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ko-wal
#1 Sep 26 2008 11:27am
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Welcome

I decided to create a FAQ about photography. I hope that this section will be very helpful to you and thanks to it you will obtain new skills and eliminate some of the basic mistakes. I’ll enlarge this section with new threads. If you have an idea for a new guide – pm me. I’ll try to make them for you.

Table Of Contents:

1.Basic mistakes and tips

2. Photographing a Thunderbolt

This post was edited by Balakai on Oct 3 2008 12:13pm
ko-wal
#2 Sep 26 2008 11:35am
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Ad.1.Basic mistakes and tips



This article is targeted toward beginning photographers - people who are producing their first pictures, but don’t own expensive cameras. This article is for those of you who want to make good looking pictures in various places J

Some tips to start you off:


1. Don’t buy expensive equipment.
If you are just beginning, investing in an expensive reflex camera is unreasonable. A camera is a “box with knobs” – our skills are more important. If we don’t have expierience or skills, an expensive camera won’t help us make good pictures. When we decide that photography is something more and our compact camera is not enough, then we can buy a reflex camera.

2. Everytime and everywhere – camera by your side
If you want to produce good pictures, you must remember to take your camera everywhere. It’s not a problem. A camera can be so small that you can cary it in your pocket. You have no idea when you might be needing it. Who knows – maybe you’ll see something that catches your attention when you walk in the park. Remember that.

3. Settings
Apply different settings. Even a compact camera has many options. Maybe it’s a strange tip, but read the instructions before you make your first photo. You will become familiar with lots of symbols on top of your camera and the LCD panel.

4. Experiment and play with photography.
Experiment. When you have a digital camera, time is the only investment you need to make. Make photos from different angels – from bellow, above etc. Try to make pictures with current light – without the flashgun. Look around - on your house, neighbourhood – find an inspiration. Look at everything with the eyes of a photographer.

5. Criticism
Be hard on yourself and rigorously mark your photos. Erase every picture that isn’t worth looking at. Observe other, more experienced photographers to gain proficiency and find your own, unique style.



Most common mistakes made by amateur photographers:



Covering part of the view
Often we can see an amateur focusing so hard on making the photo that he’s covering part of the scene with his finger J The only tip I can give is to be careful when taking a picture, and keep the camera in the correct position.



Part of the object outside the frame
Profesionaly it’s called the parallax. This error forces us to cut a part of the scene mostly when the object is to close to the camera.

Upper photo – including parallax
Lower photo – upper part of the frame cut out



Moved object
This is when part of the photo is moved and the static elements of the photo are sharp. The reason is: using to fast shutters speed to catch an object that is in motion. We need to slow down the shutters speed or find a way to make a photo when the motion is parallel to the object.



This post was edited by ko-wal on Sep 26 2008 11:41am
ko-wal
#3 Sep 26 2008 11:38am
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Moved photo
The cause is the same as in the sample. This time all the objects in the photo are moved. To avoid these kind of mistakes use the flashgun or a tripod.



Red eyes
This problem shows up when the flashgun is too close to the optical axis and its light is directly on the person’s face. The problem is most familiar in cameras with built-in flashgun. Modern cameras have a option that reduces this effect (there are two flashes – 1st closes the person’s pupil and the 2nd is the main flash). If our camera doesn’t have this function, then we ask the person to not look directly into the camera.



Objects that occupy the whole frame
This mistake occurs when we fail to precisely measure the object or we too quicly move the camera when taking a picture. We must try to concentrate when we take photographs, make them slowly and focus on the object. It will prevent many disappointments when looking at our art




This post was edited by ko-wal on Sep 26 2008 11:39am
ko-wal
#4 Sep 26 2008 11:39am
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Not sharp forground
Sometimes when we review our photos we can see that the people in the in the foreground appear blurry. But why? For example when there are 2 people in the frame, the camera measures the sharpness between them. Most of the time that spot is in the background and it makes the background sharp and the main objects (two people) not sharp. Of cousre there is a solution. We must lightly click the shutter button (not releasing it yet) and and aim so that the two people are in the pinnule square and release the shutter. Both of them will be sharp

ko-wal
#5 Oct 3 2008 12:19pm
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Ad.2.Photographing a Thunderbolt



I would like to encourage you all, to take photos of such an unusual occurrence as the lightning. Taking photos of a thunderbolt is very interesting, because it can give us experience, and provide us with brand new exciting moments.


I would like to encourage everyone to take photos of such an unusual occurrence as a lightning strike. Taking photos of a thunderbolt is very interesting, because it can give us experience, and also because it's very exciting.


1. Don’t forget
Place: Try to pick a place with high visibility of the sky. Horizon should be stretched to maximum. Try to avoid high buildings in the background, because they can cover a part of the lightning. I recommend a hill – it will provide you with the necessary view.
Daytime: Storms and lightning can appear at any time, but try to catch it on the night or evening sky – when it’s dark.
Protection for you and your camera – Try to secure your equipment and yourself from the rain. It would be best for you to locate the camera under some sort of roof. It is good to have a plastic bag with you, in case of heavy rain.


1. Don’t forget
Place: Try to pick a place with high visibility of the sky. Horizon should be stretched to maximum. Try to avoid high buildings in the background, because they can cover a part of the lightning. I recommend a hill – it will provide you with the necessary view.
Daytime: Storms and lightning can appear at any time, but try to catch lightning in the night or evening sky – when it’s dark.
Protection for yourself and your camera – Try to secure yourself and your equipment from the rain. It would be best for you to locate the camera under some sort of roof. It is good to have a plastic bag with you, in case of heavy rain.


2. Equipment
To take photos of the storm, you should use a camera with a bulb option, or other type which can expose to 10s or more. You can make good quality photos with any compact camera. If your camera doesn’t have those options, making those pictures still will be possible - but won’t be easy nor efective – it will be like shooting an apple from someones head – with a blindfold on.


It’s quite stupid to take serial photos in short periods of time… the shutter will use up quick, and the pictures wont’ be better.


Useful/ obligatory – camera and other equipment


Trigger (very useful) – eliminates shaking while pressing the trigger button.
Tripod – magnificent thing. Your camera will be stable and ready for action 
Chair – useful, especially if you have to wait for the storm to come.
Hot drink – it’s always good to have coffee or tea near by you. You will be grateful when it’ll start to be very cold and windy.


2. Equipment
To take photos of the storm, you should use a camera with a bulb option or a type which can expose to 10s or more [do you mean another type of camera or a type of bulb?]. You can make good quality photos with any compact camera. If your camera doesn’t have those options, making those pictures will still be possible - but it won’t be easy or effective – it will be like shooting an apple from someones head – with a blindfold on.


It’s quite stupid to take serial photos in short periods of time… the shutter will be used up quickly, and the pictures won’t be better.


Useful/ obligatory – camera and other equipment


Trigger (very useful) – eliminates shaking while pressing the trigger button.
Tripod – magnificent thing. Your camera will be stable and ready for action 
Chair – useful, especially if you have to wait for the storm to come.
Hot drink – it’s always good to have coffee or tea nearby. You will be grateful for it when the weather gets very cold and windy.


3. Tactic
Look/ aim the camera where you see most of the lightnings
With bulb function – hold the trigger and start counting
Wait for the lightning (if the thunderbolt won’t come after 20-30s.. again from point 5)
Lightning in sight! – check, if the exposition time isn’t to short - counting second of exposition and refering to the test photo – minus 2 seconds (because thunder itself gave us some light – you need intuition and a lot of testing.
Release the trigger
Check your results


In ‘storm photography’ experience is very important, as well as intuition. You can practice while taking night scene photos, with different exposition time. Come up with a solutiion, when autofocus is helpless and you have to manually set the sharpness. Test how deep sharpness compares with the diaphragm. Storm easily comes and goes – it would be better if those kind of things mess up our photographing.


Check photos you made carefully, even on those where there is no sight of lightning at all. Clouds with the light of the storm background are looking beautiful – and normalny you can see them only for half of a second.


3. Tactics
Look/ aim the camera where you see the most lightning
With bulb function – hold the trigger and start counting
Wait for the lightning (if the thunderbolt won’t come after 20-30s.. again from point 5)
Lightning in sight! – check if the exposition time isn’t too short - count seconds of exposition and refer to the test photo – minus 2 seconds (because thunder itself gave us some light – you need intuition and a lot of testing.
Release the trigger
Check your results


In ‘storm photography’ experience and intuition are very important. You can practice while taking night scene photos, using different exposition times [not sure i understood that right]. Come up with a solution when autofocus is helpless and you have to manually set the sharpness. Test how deep sharpness compares with the diaphragm. A storm easily comes and goes – it would be better if those kinds of things mess up our photographing.[something is missing here: better than what?]


Check photos you made carefully, including photos where there is no sight of lightning at all. Clouds with the light of the storm background look beautiful – and normally you can see them only for half of a second.


4. Patience – key to success
In theory it looks quite simple, but usualy it isn’t. The weather can be tricky, and we can end disappointed after you sesion, but don’t worry. Practice makes perfect. More sesions you have, more pictures you take – better they will be in the future.


Sometimes part of the lightning will appear in the frame. You are aiming at the left, but the thunder comes from the right. There is no rule for that, but a good observer will in time see where the storm is coming from, and where to aim the camera.






This post was edited by ko-wal on Oct 3 2008 12:21pm
Pingers
#6 Feb 15 2009 11:18am
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Thank you TheBlackRose66 for this.

Quote (TheBlackRose66 @ Tue, 2 Dec 2008, 07:21)
These are some of the ideas that have helped get me going in my photography career. I though I would share.

Top 11 tips:
1. Don’t go crazy buying the most expensive equipment right away.
It’s possible to get very nice photos with an inexpensive point and shoot.
The more photos you take, the more you’ll know about what kind of camera to get when it’s time to upgrade.

2. Consider a tripod.
On the other hand, an inexpensive tripod is worth getting, especially if you have shaky hands like mine.
When I got a tripod, my satisfaction with my shots skyrocketed. For even more stability, use your camera’s timer function with a tripod.

3. Keep your camera with you all the time.
Photo ops often come when you least expect it. If you can keep your equipment relatively simple -
just a small camera bag and a tripod - you might be able to take advantage of some of those unexpected opportunities.
Or, if your phone has a camera, use it to take “notes” on scenes you’d like to return to with your regular camera.

4. Make a list of shots you’d like to get.
For those times you can’t carry your camera around, keep a small notebook to jot down places you’d like to come back and photograph.
Make sure to note any important details, like the lighting, so you can come back at the same time of day or when the weather’s right.
If you don’t want to carry a notebook, send yourself an email using your cell phone

5. Don’t overlook mundane subjects for photography.
You might not see anything interesting to photograph in your living room or your backyard,
but try looking at familiar surroundings with fresh eyes. You might catch an interesting trick of the light or find some unexpected wildflowers in your yard.
Often a simple subject makes the best shot.

6. Enjoy the learning process.
The best part of having a hobby or career like photography is never running out of things to learn. Inspiration is all around you.
Look at everything with the eyes of a photographer and you’ll see opportunities you never noticed before.

7. Take advantage of free resources to learn.
Browse through Flickr or websites for inspiration and tips. Also, your local library probably has a wealth of books on all types of photography.
If you’re interested in learning about post-processing, give free software like the GIMP a try. Or get a full version of Photoshop.

8. Experiment with your camera’s settings.
Your point and shoot may be more flexible and powerful than you know. Read the manual for help deciphering all those little symbols.
As you explore, try shooting your subjects with multiple settings to learn what effects you like. When you’re looking at your photos
on a computer, you can check the EXIF data (usually in the file’s properties) to recall the settings you used.

9. Learn the basic rules.
The amount of information about photography online can be overwhelming. Start with a few articles on composition.
Be open to what more experienced photographers have to say about technique. You have to know the rules before you can break them.

10. Take photos regularly.
Try to photograph something every day. If you can’t do that, make sure you take time to practice regularly, so you don’t forget what you’ve learned.

11. Don’t be afraid to experiment.
If you’re using a digital camera, the cost of errors is free. Go crazy - you might end up with something you like. You’ll certainly learn a lot in the process.
Pingers
#7 Feb 15 2009 11:19am
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Thank you TheBlackRose66 for this.

Quote (TheBlackRose66 @ Tue, 2 Dec 2008, 07:23)
Top 100 things I have learned since I started doing Photography:
1. Never do photography to become a rock-star.
2. Enjoy what you are shooting.
3. Prepare well for your shooting, realizing that your battery isn’t charge when you’re setting up for that sunrise shoot is too late!
4. Always take one warm garment more than you actually need with you
5. Pay attention to your thoughts and emotions while you are shooting
6. Set goals you can achieve
7. Write tips about photography, because writing is also learning
8. Never go shooting without a tripod
9. Be pleased with the little prosperities
10. Build relationships with potential photo buddies
11. Watch the place you want to shoot first with your heart then with the camera
12. Always stay calm
13. Know that you tend to overestimate yourself
14. Perspective is the killer
15. Dedicate yourself to photography, but never browbeat yourself too much
16. Take part in a photography community
Treeklein17. Keep your camera clean
18. Never compare yourself to others in a better or worse context
19. Find your own style of photography
20. Try to compose more and to hit the shutter less
21. Seek out and learn to accept critique on your images
22. Do something different to recover creativity
23. Get inspiration from the work of other photographers
24. Criticize honestly but respectfully
25. Get feedback from your lady
26. Don’t copy other photographer’s style
27. Be bold
28. Take care of the golden ratio
29. 10mm rocks!
30. Take selfportraits
31. Read books about photography
32. To give a landscapephotograph the extra boost, integrate a person (maybe yourself)
33. Every shooting situation is different than you expect
34. Pay attention to s-curves and lines
35. Always shoot in RAW
36. Keep your sensor clean, so you can save some work cleaning your image in post production
37. Discover the things you think are beautiful
Redgreenklein38. It takes time to become a good photographer
39. The best equipment is that what you have now
40. You can’t take photographs of everything
41. Break the rules of photography knowingly, but not your camera wink.gif
42. Pay attention to the different way that light falls on different parts of your scene
43. The eye moves to the point of contrast
44. Clouds increase the atmosphere of a landscape
45. Start a photoblog
46. Accept praise and say “thank you”
47. ‘Nice Shot’ is not a very useful comment to write
48. ‘Amazing!’ isn’t useful either. Try to describe specifically what you like or don’t like about an image.
49. You are not your camera
50. Ask a question at the end of your comment on a photo to get a ping-pong conversation with the photographer
51. Do a review of your archives on a regular basis, the longer you photograph - the more diamonds are hidden there
52. Always clarify what the eyecatcher (focal point) will be in your image
53. No image is better than a bad one
54. Everyone has to start little
55. Your opinion about photography is important!
56. Leave a funny but thoughtful comment
57. Speak about your experiences with your photo buddies
58. Limit your photograph to the substance
59. Participate in Photocontests
60. Post processing = Optimizing your image to the best result
61. Shoot exposure latitudes as often as possible
Wideklein62. Use photomatix as seldom as possible, HDR’s always have a synthetic flavor
63. Always remember what brought you to photography
64. Never shoot a person who doensn’t want to be photographed
65. Always turn arround, sometimes the better image is behind you
66. It’s who’s behind the camera, not the camera
67. Mistakes are allowed! The more mistakes you make, the more you learn!
68. If you have an idea and immediately you think : No, this is not going to work - Do it anyway. When in doubt - always shoot.
69. Understand and look to your histogramm while shooting. It delivers very important information about your image
70. Know your camera, because searching the menu button in the night is time you don’t want to waste
71. Shoot as often as possible
72. Believe in yourself
73. Don’t be afraid of getting dirty
74. Pay attention to qualitiy in your image
75. Your photographs are a personal map of your psyche
76. Re-check your ISO-Settings. It’s aweful to detect the wrong settings on your screen.
77. Be thankful for long and thoughtful comments on your images
78. Never trust your LCD. Normally it is brighter and sharper as the original image.
79. Provide for enough disc space, because it’s cheap and you will need it.
Autoklein80. Learn to enjoy beautful moments when you don’t have a camera with you.
81. Always arrive at least half an hour earlier before sunrise / sundown, composing in a hurry is a bad thing.
82. Try to amplify your mental and physical limits. Takes some extra shots when you think “it’s enough”
83. Pay attention to structures in the sky and wait until they fit into structures in the foreground
84. Visit the same place as often as possible. Light never shows the same mountain.
85. Print your images in big size. You will love it.
86. Calibrate your monitor. Working with a monitor that is not accurate is like being together with someone you can’t trust. It always ends badly.
87. Don’t think about what others may say about your image. If you like it, it’s worth publishing.
88. Never address reproaches to yourself. Learn from your mistakes and look forward, not backward.
89. Fight your laziness ! Creativitiy comes after discipline.
90. Ask yourself : What do you want to express in your images ?
91. Always try to think outside the box, collect new ideas about photographs you could do and ask yourself : Why not?
92. Search for a mentor.
93. Photography is never a waste of time.
Fogklein94. Every community has it’s downsides. Don’t leave it out of an emotional response.
95. There will always be people who will not like what you are doing.
96. Henri Cartier-Bresson was right when he said that “Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.”
97. A better camera doesn’t guarantee better images.
98. Always have printing in mind when you postprocess your images.
99. Photography is fair : You gain publicity with the quality of your images. Unless the images are stolen, there is no way of cheating yourself higher.
100. Write a 100 things list


Quote (TheBlackRose66 @ Tue, 2 Dec 2008, 07:28)
Useful Links:
http://www.flickr.com  -One of the largest photography communities on the web.
http://www.outdoorphotographer.com  -A Great place to read old versions of Outdoor Photographer magazine, with lots of great reviews!
http://www.dpreview.com  -Type in the camera name, and you will find pages of reviews on it!
http://www.photo.net      -Another large community, a lot of higher end professionals are here to give you some great criticism.
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