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 157130 times)

Offline Mordy

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #420 on: January 20, 2014, 05:56:34 PM »
Since many of us booked some nice cheapo tickets to Hawaii is it possible we can get some tips for shooting there
?

Specifically sunrise/sunsets, the water, and mountains.


What kind of camera?

Off the top of my head, if your camera supports RAW, use it there! The difference between the brightest whites and deepest darks are going to be super wide. There are some filters, such as Neutral Density or Polarizing that you can screw onto the front of the lens if your camera supports it (DSLR, etc) which will help keep the range of light more manageable to the camera.

Aside from the technical stuff, there's a lot of artistic composition. Rule of thirds, etc, but I'll leave that to Fishy to jump in because that kind of advice is really not mine to give. :)
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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #421 on: January 21, 2014, 07:48:34 AM »
Size and quality had been reduced a ton to upload here . What do you guys think? These were taken with pentax k50 18-55 kit lens at f3.5 ISO about 800 I think. Sutherland speed between 3 and 5 seconds

Offline farvus nisht?

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #422 on: January 30, 2014, 05:02:19 PM »
Thank You for your clear lessons, you really explain stuff clearly.
I got hold of a Nikon D3100 and want to take outdoor pictures of my children in the old city Jerusalem. I wanted to know if I should use aperture priority (the lowest is 3.5) and put the min. shutter speed at 1/60 to avoid blurry pictures due to movement, or use the setting for children?
In general do you have any other tips?
This will be my first time with a DSLR all thanx to you!!

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #423 on: February 04, 2014, 10:58:37 PM »
When taking a picture of scenery (and want everything in focus) can it be assumed to use the smallest aperture that you have on the camera?

Conversely when taking a portrait with a desired blurry background is there a difference if I use a zoom lenses with a larger aperture (forcing me to move further away from the subject) vs. just using a regular lenses without zoom and increase the aperture to the lowest f stop?

Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #424 on: February 04, 2014, 11:32:50 PM »
When taking a picture of scenery (and want everything in focus) can it be assumed to use the smallest aperture that you have on the camera?

Conversely when taking a portrait with a desired blurry background is there a difference if I use a zoom lenses with a larger aperture (forcing me to move further away from the subject) vs. just using a regular lenses without zoom and increase the aperture to the lowest f stop?

The smallest aperture will have the most in focus, but oftentimes you'll find that you don't necessarily need that. Try a slightly higher aperture (such as f/16 or 18), and check if everything you want is in focus. If it is then great, since you're limiting the diffraction that could happen with the smallest aperture. Basically use the smallest aperture that will keep everything in focus. Usually it'll be the smallest, but if you could go one or two stops less it may be better sometimes.

As for blurry backgrounds, both aperture and focal length play a role (as does subject to background distance and sensor size). Whether a larger aperture or a longer lens will give you more blur is very scene dependent, so you'd simply have to experiment. Or just get a long, fast lens ;)!
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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #425 on: February 05, 2014, 12:24:07 AM »
The smallest aperture will have the most in focus, but oftentimes you'll find that you don't necessarily need that. Try a slightly higher aperture (such as f/16 or 18), and check if everything you want is in focus. If it is then great, since you're limiting the diffraction that could happen with the smallest aperture. Basically use the smallest aperture that will keep everything in focus. Usually it'll be the smallest, but if you could go one or two stops less it may be better sometimes.

As for blurry backgrounds, both aperture and focal length play a role (as does subject to background distance and sensor size). Whether a larger aperture or a longer lens will give you more blur is very scene dependent, so you'd simply have to experiment. Or just get a long, fast lens ;)!
Thanks for the info. Is there a simple way to know if everything is focus? If from the viewfinder everything looks clear can in focus can I assume that it is?

In regards to blurry backgrounds is there a general rule of thumb that a zoom lenses will increase the background blur?

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #426 on: February 05, 2014, 12:49:20 AM »
Thanks for the info. Is there a simple way to know if everything is focus? If from the viewfinder everything looks clear can in focus can I assume that it is?

In regards to blurry backgrounds is there a general rule of thumb that a zoom lenses will increase the background blur?
no - it does not have to do with the zoom lens -- either the autofocus vs. manual focus,
or the Aperture setting on your lens.  The 1.4 will give the sharp focus on your main object and intentionally make most of the backdrop blurry = "bokeh"

Offline sam123

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #427 on: February 05, 2014, 01:36:23 AM »
Hi

I didn't reed all posts, so if it's explained already please link me to it 

I need to take some product pictures, I bought a light box with some white lighting on amazon that has good reviews for photography, but I can't get the background real white. I tried to play around with the settings, but when the background gets so white, the product gets also to light..
I searched around, and it sounds that with the large photo studio's and large lighting, it's not hard to do it, but my question is if I can do it with the small light box.
Any help would be appreciated.

My camera Is the rebel t3i

Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #428 on: February 05, 2014, 08:39:42 AM »
Thanks for the info. Is there a simple way to know if everything is focus? If from the viewfinder everything looks clear can in focus can I assume that it is?

In regards to blurry backgrounds is there a general rule of thumb that a zoom lenses will increase the background blur?

Never rely on the viewfinder to check critical focus, it's simply too small. Plus the viewfinder displays at the largest aperture, so unless you use something called depth of field preview you're not seeing the aperture's effect anyway.

The way to do it is simply take a picture then zoom in on your LCD as close as you can go, and look all around the picture and see if it's sharp.

And yes, as a rule of thumb (all things being equal) longer lenses will create more background blur, especially when used properly (i.e. large subject to background distance).
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Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #429 on: February 05, 2014, 08:43:48 AM »
no - it does not have to do with the zoom lens -- either the autofocus vs. manual focus,
or the Aperture setting on your lens.  The 1.4 will give the sharp focus on your main object and intentionally make most of the backdrop blurry = "bokeh"

That is not correct. Aperture is one of four contributors to the amount is background blur. The others are focal length,  sensor size, and subject to background distance.

Aperture may be the biggest differentiator as well as the easiest to manipulate, but it is by no means the only one. 
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Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #430 on: February 05, 2014, 08:52:38 AM »
Hi

I didn't reed all posts, so if it's explained already please link me to it 

I need to take some product pictures, I bought a light box with some white lighting on amazon that has good reviews for photography, but I can't get the background real white. I tried to play around with the settings, but when the background gets so white, the product gets also to light..
I searched around, and it sounds that with the large photo studio's and large lighting, it's not hard to do it, but my question is if I can do it with the small light box.
Any help would be appreciated.

My camera Is the rebel t3i

You'd think that shooting something with a white background should be one of the easiest things to do, but unfortunately the opposite is true. Making a white background appear white is far harder than it appears.

The "simplest" option is using a shooting table made out of frosted plastic or plexi, and light that separately from below. The other option (which I use for portraits) is lighting the entire background from the front with a completely different set of lights, with each light flagged or gobo'd off to prevent spill.

In either case, you'd need another light or two, and you'd have light your background at least two stops brighter than your subject.

TD;LR: It's not easy, and it probably can't be done with your lightbox in a practical manner.
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Offline sam123

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #431 on: February 05, 2014, 10:02:30 PM »
Thanks for your reply,
A shooting table is an expensive item?

Offline wayfe

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #432 on: February 05, 2014, 10:03:40 PM »
Why not just photoshop?
"I would rather have questions that can't be answered than answers which can't be questioned."
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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #433 on: February 05, 2014, 10:09:20 PM »
A picture that's made correctly is much better than one that's need to be worked out afterwards.

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #434 on: February 05, 2014, 10:11:06 PM »
A picture that's made correctly is much better than one that's need to be worked out afterwards.

I believe that's highly debateable....

All depends on what you consider to be better.

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