About

I’m Peter, a part-time photography enthusiast and full-time software engineer that dabbles in data science.  I’m based out of the Boston area and have been shooting for about 7 years now.  My goal with this blog is to share what I have learned with anyone who is interested and continue to grow as a photographer.

I’ll be posting advice on general photography topics and gear reviews, along with some rambling story posts about photos I’ve taken and why I’ve chosen to shoot them that way.

I primarily shoot with a Nikon D90, but occasional steal my wife’s Nikon 1v1 when I want to bring a second body.

 

Links

https://www.facebook.com/PeterSouthlandPhotography 

http://petersouthlandphotography.smugmug.com/

http://500px.com/PeterSouthland

 

78 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi there! Thank you for visiting my site. In still learning about ways to improve my photos, and this looks like a great place for tips. Thanks again, and have a great day!

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  2. Hi, Peter. Wow! Your photos are GORGEOUS! We could certainly learn a lot from you… At the moment, our “speed” is “point the dang thing in the general direction and hope for the best.” Of course, that’s because we’re on the water (and sometimes in it!). Any suggestions for water-loving cameras welcome 🙂 Thanks for stopping by 2G3K… we were quite thrilled by your “like”!

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    • Thanks.

      For photos on the water, use high ISO and fast shutter speeds when the waves are really pushing you around so the photos look sharp. If your body or lens have the option, vibration reduction is great.

      If your camera isn’t waterproof already you can get a waterproof housing for it. This is the one I own http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/937742-REG/dicapac_wp_s3_waterproof_case_for_mirrorless.html/prm/alsVwDtl. I wouldn’t actually trust it underwater, but I have taken it when I’ve gone kayaking so I don’t need to worry about water splashes. There are more expensive options that you can mostly trust underwater, but they can still fail.

      For waterproof cameras. I find the Nikon 1 AW1 very intriguing. it’s a waterproof mirorless camera with interchangeable lenses. It’s a bit too pricey for me to go off and purchase one just to try out, but if my wife’s 1v1 ever breaks it would be a viable replacement. I have a friend with a waterproof coolpix that works decently well. Shutter has a bit of a lag and the battery life is lower than I would like, but it’s a pretty cheap option for a waterproof camera.

      Hope that helps.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello Peter, just took the liberty of following your blog since it is extremely informative. I have a lot of technical questions , two of which I struggle with often. If you could be kind enough to share your insight that would be great . So the first thing I struggle with is harsh shadows when there is harsh sunlight, and people with a darker skin tone. I avoid post processing, so is there any way of reducing the contrast ? Second is the color yellow and some other warm colors . They always come out warmer in sunlight and I can never get the color right . I have some examples of these two cases here – http://priyashasharma.wordpress.com/photography/india-2/bangalore-goa-hampi-pondicherry/

    Thank you for making detailed information available and enquireable (not sure if that’s a word) !

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    • There are a few things you can do without post processing that can help with high contrast situations.

      The first is to try and control your background and shading as much as possible. If you can, move yourself or your subject so the background creates less contrast. This also goes for harsh shadows; be aware of any that are falling on your subject, and if possible, move them entirely out of the shade or entirely under it.

      The second is to use fill flash. I don’t have a post about this yet, but it’s on my list for for the future. This technique involves setting your popup or off camera flash to a lower setting, usually -1 to -3 EV then taking pictures of your subject. You should be able to change your flash setting by holding down the flash button and spinning one of the mode dials on your camera. The flash will help remove shadows and more brightly expose your subject without changing the background much. This will work best if your subject is within about 2-12 feet.

      The third is making sure you are using the appropriate metering mode. Using spot or center weighted meting on your subject will help make sure your subject is properly exposed regardless of the background. Something I don’t bring up in my post is the AE-L/AF-L button. By default pressing and holding this button locks the metering and focus allowing you to recompose the scene with those settings.

      For the warm colors. Your best bet without post processing is manually setting the white balance with one of the preset modes or using a grey card to set the program mode for your scene.

      Hope that helps, let me know if you have any additional questions.

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      • Thank you for your reply . So i do seem to be using the right metering mode in line with what you suggest. Will go through your post on white balance again to understand it better. I have hardly used the flash, but I have been meaning to play around with it since a while so thanks for another incentive :-). let me try your suggestions on a sunny day since it is fairly dark and grey here most of the day. Will let you know how it goes. Might post my other queries along the way. Once again, thank you for taking out time to answer my questions. Ok, so another question – how does a setting with big aperture (say f6 ) with a very fast shutter speed vary from the opposite setting (with the same ISO, what differences have you observed in terms of exposure, colors, sharpness) , and when do you personally use ISO 400+ settings (is there an added advantage of using higher ISO – say 1600 in daylight while keeping shutter speeds very fast ? Besides sharpness that is. And does it impact colors ?)

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      • Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO can have many affects on exposure, colors, and sharpness. The impact will vary by lens and camera, but here is a list of several effects.

        Shutter speed
        – Lighting temperature shift. Most light powered by alternating current will actually flicker around 50-60Hz. Any exposure faster than 1/50 to 1/60 of a second could experience changes in color temperature or exposure. This is because the color and consistency of light from shot to shot is changing.
        – Noise.
        – Any long exposure is subject to some to degree of thermal noise. Any infrared (heat) energy will affect the sensor which can result in a red/purple color in the corners.
        – Any very fast exposures will have a weak signal at the sensor which then needs to be amplified. This can cause a high signal to noise ratio. This kind of noise affects the blue color channel the most which can cause a shift in shadows towards blue.

        Aperture
        – Lenses with a large maximum aperture (f/1.8) commonly have chromatic aberration. This can cause out of focus details in front of the focus plane to be tinted green and out of focus details behind the focus plane to be tinted magenta.
        – Fast lenses (f/1.8) often have a lower contrast when their wide open which can reduce color intensity.
        – Wide open lenses can also have a purple glow around high contrast edges, this is caused by chromatic aberration in the infrared spectrum.
        – Sharpness. Ken Rockwell has a good but fairly technical article on choosing the aperture that will give you the maximum sharpness. The tldr version is that the aperture that gives you the maximum sharpness depends on the distance to your subject and the focal length of the lens but for most shots it’s usually in the range of f/8 to f/11.

        ISO
        – In general as ISO increases the color saturation will also decrease.

        Personally I prefer to keep ISO as low as possible to keep noise to a minimum. I usually have ISO set to 200 with aperture set a few stops above fully open. I will first change aperture to match the kind of photo I want to take then bump up ISO if the shutter speed at that aperture is causing unwanted motion blur.

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  4. Hey hi 🙂
    I am new here and am connecting with bloggers 🙂
    Hope to stay in touch and do visit my blog when you have your time 🙂

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  5. Thanks for stopping by my site. I am really taken with your images, they are fantastic! I am glad to have made your connection and have followed your site now to keep up with your posts.

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  6. Hello. I discovered your blog because you recently liked one of my posts (which I am thankful for) and I’m stunned. Your photography is amazing. I’d like to just encourage you to keep up the great work and travel endlessly. I hope to see more of what you do. You’ve earned yourself another follower 🙂 Cheers!

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  7. Hi Peter! I really enjoy “following” you on WordPress. I have a question for you, too. I noticed that you often use “Metering Mode: Center Weight” (versus automatic, etc.). Why? Could you post something about that?

    Thanks,
    Svetlana

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    • Hi Svetlana,

      I have a post the covers the various metering modes in general. As for why I tend to use center weighted metering, usually my subject is near the center of the frame and I want them to be properly exposed regardless of the surrounding light. I also find that center weighted works very well when there is a large amount of sky in the image because if it’s near the center it will expose for a colorful sky rather than an overexposed one. In general for the type of photos I tend to take, it’s the mode that has most consistently produced results that I’m pleased with.

      Hope that helps,
      Peter

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Peter,
    in my eyes you could probably do this full time as well 😉 Thank you for liking my mobile phone photos. Glad you could enjoy them and it means a lot, considering on what level you take your excellent photos. I love photography, it makes me calm and focus on the moment, but I never really went deeper than simple depth of field and the rule of thirds.
    I’m going to follow you to enjoy some more beautiful shots 🙂

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  9. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I have had a browse through your nature and animal photos and you have some stunning shots. I hope to spend longer on your site and learn a bit more about photography.

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  10. Hi Peter! Thanks for visiting my blog and the like on Vätternrundan. Just checked your blog, too. Really great pictures! I’m following now … Have a nice weekend!

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  11. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and the Like on ZebrasChild, Peter. I love your work and am now following. I have just begun to get back to photography after a 35 year absence. Obviously, all my older work was on 35mm film, so I’m learning about digital. I’m happy to leave the smelly chemicals of the dark room behind! I’m now shooting with my iPhone 6, which takes remarkably good photos, and learning to use my new Nikon D5300. I’m looking forward to your tutorials as I explore the new digital world!

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  12. Greetings—Just wanted to say “thank you” for visiting my blog. I enjoyed perusing your blog and share your love for photography [and Boston!] Here’s all the best to you and your pursuits, in front of and in back of a lens!

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  13. Thanks for following my blog Peter, I’ve followed yours as well. I’m a big fan of photography but haven’t managed to get out much lately to go and take many so I’ll be living vicariously through your photography for now! I really liked the balloon ones so am looking forward to seeing more of your work. Thanks again.

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  14. Hi Peter, many thanks for dropping by my blog & liking ‘The Snooze’, it’s very much appreciated. You have a great site, I love the city & architecture section, ‘Welcome to the Hospital Wing’, is a fantastic composition & mesmerizing!

    Keep taking great photos, Urban Shutterbug.

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  15. thanks for visiting…I take photos for the enjoyment, but that isn’t to say I don’t want to learn to do better…I look forward to reading more of your informational posts! H

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