Tip Camera Tips - Post your "taking a photo advice/tricks" here

Discussion in 'Photography & Technology' started by Mark, Jul 18, 2013.

  1. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    All tips for taking a good photo are welcome here in this thread but don't expect any tips from me because I'm the one who needs them :p

    From basic to pro tell us your secret to getting that money shot! Pleeeese...
     
  2. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member

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    my basics on the basics, someone might come along and correct me. This would be the same for all Nikons and Canons DSLR, and a lot of point and shoot cameras have these options too.

    The "S" setting on the dial (great for starting off, so you don't have to worry about aperture)
    This means Shutter Priority. If you set it on S, then all you have to do is adjust the Focus point, shutter speed and ISO. The camera sets the aperture automatically.

    The "A" setting on the dial
    This is Aperture Priority, as above, all you have to do is adjust the Focus point, aperture dial and ISO and the camera automatically sets the shutter speed.

    The "M" full manual settings
    For M, you need to set Focus points, shutter speed, aperture, ISO
    Focus Points: You move the focus point around the screen with the up/down/left/right controls with your right thumb. When you have it where you want it, you half press the shoot button and it will auto focus on that point only.

    Light Meter, for all the M, S and A settings:
    Looking at the light meter at the bottom of the viewfinder.
    It has a + |||||||||||0|||||||||| - symbols. The aim is to get the light set at zero (middle of the scale). You adjust the shutter speed and aperture to make those changes to the light meter.
    Try keep the shutter speed more than 100, try for 200 or higher just to be safe (or you'll need to use a tripod for slow shutter speeds).
    I usually try to go a couple of clicks higher on the light meter to blow it out a bit (more light).

    ISO: If you find you can't get the light meter to read zero and it's too dark, you might have to increase the ISO.

    Aperture and depth of field
    The lower the number, the more light, the narrower depth of field. (small area is in focus and the foreground and background is blury)
     
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  3. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member

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    Tip: Check your Viewfinder focus. There's a small dial, or slider beside your viewfinder, depending on the camera.
    Put your lense cap on. push the shoot button and watch the bluriness/clarity of the screen numbers. Adjust the viewfinder dial until you're happy with the clarity.
     
  4. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    This info is awesome! Much better than the manual which came with my camera - too advanced for me. I wondered what that dial was for... There's hope for me yet!
     
  5. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member

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    I didn't get a printed manual with mine, they give you a link to an online manual, that's ok because I can't read manuals or instructions anyway, unless it's home brew instructions that I must follow :oops:

    Tip for tripods:
    For long exposures, you'll want to use a tripod. Because it's a long exposure you want to reduce any movement.
    Try to use the timer or remote control, so you're hand/finger movement doesn't move the camera.

    VR: If you want to shoot using a tripod, turn the VR off on your lense (vibration reduction) . VR constantly moves and is there to compensate for your movements when hand held. If you leave it on when on a tripod it could make your photo worse because the camera is now fixed and your VR is still constantly moving.

    Viewfinder cover: Sometimes cameras come with a little plastic bit that slides in to cover up your viewfinder screen. This is to stop light getting in. Normally your eye is there blocking the light, but if you have your camera set up on a tripod and auto timer or you're not blocking the light, light can get in through the viewfinder and overexpose the photo. Not really a big problem, but if you have the sun shining in through there it could wreck your photo..
     
  6. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member

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    Some fun for the kids... I did these last year, put the camera on a tripod or sit it on a car bonnet etc, set it for 30 seconds and got my friends kids to walk slowly around with the glow sticks, and the other photo, try to get them to spell out a word backwards. You can spell it forwards and then reverse the photo but this is more fun. It took them sooo many attempts to write it in reverse but eventually we got a photo.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    I've got a tripod for my video camera. Going to have to rig it for my camera also :thumbsup:
     
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  8. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member

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    speaking of tripods, a friend has some wierd and wonderfull ideas.

    He got an extendable pool net pole, and in place of the net he's mounted a camera bracket, so you can stick your camera on there, he used to hold it out over the road on car rallies and use a remote or timer to activate the camera.

    He also made a string tripod, you attach one end of the string/rope to your camera and stand on the other end, pulling it tight. This eliminates most camera movement, and you can stick it back in your pocket.
     
  9. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    I've seen the string tripod on YouTube I should find that video and post it here.
    The pole idea is useful too I could use that technique! Interesting...
     
  10. Steve

    Steve Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Stevo has given some great advice up above here. Very good indeed.
    It really depends on the shot you are trying to achieve and the circumstances of the moment as to the tips I would give.
    Sounds like a politicians response. Ha
    Seriously though, my best tip for all beginners is to go do a short course and learn hands-on.
    I did a 1 day course in Brisbane when I first bought my DSLR and went from a 100% only use 'Auto' mode to now only using the 'Manual' mode or one of its close brothers (aperture or shutter priority). I think this was the mob I did my course with and would highly recommend them.
    http://www.learnphotography.com.au

    I will dig up some pics and keep the conversation going.
     
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  11. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Ok, so it's a 7 hour course for about $199 - gee it's popular! That's a good idea and it's probably something I personally should do - I'll definitely think about it. Cheese :pic:
     
  12. Steve

    Steve Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Yeah that sounds like the one. It's not exactly cheap but you will learn a heap and be so much more at home in a mode other than full auto.
    Perhaps I will see if I can dig up a pic or two I took on my course so you can see what can be achieved on the day.
    The group was small enough too that if felt personal and not a production line.

    Yeah give it some thought for sure. Best thing I ever did and that's coming from someone who likes to research and teach himself normally.

    Cheese!
     
  13. Steve

    Steve Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    So here are a couple of pics that I took during the course. You will find that everyone who attended on that day will have very similar results but the idea is to learn the techniques and not so much to get that one 'money-shot'. Both are taken from Southbank Brisbane with Canon 600d with Tamron 18-270mm lens on tripod. (these are longer exposure photos so a tripod is essential to cut out blur)
    IMG_064701jpg.JPG

    IMG_066801jpg.JPG
     
  14. Steve

    Steve Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Here is a couple of my favourite photos from my honeymoon in Tahiti.
    I had only just bought my DSLR and completed the one day course so I was still so new to the whole thing of photography.
    So if I had my time again I would probably take different types of photos and possibly many more but I am pretty happy with the memories we have frozen in time here. Such a beautiful place that just cant be experienced through photos. We will go back one day....hopefully soon. ;)
    See pics here
     
  15. Steve

    Steve Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    And while on a roll of posting pics, in the past year I have been lucky enough to be invited to a couple of my friends weddings which are perfect opportunities to have a go at capturing the special occasion. I didn't go out of my way to take photos as i really wanted to enjoy the occasion but here are two of my favourites of the respective brides that I was able to take from my chair during the ceremony. Same Canon 600d camera with 18-270 lens. IMG_4158_101jpgsmall.JPG IMG_4846_Fotor01jpgsmall.JPG
     
  16. Steve

    Steve Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Lets continue.....
    These are a couple of recent shots from around Brisbane.
    One is quite dark but that is the mood of the pic. Going for a gloomy, stormy feel.
    The other is the Brisbane Story bridge at night. I really want to redo this shot with my new ultra wide lens as it will give a different look again. I did put this pic through a HDR editor which enhances the highlights and lowlights to give it a surreal look. I think it works with the bright lights of the city. Im not a huge fan of post-processing but we can save that for another post.
    Actually I think both pics were taken the same day from memory. Twas a wet and miserable weekend but i was determined to get some shots anyways.
    Gotta love Brisbane.... IMG_4733_HDR01jpgsmall.JPG IMG_46500101jpgsmall.JPG
     
  17. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    These are magnificent Steve - the clarity is incredible! I like them all... You're certainly inspiring me to improve my skills :)

    Amazing how images like these can take you to the place and give that feeling of standing there looking at the scene - I guess that's what photographers want to capture hey (that feeling of being there).
     
  18. Steve

    Steve Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    I'll try the Tahiti pics again. Not sure why they cant been viewed, they are just jpg files. I did have some problems with my wifi dropping out so that might be it. Tahiti Photos - all 37701jpgsmall.JPG
    Tahiti Photos - all 56101jpgsmall.JPG Tahiti Photos - all 68701jpgsmall.JPG Tahiti Photos - all 71401jpgsmall.JPG
     
  19. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    They look like magazine shots... Gosh, how good does that water look! That must have been a great holiday.
     
  20. Steve

    Steve Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Thanks Mark, yeah it wasn't hard to take good photos with a place like that. The water was so warm and clear that even my wife was happy to get in. Normally she will just stay on the beach.
    My photo tip for water and sky shots is to use a Circular Polarising Filter or sometime referred to as a CPL.
    They normally just screw onto the end of your lens and there is a free-rotating lens on the outside that you can turn until you get a nice 'polarised' effect. Basically it brings out the blues nicely and allows you to see through the water by reducing reflections, much like polarised glasses do.
    But in saying that, the water in this photo above is a very true representation of what it actually looked like, unbelievable!
    A CPL can be pretty cheap as i only paid about $40 to $50 for mine but has come in handy quite a few times.
     
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