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Thread: The things I learnt today...

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    Member GorgeWalker's Avatar
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    The things I learnt today...

    So. Perhaps I should have checked with someone before starting this but while it was all in my mind I thought I'd bash it out. Feel free to nuke it if it's an issue, promise, I won't be offended.

    I'm a complete novice in photography. I feel like I can determine what would make a nice photo upon seeing something out on my walks, the way the sun hits the side of a hill, the silhouette against a mob of roos, the way mist and fog rises behind a swan in water etc, but the technicalities behind using a DSLR are all new to me.

    Now - while I'm quite a technical person, the help I have received here has been immense and invaluable, so I thought I would give back some. I thought I would start a thread to jot down anything I learnt that may not be the things we automatically find obvious which:

    a. May just help another beginner
    b. Raise a discussion with more experienced photographers who may even refine/correct anything I have learnt.

    As I am a little way in my journey now, I will do my best to jot down a few of the things I feel I have learnt that weren't immediately obvious. I will add more as I go, and I welcome anyone else to either contribute or discussion what is raised here...

    So here goes. I'll raise the top 5 "discoveries" I have made that have made the difference for me. The only caveat I will make is a lot of these will relate to the style of photography I often engage with, which is nature and birds.

    1. Worry about composition later! Particularly for wildlife, which is a lot of what I do, use a single focus point and place it directly on the eye. Hold onto focus (See #2). Crop for composition later rather than grabbing focus then moving the frame! BIG discovery for me...

    2. Back button focus (someone here told me about it...so I',m cheating a little). At least try it! Combine this with Continuous Servo focus and I feel you have the best of both worlds...

    3. I'm starting to get the sense when in doubt, up the shutter, drop the ISO. I'm still battling with this, but feel it will give you a sharper image. Within reason of course - someone made the very true comment, birds never stop moving. With my 300mm lens I'm now doing my best to walk around with a shutter speed of around > 1/500. Given my experience, I think this gives me some buffer.

    4. Try get the sun on your back and the subject out of shade. This one hit home today - have been struggling with sharp images as I have been taking photos of subjects in poor light resulting in soft images. I made a point of this today and felt I saw big improvements. Must thank the forum for pointing this out to me. Just passing it on

    5. Go buy an external HDD!!!!!!!! You're going to run out of storage, real...bloody...quick....

    So - that's it for now. Will add more as I learn more - but please, feel free to either add more or refine further. We're always learning, right?

    Cheers,

    Brendan
    Last edited by GorgeWalker; 15-05-2020 at 2:13pm.

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    6) I'm glad you changed the title back to "learnt"

    7) Prepare to be put up to "Intermediate" sooner rather than later
    CC, Image editing OK.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ameerat42 View Post
    6) I'm glad you changed the title back to "learnt"

    7) Prepare to be put up to "Intermediate" sooner rather than later
    Did you notice the back and forth? I normally go out of my way to keep everything correct but that one had me stumped for some reason

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    It's called lexical flux, and it follows a whimsical trajectory over time

    Actually, either seems to be acceptable, but I have my preferences. - Or is it whimsy?
    Last edited by ameerat42; 15-05-2020 at 5:28pm.

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    Today I learnt the benefit of a cheeky whistle.

    Bell miners. There's one little strip where I can always find them, without fail. However, I can hear them, not see them.

    Today I found a little spot that is surrounded by shrub with a nice comfy flat rock to sit on (better than wet grass and a wet bum!), but as it's on the slope of the gorge, becomes about eye level with the canopy of the gum trees they seem to love.

    I quickly learnt the benefit of a cheeky little whistle - curious little guys! Found this works with Fairywrens, Weebills and Brown Thornbills too! Handy when you don't have as a far reaching lens as you would wish to.
    Last edited by GorgeWalker; 17-05-2020 at 3:26pm.

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    I knew this would happen. I might have to take one of my discoveries back

    I played with using the shutter button for focus again. Combined with continuous focus mode.


    One thing I noticed. It made getting pictures of birds in flight a little less complicated. I had a flock of Pacific Black Ducks giving me a grand old show this morning and managed some acceptable shots this way.

    I may stick with shutter button focus for a bit and see - I’m wondering if it will help with some of my focusing issues (maybe pushing the back button is pushing me off target?)

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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GorgeWalker View Post

    I may stick with shutter button focus for a bit and see - I’m wondering if it will help with some of my focusing issues (maybe pushing the back button is pushing me off target?)
    Using AI servo you just need to keep your thumb on the BBF button and it should track things okay.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark L View Post
    Using AI servo you just need to keep your thumb on the BBF button and it should track things okay.
    Yeah I'm just not sure what's going on... logically it shouldn't make a difference. But for some reason I feel like I'm "hitting the mark" more with the single button for focus and shutter.

    What advantage is there to BBF - as far as I have seen it is advantageous as I can either tap focus then compose the shot, release the shutter or be able to hold the button to continuously track. However - till now my learnings have seemed to indicate I'm always going to be using continuous focus, partocularly on birds. So why do I bother with dealing with an extra button (Honest question).

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    Member formerly known as : Lplates Glenda's Avatar
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    When birding, I prefer BBF as using the shutter button I sometimes accidentally depress it fully before I want to. For landscapes etc it enables me to more easily focus and recompose.
    Glenda



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    Made a revelation yesterday.

    Addressing chromatic aberration, particularly in Lightroom isn’t always as simple as checking a box.

    Discovered an extended menu where you can tweak those settings and even sample the worst of the CA in your image and LR will adjust accordingly!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenda View Post
    When birding, I prefer BBF as using the shutter button I sometimes accidentally depress it fully before I want to. For landscapes etc it enables me to more easily focus and recompose.
    I played with BBF again today. Perhaps it’s just me getting to know it all a bit better now but I didn’t find I had any more focusing problems as I did with using the shutter button

    This photography business is complex.
    - Brendan

    Nikon D3500
    NIKKOR AF-P DX 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR
    NIKKOR AF-P DX 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G ED VR
    SIGMA 150-600mm C

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    I'm taking something else back - I've been really bumping up the ISO to bring the shutter speeds up which hasn't resulted in the best images.

    I've been trying now to get a balance here rather than have one being more prominent than the other. Once I'm upwards of ISO 1000, thinks start to look like poo.

    I also played around with aperture priority again today. Starting to see why birders prefer this mode as I think I'm coming to the realisation that of the 3 variables in taking a photo, ISO can often have the biggest impact in image quality.

    Today was quote sunny so walked around fluctuating between ISO400-800 and let the shutter speed work itself out. Was quite happy with the way it worked out.

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    ^It's called building up your own experiences. Don't be surprised if you come to a quite
    different conclusion some time hence... - and then another

    Ie, beware of building up "rules" that may limit your photographic versatility.

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