Please share photgraphy tip(s) you've used

Started Jan 31, 2013 | Discussions
dzba
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Please share photgraphy tip(s) you've used
Jan 31, 2013

we have a wealth of experienced and knowledgeable photographers on this forum who I would like to tap and have share their photography tips (not camera specific) tips they've picked up while discovering and exploring their love of photography.  From the newest "noobie" to the most seasoned veteran we can all learn from each other.  My approach after being a carpenter 40+ years was that I could learn something new at work everyday, if I kept my mind (eyes and ears) open.  Never too experienced to learn from anyone.  With that said, please add a tip, or as many as you want to this thread.  Change the subject entry line to your tip subject so those who only want to read the tips, won't overlook your contribution.  Thanks, Mike

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dzba
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Re: a couple from me
In reply to dzba, Jan 31, 2013

I'm blessed to live in an state that has a lot of wildlife in it.  You never know when, or where you might see it.

Tip #1,  When leaving the house always have a charged battery and memory card (with room to take more pics on it) inserted in your camera.  Put your camera bag where you can access it easily.  This past Christmas morning we had 2" of new snow.  A mile from my place, in the middle of the city, my brother shouted: get your camera!  A beautiful red fox had just crossed the road in front of us and posed perfectly for 15 seconds.  My gear bag was in the back of his car and I couldn't access it quickly.  Over the years I've missed many chances because I didn't have a charged battery or a full memory card in my camera. Not a big deal until you miss your chance.

Tip #2, goes along with above tip.  Get yourself one of those foam tubes made for kids to play with in the swimming pool.  They're 2.5"- 62 cm (?) diameter, about 4' or 5' long, with a 3/4"- 20cm (?) hole in the center, running through the entire length of it.  Cut a section about a foot long and slit it the length (like a hot dog bun is slit).  You now have a very handy camera support that slips over the top of a vehicle's window that is up a few inches from the bottom.  It beats bean or rice bags, in some cases.  It's almost weithless, portable,fits in the camera gear bag, and is cheap.  I got mine from the $ store and have plenty left over to use or give away.  Not free, but very low cost.

Anyone else care to share?  Thanks, Mike

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guinness2
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Classics (not mine)
In reply to dzba, Jan 31, 2013

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1031&message=16309636&changemode=1

OP : balloonchasers 17.12.2005

Quotation:

One of the most common questions found on this forum is “what lens to get?”. Often this question is asked by someone who describes themselves as new to dslr or awaiting the arrival of their newly purchased camera. I would like to make the following suggestions before someone considers purchasing a new lens to replace the kit lens:

1. Experiment with the kit lens. Find out what it is capable of. This lens will amaze you with what it can do if only given the opportunity.

2. Take pictures at all zoom levels, f-stops, and shutter speeds.

3. Discover the relationships between the variables listed in #2. Learn how to expose an image differently by altering one variable and then another.

4. Try taking the same picture with different ISO settings. See how f-stop and shutter speeds are affected by different ISO settings.

5. Use each of the different program modes found on your camera.

6. Intentionally underexpose or overexpose an image to create a feeling that you want to convey to the viewer of your picture.

7. Experiment with bokeh and use it in a creative manner. Yes, the kit lens is capable of bokeh!

8. Set your lens to a zoom level and leave it there all day long. Practice zooming with your legs.

9. Spend an entire day with the lens set on manual focus. Learn how to focus without relying upon the automatic focus feature.

10. Take some pictures at slow shutter speeds (handheld and on a tripod). Learn at what shutter speed you can no longer hold the camera steady enough to take a shake free image. Create a feeling of motion in an image that you would like to hang on your wall. Slow a waterfall down until the water looks like slow moving fog. YES, the kit lens is capable of all this.

11. Take some pictures at fast shutter speeds. Stop action in mid air.

12. Take pictures in the bulb mode. Star trails, automobile taillights, ghost images, and fireworks are all great opportunities to create an image you would be proud to share with others. Yes, the kit lens can do all this too.

13. Capture an image of a lightening bolt.

14. Take a picture of the moon. Not a close up of the moon, but a landscape picture which includes the moon.

15. Try panning. Fast moving vehicles or an athlete at a sporting event are great subjects to practice the technique of panning.

16. Take some pictures of water drops until you get one that you want to print.
17. Take some portraits of your friends.
18. Take some candids of your friends.
19. Ask 10 strangers if you can take their picture.

20. Take some self-portraits of yourself. Find one that you would like to share with others.

21. Try taking some pictures of items close up. You may not be taking true macros, but you will be amazed at what the kit lens can do.

22. Go downtown at night and take some exposures without the flash. Learn to use the available light.

23. Be thankful that Canon gave you an onboard flash. Learn how to use it. Try using a coffee filter/tissue to soften the flash’s effect or an index card to create a bounce effect.

24. Take pictures in the middle of the day. Learn how shadows can create a mood.

25. Catch yourself knelling on one knee to capture an image. The best angle is not always found standing up.

26. Make someone laugh with a picture you took.
27. Make someone pause and reflect with a picture you took.

28. Practice using your software program that you process your images with. This is your darkroom, learn how to make most of it.

29. Visit someone else’s online photo gallery. Find an image you like and see how close you can imitate it.

30. Look through a magazine. Find a picture you like and see if you can imitate it as well.

31. Print these suggestions out and highlight those that you have not done with the kit lens. Do those that you highlighted.

Once you have followed these suggestions and others you will discover along the way, ask yourself what you enjoyed the most, what you would like to do more of, what would you like to do easier, differently, or in another way. Then you can begin to answer the question, “what lens should I get”.

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imqqmi
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Always preset your camera when you go out shooting
In reply to dzba, Jan 31, 2013

Here's a simple one but it has proven useful to me countless times. Whenever you set out to photograph, always preset your camera with settings that are most likely to be used for the type of photography and light conditions you're in. Especially skittish wildlife and birds in flight type of stuff requires that you are quick and nail the shot when the opportunity presents itself, and it's not uncommon that it presents itself when you've just arrived, walking around with the camera set to whatever you've had the last night, something like iso 1600, 1/60ss f/2.8, which will completely blow out the image or blur like crazy with a 400mm lens and is noisy to boot Happened to me too many times.

Have a look at my signature for some tutorials and other stuff that might be interesting.

dzba wrote:

we have a wealth of experienced and knowledgeable photographers on this forum who I would like to tap and have share their photography tips (not camera specific) tips they've picked up while discovering and exploring their love of photography. From the newest "noobie" to the most seasoned veteran we can all learn from each other. My approach after being a carpenter 40+ years was that I could learn something new at work everyday, if I kept my mind (eyes and ears) open. Never too experienced to learn from anyone. With that said, please add a tip, or as many as you want to this thread. Change the subject entry line to your tip subject so those who only want to read the tips, won't overlook your contribution. Thanks, Mike

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Keep a spare memory card in your wallet
In reply to dzba, Jan 31, 2013

If you're used to taking out the card for download to your computer using an ultra fast card reader, you can sometimes for get to place the card back into the camera memory slot. When you're out shooting you then realize, too late that you've left the card in the reader. Also make sure your camera isn't setup so that it takes pictures without a card. That might lull you into thinking you'll be coming home with some good shots and discover everything is gone. Happened to me a few times. I often go out shooting without a bag so I put the card in my wallet that's always with me.

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Birds in flight 101
In reply to dzba, Jan 31, 2013

Here's a little write up I did a few years ago, it still might be useful to some:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/35879850

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AJohn
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Photography tip that isn't a photography tip...
In reply to dzba, Feb 1, 2013

...When I hike, I use a small hand held GPS that records all the data from my walk. Often times, there will be two parts to my hikes, with some driving in between. I used to write down the GPS data from the first part of the walk so that I could zero it for the next part when I get to the next area.

DOH! One day I realized that I could just use my ever present camera to shoot a picture of my GPS and use the image to record my data when I get home. OK, OK...I'll admit that I'm slow sometimes. 

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Andy
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dzba
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Re: Classics (not mine)
In reply to guinness2, Feb 1, 2013

guinness2.

thanks for your response.  A lot more detailed than I expected.  I was thinking more of how each of us has adapted to what we've experienced and learned as a result of it, thanks, Mike

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Jim Cassatt
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Re: Please share photgraphy tip(s) you've used
In reply to dzba, Feb 1, 2013

Whenever you change something, like EC, or FEC, remember to change it back.

When using flash for fill, turn on the hi-speed sync if available

(I have to keep reminding myself regarding the above)

I can remove noise from a picture shot at high ISO and still get something acceptable, but I cannot sharpen a picture that is blurred because of a shutter speed that is too slow.

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dzba
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Re: Always preset your camera when you go out shooting, thanks Img
In reply to imqqmi, Feb 1, 2013

imqqmi wrote:

Here's a simple one but it has proven useful to me countless times. Whenever you set out to photograph, always preset your camera with settings that are most likely to be used for the type of photography and light conditions you're in. Especially skittish wildlife and birds in flight type of stuff requires that you are quick and nail the shot when the opportunity presents itself, and it's not uncommon that it presents itself when you've just arrived, walking around with the camera set to whatever you've had the last night, something like iso 1600, 1/60ss f/2.8, which will completely blow out the image or blur like crazy with a 400mm lens and is noisy to boot Happened to me too many times.

I like this idea.  A little foresight and preparation can go a long way.

Have a look at my signature for some tutorials and other stuff that might be interesting.

I took a quick look at your DSLR cheatsheet and want to know if it's okay to print it out?  My brother has a Canon 40d and I now have a Canon 4ti.  When I have more time I fully intend to dig into what you've been kind enough to provide.  Many thanks, Mike

dzba wrote:

we have a wealth of experienced and knowledgeable photographers on this forum who I would like to tap and have share their photography tips (not camera specific) tips they've picked up while discovering and exploring their love of photography. From the newest "noobie" to the most seasoned veteran we can all learn from each other. My approach after being a carpenter 40+ years was that I could learn something new at work everyday, if I kept my mind (eyes and ears) open. Never too experienced to learn from anyone. With that said, please add a tip, or as many as you want to this thread. Change the subject entry line to your tip subject so those who only want to read the tips, won't overlook your contribution. Thanks, Mike

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Kind regards
Imqqmi

Excellent stuff in here Img.  I

Links:
View my webgallery
The DSLR jargon cheatsheet
Sunset blending tutorial
Wilba's Frequently Asked (beginners) Questions and answers

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dzba
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Re: Keep a spare memory card in your wallet, billfold type?
In reply to imqqmi, Feb 1, 2013

imqqmi wrote:

If you're used to taking out the card for download to your computer using an ultra fast card reader, you can sometimes for get to place the card back into the camera memory slot. When you're out shooting you then realize, too late that you've left the card in the reader. Also make sure your camera isn't setup so that it takes pictures without a card. That might lull you into thinking you'll be coming home with some good shots and discover everything is gone. Happened to me a few times. I often go out shooting without a bag so I put the card in my wallet that's always with me.

Yes, I've made this mistake of forgetting to put a card into my camera.  I have several backup cards now for my older camera.  Only 1 class 10 card for the 4ti.  I have memory wallets that I carry in my bag for the back ups.  Do you mean you carry yours in a billfold type wallet?  When I carry an extra outside of the memory card wallet I put them inside a small zip lock baggie to keep them clean.  Another thanks to you, Mike

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dzba
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Re: Birds in flight 101, another link to digest and use
In reply to imqqmi, Feb 1, 2013

imqqmi wrote:

Here's a little write up I did a few years ago, it still might be useful to some:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/35879850

Excellent stuff Img. Now that I have a camera that is fast enough to attempt this, BIFs are on my list to do. I'm currently limited by the short reach of the kit lens, but I've been trying some. As luck would have it, on my 1st day out with the t4i a bald eagle circled and flew right over me. Not enough reach at 55mm to get what I want. I would have bet when I left the house I wouldn't SEE an eagle, let alone have one fly right over me. Boy Scout's motto comes to mind: always be prepared. Easier said than done. I will venture to say that others besides me will find value in this list of how toos for BIFs. I've previously read other's ideas but because I was limited with a very slow camera, I never got too involved with my attempts. Now this has changed for me, in a big way. I in the future want to look at your sunset blending link. The BIF is another one of your links I plan to use, thanks, Mike

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dzba
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Re: Photography tip that isn't a photography tip..., I have some DOH moments too
In reply to AJohn, Feb 1, 2013

AJohn wrote:

...When I hike, I use a small hand held GPS that records all the data from my walk. Often times, there will be two parts to my hikes, with some driving in between. I used to write down the GPS data from the first part of the walk so that I could zero it for the next part when I get to the next area.

DOH! One day I realized that I could just use my ever present camera to shoot a picture of my GPS and use the image to record my data when I get home. OK, OK...I'll admit that I'm slow sometimes.

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Andy
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Andy,

your useage of DOH got me to chuckle.  Happens to me and makes me thankful I figured out an easier way.  To show you how far technology and attitudes towards it has come reminds me of a trip I was on 5 years ago.  I was in an area that is very popular with pro photographers who were taking pics of an iconic location for the changing Aspen gold colors, at sunset.  A pro had 3 cameras set up and one was a 4 X 5 medium format film camera.  There were other photographers there too.  We were talking and the subject came up about on board camera GPS and how none of them could see a use for it.  I said that even a lowly carpenter could see great potential for it, as my memory isn't as good as it used to be and I continued to discover new locations and might not get back to some for several years.    They all looked at me is disbelief.  I wonder if their thoughts have changed on that, nowadays?  Use what you have, to the best of your abillity.  Thanks for responding, Mike

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Re: thanks, Jim
In reply to Jim Cassatt, Feb 1, 2013

Jim Cassatt wrote:

Whenever you change something, like EC, or FEC, remember to change it back.

When using flash for fill, turn on the hi-speed sync if available

(I have to keep reminding myself regarding the above)

I can remove noise from a picture shot at high ISO and still get something acceptable, but I cannot sharpen a picture that is blurred because of a shutter speed that is too slow.

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My 1st day out with the new camera I inadvertantly changed the EV setting while attempting to use playback of pics I'd taken.  Don't you know, that's when the eagle I described in an earlier post, chose to fly over.  At 1.67 EV setting change did make for a poor result.  I did figure it out when I got back and looked at the pics I'd taken on the computer monitor.  Got it figured out right away, but that ship had all ready sailed.  Another good point about HS sync.  I will need to adjust the way I've taken pics with my old camera, that had the iso set on it's lowest setting because it was too noisy otherwise.  Another area of adjustment for me.  What , you mean I can actually change these settings with this new camera, and like the results?    Thanks for your tips and response, Mike

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AJohn
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Hey Mike...
In reply to dzba, Feb 1, 2013

...once when I couldn't find a pencil, I even called home and left data on my answering machine before I thought of the camera. LOL!

Now I also mark way points on the GPS for some locations where I shoot. In the past, I shot a barn that I can't find anymore and it bugs me. I keep searching, but my wife figures it was probably torn down by now.

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AvyMan
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AF switch, lens hoods, and Shoe Goo
In reply to dzba, Feb 1, 2013

AF switch: I shoot roughly 50-50 hand held and on a tripod. For tripod shots I'm in the habbit of turning off the AF, even with "smart" lenses where they say you don't have to. I'm slowly learning to get in the habbit of turning the AF back on when I remove the camera from the tripod. There were too many times that I've thought the AF stopped working (or blew a particular shot from camera shake) only to realize I'd forgotten to turn it back on. I know, I'm slow.

Lens hood and wind: If it's not needed to block glare, I'll take the lens hood off when shooting in the wind, either tripod or hand held. The hood acts like a big sail to catch the wind, especially on the larger, longer lenses where you need to be even more steady. Obviously this doesn't matter much on something like the 10-22mm.

"Shoe Goo": It was hard getting a good grip on my center-pinch lens caps, especially with cold, dry fingers or thin gloves. I used Shoe Goo to solve the problem. Any other thick glue would probably work too. Put a drop or two where you pinch to release the cap, use a toothpick to spread it out and pull it up into little spikes (parallel to the cap itself) and let it dry. This worked great to create a non-slip surface.

Nick

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guinness2
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Re: Classics (not mine)
In reply to dzba, Feb 1, 2013

dzba wrote:

guinness2.

thanks for your response. A lot more detailed than I expected. I was thinking more of how each of us has adapted to what we've experienced and learned as a result of it, thanks, Mike

I see now ... how one got lesson from mistake , right ?

Lot of mistakes I learned of.

On my first trip with 400D in zoo , big apes pavilon with really big signs "Flash prohibited" I shot in P mode, without knowing it pops up and uses flash automaticaly. Repeatedly, until I finallly held it down with a finger. Not sure who was more furious, whether gorila male or staff

Seriously:

On a very important family event they call suddenly for final group photo (they never give me time enough to prepare)

Obviously, camera reported lens error (50D's lens release button is big and soft and I must to touch it accidentally) so in a panic my friend tossed me his Nikon DSLR. No way to focus for me. Another panic, until he called:  mind the viewfinder dioptric correction! So this is my lesson learned.

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PhilPreston3072
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Use AF points for levelling
In reply to dzba, Feb 1, 2013

You can use the AF points in the Viewfinder to help keep horizons level when taking your shots.  Just line up your horizon with 2 of the AF points.  Entry level cameras usually don't have viewfinder grids but the AF points can still be useful.

If you're shooting on a tripod, using Liveview with the grid display can make leveling much easier.

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dzba
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Re: AF switch, turn off, hmmm....
In reply to AvyMan, Feb 1, 2013

AvyMan wrote:

AF switch: I shoot roughly 50-50 hand held and on a tripod. For tripod shots I'm in the habbit of turning off the AF, even with "smart" lenses where they say you don't have to.

Do you feel you get sharper focus doing it this way, or are you old school enough that you derive pleasure doing it the old way ? What type of focusing screen do you use in your camera, stock, or have you changed it to a different one? In my SLR days I became very fond of the split spot focus screen since it was easier for me to see when I had sharp focus on close up or macro work. Can't see spending $50 for a replacement to get it in the T4i I now have.

I'm slowly learning to get in the habbit of turning the AF back on when I remove the camera from the tripod. There were too many times that I've thought the AF stopped working (or blew a particular shot from camera shake) only to realize I'd forgotten to turn it back on. I know, I'm slow.

Lens hood and wind: If it's not needed to block glare, I'll take the lens hood off when shooting in the wind, either tripod or hand held. The hood acts like a big sail to catch the wind, especially on the larger, longer lenses where you need to be even more steady. Obviously this doesn't matter much on something like the 10-22mm.

Makes good sense to me. A little bit can make a difference.

"Shoe Goo": It was hard getting a good grip on my center-pinch lens caps, especially with cold, dry fingers or thin gloves. I used Shoe Goo to solve the problem. Any other thick glue would probably work too. Put a drop or two where you pinch to release the cap, use a toothpick to spread it out and pull it up into little spikes (parallel to the cap itself) and let it dry. This worked great to create a non-slip surface.

If I ever do get a lens cap like you've described I hope I remember this tip.

Nick, thanks for your feedback and input. There has been several good responses to this thread.

Maybe I should have titled this From the school of hard knocks, your personal experiences and solutions ? I was intending to get more of these type solutions to problems you encounter and how you solved them. My purpose or intent was not expressed very well in the original topic line. My mistake. Still a lot of helpful and valuable information from everyone who took time to answer my request.

I hope more individuals respond. The least experienced of us may have found a solution to a common problem that is unique and helpful to many.

Let's hope the spring season has some serious snow for the mountains. Two years with small snowpac will make for a long, dry summer and another year of sparse wildflowers. 

Thanks again, Mike

Nick

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dzba
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Re: Use AF points for levelling,.... handy and practical
In reply to PhilPreston3072, Feb 1, 2013

Phil,

I like this tip you've shared.  I'm all for keeping things simple   and not having to carry extra stuff with me.  Also, saving time by not having to rotate and crop an image in post processing is good, too.  Thanks for sharing your tip, Mike

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