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General photography questions and answers: Discuss Tips for a newbie please?...Hi All Well I have my new camera and have been reading these boards avidly. I've pretty much always used ...
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Old 06-06-2007, 21:25   #1 (permalink)
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Tips for a newbie please?

Hi All

Well I have my new camera and have been reading these boards avidly. I've pretty much always used a compact previously and, although pleased with my shots, haven't dabbled too much with exposure etc.

Anyway I've been experimenting a little during the past couple of weeks and I am off on my hols this weekend and of course I am looking forward to really letting rip with the camera. Of course I am hoping for good weather but I wondered what your tips would be for shooting in overcast or drab conditions? I anticipate taking a LOT of landscape shots, been reading up on DoF and rule of thirds but when it comes to the more technical stuff I feel the need to get out a pen and pad - how do you remember it all?? I will be taking my laptop with me so you could well be suffering my offerings next week......you have been warned!

Any ideas greatly appreciated.

Debs
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Old 06-06-2007, 22:21   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Tips for a newbie please?

Landscapes, eh? Sounds good! I'd add that worth keeping an eye open for lead-ins (and maybe use them from a corner), use the light to form your comp and watch out for burned highlights in sunrise/set shots.

Of course the most important thing: enjoy the holiday!

Look forward to seeing the results!
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Old 06-06-2007, 22:34   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Tips for a newbie please?

Thanks ..... now I know I'm in trouble. You are pulling my leg right?

If not, what can I do about "burned highlights".....not sure what they are even!!! Also "lead-ins"?????

I knew I shouldn't have asked..... I now feel completely dense.

Debs
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Old 06-06-2007, 22:35   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Tips for a newbie please?

Hi Debs - you remember it all by doing it. I know how you feel - "overwhelmed" with settings, aperture, shutter speeds, ISO etc, etc. Just take it a step at a time

First get to know your camera, how it works, feels, what does what etc. Then take one step, it might be aperture and practice, take loads of photos and note what settings you picked for which shot. When you are comfortable with that move on to something else. Oh and read the manual, then read it properly and then read it again have it with you on hols. Eventually, and it does take some time it will all start to fall into place.

Right your first lesson - ISO. ISO sets the light sensitivity of the sensor. In overcast, cloudy conditions you may need to raise the ISO from normal 100 (bright sunlight) to 200 or 400 or more. This allows you to select a faster shutter speed so as to get sharper shots. The downside is you might introduce noise into the image. In Auto mode the camera does that for you when it checks for the exposure. the other point about overcast conditions is that you tend to get white-out with the sky showing no discernible detail.

Anyway - enough for now. Others will give you their opinions too. Have a good hols, ask more questions and show us some pics
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Old 06-06-2007, 22:43   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Tips for a newbie please?

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Thanks ..... now I know I'm in trouble. You are pulling my leg right?

If not, what can I do about "burned highlights".....not sure what they are even!!! Also "lead-ins"?????

I knew I shouldn't have asked..... I now feel completely dense.

Debs
LOL! No, no, Debs! You could only be accused of being dense if you didn't ask!

Burned highlights: overexposed bright areas (called burned as they're so bright that they lose all detail). But if you expose to brightest area (usually sky) you'll be fine

Lead-ins: a river, track, wall which leads the viewer "into" the photo.

But I still insist the most important thing is to enjoy the holiday!
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Old 06-06-2007, 23:21   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Tips for a newbie please?

Thanks so much both of you....this is exactly the sort of help I was after.

The thing I am enjoying with this camera is that the info is displayed with the photo regarding settings you have used when taking it.....fantastic and so much easier than trying to remember or writing it down on a piece of paper that usually gets lost. It makes experimenting much easier. I have indeed been overwhelmed by the "combinations" of settings you can use but so far have just been trying out the "A" programme but will definitely add in altering the ISO as my next step on the learning curve .

Stepheno: the "white-out" of sky is exactly what I wanted to describe - something else I've learnt and also Markulous thanks for the explanation of "burned highlights" - I have seen this in other posts but, again, wasn't sure of what was being described.

I will enjoy my holiday (its much needed I can tell you!) and no doubt will post some photos with the title "What went wrong here?"

Thanks again,

Debs
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Old 06-06-2007, 23:30   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Tips for a newbie please?

The first thing i always do before shooting is check my ISO settings because last year i shot a rugby match at night under lights at iso3200 the next day went out to shoot and shot everything at iso3200, you could also try exposure bracketing, what it does is take 1 shot at what it thinks is the right exposure then 1 exposure below and 1 exposure above ( you can set how much below and above 1/3, 1/2,2/3, 1 stop ), Another thing to try before you go is shoot the same scene using all the different metering modes, evaluative and spot are good for backlit shots, Partial is good when the background is brighter than the subject, Center-weighted take a reading for the center of the scene and then average for the entire scene not sure what is best for landscapes because i shoot mostly sports probably Center-weighted, hope this helps

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Old 06-06-2007, 23:33   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Tips for a newbie please?

Maybe a good idea to get a polorising filter to help with the sky or ND filter
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Old 07-06-2007, 08:16   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Tips for a newbie please?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gsgary View Post
The first thing i always do before shooting is check my ISO settings
That I totally agree with

Quote:
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Maybe a good idea to get a polorising filter to help with the sky or ND filter
Polarising first - a must.
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Old 07-06-2007, 09:50   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Tips for a newbie please?

I'd thought about a filter but again, so much choice ....... thanks for the tip on a polarising filter so can I ask what effect this has on the sky?

Thanks,

Debs
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Old 07-06-2007, 09:56   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Tips for a newbie please?

Polarising filter will saturate blue skies and make them deep blue - but you need to point at 90 degree to sun. I used one for the 'Another Place' pics - blue skies/fluffy clouds

Make sure it's a Circular Polariser - Linear ones affect Autofocus on dSLRs

Much is made about filters - the CP is all I'd ever recommend (and all I ever use)
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Old 07-06-2007, 10:45   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Tips for a newbie please?

A couple of extra tips for landscapes that work for me:

On overcast days, try and frame the main subject by shooting from under a tree. If you get the trunk at one side and a bit of a branch at the top, it distracts the eye from the white sky. You can do the same thing with windows, doorways or what-have-you but you need to be carefull that they don't dominate what it is you're trying to show - for some reason, trees don't seem to do that.

The other thing is that white skies generally aren't, they're full of cloud patterns. You could try exposing for the sky and then 'dodging' the foreground in your photo-editor (I know that Photoshop and The Gimp have dodge tools and I'm pretty sure that most others do too). Dodging is a very old photographic technique that comes from darkroom printing, where the printer would put his hand or a tool between the negative and the paper he was exposing, thus holding back the dodged area and allowing him to expose for the highlights. It's much easier on a computer where you use the dodging tool like any other area tool, moving it back and forth over the image area until you get the effect you're after. Remember that most programmes allow you to step backwards if you overdo things - so don't be afraid to experiment!

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Old 07-06-2007, 15:09   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Tips for a newbie please?

Lots of good advice on this thread, but being mindful of the first post by Debsy, as was said very early on, take it one step at a time and don't try to take on too much at once. You could try a different thing in rotation on a day or half day basis, then try to combine them, but if you find something you don't understand, just ask. That way you will start to see how it all fits together.

Once you are on track, just like the rest of us you will never stop learning, but you will know about what impact one thing will affect other settings, or how the picture will turn out.
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