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Old 10-09-2012, 20:08   #1 (permalink)
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Hardest Photoshoot Ever!

Ouch! I really bruised up my shoulder from pressing against the rough bark of the tree while trying soooooo hard to get focused shots inside of those mini-caves of the tree caves...... Man, I need vicodin (gotta take one). Wow.......... That was the HARDEST shoot I've attempted. Using the Canon EOS Rebel XS/1000D that I'm borrowing from a friend for a short time, I've noticed things and need advice on.

When taking pics in a small space with multiple planes of distances (focus), I can't get everything on focus. How do you get everything to be in focus when you can only focus on a certain plane of focus? Now, it's extremely difficult to manually focus in a limited space while holding the DSLR out in a reaching position. Don't suggest tripods, as it's too difficult to manuever in there.

The mini-caves are small, but I can focus on them. But, I can't get the focus to go further than the mouth to get a clear, sharp focus of the interior. There are so many fungal specimens in there. I cannot get to them by my eye, as I cannot fit into the tree cave. A lot of the shots are done by blind-shooting, as some places of the tree cave is are obstructed by walls, wood overheads, for viewing by eye. Yes, I could do a live view on the LCD, but it is very difficult to see it unless I have it close to my eye (I have vision issues, mostly neurological). When I can do the manual focus, it's really hard to tell if the image is in the best focus or not and sometimes what I see or the LCD viewscreen or even the viewfinder "lies" to me.... Drives me nuts.

I have so much difficulty seeing through the viewfinder, so I tend to use the LCD viewscreen, instead. The one pitfall with this camera is that I cannot do the live view on the basic auto-scenes. Hence, more blind-shooting for when I cannot manually focus.

I was going to post some photo examples, but the editing has taken me the entire day yesterday, and I'm still not done! It's just ONE photo, croppings, and more croppings. Plus editing to get the best view, plus copies with symbols for labeling what I know are there (my findings, that is). *SIGH*

Wow, did I make my life so much more complicated? LOL! Another thing about photoshoots, they are aggravating my Meniere's Disease. My equilibrium hates me for a long while after I do the shoots. Oh, heck. I recently read about remote viewing, which would be so awesome! Only thing is, I'm not comfortable taking my laptop with me into the wilds of nature with my clumsiness. Plus, I prefer to travel light, and I just acquired a serious need for a mobility aid, a walking pole (I'm 40 and am not ready to go for a cane!).

I don't mind editing photos. Auto-adjusts don't go where I like to go most of the time, so I pretty much do it manually after the auto-adjusts. I have the Gimp software, but it's going to take me a long while to learn it. I hope Gimp is as good as Photoshop, but I will experiment to learn. Manuals are so over my head a lot of times. Hehehehe.

Man, I got a bugger of a headache.....

Hey, is there a way I can upload without have to manually resize photos? It's tedious. I hope that there's something that when I want to upload, that there's an icon that drops down a menu to pick out a size to upload the size you want without having to make copies and resizing...... That feature would save me a ton of time!

Ok... I think I need to do a power nap or something..... Oh, no worries. I'm not complaining. I love the Canon that I'm borrowing. Yeah, it's very challenging in some ways, but I will have to learn how to adapt to those one way or another.... Hmmm. I'm thinking hybrids..... I think that will have to go for the other forum "what camera to buy." Hehehe. Or the "news."

Have a great day! I could go on and on, but my head is killing me. See ya again soon.
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Old 10-09-2012, 20:17   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Hardest Photoshoot Ever!

Depth of field will be limited in the conditions you describe and to get a deeper depth of field you will need a tripod so you can get longer exposures without camera shake or increase the lighting with either a flash or continuous light.

Don't forget that the camera will not focus closer that the minimum focus distance. To get really close requires a macro lens.

Seems to me that you are trying to get pictures that would make an experienced photographer struggle.

Pixalo does not resize images. You need to do this before uploading. There are free applications that will do this such as The Faststone Image Viewer or Picassa.
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Old 11-09-2012, 04:37   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Hardest Photoshoot Ever!

Ah, thanks for the tip, Graham. So longer exposures can get almost every plane of focus sharper? Hmmmm. I hope my small tripod can hold this camera..... That's going to be my next experiment. Learning how to make it do longer exposures. And then try it in that tree cave.

I'm doing the hard stuff that's challenging for an experienced photographer???? LMAO! Go figure! Oh, I'll try!!!!!!!!!!! Hehehehehehe.

I hope my neurologist can lead me to a better management as my condition hates me for doing photo-shoots from bending over or whatever. <--- literally! LOL! Have an appointment with my neurologist on the 27th. There's such a huge shortage of neurologists in the state of Pennsylvania.

Oh, thanks for telling me about the free applications for resizing photos!

Oh, by the way, thanks for that term "depth of field," as I didn't know the term to what I was describing. Glad you understood what I meant by "multiple planes of focus." LOL! That's what I get for being deaf! But I try to learn through reading. Yet, with my menory-retention issues, it can be tricky to remember everything I read. Hence a "pile" of sticky notes all over my laptop desktop. The app, not the real sticky notes. Hehehehe. Got a notepad app, too. In reality, a pile of paper notes are not helpful as they get unmanageable with a ton of info to sort through.

Need to kick my butt and get those Canon pics edited, so I can upload them into my gallery. Got Facebook, e-mail, and Flickr.com to upload to, as well..... Gahhhhhhhhhhhh. Hee hee. Too many pics to edit!

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Old 11-09-2012, 05:19   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Hardest Photoshoot Ever!

Oh, hey. I forgot to ask. Since I do a lot of close up shots. When I download them, usually I can tell by a "landmark" image which direction is up and down on my pics. There some pics, however, that I cannot figure out which way is up or down, as I shoot vertically sometimes, depending on the space where I'm maneuvering the camera in. I don't want to put a fingertip or anything to mark the orientation of pictures. Do you have any tips on this? I appreciate it! Thanks in advance!

Gah! Forgot another thing - AGAIN! When I'm using autofocus and the camera is aimed where there are spider webs in the way. I don't always see them. Of course, I can see the thick mass of webs. Even if I knew the webs are there, I try to make the focus go past the webs. Cameras tend to chose the most foreground image to focus on, which drives me crazy. I'm sure this is what many struggle with. I would be trying to photograph something that's behind the web. In blind shooting, I don't even know they're there. When I download the pics and find that the focus picked on the web, I'm so let down because there's usually something behind the web that I wanted to photograph. I don't think there's an answer to this conundrum of going past the webs. Of course, it won't go past the thick mass of webs. That's no biggie. It's the webs I didn't see and webs that don't obstruct the view past it. If there is an answer to this, I'd love to know. I know this one may be something I have to live with. Usually, I do a stick sweep to get rid of the webs, but sometimes, I miss a web structure somewhere, as I don't always see them, or cannot get to physically due to curvatures or walls blocking my stick to sweep them out. Plus, I can't really do that around mushrooms. Some mushrooms are too fragile for that. I've "killed" mushrooms doing the stick-sweep to get rid of webs.

Last edited by Firebrand; 11-09-2012 at 05:28.
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Old 11-09-2012, 08:06   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Hardest Photoshoot Ever!

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Ah, thanks for the tip, Graham. So longer exposures can get almost every plane of focus sharper?
Only because you can then use a smaller aperture.
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Old 11-09-2012, 11:11   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Hardest Photoshoot Ever!

You can get the camera to autorotate the images for you, so when you download them they are in "landscape" and "portrait" mode.

Hope this likes to a book page works to explain it.

I have no solution for your web problem - can you use your cane as a monopod ? Maybe then liveview with manual focus could solve ?
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Old 11-09-2012, 12:49   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Hardest Photoshoot Ever!

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Oh, hey. I forgot to ask. Since I do a lot of close up shots. When I download them, usually I can tell by a "landmark" image which direction is up and down on my pics. There some pics, however, that I cannot figure out which way is up or down, as I shoot vertically sometimes, depending on the space where I'm maneuvering the camera in. I don't want to put a fingertip or anything to mark the orientation of pictures. Do you have any tips on this? I appreciate it! Thanks in advance!
As you are taking photos at rather leisurely pace you can always take 1 orientation (marker) shot before you start, or before each change of orientation. I do this often - take a photo of a notice board (e.g. the bird identification sheets that you find in some observation huts) or similar to identify where or what I have taken photos - saves writing it down. With film this was a frame wasted but with digital it is just an extra shutter action and very handy.

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Gah! Forgot another thing - AGAIN! When I'm using autofocus and the camera is aimed where there are spider webs in the way. I don't always see them. Of course, I can see the thick mass of webs. Even if I knew the webs are there, I try to make the focus go past the webs. Cameras tend to chose the most foreground image to focus on, which drives me crazy.
If you approach this from the point that cobwebs are like fog then all you need to do is use an external (external to the camera) light source for the camera to use for focussing. The focusiing lamp on the camera is too close to the "line of sight", similar to the "line of sight" when driving a car. Using headlamps, much of the light is reflected back to the driver and it is difficult to see beyond a few feet. Move the light source away from the "line of sight" and the driver can see through the mist/fog, because the nearby mist is not illuminated. Similarly if you add a light some small distance from the camera lens the camera will focus on the far object and not on the spider's web. You could probably get away with a small bicycle lamp just a couple of inches away from the axis of the lens. It may affect the exposure as the light will be on all the time whereas the camera focus light goes out for taking the photo. You might need a little experimenting to get this to work.
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Old 11-09-2012, 17:24   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Hardest Photoshoot Ever!

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As you are taking photos at rather leisurely pace you can always take 1 orientation (marker) shot before you start, or before each change of orientation. I do this often - take a photo of a notice board (e.g. the bird identification sheets that you find in some observation huts) or similar to identify where or what I have taken photos - saves writing it down. With film this was a frame wasted but with digital it is just an extra shutter action and very handy.


If you approach this from the point that cobwebs are like fog then all you need to do is use an external (external to the camera) light source for the camera to use for focussing. The focusiing lamp on the camera is too close to the "line of sight", similar to the "line of sight" when driving a car. Using headlamps, much of the light is reflected back to the driver and it is difficult to see beyond a few feet. Move the light source away from the "line of sight" and the driver can see through the mist/fog, because the nearby mist is not illuminated. Similarly if you add a light some small distance from the camera lens the camera will focus on the far object and not on the spider's web. You could probably get away with a small bicycle lamp just a couple of inches away from the axis of the lens. It may affect the exposure as the light will be on all the time whereas the camera focus light goes out for taking the photo. You might need a little experimenting to get this to work.
As for the picture orientation, it's a great idea! I just have to remind myself to do this.

Ah, it makes sense....... Yeah, definitely more experimenting with light source! Thanks for the tips!
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Old 11-09-2012, 17:36   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Hardest Photoshoot Ever!

There are a lot of places I would like to go to, I want to take pictures there so much. The only problem is they are in bad parts of town and I don't want to get hurt. I can think of many things I need to learn or practice, I ether go to a place that makes it easy to learn a new tectnique and then might try to take a picture so I don't spend a lot of time there. I learned how to use the speed of my camera and the long exposures in my yard. Focusing can be learned in a garden where you can try and capture more or less of a subject. Easy places are good places to learn new tricks so the settings will be more managible.
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Old 11-09-2012, 20:47   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Hardest Photoshoot Ever!

Yeah, that's so true, Boofer.... LOL! I just cannot resist that temptation to go back to that tree cave to do more shots in there..... Yeah, it is so worth the pain and aggravated vestibular system.... Hehe. Yup, today is my recuperation day.
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Old 12-09-2012, 09:57   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Hardest Photoshoot Ever!

Good luck and take your time, sounds like an adventure to good to not pass upp. Now we have all turned into peepers and await your reward.
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Old 12-09-2012, 16:10   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Hardest Photoshoot Ever!

LMAO!
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