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Learning to use your Camera

Discuss and share your wildlife photography, filming and equipment
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Josh of the Bushveld
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Re: Learning to use your Camera

Unread post by Josh of the Bushveld » Thu Nov 26, 2009 4:40 pm

Mods, should this thread be moved to the new 'Sanparks Camera Club' section?
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bert
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Re: Learning to use your Camera

Unread post by bert » Thu Nov 26, 2009 4:49 pm

A good question which was expected :wink:
Maybe best to move all tech and learning topics to the camera club
Will get the view from the other moddies.

And what do the forumites think?

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Josh of the Bushveld
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Re: Learning to use your Camera

Unread post by Josh of the Bushveld » Thu Nov 26, 2009 4:51 pm

Will be a tedious process, but I think it should be done. I'll volunteer to go through some old topics and flag those which I think should be moved.
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bert
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Re: Learning to use your Camera

Unread post by bert » Thu Nov 26, 2009 5:05 pm

:thumbs_up:
I will move them then

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Jenniferfaz
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Re: Learning to use your Camera

Unread post by Jenniferfaz » Tue Dec 08, 2009 9:22 am

My Husband and I were in the same boat and had to learn the hard way. We have come a long way since that and can now hopefully help others to enjoy their cameras with a few tricks and tips. Check out this link.

Good luck
Jenniferfaz

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Haplo
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Re: Learning to use your Camera

Unread post by Haplo » Mon Dec 28, 2009 8:09 am

Just to let everyone who is still bothering to check out this thread know that I am still here, and will really try to get back to this in the new year. I hope that you all had a very merry Christmas, and I wish each and every one of you a very prosperous and blessed new year.

Hope that you are all using you camera's overtime over the holiday, and that you are getting great shots!!!

be blessed!
A wise old owl sat on an oak; The more he saw the less he spoke; The less he spoke the more he heard; Why aren't we like that wise old bird?
"Author Unknown"
Do-nv-da-go-hv-i
until we meet again - Cherokee language

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Josh of the Bushveld
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Re: Learning to use your Camera

Unread post by Josh of the Bushveld » Wed Dec 30, 2009 12:31 pm

Good to hear from you again Haplo, hope all is well.
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Micetta
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Re: Learning to use your Camera

Unread post by Micetta » Wed Dec 30, 2009 7:19 pm

Happy New Year to you Hablo and I hope that you will be back.

I am on holiday and shooting away, but I needed your lessons before going :twisted:
There is always another holiday coming up though 8)

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Haplo
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Re: Learning to use your Camera

Unread post by Haplo » Tue Mar 30, 2010 8:28 pm

To everyone who has been so patient, please bear with me a little while longer....
I fully intend to continue this thread - and I invite anyone interested to give me ideas on things you'd like to know about. If I have any information to share then giving the interested parties the ability to ask questions regarding what they would like to learn more about seems like a good idea to me.

I realise now, looking at the posts I have done here, I may be getting too technical for the basic photographer.

Let's here it people, what is it that you really want to know about???

I guess through this thread so far - the basics of the camera have been covered a bit, and there do seem to be other threads all about the workings of the camera.
I will carry on with the "lessons", but also need your help; to be lead to 'teach' what needs to be learned.
Depth of Field can only be stretched so far!!!!
A wise old owl sat on an oak; The more he saw the less he spoke; The less he spoke the more he heard; Why aren't we like that wise old bird?
"Author Unknown"
Do-nv-da-go-hv-i
until we meet again - Cherokee language

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Micetta
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Re: Learning to use your Camera

Unread post by Micetta » Tue Mar 30, 2010 9:14 pm

I realise now, looking at the posts I have done here, I may be getting too technical for the basic photographer.
Yes! :wink:

Now I must go to bed, I'll tell you what I would like to know when you are ready to continue :wink:

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Haplo
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Re: Learning to use your Camera

Unread post by Haplo » Tue Mar 30, 2010 9:22 pm

I think we have to assume that anyone who owns a DSLR camera and has done any effort to figure out how it works and who may be following this thread anyway, really does have a pretty good idea of what all the little dials and bells and whistles do by now – as well as having a basic understanding on what the camera is capable of.
I would like to give a special mention however to one aspect of a decent DSLR camera (like Sony) and that is the EV button (or setting). You may have to look for it though…..

Exposure Valuation – or Exposure Compensation.
This is one setting that you really need to understand on your camera. It is going to give you the most amazing results when used correctly, and the most miserable sense of failure when used incorrectly.

Because there are certain situations where the light meter of your digital camera can be fooled, compensating for this yourself can be very important.

As an example, say you are taking a scene where there is an plenty light around your main subject (for example, at the beach on a sunny day, or surrounded by snow). In this case, using Weighted-Average metering or Multi-Pattern metering, your camera might be 'deceived' by the abundance of light and expose for it by closing down the aperture and/or using a faster shutter speed (assuming ISO is constant), with the result that the main subject is under-exposed.
By dialling in a positive exposure compensation, you are making sure that your main subject is correctly exposed -- though the surroundings would be overexposed.

Another example would be going the other extreme where the surrounding is too dark, and the camera exposes for the lack of light by either opening up the aperture and/or using a slower shutter speed (assuming ISO is constant), then the main subject is over-exposed. By dialling in a negative exposure compensation, you would in fact be under-exposing the surroundings, but properly exposing the main subject.

This means that you can adjust the exposure measured by the light meter by telling the camera to allow more light in (+ exposure compensation) or to allow less light in (- exposure compensation).

Technically, you could take note of the exposure measured by the light meter, and then switch to Manual mode and adjust it manually yourself.

Depending on how your digital camera deals with exposure compensation (and the shooting mode used), it may adjust the aperture while maintaining the shutter speed constant; it may adjust the shutter speed while maintaining the aperture constant; or, it may adjust both the aperture and shutter speed. How the camera does this varies, but usually does it as follows:
The camera first adjusts the aperture while maintaining the shutter speed constant; when it can't adjust the aperture anymore, it then adjusts the shutter speed.

The EV of your photo’s has everything to do with the way the camera handles the amount of measured light it sees – and you can manipulate that as you choose with the EV
Now, I know I have said that the sensitivity of the sensor is usually related to ISO setting, and it is, but the EV goes one step further, and as you have heard, adjusts the other variables. Your camera has more of a hard time doing this when you shoot in Aperture priority mode, as it can’t manipulate one of the variables – Aperture.

EV is balanced at 0 for normal shots, but can be manually set to a + value or a – value.
Most reasonable priced camera’s will have settings between -2 and +2 on the EV. Usually in 0.25 (1/3) increments.

This means you can underexpose (-) or over expose (+) your shots using this function – you can lighten or darken a shot using only this feature. Takes away some of the hit and miss of trying to open up or close down the aperture, and messing with your shutter speed. Also very handy for people shooting in Aperture priority mode, or fully automatic, where you (or the camera) do not control both the shutter speed and the aperture.

I, for example, will shoot 90% of my shots on an overcast day on an EV of +0.75 to +1 – making compensation for the fact that I shoot with a set aperture of my choice, leaving no margin for the camera to manipulate. Due to the fact that there is less available light anyway, I tend to fool the camera into thinking there is more light.

Give this a try…….

HOMEWORK:
Take your camera, set the dial to automatic, take a photograph of anything in a well lit area, manually change the EV setting up to +0.25, take a shot, then to +0.5 and so on. Then take it back to 0. and start working your way down -0.25, -0.5 and so on. Take a photograph at every setting of the same thing, then check all the images and see what the difference is. Then do the same with a subject in a darkened setting.
Check your results, and you will have an idea of what the EV does, and what it can do to improve your shots under darker and lighter conditions.

NEVER FORGET TO SET IT BACK TO 0 THOUGH AFTER USING THE SETTING!!!!!!

You’ll be horribly disappointed shooting in a light environment at EV +1…
A wise old owl sat on an oak; The more he saw the less he spoke; The less he spoke the more he heard; Why aren't we like that wise old bird?
"Author Unknown"
Do-nv-da-go-hv-i
until we meet again - Cherokee language

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anne-marie
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Re: Learning to use your Camera

Unread post by anne-marie » Tue Mar 30, 2010 9:55 pm

I will do the homework :D

Have you the same in French ?
because the explanation is a little bit confuse to me :wink:

thanks, it's a good idea and lesson Halpo :D
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Dakka
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Re: Learning to use your Camera

Unread post by Dakka » Wed Mar 31, 2010 12:44 pm

You said we could ask questions, hope this not too presumptuous

Imagine the following scenario.

Its 2pm and 40c in the shade, not a cloud in sky and very bright..

20m from the road on the top branch of a dead tree, 5m from the ground with only bright blue sky as background, a big beautiful bird….what settings would you suggest to take a reasonable photo? Would F6 at 1/300th with ISO200 work if I can play around a bit with the EV.

I got a Canon 450D with a 50x300mm lens (I think) as a present three weeks ago and getting to know it is worse than my final year at varsity, your tutorial, adds to the load but now its much more fun.

If the short answer is no, PLEASE say why not!

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DuQues
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Re: Learning to use your Camera

Unread post by DuQues » Wed Mar 31, 2010 1:23 pm

First of all, that bird will be 20 meters and 61 centimers away from you. You would need a lens worth quite a lot of money for making that shot, like a 1200 mm one.
But suppose it's a little closer, or a huge bird... ;)

2 PM would mean that you can assume the sun to be almost vertically above the bird.
That means you have shade in the places you don't want to have any shade. Like the neck, underside beak, underside of the bird.
If the bird is quite a bit closer you would be feeling around for your external flash, so you can fill in those shade patches.

As for exposure times...
The rule is sunny f/16: On a sunny day and with ISO 100 film in the camera, one sets the aperture to f/16 and the shutter speed to 1/100 or 1/125 second (on most cameras 1/125 second is the available setting nearest to 1/100 second).

Now you want less background maybe (I just planted a few trees behind your tree, water them please), so you go for f/8.
You have f/16 - 1/125, one stop further open, halves the shutterspeed, so f/11 - 1/250. Now to do that again, and you arrive at f/8 - 1/500.

However, if you don't water my trees, so they wilt, you would have no background except the blue sky, and sunny f/16 rules.
Not posting much here anymore, but the photo's you can follow here There is plenty there.

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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Dakka
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Re: Learning to use your Camera

Unread post by Dakka » Wed Mar 31, 2010 1:30 pm

Thank you Maestro, will try them all including the trees.
Last edited by Dakka on Wed Mar 31, 2010 1:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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