Topic Wiki

Quick tips on random subjects that come up in between classes (will add as we go along):

Food photography tips
Newborn photography tips

Table of Contents (I'll change each line to a link as we go along.)

Introduction

1) Choosing a camera: Point and Shoot vs. Mirrorless vs. DSLR
2) Camera specs: What do they mean, and which ones matter to me?
3) Exposure Basics Part 1 - the shutter speed/aperture/ISO triangle
4) Exposure Basics Part 2 - getting to know your mode dial, and other exposure controls
5) All about memory cards
6) Using ultra-wide lenses





Lenses 101 - technology, terminology, and specs, zooms vs. primes, basic/advanced/unique lenses

Lighting 101 - focusing specifically on easy to afford and easy to use setups
Small flash - on camera, off camera, modifiers and accessories
Studio strobes
Continuous lighting - fluorescent, LED, and halogen
Basic light modifiers - umbrellas, softboxes, gels, reflectors
Basic supports - lightstands, umbrella brackets, backgrounds, etc.

All about accessories - memory cards, tripods, bags, filters, remotes, adapters, grips, geotaggers, and more)


So I bought all my stuff - now what?

What makes a compelling photograph?
Depth of field
Composition basics - rule of thirds, perspective, framing
Advanced composition - negative space, inclusion and exclusion, compression
Light - natural, golden hour, basic flash usage.

Let's start shooting...

Kids:
In the park
Playing sports
At home

Landscapes and wildlife:
"Grand" landscapes
"Intimate" landscapes
Seascapes
Waterfalls
Cityscapes
Wildlife
Birds in flight
Shooting in bad weather

Portraits:
Babies and newborns
Single person - indoors
Single person - outdoors
Families/siblings/groups
Natural light
Artificial light - simple
Artificial light - complex
Mixed light

Others:
Close up and macro
Product photography

How do I...? (Some specific scenarios/techniques - Basic)
Shoot out of a plane window?
Shoot underwater?
Shoot compelling black-and-white?

How do I...? (Some specific scenarios/techniques - Advanced)
HDR
Long exposures
Light painting
Twilight landscapes
Milky Way
Star trails

Basic editing concepts:
Exposure
Contrast
Clarity/sharpening
Color
Layers and masking

Poll

What type of camera do shoot with?

Point & Shoot - basic (Canon Elph style) or Smartphone
115 (38.5%)
Point & Shoot - advanced (Canon S100 or G Style)
42 (14%)
Mirrorless
23 (7.7%)
DSLR - consumer (Up to a Nikon D5200 or Canon Rebel)
67 (22.4%)
DSLR - prosumer or pro (Nikon D7000 or Canon 60D and up)
26 (8.7%)
P&S, but I plan on getting an SLR or Mirrorless in the near future
26 (8.7%)

Total Members Voted: 245

Author Topic: Learn Photography Master Thread  (Read 158685 times)

Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #255 on: December 06, 2013, 01:11:30 AM »
I'm sure if I keep following the lessons I'll eventually learn what that means :)

Very definitely :D.

For now let's just say that I took the same picture at very different exposures as part of a technique called HDR.
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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #256 on: December 06, 2013, 01:26:04 AM »
This lesson was really informative, I knew the basics but have always struggles with the details when trying night photography, I remember one night in Nepal the mountains were looking really pretty in the moonlight and I was struggling for half an hour toggling exposure times and ISOs (not having a tripod made things infinitely worse) and the best I got for my efforts were the abominations below:

Nah, I wouldn't call them 'abominations' - I've seen far worse. What's messing up the shots is a tremendous amount of noise, plus motion blur (notice the ghost of a second mountain around the first in the first picture). With the proper support, you could have taken a picture at 10 minutes and ISO 200 without even a hint of noise or blur.

I never, ever, carry my camera without some sort of tripod. Doesn't matter where I'm going, I always have something with me. A tripod like this weighs close to nothing, and supports my D600 and 24-70 f2.8 easily.
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Offline Dan

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #257 on: December 06, 2013, 01:39:41 AM »
Great lessons.  You should really do a seminar!
Or a trip to Kauai ;)
Heck, even a day trip lesson to Miami (Everglades?) this winter would be cool.

Which tripod do you recommend for the Nex-6 that I would be able to take on a hike?
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #258 on: December 06, 2013, 02:18:31 AM »
As far as tripod, your main concern would be price and weight, since just about any tripod could support an NEX, no problem. A carbon fiber one would be lightest, but much more expensive than aluminum. Aluminum however is much heavier, so you might not want to carry it for longer hikes. It's a tradeoff between a better, more expensive, but more practical tripod vs. a cheaper, heavier one.

The so-called 'travel' tripods fold over themselves, so they're even smaller. They also come in AL and CF versions, but are usually more expensive that standard tripods. This one seems quite nice, should work perfectly with an NEX.

What do you think of this tripod: http://www.costco.com/.product.802732.html
Your waterfall picture in the exposure lesson convinced me that I need a tripod and I definitely want something compact...
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Offline Dan

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #259 on: December 06, 2013, 02:23:46 AM »
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

Offline whYME

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #260 on: December 06, 2013, 02:28:43 AM »
Thoughts on this one?
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004ZGN6MY/?tag=cl03f-20
Judging strictly based on price, I would say his answer will be
From the pictures it looks a bit too flimsy for that (the rated capacity says nothing about real life usage). What specifically worries me is the head, and the plate mechanism.

If you're able to return it easily I say get it and try it out, since if it's solid enough it'll be a great deal. Lift it as high as it could go (legs only, keep the center column down), and take a long exposure (>30 seconds). Examine the picture closely, and check for any blur. If everything's sharp, you're good. Do this test outdoors, since you have to take some wind into account (as you will in a real life shooting condition).

Also mount your camera and give the whole setup a good shaking over a bed. If the camera goes flying, you have a plate mechanism problem :D .
or worse...
:)

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #261 on: December 06, 2013, 02:29:37 AM »
Thoughts on this one?
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004ZGN6MY/?tag=cl03f-20

For $15 you won't get anything decent. That particular one will not be able to keep your camera still at all (and not only because it's a video tripod, not a photo one). I have countless samples of such tripods at work and I could tell you that they'll break just by looking at it.
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Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #262 on: December 06, 2013, 02:30:35 AM »
Judging strictly based on price, I would say his answer will be
:)

Nah, don't even waste your time on this one.
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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #263 on: December 06, 2013, 02:31:12 AM »
For $15 you won't get anything decent. That particular one will not be able to keep your camera still at all (and not only because it's a video tripod, not a photo one). I have countless samples of such tripods at work and I could tell you that they'll break just by looking at it.
More attracted the weight than the price.
What would it cost to get a good tripod that weighs just a pound?
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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #264 on: December 06, 2013, 02:38:03 AM »
More attracted the weight than the price.
What would it cost to get a good tripod that weighs just a pound?

A pound is completely unrealistic. A semi-decent head will weigh that, not counting the legs. Think about how you're gonna carry it - strapped onto a backpack? On a shoulder strap? 3 or 4 pounds is not an much of an issue then, you won't really notice it.
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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #265 on: December 06, 2013, 03:31:40 AM »
I got this one for travel use and I've been very happy with it.
At full extension it's a bit shaky but you can anchor it hanging something from the hook under the head.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B001D60LG8/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?qid=1386318565&sr=8-1&pi=SY200

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #266 on: December 06, 2013, 03:33:41 AM »
Great lessons.  You should really do a seminar!
Or a trip to Kauai ;)
Heck, even a day trip lesson to Miami (Everglades?) this winter would be cool.
Day trip through the Everglades would be really cool!
I'd definitely be in on that.

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #267 on: December 06, 2013, 03:38:03 AM »
Day trip through the Everglades would be really cool!
I'd definitely be in on that.

See here:
http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=35505.0
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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #269 on: December 07, 2013, 11:56:42 PM »
Thanks for the great article. I enjoy your writing style.