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Old 2011-12-28, 17:21   Link #561
RRW
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thanks for explaining, i guess Higher ISO is good for dark situation (as long it have low noise)

My top priority is still NEX 3 since it good for all round everyday situation (night, sport, environment, etc) without dealing with large body and complication of DSLR. i am not really ready to invest better lens so i suspect 2 standard lens is good enough

probably wont change my mind for now (unleash something better come out)

anyway any general photography tips. i probably practice first with my old Samsung PL150 before buying NEX (which maybe 2-3 month time since i have other problem for now)
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Old 2011-12-28, 21:40   Link #562
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I have a few rather obvious ones although I'm only an armature myself so take them with a pinch of salt.

Buy a tripod because you WILL need it at some point.

Be prepared for disappointment because at the start its very easy to let all those nice "sample shots" fool you into high expectations only to discover you skill level isn't high enough to take shots of the same caliber but don't dismay just stick with it.

Take lots of shots because while they may look good on the rear LCD screen it can be a different story when you actually upload them to your PC.

Get acquainted with photoshop (or similar) as your gonna need it.

Also for what its worth the vast majority of the shots I've posted where taken with Canon's stock 18-55 mm kit lens that they include with most of of there DSLR packages.
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Old 2011-12-29, 03:21   Link #563
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what type of tripos we talking here. gorilla or normal one
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Old 2011-12-29, 12:29   Link #564
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
Read about aperture and focal length on Wikipedia, and see if you can find any websites that simulate the effect of changing either. I know there's one for aperture that illustrates the point quite nicely.
This is the best article I've found online that explains the "photographic triangle" succintly:
Basic Photo Tips — Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO

Quote:
Originally Posted by RRW View Post
what type of tripos we talking here. gorilla or normal one
Since you said you are a beginner, I'd strongly suggest starting with a fairly basic tripod. Weight is definitely an issue and are typically used by professional photographers who need to take high-speed pictures that require a very steady hand.

And you can take pretty good low-light pictures even without a monster tripod (and on "low" ISO). For example:



Kilimanjaro, Baranco Camp, 3900m [Aug 5, 2011 (Fri)]
Starry night over a tranquil sea of clouds. If you squint, you can just about see the Milky Way.
(60sec exposure at F1.8; ISO100; using the Olympus XZ1).

And the tripod I used for that above pic? The very gorillapod you mentioned. Lightweight and handy in the most rugged of terrain,
it was just the tripod I needed for the kind of trip I was taking.

As for PhotoShop, I would say that it's not really as essential as some might make it out to be. Photographers were plying their trade long before such digital wizardry was available, and I find it's better to learn the basics of taking a good picture first, rather than rely on post-editing to "correct" a picture. The only "editing" I did for the above photo was cropping and alignment. I did not change anything else like colours, brightness and contrast.
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Old 2011-12-30, 23:26   Link #565
Ledgem
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I'll play off of Drake's advice, countering some and expanding on others.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
I have a few rather obvious ones although I'm only an armature myself so take them with a pinch of salt.

Buy a tripod because you WILL need it at some point.
I have mixed feelings about this. For certain types of photography, such as the beautiful night sky that TinyRedLeaf posted, or if you want to capture things like star trails, then you'll need a tripod. There are other types of shooting that lend themselves to tripods, too, but they're fairly rare.

Tripods also have a few negative points. First and foremost, they're something extra to carry, they're a bit cumbersome to use, and they slow you down. Most people probably won't use them for those reasons alone - they're not as convenient as shooting hand-held. The second negative is that good quality tripods are expensive. I went with a cheap $20 eBay tripod, and while it's decent for night sky shots, it's terrible for anything else... particularly heavier lenses. If I want a proper tripod, I'm looking into spending hundreds of dollars. I have a use for one (telephoto shooting with a heavy setup), but opted instead for a monopod. I went with a higher-quality one, but it's still cheaper, it's more convenient to use, and it's OK for my purposes.

Long story short, a tripod is essential for certain types of photography, but I wouldn't say that it's essential for everyone to have one. If you want to try one out, go ahead and start out with a crappy eBay tripod, but know that you're likely going to need one of the more expensive ones if your shooting styles rely heavily on it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Be prepared for disappointment because at the start its very easy to let all those nice "sample shots" fool you into high expectations only to discover you skill level isn't high enough to take shots of the same caliber but don't dismay just stick with it.
Good advice. There are a lot of things that go into a good photo, and understanding how to operate the camera to gain the optimal capture is only one small part of it. Angle, framing, timing, and just plain luck factor into many shots, too. I'd suggest looking at the works of others and "studying" them. I learned quite a bit by looking over enough works to discover patterns between various impressive photos, and thus understood what made those photos appealing. Then you can go forth and try to put it into practice.

I'm also reminded of something I learned while taking a Chinese calligraphy course. My teacher remarked that there are three stages in calligraphy. In the first stage, you are impressed by everything that you create, and feel that everything is a masterpiece. In the second stage, you recognize the flaws in your work for what they are, and you feel that nothing you produce is any good. (The second stage is when you become open to learning.) In the third stage, you improve and gain a sort of balance between appreciation for the strengths in your work while also recognizing the improvement that still lies ahead. I experienced something similar in my photography - you might, too. As Drake said, don't get discouraged.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Take lots of shots because while they may look good on the rear LCD screen it can be a different story when you actually upload them to your PC.
This sounds like advocating the spray and pray method of photography! I also say you should take lots of shots, but for a different reason: it's how you learn. The wonderful thing about digital is that you can take thousands of shots, and you don't have to pay to get them developed, nor do you have to wait to see the result. So take the tons of shots, experiment with settings and various things, and see how they come out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Get acquainted with photoshop (or similar) as your gonna need it.
At the beginner level, I'm not sure that this is necessary. Eventually you'll probably want to use Photoshop, Lightroom, or Aperture to touch up your photos and make them pop, but the truth is that Photoshop won't make a photo any more appealing if its basic elements are mediocre. Work on the fundamentals and master things within the camera, and then go on to post-processing.

Post-processing is certainly useful, though... for example, take a look at this photo of mine:


Under a Pale Orange Sky by Velocity of Sound, on Flickr

Nearly perfect lighting and time of day, right? If you saw the shot straight from the camera, you'd see that I botched the exposure (foreground was dark compared to background), and the sky was totally ruined (gray and uninteresting). I just did some brushwork in Aperture to tint the sky and background, while lightening the foreground. It saved what would have otherwise been a total garbage shot and made it rather appealing. It's not an accurate representation of reality, but that's OK - photography is my way of making art, so bending reality here and there is all right
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Old 2011-12-31, 11:05   Link #566
Drake
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Regarding tri-pods I myself use a hama full size tri-pod, its cheap and nasty but it does the job.

Aside from that I have a DSLR Gorilla pod which it very useful for getting stable shots of those awkward low angles (especially useful for macro).

In my honest opinion most types of photography benefit from the use of a tripod but as mentioned you don't exactly "need" one but in the end its better to have one and not need it than need one and not have it.

Speaking of macro heres a shot I took last night with a 60-mm USM macro lens.

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Old 2011-12-31, 15:08   Link #567
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
In my honest opinion most types of photography benefit from the use of a tripod but as mentioned you don't exactly "need" one but in the end its better to have one and not need it than need one and not have it.
You're absolutely right. As good as high ISO and image stabilization are, the ultimate image quality is achieved most easily and consistently when the camera is rock-solid and on a tripod. I think of a tripod as a more advanced accessory, though. It's not so much that it's difficult to use, but rather that it requires a bit more patience and foresight than just taking shots hand-held.

Very nice clock macro, by the way! I generally do insect macro photography, but mechanical macros have always seemed appealing. They're just so clean and orderly.
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Old 2012-01-01, 18:42   Link #568
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Thanks, I'd like to take some insect macro shots but we don't really have much interesting insect life here much less at this time of year.

Here is another this time under natural lighting conditions as opposed to the artificially lit one above.

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Old 2012-01-01, 19:04   Link #569
Ledgem
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Very impressive, Drake. The way you set that shot up looks like a professional product placement photo.

The nice thing about insect macros is that you don't really need to find an interesting insect. When you're that close, all insects become interesting. Even if it's a bug you see every day, it looks so different when it's up close.

I also find that lighting can bring out some interesting details on insects. Here are two examples.

This small fly appears to be a bluish color when in sunlight, but otherwise looks fairly plain. When illuminated by a flash and viewed up close, its legs appear to be a sort of golden color:


Form with Function by Velocity of Sound, on Flickr

Then there's my favorite example. The following photo is a stinkbug (brown marmorated stinkbug). This is an invasive species that was introduced to the USA about 13 years ago, apparently, and is originally from China. If you've ever seen one (or if you look at a regular photo of one), it looks rather bland. It's a plain brown color, with no particular colors. However, up close and under the flash, take a look:


The Unsung Prince by Velocity of Sound, on Flickr

Aside from looking a bit lighter and bearing brown speckles, there are tiny red and green iridescent "spots" along the main body. It's almost as if it's encrusted in jewels. Who would have thought that an insect that looks so plain to the eye actually has such beautiful features?

The joys of insect macro photography!
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Old 2012-02-28, 22:08   Link #570
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I didn't take it, but thought I'd share it with you since its fair.. Dawww... (and we don't really have a general picture thread that I can see)

Spoiler for size:
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Old 2012-02-28, 23:23   Link #571
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Thought I'd add to this.

This is from a shoot I did on Sunday.


Kristie California by ericcmakk, on Flickr

edit:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post

Take lots of shots because while they may look good on the rear LCD screen it can be a different story when you actually upload them to your PC.

Get acquainted with photoshop (or similar) as your gonna need it.
I sort of disagree with taking a lot of shots. I mean even though the camera world has gotten to the level of digital sensors and what not, I honestly feel that even though you have the ability to just spray and pray.. it's not really a good method. It lessens the importance or value of each photo, imo. When I was shooting film I treasured every frame I had, so when I switched over to digital, I carried the same values with me. That way each photo I take has a reason behind it. (Most of the time at least when I'm out on a shoot.)

And yes. I totally agree that photographers need to be acquainted with Photoshop. You're completely letting yourself fall behind. Nowadays images SOOC (straight out of camera.) just aren't good enough anymore. (Mostly.)
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Last edited by xAdversus; 2012-02-28 at 23:35.
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Old 2012-02-29, 00:09   Link #572
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I was thinking of getting a lomo LCA but I changed my mine so I'm getting an SLR Camera soon, is the Canon EOS Rebel T3i 18-55mm any good?
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Old 2012-02-29, 00:27   Link #573
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Originally Posted by CaptnAwesomee View Post
I was thinking of getting a lomo LCA but I changed my mine so I'm getting an SLR Camera soon, is the Canon EOS Rebel T3i 18-55mm any good?
get a 50mm 1.8 and you're set.
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Old 2012-02-29, 12:11   Link #574
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10 Great Masters of Tilt-Shift Photography

Endless "It's only a model" Soul
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Old 2012-03-02, 20:13   Link #575
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptnAwesomee View Post
I was thinking of getting a lomo LCA but I changed my mine so I'm getting an SLR Camera soon, is the Canon EOS Rebel T3i 18-55mm any good?
Quote:
Originally Posted by xAdversus View Post
get a 50mm 1.8 and you're set.
I got the EOS T3i! Its really fun to use! I have a question how do I take really good night time shots (like stars and night sky?) I'm using the kit 18-55mm lenses.
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Old 2012-03-04, 02:25   Link #576
xAdversus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptnAwesomee View Post
I got the EOS T3i! Its really fun to use! I have a question how do I take really good night time shots (like stars and night sky?) I'm using the kit 18-55mm lenses.
Yeah T3i is pretty fun. Good nighttime shots require long exposures. You set the camera to bulb and you shoot wide open. In this case you'll have to shoot at f3.5.

Get a tripod, mount the camera, frame the picture, and snap. Usually 30 seconds is good. But I like taking multiple 10 second exposure shots and then layering them together in photoshop.
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Old 2012-03-04, 05:00   Link #577
Afternoon Tea
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xAdversus View Post
Yeah T3i is pretty fun. Good nighttime shots require long exposures. You set the camera to bulb and you shoot wide open. In this case you'll have to shoot at f3.5.

Get a tripod, mount the camera, frame the picture, and snap. Usually 30 seconds is good. But I like taking multiple 10 second exposure shots and then layering them together in photoshop.
I'm going to have to look up how to do that, I'm still a novice at this stuff, but should set it too night portrait?
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Old 2012-03-04, 10:40   Link #578
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
This is the best article I've found online that explains the "photographic triangle" succintly:
Basic Photo Tips Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO
This is gorgeous! I love this!
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Old 2012-03-04, 18:15   Link #579
Drake
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Some shots I took today since the weather was nice for a change.





Spoiler for A couple more recent random shots:


Also I'm disappointed nobody guessed what my previous photo was of =<
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Old 2012-03-08, 12:52   Link #580
xAdversus
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I'm going to have to look up how to do that, I'm still a novice at this stuff, but should set it too night portrait?
No. Full blown manual.
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