Video Surveillance Camera

  • Fixed vs PTZ: A camera can be fixed to only look at one specific view or it can be movable through the use of panning, tilting and zooming (i.e., moving left and right, up and down, closer and farer away). Most cameras used in surveillance are fixed. PTZ cameras are generally used to cover wider fields of views and should generally be used only if you expect a monitor to actively use the cameras on a daily basis. A key reason fixed cameras are generally used is that they cost 5 -8 times less than PTZs (fixed cameras average $200 – $500 USD whereas PTZ cameras can be over $2,000 USD).
  • Color vs Infrared vs Thermal: In TV, a video can be color or black and white. In video surveillance today, the only time producing a black and white image makes sense is when lighting is very low (e.g., night time). In those conditions, infrared or thermal cameras produce black and white images. Infrared cameras require special lamps (infrared illuminators) that produce clear image in the dark (but are significantly more expensive than color cameras – often 2x to 3x more). Thermal cameras require no lighting but product only silhouettes of objects and are very expensive ($5,000 – $20,000 on average) In day time or lighted areas, color cameras are the obvious choice as the premium for color over black and white is trivial.
  • Standard Definition vs. Megapixel: This choice is similar to that of TVs. Just like in the consmer world, historically everyone used standard definition cameras but now users are shifting into high definition cameras. While high definition TV maxes out at 3 MP, surveilance cameras can provide up to 16 MP resolution. In 2008, megapixel cameras only represent about 4% of total cameras sold but they are expanding very rapidly. See a demonstration of megapixel cameras to learn more.
  • IP vs Analog: The largest trend in video surveillance today is the move from analog cameras to IP cameras. While all surveillance cameras are digitized to view and record on computers, only IP cameras digitize the video inside the camera. While most infrared and thermal cameras are still only available as analog cameras, you can only use megapixel resolution in IP cameras. Currently, 20% of cameras sold are IP and this percentage is increasingly rapidly.

Select The Scenic Places For Photography

Finding the perfect location to be shot: It’s always easy and comfortable to go for places around you, like a park. But to find a location for a memorable picture one can think of some special locations like the ocean side, mountains or forest-side. Each location has its own individuality and charm which makes the picture interesting and happening.

Perfect natural lighting: A location which has natural light is preferred by a photographer. But try to avoid direct sunlight of the mid day, always go for shaded lighting than a harsh one. A soft and flattering sunlight would bring out the best picture. Early mornings and evenings light would be the best lighting for a perfect picture.

Being alert: Photography in outdoor locations always comes with the risk of sudden and unexpected changes in weather. So be sure you are ready with a back up plan and have necessary arrangements, in case of bad weather conditions. Make sure you have got something like a shaded shelter nearby to protect your photographic equipments from sudden downpour.

Always go for quiet places: A crowded place is always a distraction to capture the real scenic beauty. Mountains, hills, beach side etc are some of the best locations for scenic photography. These scenic places provide ample opportunities for experimenting.

Decide on a focal point: A focal point always gives your landscape a certain definition and brings out an amazing and eye-catching frame to the viewers. A tree that appears unique or a formation in rock or anything else that appears striking can be taken as the focal point to enhance your photograph.

Cover the sky in photograph: Always make it a point to include and give due consideration to include sky above the landscape in your photograph. A scenic beauty would look incomplete without its overlying sky. Different colours of the sky and formations out of clouds can really bring out an awesome look to the landscape. Even if the look of the sky is dull it can be enhanced with the help of filters.

Versatile Reversing Camera Systems

In its essence the reversing camera is meant to help drivers while backing up by offering them a view of the rear on a display screen placed inside the car. In actuality reversing cameras have other benefits as well. This is especially true when you consider the new versatile collection of reversing camera systems.

The latest reversing camera systems will be able to offer you a high quality LCD monitor ranging from 3.5 inches up to seven inches. This will be coupled by a color coded camera that has night vision capabilities making use of infrared technology.

Some of the monitors have an extremely compact design with built in receivers. The technology advanced reversing cameras have the feature to adjust their lighting automatically as the natural light in the outside environment changes.

The reversing camera systems of today will allow you to make additions as and when you feel. A system may incorporate one to four cameras depending upon the requirements of the driver. The additional cameras can be purchased and attached to the same system. Once attached the display screen will then give a split view of the rear depending on the number of cameras being used at the rear. Similarly you can add on infrared supplements to increase the night vision capability of your reversing camera. By enhancing your camera’s features by adding cameras and infrared supplements you can get a comprehensive view of the rare which will allow you to get in and out of the toughest parking spots.

The fact that the latest cameras have adjustable mirror image capabilities adds even more versatility to the cameras. This is because with the ability to adjust the view you can even mount the reversing camera at the front or sides of your car. You can then alter the display view accordingly.

Another added feature in the technologically advanced reversing cameras of today is the microphone. With a built in microphone the reversing camera will give you a complete audio visual of the rear thus making things easier.

Some cameras are fitted with distance monitoring capabilities. Such cameras have the ability to calculate and warn you about the exact distance between your car and the closest object. This feature comes in extremely handy and allows you to conduct precision parallel parking with considerable ease.

Picture Clarity With Digital Cameras

  1. Compact Digital Cameras – These are a range of small and easily portable cameras in various colors and sleek designs that also incorporate some of the basic features of analogue cameras. These have retractable zoom lenses fitted even though the range of the same is less. There are certain features that are not available in compact analogue cameras owing to the lack of size capacity.
  2. Bridge analogue Cameras – This is a high end range of digital cameras that closely resemble the DSLR cameras. Despite the presence of some of the advanced features this is also restricted by a small zoom range of a fixed lens and a small sensor.
  3. DSLR Cameras(Digital Single Lens Reflex Cameras) – The analogue SLR cameras are unique in the world of photography as they use a mechanical mirror system and pentaprism that directs light from the lens to an optical viewfinder that is located at the back of the camera. They have larger sensors that give them the advantage of high quality pictures even in low light conditions.

analogue cameras are made up of several components or accessories that play a part in its basic as well as advanced functioning. These are important and are available in several brands as well. so if you are a discerning camera user you may consider the best made accessories for your choicest cameras.

  1. Geotagging GPS Device – This enables you to shoot pictures in different locations and then view them as per Google maps. You can even share them with friends by the help of geotagging.
  2. Digital Camera Memory Cards – This is the most important accessory for your digital camera. For all high end and expensive cameras that you may own with advanced features will also require high speed and high capacity memory cards. Otherwise you may lose on your pictures due to shortage of space. Lack of speed will make you wait too long between snaps.
  3. Camera Bags – it may not sound important enough but a safe and secure cover for your expensive cameras is very essential. When you are buying the same you must consider the roughness of your journey as well as the weather conditions from which the camera will need protection.

Photo Booth Rental Tips

  • If you are picking out your own album for a photo guest book, I recommend using one with black pages – at least 20 of them. The photo strips and metallic gel pens for messages look fantastic on black pages.
  • If you are using the photo strips as your primary wedding favor, consider having the strip customized to include your names and the date – or a special message.
  • Tailor the photo strips to fit with the mood you are trying to set with your wedding. Color strips look great at any wedding, but we can also make them black and white, or sepia tone for a classic or retro touch.
  • To take your photo strip wedding favors to the next level, place 2″x6″ acrylic, photo strip frames at each place setting or some other style of 2″x6″ frame.
  • At the end of the evening, all the images will be placed on a CD to be used however you see fit. Consider projecting them onto a screen with an LCD projector for all to see toward the end of the reception.
  • Consider having duplicates of the photo strips printed out later to be included with thank you notes, birthday cards, holiday cards, etc.
  • As you consider your options: make sure you are comparing apples to apples. Not all photo booths are created equal – there is a photo booth for every price point – from “photo booths” that are assembled with pipe and drapes or a tripod and a back drop, to upscale, authentic, hard-sided photo booths. If aesthetics are important to you, ask your photo booth rental company to see a picture of the booth that will be at your event. Also make sure to ask for a sample of the photo strips they provide. Not all photo strips are created equal either. Image clarity and flattering lighting is not only important for the benefit of your guests, but it greatly enhances the quality of the photo guest book that is created for you.

Street Portraiture

I’ve been reading a lot about Street Photography. It piqued my interest and I spent many nights, scouring the internet. The main issue that I had was that it was too detached for me. The almost voyeuristic detachment with which the street photographer hangs back and observes what is going on, before clicking the shutter at the Bresson-esque decisive moment, generally goes unnoticed by the subject. Despite street photography taking place in public places, such as a train or a cafe, the photographers aim is to avoid having any impact on the scene unfolding before them. Anonymity is key. For me, I like the interaction. I like to talk to people. I wanted my subjects to be involved. I can only advise that anyone who is going to try the same thing as I am, should take a look at the ‘Humans of New York’. The photographer approaches and speaks to the subjects before taking a photograph of them. In my own opinion, this makes the photograph more about the interaction between the photographer and the subject and less about the observation of people.

I’m certainly not claiming to be an innovator here. There must be a million photographers before me who gone down this well trodden path, but I’m not interested in them because this is my personal project. I’m starting a collection of photographs of people that I’ve never met before. Throughout the course of any day, we all see many, many interesting people who we don’t know. Perfect Strangers. People who for some reason capture our attention and interest. The reason may be good, or bad, but for some reason, they stood out and made us wish that we could photograph them. It’s difficult to break down the social boundaries that stop us from approaching a total stranger and talking to them, it’s even more difficult to ask them if they will let us photograph them. For anyone in the same position as me, I’d recommend this project and the aim is simple. To eliminate the fear that we have of being rejected, photographically speaking. Our aim should be to encourage ourselves out of the comfort zone, to force ourselves to approach the people that previously, we’ve only imagined talking pictures of. What’s the worst that could happen? They might say “no”.

Benefits of Getting a Photography Degree

Have access to professional quality equipment

By going to school, people have access to multitude of professional equipment. Schools are constantly updating their facility and gadgets and students have access to that. Students will be able to access these resources in school and learn how to operate them.

Get professional feedback

Photography schools will provide professional photographers as mentors to give feedback and critique work. Having a mentor, peers, and professors to constantly judge your work will help you grow as a photographer. Understanding different perspectives from different people will allow you to further your skills.

Become a well-rounded individual

Photography school will allow students to take a multitude of courses in different types of photography and other areas. Students will be able to become familiar with different concepts, styles, and techniques. This will allow students to become better rounded.

Get job placement

By being in school, there are many opportunities to get a job after school is completed. Schools may offer job opportunities to students who will be close to graduation. There may also be tons of resources for part time or internship work. The career services department can prepare students for interviews and job placements for the real-world as well.

Sensor Gel Stick

First of all, you should get the sensor exposed. Once the whole sensor becomes visible, you should clean the lens with the gel stick. Then you should clean the dust off the gel using the adhesive paper that comes with the gel stick. Remember: don’t make a rush when cleaning the camera. You don’t want to drop the camera accidentally.

You can use the gel several times repeating the process over and over again. Once you are done, you should turn the camera off, install the lens and set the aperture to f/32. Now, take a photo of a white wall or a white piece of paper. If the picture is free of any spots, the lens is clean.

Usually, sensor gel sticks should not be used in a room with a temperature lower than 40F. The ideal temperature is 70F if you want the best performance. Using the product in too low or too high temperatures will not give you the best performance. In worse cases, you may end up reducing the shine of the sensor, which will adversely affect the image quality. Therefore, you may want to check the temperature of the room first.

Since the stickiness of the gel varies based on the coating technologies applied on the sensor filters, we suggest that you don’t use one sensor gel stick for cleaning the lens of different cameras, as one shoe can’t fit everyone.

Normally, the cleaning product can be used on all digital cameras that come with interchangeable lenses. The good news is that most camera manufacturers have cameras that have interchangeable lens.

Some mirrorless cameras feature a coating technology that allows the gel sticks to leave behind some residue on the sensor filter surface. As a result, you will need to clean the sensor thoroughly. You should use the right type of sensor gel stick for cleaning these cameras.

Cameras that don’t come with a mirror are not easy to clean. Therefore, it’s a lot better to go for a camera that can be easily cleaned. A lens that is not clean won’t allow you to take high-quality pictures, as the quality of the pictures depends largely on the clarity of the lens or sensor. Therefore, cleaning the lens with a quality cleaner is highly recommended.

Nikon D3400 Autofocus

There are a couple of occasions when you might want to use manual. If, for example, you are shooting video and you have somebody who is fairly static, then I would recommend that you first of all use autofocus to ensure that the subject is sharp, and then switch it over to manual. That is just to prevent the possibility of, when the subject moves in or out of the frame or in and out of focus, it stops the camera trying to track. The other time might be if I am shooting landscapes. Now, again, I might well use the cameras autofocus system in order to make sure that I have everything in focus and then switch it off. That is really just to ensure that whilst I am either setting up or composing or while I am actually taking the picture itself which, remember, could be on quite a long shutter speed for 5 perhaps 10 seconds (perhaps more if it is a night-time shot) that the camera will not be distracted by something moving across the frame. It is a safeguard. The camera should not be distracted, but it is to ensure that nothing untoward does happen it is worth sometimes switching over to manual focus.

When you are in manual focus and you are looking through the viewfinder you have an option to help you here, which is called the rangefinder, and if you go into the menu and you go into the SETUP MENU then about halfway down just below BUTTONS you have an option for rangefinder. You also have the option below that to ensure that the MANUAL FOCUS RING is on, which of course is what you want. You switch that on when you are looking through the semi-automatic settings which are A, S and P, and you are looking through the viewfinder. You will see that there is a levels gauge at the bottom and it will move and will help you to discern when the subject that you are looking at is sharp. When it is sharp there will be a little green dot in the bottom left hand of the frame. When you are in MANUAL MODE that gauge is not there. It is an exposure levels gauge but the green dot will still appear when the subject is sharp. You do not get that when you are looking through the back screen and you are on manual. When you are looking through the back screen in MANUAL MODE, the best thing to do is to use the magnifying glass to magnify the image that you are looking at and so work on manually focusing by getting what you are looking at and what you are trying to focus on as large as possible on the back screen and that is fairly easily done through the magnifying glass + to go in and you can use the magnifying – to come back out again.

However in most cases, you will want to use the Nikon D3400 autofocus systems. The Nikon D3400 has two autofocus systems. The system that operates through the viewfinder is called PHASE DETECTION what that means essentially is that the beam that comes in through the lens is split and bounces around the back of the camera onto the sensor and at that point the camera tries to join the two images together again and in doing so it work out the length for the lens. It is very quick it is quite accurate and it is much quicker and far more accurate than the naked eye. For Liveview, it does not have the opportunity to split the beam coming through because the light goes straight through to the back of the camera. So the system used here is called CONTRAST DETECTION. Now actually this is pretty good too, because it gets right down to individual pixels where it can detect a contrast between different shades. However it can also be quite easily confused and that is more often than not when the illustrative light comes on here just to help the camera get a better idea of what it is looking at so that it can focus more accurately.

The Nikon D3400 DSLR camera essentially splits the focusing function, or the D3400 autofocus function, into two. It splits it into FOCUS MODE which essentially allows you to tell the camera whether the subject is static or moving, and then it also splits it into AUTO FOCUS AREA MODE, When you can tell the D3400 which part of the frame, or how much of the frame, the camera should be scanning in order to focus on the subject. That changes depending on whether you are looking through the viewfinder or whether you are looking through the back screen.

So lets take a look at them. Now, in this instance we are looking through the viewfinder. Of course, you can go in to the SHOOTING MENU and find FOCUS MODE and AREA FOCUS MODE on the back screen here, and make the changes accordingly, but that would be very complicated when you are trying to shoot things live, so fortunately they are on the back screen with the i button. So if I just come out of that and press i then I will find them on the bottom line. The very bottom left is the FOCUSING MODE, so if we go into that one you find there are three options outside of manual. The three options are SINGLE SERVO which basically means that when you press the shutter button the camera will focus and it will remain focused until you either take your finger off the shutter button or you completely take the picture by pressing it all the way down. That can be quite useful because if you focus on the subject in the middle of your frame and yet you do not want the subject in the middle then you can move the camera so that the subject is off to one side and take the picture and the subject will still be sharp. The other option is AF-C which is CONTINUOUS. That is for things which are moving around, so again if you press the shutter button halfway down then you focus on the subject and if the subject moves then the focus will try to keep up with the subject and keep the subject in focus before you press the shutter. The third one is called AF – AUTO and that is kind of a mixture between the two. If your subject is static then it will just focus as if it is static and if your subject moves around it will effectively move on to continuous. However I do not recommend that last option because it is the Nikon D3400 making this decision, not you. I think you should make the decision so I would recommend that you either stick to single or continuous when you are looking through the viewfinder because you then have control over how the autofocus is working.

When you are looking through the back view screen there are two choices for this D3400 autofocus. They are SINGLE SERVO and FULL-TIME SERVO. Single servo just focuses when you press the shutter button, and is ideal for static subjects. Full-time servo will try continually to focus. Now this is quite interesting because unlike with looking through the viewfinder, when you have to keep the button pressed down, here it has a little green square on it and whatever is in the square the camera will attempt to keep in focus. That could be quite useful for when you are shooting video, for example, because it will try to keep whatever the subject is in the middle of the screen in focus. However it is quite slow and it does have to search sometimes, so it can be quite distracting. It is not as immediate or quick as you would hope and if you are shooting video then I go back to my original point. If it was me, shoot on single or shoot on manual. But it is not too bad. It does try its best and if you are going to shoot video where frankly the moving in and out does not really matter, then it can be very useful because of course it maintains that subject in focus.

So now lets take a look at the AUTO FOCUS AREA MODES for both systems on the Nikon D3400 DSLR. So if we look at the viewfinder first then again we go into the i button and this option is right next to the auto focus mode. If we, when we are looking through the viewfinder, look at AUTO FOCUS SINGLE, then there are two options options. The first one is SINGLE POINT AF and you will see the diamond of 11 points which are the 11 autofocus points that the camera uses and when it is on single point it will select the one in the middle, initially, to focus on the subject – and that will flash when you press the shutter button. If you want to change the point to one of the other 11 points then use the multi-selector to move that focus point around the diamond. That can be quite useful, particularly if you are on a tripod or you can not move the camera easily, because it means that you can then select a different part of the picture, a different subject perhaps, to be the focus point and to be sharp. So that is quite useful.

The next one then we get on to is AUTO AREA AUTO FOCUS and that essentially means that the camera tries to do everything for you – so it will use those 11 points in the frame to try and select the subject that it thinks should be sharp and in focus. It will very often be the one that is closest to the camera and that can be useful when you are trying to shoot things and you are not entirely sure what it is you are looking at. One of the disadvantages, of course, of looking through the viewfinder is that your vision is quite restricted. So if there are lots of things moving around or there are lots of things in the frame and you are not really sure what should be sharp on what should not, then this option can be quite useful.

Lets come out of autofocus single and look at D3400 autofocus continuous and see what the options are for the auto focus area modes there when you are looking through the viewfinder, because they are different. You get two which are the same: you get the single point and you get the auto area focus but you get two others, which are actually pretty interesting. The first one is DYNAMIC AREA AUTO FOCUS. What that does is that it tries to predict where the subject is going in the frame, so in other words, if the subject is moving diagonally through the frame so it is not just crossing the frame as on a single focal plane, if you like, it is moving in or out then the camera will try to predict that by gauging the movement that it has been doing between the focal points. So if it is moving towards you then obviously one focal point will have it so it 10 feet away another may have it at 8 feet away so it will predict that by the time it gets to this focal point it should be 6 feet away and that is what it means by trying to dynamically predict where the subject is going to be and that can be quite useful for obvious reasons because it means that it is trying to predict the focal length and the sharpness for you which is quite useful. The other one is 3D TRACKING. Now 3d tracking kind of does the same thing in that it does try to predict where the subject is going to be but it also allows you to move the camera at the same time so this is very useful for panning because it means that the camera does not get distracted by the background it just focuses on what it thinks is the subject of the frame and that can be very useful. Also bear in mind this is through the viewfinder so it is the faster of the two autofocus systems and so as a consequence of that it could be useful for things like sport or action photography. Now lets take a look at the autofocus area modes through the Liveview screen which is the contrast detection system. The difference here is that it does not actually matter in terms of your D3400 autofocus mode whether you are on continuous or whether you are on single, because the options are both same. So if we go in here then you have four choices and the two choices which you are going to come across most frequently are WIDE and NORMAL. Now if you click on wide and accept that then when you come into the back frame here you will see that there is a red square in the middle of the frame. That is your focus point and if you press the shutter button down halfway then it will focus and turn green – if you have got the beep on it will go beep – and that is essentially the limit of what it does. Now you can move that square by using the multi-selector you can move it to the right or up and down or left and if you want to return it to the center quickly you just press the OK button and it will return to the center, but that is your focal point within that square so if you go back into the i button and then back into AF area mode then coming out of wide and going into normal you will see that it is pretty much the same but that square is a lot smaller. In other words you can be far more specific when you are trying to choose your focus point and of course in either of those two settings you can press the magnifying glass to go further into the picture just to see whether you are actually pin sharp or just to check really that you are focusing on that thing that you wanted to focus upon. So those are the two more normal ones, those are the ones that you are going to use probably most frequently.

The D3400 autofocus option to the right is called SUBJECT TRACKING AUTOFOCUS and in some ways it is very similar to DYNAMIC autofocus for the system that is used through the viewfinder. But please bear in mind that you are looking through the back screen here and this system is much slower. So whilst it will also try to predict where the subject is going in the frame, it is not going to be as quick and it is not going to be as efficient as when you do it through the viewfinder. Then finally, and this actually is very useful, is FACE PRIORITY AUTOFOCUS. Now this is useful because it will automatically focus on and prioritize faces. It will detect faces in the frame automatically it will focus on one and if there are more than one face and you want to go to the other one you just use a multi-selector to push that on to another face. It is a really useful option particularly of course when you are taking group shots etc and it means that you can choose who to focus on and and it can actually do it quite efficiently. It is quite impressive if there is no face in the frame it just returns really to the wide option in other words you get a square in the middle of the frame that you can move around the frame as you would if you were in wide or normal. So those are your autofocus options with this camera there is quite a variety. You should be able to take pretty much any picture really and the autofocus options here would be able to help you take better pictures in almost any discipline. I would say as a rule of thumb that for normal everyday pictures I would be on – when looking through the viewfinder – on autofocus single and probably on single point. However if I was again using the viewfinder to shoot on continuous and to shoot something a bit more like action or sport, I might well go into dynamic area AF or even 3d tracking. But I tend to favor dynamic area because I am just more comfortable with that. If we go into the Liveview options then I would again tend to favor shooting on AF SINGLE just because it just makes it a bit more a bit more straightforward for me and also I think AF FULL TIME on the back is not as fast as CONTINUOUS through the viewfinder but on single again and here on the back I would be tempted to shoot probably on normal. I would not tend to use subject tracking on the back screen because it is easier to shoot that kind of stuff through the viewfinder but what I would say is FACE PRIORITY, when you are shooting group shots through the backscreen, is excellent and is well worth experimenting with. So those are the autofocus settings. Bear in mind that in autofocus settings it will not actually let you take a picture until it deems the subject to be sharp and so that could slow you down on occasion if you’re not careful. Also remember though that if you are on manual focus, this camera has no such control and if you press the button it will take the picture even if it is not sharp, because it has no control over focus you are then responsible for the focus. If you press the button at the wrong time then I am afraid if it is soft then that is your fault.

Abstract Photography

As the name implies “abstract” denotes what can be interpreted but not seen. The art form is many times debated to be complex and difficult to understand. Yet it attracts a horde of art critics and art collectors from every part of the globe, and several interpretations may accompany abstract paintings. Similarly, abstract photography draws the same popularity except it is done with a camera and not with brush and paint!

The exact definition of this art is difficult but it is sufficient to understand that there are no rules or norms for creating and in layman terms “anything goes” as long as it appeals to the eye! The photography technique is used to capture almost any event in a subtle manner such as a drop of water splattering in a pool to look like a crown or a piece of hemp rope at close quarters that looks like a striated bundle etc. The composition is immaterial; it is only the way a scene (really a photograph) is captured on film. The interpretation may come later.

It is necessary to have a professional high speed camera and sometimes a special high speed film. The best results can be obtained by using a black and white film and many valuable photographs are of this monochrome variety. The following aspects need to be kept in mind:

A perfect understanding of conventional photographic principles regarding shutter speed, aperture, focusing, film speed and lighting effects.

Telephoto lenses and close up lenses and flash equipment form a part of certain trick effects one wishes to create.

Films of different types like color, black and white, speed in ASA or DIN, tripod stands, remote shooting, filter lenses, shadow hoods etc.

Abstract photography is really the prerogative of a true artist and one who also has a scientific bent of mind. Composing a perfect shot requires the “artist” and taking the photograph requires the “technician”! Imagination knows no bounds and the best results are when one uses creative powers to its full capacity.