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 Post subject: Plz plz help me!
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 11:36 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2011 1:39 pm
Posts: 63
Hi there! Going down to the Kruger in December and i was just wondering i have a real prob with my photos (stil very new with a camera) what settings do i use to take photos at dusk dawn and night drives when only a flash light is there for our use. My photos come out blurred or the flash takes for ever and itjust makes a clicking sound and doenst take photos. I have a canon 550 i think.


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 Post subject: Re: Plz plz help me!
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 11:57 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2005 9:02 pm
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Location: mind in SA, body in The Netherlands
cranck the ISO for starters
400

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 Post subject: Re: Plz plz help me!
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 1:31 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2010 9:51 am
Posts: 29
it is important to know what camera you have so that you can receive proper advice. It may be practical to leave your setting on AUTO till you master the camera.


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 Post subject: Re: Plz plz help me!
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 2:00 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:30 pm
Posts: 97
Location: A grey UK ! Longing to be in SA !
Following-up on Yusef's comment...

To give you best advice with the limited input, advise your camera model; is it the 550D?

Will you be using the onboard pop-up flash, or an external Speedlight flash, and if so, what model?

For your dusk & dawn shots; do you want images of the sunrise/sunset, or images of animals/objects at dusk/dawn?

Lee


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 Post subject: Re: Plz plz help me!
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 3:51 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2011 1:39 pm
Posts: 63
Hi there! I check I have a canon 500D with the pop up flash. Its a bit of both. I'm using the auto setting but it doesn't work for the low or no light situation. Its mostly those early lions or those hyenas at the fence at night. My photos blur or I just get animal eyes in my photos. Same with sunrise an sunset it just doesn't work. What it does is the flash kinda of makes a lighting sound it does this bout six times it then says busy on the display screens. It then takes the photos but it blurs terribly.


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 Post subject: Re: Plz plz help me!
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 6:28 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2012 5:10 pm
Posts: 6
Location: Pietermaritzburg
Leo, in all honesty, you have asked a question which every single wildlife photographer has battled with when starting out. To answer it correctly will take pages and pages, but I will try and help you as best I can. The very first thing you need, before considering any camera settings, is a good support for your camera. In wildlife photography, from a vehicle, there simply isn't a better solution than a beanbag. Without sounding condescending, do you know what a beanbag is? The reason I ask, is that it is the single most significant factor which made those soft, low light photos become sharper for me.

Then finally, what lens do you have attached to your 500D? It has been mentioned above that you must push ISO up, which is correct, and with a 500D, you really don't want to go much above 400, however when on auto mode, you have less control over the camera settings itself which is not ideal. Av and Tv modes will help you a lot, but you need to understand what these are, and trust me, it is not difficult, I am just trying to get a feel for your knowledge. Exposure compensation might seem like a confusing term, but when understanding how a camera absorbs light, it really isn't that difficult.

Finally, and again, without sounding condescending, I am sure you have seen a photo file many times and it is seen in windows explorer as .jpg .... If I mention the file format RAW, is that a familiar file format for you?

If you answer the few questions above, I will do the best I can to help you, but please be aware, I am an enthusiastic hobbyist and by no means a professional.


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 Post subject: Re: Plz plz help me!
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 7:24 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2011 1:39 pm
Posts: 63
Hi drew.


Well my Knowlege isnt that great i only shoot with auto because im not sure what the other settings are im very very new and have not really played around with these...

A beanbag? No idea what that is :hmz:


The lense i have attatched is ultasound 75-300mm.


JpG im very familiar with raw not so much :wall: :whistle:

Im still very very inexperienced when it comes to all these tech terms but thats why i wanna take it to the next
level and beter my photos :thumbs_up:


Thank u for trying to help :think:


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 Post subject: Re: Plz plz help me!
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 9:07 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2012 5:10 pm
Posts: 6
Location: Pietermaritzburg
Ok Leo, let me see what I can do to help...

First off, your lens has a great range of reach, and the zoom is very versatile, so no problem there.

Av setting will set the "aperture value" hence the acronym "AV' on the dial. In laymen's terms, what this means, is the amount of light that the camera receives via the lens. This is known as an "f-stop" in it's most simplest form, if you turn the dial to Av, you then have control over the Aperture value, as well as ISO and exposure compensation. When on "Av" setting, and you turn the other control dial near the shutter button, you are controlling the cameras ability to absorb light. You will see the number change from 4.5 at it's lowest (I think, as this is based on your lens) to right up to 22.0. There is a direct correlation to this setting, and the speed at which your camera exposes (opens the shutter up, and takes a picture) At a figure of 4.5, your shutter will be open for a vastly shorter period than at 16.0 or 22.0 for example. So if you want a faster picture, delivering a sharper image, you want to go as close to 4.5 as you can.... I hope you are still with me... Also, the Av setting will allow you to control your "depth of field" This means that the same subject, at the same distance, with different Av setting will produce a remarkably different result, especially if you are very close to your subject. With a low Av value, such as 4.5, your foreground and background will be blurred, and you will have a faster shutter speed. With f16.0 for example, your depth of field will be deeper, and a lot more of your foreground and background will be in focus, but due to the increased shutter time, you will need that beanbag, as the camera takes a lot longer to open the shutter (this relates to your dawn and dusk question earlier), read and interpret the signal, before closing the shutter, and ultimately producing a photo. This time lapse is simply not possible when you hold your camera by hand, and needs a solid, completely immobile support.

There was mention made of ISO. If you are at f8.0 while in Av mode, and your ISO setting (this is a metering or scale of light) is at 100 you will see a certain number through your viewfinder which will be 1/xxx the "xxx" is the speed of the shutter. So let's say for example, because the numbers all depend on the available light, that you are seeing 1/60 while shooting on Av at f8.0 and having an ISO setting of 100. You are controlling the depth of field via your Av setting set at f8.0 and have an ISO setting of 100, but you are only achieving a shutter speed of 1/60 (this is desperately slow) You have two options to increase the shutter speed and get a sharper image. One is to change the Av value to a lower figure, such a 5.6, or increase the ISO setting to 400. Both will increase the shutter speed, but they will yield very different results. I do not want to bombard you with a whole bunch of jargon, so I suggest you find the time now, to play with the Av setting, as well as ISO. Take pictures, download them, view them and understand them as far as the changes in ISO and aperture go, and then I will give you a bit more info.

In a nutshell, and something to be aware of while you are playing. Higher ISO number means shutter speed which means a sharper photo. The lower the Av value, the faster the shutter speed will be, but the shallower the depth of field, so if you wish to take a landscape type shot, you would opt for a setting along the lines of f16.0 to f22.0 but you will HAVE to use a beanbag, as the shutter speed will be dismal. At f4.5, in dual and dawn light, the shutter speed may not be much different to f16.0 in midday light. This is because f16 is a pin hole of an aperture, but in midday, the light is bright, so the camera absorbs a lot of that and transfers it through the lens to the body. In afternoon dusk light, you will need that aperture wide open (f4.5) to absorb the same amount of light to generate the same shutter speed....

Are you lost, or has the above made sense? The best way to learn is to fiddle, but understand while fiddling. If you are still completely lost, send me a PM and I will be happy to call you.


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 Post subject: Re: Plz plz help me!
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:07 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2011 1:39 pm
Posts: 63
Thank drew. I wil play around with the camera and them take it from there. Can u also use the av setting as a genrsl all day setting or is this just for dusk and dawn?


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 Post subject: Re: Plz plz help me!
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 11:15 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:30 pm
Posts: 97
Location: A grey UK ! Longing to be in SA !
leo21; As Drew has demonstrated, there's a great deal more to answering your questions than time & space really allows on here...

There is a fundamental starting point in photography, which is 'understanding exposure' and the relationship between the three elements that combine to generate a balanced exposure; Aperture, Shutter-speed & ISO setting.

There is a very good book by Bryan Peterson called 'Understanding Exposure' You can find it on Amazon easily. here is the link to the Amazon USA page for that book...

http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Exposure-3rd-Edition-Photographs/dp/0817439390/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1351847292&sr=8-1&keywords=bryan+peterson+understanding+exposure



I highly recommend that you get the book, and have a good read of it. It will help you immensely in understanding how the camera works for different settings and light conditions.

The other thing you need to be aware of is that the on-board flash has a very limited range; it is not powerful enough to light up a subject more than about 10-12 meters at ISO100, more at higher ISO settings; but if you want a good light-up you need to be quite close... Your user-manual will tell you what the ranges are.

Hope that helps;

Lee


Last edited by saraf on Fri Nov 02, 2012 6:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Plz plz help me!
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 8:52 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2009 10:27 pm
Posts: 137
Hi -Lots of good advice above

In my opinion get used to using Av mode - works well when you know what can be achieved - also learn how to increase the exposure using the camera controls.

Rather than try and answer all here this why don't you try the web site www.mikeatkinson.net He has some Tutorials on exactly this subject - makes it really easy to understand. (BTW - you can copy the articles and paste them into a Word document and keep for repeated reading - till it is second nature)

The camera and lens you have takes really good pics so get to know it well - and how to make the necessary changes WITHOUT having to move it from your eye.

Good luck and enjoy.

KR

KC


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