Photography for blondes

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Photography for blondes

Postby venomvixen » Wed Jun 29, 2011 4:47 pm

I have a pricey and rather naff Olympus E-300 digital SLR
The out of the packet lens is a 14-45 mm digital 1:3.5 - 5.6

As can be seen by some of the shots I have posted on the interweb, my skills are some what lacking.
I tried reading the instruction manual but at 212 pages it gave me a headache and I'm still none the wiser.
Should I waste my money on a TAFE course or such? or is there a simple guide to such things?

And how do I get those really cool frames around the photo's like Motty has?

Ta
D
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Re: Photography for blondes

Postby _BlackHawk_ » Wed Jun 29, 2011 5:21 pm

The tafe course probably won't teach you anything the instruction manual doesn't. Just read though it bit by bit and play with the camera, you'll learn it.

I think those frams are templates you can get in Word, Publisher or a photoediting program like Photoshop.
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Re: Photography for blondes

Postby Creative Models Australia » Wed Jun 29, 2011 6:08 pm

Hey Danni,

My old man bought some you beaut fangle dangle mega expensive SLR a while back, and at the time he knew nothing about photography.
He did a shor course at a local college, and the stuff he can do now is amazing. Although I havent done it, but going by what the old man can now do, i.e. takea pic, in pitch black, with no flash or lighting, and have a pic come out as perfect as anyother, then I wuld be reccomending it.
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Re: Photography for blondes

Postby Motty » Wed Jun 29, 2011 6:52 pm

G'day Danni,

What aspects of your photography do you think you need to improve? (I can't see much wrong with what Ive seen ;-) ).

As for the frames, I made up the process for them in Photoshop but there may be other ways of doing it in other programs.

Cheers,
Motty.
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Re: Photography for blondes

Postby venomvixen » Wed Jun 29, 2011 7:14 pm

Motty wrote:G'day Danni,

What aspects of your photography do you think you need to improve? (I can't see much wrong with what Ive seen ;-) ).

As for the frames, I made up the process for them in Photoshop but there may be other ways of doing it in other programs.

Cheers,
Motty.


Getting the whole subject in focus is my biggest issue, Every model pic I take has blurry something.
I'm reliably told its "focal length" but if I fiddle with it the camera wont take a pic.
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Re: Photography for blondes

Postby Motty » Wed Jun 29, 2011 7:49 pm

G'day Danni,

Apologies in advance if this covers stuff you already know.

The key to that is the aperture or F-stop. The focal length can also have an effect (by zooming in) but that won't help you fit the subject in in close quarters. As you change the f-stop, this will also affect the depth of field (the area of the subject that appears in focus). The smaller the depth of field, the shorter the distance of stuff in focus. The greater the depth of field, the more stuff is in focus.

I don't know how much control you camera allows you over the settings it uses but there are two main things that the camera uses to get the right exposure. Shutter speed (how "fast" it takes the shot) and aperture (how much light it lets into the lens). The two are directly related. The faster the shutter speed, the more light it needs to let through the lens to get enough light, the slower the shutter speed, the less light it needs through the lens.

You'll see shutter speed expresses as fractions of a second (1/100, 1/640, 1/1000 etc) and the aperture is expressed as an "f-stop" number (f2.8, f8, f22 etc).

To get a better depth of field, you need to try and get the camera to use a higher f-stop (higher number). This is done by using a slower shutter speed. The trick is not to go too slow or else the image will be blurred because the camera will move while it's taking the photo (because of things like your breathing or hand movements etc). If you are able to use a tripod (or place the camera on something fixed) you can go slower.

For up-close, indoor shots, you probably wouldn't want to go slower that 1/60 or so for shutter speed (faster is fine). To help the depth of field, you would be looking for maybe f10 or better (higher is better). Out doors or longer distance shots would be need faster shutter speeds. For model photos, you need to be up round f16-f22 or better.

The other thing you can use to help you get the settings you want (and this is the beauty of digital cameras) is the iso. This is like the asa rating of film. the old 100 asa was a good, clear film but it needed good light to get the images. 400 worked better in lower light but the higher the asa, the grainier the images become. Digital iso is the same. 200 iso will be "smooth" but needs good light to get the best images. 400 iso will allow you to get the same shot with better settings but there will be a bit of "grain" (called noise in digital images) to the image. The higher the iso, the more "noisy" the image will be. The higher the megapixels of the camera, the less noticeable this will be.

Using a higher iso means you can get the same shot using faster shutter speeds and / or higher f-stops if you need to.

For model photos, if you're able to move away from the subject and zoom in on it at all, that will also help with a better depth of field. But the more you zoom, you'll need to use faster shutter speeds to avoid movement blur (there's always a trade-off ;-) )

Has any of this helped? ;-)

Please let me know if you'd like any more info about anything.

Cheers,
Motty.
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Re: Photography for blondes

Postby Creative Models Australia » Thu Jun 30, 2011 8:57 am

Without having to worry about the Fstop there is another way. This was ont he course, and my old man showed me.

First you dont aim at the centre of the model, but higher up and further back, push the button down half way, and then you move back to the are you want to photograph. This gives the camera two focul points and as such, everything in focus, from front to back.
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Re: Photography for blondes

Postby davec » Thu Jun 30, 2011 10:19 am

I did a digital camera course with Macquarie Community College in Carlingford and it was great! I only needed to take my camera, the handbook and myself. All the techniques were explained without going over the top on technicalities, and it was very hands-on - you get to take piccies and the tutor runs through any problems with you and shows you where to find the important bits in the handbook. I believe there's also a very good digital camera course run by Hornsby Community College. It would be well worth your while to check out the community college(s) in your area to see what's available.
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Re: Photography for blondes

Postby David E » Thu Jun 30, 2011 12:18 pm

Being very, very lazy I borrow my wife's Pentax K100D with auto everything. I select the "museum" and "macro" settings and while the resulting model photos aren't anywhere near as good as many I see they're good enough to share my work with others.
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Re: Photography for blondes

Postby venomvixen » Thu Jun 30, 2011 3:34 pm

Cheers guys
Most helpful, Motty especially.
I'll have a fiddle with it an see how it goes.
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