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
122 (36.7%)
Point & Shoot - advanced (Canon S100 or G Style)
52 (15.7%)
Mirrorless
27 (8.1%)
DSLR - consumer (Up to a Nikon D5200 or Canon Rebel)
74 (22.3%)
DSLR - prosumer or pro (Nikon D7000 or Canon 60D and up)
29 (8.7%)
P&S, but I plan on getting an SLR or Mirrorless in the near future
28 (8.4%)

Total Members Voted: 276

Author Topic: Learn Photography Master Thread  (Read 374615 times)

Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #480 on: February 22, 2014, 08:21:38 PM »
@ SomethingFishy how far away from the birds were you? It's incredible how much detail you captured.

Something like 30' for the ones in the trees, and probably 15' for the ground ones.

Mind you these are tiny birds - the sparrow is maybe 3", the cardinals 5" or so. Between the 36-megapixel D800 and the crazy sharp 200-400 f/4, I was even able to crop a fair amount and retain amazing detail.
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Offline Fan of Dan

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #481 on: February 22, 2014, 09:00:00 PM »
Something like 30' for the ones in the trees, and probably 15' for the ground ones.

Mind you these are tiny birds - the sparrow is maybe 3", the cardinals 5" or so. Between the 36-megapixel D800 and the crazy sharp 200-400 f/4, I was even able to crop a fair amount and retain amazing detail.
Incredible.  Looks like you are up in the tree with them.

Offline YG

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #482 on: February 22, 2014, 09:53:24 PM »
D800 and the 200-400 f/4
<I'm drooling big time>

Offline rots5

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #483 on: February 24, 2014, 03:39:12 PM »
I have a Nikon. What settings am I taking portraits on outside when its sunny?

I have been using A on iso 250 or so. (I forgot what shutter speed)
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Offline srap

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #484 on: February 28, 2014, 03:18:06 AM »
Oy.  AMAZING. Uh-oh.  I'm so excited!  These are some feelings now that I have just discovered this thread.  Where am I going to find (make?) the time to deal with this incredible resource? 

And all because of a DDF printer rebate deal (which can include a camera)!  I was trying to educate myself a bit before I posted a comment on the digital camera deal thread.  Looking forward to learning while plodding through your posts....

Offline CS1

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #485 on: February 28, 2014, 04:46:46 PM »
Incredible.  Looks like you are up in the tree with them.
yes, it does. Great, close photos!
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Offline theberk

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #486 on: March 05, 2014, 06:19:13 PM »
What do you think of this built in flash diffuser?
http://www.meritline.com/puffer-pop-up-flash-diffuser-white---p-53773.aspx

Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #487 on: March 05, 2014, 07:08:07 PM »
What do you think of this built in flash diffuser?
http://www.meritline.com/puffer-pop-up-flash-diffuser-white---p-53773.aspx

They're awesome, I've used them myself for a long time. Get a couple (at that price is a no brainer) since the bracket trends to crack.
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Offline Fan of Dan

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #488 on: March 05, 2014, 08:20:10 PM »
They're awesome, I've used them myself for a long time. Get a couple (at that price is a no brainer) since the bracket trends to crack.
What do they usually cost? Also assuming it will be compatible with my Rebel t3I?

Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #489 on: March 05, 2014, 08:35:24 PM »
What do they usually cost? Also assuming it will be compatible with my Rebel t3I?

It's a knockoff of the Gary Fong Puffer which goes for around $25.

It'll work on all DSLRs.
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Offline Fan of Dan

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #490 on: March 05, 2014, 08:40:42 PM »
It's a knockoff of the Gary Fong Puffer which goes for around $25.

It'll work on all DSLRs.
Thanks - now it's on the way.

Offline whYME

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Re: Learn Photography Master Thread
« Reply #491 on: March 05, 2014, 10:11:56 PM »
What do you think of this built in flash diffuser?
http://www.meritline.com/puffer-pop-up-flash-diffuser-white---p-53773.aspx
They're awesome, I've used them myself for a long time. Get a couple (at that price is a no brainer) since the bracket trends to crack.
Thanks guys, I just ordered a couple.


Offline noturbizniss

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READ THE DARN WIKI!!!!

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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?