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DSLR – Photography with program mode (P Mode)

SLR cameras have at least 5 basic modes, which can usually be controlled using a wheel on the top of the camera. With this shutter speed dial you can switch between different shooting modes. The five most important options for photography are AUTO, P, A (or Av), S (or Tv), and M. Automatic mode is marked with “AUTO” or a green box with an “A”. P stands for Program Mode, A (Av) for Aperture Priority, S (Tv) for Shutter Priority, M for Manual Mode. In addition, most cameras still have various scenery modes and possibly also a video mode.

Automatic program mode is not the same as automatic mode (fully automatic), since important shooting parameters can be varied depending on the camera model. Only the aperture and shutter speed are controlled by the camera and automatically adjusted by the camera’s metering mode. Typically, when ambient light becomes poorer, the aperture is opened further and the exposure time is increased at the same time.

In contrast to auto mode, P mode allows for manual control of the flash and other settings such as the ISO value or exposure corrections. In comparison to the aperture or shutter priority, the image is also properly exposed when the ambient conditions change quickly, making manual adjustment difficult.

Why take photos using program mode and not just auto mode?

For many DSLR users, P-Mode is the standard program for snapshots and works well for a variety of shooting situations. Even though it is very convenient to use, since both aperture and exposure time are automatically adjusted, the photographer does not lose complete control over the settings, as is the case in automatic mode. It is therefore a kind of “basic auto mode”.

Object photographed in Auto mode (auto flash) and P mode (without flash)

Object photographed in auto mode (automatic flash) and P mode (without flash)

Most importantly, in program mode, you can manually decide whether or not to use the flash. Especially indoors, flash photography often creates an artificial atmosphere – the decision when to use it should be made by the photographer depending on the situation. To use the flash, it must first be opened manually.

The ISO setting can be adjusted by the photographer depending on the lighting situation. You can try out at which ISO values the optimum exposure is achieved. Depending on the camera model, high ISO values in particular can lead to considerable image noise, which should be taken into account when adjusting the settings.

Comparison - photographed in P mode with different ISO settings (ISO 500 / 1000)

Comparison – photographed using P-Mode with different ISO settings (ISO 500 / 1000)

The white balance can also be adjusted as desired.

Furthermore, P mode offers the option of exposure correction. This can become necessary, as the exposure measurement is based on average subjects in which bright and dark areas are relatively evenly distributed. If the subject is generally very bright or very dark, it deviates too much from these average values and incorrect exposures occur. These can be corrected by means of an exposure correction.

In addition, automatic exposure series can be captured in program mode, as required for HDR images. Only the shutter speeds are changed and not the aperture, so that the photos can be merged and superimposed later.

Program P recognises the focal length used by interchangeable lenses and tries to keep the shutter speed so short using the aperture and (with ISO automatic) the ISO settings that handheld shots are possible without blurring up to minimum lighting.

The image quality should be checked directly when using P mode and the corresponding parameters should be adjusted if necessary.

Drawbacks of program mode

Program mode responds to two basic requirements: The image should be correctly exposed and it should be sharp. In combination, the aperture and shutter speed must always match.

However, there is more than one combination that leads to the correct exposure. If, for example, you open the aperture a little (assuming a correct combination) and reduce the exposure time accordingly, you get another correct combination regarding the exposure with a different depth of field. The depth of field of a photo is often used as a creative tool, for example. By default, program mode cannot be set accordingly.

Program shift functionality

P mode prefers short shutter speeds to high f-stops. The combination of aperture and shutter speed defines depth of field and motion blur. If the aperture is too small, for example, but the subject requires more blur in the background, program shift (or flexible program) can be used with many camera models. While preserving the exposure value, the time/aperture combination determined by the program mode is overwritten manually. Depending on the camera, the program can be shifted using a dial on the shutter release button or using the arrow keys on the back of the camera.

The aperture and shutter speed are not shifted individually, but simultaneously. This guarantees that the exposure itself remains unchanged in accordance with the current lighting situation. Program mode takes changed lighting conditions into account in its parallel shift, but the direction of the shift is retained. Depending on the camera and settings, this program shift is only valid for the current shot or for a defined time.

Fotos des selben Motivs mit unterschiedlicher Belichtungszeit

Photos of the same subject with different exposure time

Other modes / scene modes

The selection of the time/aperture combination always considers the interplay between the correct exposure time and the optimal aperture setting for depth of field. This is why most modern cameras offer more than one program to cover different situations. The settings follow a kind of “patent recipe” for the corresponding subject.

The portrait program selects an aperture that is as open as possible for a shallow depth of field. Landscape and panorama programs as well as close-up programs select an aperture that is as closed as possible for a large depth of field. The sports program uses the shortest exposure time to reduce motion blur. The night program uses a long shutter speed for long time exposures.

Conclusion

Depending on how much the photographer uses the manual settings of their DSLR in program mode, essential parameters of the photo can be influenced. It is always ensured that the combination of aperture and exposure time allows for a correct exposure. With program shift, almost the same settings can be made for individual images or exposure series as the semi-automatic modes Av (A) and Tv (S) would allow. If other scene modes are used or no custom settings are made in P mode, the mode comes close to AUTO mode.

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Great recipes with lots of love for detail presented on nom-nom.ch

The five best food blogs in Switzerland

Almost as widespread as fashion blogs, food blogs are becoming increasingly popular. Food blogs are much more than just online cookbooks. They provide quick and private insights into great recipe ideas and invite you to try them out yourself. On this page we have compiled a personal selection of the best food blogs in Switzerland. Have fun with the inspirations and cooking!

The food blog Littlecity.ch – A selection of wonderful sweet and salty creations

From sweet to salty - This berry cake is a wonderful recipe idea

Source: littlecity.ch

Valeria, who lives near Zurich, has been reporting on food and travel on her blog littlecity.ch since 2012. She calls the Internet her second home, because she is not only online privately, but also through her profession in online marketing. In addition to the blog, she also runs a YouTube channel that offers private insights into her kitchen every first Thursday of the month. Valeria gets support from her husband Adi, who mainly takes care of the YouTube channel and everything technical. On her blog, Valeria shows a nice selection of unique sweet and salty creations. From traditional cuisine to hearty and oriental dishes, everything is represented here. If you are looking for breakfast ideas for an extensive Sunday breakfast, this blog is just the right place for you. Valeria also has great drink ideas to go with her delicacies. Littlecity.ch offers inspiration and tips for all tastes!

The absolute favourite recipe of the two is currently the “Ramen Burger”. A combination of Chinese noodles, burgers and Asian sauce. You can find the recipe here.

Ramen Burgers are tasty and wonderfully arranged

Source: littlecity.ch

The link to the blog: http://littlecity.ch/

The food blog Familienhäppchen.ch – Balanced and healthy meals for the whole family

A balanced diet includes healthy and tasty dressings

Source: familienhäppchen.ch

Nadjas Blog familienhäppchen.ch is a great food blog for families. She has been blogging about balanced nutrition since April 2015. The recipes are meant to not only be healthy and tasty, but above all uncomplicated, so that the turbulent daily cooking routine for families can be varied and easy – under the motto: “Keep it simple”. Being the mother of two girls herself, Nadja knows that healthy food does not always go down well with children. With her great recipe ideas, however, she manages to convince even young critics. In addition to great everyday cuisine, the blog also covers exciting family topics. Before Nadja started blogging, she worked in the media industry and as an author for years. In the meantime, she has published three cookbooks from the series “unser Menü eins”.

Nadja’s absolute favourite recipe is currently “Vegetables on Rice”. A wonderful healthy and vegan creation. You can find the recipe here.

Vegetables served appetisingly on rice

Source: familienhäppchen.ch

The link to the blog: http://familienhaeppchen.ch/

The lifestyle blog Princess.ch – A culinary variety with lots of sweet things

Initially conceived as a travel blog, Nicole’s blog princess.ch developed more and more into a lifestyle blog with a wide variety of topics. It offers a colourful mix of the categories food, beauty, fashion, photography, music, and travel. Nicole gets support from a small team she works with. The co-author Filis takes care of beauty and fashion. Nicole gets male support from Fräni, who takes care of the “men’s topics” on the blog, and from Michel, who, as webmaster, takes care of all the technical stuff. Despite the variety of topics, the focus of this blog is on food and travel. Besides hearty food, there are also great recipes for sweets, because Nicole has a small weakness for them. Nicole’s absolute favourite recipe and all-time favourite are brownies. Bake and snack quickly – the link is here.

: Brownie-Rezept mit Nüssen

Source: princess.ch

The link to the blog: https://www.princess.ch/blog/

The food blog Nom-nom.ch – The joy of cooking, baking and eating with great attention to detail

Great recipes with lots of love for detail presented on nom-nom.ch

Source: nom-nom.ch

The graphic artists Corinne and Bettina share their love for cooking on nom-nom.ch and combine this with their affinity for design. In their everyday and down-to-earth cuisine, the two place great value on seasonal and local products. Their blog provides inspiration for salty and sweet dishes. The recipes are presented with great attention to detail by the two graphic designers. In addition to delicious food, there are also great recipes for smoothies and other drinks. Their favourite recipe is currently “Brioches with almond rhubarb filling” – read here. Enjoy your meal!

Tasty brioche with almond rhubarb filling

nom-nom.ch

The link to the blog: http://www.nom-nom.ch/

The food blog Kuisine.ch – sustainable, healthy and fresh cooking

On her food blog kuisine.ch, hobby chef Kathrin shares her love for cooking and eating with her readers. From breakfast to appetizers and mains to dessert – everyone will find the right recipe here. The recipes contain healthy and fresh ingredients above all, some of which come from Kathrin’s own little garden, because sustainability is particularly important to her. In order to do justice to all target groups, vegan and vegetarian recipes are also represented on the blog. The recipes should especially inspire the readers and be easily replicated. Traditional dishes are also often modified for this purpose, as creativity plays a major role in Kathrin’s life. The dishes are always lovingly photographed by her. She is supported by her partner David, who helps her with image editing. Perhaps Kathrin’s dream of her own cookbook will soon come true as well. You can find her current favourite recipe here.

Raspberry smoothie bowl recipe

Source: kuisine.ch

The link to the blog: http://kuisine.ch/

Photoshop: Photo stacking for continuously sharp images

The term ‘focus stacking’ describes an image processing technique in which several images of the same motif merge with each other. Differently selected focus points enable a sharp representation over large parts of the picture, which would normally not be possible.

We will show you what you should consider for the correct preparation and execution and how the subsequent image processing succeeds.

Preparation – photography

Good preparation is indispensable and increases the quality of the results that can be achieved in image processing. Focus stacking requires as many identical image series as possible. The only exception is the differently selected focus.

That is why the DSLR camera should always be mounted on a tripod. It is also recommended to use a remote shutter release so that the camera does not have to be touched more often than absolutely necessary. In order to be able to edit the images well later, you should photograph in the file format RAW.

In poor lighting conditions and the resulting long exposure times, even the slightest shocks can lead to blurred images. To avoid this, activate mirror lock up in the camera settings. The mirror will now fold up a short time before shooting and will no longer cause any shocks.

Another factor that should not be underestimated is the lighting on site. Fluctuating lighting has a negative effect on the series of pictures and makes it more difficult to merge them afterwards. Therefore, make sure that the lighting is as consistent as possible, regardless of whether you are taking pictures outdoors or indoors.

Furthermore, you should select a suitable motif for your photo shoot. The general opinion is that the technique of focus stacking is particularly suitable for macro photography. Without post-processing, the often very detailed motifs, such as small animals or flowers, can usually not be reproduced in full focus.

However, even in landscape photography, entire image areas can shine in new splendour thanks to focus stacking. Choose your subject keeping in mind that it must remain motionless for the duration of the shot. Some photographers use specially prepared insects in macro photography.

Tips for a successful execution

Practice makes perfect

For the best possible result, take plenty of pictures with different focus ranges. It is important to focus as evenly as possible. So feel your way forward slowly. In principle, there are two ways of taking pictures.

  • Automatic focusing
  • Manual focusing

If you want to take pictures using autofocus, you should use the Live View function of the camera if possible. This allows you to see the composition of the image on the display and to move the focus point easily.

Alternatively, you can do the focusing yourself. To do this, simply switch from autofocus to manual focus on the lens. The focused area can be shifted with the focus ring of the lens.

Regardless of which method of focusing you choose, be careful when handling the camera. Any touch, however small, could cause your camera’s viewing angle to change, resulting in different shots. Therefore, make sure that the tripod is stable and the camera is firmly locked in place. Focus on the point closest to the subject and slowly work your way back over several focusing planes.

Post-processing and merging with focus stacking software

Once the entire subject has been photographed, the computer can make changes to exposure, contrast, and similar parameters if necessary. Image editing can be done with most common photo editing software. However, it is important that each image receives the same correction and that there are no differences between them.

Image editing with Lightroom

In Lightroom, value corrections can first be made for one image and then applied to the other photos in the series. To do this, make the desired changes to any image. Then select all images and press Sync. A dialog window opens, which you confirm with OK.

Bildwertkorrekturen in Lightroom und das Dialogfenster Synchronisieren in Lightroom

Adjust exposure, contrast and colour values and transfer to all images (“synchronize”)

 

If you are satisfied with the result of the image processing, open all images in Photoshop or an image processing software with similar functionality. As a free alternative to Photoshop, we recommend the focus stacking program CombineZp, with which individual images can be automatically merged together.

Das Dialogfenster Synchronisieren in Lightroom

Stacking in Photoshop

Next, select all layers and press Edit – Auto-Blend Layers.

For further processing, all images must now be superimposed as layers.

 

Inserting multiple images into Photoshop and stacking them

Insert individual images as layers into a document

 

Selecting and merging multiple layers in Photoshop

Select images and edit – Auto-Blend Layers

Then an additional window opens with the title Automatically blend layers. Here you select the option Stack images and confirm your selection with OK.

 

Dialogfenster Ebenen automatisch überblenden in Photoshop

Joining the layers may take some time, depending on the performance of your computer. Photoshop analyses the existing layers for similarities and compares them with each other. The focused areas of the individual layers are then highlighted and connected. At the end of the process you have a photo motif which is focused over the entire area.

Ergebnis des Focus Stackings

Bottom line

Focus stacking offers the possibility to combine several differently focused photos into a single sharp image. This procedure is particularly popular in macro photography, where it is sometimes impossible to focus on all desired areas of the subject despite a small aperture and high depth of field. However, focus stacking can also be used for other things, such as landscape photography. The decisive success factors are, as so often, the right preparation and a lot of patience. With the help of the most modern image processing software, image series can ultimately be combined to form one perfectly sharp image in just a few simple steps.

Photo with the photographer's domain as a watermark

Free tools for custom watermarks on your photos

To protect your photos from copyright infringements or to establish your own brand, you can work with watermarks. These marks, which become recognisable by the incidence of light, originate from paper processing to identify the producing paper mill. They were and still are used to prevent counterfeits and copies of banknotes, personal documents, and digital data. Since digital images are also reproduced and used without permission, you can add your individual watermark to your photos for protection and branding. If you regularly publish pictures on social networks such as Facebook and Instagram or run a blog, such watermarks also serve as a distinguishing feature for your followers. For this marketing effect you can use your name, your email, the domain of your website, or your logo. In this article, we’ll introduce you to free tools that make it easy to brand your photos.

Watermark freeware for Windows

TSR Watermark Image Software is a good option for Windows, for example. With this program, you can watermark several images at once and save them into any destination folder. You can also use this program to create your watermark yourself – for example using an image of your logo or writing your email adress or website URL. Font, alignment, size, and colour are adjustable, as are the degree of transparency, the position, and the angle of the watermark. You can export your photos in different formats (jpeg, png, tiff, bmp, gif) and sizes. TSR Watermark Image Software is relatively intuitive and easy to use. The free version already offers numerous functions, while special additional options such as 3D effects are only available in the paid upgrade.

Benutzeroberfläche von TSR Watermark Image Software

Free watermark tool for MacOS

With watermark PRO you can use a watermark to brand your photos on a MacOS.

You simply drag and drop your pictures into the program and you have various ways to create a watermark. Your options are, for example, text characters, logos and QR codes and even a map with GPS data. You can easily adjust the settings using the right column in the neatly arranged interface. Besides the usual photo formats you can also export your photos as PDF files. Up to five photos can be watermarked simultaneously per batch process. If you want to work with more photos, you can activate the batch function via an in-app purchase. This function allows you to edit an unlimited number of photos at once.

Benutzeroberfläche von watermark PRO

Creating watermarks on a smartphone: Apps for Android

For Android devices we recommend the apps Photo Watermark and Add Watermark free.

With the Photo Watermark app you can draw your signature directly on the display in addition to the usual options such as text, images, and timestamps. Size, transparency, position, and colour can also be set here. You can apply your created watermark individually or place it over the image as a film. With Add Watermark free you can also add your own fonts. Batch processing to brand several images at once is only available in the full version, which requires payment. With the upgrade you can also save your branded photos in any format and size. Both Add Watermark free and Photo Watermark allow you to save files in JPG format or embed your images directly into social networks.

Fliesschicht-Einstellung der App Foto-Wasserzeichen

Watermark app for iOS

Whether text, signature or QR code – even with iWatermark lite you can protect and personalise your photos with a watermark in many different ways. Many examples are available in text and graphic form as well as various settings such as font, colour, size, and transparency. With the free version you are able to use all functions, but the text “Created by iWatermark” is added to every photo. By upgrading to the full version for a modest price you can easily avoid this. iWatermark is also available for MacOS, Windows, and Android.

Conclusion

The mostly easy to use, straightforward programs and apps lead to the desired result with a few clicks – protection against unauthorised distribution and increasing the recognition value of your photos. To mark several photos at once, you usually need to pay for an upgrade.

Note: With most free versions, you may only use the watermarks for private purposes. If you want to use the apps and programs for commercial purposes, you can work with the paid version.

Close-up of the moon

Lunar Photography – Camera settings and tips

As the brightest and largest celestial body of the night, the moon is often chosen as the gateway to astrophotography. We will show you how to take a clear picture of the wandering moon from the very beginning, which is about 380,000 km away.

The right equipment to photograph the moon

Taking a good picture of the moon is possible even with simple photo equipment. A half-frame camera even has one advantage over a full-frame camera: the crop factor. This feature narrows the field of view and thus, the moon occupies more of the image area. Even with the smaller digital cameras and system cameras you can take good photographs, if the zoom is powerful enough.

A tripod is particularly important for taking detailed pictures over such a huge distance. The equipment is most stable just above the ground. Therefore, work as closely to the ground as possible, even if it is not very comfortable. To further reduce camera shaking, we recommend using a remote shutter release or setting the self-timer with a delay of 2 seconds.

While a wide-angle lens is used for star photography to capture as many stars as possible, a telephoto lens is more suitable for moon photography. For the moon to appear as large as possible on the image, you must be able to zoom in at the widest possible angle. The focal length should be at least 200 mm.

The right settings for lunar images

The moon is a small bright spot in the big black night sky, so automatic functions will only work poorly. Apart from the focus, everything is adjusted manually.

First, check that the image stabiliser is turned off. Its work is done by the tripod. Also make sure the flash is off. If you are working with an SLR, you should also turn on the mirror lock-up. This will cause the camera to release with a slight delay and prevent camera shaking.

Now find the moon with the viewfinder or Live View and place it in the middle of your section. Exposure metering can be done manually or using spot metering. You can transfer the spot metering values to manual mode to easily vary the image section later. For focal lengths greater than 200 mm, the shutter speeds must be kept very low, because even the slightest shocks can blur the image.

As the moon moves, long exposure and shutter speeds are not an option. The exposure time should remain within a range of 1/20-1/60. The ISO-values should be kept as low as possible. Start with a value of 100 and find your sweet spot. The balance between exposure and ISO is critical. Since the moon moves quite fast, motion blurring can occur. Then shorten the exposure time and increase the ISO value.

If possible, fade out two levels. If your lens has the open aperture f/2.8, close the aperture to f/4 or f/5.6. With these settings, the lenses usually achieve their best image quality and the moon’s surface is reproduced in detail.

Capturing the phases of the moon

When it comes to lunar photography, many people first think of the full moon. But similar to portrait photography, the most exciting images are not created frontally in full exposure, but when the light comes from the side. Just the same, you can see the relief and its craters on the moon much better when it is illuminated from the side. Use a lunar calendar when planning your photos. The night should also be very clear. The higher the moon is, the less the layers of air affect the image quality.

Tip: The most beautiful structures can be seen when the moon is about 6 days old, i.e. 6 days after the full moon.

Moon shot at crescent

Source: ©René Gropp – www.renegropp.de

The right place for lunar photography

Decisive for lunar photography is a strong contrast between the bright moon and the black night sky. Therefore, try to take your pictures in a place with as little ambient light as possible. Drive out of the city and look for a free, elevated surface. On the Internet you can find light pollution maps for all of Europe that can help you find a suitable place nearby.

The post-processing of the lunar images

Even if the files are large and take a long time to process, it is worth taking such detailed pictures in RAW format. With software such as Photoshop or Lightroom you can work out the moon craters and shadows with the settings sharpness, white balance, tonal value, and shadows well. If you have caught a low moon, it can even be coloured yellow or red. You can emphasise these colours on your computer afterwards, in order to get particularly interesting pictures of the moon.

You can also take several pictures one after the other and then “stack” them with the help of software, i.e. layer several pictures. The similar photos are superimposed, and details and contrasts are sharply worked out.

Mondaufgang über einer Bergkette

If you want to stage the moon close to the horizon with trees, roofs or towers, it is advisable to take at least two pictures: once with the scenery in focus and then another with the moon surface in focus. If you put these pictures together on the computer, you will create exciting picture compositions.

As is so often the case in photography, trial and error is key. The different phases of the moon, the locations, and variations of the equipment create very different images of the celestial body.

Instagram: Hashtag-Guide für Fotografen, Selbstständige und Blogger

Wenn es eine Sache gibt, für die die Fotoplattform Instagram berühmt ist, dann sind es Hashtags. Bereits in unserem Artikel „Fotografieren für Instagram & Co.“ haben wir erwähnt, dass Hashtags einen entscheidenden Beitrag zum Erfolg eines Bildes bzw. eines Accounts leisten können. An dieser Stelle möchten wir das Thema Hashtags auf Instagram noch ein wenig vertiefen und klären, wie man sie richtig benutzt und welche Hashtags für Fotografen, Blogger und Co. die Beliebtesten sind, um seine Reichweite und Interaktionen zu steigern.

So nutzt man Hashtags auf Instagram richtig

Grundvoraussetzung für die Verwendung von Hashtags ist ein öffentliches Instagram-Profil. Stellt man sein Profil auf „privat“, wird man nicht über die Hashtag-Suche mit seinen Beiträgen gefunden.

Bevor wahllos Hashtags unter das Bild getippt werden, sollte man sich zuvor Gedanken machen, wie viele Hashtags angemessen sind, ob diese direkt in die Profilbeschreibung oder via Kommentar gepostet werden sollen, ob man internationale Hashtags verwendet, wie man passende Hashtags recherchiert und das Wichtigste, welche Hashtags für welche Branche relevant sind. Alle diese Fragen wollen wir nachfolgend klären.

Drei Arten von Hashtags auf Instagram

Bevor wir auf die Recherche-Möglichkeiten und die richtigen Hashtags eingehen, wollen wir zunächst einmal klären, welche Arten von Hashtags es gibt. Grundsätzlich lassen sich Hashtags auf Instagram in drei Kategorien einteilen. Da wären zum einen Hashtags, mit denen man ein grosses Publikum und somit auch eine hohe Reichweite erzielt. Diese Hashtags sind meist sehr generisch, lassen sich für eine breite Masse von Bildern verwenden und werden sehr häufig von vielen Usern verwendet. Beispiele hierfür wären #instadaily, #sunday oder #photooftheday. Sucht man auf Instagram nach diesen Hashtags, werden einem mehrere hundert Millionen Bilder angezeigt. Diese Hashtags eignen sich vor allem, um schnell ein paar Likes für sein eigenes Bild zu bekommen. Allerdings besteht bei der ausschliesslichen Verwendung dieser Hashtags auch die Gefahr, dass man schnell wieder in der Hashtag-Suche untergeht, da bereits die nächsten zehntausend Bilder mit diesen Hashtags gepostet wurden.

Eine zweite Art von Hashtags könnte man als Nischen-Hashtags bezeichnen. Diese Hashtags sind in den meisten Fällen sehr speziell auf den Bildinhalt zugeschnitten. Ein Beispiel hierfür wäre ein Foto eines Desserts von einem Food-Fotografen, der sein Bild mit den Hashtags #foodinspiration oder #foodfotografie versieht. Natürlich liessen sich die Hashtags für solch ein Bild noch individueller gestalten, wenn man z.B. die Hashtags #dessert oder #dessertrezept wählt. Hier kommt es ganz darauf an, welche Zielgruppe man erreichen möchte. Die Vorteile dieser spezielleren Hashtags sind die längere Sichtbarkeit über den Zeitraum hinweg und die höhere Interaktionsbereitschaft der User. Allerdings können der erste Like und der erste Kommentar auch ein wenig auf sich warten lassen, da diese Hashtags nicht so häufig verwendet und dementsprechend auch nicht so häufig gesucht werden.

In der Regel bietet sich eine bunte Mischung aus generischen Hashtags und speziellen Nischen-Hashtags an, um sein Bild zu beschreiben. Soll mit den Bildern und dem Instagram-Account eine spezielle Zielgruppe angesprochen werden, ist es sogar ratsam, nur branchenspezifische Hashtags zu verwenden. Dies bietet sich vor allem für Business-Accounts an, die über Instagram ein Produkt oder eine Dienstleistung verkaufen wollen.

Neben diesen beiden Hashtag-Arten gibt es noch die sogenannten Spam-Hashtags, die nur Likes, Kommentare und Follower zum Ziel haben, aber gar nicht zum Account und zum Bild passen. Daher sind diese Hashtags für eine sinnvolle Bildbeschreibung auch nicht zu empfehlen. Beispiele hierfür sind #like4like oder #follow4follow.

Hashtag-Suche auf Instagram

Die Suche nach dem generischen Hashtag „Instagram“ lässt eine Vielzahl von unterschiedlichen Bildern in der Suche erscheinen.

Die richtige Anzahl und Platzierung von Hashtags auf Instagram

Nachdem wir geklärt haben, welche Arten von Hashtags es auf Instagram gibt, beantworten wir nun die zwei Fragen nach der Anzahl und der richtigen Platzierung der Hashtags.

Grundsätzlich gibt es auf Instagram für beide Fragen zwei Lager. Die Einen sagen, man solle nur eine Handvoll Hashtags verwenden, während die Anderen der Meinung sind, dass man die volle Anzahl an möglichen Hashtags verwenden soll. Und auch bei der Frage nach der Platzierung schwören die Einen darauf, die Hashtags direkt mit in die Bildbeschreibung zu posten, während Andere sie lieber separat in den ersten Kommentar posten.

So oder so, es ist und bleibt eine Geschmackssache. Fakt ist aber, dass man auf Instagram unter jedes Bild bis zu 30 Hashtags posten kann und man wertvolle Sekunden verliert, wenn man die Hashtags erst als Kommentar verfasst. Insbesondere, wenn man sehr generische Hashtags verwendet. Hier besteht die Gefahr, dass man nach einer halben Minute in der Suche für diesen Hashtag schon so weit nach unten gerutscht ist, dass man gar nicht mehr wahrgenommen wird.

2 Varianten der Hashtag-Platzierung

links: Hashtags wurden als Kommentar gepostet – rechts: Hashtags wurde gleich mit in die Profilbeschreibung gepostet

Hashtag-Sprache: Deutsch vs. International

Hat man sich für eine Strategie zur Anzahl und Platzierung von Hashtags entschieden, sollte natürlich noch die Frage geklärt werden, ob man sich nur auf deutsche Hashtags festlegt oder ob man auch internationale, z.B. englischsprachige Hashtags verwendet. Auch diese Frage lässt sich mit einem Blick auf seine Zielgruppe bei Instagram klären. Möchte man beispielsweise sehr lokal eine Dienstleistung mit seinem Account bewerben, ist es ratsam, sich auch nur auf deutschsprachige bzw. lokale Hashtags zu konzentrieren. Ist die eigene Zielgruppe oder die Strategie auf Instagram aber offener und nicht auf einen lokalen Radius beschränkt, sollten internationale Hashtags verwendet werden. In der Regal erzielen englische Hashtags eine höhere Reichweite.

Passende Hashtags für seine Branche recherchieren

Nun geht es an das eigentliche Recherchieren von passenden Hashtags für seine Bilder. Dafür gibt es direkt auf Instagram gleich mehrere Möglichkeiten. Zum einen die interne Suche und zum anderen die Analyse der „Konkurrenz“ bzw. die Analyse von ähnlichen Profilen. Über die interne Suche kann man sich beispielsweise nicht nur beliebte Hashtags anzeigen lassen. Instagram unterbreitet seinen Usern auch gleich Vorschläge von ähnlich relevanten Hashtags. Aber auch die Analyse von Top Beiträgen aus seiner Branche ist ein legitimer Weg, um für seinen Account und seine Bilder relevante Hashtags zu finden.

Die interne Instagram Suche

Über die interne Suchfunktion auf Instagram lassen sich ähnliche und relevante Hashtags finden.

Beliebte Instagram Hashtags für Fotografen, Blogger und Co.

Für ein wenig Inspiration haben wir nachfolgend ein paar relevante Hashtags für einzelne Branchen aufgelistet, die sehr beliebt sind, aber auch spezielle Hashtags für mehr Interaktionen.

Allgemeine

#instadaily #instamagazine #instainspo #instadaily #monday #sundaymood #visualsoflife #dailyinspiration #nothingisordinary #amazingday #throwbackthursday

Fotografie

#fotoshooting #chasinglight #makemoments #vscocam #photography #postmoreportraits #justgoshoot #makemoments #toldwithexposure #acolorstory

Food

#feedfeed #eatclean #foodporn #foodphotography #commontable #lifeandthyme #eeeeeats #onmytable #tastemade #foodlicious #foodshot #foodandwine #onthetable #foodstyling

Lifestyle

#livethelittlethings #thatsdarling #pursuepretty #flashesofdelight #thehappynow #nothingisordinary #petitejoys #darlingmovement #darlingweekend

Blogger

#bloggerlife #bloggerstyle #blogger_ch #ontheblog #blogger_de #germanblogger #germanblog #bloggerin #blogging #instablogger #bloggerlifestyle

Business

#whereiwork #workmode #workaholic #handsandhustle #creativeentrepeneur #startuplife #attheoffice #entrepeneurlife #startups #workharder #workhardplayharder

Design & Architektur

#minimalmood #minimal_graphy #abmhappylife #chairaffair #lovedesign #designinspiration #designporn #interiordesign #modernism #architecturelovers

Fashion

#fashionblogger #fbloggers #streetstyle #styleblogger #whatiwear #outfitoftheday #todayimwearing #styleiswhat #fashionnista #fashiondaily #mensstyle #mensweardaily #styleguide

Natur

#exploremore #getoutside #takeahike #wilderness #campvibes #wonderfulplaces #naturephotography #natureshots #mountainlife

Travel

#travelmore #travelandlife #welltravelled #takemethere #takemeback #traveltheworld #travelgram #travellife #traveldiaries #wanderlust #passionpassport

Avoid rookie mistakes: Photographing stars correctly

During a daytime photo tour, the hours and minutes can fly by, and all of the sudden it is dark. This seems like a great opportunity for a few night shots with a sky full of twinkling stars. For successful shots of stars or the Milky Way, however, a few things have to be considered.

We will explain to you how to capture an impressive night sky effectively and which mistakes to avoid.

Mistake no. 1: Looking out of the window to get a weather forecast

Almost every passionate amateur photographer is tempted to go outside with their camera when the weather is good. But while nice weather during the day makes for good photos, other factors play an important role in star photography. The moon phase has a decisive influence, since during a full moon, many stars are over-illuminated by the light of the moon. Consequently, the four days before and after new moon are best suited for impressive night shots. You can find out the moon phases by looking at the lunar calendar, which you can find on numerous web pages and apps.

Furthermore, you get a better shot of stars in cold air than in warm air, as it is clearer. After rain, which also provides clear air, there is also a particularly good chance of photographing a beautiful night sky. If, however, cold, clear air is added to a snow-covered area, this can become a problem. The white snow reflects light and the stars in your photo will be hard to see. The months of March to May and September to October are particularly suitable for nocturnal photo tours.

Mistake no. 2: Mysterious astronomy

As already mentioned, it requires some background knowledge about the moon and its phases to catch good conditions for star photography. Knowledge about the constellations and the Milky Way is also very helpful for an impressive image composition. That’s why it’s always useful to bring a star map with you. The most practical way to do so is using an app on a smartphone. For example, the free app SkyView® (iOS / Android) shows both the locations of different constellations and the locations of the sun, moon, planets and even satellites. In addition, this app has a search function that leads you to the specific position of a constellation or another celestial body.

Screenshots der App Sky View: Startbild, Live-View-Modus und Such-Funktion

The image shows the live view mode and the search area of the SkyView® app. The two images in the middle show the current position of the moon and a nearby constellation.

Another very useful app is called PhotoPills (iOS / Android). This app is not free of charge, but offers a lot of helpful functionalities. It gives you exact information about the course of the sun, the moon and the milky way at your specific location, which you can view in Live View mode. The app also shows you the phases of the moon and sun as well as the golden and blue hour. To plan individual photo sessions, you can use a planner that shows you precisely in which hours it is particularly worthwhile to take pictures outside.

Independent of star photography, this app offers a large selection of cameras, so that you can adapt the uses specifically to your own camera. With the help of this tuning, the app can give you numerous tips for different settings options with regards to exposure, depth of field, object distance and much more. For better understanding, the app provides operating instructions and YouTube tutorials.

Screenshots der App PhotoPills: Übersicht der Anwendungen, Live-View-Modus der Milchstrasse, Planer und Startbild

This image shows a short overview of some different uses as well as the course of the Milky Way in Live View mode and the planner in the PhotoPills app.

Mistake no. 3: There are stars everywhere

The statement “There are stars everywhere” is technically true and yet they cannot be admired from everywhere. Especially in big cities there is a lot of light pollution due to the many lanterns, traffic and also the illuminated advertisements of countless shops. This means that it never really gets dark. That is why you should go to a place far away from the city to photograph stars. The less ambient light, the better the conditions for a successful shooting at night. On top of that, a higher point, such as a hill, a mountain or a starting point, helps to get a clear view.

Mistake no. 4: Taking pictures with Autofocus

Before we start with the settings, some questions regarding the equipment have to be answered. Full-format cameras offer the best conditions for taking pictures of the night sky because of their large sensor, which has fewer problems with noise behaviour at high ISO values. However, this doesn’t mean that a good shot cannot also be taken with a camera with a smaller sensor, such as an APS-C sensor.

But the body of the camera does not do the work all by itself. The lens plays a significant role. Above all, the lens should be as wide-angled and powerful as possible and allow an aperture of four or less. Autofocus does not play a role when choosing the lens for star photography, since the focus in star photography is set manually anyway.

Photographs of the night sky are always taken with an open aperture. This means that the smallest aperture available is chosen to capture as much light as possible. The most complicated step is to focus on infinity. With some lenses, the infinity sign is shown directly on the focus ring, which makes the adjustment much easier. If this image is not available, it is possible to focus on a very distant object during the day in order to then place a mark on the lens yourself. This is only possible with lenses that let you rotate the lens ring infinitely, though.

The Live View mode can be useful to check the focus. Since this can be magnified tenfold, it is easier to see whether the point has actually been focused. If this is not the case, you can readjust the focus in a few small steps.

Eine Strasse und ein See bei Nacht. Der dunkle Himmel zeigt die Milchstrasse.

This collage shows two pictures taken at night, in which the Milky Way is perfectly staged. These two photos were taken with a Sony Alpha 7 II and a 24-70 mm Zeiss lens. The following settings were used to take the pictures: Focus on infinity, ISO value between 4000 and 8000, aperture 4, exposure time 25 seconds. ©Andreas Franke – www.andysign-fotografie.de

The ISO value in photography should ideally be kept rather low to avoid noise in the image. When photographing stars, however, you should use quite high values in order to get the best image effect. Depending on the camera model, ISO values between 1600 and 8000 are used. Therefore, it is even more important to shoot in clear air as this reduces noise considerably.

Once all settings have been adjusted, the image can be captured with an exposure time of 15 to 30 seconds. However, do not expose for more than 30 seconds, as the circular stars will turn into stripes. Due to the long exposure time, using a tripod is recommended. In addition, a remote shutter release can be a great help to prevent shaking caused by releasing the shutter.

Mistake no. 5: Only aiming the camera at the sky

The starry night sky and above all the Milky Way are extremely impressive. Nevertheless, a picture that only shows the sky can quickly become boring. The right tension can be created by bringing in other image elements, such as a tree, a street, a building or the silhouette of a landscape.

Silhouette einer Landschaft mit einer Burg unter einem Sternenhimmel und die Silhouette einer Bank unter der sichtbaren Milchstrasse

The photo on the right shows a bench illuminated by the light pollution of a city and the visible Milky Way. This motif shows how the scattered light of a city can be used to design images. ©Andreas Franke – www.andysign-fotografie.de

Conclusion

Photographing the starry night sky involves a number of preparations, but considering them will produce impressive results. So be experimental, play with ISO values and exposure times, and include objects and stray light from streets or cities in your image design. Practice makes perfect.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Andreas Franke, who not only impressed us with his incredible photos, but also helped us create this article with valuable advice.

Merken

Exif-Daten manipulieren – Auslesen, Ändern und Löschen von Metadaten digitaler Bilder

Nahezu alle modernen Kameras und Smartphones unterstützen den Exif-Standard zur Speicherung von Metadaten in digitalen Fotos. Dabei werden Informationen wie das Erstellungsdatum, Belichtungszeiten und ISO-Werte, aber auch der Kameratyp und die Geo-Location direkt in der Bild-Datei gespeichert. Die so gesammelten Angaben können bei der Archivierung von Fotos eine grosse Hilfe sein, viele Programme zur Bilderverwaltung und -bearbeitung nutzen die Daten zur Sortierung der Aufnahmen.

Einstellungen für Datum und Uhrzeit können direkt an der Kamera getroffen werden

Einstellungen wie Datum und Uhrzeit können direkt an der Kamera vorgenommen werden.

Umso ärgerlicher ist es, wenn das Datum auf der verwendeten Kamera nicht korrekt eingestellt war und die Reihenfolge der Bilder nicht mehr stimmt. Insbesondere, wer Fotos mit mehreren Geräten wie Kamera und Smartphone aufnimmt, wird das Problem kennen, dass nicht alle Geräte die gleichen Daten zeigen. Wenn Fotos beispielsweise mit einer Software wie dem ifolor Designer in ein Fotobuch eingefügt werden sollen ist eine verlässlich richtige Sortierung ungemein hilfreich. In einigen Fällen kann es auch sinnvoll sein, die Meta-Informationen der Fotos zu löschen oder zu bearbeiten – etwa dann, wenn Bilder im Internet veröffentlicht werden sollen. Wir zeigen Ihnen, wie Sie schnell und einfach Exif-Daten Ihrer digitalen Bilder manipulieren können.

Welche Metadaten können gespeichert werden?

Typische Informationen, die direkt in den Bild-Dateien gespeichert werden können, sind Datum und Uhrzeit, Brennweite und Blende, Belichtungszeit und ISO-Wert. Moderne Kameras und Smartphones, die mit entsprechenden Sensoren ausgestattet sind, können auch geografische Koordinaten speichern. Insgesamt gibt es mittlerweile mehr als 100 standardisierte Meta-Daten.
Neben dem Exif-Standard existieren auch noch sogenannte IPTC-Daten. Der vom International Press Telecommunications Council (IPTC) entwickelte Standard wird vorrangig im Fotojournalismus genutzt und erlaubt die Speicherung zusätzlicher Informationen wie Copyright-Vermerk, Urheber und Beschreibung sowie weiterer Verweise auf die Inhalte des Fotos wie Keywords, Details zum Aufnahmeort oder Überschriften.

Wie können die Daten ausgelesen werden?

Die meisten Bildbetrachtungs- und Bearbeitungsprogramme sind in der Lage, die Metadaten auszulesen. Ausserdem gibt es eine Reihe spezieller Programme wie Exif Viewer oder Exifer (beide gratis), mit denen die Informationen angezeigt werden können. Auch mit einem Online-Exif-Viewer können die Daten ausgegeben werden. Der Vorteil besteht darin, dass keine zusätzliche Software auf dem eigenen Rechner installiert werden muss.

Darüber hinaus bieten auch die meisten Betriebssysteme selbst die Möglichkeit, Exif-Daten von Bildern anzeigen zu lassen. Bei fast allen populären Betriebssystemen können die Metadaten direkt über den Eigenschaften-Dialog der jeweiligen Dateien abgerufen werden.

Exif-Daten bearbeiten und löschen

Kam es zu Fehlern bei der Speicherung der Metadaten, zum Beispiel durch eine fehlerhafte Einstellung des Datums auf der Kamera, so können die entsprechenden Informationen auch im Nachhinein noch geändert werden. Auch das Löschen von Exif-Daten kann sinnvoll sein, denn so können mitunter private Informationen vor anderen verborgen werden.

Je nach Anspruch und Art der Daten, die bearbeitet werden müssen, können verschiedene Programme zum Einsatz kommen. Die folgende, nicht vollständige Liste gibt Ihnen einen Überblick über Software, die zur Manipulation von Exif-Daten verwendet werden kann:

Exifer (gratis, Windows)

Mit der Freeware Exifer können alle versteckten Metainformationen von Fotos und Bildern ausgelesen und bearbeitet werden. Neben Exif-Daten liefert das Tool auch einen Überblick über die hinterlegten IPTC-Informationen.

EXIF Date Changer (gratis, Windows)

Wenn lediglich die Aufnahmezeit und das Datum geändert werden müssen, hilft das gratis Programm EXIF Date Changer. Das Freeware-Tool ist in der Lage, sowohl das Aufnahme- als auch das Änderungsdatum auszulesen und zu verändern.
Darüber hinaus können einzelne weitere Metadaten mit diesem Werkzeug geändert werden. Allerdings werden nicht alle möglichen Meta-Informationen unterstützt.

Reveal (gratis, Mac)

Auch für Mac OS Nutzer gibt es Software zur Manipulation von Exif-Daten. Die gratis Software Reveal bietet die Möglichkeit, Metainformationen auszulesen und zu ändern. Auch hier gilt, wie bei allen anderen Programmen: Wurden die bestehenden Informationen einmal überschrieben, kann diese Änderung nicht mehr rückgängig gemacht werden.

Exif Tag Remover (gratis, Windows)

Um sämtliche Metainformationen eines Fotos zu löschen, kann die Freeware Exif Tag Remover verwendet werden. Das Programm entfernt verlässlich alle gespeicherten Exif-Daten einer Bilddatei. Dabei kann das Original beibehalten werden und eine Kopie generiert werden, die keine Exif-Informationen enthält.

Windows Explorer (Windows)

Einige Exif-Daten können direkt im Eigenschaften-Dialog des jeweiligen Bildes unter Windows im Explorer ausgelesen und geändert werden. Dazu genügt ein Rechtsklick auf die Bilddatei. Unter dem Punkt Eigenschaften – Details können die bestehenden Informationen angesehen und bei Bedarf angepasst werden. Leider unterstützt auch der Windows Explorer nicht alle Exif-Informationen.

Exif-Daten im Eigenschaften-Dialog des Windows Explorer

Im Windows Explorer können die Exif-Daten von Bildern direkt im Eigenschaften-Dialog ausgelesen werden.

Neben den genannten Gratis-Programmen sind auch die etablierten Fotobearbeitungs-Programme oftmals in der Lage, Exif-Daten auszulesen und (zumindest teilweise) zu verändern. Kostenpflichtige Standardprogramme wie Adobe Lightroom (Mac und Windows), Apple Fotos (Mac) und Aperture (Mac) können Ihnen bei der Bearbeitung der Metainformationen behilflich sein. Auch die Gratis-Software GIMP unterstützt mittlerweile die Änderung von Exif-Informationen. Die Bildmetadaten erreichst Du nach Öffnen eines Bildes oder Fotos ganz einfach über die Registerkarte Bild. Im Anschluss daran können Sie Metadaten wie GPS, Beschreibung oder Kategorien auswählen und nachträglich bearbeiten.

Folders help when sorting out your files

Managing and protecting your photos

Thanks to modern digital cameras and a nearly endless availability of disk space, our computers end up with a lot of photos saved on them. Very often these snapshots are archived and forgotten about while still taking up space on your hard drive. This quickly leads to you losing oversight of all of your photos. With a few simple tricks you can avoid this and you can save your photos from disappearing amongst the chaos. We’ll show you what measures you should take in order to organise and manage your photos in a sensible manner. If you put these tips to good use, you’ll be sure to bring order to the hurly-burly of your photo collection.

Less is more – sorting out unnecessary image files

Your holiday is over and there are countless photos on your camera just waiting to be downloaded to your computer. Thanks to modern advancements in photography and almost limitless storage space, many people tend to photograph the same motif multiple times from different positions and vantage points. Very quickly people end up with a collection of similar photos. But, is it really necessary to save all of them?

Our tip: look at all of your photos closely and decide which ones you really want to keep. Blurry, fuzzy, over-, and underexposed shots can be deleted right from the get-go. You can also immediately delete any photos that just don’t catch your fancy. Deliberate whether the photos might be able to serve a purpose at a later point in time. To go through your photos, you can use a free photo browser such as IrfanView or FastStone Image Viewer. These programs help you save time by showing you thumbnails of your photos with corresponding information and they also allow you to turn your photos around into their correct positions. If you do not wish to install any extra programs, you can also just use the built-in functions of the internal file browser on your computer.

Being organised makes life that much easier – a sensible folder system for your photos

After you’ve sorted through your photos, the next logical step is to save them on your computer. When downloading your photos, make sure to use a detailed file system. This will help both you and others looking at your photos to keep a general overview. Make sure to keep your job-related and personal photos separated. It is also a good idea to create a new folder for photos each year. Collections of photos from a specific event should be sorted into their own subfolder. Here, a combination of dates in year-month-day format and a short description of the photos provide a good title for the subfolder. For instance, for photos from your summer holiday in France in July 2015, you could name the folder something like “201507_Summerholiday-France.” Putting the date in year/month/day format will help keep your photos in chronological order.

If you need to edit your photos at a later point in time, it’s always best to use the raw image files. To keep organised, the raw image files should be kept in a separate folder with a similar folder structure.

A clear and organised file structure for managing your photos

Use names and tags for your photos

You’ll have to decide for yourself if it’s worth your time to rename every single photo. The fact is that this can turn out to be a lot of work when you have a heap of photos to go through. It might be more sensible to use tags. By attaching keywords to your photos, it makes it easy to order photos according to a certain theme. For example, you could tag photos from your holiday in France with the tags “summer holiday” and “France.” If you take photos of some sights, you could add the name of the monument as well as the name of the city where the photo was taken. Tags provide you the advantage of being able to save time by searching through your photo files by just using the corresponding keywords.

Managing your photos – pros and cons of using filing software

Many of the tips and tricks we’ve already mentioned above can be even simpler to implement by using the appropriate software for managing your photos. There are various programs available, either free or for purchase, that can help you. Several worth mentioning are Google’s Picasa, Photoshop Lightroom from Adobe, as well as ACDSee.

The advantage of using this kind of software is that it makes it much easier to keep an overview of your photos. Tagging your photos is made much easier and the integrated search filters provide you with countless ways of searching through your photos. Advanced viewing possibilities allow you to peruse your photos according to the date they were taken or to view them on a calendar. High-quality programmes like Photoshop Lightroom even offer built-in functions to edit your photos. This makes using other photo-editing software unnecessary.

Backing up your photos on an external hard drive, for instance, protects against data loss

Securely store your files – solutions for backing up your photos

Many beautiful memories are attached to our photos. This makes it that much more tragic should some of our photos be forever lost. Photos taken with your smartphone are especially at risk since smartphones can quickly become lost or damaged. In order to avoid losing precious photos, it’s important to think about backing them up. There are numerous ways to do this.

A simple way to backup your photos is to regularly burn them on a DVD and store them in a safe place. With a high number of photos and the constant need to add more photos to your collection, however, this can quickly become a pain and lead to an organisational nightmare. Something else to consider is the fact that fewer and fewer laptops are being manufactured with built-in disk drives, which can make viewing photos saved on a DVD that much more difficult to view in the future.

For these reasons it’s a better idea to backup your photos on an external hard drive which can be kept up to date concurrently with your computer’s files. Yet another possibility for securely backing up your photos is using a cloud. There are many providers that offer free or low-cost online storage space. If you use Picasa from Google, for instance, you can save an unlimited number of photos for free. This kind of method of data backup is one of the most secure and you also have the added benefit of being able to access your photos anywhere an Internet connection is available.

No matter what kind of method you use for backing up your photos, make sure to keep the backed up files up to date. It’s also a good idea to save multiple copies of your most important files. This will help further ensure you don’t lose important data.