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 157331 times)

Offline askmoses

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #495 on: March 06, 2014, 12:09:50 PM »
2.99-1.80=$1.19. Might be time to brush up on subtraction.
Yes it's not the biggest savings but a penny saved is a penny earned. Kol shekain when it's 119 pennies.

Offline bsimchatomid

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #496 on: March 06, 2014, 12:40:28 PM »
I'm hooked on this thread for a while now-I must say I really learned a lot. Thanks Fishy, Mordy and all the photography rookies for all your insight. I can't wait for the next lesson.

 I recently stepped up from my Canon SD1100 since I was unhappy with the indoor pictures. I was back and forth between the Sony NEX 3n and the Canon S110 ($200-$300 budget). My main concern was image quality in low light situations and I bought the Sony. I shot mostly on auto with the 16-50 kit lens and the pictures looked good on my computer. When I developed them I was disappointed with the amount of noise the pictures had and I didnít even crop the pictures!  I went back to review the picture settings and I noticed that anything higher than ISO 800 was bad. I tried limiting the ISO but then I couldnít get a normal shutter speed. I tried the built in flash but it makes a shadow. Is there anything Iím missing to get sharper pictures? Do I have to invest in a better lens for a wider aperture? Did I make a mistake by choosing the NEX?

Offline theberk

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #497 on: March 06, 2014, 01:30:58 PM »
2.99-1.80=$1.19. Might be time to brush up on subtraction.
Yes it's not the biggest savings but a penny saved is a penny earned. Kol shekain when it's 119 pennies.
Yesterday when I posted the link Meritline had it on sale for $1.89.

Offline Mordy

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #498 on: March 06, 2014, 02:15:18 PM »
I'm hooked on this thread for a while now-I must say I really learned a lot. Thanks Fishy, Mordy and all the photography rookies for all your insight. I can't wait for the next lesson.

 I recently stepped up from my Canon SD1100 since I was unhappy with the indoor pictures. I was back and forth between the Sony NEX 3n and the Canon S110 ($200-$300 budget). My main concern was image quality in low light situations and I bought the Sony. I shot mostly on auto with the 16-50 kit lens and the pictures looked good on my computer. When I developed them I was disappointed with the amount of noise the pictures had and I didnít even crop the pictures!  I went back to review the picture settings and I noticed that anything higher than ISO 800 was bad. I tried limiting the ISO but then I couldnít get a normal shutter speed. I tried the built in flash but it makes a shadow. Is there anything Iím missing to get sharper pictures? Do I have to invest in a better lens for a wider aperture? Did I make a mistake by choosing the NEX?

First of all, thanks for the kind words. I think I get on Fishy's nerves sometimes (all in good fun), but I'm happy people are actually learning from our discussions!

Meanwhile, no- I don't think you made a mistake getting the NEX. Its a fantastic camera, but I think that kit lens isn't doing you any favors in low light.

If I'm not mistaken, at the widest zoom it only opens up to f/3.5, and if you zoom in it can be as small as F/5.6 (yikes!). That's actually pretty standard for a kit lens, but that also means you're going to have to rely on higher ISO and/or super slow shutter speeds, which equal grain and motion blur respectively. A larger sensor with larger photosites (such as a full frame Canon 5D) can push ISO without as much noticeable grain, but on smaller sensors you need to keep that ISO down.

While a smaller point and shoot camera may have granted you a faster lens (S110 opens up to F/2.0 on the wide end), investing in a faster lens to go with the NEX3 will give you much better pictures in the long run.

In my personal opinion, kit lenses are like the half-filled ink cartridges that come with printers. They're enough to get you started out of the box, but pretty soon you're gong to want to replace it with something better.
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Offline Ez

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #499 on: March 06, 2014, 02:37:07 PM »
First of all, thanks for the kind words. I think I get on Fishy's nerves sometimes (all in good fun), but I'm happy people are actually learning from our discussions!

Meanwhile, no- I don't think you made a mistake getting the NEX. Its a fantastic camera, but I think that kit lens isn't doing you any favors in low light.

If I'm not mistaken, at the widest zoom it only opens up to f/3.5, and if you zoom in it can be as small as F/5.6 (yikes!). That's actually pretty standard for a kit lens, but that also means you're going to have to rely on higher ISO and/or super slow shutter speeds, which equal grain and motion blur respectively. A larger sensor with larger photosites (such as a full frame Canon 5D) can push ISO without as much noticeable grain, but on smaller sensors you need to keep that ISO down.

While a smaller point and shoot camera may have granted you a faster lens (S110 opens up to F/2.0 on the wide end), investing in a faster lens to go with the NEX3 will give you much better pictures in the long run.

In my personal opinion, kit lenses are like the half-filled ink cartridges that come with printers. They're enough to get you started out of the box, but pretty soon you're gong to want to replace it with something better.

Can you recommend a faster lens (on a budget) that would be easy to use and understand for a starter?

Offline Mordy

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #500 on: March 06, 2014, 02:43:41 PM »
Can you recommend a faster lens (on a budget) that would be easy to use and understand for a starter?

I'm not as familiar with the pricing on NEX lenses, but the 50mm F/1.8 is usually one of the best starter lenses for low light. The Canon and Nikon versions of this lens are usually around $100, but it looks like Sony wants quite a bit more for their native one according to my Google searches. You could save a lot of money with a non-native one + adapter, but that isn't easy for a beginner anymore.
Maybe Fishy has some suggestions, since he actually owns and uses NEX cameras (its one of the few camera mounts I don't currently own a body with!).
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Offline noturbizniss

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #501 on: March 06, 2014, 02:57:53 PM »
I've noticed that when taking pictures with the flash in the shoe on my t3i, even when I have the camera mode set to auto, and the flash on TTL, the pictures tend to be overexposed, and I manually have to step the exposure on the flash down anywhere from 1-3 stops. Is this normal? I have a yongnuo flash.
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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #502 on: March 09, 2014, 02:56:15 PM »
I have the Sony HX50V and I see now that it's not such a good camera for taking pictures indoors of an infant because the pictures tend to come out blurry when she moves. Is there any setting I could change to help that?
Thank you.

Offline askmoses

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #503 on: March 09, 2014, 03:06:04 PM »
I have the Sony HX50V and I see now that it's not such a good camera for taking pictures indoors of an infant because the pictures tend to come out blurry when she moves. Is there any setting I could change to help that?
Thank you.
Try the action shot setting. Most P&S will have them. Should speed up your shutter speed.

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #504 on: March 09, 2014, 03:26:52 PM »
There is a setting for shutter speed. If I speed it up what should I set it to and what about the ISO?

Offline Achas Veachas

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #505 on: March 09, 2014, 03:36:44 PM »
There is a setting for shutter speed. If I speed it up what should I set it to and what about the ISO?
Covered really well here.
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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #506 on: March 09, 2014, 04:26:35 PM »
Covered really well here.
Thank you, and Something Fishy.

Offline bsimchatomid

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #507 on: March 10, 2014, 01:09:04 PM »
First of all, thanks for the kind words. I think I get on Fishy's nerves sometimes (all in good fun), but I'm happy people are actually learning from our discussions!

Meanwhile, no- I don't think you made a mistake getting the NEX. Its a fantastic camera, but I think that kit lens isn't doing you any favors in low light.

If I'm not mistaken, at the widest zoom it only opens up to f/3.5, and if you zoom in it can be as small as F/5.6 (yikes!). That's actually pretty standard for a kit lens, but that also means you're going to have to rely on higher ISO and/or super slow shutter speeds, which equal grain and motion blur respectively. A larger sensor with larger photosites (such as a full frame Canon 5D) can push ISO without as much noticeable grain, but on smaller sensors you need to keep that ISO down.

While a smaller point and shoot camera may have granted you a faster lens (S110 opens up to F/2.0 on the wide end), investing in a faster lens to go with the NEX3 will give you much better pictures in the long run.

In my personal opinion, kit lenses are like the half-filled ink cartridges that come with printers. They're enough to get you started out of the box, but pretty soon you're gong to want to replace it with something better.

Thanks Mordy, actually you already made the toner comparison, it was one of my main hesitations knowing that I will probably have to invest in another lens which brings up the price of the camera. I did some research and came across this lens on ebay.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Sony-E-mount-50-mm-f-1-8-OSS-Lens-for-NEX-cameras-NEW-SILVER-SEL50F18-/281281983627?pt=Camera_Lenses&hash=item417db6748b 
Is this what I'm looking for?

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #508 on: March 10, 2014, 02:06:26 PM »
Thanks Mordy, actually you already made the toner comparison, it was one of my main hesitations knowing that I will probably have to invest in another lens which brings up the price of the camera. I did some research and came across this lens on ebay.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Sony-E-mount-50-mm-f-1-8-OSS-Lens-for-NEX-cameras-NEW-SILVER-SEL50F18-/281281983627?pt=Camera_Lenses&hash=item417db6748b 
Is this what I'm looking for?

Yeah, that looks like it would work well. Looks like a great deal but its got 3 days left, I'm sure it will jump up in price at the end.

Sorry if I repeat myself sometimes- I moderate a film making forum and contribute to Q&A cinematography groups. I sometimes forget what I previously posted where.
I get asked the same questions a lot, so I should be allowed to repeat answers too. :)
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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #509 on: March 19, 2014, 01:14:42 PM »
Here are some of mine, the power of RAW!







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