"Developing" your Photos - Digitally

Discussions on Equipment, Locations and Tips for getting the photograps you want of Vermont scenes.Note: You must be registered in order to post. If you have trouble registering, use the contact us form on Scenes of Vermont's home page.

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pwt54
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Postby pwt54 » Thu Oct 30, 2008 5:56 pm

Abby explained it better than I did. I'm having fun with my G-9 and I hope to use the raw format as soon as I get the software to handle it. I stiil use my panasonic for some shots. I've had some luck using the program mode and exposure setting to produce better foliage shots. What i need is more time off to practice.


Andy
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Postby Andy » Thu Oct 30, 2008 9:49 pm

Phil: a week ago, I was out shooting with my P&S Nikon Coolpix, using RAW and got a Painful reminder of EXACTLY what you are talking about. NOW I clearly understand :lol:
Andy

If it sounds too good to be true, its probably . . . .

pwt54
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Postby pwt54 » Fri Oct 31, 2008 10:39 am

Another thing I do is to turn off the Review Option when it looks like speed is needed. If I had the review option on in the Pleasant Valley photo I would have missed it. I was able to take 2 shots of the farm before the sunlight was gone.

autzig
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Postby autzig » Sat Nov 01, 2008 9:13 am

This is painful to read. I can't imagine how frustrated I would be if I missed a shot because I had to wait for the camera to writer to a card.

The photographer should be controlling the camera not the other way around. I'd encourage everyone to get an SLR. You can find good used ones fairly inexpensively. That and the full version of Photoshop makes photography a real turn on.

abby
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Postby abby » Sun Nov 02, 2008 8:17 pm

autzig wrote:This is painful to read. I can't imagine how frustrated I would be if I missed a shot because I had to wait for the camera to writer to a card.

The photographer should be controlling the camera not the other way around. I'd encourage everyone to get an SLR. You can find good used ones fairly inexpensively. That and the full version of Photoshop makes photography a real turn on.


Hi Al,
It's funny you should say that........
I am so ready to upgrade to a DSLR. I tried several out at Ritz Camera just the other day, and I couldn't keep the smile off my face. I am soooooo ready to take the plunge and I am so excited to get my new DSLR. I am putting it on my Christmas wish list so hopefully next month I will have one. :wink:

Carol

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Postby autzig » Sun Nov 02, 2008 9:06 pm

Carol, before you decide which camera to put on your Christmas list, make sure it has everything you need and want. I don't really keep up on the differences in features from camera to camera but here are some things to keep in mind. Your new camera absolutely must be able to display a histogram for each shot. The histogram will show you graphically whether your whites are blown out or your blacks have unrecoverable data. You need a decent size LCD screen on it. I think most of the new ones now do but on my old 10D, it is tiny, barely adequate. Noise should be supressed at high ISO levels. If you shoot slow shutter speed stuff you want a low ISO setting. In my film days, I would shoot waterfalls using Kodachrome 25. I wish my Canon 40D has an ISO setting less than 100.

Next, consider the lens. Most of the Canon and Nikon cameras come with satisfactory kit lenses but, expensive lenses are expensive for a reason. When I bought my first "L" glass from Canon (17-40) I couldn't believe the difference. I was so impressed that I sold all my old lenses and bought "L" lenses. In addition to the 17-40 I have the 24-70, 70-200 and the 180mm macro and 400 telephoto. I took me a long time to get this collection but it is worth every penny. The 17-40 and 70 - 200 cost between $500 and $700. So, consider buying the body only without the kit lens and buy the best lens you can afford.

Accessories. There are two indispensable accessories in my view. First, you absolutely have to get a hot shoe mounted bubble level. I've seen lots of otherwise excellent photos with slanted horizons. If they aren't straight when you make the exposure, you have to straighten them in Photoshop and that may cause you to have to remove important parts of the shot. You also need a shutter release cable. I use a tripod for about 99% of my photos. I don't want to risk camera shake because I have my hand on the camera.

If you don't have a tripod, you must get a reasonably good one. You don't have to pay the big bucks for a Gitzo. I have a Manfrotto and I'm very happy with it. I also recommend a Swiss Arca stype ball head and an L bracket that lets you switch from landscape to portrait without having to recompose the shot. My is from Kirk but Really Right Stuff has good ones too.

The trouble with photography is that it isn't cheap but maybe Santa Claus thinks you've been a really good girl this year. : )

pwt54
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Postby pwt54 » Mon Nov 03, 2008 11:43 am

When you go into the DSLR world, don't skimp on the price. It's like buying a corvette with a v-6 engine. Don't buy the base model of camera. Jump up a couple of models above the base. A tipod is a must. Don't count on image stabilizers too much. In fact when I use the tripod, I turn the stabilizer off. I also use the timer to take the shot. You may want to switch to de-cafe coffee. :D

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Postby Andy » Mon Nov 03, 2008 3:58 pm

Carol and I have spoken about the model(s) she is currently looking at. She is definitely not looking at the bargain basement models. Most of the newer mid-level bodies from Ford and Chevy are such a vast improvement we old-timers would hardly recognize them. The LCDs are much higher. They all have histograms. Importantly, the sensor technology has improved incredibly. So much so that I am going to have to start thinking about how I can "justify" a D300 purchase. The main improvement will be the newer model's ability to resolve low-light with almost no noise up to at least 800 iso. I believe the D300 has a 50 iso setting, also. I don't pay a lot of attention to the "other" manufacturer, but I have to believe that are as good--if not better. We have also discussed lenses. Al's advice here is good. Before digital, the lens was definitely the main factor in image quality. It is still A main factor, with the digital sensors now being perhaps equally important.

I have "harped" on this many times. USE A TRIPOD. I couldn't agree with Al more here. The only time I do not use a tripod is when there is some reason that I cannot. And, as Al says, IF you are going to the trouble to use a Tripod, use a cable or electronic remote release. What is the point of "bracing" the camera with a tripod and then introducing your shaky hands to the shutter?

I also agree with Al that perhaps the most useful accessory I have besides the tripod and release, is an L-bracket.

$1000-2000 for a body. Up to $1000 for a lens (more for several). L bracket $150-300. Tripod, about $300. Cable release $75-100. I have "minimum" equipment - one body, 4 lenses, flash, etc. My Inland Marine Insurance rider lists their replacement cost at North of $5000. Not for the faint hearted!!
Andy

If it sounds too good to be true, its probably . . . .

abby
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Postby abby » Mon Nov 03, 2008 8:06 pm

Andy,
So I should tell my husband:

Camera: $1300.00
Tripod: $300.00
Lens: $600.00
Look of happiness on my face: Priceless :wink:

By the way, you KNOW how much I dislike using a tripod...........I will really have no choice once I get my new camera. All I have to do now is get a photographers vest and I can join the "dork club". LOL Just teasing you!!!!

Carol

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Postby abby » Mon Nov 03, 2008 8:12 pm

Al,
Thank you so very much for your response. You made some wonderful points and I really appreciate all of your thoughts and advice. I have to research cable release and L bracket. I use the self timer on my current camera and my current tripod. Looks like things will be changing a lot for me!

Much appreciated as always,
Carol

abby
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Postby abby » Mon Nov 03, 2008 8:20 pm

pwt54 wrote:When you go into the DSLR world, don't skimp on the price. It's like buying a corvette with a v-6 engine. Don't buy the base model of camera. Jump up a couple of models above the base. A tipod is a must. Don't count on image stabilizers too much. In fact when I use the tripod, I turn the stabilizer off. I also use the timer to take the shot. You may want to switch to de-cafe coffee. :D


PWT,
You may be surprised to read this, but I don't have any caffeine at all in my diet!!!! I drink water and decaf tea and occasionally decaf coffee.

You are too funny..........actually it's CT that needs to switch to decaf more than me. The only reason why I was running (literally :) ) all over the place at the reunion is because I knew time was a factor and I didn't want to miss out on any photo ops. :wink:
Carol

autzig
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Postby autzig » Mon Nov 03, 2008 10:12 pm

abby wrote:Al,
Thank you so very much for your response. You made some wonderful points and I really appreciate all of your thoughts and advice. I have to research cable release and L bracket. I use the self timer on my current camera and my current tripod. Looks like things will be changing a lot for me!
Carol


The problem with using the self-timer is that your frame rate is, at best, one shot per ten seconds. With a cable release you can get ten shots per second so you don't miss anything. Of course you need the 1D to get that rate. My 40D will only do 6.5 frames per second.

abby
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Postby abby » Tue Nov 04, 2008 7:20 pm

autzig wrote:
abby wrote:Al,
Thank you so very much for your response. You made some wonderful points and I really appreciate all of your thoughts and advice. I have to research cable release and L bracket. I use the self timer on my current camera and my current tripod. Looks like things will be changing a lot for me!
Carol


The problem with using the self-timer is that your frame rate is, at best, one shot per ten seconds. With a cable release you can get ten shots per second so you don't miss anything. Of course you need the 1D to get that rate. My 40D will only do 6.5 frames per second.


Al,
Very good point. I am starting to freak out.....just a little bit........because we certainly don't have a money tree out in the backyard. :) I won't get a new tripod right away. My husband will have a heart attack if I ask for anything else besides the camera. He's okay with the camera, but I'm afraid anything more might push him over the edge. :shock: I'll be able to get my own tripod shortly after I get the camera. (Hopefully he won't be home when UPS pulls up in front of the house with it. )

Thanks again,
Carol :D

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Postby Andy » Wed Nov 05, 2008 10:19 pm

Another problem with the self-timer is that you are beholden to the timer on the camera. Sometimes you want to trip the shutter at a particular moment (e.g., when the wind dies down) and having to deal with the self timer doesn't always fit that.
Andy

If it sounds too good to be true, its probably . . . .

autzig
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Postby autzig » Thu Nov 06, 2008 3:36 pm

Andy wrote:Another problem with the self-timer is that you are beholden to the timer on the camera. Sometimes you want to trip the shutter at a particular moment (e.g., when the wind dies down) and having to deal with the self timer doesn't always fit that.


Andy, between the two of us, I think our arguments for a cable release fall into the "slam dunk" category.

Al



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