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 Post subject: New to SLR photography
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:05 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 25, 2010 12:53 pm
Posts: 23
hey guys i recently went on my first trip to the kruger and was given my dads old canon eos 20D slr, this was my first experience using an SLR camera and lets just say it wasnt very smooth sailing! haha, especially in the low light conditions of early morning & late afternoon!! (photos of my cheetah blurred to the max, lucky my girlfriend had her trusty sony cybershot)

anyway here are some of my footage, maybe you guys can comment and any pointers would be appreciated!! :dance:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/52763525@N ... 533040791/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

http://www.flickr.com/photos/52763525@N ... 533040791/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I was struggling with the lion in the early morning!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/52763525@N ... 533040791/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

http://www.flickr.com/photos/52763525@N ... 533040791/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

probably my favourite:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/52763525@N ... 533040791/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
PHOTOSHOP (not sure if it looks better or fake..lol)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/52763525@N06/4944893458/

Here i was struglling to get a decent picture of a cheetah which was about 2 metres from the car!! :evil:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/52763525@N ... 533040791/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Now i have been doing some research and i read an article in a photography magazine that said:

I should set the ISO to 400/800 and set the camera to aperture priority and set the aperture to its maximum(not sure about the terms for aperture cuz maximum is the lowest number and vica versa - quite confusing)
-does that sound right?
- i was really just struggling with shots in low light conditions, pictures during the day came out ok but some were quite blurry but not to the extent as you can see in the cheetah pic.

It was not possible to determine the dimensions of the images so i could not post the actual pics in the post. SOrry about that!!

neways guys appreciate any advice you have for me! i am keen to learn and take some stunning pictures!! :thumbs_up:


Last edited by craigf86 on Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: New to SLR photography
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:21 pm 
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Honorary Virtual Ranger
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Location: Red sand, why do I keep thinking of red sand?
Upload the photos to Flickr in 800x533 format, then you can use them here.
I"ve created a tutorial for Flickr explaining it all. ;)

But let me start off with this photo:
Image

Where are the poor guys legs? I think it would be quite a bit happier running around with 4 legs and feet?

As for the settings, that article was quite... Well...

ISO should be on 100. Only in low light situations do you go higher, so you get faster shuttertimes. Always aim for shuttertimes of 1/125 or faster. If you want to be totally sure your photos will be sharp the rule of thumb is that you need a shuttertime of 1/<focal length of the lens>. And don't forget the cropfactor in that case, so on your camera 1/<focal length of the lens> times 1.6.

Aperture... Keeps confusing people, until they write it the right way. Is f2 larger than f4? Yep, it's even double it!
Write it as it should be written: f/2, f/4, f/5.6 and so on. It's a division, not a whole number! And suddenly it becomes easy. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: New to SLR photography
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:30 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 25, 2010 12:53 pm
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haha yeah his legs!...haha!!

neways thanx for the link and for the criticism!

ok so generally during the day i should have the iso set to 100 and in low light conditions (push it up to 400 or higher if need be)

and then set the priority to aperture or shutterspeed??

will it be the ability to control shutterspeed that will get me decent photos?
I assume that setting the camera to shutterspeed priority enables the camera to adjust the aperture automatically to match the iso and shutter speed?

so my default setting is gonna be ISO 100 and Tv (shutterspeed priority - to 1.6 times the focal length of the camera?)

just trying your flickr guide:
Image


Last edited by craigf86 on Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: New to SLR photography
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:39 pm 
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Honorary Virtual Ranger
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Location: Red sand, why do I keep thinking of red sand?
On a 20D (which I have myself) I'll never set it higher than 400, unless it's the sighting of a lifetime. The photos will just become too grainy.

TV or AV is a personal choice really. But for portraits and lone animals you never want background, but do want control over it. So you set it for AV, and you are the boss over the amount of background.

I wrote something about it not too long ago, maybe in the photography FAQ?

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Feel free to use any of these additional letters to correct the spelling of words found in the above post: a-e-t-n-d-i-o-s-m-l-u-y-h-c


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 Post subject: Re: New to SLR photography
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:42 pm 
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thanx Du......i will go search in the FAQ!

much appreciated and thanx for such a quick response!!

am going to the kruger again in december, so can hopefully put all this to the test and bring home some winners!


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 Post subject: Re: New to SLR photography
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 12:09 pm 
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Hi craigf86,

Some nice shots. Here are my comments;

1. Like DQ said, "where the legs". Always try to take as much of the animal as you can (unless you specifically want to take a head and shoulders portrait), and leave some space for the animal to move into the picture (Rule of thirds will also help in this regard). Remember you can always crop later on the PC but you can't un-crop something taken on the camera.

2. The Giraffe shot is lovely, good lighting. Best times to take photos are early morning and late afternoon, when the sun is lower on the horizon (Funnily this is also the best time to see game, strange how these things just work out). Also don't be scared to take a vertical shot. In this case it would have helped to fill the frame and add more to the story.

3. The Lion, I love the tongue. Everyone has seen a lion, but how many licking his lips. Getting the right shot at the right moment to add more to your photograph. Improvements, depends on what you want? If you want everything frozen in time, including the grass blades, then use your shutter priority and a fast lens (f/2.8, but let the camera worry about that and you worry about the shutter speed). If you want the lion crisp, and the grass blurred, use aperture priority (around f/4 to f/5.6, depending on how strong you are). You want to pan with the lion. This should hopefully blur the grass and give you a decent image of movement from the lion. You may want to consider an external flash to help with the lighting.

4. As with point 2, try to get this shot at a different time. The high mid day sun tends to wash out nature's wonderful colors. If you have no choice, try to increase the contrast later on the PC. You may also want to look at using exposure compensation to darken the image a bit. The foreground objects (blurred branches and leaves) detract a bit from the photo, especially where they cover the buff. Try zooming in a bit or even moving (if possible, wildlife is not the most accommodating model).

5. Not much to say. Good photo. If you want it might help to switch to manual focus so you can prevent the camera from getting confused and focusing on the branches instead of the bird.

That's it for now. My last tip, lots of practice. Especially if you want to start using aperture priority. Don't get caught up on trying to keep the aperture as open as possible (i.e. f/2.8). Try all the different apertures on a stationary target first and try this at different time of the day. You'll fail a few times but as long as you learn from the failures you'll be fine.

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"What makes a simple picture a true photograph, is the infusion of a story, emotions and memories."

31/12 - 01/01 : KNP - Talamati
02/01 - 05/01 : KNP - Satara


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 Post subject: Re: New to SLR photography
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 1:41 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 25, 2010 12:53 pm
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hey bushnuts

thanks for the comments!

will try put everything that you guys have mentioned into practice!!

i dont think i can go as low as f/2.8......the lens i have are:
- f/3.5-5.6: 18-55mm
- f/3.5-6.3: 28-300mm(used this to take most of the pictures)

now wen i set my camera on aperture priority and il set it at 3.5......when i zoom in the aperture value changes by itself....is this normal??the aperture value changes with the focal length?sorry if these are very noobish questions....but on my last camera, slow-syncro flash was about as complicated as it got.

i find when i put the camera on aperture priority it slows the shutter speed and because im not always leaning on something my pictures come out blurred

if i mess around with my camera in my room here and take some pictures with aperture priority on the 28-300 lens, i get shutter speeds of 1/8 and 1/4......

but then again wen i mess around and use shutter speed priority, my pictures come out very dark....

i know in my room is not the best place as there isnt too much natural light, but with all the studying i do....im in there A LOT of the time....so just mess around with the camera a little!


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 Post subject: Re: New to SLR photography
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 1:47 pm 
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Hi craig86,

Zoom lenses function with two different apertures.
f/3.5 when you are at 18mm
and f/5.6 at 55mm

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LIFE IS MADE OF GOOD AND BAD THINGS, I TAKE THE GOOD AND YOU CAN KEEP THE BAD!!!
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 Post subject: Re: New to SLR photography
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 2:00 pm 
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thanx rumruti! :thumbs_up:


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 Post subject: Re: New to SLR photography
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 2:31 pm 
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guys with regards to shooting in the early morning....say 5,6,7 am....there isnt too much light....especially around 5 and 6am.....

what settings would be best for shooting at these times??

if i had to hazard a guess now.....id go:

Aperture Priority - set it as wide as possible (low fstop number?)
ISO - set it higher to allow more light? (around 400?800?......back to 100 in the afrternoon)
and then the camera will adjust the shutter speed automatically....

im going to the kruger in december and dont want to be practicing my settings for the 3 days im there....i wana be taking WOW pictures :dance:

and i think this is the best place to confirm everything before i head out:)


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 Post subject: Re: New to SLR photography
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 11:29 pm 
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craigf86. I'm going to give you a piece of advice which is kinda like cheating. Get out in the early morning, or in lighting conditions similar to those you will be shooting in, set your camera to auto and take a couple of pics (okay, lots). Check whic ones came out the nicest, or acceptable at worst, and have a look at the EXIF data to see what settings the camera's brain used. Quickest way, although not always a hundred percent guaranteed.

When there is not much light and you are planning to take pictures of wild things without much blur, you have two options. One is to use an alternative light source such as an good quality external flash or maybe a spotlight. The other option, put the camera down and enjoy the moment.

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"What makes a simple picture a true photograph, is the infusion of a story, emotions and memories."

31/12 - 01/01 : KNP - Talamati
02/01 - 05/01 : KNP - Satara


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 Post subject: Re: New to SLR photography
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 11:34 pm 
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Experience has taught me that before 6.30 am you either have a great lens, f/2.8, or you just don't have enough light for the darker lenses.

_________________
"You can leave Africa but Africa never leaves you"
LIFE IS MADE OF GOOD AND BAD THINGS, I TAKE THE GOOD AND YOU CAN KEEP THE BAD!!!
Andy Benaglia


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 Post subject: Re: New to SLR photography
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 04, 2010 12:16 am 
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haha thanx guys!!both good comments!!!
:thumbs_up:

enjoy the moment sounds the best! :popcorn:

then decent pictures
:cam:


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 Post subject: Re: New to SLR photography
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 04, 2010 6:48 am 
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i am no expert but the new cameras handle low light much better than before so do not be to worried about using higher ISO if required. Can always download software to help reduce the noise.

Try the following:

1. Play around with EV setting when taking birds or in very difficult light conditions
2. Regarding apertures when you want landscape shot or wider view maybe F14-f20
3. If you cannot get to F2.8 in bad light try adjusting shutter speed - this should only be done with a good support system - tripod , beanpad etc
3. High shutter speed for moving objects - maybe higher than 2000
4. Play with camera / lens combination as you may find best results at F7.1 / f8 rather than F3.5 etc
5. Also when lense is fully extended quality will in most cases unless prime drop off - as estimate 10-15% from max. In other words a zoom lenses that can go to 500 will produce better photos at 450 in alot of cases (gets what they call a bit soft)

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 Post subject: Re: New to SLR photography
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 04, 2010 8:37 am 
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Great thread :thumbs_up:

I am learning a lot here as well. Thanks guys.

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