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
117 (38.1%)
Point & Shoot - advanced (Canon S100 or G Style)
44 (14.3%)
Mirrorless
24 (7.8%)
DSLR - consumer (Up to a Nikon D5200 or Canon Rebel)
68 (22.1%)
DSLR - prosumer or pro (Nikon D7000 or Canon 60D and up)
28 (9.1%)
P&S, but I plan on getting an SLR or Mirrorless in the near future
26 (8.5%)

Total Members Voted: 252

Author Topic: Learn Photography Master Thread  (Read 171330 times)

Offline RJ898

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #510 on: March 19, 2014, 01:21:00 PM »
Part of the vast right wing conspiracy.

Offline askmoses

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #511 on: March 19, 2014, 01:31:20 PM »
Here are some of mine, the power of RAW!
Beautiful stills from the best videographer around!

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #512 on: March 19, 2014, 02:02:49 PM »
Speaking of raw... Is there ever going to be a lesson on raw:? Or is there one already?

Offline RJ898

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #513 on: March 19, 2014, 02:35:21 PM »
Beautiful stills from the best videographer around!
Raw means that you have access to the raw sensor data in post production. When you shoot a jpeg, the sensor sees the light and then processes it into a jpeg. In that process it throws away a lot of the data that it saw. Gives you an image that your computer can see without any special software and relatively small files but because all the raw data is "baked in" to the image, you won't have too much control over it in post.
When you shoot raw, the camera keeps everything the sensor sees, resulting in much larger file sizes and not worth it unless you actually plan to do something with them once you get home.
Part of the vast right wing conspiracy.

Offline jaywhy

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #514 on: March 19, 2014, 07:14:57 PM »
OK, these are from a while ago taken with a T4I 18-135. I've since switched to a mirorless system (specifically Lumix GH3 (thanks mordy)).

Now I want these two lenses

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/865111-REG/Panasonic_H_HS12035_Lumix_G_X_Vario.html
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/768816-REG/Panasonic_H_X025_Leica_DG_Summilux_25.html

At some point down the road I would love to get these too

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1000625-REG/voigtlander_ba425m_nokton_42_5mm_f_0_95_micro.html
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/754598-REG/Voigtlander_BA305A_Nokton_25mm_f_0_95_Lens.html

Any corporate sponsors?
I would highly recommend the Olympus 12-40 2.8 Pro. I use it with my GX7 and it is an awesome combo. Also cheaper than the Panny lens.
I'm not sure if your camera has IS built into the body, if it doesn't then it may make sense to go with the Panny as the Olympus lens isn't stabilized.

Offline RJ898

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #515 on: March 19, 2014, 09:20:02 PM »
I would highly recommend the Olympus 12-40 2.8 Pro. I use it with my GX7 and it is an awesome combo. Also cheaper than the Panny lens.
I'm not sure if your camera has IS built into the body, if it doesn't then it may make sense to go with the Panny as the Olympus lens isn't stabilized.
that's the issue. IS on Panasonic is in the lens.
I do video for a living and my main camera is the GH3. I use a lot of manual lenses but I'm looking at these lenses specifically for photography and I want the stabilization...
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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #516 on: March 19, 2014, 10:09:36 PM »
Raw means that you have access to the raw sensor data in post production. When you shoot a jpeg, the sensor sees the light and then processes it into a jpeg. In that process it throws away a lot of the data that it saw. Gives you an image that your computer can see without any special software and relatively small files but because all the raw data is "baked in" to the image, you won't have too much control over it in post.
When you shoot raw, the camera keeps everything the sensor sees, resulting in much larger file sizes and not worth it unless you actually plan to do something with them once you get home.


Thank you.
So all the software that one can use would be multiple lessons on its own?

Offline jaywhy

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #517 on: March 19, 2014, 10:37:23 PM »
that's the issue. IS on Panasonic is in the lens.
I do video for a living and my main camera is the GH3. I use a lot of manual lenses but I'm looking at these lenses specifically for photography and I want the stabilization...
Ah gotcha.
My GX7 has IS built in so it works for me.

Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #518 on: March 19, 2014, 11:50:55 PM »
Here are some of mine, the power of RAW!

First off - beautiful pictures. Very well done.

Couple of thoughts:

The pictures you uploaded were at full size, which means that they're impossible to see when they're embedded in the post - even zooming my browser out all the way still only showed part of each picture. I find that uploading a 1024px wide picture works well most of the time:









I'm surprised that you weren't able to bring back the highlights in the parrots' faces in post. Unless the picture was overexposed by 4+ stops, the RAW file should have had the missing info. Otherwise it's a great, well composed picture.

The sunset I like a lot, but I wish there was some foreground to anchor it. A bit of beach, some rocks, or part of a boat would have made the picture much more immersive to the viewer. I also like the detail in the water, but I can't help but think that a slower shutter speed would have made for a more interesting shot - it would have blurred the waves and allowed the water to reflect more of the sunrise.

The waterfall picture is amazing, especially the detail in the rocks on the upper right corner. Again, a slower shutter would have made the water look better. The composition is fabulous, except for the very top - I wish you hadn't cut off the top of the right falls. The light is soft and lovely, perfect for this type of shot.

I love love love the Road To Hana picture. The muted colors is not a treatment you see too often in this shot, and I think it works really well. It's a great way to differentiate your picture from the many others taken from this spot. The composition is spot on - from the bushes in the foreground (love that splash of red!) to the tree framing the left. The horizon is a drop crooked, but not to horribly. Also, if you would have raised the camera a couple of inches higher, you would have separated the top of the foreground bush from the far beach to create a smooth, continuous flow, mirroring the road above.

The one big issue this picture has is halos. This is completely due to post-processing, and could (and should ;)) absolutely be avoided. It's mostly apparent where the center of the mountain meets the clouds, and where the mountain intersects with the horizon. There should be a smooth transition, not a glow. You could also see a bit of it in the one blue spot in the sky.

But again - it's still a lovely picture that I wish I had taken myself :D. The reason I'm harping on this one so much is because I really like it ;D

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Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #519 on: March 19, 2014, 11:55:32 PM »
Speaking of raw... Is there ever going to be a lesson on raw:? Or is there one already?

It was covered briefly already, but yes, there will probably be a dedicated lesson on it in the future.

RAW: Many advanced P&Ss and all mirrorless and DSLRs are capable of shooting in the RAW format, as opposed to just JPEG.

What's RAW? When the camera takes a picture, the sensor captures a huge amount of data. It then passes all that to the processor, which 'finishes' the picture. It'll apply color correction, contrast adjustments, sharpening, noise reduction, and a hundred other things. When it's done it'll save the file to the card as a finished JPEG file, and throw away all the original sensor data. Usually, the camera is pretty good at figuring all this out and delivering good results. However, what if you want to make these decisions? What if the camera keeps on putting out pictures that you feel are too dark, or too vivid? Sure you could edit them in Photoshop later and try to fix it, but instead of working with all the data that was actually captured, your working only with the little bit of data the camera saw fit to include in the JPEG file.

This is where RAW comes in. Simply put, it's the raw data as captured by your sensor, with nothing thrown out by the processor. What this means is that you make all the decisions, not the camera. If you shoot in RAW you will have to edit each and every picture, since the camera doesn't do it for you. This is obviously quite time consuming - I personally have about 20000 RAW files waiting to be edited. The advantages are enormous though - since you're working with so much data, you could do amazing things which the camera would never have figured out on it's own.

Have a look at this picture below - the first one is how the camera decided it should look, and the second one is after I took the RAW file and made the decisions myself. There's no Photoshop wizardry happening here; all I've adjusted is exposure, contrast, sharpening, color, etc. - all things the camera usually does by itself. (The only 'Photoshopping' was removing the small (hardly visible) sign on the bottom left and the dark spot in the center.)





Besides of the obvious issue of having to edit every single picture, there are some other drawbacks to shooting RAW. By virtue of the file containing so much info, the files are also HUGE - my Nikon D600 gives me less than 600 RAW shots on a 32GB card, compared to over 2000 JPEGs. And due to the large file sizes, shooting RAW is slower than JPEG. On mirrorless and DSLRs that's not so much of an issue as the cameras are built for that, with a P&S the slowdown will be quite noticeable.

Most cameras that shoot RAW also allow you to shoot RAW+JPEG - this is the best of both worlds, the control of RAW but the convenience of a ready JPEG if you can't or won't want to edit every picture. The downside of this is that it takes up even more space, and it's even slower.

In order to edit the RAW files, you'll need special software. The best RAW editor/converter is Adobe  Lightroom or ACR (Adobe Camera Raw, part of Photoshop). A camera that shoots RAW will usually include a basic converter too.

But in the end, there's a reason most pros shoot RAW full time - it just gives them more control and options.
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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #520 on: March 20, 2014, 12:21:39 AM »
Thanks! There's a lot I wish I had know on that trip (like not splitting an image on the horizon line, using the foreground and getting a light tripod for slower shutter speeds).
Live and learn and one day I'll come back to some of those pictures and re-edit. I hope to make is back to the islands one day with more knowledge, experience and better equipment and we'll see what happens!
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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #521 on: March 20, 2014, 12:50:51 PM »
I've since switched to a mirorless system (specifically Lumix GH3 (thanks mordy)).

Dawww, shucks. :)

I didn't realize you were part of this thread until after I realized who you were! Now I might have to go back and re-read with some new perspective... But I'm with you, man- those Lumix lenses are a real treat for video as a stabilized 2.8 zoom. But they are pricey, I can't justify buying one now either. Either way, this thread is mostly discussing photography so let's not confuse everyone by bringing our video discussion in too.

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #522 on: March 24, 2014, 12:35:25 AM »
I'm no big photographer but I though these came out pretty cool coming from my Droid DNA...




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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #523 on: March 24, 2014, 12:52:41 AM »
I'm no big photographer but I though these came out pretty cool coming from my Droid DNA...




Fantastic pictures, goes to show that you don't need fancy equipment to make great pictures. The light is sublime on both of them. I especially love how it looks like the wing is slicing through the sunset, with the bright area widening behind it. Almost looks like the sky is being painted by the wing.

If I could find something to fault it'll be extremely minor - I wish you had pulled back just a drop on the food, so that I could see all of the sauce and the tips of the fries. Or else get closer, and only hint at them. Also, try to keep your horizon or main subject out of the center (like in the plane shot), it'll make for a more dynamic composition.
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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #524 on: March 25, 2014, 11:56:09 PM »
Fantastic pictures, goes to show that you don't need fancy equipment to make great pictures. The light is sublime on both of them. I especially love how it looks like the wing is slicing through the sunset, with the bright area widening behind it. Almost looks like the sky is being painted by the wing.

If I could find something to fault it'll be extremely minor - I wish you had pulled back just a drop on the food, so that I could see all of the sauce and the tips of the fries. Or else get closer, and only hint at them. Also, try to keep your horizon or main subject out of the center (like in the plane shot), it'll make for a more dynamic composition.

Interesting points Thanks.