking with lock-on to 3 (normal).

For sports where you’re normally going to be using the outer focus points, such as speed skating, increase the number of dynamic-area focus points by one level when framing pictures in portrait orientation. When photographing ball sports and in other situations where precise timing is not a priority, choose FOCUS + RELEASE for the AF-C Priority Selection, AF-Area Mode of DYNAMIC AREA AF (21 points) and Focus Tracking with lock-on of 3 (normal).

When photographing sports such as figure skating where the subjects are moving rapidly or when you’re changing the camera orientation (from portrait to landscape) often, increase the number of dynamic-area focus points. When shooting pairs skating events, increase the lock-on time. This will help when subjects may be obscured by their partner, to keep the camera from focusing on the background in the gap between subjects. For improved framing, set the Custom Setting a10 (on the D4) to YES to store points by orientation. AF-C Priority Selection should be set to RELEASE, AF-Area Mode to DYNAMIC AREA AF (9 or 21 points), and Focus Tracking with lock-on to 3 (normal) or 5 (long).

When shooting sports with subjects that move or change rapidly (for example in hockey or when alternately framing the pitcher and a runner when shooting baseball from the bench) reduce the lock-on times for improved response. Set the AF-C Priority Selection to RELEASE, AF-Area Mode to DYNAMIC AREA AF (9 points) or Single point AF and Focus Tracking with lock-on to OFF or 1 (short).

When shooting volleyball or swimming—sports where the time between focus and shooting is short or where there are obstacles between the autofocus target and the camera, use Single-point AF to prevent the camera from focusing on obstacles such as the volleyball net or splashes in the pool. Also set the standby timer to 1 minute or longer for improved shutter response. AF-C Priority Selection should be set to RELEASE, AF-Area Mode to Single-point AF, and Focus Tracking with lock-on to 3 (normal).

VR Settings

To reduce camera blur, choose a VR setting suited to the subject you’re shooting. For moving subjects at a shutter speed of 1/500 second or faster, it is recommended that you turn VR OFF because blur is less likely in these instances.

When panning shots of moving subjects or photographing stationary subjects, select ON/NORMAL to reduce the effects of vibration.

When you’re taking photos from a car, boat, helicopter or other unstable platform, select ACTIVE. Note though, that the image in the viewfinder may be affected by panning or excessive vibration.

When shooting on a tripod, select TRIPOD mode, however, use NORMAL when you are not using a fixed tripod head or if you’re using a monopod.

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