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Let's be carefull out there
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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, this weekend we went to the coast and took the cameras. It was the 1st real opportunity I had to get a real play with the DSLR and I thought I would pass on some tips. They may be obvious, if so forgive me. These are mainly aimed at DSLR users but in part will apply to all digi cameras (even DV) and to a degree traditional 35mm SLR.

Camera Settings

Get to know the advanced camera settings and what they do. Whilst program mode is designed to work well in most conditions it can be fooled, normally by very contrasty situations or by the metering / focusing normally being centre screen and the object of interest off centre. There are several ways around this.

Off centred subject. Focus on the subject, then whilst holding the release button halfway down reframe the shot and depress release fully to expose. Some cameras will have a focus lock but this is the quicker method.

For exposure there are several possibilities. Switch to spot metering and read from the main area of interest. Use exposure compensation (allows you to adjust the exp in 1/3 ev steps) many DSLR's have auto exposure bracketing so you can set this mode and it will fire say 4 shots. Use exposure lock. Being old school I tend to use this. To do so either zoom in on the subject and push the exposure lock button, recompose and shoot or if the subject is distant do the same but on a nearby subject in the same lighting conditions.

Other options to improve a "flat" photo are to adjust the contrast and saturation settings. On my Olympus I can have several user defined presets. This means I can set up for natural (portraits), flat (contrasty situations) and Vivid for high impact colour shots.

The other control worth playing with is colour tempreture as the shots below show.



taken with white balance (colour temp) at 6000k, +0.3ev,



white balance 5300K, 0ev

As you can see the lower colour temp will boost the blues in the image.



metered from a nearby wall @ 5300k, f6.3, 1/80sec



spot metered from subject @ 5300k, f7.1, 1/125sec

Another trick is too move so the sun is where you need it. For this shot coming from behind and the right of the shot. Also saturation, contrast and sharpness increased to max to get punchy colours.



There is bound to be more and this will vary by camera. Using standard film cameras I found that different films will give different results, Fuji Velvia slide film is much more punchy than Kodak and has a higher blue bias, the moral is experiment with different settings in different conditions and find out what those buttons do, you may surprise yourself.
 

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Let's be carefull out there
Joined
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19,360 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
OK part 2.

MOVE

Don't just take photo's from eye height. Climb up on walls, get on the floor, move to the side. You get the picture experiment.


Doorway from the top of a wall

Also look for patterns in the subject. Again with the following I looked down (and had to lean a lot!!!)



Try to frame the picture to create a more abstract theme.



In the above I had to employ focus / exposure lock to blur the foreground gate and ensure correct subject exposure.

Use foreground interest.


And after taking the shot added impact can be made by adding a border

 

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Premium Member
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14,145 Posts
Excellent thread here Chris, Well done lots of very useful and well explained tips.

The Flag pic is stunning

Regards

Ottoman
 
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