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
114 (38.5%)
Point & Shoot - advanced (Canon S100 or G Style)
42 (14.2%)
Mirrorless
23 (7.8%)
DSLR - consumer (Up to a Nikon D5200 or Canon Rebel)
67 (22.6%)
DSLR - prosumer or pro (Nikon D7000 or Canon 60D and up)
25 (8.4%)
P&S, but I plan on getting an SLR or Mirrorless in the near future
25 (8.4%)

Total Members Voted: 243

Author Topic: Learn Photography Master Thread  (Read 150496 times)

Offline noturbizniss

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #330 on: December 18, 2013, 01:51:03 PM »
In my readings I see both SF and others show pictures taken with large aprtutres such as
this kayak shot
taken with an f/11

or the below taken with an f/22. 


When I am looking at lenses available i don't see anything over f/5-f/6 or so -Canon EF Lens Lineup.  Where are those apertures available, or is it just a setting on the camera that modifies the aperture on the lens? i.e. my t3i came with the 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 kit, so does that mean that the minimum aperture ranges from f/3.5-5.6 (i assume as you increase the zoom/focal length the minimum aperture increases), but then the camera itself can shrink that even further?
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Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #331 on: December 18, 2013, 02:11:33 PM »
In my readings I see both SF and others show pictures taken with large aprtutres such as
this kayak shot
taken with an f/11

or the below taken with an f/22. 


When I am looking at lenses available i don't see anything over f/5-f/6 or so -Canon EF Lens Lineup.  Where are those apertures available, or is it just a setting on the camera that modifies the aperture on the lens? i.e. my t3i came with the 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 kit, so does that mean that the minimum aperture ranges from f/3.5-5.6 (i assume as you increase the zoom/focal length the minimum aperture increases), but then the camera itself can shrink that even further?

The apertures listed on the lens are the maximums. Using Manual or Aperture Priority modes on your camera (see my lesson on that), you could adjust them all the way down. Your lens for example could go to f/22 at the wide end and f/38 at the long end.

Offline Mordy

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #332 on: December 18, 2013, 02:28:15 PM »
In my readings I see both SF and others show pictures taken with large aprtutres such as
this kayak shot
taken with an f/11

or the below taken with an f/22. 


When I am looking at lenses available i don't see anything over f/5-f/6 or so -Canon EF Lens Lineup.  Where are those apertures available, or is it just a setting on the camera that modifies the aperture on the lens? i.e. my t3i came with the 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 kit, so does that mean that the minimum aperture ranges from f/3.5-5.6 (i assume as you increase the zoom/focal length the minimum aperture increases), but then the camera itself can shrink that even further?

Yes. But the those are MAXIMUM aperture values, not minimum. Aperture is confusing. It refers to the size of the hole in the lens that allows light to be transmitted, and is adjusted with internal iris blades. However, the measurements are counter-intuitive, as the lower F-stop numbers mean a LARGER aperture. A F/1.8 lens, for example, lets in more light than a F/3.5. However, you can stop down the lens by closing the iris blades (usually controlled by a setting in the camera body unless you are using a manual lens), to make them both have an aperture of F/3.5. Stopping down the blades means increasing the F-stop number, but making the hole SMALLER.
I guess the easiest way to understand F-stop numbers is to consider it a measurement of how much light is LIMITED by the lens. The lower the number, the less restricted, more light goes through. The higher the number, the more restricted and darker (and deeper focus area). Every lens has a range of available F-stops, and while you can almost always stop it down and raise the F-stop value (minimizing your aperture), you can't go larger than the maximum stop which is printed on the lens.

If you want to see this in action, turn your camera to Av (aperture priority), and turn the scroll wheel to adjust the f-stop on the LCD. The lens won't actually adjust the iris blades until you take the picture, but there's a little button on the front of the camera under the lens release button. It is unmarked, and known as the "DOF preview" button. Press that, and the lens will snap into action to give a preview of what that aperture will look like when you take the picture. If you look into the front of the lens while you press and hold that button, you can actually see the iris blades stop down and make the hole smaller. Adjust the f-stop with the wheel and press the button again, you'll see it stop down a different amount.

Now, a manual lens such as a Samyang or Rokinon (or old vintage one) will have a ring on the actual lens to adjust the iris/aperture, just like there is a ring for zoom and focus on yours. Nowadays, we like everything to be automatic (or at least, some of us do) so the camera can determine what an appropriate aperture would be based on the light and settings you give it.


EDIT: DARN IT, I was too slow to reply. Fast on the draw, that Fishy.
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Offline noturbizniss

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #333 on: December 18, 2013, 11:24:07 PM »
Thanks guys. I was confusing min and max-I was saying minimum f/stop when I really meant maximum aperture.

On another note (I'm sure it will be covered in a lesson at some point) what do macro lenses do differently than regular lenses, and can you take decent macros with a standard zoom lens?
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Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #334 on: December 18, 2013, 11:27:31 PM »
Thanks guys. I was confusing min and max-I was saying minimum f/stop when I really meant maximum aperture.

On another note (I'm sure it will be covered in a lesson at some point) what do macro lenses do differently than regular lenses, and can you take decent macros with a standard zoom lens?

They let you focus very close to the subject (relatively). There are ways to take macro shots with standard lenses (extension tubes, reversing rings, macro filters), but they're all limited in different ways, and don't compare to a real macro lens.

Offline noturbizniss

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #335 on: December 19, 2013, 12:04:43 AM »
They let you focus very close to the subject (relatively). There are ways to take macro shots with standard lenses (extension tubes, reversing rings, macro filters), but they're all limited in different ways, and don't compare to a real macro lens.
What is different about them that allows this in a macro lens as opposed to a standard telephoto lens with same focal length and Max aperture?
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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #336 on: December 19, 2013, 12:15:04 AM »
What is different about them that allows this in a macro lens as opposed to a standard telephoto lens with same focal length and Max aperture?

With extension tubes you could only focus EXTREMELY closely (think inches), so it's only for extreme magnification (think bugs, not flowers). There is also hardly any depth of field (meaning hardly anything is in focus, only a drop. Much less in focus than a regular macro lens). You also lose a lot of light.

Reversing rings mount the lens onto the camera backwards, or mount two lenses nose-to-nose. This focuses only even closer (think snowflake), and there's even less DOF.

Real macro lenses OTOH act like regular lenses, plus they have the ability to get much closer than others. Therefore they are far more versatile, and allow you to shoot many many more things in macro as well as normally.

Offline Centro

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #337 on: December 22, 2013, 11:59:51 AM »
When transferring photos from an SD card to a computer/Hard drive do I loose any of the photos quality?

Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #338 on: December 22, 2013, 12:15:35 PM »
When transferring photos from an SD card to a computer/Hard drive do I loose any of the photos quality?

No.

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #339 on: December 29, 2013, 06:07:33 PM »
Just came across this :D...


Source

Offline Mordy

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #340 on: December 29, 2013, 08:05:36 PM »
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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #341 on: December 30, 2013, 09:21:12 PM »
What causes the foreground the be blurred and the background in focus on an autofocus camera? So majorly annoying...
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Offline Ergel

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #342 on: December 30, 2013, 09:49:10 PM »
What causes the foreground the be blurred and the background in focus on an autofocus camera? So majorly annoying  beautiful...
FTFY
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Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #343 on: December 30, 2013, 10:07:03 PM »
What causes the foreground the be blurred and the background in focus on an autofocus camera? So majorly annoying...

Basically the problem with autofocus is that's its, shall we say, auto. You can't choose what it focuses on, so often it won't focus on what you want it to.

The trick is knowing how AF works, and using that to your advantage. The camera uses contrast to decide what to focus on. In your picture, the branches in the background have a sharper contrast than the flowers in the foreground. That means that the difference between the dark brown branches and the sky behind it is much more pronounced than the differences of the flower petals to each other. Since one thing is so much more obvious, the camera will choose to focus on that.

So how do you fix it? The trick is to find the most contrasty area of the flower - in this case, either the darker center - and try to get the camera to focus on these. Move the camera back and forth a bit, or even better, put that area dead center. You could also try blocking off the high-contrast background spots with your hand.

You'll notice that your shutter button is not simply a one-press affair. Press it slowly and gently and you'll see that there's a spot in the middle where there is some resistance. This is called a half-press. By pressing the shutter button only halfway to this spot, you are telling the camera to focus, but not take the picture yet. Once you have focus, you do what's called focus lock. Still holding the button halfway down, you then compose your shot. During this time you could move the subject off-center, or remove your hand from where it's been blocking the background. Once you're set up, finish pressing the button all the way down to take the picture.

Two important  things to remember:
- When moving the camera while holding down the button to lock focus, don't move the camera front or back, only sideways. This is because focus is based on distance. If you change the distance between the camera and the subject after focusing, you will lose focus. Moving side to side, however, doesn't change the distance, so you will maintain focus.
- Remember that sometimes a scene could simply have to little contrast for AF to work properly. The flowers you show are not quite so bad, but they're still very tough AF subjects.

Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #344 on: December 30, 2013, 10:09:10 PM »
FTFY

+1000

Focus or not, it's a lovely shot.