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 153043 times)

Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #315 on: December 17, 2013, 01:49:08 PM »
Great, thanks!
This is what I was able to get for first time at night with the bad lighting in my apartment,

please give feedback and pointers for improvement ...

https://imageshack.com/a/PxRb/1

I'll wait until I'm home and could see them on a proper screen before I check them out.

Offline whYME

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #316 on: December 17, 2013, 09:39:13 PM »
Where does PNY fit in terms of quality?

Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #317 on: December 17, 2013, 09:54:03 PM »
Where does PNY fit in terms of quality?

Relatively low. Sandisk and Lexar are on sale very often (like 32gb for $18), so there's no real reason to go with the lesser brands.

Offline aussiebochur

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #318 on: December 17, 2013, 10:54:17 PM »
http://photocontest.lonelyplanet.com/competition/581/beautiful-world

Looks pretty cool!
Think we can get a DDF winner? :)

Offline Let3

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #319 on: December 18, 2013, 01:31:06 AM »
Relatively low. Sandisk and Lexar are on sale very often (like 32gb for $18), so there's no real reason to go with the lesser brands.
How about Sony?
Does it make any sense to get it over others because you have a Sony camera?

Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #320 on: December 18, 2013, 01:43:59 AM »
Great, thanks!
This is what I was able to get for first time at night with the bad lighting in my apartment,

please give feedback and pointers for improvement ...

https://imageshack.com/a/PxRb/1

The pictures are not bad - very nice for a first try, actually.

I like the middle one best for a few reasons:
- You're at his eye level. This is a vital part of shooting portraits. We're all used to seeing babies from the top down; the fact that you're on his level invites a feeling of intimacy, which makes for a very compelling photo.
- The top half of his face isn't hidden in shadow. The hat is takkeh very cute, but you have to take into consideration its effect on the picture. In the other two pictures, it casts a deep shadow over his eyes, taking away a lot of the feeling.

I also like that you didn't stick him in the dead center of the photos, which adds a nice balance. If you notice he's looking toward the left (his right), into the open area of the picture (this is called 'negative space'). This is great, as it conveys a feeling of openness and airiness. If he's been looking in the opposite direction, his gaze would bang into the edge of the frame and would make for a more uncomfortable and trapped feeling. (Of course when people look at a picture they don't generally notice feelings of 'openness' or 'being trapped'. But these feelings are felt subconsciously, and makes the difference between a picture that 'feels right' and one that doesn't. As photographers when we take a portrait it's out job to notice these things and use them to manipulate our viewer to have the feeling we want.)

You also have to keep an eye on the little details, especially around the edge of the frame. See how you left a perfect amount of space between his left elbow and the edge? That's great. But look at the bottom - you just cut off his finger. Make sure to practice 'border patrol', or else leave a bit more space than you think and crop later if needed.

And the main thing is the lighting. At night with bad lighting is definitely not the best time to do it. You could see that the colors are off, and there's a fair amount of noise due to high ISOs. If you would have done the exact same setup during the day by a window if would have been world apart.

But overall pretty nice pictures of a very cute boy ;).

Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #321 on: December 18, 2013, 01:45:22 AM »
How about Sony?
Does it make any sense to get it over others because you have a Sony camera?

No advantage whatsoever to go with a Sony card because you have a Sony camera. In any case the Sony cards are quite good, so no worries.

Offline Let3

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #322 on: December 18, 2013, 02:10:18 AM »
The pictures are not bad - very nice for a first try, actually.

I like the middle one best for a few reasons:
- You're at his eye level. This is a vital part of shooting portraits. We're all used to seeing babies from the top down; the fact that you're on his level invites a feeling of intimacy, which makes for a very compelling photo.
- The top half of his face isn't hidden in shadow. The hat is takkeh very cute, but you have to take into consideration its effect on the picture. In the other two pictures, it casts a deep shadow over his eyes, taking away a lot of the feeling.

I also like that you didn't stick him in the dead center of the photos, which adds a nice balance. If you notice he's looking toward the left (his right), into the open area of the picture (this is called 'negative space'). This is great, as it conveys a feeling of openness and airiness. If he's been looking in the opposite direction, his gaze would bang into the edge of the frame and would make for a more uncomfortable and trapped feeling. (Of course when people look at a picture they don't generally notice feelings of 'openness' or 'being trapped'. But these feelings are felt subconsciously, and makes the difference between a picture that 'feels right' and one that doesn't. As photographers when we take a portrait it's out job to notice these things and use them to manipulate our viewer to have the feeling we want.)

You also have to keep an eye on the little details, especially around the edge of the frame. See how you left a perfect amount of space between his left elbow and the edge? That's great. But look at the bottom - you just cut off his finger. Make sure to practice 'border patrol', or else leave a bit more space than you think and crop later if needed.

And the main thing is the lighting. At night with bad lighting is definitely not the best time to do it. You could see that the colors are off, and there's a fair amount of noise due to high ISOs. If you would have done the exact same setup during the day by a window if would have been world apart.

But overall pretty nice pictures of a very cute boy ;).
Thank you!
Much appreciated!

So if I would take a pic by day with sunlight through the window (porch door) - how close/far should I be from the window?
Should I be facing the window, or the light come from behind me?

Offline moish

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #323 on: December 18, 2013, 02:17:04 AM »
if i could weigh in on the pics (i aint no professional though)

firstly, baby is very cute,

but in my opinion the hat ruins it. it takes up a lot of the head, but most importantly its not appropriate for the pic as its clearly an indoor picture yet he/she is dressed for the winter freeze, so it comes off as gimmicky/novelty (unless you were without heat or something)

just my opinion...

Offline Let3

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #324 on: December 18, 2013, 02:29:16 AM »
if i could weigh in on the pics (i aint no professional though)

firstly, baby is very cute,

but in my opinion the hat ruins it. it takes up a lot of the head, but most importantly its not appropriate for the pic as its clearly an indoor picture yet he/she is dressed for the winter freeze, so it comes off as gimmicky/novelty (unless you were without heat or something)

just my opinion...
Well HE did just come home from the baby sitter, and it was freezing outside, so was still warming up...
(Also not much hair on his head yet, so didnt mind covering up a little..)
But I see what your saying..
Thanks for input.


Offline moish

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #325 on: December 18, 2013, 02:33:59 AM »
Well HE did just come home from the baby sitter, and it was freezing outside, so was still warming up...
(Also not much hair on his head yet, so didnt mind covering up a little..)
But I see what your saying..
Thanks for input.


it would appear that something fishy doesnt agree with me though, and he's the pro...

Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #326 on: December 18, 2013, 08:40:00 AM »
Thank you!
Much appreciated!

So if I would take a pic by day with sunlight through the window (porch door) - how close/far should I be from the window?
Should I be facing the window, or the light come from behind me?

Depends on the light. I'f it's very direct and harsh you should move back a bit, of is soft and sweet, you could get closer. Try different distances and see what works best.

The window should be on the side.

Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #327 on: December 18, 2013, 08:53:27 AM »
if i could weigh in on the pics (i aint no professional though)

firstly, baby is very cute,

but in my opinion the hat ruins it. it takes up a lot of the head, but most importantly its not appropriate for the pic as its clearly an indoor picture yet he/she is dressed for the winter freeze, so it comes off as gimmicky/novelty (unless you were without heat or something)

just my opinion...


it would appear that something fishy doesnt agree with me though, and he's the pro...

LOL.
1) First of all, just because I don't answer doesn't mean I disagree. It was 3 in the morning, you know :P...
2) You do make a good point - the hat is big and very slightly overwhelming.
3) But it still doesn't mean that you're necessarily right ;):

Often we remember the "feel" of a moment more than the moment itself (like when a smell or a song brings back long-forgotten memories). The memories of this time period in his baby's life will forever be linked to the record-breaking winter weather in J'lem. Looking at these pictures in years down the road he'll vaguely remember how cold and miserable it was outside, but hey! look at the baby - warm, cozy, and happy.

The hat (besides for looking very cute) serves to capture more than a record of the baby. It captures a moment in time, including the emotions.

Offline jack12

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #328 on: December 18, 2013, 08:59:30 AM »
No advantage whatsoever to go with a Sony card because you have a Sony camera. In any case the Sony cards are quite good, so no worries.
Can you add the recommended (and not recommended) companies to the post about SD cards?

Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #329 on: December 18, 2013, 09:12:41 AM »
Can you add the recommended (and not recommended) companies to the post about SD cards?

It's always been there:

Sandisk and Lexar are on the top, followed very closely by Sony and Panasonic. Kingston is somewhere in the middle, and companies like Transcend are just about on the bottom of the food chain. The only thing lower are all the no-name brands - Dane-Elec, Wintec, Silicone Power, et. al.