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 159087 times)

Offline wayfe

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #435 on: February 05, 2014, 10:12:54 PM »
I'm saying you should shoot with technical accurateness- but you don't always need expensive accessories to get the look you want.
There are some things Photoshop is good for...
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Offline sam123

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #436 on: February 05, 2014, 10:14:16 PM »
Maybe, will look into it

Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #437 on: February 06, 2014, 12:01:48 AM »
A shooting table isn't too expensive - see here for some good options. The main price differentiator is size (which obviously depends on what exactly you're shooting), whether it folds up or not, etc.

Sure you could do it in Photoshop. But it could take hours to select each background, and even then it'll not look natural unless you're a PS expert. Getting something like this right from the beginning is the way to go for sure.
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Offline YG

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Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #438 on: February 06, 2014, 05:43:38 PM »
Off the top of my head, if your camera supports RAW, use it there!

If you have and know how to use software such as LR or PS (or others), definitely shoot RAW. Opens up the possibilities almost indefinitely, and can often help save a botched photo, or one that was just beyond the capabilities of the camera to capture correctly (like low light for example).

If you are not going to edit them anyway, shooting RAW just means bigger photos that will take more space on your memory card, and that you will anyway need specialized software to convert the RAW files into JPGs to make them into viewable photos.

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.

I don't believe neutral density filters will reduce the dynamic range (difference between brightest and darkest pixels) of the photo, but will uniformly reduce the light captured by any given combination of values, resulting in a all-round lower exposure for the entire photo.

They can be extremely useful, but I don't believe dynamic range is their forte.


Aside from the technical stuff, there's a lot of artistic composition.

Totally!!

There are definitely rules etc to help with composition, but a huge part of it is simply paying attention to details.

Is there something in the frame that is distracting from the main subject that could easily be avoided by moving or zooming in a little?

Is there something just outside of the frame that could add to the photo if it were included?

Be present, and take a moment to stop and experience the scene before raising the camera to your eye.
What is making you want to take this photo? 
What might contribute to the image you are envisioning and what might distract/detract?

Offline CS1

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #439 on: February 06, 2014, 05:47:18 PM »
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.
+1
Yes, it's the biggest differentiator and the quickest and easiest to adjust,
and yes, there are other factors on the ground of course. That's one of the main ones.

There are some things Photoshop is good for...
+1,000
There are many many things that Photoshop is good for.  :)
In addition, over the years, I've found that the Apple program, Aperture, does a quick and easy job
with certain basic photo jobs - quick sliders instead of the multi-step PS.
Often that's quicker than trying to fix it in the original... (at time of photo shoot...)

Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #440 on: February 06, 2014, 05:59:19 PM »
I don't believe neutral density filters will reduce the dynamic range (difference between brightest and darkest pixels) of the photo, but will uniformly reduce the light captured by any given combination of values, resulting in a all-round lower exposure for the entire photo.

They can be extremely useful, but I don't believe dynamic range is their forte.

You're confusing solid neural density filters with graduated ones.

A solid will uniformly reduce the light, while a grad will absolutely help control dynamic range. For example, balancing out a bright sky with a darker foreground.
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Offline HP58

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #441 on: February 06, 2014, 07:53:30 PM »
Nu Fishy, when's the next lesson coming :) ?

Offline askmoses

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #442 on: February 06, 2014, 08:29:26 PM »
Nu Fishy, when's the next lesson coming :) ?
+100. They have been great. I have been reading Bryan Peterson's "Understanding Exposure" and have found your lessons as really great way to compliment it.

On a side note and excuse my ignorance here but after watching some YouTube tutorials on Lightroom I am not sure exactly what additional benefits photoshop will give me for most pictures? Anyone care to clarify? Thanks!

Offline Mordy

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #443 on: February 07, 2014, 12:37:13 PM »
You're confusing solid neural density filters with graduated ones.

A solid will uniformly reduce the light, while a grad will absolutely help control dynamic range. For example, balancing out a bright sky with a darker foreground.

^ Exactly. YG, there are some really interesting ones but they need to be screwed on to the lens with the right orientation to work. Its sort of like the way some sunglasses have a gradient from dark to light so you can see the ground clearly but the sky isn't blindingly bright at the same time.

A polarizing filter, however, can really pop DR in a different way.
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Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #444 on: February 07, 2014, 12:57:21 PM »
Nu Fishy, when's the next lesson coming :) ?

Working on it.... Wish I had more time to devote to this, though. I have so many things planned ;)
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Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #445 on: February 07, 2014, 01:04:31 PM »
+100. They have been great. I have been reading Bryan Peterson's "Understanding Exposure" and have found your lessons as really great way to compliment it.

Thanks ;D

On a side note and excuse my ignorance here but after watching some YouTube tutorials on Lightroom I am not sure exactly what additional benefits photoshop will give me for most pictures? Anyone care to clarify? Thanks!

For most people + most of the time, not much, really.

LR easily handles basic, everyday retouching. PS is good for very detailed, very fine work, like reliving people from a scene, content-aware full, etc. It also does the heavy lifting - layers, complicated things like transparencies, basically "serious" stuff.

But for everyday enhancements (color, contrast, exposure, etc.), LR is perfect. And it gets better all the time - local adjustments are now very powerful, and your could even do basic layer work through the free Perfect Layers plugin from OnOne.
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Offline Fan of Dan

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #446 on: February 07, 2014, 01:35:24 PM »
Had fun using photoshop on these pics I took in Bali. 1st time I tried anything so intense. I know it's not perfect.

Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #447 on: February 07, 2014, 01:45:33 PM »
Had fun using photoshop on these pics I took in Bali. 1st time I tried anything so intense. I know it's not perfect.

Not bad for a beginner!

Happens to be I like the original better, it has more of a 'tropical rainforest' look due to the threatening clouds.

Also remember when doing such radical edits to go over the entire image with a fine-toothed comb to make sure that everything is consistent. For example here, the pools are reflecting a completely different sky ;D. Also, there's no way a bright sunny day could have produced such even, shadowless light.
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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #448 on: February 07, 2014, 01:49:25 PM »
Not bad for a beginner!

Happens to be I like the original better, it has more of a 'tropical rainforest' look due to the threatening clouds.

Also remember when doing such radical edits to go over the entire image with a fine-toothed comb to make sure that everything is consistent. For example here, the pools are reflecting a completely different sky ;D. Also, there's no way a bright sunny day could have produced such even, shadowless light.
Thanks. That's funny about the pools - there's no way I would have thought of that. Glad you like the original better that's the one I am using for my photobook.

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #449 on: February 11, 2014, 05:04:27 PM »
argh, so apparently Photoshop CS3 doesn't support the t3i raw files.   >:( >:(

Should I just use the Adobe DNG converter or should I try getting a hold of CS5 (or 6) or lightroom?