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Online KiLRoy

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Learning photography
« on: November 18, 2016, 07:08:49 am »
Where do i start?

Just want to take nice good to look at shots...
 

Offline ClimbingTurtle

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Re: Learning photography
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2016, 08:01:57 am »
Don't we all.....

I tried a couple of on-line tutorials, and lots of practice and I think my pics are still k@k.

I suspect some people have better "vision" than others (me) - the only advice I can offer is to practice with all the manual functions of the camera you are using, make sure you understand what each does and the correlation between them, and what you need to do to achieve the picture you have in your head. Framing and selecting the "perfect shot" still eludes me tho.....

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Re: Learning photography
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2016, 08:12:13 am »
I have the camera, the lenses, the software and a reasonable understanding of how these things hang together.  My wife uses an old digital or her iPhone.  When she uses my camera she has no clue what the buttons are for.  Yet, her photographs are often much better than mine as she can see the picture that she wants to take.  So learn the technical part but hook up with someone who can teach you how to see in order to take better and more interesting photographs.
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Offline Tom van Brits

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Re: Learning photography
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2016, 12:49:51 am »
Number one advice from me is to learn the camera's settings and menu. There is lots and lots of settings on the modern digital cameras and I thought it was just as simple as getting the exposure correct.

The best I understand is that exposure is like a 3 legged chair, and you got to always balance it out by means of Aperture, shutter speed and ISO.
However, what makes it more interesting and can boost the quality of the pictures is the various settings in the menu and I almost want to say 'hidden menus'. The places I never bothered to go into till Xpat sent me a link where they explain a lot of these especially focusing in detail.
 
I have since started to experiment more and more and memorizing the menu and options as one does not want to be in the field and not able to recall where and how to get to a specific setting. That to me makes a huge difference already, and I can see in my own pictures how I progressed over a short period of time.
 
The more practice you get, the better. I read up on the internet, and learn as much as I can about the topic. Let's say it is bird photography. Then I choose the right lens for the occasion - and here I can just say or confirm what every other good photographer will say; 'Invest in good glass'. I found out last week only when I received the parcel with camera gear from Xpat what difference it makes when you have the correct and good quality glass. I do not know how to spell this but to soften the background can be done with a 'kit lens' as well, but to soften it where you get the 'creamy bukay ....sorry spelling  :peepwall: or/and that 'drop like' soft background is only possible to have consistency with 'good quality glass'.

I am absolutely new to this level of photography and have lots to learn, but all I can say is set yourself goals and go out and shoot. Do not feel sensitive when the experts analyze and comment, but take it as positive criticism.

Everyone is taking pictures, just look at FB and see how people are uploading pics but the millions. To stand out is where the skill comes in, one needs to learn how to 'see' and visualize to make it happen.

My biggest issue (still a mental block) originates from the time when we had to develop our photos, and it cost money. I constantly need to remind me that it is 'ok' to shoot lots of photos and to delete the ones that is not working. One will get different views from different people but even great photographers will only be happy with one or 2 shots from every 100 ore more pictures taken. My brother in law told this to me over a year ago and I thought he was joking with a straight face, but it is just that!

I would say we can share tips maybe here on 'how to' and so on?

Then lastly there is also 'Lightroom, Photoshop and GIMP' - I do not know nothing about the first 2 but GIMP is freeware and one can do a lot with it. I can unfortunately not access youtube here, so I did a bit of reading and managed to figure some stuff out but I will definitely not be able to use it to the full potential without youtube tutorials. That will have to wait, so my aim is to get the best possible result straight from the camera.

 

Offline Lourens ツ

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Re: Learning photography
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2016, 11:31:38 am »
When I started with photography back in the early 80's the biggest breakthrough came when I understood how the machine called a camera worked. 
Of cause there was only manual those days so I had no choice but to understand what technically made a photo good or not.
Once I understood a camera it was easy to manipulate the settings to achieve my desired result.
Then I focused on learning about composition.
I still have all the books I've bought back then.  The Internet makes it soo easy nowadays.

The way we do photography has changed allot over the last 3 decades but the basics are the same.

Understand shutter speed, aperture and ISO and the relationship between them.

When I started there was only shutter speed and aperture.  The addition of variable ISO is a huge  bonus. During my last visit to KNP I used manual shutter speed and aperture but relied on auto ISO for exposure. It is a game changer.

I'm sure you'll learn fast but get confidence first by understanding the machine.

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Online KiLRoy

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Re: Learning photography
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2016, 02:20:32 pm »
Playing with the X-E2
 

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Re: Learning photography
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2016, 02:23:24 pm »
color
 

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Re: Learning photography
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2016, 02:26:56 pm »
donno what i'm doing - but herewith
 

Offline Xpat

Re: Learning photography
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2016, 02:58:04 pm »
Not sure what you were trying to do with the garden picture either (i'm guessing this is  where wide lens would come handy as the picture seems cut off on the right), but the doggie and the gentleman pictures are actually pretty good  :thumleft:. The shots have atmosphere and that is what matters. You can also see on the gentlemans color picture how shallower DOF (i.e. blurred out background) highlighted nicely him and supressed the clutter at the back.

As others said - just take a lot of pics - especially of stuff you like - and if the pictures do not look as you hoped for, post them here and explain what you were trying to achieve and we can give you pointers how to get there next time. Then try it again.

In terms of technical skills, you were frequenting the other thread, where most of it was discussed (across 40 pages admitedly). But there are tons of stuff on youtube - just learn how to control exposure and its attributes - shutter speed, aperture and ISO.

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Re: Learning photography
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2016, 03:05:52 pm »
Tried vivid settings on garden pic to bring out the colour.

Tried dof in colour toppie pic

B&W pics - like the way the camera frame people. Challenge was to take pics inside the stoep of the pub against the bringht sunshine outside - i tried white balance settings and flash fill

Dog - was bit pissed by then ;). Tried without flash, but movement spoiled it.  The flash is more subtle than most?
« Last Edit: November 20, 2016, 03:11:49 pm by KiLRoy »
 

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Re: Learning photography
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2016, 03:07:12 pm »
 :sip:
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Re: Learning photography
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2016, 03:13:33 pm »
Looking for the F2 or F1.4 35mm prime
 

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Re: Learning photography
« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2016, 03:19:24 pm »
So am i right in saying that to bring the dof (blur background) - need to go down in F stops. My case F2.8, but at the expense of not allowing to zoom.  So have to get close to subject.

And to shoot against bring background - use centre AF - make sure to AF against foreground.  Play with white balance, can use flashfill, but subjects out of reach of flash on stoep, still dark.  How to do it?
 

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Re: Learning photography
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2016, 03:28:05 pm »
What I did read recently which made a lot of sense wrt flash: Get it off the camera.
The sample pictures which I have seen was just amazing! The pro's do NOT use the flash 'on' the camera' but get various tipes of stobe and other flashes placed on strategic point which get triggered by the camera (you can set it up to perform like that)

I am (not at this stage) not interested in photographing people but rather landscape and nature - birds ++
I must however say that the picture of the gentleman was rather good.

WRT landscape: I have found that it helps that you have a foreground leading up to the actual 'subject' like for instance a mountain (relevant in my case)
Therefore a wide lens or then a panoramic would make sense.

Patience is very important. To wait for that 'perfect shot'. I am 'chasing' a good moon picture and if it is not cloudy it is windy to the extend where the tripod risk of being blown over, and I am  anal on protecting the gear like all my other things. I did have a bad fall in the field the other day, as there is lots of burrows and birds in there which one wound not want to injure or worse. I stepped on a burrow nest and when I heard the call of the bird, moved feet - loose balance and down. Did a roll and the camera was safely held up with me lying in the grass  :imaposer: I will get that picture, and I also hope for the starts at some stage.
 

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Re: Learning photography
« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2016, 03:33:37 pm »
So am i right in saying that to bring the dof (blur background) - need to go down in F stops. My case F2.8, but at the expense of not allowing to zoom.  So have to get close to subject.

And to shoot against bring background - use centre AF - make sure to AF against foreground.  Play with white balance, can use flashfill, but subjects out of reach of flash on stoep, still dark.  How to do it?

Yes the smallest allowable F-stop (which is then the biggest lens opening) F2.8 should do great, I did the following shot on F5.6 at full 300mm zoom

 

Offline Xpat

Re: Learning photography
« Reply #15 on: November 20, 2016, 03:39:27 pm »
So am i right in saying that to bring the dof (blur background) - need to go down in F stops. My case F2.8, but at the expense of not allowing to zoom.  So have to get close to subject.
...

Yes. I explained in detail DOF and its control on the other thread, including attached videos from youtube - look there as there are three things that affect DOF - aperture, distance between camera, subject and background, and focal length used.

Offline GundaGunda

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Re: Learning photography
« Reply #16 on: November 20, 2016, 03:52:12 pm »
I was going to post in the Bridge/DSLR thread, but my post fits better here.

I had my first outing with a Camera Club today, and it was a really nice experience. I think there were about 15 people there, and a really diverse but nice bunch. With some of the formidable equipment there, and with my little DSLR and two kit lenses, I felt a bit like the kid with the smallest willy in the change-room.

The way they seem to work is that there is very little interaction at the shoot, but at the meeting in a week or so they will all review each others photos. I have no idea what to expect at the meet up.

After the shoot we all went for breakfast and chat, and there the banter was fast and furious. The guy next to me was the head honcho judge. He had a camera bag that could have taken a tent, bag and provisions for a fortnight, with a three course meal of lenses every day.

I asked him to what extent the folks at the club post-process their pics, and his answer put in words what I have felt for a while. He said, "I never change a photo to make it what I did not see, enhanced by my eyes. I don't see in monochrome. I don't see in sepia, I don't see vignetting, frames or weird perspectives. But I do imagine a picture better than I see it, and I do try to achieve that." 

I took almost three hundred photos in about two hours. I have filtered that down to eighteen, and I am sure that will end up five or six.

The question is will they see in my photos what I do?
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Re: Learning photography
« Reply #17 on: November 20, 2016, 04:05:24 pm »
I like the way this camera frames people and places - the b&w filter is classic.  As you can see the challenge was to shoot inside against a very bright background.  I would guess another approach is to underexpose and then to post edit to bring detail our from shadows/dark areas.  But im too lazy and stupid to post edit
 

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Re: Learning photography
« Reply #18 on: November 20, 2016, 04:11:06 pm »
GG I am glad you liked it, and would love to see some of your pictures!

 

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Re: Learning photography
« Reply #19 on: November 20, 2016, 04:11:36 pm »
. . . . .
Yes. I explained in detail DOF and its control on the other thread, including attached videos from youtube - look there as there are three things that affect DOF - aperture, distance between camera, subject and background, and focal length used.

I have been trying to learn from the masters, and attempted to put it into practice on the way to the meet-up with the daisies next to the road.

I used the 55-200 lens so I could get a bit of distance between me and the flower, and opened the aperture a bit. the FLen was 135mm, ISO 100 speed 1/160 - you can see a bit of camera shake at 135mm, but lens is VR so it corrects a bit of that. 
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