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#386701 - Mon Sep 10 2007 06:27 PM Photography course
sue943 Offline

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Today I went for my first class in digital photography. The instructor assured us all that by the end of the ten week course we will all be able to take some good photos, and to edit them.

Sometimes it is desirable to post photographs to illustrate what is meant so by all means post a before and after photograph in this forum but please make the photos smaller than in the other threads, perhaps the 'avatar' size will be best.

Some tips this week for the people who are like me and who normally just point and shoot on automatic.

1. Set your camera on the highest pixel setting.
2. Make sure you use AEL - Auto Exposure Lock. This is the half depression of the shutter, it will allow you to expose correctly. Always use this double movement.
3. Set the Sensitivity to suit the light situation. For instance 400 would suit low light, 100 is normal. You can use automatic too.
4. Keep the lens clean.
5. Try taking photos with different flash settings.
6. Keep the camera still when pressing the shutter.
7. Good composition and camera angles are vital.
8. Take your time composing.
9. Under exposing is better than over exposure.


Edited by sue943 (Sun Sep 30 2007 11:46 AM)
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#386702 - Tue Sep 11 2007 02:35 AM Re: Photography course [Re: sue943]
sue943 Offline

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One tip given about setting the exposure when outside was before doing the half depression of the shutter, point the camera upwards. Then take your photo, you will get better colour skies for a start. You can then adjust if necessary in an editing program such as Adobe Elements.
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#386703 - Tue Sep 11 2007 04:22 AM Re: Photography course [Re: sue943]
ren33 Offline
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(Shhhh , she is all keen and technical now, and she only joined to see if there was any 'talent' in the class.)
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#386704 - Tue Sep 11 2007 04:28 AM Re: Photography course [Re: ren33]
sue943 Offline

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If you don't want any free tips dear then don't read the thread.

The instructor would just about suit you, he has a significant birthday coming shortly and has a son in his mid 40s.

You wait until I start merging photos.
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#386705 - Tue Sep 11 2007 07:36 AM Re: Photography course [Re: sue943]
tellywellies Offline
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Interesting and useful tips Sue.

I'm aware of some of those settings but remembering to apply them is something else. I've recently been experimenting a bit with various ISO settings (the 400 and 100 figures mentioned). Our tame fox was around a couple of mornings ago. The photos of it came out blurry because there was not enough light at that time of day for the automatic focus to work properly.

I'm now trying the setting at 200 rather than 'automatic'. I found that having the camera set to 400 and higher introduced grain to the picture when using the zoom. I'll see if the lower setting helps with that problem.

It seems a bit equivalent to 35mm film. If you wanted a finely detailed photo, 50 ASA was the film to buy. However, this film needed a slow shutter speed and lots of light for the exposure (not so good for moving subjects). If you wanted to take pictures in low light or at a faster shutter speed, you'd buy 400 or even 800 ASA film. This produced more grain though. The balance between quality and speed is a 'trade-off' with 35mm film. This seems to be the case with digital cameras as well.

I try to compose my photos well when there is time and usually take quite a few shots of a subject. That's a big advantage of a digital camera. It costs nothing to take lots of photos on the same thing and throw away (delete) the poorer ones. That practice would have cost a fortune with 35mm film and prints.
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#386706 - Tue Sep 11 2007 10:21 AM Re: Photography course [Re: tellywellies]
sue943 Offline

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To illustrate what I said (or should I say the instructor said) I took two photos in my garden. The first was how I would normally have taken it. The second is having pointed at the sky and half depressed the shutter then I took the photo. The third photo is the second one after I hit a one click photo fix in my photo editing, there is not much difference, just a little.
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#386707 - Wed Sep 12 2007 08:22 AM Re: Photography course [Re: sue943]
ren33 Offline
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So which one is the true colour of the sky at that time? It's very interesting. I will give it a go. Thanks.
That grass needs cutting.
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#386708 - Wed Sep 12 2007 10:06 AM Re: Photography course [Re: ren33]
wisconsin Offline
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Ive been trying to get into photography and this thread is very helpful, thanks guys!

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#386709 - Wed Sep 12 2007 10:52 AM Re: Photography course [Re: wisconsin]
sue943 Offline

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Another tip. When taking a photograph of a 'larger' person it will help to slim them down if you can take the photo looking down at them.

As for the sky, many times I have taken a photo when I thought the sky was blue only to find in the photo it is washed out.

Yes, the grass does need cutting, I will do it in the next few days.

Experiment with your flash, often indoor photographs can be taken and will be better without flash. When outdoors and taking a photograph of people you might find you need flash to take away the shadows.

I went to take a photograph today in a shop, well inside and nowhere near the window. The article was a white card which I wanted to 'copy' or at least do something similar (with permission from shop staff). I took several photos and each was hopeless, then I turned the flash off and the result was a perfect photo.
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#386710 - Wed Sep 12 2007 12:14 PM Re: Photography course [Re: sue943]
picqero Offline
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Seems a good course, I wouldn't mind attending something similar. Have to watch out for any running locally.
If you learn anything anything about straightening distorted parallel lines on buildings, etc, such as that in my posted photo today, please let us know!

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#386711 - Mon Sep 24 2007 04:59 AM Re: Photography course [Re: picqero]
sue943 Offline

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How often have you taken a super photo but when you study it later you realise it isn't quite square? Picasa2, free from Google, has a straighten feature, really simple to use. I used it on several sea photos as the horizon wasn't quite level. I thoroughly recommend it.
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#386712 - Mon Sep 24 2007 09:27 AM Re: Photography course [Re: sue943]
tellywellies Offline
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Thanks Sue. I like Picasa2 ..too. It's good for finding and displaying all the images on the hard disk(s). I haven't tried it for editing photos but that 'straightening up' feature sounds handy. I can do that in Photo-Paint but it's an not automatic process and takes some fiddling about. I'll remember Picasa next time.
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#386713 - Mon Sep 24 2007 03:13 PM Re: Photography course [Re: tellywellies]
sue943 Offline

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Picasa2 has this grid when you select straightening, then you can adjust it using the grid until it is straight, then click Apply. Easy. One of the beauties of Picasa2, other than its simplicity, is that it remembers your alterations so if you go back another day and decide to change the photo back it is just a click of the button to undo the change.

For those who want to print their digital photos, lighten the photo about 10% before printing as it loses a little light in the process. One of tonight's top tips from the tutor.
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#386714 - Wed Sep 26 2007 11:47 AM Re: Photography course [Re: sue943]
picqero Offline
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Sue, I use a mac with iphoto and photoshop. iphoto also has a straightening grid, which is very simple, in fact almost instantaneous, to use. sounds similar to picasa2?
I was interested in your comment to mothergoose in photo-a-day regarding flashback on windowglass images. you recommended picasa2 there as well. Could you elaborate please?
Also, if you get any tips on straightening images which have been distorted by using wideangle, please let us know.
Excellent thread, and thanks for the tips and advice.

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#386715 - Wed Sep 26 2007 12:23 PM Re: Photography course [Re: picqero]
sue943 Offline

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The tutor said that underexposure with digital cameras is often no problem and is better than overexposure. Picasa2 has a fill light slider, you just slide it to the right and the photo is lightened and the detail comes up just fine.

The following photographs illustrate what I mean to a certain degree. The first photo is unaltered, the second I used just the Fill Light to bring it up.



Edited by tellywellies (Wed Sep 26 2007 03:05 PM)
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#386716 - Wed Sep 26 2007 04:54 PM Re: Photography course [Re: sue943]
tellywellies Offline
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That makes a big difference Sue.
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#386717 - Sun Sep 30 2007 09:52 AM Re: Photography course [Re: tellywellies]
tellywellies Offline
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Can you spot the difference between the two photos below?



Yes, they are the same photo. No, there aren't any hidden objects to find . The difference is that the lower photo has been processed using a 'Sharpen' (or 'Sharpness') control. Those who use an editing program to resize photos may have a sharpness control in the program's options. Photobucket doesn't have it.

I think the process of resizing can reduce a photo's clarity. Perhaps all the crunching about (re-sampling) of pixels makes that happen. Also, a limitation of the browser or camera lens quality might have an effect on photo definition. Sharpening can help to overcome these factors. That's not to say that photos don't look good without any sharpening. They do still all look fine. However, the sharpness control can add extra definition to most photos. The difference that sharpening makes is often subtle. It has most effect on close-up or macro photography. Scenery can benefit from it but perhaps not so noticeably.
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#386718 - Sun Sep 30 2007 10:21 AM Re: Photography course [Re: tellywellies]
sue943 Offline

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That is definitely much sharper.
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#386719 - Sun Sep 30 2007 02:06 PM Re: Photography course [Re: sue943]
bhs63 Offline
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All this talk has made me reorder Photoshop!! I had it on an older PC and used it a lot in the "old days." Now I'll play with a more up-to-date version.

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#386720 - Sun Sep 30 2007 03:41 PM Re: Photography course [Re: bhs63]
tellywellies Offline
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Photoshop holds a good price but I know it's thought by most people to be the best. I've always been quite happy with Corel Photo-Paint. Some versions of this are fairly inexpensive now.

I was looking at another favourite of mine (IrfanView) earlier. This is a free quite comprehensive program. It has a sharpness control, red-eye reduction, automatic colour balance, image resizing, file conversion, various light and dark controls. It can also make use of Adobe effect filters.

I could almost just use this program alone.
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#386721 - Sun Sep 30 2007 05:21 PM Re: Photography course [Re: tellywellies]
sue943 Offline

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The tutor says he thinks it hard to beat Adobe Elements 2 if you can get a copy. The newer versions are not as good, as with a number of software packages, the newer ones try to take control so are less flexible.
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#386722 - Sun Oct 14 2007 04:20 PM Re: Photography course [Re: sue943]
sue943 Offline

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Sometimes you want more in your photograph than you can fit, it could be that you want a panoramic shot, or you could want more foreground. It is possible to merge more than one photograph together to give the larger picture.

These are not particularly good shots but I was just experimenting to see how it would work. The top two photographs have been merged where they would overlap, and for good measure I changed the sky to blue!






I used Adobe Elements2 to achieve the above but you should be able to do it with other software, it would be a case of reading the instructions and probably playing with layers. Elements2 allows you to do this in a click of a button, no messing about which is why my tutor recommends it.


Edited by sue943 (Sun Oct 14 2007 04:22 PM)
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#386723 - Tue Nov 13 2007 05:28 PM Re: Photography course [Re: sue943]
tellywellies Offline
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Using 'filters' in a photo editing program can be fun. The effect shown below is done using one called 'Terrazzo'. This particular effect is probably only included in my editing program (Photo-Paint) but most programs have filters that give various effects. Whether these would be useful in everyday photography is another matter. Nonetheless they do add another, sometimes interesting, aspect to digital photography.



A straight photograph of my watch transformed into something else.


Edited by tellywellies (Tue Nov 13 2007 05:31 PM)
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#386724 - Thu Nov 15 2007 10:37 AM Re: Photography course [Re: tellywellies]
picqero Offline
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There are some creative ideas here, using your own or someone else's kids

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#386725 - Mon Aug 10 2009 09:07 PM Re: Photography course *DELETED* [Re: picqero]
bluenight Offline
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