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Photo Examples of Good Rule or Technique Application, Help for the New Contributor


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sunny 16 has been around forever. My dad said to me when I was about 12 "Son, you learn DOF and sunny 16 and I'll build you a Darkroom. " I did and he did. westons and Gossen "LunaPro" meter was something we had to Have which came from the late 1930's then along came the Honeywell meter with a Holster which was a Must have. the luna pro Batteries were very hard to find and wore Out quickly. I loved My meter because I learned On Large format.

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Leonard,

Thanks for the example.   Your image, thanks to a small aperture, plane of focus or short lens focal length is entirely in focus, impressive. 

Attached is one of my images (not as good as yours) in which only the eye is in focus.  Hopefully, since the eye is in focus many might not even notice the lack of focus on the rest of the subject {due to the focal length of my lens (400mm) and my close proximity to the subject}

z   _7080527  Adj.jpg

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4 hours ago, Starsphinx said:

Not sure lying down with an active tiger about is a chance many people get - I do have tiger shots and plan on getting more but they involve being seated in  car in the local safari park.  One thing I did learn early on if you are shooting in safari park is to carry glass cleaner and make sure you give ALL windows a clean inside and out before driving through and do it every single time (I used to go weekly or more often).

 

I had the opportunity to shoot a tame tiger.

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1 hour ago, Steve Bower said:

Leonard,

Thanks for the example.   Your image, thanks to a small aperture, plane of focus or short lens focal length is entirely in focus, impressive. 

Attached is one of my images (not as good as yours) in which only the eye is in focus.  Hopefully, since the eye is in focus many might not even notice the lack of focus on the rest of the subject {due to the focal length of my lens (400mm) and my close proximity to the subject}

z   _7080527  Adj.jpg

For these shots, it's important to be as close as possible to the subject and have the lowest aperture set. Here is a 2.8 / f and a 300mm lens about 3-4m.

image.png.339b46d5d932d8824c1c7817effa7efd.png

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Michal,

I've admired your photos for a long time.  You obviously look for the greatest amount of Bokeh you can get and have the equipment to do it.  Regrettably, I don't have the budget to play with the tiger or buy that 2.8/f 300mm lens.  However, I was no farther than 3m from my subject.

Chime in with your photos and a "story" anytime.  We'd love to see more. 

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Sorry, I'm sure everybody is getting tired of me and my comments but I hate to let this thread die as there's still a lot of "techniques or tricks" that could be brought up and discussed. One that I really enjoy is FOCUS STACKED IMAGES.

This is especially helpful when doing macro (closeup) photography as the depth of field is very shallow in these images.  While there are a number of stand alone programs that do focus stacking, Photoshop (starting with CS 4) has that capability.  It is somewhat limited but (for microstock images), I find it more than adequate.

I normally limit the number of images to no more than 10 (depending on the depth of the subject), given the fact that the process is rather memory intensive.  The first attachment is the first image of the stack (at f5.6) while the second is the resulting focus stacked image (from six f5.6 images stacked in photoshop).  In my opinion, the F S Image looks far better. 

I'm sure some of you have greater experience in focus stacking than I do, so I welcome any additional information or insight you might have.

z  1st frame of focus stack.jpg

z  FS Closeup Saskaton Berries 2.jpg

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11 hours ago, Steve Bower said:

Sorry, I'm sure everybody is getting tired of me and my comments but I hate to let this thread die as there's still a lot of "techniques or tricks" that could be brought up and discussed. One that I really enjoy is FOCUS STACKED IMAGES.

This is especially helpful when doing macro (closeup) photography as the depth of field is very shallow in these images.  While there are a number of stand alone programs that do focus stacking, Photoshop (starting with CS 4) has that capability.  It is somewhat limited but (for microstock images), I find it more than adequate.

I normally limit the number of images to no more than 10 (depending on the depth of the subject), given the fact that the process is rather memory intensive.  The first attachment is the first image of the stack (at f5.6) while the second is the resulting focus stacked image (from six f5.6 images stacked in photoshop).  In my opinion, the F S Image looks far better. 

I'm sure some of you have greater experience in focus stacking than I do, so I welcome any additional information or insight you might have.

z  1st frame of focus stack.jpg

z  FS Closeup Saskaton Berries 2.jpg

This is another thing I am going to have to learn - to start off with just how to take the photos to use photo stacked.

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17 hours ago, Steve Bower said:

Sorry, I'm sure everybody is getting tired of me and my comments but I hate to let this thread die as there's still a lot of "techniques or tricks" that could be brought up and discussed. One that I really enjoy is FOCUS STACKED IMAGES.

This is especially helpful when doing macro (closeup) photography as the depth of field is very shallow in these images.  While there are a number of stand alone programs that do focus stacking, Photoshop (starting with CS 4) has that capability.  It is somewhat limited but (for microstock images), I find it more than adequate.

I normally limit the number of images to no more than 10 (depending on the depth of the subject), given the fact that the process is rather memory intensive.  The first attachment is the first image of the stack (at f5.6) while the second is the resulting focus stacked image (from six f5.6 images stacked in photoshop).  In my opinion, the F S Image looks far better. 

I'm sure some of you have greater experience in focus stacking than I do, so I welcome any additional information or insight you might have.

z  1st frame of focus stack.jpg

z  FS Closeup Saskaton Berries 2.jpg

perfect illustration. 

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OK, here's my $.02.  :)  When shooting birds of almost any kind, try to shoot them in profile.  The reasons for this are simple.

  1. Birds are symmetrical. What you see from one side is what you would see from the other, so shooting them head on isn't showing you as much as seeing them in profile.  
  2. Most bird photography is done with long telephoto lenses or zooms at their maximum focal lengths. They also need to be shot at generally high shutter speeds to freeze action.  This means shooting with an aperture at or near maximum and - if needed - moderately high ISOs. This will greatly reduce depth-of-field.  Shooting a bird in profile with the focus on the eyeball means you're going to get most or all of the subject facing  the camera in focus. 
  3. Most birds look silly shot head-on.  :)

stock-photo-a-great-blue-heron-ardea-her

 

9O8A0686.thumb.jpg.7989a353d9e2fbd6bb7030b3cb8b7954.jpg

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It looks like interest and participation is waning.  One more post.

USE A FLASH OUTSIDE, EVEN IN BRIGHT SUNLIGHT

This is a little counterintuitive but it really helps, especially with macrophotography.  You can expect to see the most improvement in the reduction of shadows and contrast (Shutterstock hates, or use to hate, shadows). 

By flash, I really would suggest a separate flash unit, not the pop up flash found on most consumer level equipment.  This will allow you to get the flash unit off axis (not directly in line with the lens) and give you the option of adding some effective modifiers (softbox, reflector) to the flash unit.  I also understand that there are ways to improve the quality of the light from a pop up flash (ask Laurin, he's the expert on this) . 

There are a number of reasons why a flash is especially helpful in macrophotography (in addition to the elimination of shadows, already mentioned).  While not all inclusive, here are a few of which I am aware. 

1. It allows you to increase the apparent shutter speed of your exposure. 

2. It allows you to increase (make smaller i.e. f8, 16 or 22) your aperture.

3. Due to the proximity to the subject, the flash provide a softer light.  Much like in portrait photography, the closer the light is to the subject, the larger the relative light source and the softer it becomes (ask Laurin, he's the portrait expert).

By no means do I claim to be an expert in this area but I have done a fair amount of it.  Hopefully, I didn't insult your intelligence.  The attached are images, that in my opinion were improved through the use of a flash.  What are your thoughts?  Anything you might add?

z   P7040199  adj.jpg

z   P8161322  adj.jpg

z   PC311913  adj.jpg

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36 minutes ago, Steve Bower said:

It looks like interest and participation is waning.  One more post.

USE A FLASH OUTSIDE, EVEN IN BRIGHT SUNLIGHT

This is a little counterintuitive but it really helps, especially with macrophotography.  You can expect to see the most improvement in the reduction of shadows and contrast (Shutterstock hates, or use to hate, shadows). 

By flash, I really would suggest a separate flash unit, not the pop up flash found on most consumer level equipment.  This will allow you to get the flash unit off axis (not directly in line with the lens) and give you the option of adding some effective modifiers (softbox, reflector) to the flash unit.  I also understand that there are ways to improve the quality of the light from a pop up flash (ask Laurin, he's the expert on this) . 

There are a number of reasons why a flash is especially helpful in macrophotography (in addition to the elimination of shadows, already mentioned).  While not all inclusive, here are a few of which I am aware. 

1. It allows you to increase the shutter speed of your exposure. 

2. It allows you to increase (make smaller i.e. f8, 16 or 22) your aperture.

3. Due to the proximity to the subject, the flash provide a softer light.  Much like in portrait photography, the closer the light is to the subject, the larger the relative light source and the softer it becomes (ask Laurin, he's the portrait expert).

By no means do I claim to be an expert in this area but I have done a fair amount of it.  Hopefully, I didn't insult your intelligence.  The attached are images, that in my opinion were improved through the use of a flash.  What are your thoughts?  Anything you might add?

z   P7040199  adj.jpg

z   P8161322  adj.jpg

z   PC311913  adj.jpg

Those are fantastic images - and by no means is interest waning.  The vast majority of areas common in stock I am very much the novice and so have little to provide in the way of instruction but am delighting in swallowing gulps of learning.  Now if you want to know how to take shots of football matches I can help - but the shots are all on my personal site lol.  Of course for SS something like football means either editorial or the challenge of removing goodness knows how many logos (and trust me some ball patterns are considered branding).  I will be getting around to putting some football stuff on eventually - but probably wait for nicer weather to make it a bit easier lol.

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1. It allows you to increase the shutter speed of your exposure. 

If you are using fill flash, and the fill is main light on the subject... the flash is the speed of the exposure, not the shutter. Shutter speed will only change the background lighting, if you are doing this right. What I mean is, a flash only produces a very fast flash or short duration. Whether you take a shot at 1/60th or 1/250th (assuming your camera syncs at 1/250th), any motion of the subject, will be stopped by the flash, not the shutter speed. In general, the flash duration on most speedlights is between 1/400 at full power, and 1/20,000 at low power.  This trend is reversed on many studio strobes, which have a shorter flash duration at higher power than at partial power.

2. It allows you to increase (make smaller i.e. f8, 16 or 22) your aperture.

Yes, if you want the background to become more in focus. If you want a soft background, then not.

3. Due to the proximity to the subject, the flash provide a softer light.  Much like in portrait photography, the closer the light is to the subject, the larger the relative light source and the softer it becomes (ask Laurin, he's the portrait expert).

Close flash produces a softer light? Laurin, calling Laurin. Help here please. Let me explain, if you are outdoors at night or a dark room, yes, if you are in a smaller room, white walls and white ceiling, the effect is exactly the opposite, distance will create a softer shadow, because now the entire light source is lighter.

Overall point is, while yes, there are some conditions where some easy rules apply, close is softer or shutter speed differences or smaller aperture might not be an advantage. While there are rules, there are also conditions and exceptions based on every situation and location. With that I'll assume your examples are what your advice applies to and with that, they are 100% correct, outdoors, shooting close.

I just didn't want someone to read this and be inside, with reflective lighting from the ceiling and not wanting deep depth of field to wonder what the heck went wrong.

I'll add that any flash, outdoors, like you are pointing out, especially in bright Sunlight will make the lighting more controllable and more likely to be a success. Best days for shooting most subjects, are light overcast, diffused light, not bright Sunlight.

Nice images! Well done.

Reminds me I don't do much with flash, sometimes I hand hold a fill light, and sometimes, breath in, hold, press smoothly, and pray. 😉

close-macro-spider-fresh-caught-450w-700

ps, rule of thirds, don't crop too tight, leave copy space.

 

 

 

 

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On the topic of shutter speed - if you shoot any kind of action, and you want to freeze it, then you need to go for the highest shutter speed you can get, without having to ramp up the ISO into grainy territory. This goes especially for shooting at longer focal ranges, because there will be camera shake, even if you have image stabilization.

When I was out shooting these surf pictures, I was constantly battling this compromise, toggling between ISO 320 and shutter speed of 1/1200 and ISO 400 / 1/2000.

This is at f 4.0, which is the widest my lens opens at end of zoom, not too bad, but also not too great. It would be easier to do this if I had a 2.0 aperture available. I'm lucky, in that there is plenty of light on a sunny day at the beach. Trying this on a cloudy day - forget it. This is what photographers mean when they call a lens "fast" - the ability to open wide and increase your shutter speed without the added ISO.

 

image.thumb.png.b00457160dbe8bbada342feb6ca0ccdd.png

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Hodagmedia,

Thanks for your input.  Did I say I'm not an expert in this area (I should have).  Flash is probably the most complicated and misunderstood area of photography. 

Sorry, it sounds like I insulted your intelligence and showed my lack thereof.  Admittedly, I was being over simplistic in my explanation.  I appreciate your accurate and in depth explanation of how Flash actually does works.  I obviously should have said "apparent shutter speed" of something along those lines. 

Fill Flash is definitely one of the most beneficial improvements they've made in flash technology, especially when used with second curtain flash.  To challenge myself, I've recently started shooting with manual flash units.  The logic of the two exposures (Flash and ambient) has been a real learning opportunity.  Good thing I like those "I just used a flash" black backgrounds.  Hopefully, you won't mind if I contact you if I run into a problem.  

Thanks again for your help in explaining this complicated subject.         

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Simone,  

I really appreciate your bringing this up.  I think we all struggle with the shutter speed-action quandary.  Too bad the solution (fast lenses) cost so much money.  

Quite a while back I shot a professional surfing contest (image attached).  My Exposure specifics were much like yours, ISO 320, Shutter Speed 1/2000, Aperture f5.6 (as wide as that lens would go) Focal Length 400mm.  Thankfully, it was in South Florida where the sun always shines.

Great Image, hope it makes you a ton of money!

 

z   Pro Surfer.jpg

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Love that water splash in your shot! 

I haven't had much luck selling surfing shots so far. I think there's just too many already out there. Also, it doesn't help that the way the search works, if you type in "surfing", it also pulls up everything with "surf", i.e. tons of just ocean shots. But they are fun to shoot.

By the way, loved your example of focus stacking. That's something I have never experimented with, got me curious to try some day.

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On 1/24/2019 at 12:40 AM, Leonard Whistler said:

 

Sunny F16 Rule

  • Do not meter and shoot in manual mode using the Sunny F16 Rule if there is any sunlight in the scene - Exposure equivalent to 100 ISO, 1/100sec at F16.
  • Bracketing exposures is unnecessary. One shot is all you need.
  • Then if necessary bring up the shadows in Adobe Camera Raw or Lightroom.
  • If the shadows are still too dark consider getting a camera that has higher dynamic range.

Fixed it for you

6w3t6jj4.jpg

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On 1/25/2019 at 12:00 AM, Steve Bower said:

Sorry, I'm sure everybody is getting tired of me and my comments but I hate to let this thread die as there's still a lot of "techniques or tricks" that could be brought up and discussed. One that I really enjoy is FOCUS STACKED IMAGES.

 

Just to follow up on this I find that with very close up macros, even with good lighting, you have to use focus stacking to get the detail.  You can merge within Photoshop (placing photos into Layers, auto align and auto blend works best - although there are several ways of doing it) but I have found that Zyrene Stacker, is very much more flexible (but you do have to pay for it) but it means you can make very fine adjustments (particularly in complex images like flowers.

A last comment is that while the hibiscus and grasshopper were done in side it is also possible to do rough stacking using 2-3 images at slightly different focus points and merging them later as in the red-hot poker flower.

My images are not wonderful but just do a search for images on Google, some are truly amazing!image.thumb.png.f1840053a3661475add7bd4ac0835cb0.pngimage.thumb.png.4c27b14dd29d66b88167c06191685321.pngimage.thumb.png.7ce2e5cb927409f6ee3f91f1e3fb6126.png

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ISOLATIONS: THE "BASICS"  I'm no expert, this is how I do it, you may know a better way!  CAUTION, reading this may insult your intelligence.

 

1. You can do isolations on white OUTSIDE or on a SHOOTING TABLE (I made one for less than $100.00).  

Outside, Overcast Skies are your friend.   The key is to find something you want to photograph that has a white sky in the background.

2. Get "OFF" your camera's AUTO setting as you're going to be OVEREXPOSING, a lot . 

I think you'll find the APERTURE  or "A" setting (on most cameras) is the easiest to use.  This setting allows you to dial in the aperture you want and let the camera determine the necessary shutter speed.  However, make sure the shutter speed (what the camera sets) will be fast enough to "hand hold" (unless, you're on a tripod). 

In order to "blow out the skies or the white background" and exposure your subject correctly, you will need to OVEREXPOSE (the camera settings), A LOT.   That amount is largely dependent on the size of your subject within the view finder.  If the subject covers a large portion of your image, the amount of the OVER EXPOSURE will be considerably LESS than a small subject with lots of sky or a white background.  There are other factors to consider but I'll let the experts address those.

After setting your chosen aperture, increase the EXPOSURE COMPENSATION beginning with  + 1 for an image with a large subject (covering the majority of the frame)  to 2.5 stops (maybe more) for images with small subjects and lots of white sky or background. 

Check the  shutter speed to make sure it is adequate (the exposure compensation adjustment will decrease (slow) the shutter speed in order to increase your exposure).  SHOOT.  Check your image.  If the Background is not WHITE enough, increase the EXPOSURE COMPENSATION settings as necessary and shoot again.  If the subject is substantially over exposed, decrease the exposure compensation settings, 

PRACTICE.  Within a short period of time you'll be able to accurately estimate the correct exposure.  The first two attached images were taken outside with an overcast sky, the last on my shooting table.  

 

 

z   _5230765  adj.jpg

z   F S Silk Spider O W  best.jpg

z   Isolated Dead Roach.jpg

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  • Steve Bower changed the title to Photo Examples of Good Rule or Technique Application, Help for the New Contributor

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