Jeep Wrangler Forum

Jeep Wrangler Forum (http://www.wranglerforum.com/)
-   Pictures Forum (http://www.wranglerforum.com/f115/)
-   -   Photography 101 (http://www.wranglerforum.com/f115/photography-101-a-139649.html)

EdCrbnSoul 02-14-2012 01:00 PM

Photography 101
 
Would any of our resident photographers be interested in dropping hints on how to take better pictures in here? I know a few of you do this for a living.

I have a Canon Rebel t3 and like the freedom beyond point and shoot, have basic knowledge of f-stop, depth of field aperature ect but would love to be able to get a better grip on it, along with composing pictures better Rule of 3 for example and lens choices when it better to go wide angle and the such.

Tiki_Al 02-14-2012 01:31 PM

subscribed :)

TJspeed 02-14-2012 02:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tiki_Al (Post 2029888)
subscribed :)

X2 :thumb:

denisbaldwin 02-14-2012 03:21 PM

I could go on and on about this if I had something specific to answer.

That said, here's the three caveats I always tell people who want to learn to take good pictures.

1 - Get a good prosumer SLR and take 10,000 pictures with the included glass and USE IT. The T3 you mentioned is a perfect example. I have a T2i that I use as much if not more than my 5D. You can do a lot, learn a lot and experiment a lot with a sub $1000 setup before making any huge investments. Do everything in full auto first, try shooting at day, night, etc. Push every button. Then set it to manual and take a photo at each setting, Stop down at different settings. Leave your shutter open long and longer. Shoot on a tripod and off. Basically, just get out there and shoot photos. You learn something new with every shutter movement.

2 - Join a photo sharing site that puts emphasis on sharing (Flickr is what I use) and look at what other people are doing. Search for a topic that interests you (Jeeps) and look at other photos people have taken. A lot of times, either the photog or the commenters will tell how they got the effects they did. Then go out and try to replicate. This goes hand and hand with #1, practice makes perfect.

3 - Push yourself. If you like night photography and find you're getting better at it on a tripod, do it without a tripod. If you can do wonders with a $1000 lens (and a lot of newbies can), try to replicate that same effect with a kit lens. Some things are technologically impossible/unlikely.. so that won't always work. But, if you push yourself and learn, you'll be a highly seated amateur before you know it.


I took over 40,000 pictures last year. I've taken close to a million photos in my lifetime. If it's something you're passionate about, get out and do it. The inevitable money pit of big lenses, high end bodies, etc.etc. will come later. In the mean time, thanks to the lack of development costs, the price per click on digital photography is essentially zero once you have basic equipment. So, get out there and do it! :D

BeaverJeeper 02-15-2012 02:24 AM

^^ good stuff. i can answer questions about anything if anyone has them. i'm not as passionate about photography as i used to be, but i still do freelance work when it shows up.

(by the way, if anyone is thinking about it, a photo degree is totally useless. trust me)

lindel 02-15-2012 05:08 AM

Pentax K-7 here, but I learned with a Pentax ME Super (that I got in 84). Probably several hundred thousand on the ME, and a few thousand with the K-7.

Denis is on point with the advice. Use the camera and find out what it's capable of. Get used to the equipment you have before getting a new toy.

denisbaldwin 02-15-2012 05:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lindel (Post 2033015)
Denis is on point with the advice.

When you're ready for more photog advice (or have specific questions), post it and I'll give you whatever help I can. After I read this post, I went back through my photo logs for the last year. I actually shot 48,115 photos in 2011. Not as many as previous years, but still a lot of good memories and failed experiments in those shutter clicks.

Paulie 02-15-2012 05:17 AM

A book could be written on this topic so it would help to have some specific questions. I've found that "better" is usually different to each person so is there something specific you want to do better?

Here are some things I see people do that could be done better.

- Take Less Snapshots: Most people put subjects in the center of the picture. This goes along with rule of thirds. Move the main subject out of the center of the picture and capture more of the background to make your pictures different and more interesting. So if your Jeep is in a beautiful forest, maybe go vertical (portrait), put the Jeep in the bottom third of the frame, and capture more of the scenery in the top two thirds. It depends on the situation and if there's nothing interesting to capture in the background then center may make more sense. Experiment.

- Better Exposure: I see images that are so dark or bright you can't tell what the subject is. Research "Histograms" which is a tool built into your camera that can give you a better idea of proper exposure.

- Prime Lenses: If you don't have one already, pick up a 50mm f1/8 "prime" lens. Prime just means non-zoom. Just about every camera maker makes one of these for around $100. This will help you learn more creative work with shallow depth of field a.k.a. blurred backgrounds. Set the aperture at f/1.8 and then experiment with different f-stops.

Photography is similar to Jeeps. The more you get into it, the more stuff you buy, so it gets to be a pretty expensive hobby.

denisbaldwin 02-15-2012 05:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Paulie (Post 2033026)
- Prime Lenses: If you don't have one already, pick up a 50mm f1/8 "prime" lens. Prime just means non-zoom. Just about every camera maker makes one of these for around $100. This will help you learn more creative work with shallow depth of field a.k.a. blurred backgrounds. Set the aperture at f/1.8 and then experiment with different f-stops.

THIS!

My 2nd bit of advice (once you've done all of the practicing) is to get a good prime, per what Paulie has said. a 50mm 1.8 from Canon is less than $200. I know the Nikon is similarly priced. It's a plastic body and won't have as much stopping power as a 1.4 or 1.2 prime but it will do fantastic work for what it is.

The blurred backgrounds he's speaking of is called "bokeh". Once you create an image with a shallow depth of field and a floral bokeh, you'll look at photography a lot differently. The beauty is in the blur and you'll start hunting for the perfect bokeh once you've used a lens like that.

Paulie 02-15-2012 05:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by denisbaldwin (Post 2033035)
THIS!
It's a plastic body and won't have as much stopping power as a 1.4 or 1.2 prime but it will do fantastic work for what it is.

Ha! And this is where the money starts getting sucked out of your pockets. After you see what the 50mm f/1.8 can do then you think "what I really need is that pro 50mm f/1.2". Poof, there goes $1,500. "Oh, and now that I have a pro lens I must get a pro camera body to match." Poof, $3,000. :D

denisbaldwin 02-15-2012 05:55 AM

Paulie - That's exactly what happened to me. Thankfully, I started in film with Canon cameras like 15 years ago so I had a lot of EF mount lenses that I could make work on the new digital bodies. I've since phased out all of my film stuff (and old lenses) but not before spending about 5 times what my Jeep has cost me over the years.

Definitely not a cheap hobby, but neither are my other hobbies (Jeeps, guns, working on my house, etc.)

EdCrbnSoul 02-15-2012 08:03 AM

Thanks guys, if I come up with anything more specific I will ask but this helps. I may even post up some photos that I have taken and will ask what I could have done better.
I'm planning on this spring or summer taking a 101 course offered at a college up here, covers the basics and some photoshop stuff.

RatherBNarizona 02-15-2012 10:24 AM

Photoshop is essential if you want to take it to the next level. All of my photography buddies use Photoshop, it is a necessity for us. I look back and see my un-edited photos and laugh. I put up the same photos and edit them, and get attention. It works, but Photoshop is a complex program, it takes a hell of a lot of time and patience.

Paulie 02-15-2012 12:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RatherBNarizona (Post 2033731)
Photoshop is essential <snip>

Yep, Photoshop is pretty much required to improve your photos. Poof, $700. :)

Plus when you fork out a ton of money and get really good people will like your work enough to steal it and companies will ask for your images for free in return for mentioning your name. :eek:

dama417 02-15-2012 04:46 PM

Anyone have the Canon EF-S 15-85 IS USM? If so how do you like it?

Paulie 02-19-2012 06:00 AM

If you want to see some good examples of composition check out Irishcoffee's Romania thread http://www.wranglerforum.com/f108/he...nd-134046.html

lindel 02-19-2012 06:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by denisbaldwin (Post 2033088)
Paulie - That's exactly what happened to me. Thankfully, I started in film with Canon cameras like 15 years ago so I had a lot of EF mount lenses that I could make work on the new digital bodies. I've since phased out all of my film stuff (and old lenses) but not before spending about 5 times what my Jeep has cost me over the years.

Definitely not a cheap hobby, but neither are my other hobbies (Jeeps, guns, working on my house, etc.)


That's in large part the beauty of Pentax. The lenses I bought for my ME, I can still use on my K-7. And they are forward compatible as well. Makes collecting lenses not quite as expensive when you buy a new body.

Gate53 02-19-2012 07:11 AM

The nice thing about owning a Jeep is you won't have a huge amount of money left to squander on photography items so choose wisely.:rofl:

jspeer1130 02-19-2012 07:59 AM

Nice to know that there are other keepers out here who love photography too!

Canon 5D mark ii
Canon 24-105 f4L
Canon 70-200 f2.8L
Canon 85 f1.8
Canon 70-300 (cheaper tele)
Canon rebel 1000D (currently has error 99 but I'm able to make it work well enough as a backup camera)
200 GB of compact flash and SD cards for use in both cameras

For studio lighting I'm currently using a set from britek with 4 lamps 2 umbrellas 2 soft boxes and a boom stand :)

Did I mention that I will take photos for food?

Paulie 02-19-2012 09:03 AM

^ We have mostly the same stuff. Plus all the accessories.

Canon 5D mark ii
Canon 24-105 f/4L
Canon 70-200 f/2.8L IS II
Canon 85 f/1.8
Canon 50 f/1.4
Canon 17-40 f/4L

I've been using Alien Bees strobes and just picked up some Elinchroms.

fan of fanboys 02-19-2012 09:53 AM

Just to get you guys opinion: I'm looking at getting a Nikon D3000 or D3100. When film was readily available I shot a Nikon N65. I'm not fancy nor will I ever be. Not even a hobby. Just pictures of vacations, family events, etc. I'll prolly keep it mostly auto. Is that a good camera for my needs? It fits my price range.

Gliderjohn 02-19-2012 10:18 AM

Outdoor lighting on a sunny day -

best time to shoot is before 10 a.m. and after 2 p.m.

The lighting and shadows are more dramatic at these times. The color of the light will vary and can produce very interesting results.

Shooting between 10 and 2 - landscapes can look flat and portraits can have bad shadows in your subject's faces.

The sun does NOT have to be behind you all the time. Try side lighting and back lighting. Results can be stunning!

Look at your subject from different angles. Most people take pictures only at eye level. Try shooting from a lower or higher angle.

Take lots and lots of pics. You may wind up discarding many or most of the shots you take, but there's more chances of getting that one shot that you'll love.

Experiment. Experiment. Experiment. Get creative. Have fun!

Paulie 02-19-2012 11:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fan of fanboys (Post 2048666)
Just to get you guys opinion: I'm looking at getting a Nikon D3000 or D3100. When film was readily available I shot a Nikon N65. I'm not fancy nor will I ever be. Not even a hobby. Just pictures of vacations, family events, etc. I'll prolly keep it mostly auto. Is that a good camera for my needs? It fits my price range.

Either the D3000 or D3100 would be good but the D3100 is newer with more mexapixels so I'd learn toward that. If you go the DSLR route, for what you plan to shoot I'd suggest getting a single zoom lens like an 18-200mm or similar lens that covers as much range as possible. If you get a kit like an 18-55/55-200 you'll probably find you're constantly changing lenses.

Unless you're really are set on getting a DSLR style camera you may even want to consider a mirrorless camera like Nikon's new 1 series. I have a Panasonic GF1 and it takes near DSLR quality photos but is a lot smaller and easier to pack away for vacations.

fan of fanboys 02-19-2012 11:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Paulie

Either the D3000 or D3100 would be good but the D3100 is newer with more mexapixels so I'd learn toward that. If you go the DSLR route, for what you plan to shoot I'd suggest getting a single zoom lens like an 18-200mm or similar lens that covers as much range as possible. If you get a kit like an 18-55/55-200 you'll probably find you're constantly changing lenses.

Unless you're really are set on getting a DSLR style camera you may even want to consider a mirrorless camera like Nikon's new 1 series. I have a Panasonic GF1 and it takes near DSLR quality photos but is a lot smaller and easier to pack away for vacations.

Thanks for the response.

I'm open to the mirror less option I guess. Honestly never heard of it. But will certainly look into it. Is it about the same $400-500 price range?

Paulie 02-19-2012 12:38 PM

They're probably closer to $650. Other manufacturers, like Olympus' PEN series, are probably closer to that range.

fan of fanboys 02-19-2012 12:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Paulie
They're probably closer to $650. Other manufacturers, like Olympus' PEN series, are probably closer to that range.

Well if that's the case, other than size, wouldn't it make sense in my case to buy the Nikon D3000/3100? The size isn't huge problem for me and if I can get a higher quality picture?

Coffeeman 03-06-2012 11:27 AM

Subscribed. Does anyone else smell a book? ...The Art of Photographing Your Jeep in its Natural Environment" I would read that. 00' TJ and Nikon D40x ready to contribute.

McBear 03-07-2012 05:48 PM

I have been shooting either professionally or as an advanced hobby since 1973. I started with Olympus OM1 and now shoot with Olympus E3 and E30.

I agree with most of what has been said above. Shoot as much as you can, different subjects, different modes. But, and this is important, don't go into paparazzi mode, where you just shoot a bunch of the same shot.

I took classes back in the early 70s from Ansel Adams (and his staff) [landscape] and Robin Perry [advertising]. Both taught me to use a tripod on most everything I shoot. That way your brain doesn't rush any shot. You have to think about every aspect of every shot. So, even today I haul around a 12 pound Bogen 3040 Tripod for my digital work and have the ISO [asa for us old farts] set at 100. I would set it at 25 [old Kodachrome ASA] if my camera would do it.

As for Photoshop...NO. Not while learning. You learn by fully framing and saturating the photo by the mechanics of the camera and lens. Only time you might use Photoshop is to take out crap that you could not avoid in the shot. But if you had camera on tripod and walked around enough, most likely you would avoid crap in the shot.

Only tool I play with on the computer is Lightroom. It is nothing more than the digital version of standing on a concrete floor in the previous darkroom huffing chemicals and burning up metric dollars worth of color paper looking for the correct saturation and contrast.

Shoot pics and ask questions and there are more than enough folks on this thread that look like they have the experience to help. But most of all have fun.


pprice72 03-10-2012 12:49 AM

I am also very into photography and would help anyone that needs it. As far as equipment goes, I am a Canon man so most of my knowledge is geared to them as far as equipment goes.
I can tell you this, your equipment is just a tool and will not give you the photo you are after if you do not understand the basics of photography. Lighting is EVERYTHING...Learn it, understand it, know it better than you know your own name!
It does not matter if you go out and buy a 1D MKIV with a 400 2.8IS if you dont know how to use it. I see people get hung up on buying this or that and then not knowing how to use it when they could have bought a point and shoot and got the same photo :)
I dont agree with Photoshop not being a great tool for photography. I agree that getting as much as you can right when you take the photo is the way to go, but I think PS is a very valuable tool and if you know it well, it will make your workflow much better and more easy.

McBear 03-10-2012 11:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pprice72 (Post 2124044)
As far as equipment goes, I am a Canon man so most of my knowledge is geared to them as far as equipment goes.
I can tell you this, your equipment is just a tool and will not give you the photo you are after if you do not understand the basics of photography

There is a story passed around photographers...

A photographer has a show and as the show is ending a local chef comes up to him and complements him on the photography saying "You must have a very good camera to take such wonderful photographs". The photog smiled and said thank you.

Later the photographer and some friends were at the chef's restaurant when the chef came over and ask how everything was. The photographer said "It was great, you must have a very good stove".


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:16 AM.