Photography tips

Thread: Photography tips

  1. slartibartfast's Avatar

    slartibartfast said:

    Default Photography tips

    Following on from Deadlys suggestion, use this sticky to post any useful photography tips, tricks, advice or links you wish to share.

    Here’s a few to start with that have been culled from various sources.
    NOTE – These are only general guidelines and not strict rules to be adhered to, and some may not be applicable to all cameras.

    FILL THE FRAME - (taking a walk around your view-finder) - Scan the top, sides and bottom of your view-finder. Your main subject should nearly touch these boundaries. If it doesn't, move closer to the subject.

    BE SELECTIVE - Discern what you are really interested in and centre your efforts on getting the best photo of this subject, be sure to keep anything that would distract, out of the picture.

    SUNNY 16 - On a bright sunny day set your aperture to f16 and your shutter speed as close as possible to your ISO rating. This will produce properly exposed pictures.

    FULL MOONEY 11 - For proper exposure of a full moon set your aperture to f11 and your shutter speed as close to your ISO rating as possible.
    HALF MOONEY 8- Use the above rule for shutter speed and use an aperture of f8 for pictures of a half moon.
    QUARTER MOONEY 5.6- Use the above rule for shutter speed and use an aperture of f5.6 for pictures of a quarter moon.

    SUNSETS - Meter the area of sky directly above the sun and use this setting as the basis for exposure. Using one f-stop less light will produce the effect of a picture taken one half hour later.

    "RULE" OF THIRDS - One of the most popular 'rules' in photography is the Rule Of Thirds. Imaginary lines are drawn dividing the image into thirds both horizontally and vertically (see the image below). You place important elements of your composition where these lines intersect.

    LOW SHUTTER SPEED - To prevent camera movement blur when hand holding the camera use a shutter speed which most closely matches the millimetres of the lens you are using. (i.e. – For a 200mm lens set the shutter speed to 1/250th)

    DEPTH OF FIELD - Use a higher f-stop (smaller aperture) to increase depth-of-field and a lower (larger aperture) to decrease depth-of-field.

    PALM READING - To select an average tone exposure reading, "read" the palm of your hand with your thumb extended. Then, using your thumb up reminder, open up your aperture (smaller number) one stop.

    FOCUS - Focus 1/3 of the way into the picture and use f16 for the greatest depth of field.

    PHOTOGRAPHING A CAR - A three-quarter front view makes the most effective photograph for selling a car.

    PHOTOGRAPHING LANDSCAPES - Assume that a dramatic "photogenic" effect will rarely last more than one hour.

    TAKING PICTURES INTO THE SUN - When back-lighting is apparent, open the aperture an extra one and a half stops.

    VIEWING A SCENE – Close one eye to reduce your depth perception when viewing a scene and get a better idea of how your final image will look.

    GOOD COMPOSITION - Mentally divide your view-finder into four areas. Look into each area and eliminate anything that isn't necessary.

    HEADS - Look at the top of your view-finder and ask yourself if heads are included. If you don't ask yourself this, then 50% of the time heads will be partially or totally missing.

    FEET - Look at the bottom of your view-finder and ask yourself if feet are included. If you don't ask yourself this, then 50% of the time feet will be missing.

    HORIZON LINE - A picture taken at a slight angle to the horizon will look out of balance somewhat like a painting which isn't hung straight on a wall. Look in your view-finder and ask yourself if the horizon line is parallel to the top and bottom of your view-finder. If you don't do this, the horizon line in your pictures will be tilted 90% of the time.

    WILDLIFE - Final image size and sharpness will decrease proportionately as the desirability for the picture increases. To reverse this effect, look through the view-finder and ask yourself how many times you could stack your subject on top of itself, moving from the bottom of the frame to the top. If the number is greater than four your picture will lack impact. Move closer to your subject or use a bigger lens.

    CENTRE - There is a natural tendency to place all subjects in the centre of the picture, known as the "bulls-eye syndrome." Place the main subject or centre of interest anywhere but the centre of the picture. The centre is a very important place in a picture; however, when the subject is placed in the centre it becomes so powerful that nothing else can compete with it.

    BLUE SKY - A clear north blue sky is a middle tone. An exposure reading using the blue sky as a source will produce a proper daylight exposure.

    WATERFALLS - Use an average exposure reading as a base then reduce the exposure by one f-stop for detail in bright sunlit water.

    FOCUS - If your subject has eyes, focus on them.

    PORTRAITS - When taking portraits, squint, look at your subject and ask yourself if you still see detail in the shadows around the eyes. If you do, shoot. If not change the lighting or have the subject change position.

    GREY SKIES - If the sky is overcast, try keeping it out of the picture. This is usually the best way to avoid both muted tones in your subject and washed-out skies in your background. You might also find black and white pictures of an overcast day more pleasing than colour.

    EDITING - Before you show anyone those hundreds of holiday photos or the 2 hour slide show, edit your work. Take out all the doubles, all the duds, the out of focus and general crap. Only show people the good stuff and your standing as a photographer immediately increases. Pro's can shoot a load of rubbish like anyone else; they just don't show it to anybody.

    And a few helpful links.

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    Last edited by slartibartfast; 4th January 2007 at 03:32 PM. Reason: updated link
  2. Deadly's Avatar

    Deadly said:

    Default Re: Photography tips

    Thanks for starting the thread. Excellent way to kick it off aswell! some really great tips there
  3. sparkster's Avatar

    sparkster said:

    Default Re: Photography tips

    I cant add a great deal as i'm still learning, great tips slarti, one i can add though is abt night shots.

    Night Shots - Taking a picture of something like lit up buildings in the sky line, dont use the flash as the flash is only any good in situations where the subject is within a few metres, most cameras will take a decent pic at night.
  4. [wingnut]'s Avatar

    [wingnut] said:

    Default Re: Photography tips

    AUTO MODE - Take the camera out of auto mode and play with the settings. It will allow you to be more creative with your shots.

    RAW - If possible shoot in RAW file format, you'll have greater control over the final image when you get it on your PC.

    Great sticky Slarti, cheers, I'll look back through my course notes and see if my tutor has parted any pearls of wisdom on me in my course notes..
  5. Theone1's Avatar

    Theone1 said:

    Default Re: Photography tips

    thanks for that m8
  6. [wingnut]'s Avatar

    [wingnut] said:

    Default Re: Photography tips

    IMAGE LONGEVITY - Opening and saving .jpg images numerous times will degrade the quality. Try and convert to tiff files where possible. Rename / Convert / Adjust in a batch then burn to disc to save forever. Storging 1000's of images on HDD is risky.
  7. burner1's Avatar

    burner1 said:

    Default Re: Photography tips

    For getting to grips with Gamma and Calibration, this site has some useful info:

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  8. slartibartfast's Avatar

    slartibartfast said:

    Default Re: Photography tips

    I thought this one might be useful seeing as it's getting a bit nippy out.

    CONDENSATION - Before moving from a cold environment into a warm one, seal your camera inside an airtight plastic bag, the condensation will then form on the outside of the bag and not the camera.
  9. leerolo007's Avatar

    leerolo007 said:

    Default Re: Photography tips

    Better Landscape Photography...
    Want to improve your landscape photography? All it takes is a little creative planning. Think what you want to achieve and avoid including any unwanted elements in your pictures. Here are six simple rules and photo examples designed to help you create more pleasing, dramatic and exciting images.

    Change Your Viewpoint

    Most of us see the world from the same viewpoint, five to six feet above the ground. You can add drama and interest to your pictures by simply not shooting from eye level.

    A low level, 'worms-eye' view creates an enhanced perspective, with people looking like giants and buildings towering imposingly. For different results, shoot from an alternative viewpoint.

    Take a Symmetrical View

    Strong landscape pictures can be achieved by concentrating on the symmetry of a view and can be particularly effective when the two halves of a picture balance and reflect each other. It doesn't have to be a perfect mirror image, but aim for balance on both sides and you will create a pleasing composition.

    Use Lines More Creatively

    Landscapes contain natural lines that connect the foreground to the background and separate the main elements of a landscape picture. Sometimes diagonal lines can contribute to attractive images.

    By tilting your camera to show different lines, you can create a striking image by emphasising a skewed viewpoint.

    Expand Your Vista

    The vista view uses the natural lines in an image. It is a type of composition where separated lines in the foreground converge and meet in the background. A good example of this can be found when shooting a road or river disappearing into the distance.

    Vistas are an attractive way to shoot landscapes, as the lines help to hold a viewer's attention by guiding them from the front of the image to the rear.

    Use the Rule of Thirds

    The rule of thirds describes a grid on which to base your composition. Divide the viewfinder image into nine equal rectangles and arrange elements of your composition along these.

    More simply, just split your picture into thirds. For example, try to place the horizon one- or two thirds down from the top of the image.

    Use Silhouettes and Sunbursts

    Although shooting towards the sun is not usually encouraged, dramatic landscapes can be achieved. When the sun is behind trees and buildings, the brightness around their outline is emphasised and silhouettes are created.

    Exciting sunbursts can add to a composition when the sun is lower in the sky. What you lose in colour and definition you make up for in atmosphere
  10. Freelander's Avatar

    Freelander said:

    Default Re: Photography tips

    For outside Photo's best results are the magic hours. from sunrise for 1 hour then 1hour to sunset.. dont be afraid to shoot into the sun, as will give great contrasts..
  11. WRATH OF BOD's Avatar

    WRATH OF BOD said:

    Default Re: Photography tips

    some of you know i use a fuji s5600.(crapped out on me on bonfire nite.sent it back to fuji on it back on friday with a new psb controler wich is what the problem was.super exellent service)
    is there a rule of thumb conserning macro shots.even with an added micro lense on my fuji. i still dont get good results.
    is there a right shutter speed i should use.
    is there any good tips from yuo guys
  12. slartibartfast's Avatar

    slartibartfast said:

    Default Re: Photography tips

    Best tip for macro work, use a tripod. If you can't use a tripod, use flash.

    When working at macro level even the smallest movement is magnified so reducing camera shake is the number one priority.
  13. Bilbo_baggin's Avatar

    Bilbo_baggin said:

    Default Re: Photography tips

    Poor man's Watermark.

    Photoshop’s Displace filter don’t get no respect. It doesn’t have a flashy preview window, it’s unintuitive, and can’t even work by itself, needing a 2nd image to tell it what to do. But this under-appreciated filter could save your career. We’re going to use the Displace filter to unobtrusively watermark photos in such a way so that not even the most patient thief could retouch out your proof of ownership.

    The Displace filter moves (or displaces) pixels horizontally and vertically, up to 128 pixels. By itself that sounds rather unimpressive, but it references a second image, called a displacement map, to determine how far to move the pixels. The tonal values of the displacement map, from 0 to 255, control the degree of displacement. A value of 0 (white) will displace the image 128 pixels up and left. A value of 255 (black) will displace the image 128 pixels down and right. A value of 128 (50% gray) won’t displace anything at all.

    1 Make a new RGB document, 100px tall and 400px wide. Select Edit > Fill > 50% Gray (remember, the Displace filter ignores gray). With the Type tool set to black, type in the text of the watermark. This image is from LiquidLibrary, so that’s our text, and I used 36pt Helvetica. Now flatten the image and use Filter > Stylize > Emboss set to minimum height and 100%. Save as WATERMARK.PSD and close the file.

    2 Open the image you’d like to watermark. Make sure it’s a backup copy, since this will make permanent changes.

    3 Run Filter > Distort > Displace. The Displace dialog lets you modify the effect of the displacement map, from 0% up to plus or minus 100%. It also lets you choose whether to stretch your map to fill the entire image (handy for logos) or tile it. We’re going to use tile. Finally, it asks whether to pad undefined areas (blank areas) by repeating or wrap them to the opposite side. We’re not going to have any undefined areas, but I usually set this to wrap. Click on OK and it will ask you for a displacement map. Point it to WATERMARK.PSD that we made in step 1 and click OK.

    4 You can record step 3 as an action to use with File > Automate > Batch and watermark an entire folder of images. Just make sure to choose different Source and Destination folders.

    5 Can’t see any apparent difference in the image? That’s the idea, it looks virtually the same unless you zoom in. Then you have a hundred little watermarks protecting your ownership of your images.
  14. BiPolarShrew's Avatar

    BiPolarShrew said:

    Default Re: Photography tips

    Bilbo, great tip there
  15. TomCrute's Avatar

    TomCrute said:

    Default Re: Photography tips

    I found this HDR tutorial very useful so thought you lot might too.

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  16. DB's Avatar

    DB said:

    Default Re: Photography tips

    cracking site mate
  17. bisaria_77's Avatar

    bisaria_77 said:

    Default Re: Photography tips

    Nice tips, Thanks for sharing.