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Thread: Photography help?

  1. #11
    Administrator Sean Setters's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squidy View Post
    DPP?

    See, I'm pretty sure that's the problem I'm having, becoming too influenced by what the "pros" are telling me. As for exposure and lighting I'm learning about it, but it's taking a while. But, regardless of that it's fun anyhow
    DPP = Digital Photo Professional

    Digital Photo Professional comes on the disk that you receive when you purchase a retail Canon SLR. And no matter which Canon SLR you buy, you can always upgrade to the newest DPP (available from the Canon website) for additional features and bug fixes.

    Whenever I do a photo job that involves processing lots (and lots) of pictures, I use DPP. In my mind, it does everything I need a batch post processing software to do. I can adjust exposure, sharpness, noise, color, contrast (shadows and highlights independently), and apply lens corrections and add ratings. I can copy settings from one picture and apply those settings to every picture, or I can simply adjust the settings of all the pictures at the same time (assuming I want the settings to be the same). And best of all--it's free.

    After using DPP to convert the RAW files to jpegs, I then choose some select images to further post process in Photoshop. Truth is, for most of the fine tuning I do in Photoshop, I could alternately use GIMP (free download).

    A lot of the "pros" use Lightroom, and there's nothing wrong with that. I've used it, but I never found the additional features of Lightroom to be worth while for me. And if "pros" don't use DPP, then I'm fine being called something else. ;-)

    Last edited by Sean Setters; 08-19-2012 at 04:04 PM.

  2. #12
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    Great!! -

    Happy practice - one suggestion is to play w/ the f-stop values to see how the depth of field(focus) changes the look of a photograph, how a low f-stop will cause the object of the photo to visually separate from the background (portraits etc) and a larger f-stop brings everything into clearer definition (landscapes, etc).

    Everyone on this board is very helpful and always willing to chime in and usually play very nice the greater sandbox.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squidy View Post
    DPP?

    See, I'm pretty sure that's the problem I'm having, becoming too influenced by what the "pros" are telling me. As for exposure and lighting I'm learning about it, but it's taking a while. But, regardless of that it's fun anyhow

    As for the take multiple photos that's what I've started doing today. I realised all the settings appear in Lightroom for each shot so I've changed settinga and taken more photos etc so I can scroll through and see what the settings were and what the differences are. As I said, it's a learning experience, but damn it's fun
    If you see me with a wrench, call 911

  3. #13
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    I have a 18-55mm IS that I'm happy with as well. It *could* be faster, I mean, it could have a wider aperture, allowing use is lower light or for thin depth of field, but aside from that it's great. A lot of the older photographers started when the 18-55mm non-IS was the kit lens, and it was not a good lens. The new one is actually quite nice.

    What am I comparing to, though, that's the big question. Am I saying my 18-55mm is good compared to an old point and shoot, or a fancy $2000 lens?

    I can only compare to lenses I have. I've got the 50mm f/1.8, the 85mm f/1.8, the 70-300mm f/4-5.6L, the original 75-300mm f/4-5.6 IS, and I had the 24-105mm f/4L for 2 years. The kit lens is not as sharp as the primes (50mm and 85mm), or the 70-300mm L, but it's not that far off either. It has good image quality, the IS works great (it even auto-detects and switches to panning mode IS), and it has a very low minimum focus distance, good for flowers, etc. I found it sharper than the 24-105mm L. Between the kit lens and the 85mm, I didn't need the 24-105mm L, which is why it's now been sold.

    The other end of the spectrum is the old 75-300mm, Canon's first IS lens. It's soft, and gets softer as you zoom. My Rebel T1i would give a focus lock beep despite the softness, but my 7D won't. The images past 150mm or so aren't usable, even scaled down. These are the sorts of lenses you really do need to avoid. Between Bryan's reviews and learning to use his ISO chart shots, you should be good.

    Oh, and as for the price difference you're seeing with the 18-135mm, there are TWO 18-135mm lenses. Make sure you're comparing prices of the same lens. The newer one will say "STM", and is supposed to be nice and sharp. The previous one wasn't that sharp, and I suggest avoiding it.
    Last edited by DavidEccleston; 08-20-2012 at 02:37 AM. Reason: I have no idea where the word "avoiding" went in my last sentence...

  4. #14
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    Welcome,
    lots of great advice already. I think the most important one came from Kombi - take a deep breath and relax.
    I too started with the same lenses and a 600D. That gives you a lot of room to explore and experiment and learn. Then you will find out if at all and what other lens you want to buy next, either because there is something that your current lenses don't do at all (like Macro photography), or because you feel the image quality, maximum aperture, or focus speed is limiting you.
    I for example found that the image quality and focal length of the 55-255 was not really excellent when shooting birds. But I also found out that, while it was a lot of fun exploring that area, I haven't done much of it lately - so I did not go and buy a better tele zoom (yet :-) ). What I'm trying to say is, you yourself will find out what other lens you want most. Just go out and take a lot of pictures and don't be afraid to delete most of the pictures. Try different things, like Mike said, play with different f values, and keep asking questions.

    Enjoy!

    Arnt

  5. #15
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    First of all, I'd like to thank everyone for such great advice. It's very helpful to know that already my questions are being taken seriously and great advice is flowing. The reason I say this is I was actually worried posting on this board in case I got torn to pieces. I've browsed some FB photography groups etc and the amount of hatred aimed at younger, or newer, photographers is just disturbing. To find this board when everyone is so helpful is just a breath of fresh air, I can see myself staying here for quite a while

    Weird, my camera didn't actually come with any CDs but seemed to come with everything else on the list. Thank heavens I bought Lightroom then because Canon don't offer DPP for download on their site, only updates.

    The idea about rental lenses is a good one, however in Sydney we don't usually have that kind of thing. Stores usually just sell then you have 7 days to return it if you're not happy... which sucks. My friend was in Japan recently and he walked into a store and they let him attach a lens to his camera and wander round taking photos. Crazy.

    I bought a DVD recently and the guy who talks in it seems to know what he's talking about but he says stuff like "try a different F setting" but doesn't tell what it does etc. I'm currently reading up on different functions etc. I know how to point and shoot, but where's the fun in that?? It's like another friend who is "pro" (I use the term incredibly loosely) keeps telling me I shouldn't manually focus. Why not?? I feel much more in control, and actually take better images, when I focus myself. I always find I get sharper images when I'm focusing as opposed to the lens doing it... And you know what? I'm happy with the results so I'm going to keep doing it.

    I understand image quality as a loose term and I can see some of my shots have quality to them, but the focal length choices and shutter speeds, aperture etc is what does my head in to be honest.

  6. #16
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    The f is the aperture, the opening in the lens that determines how much light is let through. Small value means a big wide open aperture, a high value means a small narrow one. Set you camera to Av mode to try it out. See how at wide open apertures the background becomes unsharp when you focus on something in the foreground (actually a desired effect for eg portraits). For landscapes, you typically want a smaller aperture (high value, f 11 or so) so that foreground and background are sharp. The camera will adjust shutter speed automatically.
    You can also check out the tips on this site

    Arnt

  7. #17
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    Here's an example of what changing aperture (different f value) will do in terms of Depth Of Field (how much is in focus).
    http://www.jennibidner.com/-/jennibidner/gallery.asp?LID=&cat=70116&pID=4&row=15&photoID=26 60780&searchTerm=

    Another comparison image, with a description of aperture:
    http://theawesomephotographer.com/what-is-aperture/

    While your friend says you should change your f value, that's only one variable you can adjust to change how you photos look. Changing the aperture can adjust the depth of field.

    Depth of Field is controlled by 3 things.
    1. Focal length (18mm, 55mm, 250mm, etc.)
    2. Focus distance (focus on something 12" away, 5 feet away, 50 feet away, etc.)
    3. Aperture (f/1.4, f/5.6, f/22, etc.)

    DOF is thinner the longer the focal length, the shorter the focus distance, and the wider the aperture (250mm @ 12", f/1.4)
    DOF is larger the shorter the focal length, the longer the focus distance, and the narrower the aperture (18mm, @ 50 feet, f/22)

    However, each of the three things above control more than just the depth of field. Focal length for example. Obviously if you zoom in from 18mm to 250mm the image will change, but what happens if you back up such that at 250mm you had the same framing as you did at 18mm? This page, http://www.expertphotography.com/4-s...-focal-lengths, shows how 3 soup cans and their background can appear very differently, adjusting focal length, and focus distance. Telephoto lenses appear to compress depth. A soccer field can appear to be as narrow as a sidewalk when you're at 400mm.

    The best way to learn is to play around. Take several photos of the same thing with different settings apertures. Try the focal length variation with same framing experiment with something in your neighborhood.

    Use your telephoto lens, but focus on something really close. Try both a wide and a narrow aperture. How did the aperture affect the DOF up close? Then shoot something far away, with both apertures. Did the aperture change the image the same way, or by the same amount?

    When you've got a feel for aperture, then play with shutter speed. Typical slow-shutter speed shots are waterfalls, fountains, fireworks, reflections on a lake or river, the shore at a beach, or even clouds. How does the shutter speed affect the look of the image? To force a long shutter speed with correct exposure, choose a low ISO (100), and use Av mode with a narrow aperture (f/22). The camera will decrease the shutter speed to gather enough light.
    Last edited by DavidEccleston; 08-20-2012 at 04:47 AM. Reason: aperture -> focal length in one place.

  8. #18
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    Thanks heaps for the help everyone, and sorry for such a delayed response, I've been out enjoying taking photos

    Another quick question, I've had people say to me my camera is "crop sensor" so it's junk by default and they're telling me to get a full camera... The hell does that mean? I want to do flowers, wildlife and landscape and they've said it's junk for landscape and wildlife... It looks OK so far?

  9. #19
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    You need to get new friends The sensor that captures the image is smaller than a 35mm camera making it more affordable to by. I guess to be technical, the 35mm ("full frame") is actually a crop compared to a medium format (crazy expensive) . And the medium format is a crop too when compared to it's big brother. I've never had a problem shooting landscapes with a crop. It's more important to use the right lens for the job, and Canon has a good one.
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  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squidy View Post
    Thanks heaps for the help everyone, and sorry for such a delayed response, I've been out enjoying taking photos

    Another quick question, I've had people say to me my camera is "crop sensor" so it's junk by default and they're telling me to get a full camera... The hell does that mean? I want to do flowers, wildlife and landscape and they've said it's junk for landscape and wildlife... It looks OK so far?
    1st. Glad you are taking photo's.

    Jan could probably offer the number of "full frame" vs. crop sensor winners from the assignment thread - it is the photographER that makes the difference.

    To be technical: And there are plenty on this forum that are way more technical than me.....

    A crop sensor is smaller than a full 24x36mm sized sensor - that is the size of the "traditional" 35mm film camera. They are smaller so each pixel compared to a similar resolution "full frame" has to be smaller. This means less light falls onto each sensor and the signal has to be amplified a bit more for identical conditions. HOWEVER, that doesn't mean all that much for most of the time - in low light yep there is a difference. HOWEVER, if one back off 1 stop on the shutter speed... information and signal are now equal or better to the "crop sensor." Again, in very low light and long shutter speeds the information going to the larger "full frame" pixel is indeed better with less electronic noise as their is less electronic signal amplification. There is also typically a little more dynamic range and shadow detail, but you have to look REALLY CLOSE to find these differences. For most landscapes, tripods shots and most any typical enlargement, these are not concerns.

    FYI if you ever get to Washington DC cruise through the national geographic exhibition at natural history just in case you ever wonder how big you can take your image. They have worked really hard, but wow what a set of amazing photos.

    Now there is a benefit to a "crop sensor" that is for the same resolution you are shooting through the middle of the lens (usually better optics) and with a bit more of a telephoto effect for the same focal length lens. a 50mm lens on a crop sensor has the same view as a 80mm on a full frame (1.6x) and should have a better optical environment.

    The "crop" in crop sensor comes from the effect of "cropping out" parts of the top/bottom/sides compared to a full frame. As soon as the "full frame" picture is "cropped" vs. a "crop sensor" that is used full size.... image quality starts to go to the "crop sensor." You will see narrative about getting a bit more "reach" w/ a crop sensor vs. full frame for a given lens.


    Three basic points.
    1) ( a little negative) Photo is like boats - there is always someone who can spend more money to take a picture or float on the water. For those w/ a "full frame" camera that think a "crop sensor" is automatically junk, perhaps you should ask them why they don't shoot Leica medium format or Hassleblad/Phase One. They will only set you back a minimum 20k for the body alone. You will really get amazed at the lens costs..... Anything other than a Leica S2 is "junk"..... Leica does make a 18 megapixel full frame "range finder" style i.e. not a single lens relfex - only $7k for the body. Perhaps they are worried of their own skill and are trying to make themselves feel better.

    What you use and is it "worth it" to get the next "upgrade" all depends on your needs, wants, and checkbook - it has little to do with anyone else. The dismal science (economics) has whole books devoted to "decision process and utility".

    2) Canon has in effect arguably 4 "current" senors on the "pro to prosumer" market. The 1dx 18 megapixel "full frame", The 5dIII 22 megapixel, the 5dII 21 megapixel sensor though still be sold though I doubt it is still being manufactured, and the APS-C sized sensor that is now in the 7d, 60d, t4i,T3i. I just checked and the 7d at Adorama is $1,499 for the body only, the 7d is considered a "pro" level body oriented - not exclusive - to the sports world - your camera as the same sensor. Nikon, Sony, Pentax, Sigma (they has something different) all have "full frame" and crop sensors.

    3) I very much like my T3i crop sensor - light weight, fits my hands/shooting style just fine, etc. I did rent the 5dIII for my long weekend in the mountains and it sure is a nice camera, etc, etc, though I can afford it I am not in a mad dash to buy it - the "utility" just isn't there for me... And yes I am a pixel peeper and shot identical shots with both T3i and 5DIII.

    You can take amazing photographs. I worked in a high camera store in the late 70s early 80s, and dare I say 3/4 of my entire gadget bag is inside the T3i. All the optics are better now vs. then. The creative possibilities are 10x what they once were.

    I look to photo like my golf game... I do it for fun, yes there are people who do it for money and do it "better" and I truly enjoy to watch the master at their art, I still do it just for fun.
    Last edited by Busted Knuckles; 09-03-2012 at 12:17 PM.
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