Photography tips

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Scenic Framer stitches together multiple immersive photographs you took of the same tree or flower bed. If you let your camera automatically use automatic settings you are risking photos not matching together.

How to focus

If you stand close to object use wide-angle lens set to a small aperture such as f/11 or f/16. If you are far use telephoto zoom lenses 70 to 200 mm. Turn off auto-focus in digital cameras.

How to set white balance

Turn off auto white balance. Select white balance that preserves the blue tones in shaded area. Use daylight settings. Try a polarizing filter.

How to set exposure

Short exposure time to avoid moving leaves and higher ISO.

How to compose a photo album

The goal is to create an immersive scene so that you feel that you are standing or sitting just below or on the tree. So either stand close enough or zoom in until a few tree branches fill the camera viewer. Take a step to the right and take another shot. Repeat sequence a few time. Don’t worry if there is no overlap between consecutive photographs, the effect on your feelings will be the same.

Which camera or lens work

Ian Plant used 5D Mark III with 15-30mm f/2.8 Tamron SP DI VC lens, handheld, 1/60 sec at f/13 ISO 800. See Popular Photography magazine October 2015 page 50 for gorgeous fall foliage photos.

Please send me details on your camera with example photos and I will be happy to add you this list.

Photography Equipment Tips

How an SLR Camera works

Single reflex camera diagram. On the left before taking the shot. On the right during taking a shot.

It is best to use interchangeable lens camera. Fixed lens camera with zoom lens that can reach from wide-angle to telephoto can also work well. It allows you to a wide-angle lens for large depth of field and you can switch to a macro lens to get a close-up shot of a flower. Most interchangeable lens camera fall into one of two categories: dSLR (digital single-lens reflex) and mirrorless compact system camera. referring to the viewfinder system used in these cameras: Light comes through the lens and is reflected to the viewfinder via a series of mirrors. On the upside a dSLR brings you these benefits:

  • Lens flexibility. Beware that if the camera body itself does not have AF autofocus motor so if you want auto-focus you may need a lens with AF system.
  • Excellent image quality because they have large image sensor. Either full frame i.e the same size as 35mm file negative. o APS-C this is smaller than full frame sensor but with the same 3:2 proportion as 35mm negative or Four Thirds: This is also smaller than full frame but with 4:3 aspic ratio.
  • Advanced controls: dSLRs offer features that give you precise control over exposure, focus, color and more.
  • Convenience features. Lots of knobs and dials to save you digging deep into menus. Some camera let you store your favorite picture-taking settings as custom exposure modes.

On the downside of dSLR

  • Cost. dSLR camera body cost $300 on average. While lenses have a large range of prices.
  • Size and weight. You need a separate big camera bag. After an hour you shoulder would feel sore.
  • Learning curve. If you are new to SLR photography a good book for  is Digital Photography For dummies by Julie Adair King.

Mirrorless compact system camera

Mirrorless refers to the fact that this type of camera lacks the mirror-based viewfinder system used in a dSLR. Without the mirror assembly, the camera body can be significantly smaller and lighter than a dSLR – thus compact. You can still use a variety of lenses so they are also called mirrorless interchangeable lens of IL. The most common follow the Micro Four Thirds design called so because of they smaller size and the fact they capture images with a 4:3 ratio. First, the benefits list:

  • Size and weight. The camera can be tucked into a large handbag or briefcase. dSLR must be carried in a separate bag.
  • Lens flexibility. Some lenses are build specifically for mirrorless retract in when not in use.
  • Both beginner and advanced features. including both automatic and manual control over exposure, focus and color. Most models also provide the same type onscreen guidance as can be found in entry-level dSLR and most point-and-shoot cameras.

Now the cons list:

  • Cost: as with a dSLR, you have to factor in the cost of both the body and lenses. Body and basic lens start at about $400.
  • You may need to buy a viewfinder. With no onboard viewfinder your left with two choices for framing your shots. You can use the monitor to compose imageow the best monitros can be difficult to see in bright sunlight, and you have to hold the camera out in front of you to take a picture, increasing  the chance of camera shake. You can attach an electronic viewfinder (EVF). it displays everything that normally would appear on the monitor: the live view of the scene in front of the les, menus and in playback mode the pictures you’ve already taken. It can cost $200 extra.
  • Feature accessibility: Instead of external knobs or dials you need to dig through menus.
  • Autofocusing and continuous capture speed: The earlier models autofocusing was slow but it is improving.

Photography sites:

Digital Photography Review Broad range of digital photography information, from news about recently released products and promotional offers to discussion groups. An education section of the site is provided for photographers interested in delving into advanced picture taking techniques.

The Imaging Resource Reliable equipment-buying advice and digital photography news. Helpful tutorials section offers hints and advice about everything from choosing a camera to taking better pictures.

ePHOTOZINE – Product reviews as well as articles covering all aspects of digital photography, video tutorials, discussion forum, and excellent glossary of photographic terms.

Digital Photo Magazine – Articles from past issues of Digital Photo magazine and more available. Equipment reviews, tutorials, as well as interviews with noted photographers.

Outdoor Photographer – Outdoor Photographer magazine has long been a great resource for nature and wildlife photographers. Its online site offers tips, articles from past issues, buying guides, discussion forum and even a photo gallery where you can show off your best work.

Shutterbug – Respected magazine shutterbug, which offers how-to articles and equipment reviews to both film and digital photography. Large photography community offers galleries, wealth of how-to articles, discussion forum. You can upload photos and get critiques from other members.

Manufacturer websites:

Adobe TV – you can watch free movies demonstrating various photo editing techniques.

Canon – Review the Learning Station section of the site for a variety of digital photography tips.

Kodak – In the Consumer Products section explore the Tips and Projects link.

Nikon USA – Click the Learn and Explore link to check out a variety of educational resources.

Olympus America from the home page click the Camera and Audio link and then look for the Learn link.