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 149024 times)

Offline Emkay

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #1470 on: October 22, 2017, 01:09:19 AM »
accessories are interchange-able with GoPros?
Yes

Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #1471 on: October 22, 2017, 01:11:04 AM »
Yes

+.5

If it's in the included housing, GoPro mounts are compatible. Once out of the housing, nothing is.

Offline Emkay

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #1472 on: October 22, 2017, 01:14:30 AM »
+.5

If it's in the included housing, GoPro mounts are compatible. Once out of the housing, nothing is.
Correct. Realized that as soon as I typed that and was about to edit it.

Offline TimT

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #1473 on: October 25, 2017, 10:00:00 PM »
When everyone is taking the same picture of an incredible sunset, turn 180° and get blown away by the colors instead.

Taken a few minutes ago:


Did you get anything today ? What a beauty!!

Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #1474 on: October 25, 2017, 10:06:21 PM »
Did you get anything today ? What a beauty!!

Just some lousy cellphone shots. I am not proud :P.




Offline TimT

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #1475 on: October 25, 2017, 10:15:19 PM »
Just some lousy cellphone shots. I am not proud :P.




Get one of those cellphones that take color photos. :)
 You’re missing the pink, purple, red & orange. Was epic

Offline whYME

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #1476 on: October 26, 2017, 10:20:27 AM »

There's a lot of construction going on in your neighborhood.

Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #1477 on: October 26, 2017, 10:24:20 AM »
There's a lot of construction going on in your neighborhood.

A lot is an understatement - it's the largest private real estate development in the history of the US.

Offline whYME

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #1478 on: October 26, 2017, 10:26:55 AM »
A lot is an understatement - it's the largest private real estate development in the history of the US.
And here I thought it was a coincidence that the buildings all seem to look the same.
I think I need to get out more.

Offline Berenstein Bear

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #1479 on: December 31, 2017, 10:51:23 AM »
almost done reading through this thread- AMAZING! more coming...??

Also, has anyone taken any course on creativelive.com? Any of them specifically worthwhile?
Thanks

Offline Berenstein Bear

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #1480 on: January 31, 2018, 04:39:47 PM »
almost done reading through this thread- AMAZING! more coming...??

BUMP.

SF, tysm for this incredible thread! Better than any other (workshop, course, lessons, website) that I've seen out there! I see the last lesson was in 2013... is that it, or will more still come? Not taking this for granted- I'm sure its tons of work- just know that we really appreciate it!

Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #1481 on: January 31, 2018, 04:41:05 PM »
BUMP.

SF, tysm for this incredible thread! Better than any other (workshop, course, lessons, website) that I've seen out there! I see the last lesson was in 2013... is that it, or will more still come? Not taking this for granted- I'm sure its tons of work- just know that we really appreciate it!

I wish I had more time for this... Unfortunately it doesn't look like I'll have an update out anytime soon.

Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #1482 on: February 07, 2018, 02:14:04 PM »
A friend of mine messaged me yesterday after I recommended he buy the Samyang 12mm f/2 lens for aurora and night photography. His question was simple: is there another use for this lens outside of these fairly specialized applications? Specifically, could this be used for typical landscapes?

So I tried to answer him, but then the answer got too long, needed examples, and just wouldn't work on Whatsapp. So I typed this up, and then figured I may as well share it here as it's something others may find useful too.



Let's get the easy part out of the way: by being f/2, this lens is extremely fast - i.e., it lets in a ton of light. Your Sony kit lens' largest aperture is f/3.5, so this Samyang lens lets in approximately 3x as much light. For astro and aurora photography, it's immediately obvious why this would be a great lens.

Now for the more complicated part: it’s extremely wide. That’s really the defining feature, and that is both its boon and its bane.

What that means is that it distorts relative space and perspective. Close objects appear closer (and consequently larger), while distant objects appear more distant.

The big fallacy with how people use this lens – and the reason why it’s not simply "the best landscape lens" – is that they think wider = stuffing everything into the frame. They forget about the perspective distortion. They see a big, beautiful scene in front of them, think “hey, I’ve got a wide lens so I can capture it all”, and end up with an image that’s half taken up by the patch of grass they were standing on and with some tiny mountains in the background.

Why is that? Perspective distortion. The grass they were on is close, and so became the dominant feature in the image. The mountains are far, and so they receded even more into the distance and now look minuscule. This is why pictures of incredible views often look so underwhelming: the vast majority of those are taken with wide lenses trying to capture the immensity of the view. But in doing so, everything just ends up tiny and barely visible.

Here are two of my first attempts at using an ultra-wide lens (don't judge!). Both pictures are pretty pathetic, with most of the picture taken up by deathly-boring foreground and the rest by what may have been a pretty or dramatic scene, had everything not been so tiny:





The trick to using this lens successfully is understanding this distortion and using it to your advantage - for example, use it to highlight an interesting foreground object. The lens will make it appear way bigger and more dramatic, and is especially useful for water and rocks.

There was this 2” river running over the beach here, and barely visible. But by getting close to the water and tilting the camera a bit downwards, I was able to exaggerate the water and make the picture infinitely more interesting:



Same goes for this rock. The picture was relatively blah, with no color or a good anchoring subject. So I got into the water, put the camera within 3 inches of this little rock, and got a nice picture. The rock adds balance, a splash of color, and most of all, a feeling of standing right in the water with me:



And it’s that last point that is my favorite use of this lens: placing the viewer smack dab in the scene. Neither of the following pictures would have been possible with a regular lens. The distortion you get with the wide one, however, allows you to feel like you’re standing IN the scene, rather than just being an observer on the outside. You are essentially stretching the scene around the viewer:









And of course, sometimes you just need a wide lens because otherwise you simply cannot fit your scene into your frame. In the following shots, this works because the important elements of the shot were all relatively close and so did not shrink into the background, as would happen in "deeper" scenes.

In this shot, all of the important parts if the image were within a few feet from the camera. Even better, there was an unimportant element a slight distance away, so the distortion worked even more to my advantage. See that parking lot off to the left? It's barely visible. In reality, this lot was far closer than it appears and was quite a distracting part of the scene. But using such a wide lens allowed me to shrink it down to a barely-noticeable issue:



In order to get both the ground and the best part of the aurora, I needed a lens wide enough:



And the same here: the rocks were too close to be included had I not had an ultra-wide lens. Note that the mountains here were incredibly close, which is why they maintained their impressive size. Had they been further away, this image would not really have worked:



Another thing to watch out with ultra-wide lenses is that anything in the very corners will be very distorted. This is not a huge issue with landscapes, but try putting a face in the corner and watch the camera add 50 pounds.

So in short, this type of lens is absolutely invaluable to a landscape (or interior) photographer. But you can't use it willy-nilly on every pretty scene you come across.

With a bit of discipline and some practice you can become the master of the ultra-wides.

Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #1483 on: February 07, 2018, 02:14:51 PM »
I wish I had more time for this... Unfortunately it doesn't look like I'll have an update out anytime soon.

I don't think I've ever eaten my words this quickly :P.

Offline moish

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #1484 on: February 07, 2018, 02:43:30 PM »
Your Sony kit lens' largest aperture is f/3.5, so this Samyang lens lets in approximately 3x as much light.
Thanks, great write up. Question - can you explain the math of why an f2 would allow 3x more light vs f3.5?