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Overread's Forum Comments

Overread > Overread Recent Activity > Overread's Forum Comments
TopicRepliesLast Post
Canon 7D mk II
More samples http://www.cameraegg.org/canon-eos-7d-mark-ii-sample-images-movies/

Honestly I want this camera, I've a 7D and its fantastic - MII is just better! Though I'd say I'll hold off till the price drops and I get a few more things that I'd rather get first (flash.....lasers.....fancy tripod head)

22 17/09/2014 - 1:02 AM
By NeilS
Sigma 500 f4.5
I'll be keen to see how the 120-300mm f2.8 OS stands up to the new 150-600mm high end option from Sigma.

That said if you're after birds chances are you won't have much need for zoom; there's no point having a zoom where you're always at one focal length, you might as well get a prime (if they are of comparable image quality and aperture range, chances are the prime will be lighter).

In Lenses | Page: 1, 2
10 14/09/2014 - 11:36 AM
By Overread
Crisp sharp images
Always use the lowest ISO - honestly I hate that advice; its really one of the worst a beginner can read because it starts to make them avoid anything above ISO 100. They sacrifice depth of field or shutter speeds to try and stop the photo "getting noisy" and it hampers their early development if they are shooting moving subjects and shooting handheld.

Noise is annoying, but it can be dealt with; furthermore expose correctly at a higher ISO and you'll get less noise than if you underexpose at a lower ISO. Furthermore if you're shutter speed is too slow you get subject and/or handshake blur - blur is something you can't fix. It's there to stay in a shot* - so let the ISO go higher, you can deal with the noise. In addition when you resize for the web or print out your photo most of the noise will vanish on its own even without noise removal (noise removal helps give a cleaner result - though be mindful that you want to avoid doing it too strongly and getting banding in the blurry regions).

Sharpening and noise reduction are two very common steps that can be as quick as a few clicks; or can take a few hours. There is a skill in using the software; but for early starting focus on the camera side of things; editing can then be there to really pull the best out the shot.

Also remember there are many ways to the same end result in editing; so read around - you might find a workflow that suits you and gives you the results you want.

28 16/09/2014 - 10:55 AM
By Nick_w
Photography magazines
What shocks me is that in the USA the British magazines on photography are supposed to be very good in comparison to what they get - and most of the time my thoughts mirror those said above; that the content is repetitive and very light on details.

It also always annoyed me that all the editing was done on photoshop = pre the new contract approach to getting Photoshop this meant that any beginner basically was expected to shell out as much as they'd just done on the camera, on the editing software in order to do any touch-up tips the magazines gave. Why they didn't use elements or something more affordable is beyond me.

Articles annoy me too - most are just so simple and quick that there is no meat; its rather like a lot of TV documentaries - pretty pictures and childish commentary with nothing to really engage or draw the person in more. Only the magazines then add half of their pages as advertisements. I'd not mind the latter if they content they gave was solid and had appeal beyond the first year or so of owning a camera; but they don't so it just adds to the problem.

I suspect we'll see this pattern continue until such time as the market for new photographers dries up or shrinks considerably. Thus forcing magazines to either adapt to an intermediate or advanced market or they'll slowly fall apart.

Honestly I'd say get something like National Geographic - fantastic inspirational photos and good articles.

76 17/09/2014 - 5:07 AM
By StrayCat
Which macro, the Nikon 105mm VR or the Tokina 100mm?
A few additional thoughts:

1) Normal VR/IS/OS works by countering the natural side to side and up and down sway of your body. This is because when holding a camera those are the typically dominant forms of shake that are going to affect the image quality - the camera then relies upon the use of continuous AF to correct any back/forward motion that might shift the focus plane.

Now come to macro and that whole back/forward sway is as big a part of things as the side to side and up and down sway; but you're not using AF now*. Even if you are many macro lenses have slower motors and the lighting is oft as such that the camera can be more prone to hunt or simply can't keep up a reliable performance with the constant body sway.

As a result VR has a reduced bonus.

Note also that the closer distances increase the effect of body sway, so what you will typically see is not that VR has no use, but that its effect is more muted because the shake the setup is experiencing is that much greater.

2) Canon's 100mm macro IS L uses a new hybrid IS that aims to counter the back/forward motions not just the side to side and up and down. Far as I'm aware in the market its unique (Sigma makes a few now with OS but I think that is basically the same as Nikon VR - indeed I think Nikon tried to sue sigma about that tech).

3) In the end 3rd party or own brand are all fantastic choices for macro prime lenses. Sigma makes around 5 really top quality options and Tamron and Tokina also make some very good macro optics (Tamron 90mm f2.8 macro is a very popular choice).

In your situation I'd consider also the Sigma 105mm f2.8 OS macro and see how it compares to the Nikon. Optically I'd expect similar performance, with minor differences; so see how the operation and features (eg VR vs OS) are between the two lenses.
Myself I own a Sigma 70mm and 150mm macro lens as well as a Tokina 35mm and a Canon MPE65mm macro and I don't regret any choice; they are all stunning performers in terms of sharpness and most optical differences are minor (indeed the MPE is potentially the weakest one if you start looking at things like the aperture-blade shape and its effect on out-of-focus highlight spots).

In Lenses | Page: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
14 13/09/2014 - 9:03 AM
By LenShepherd
Concern over wedding shoot

Quote: Probably or should I say perhaps we are dealing here with a modern life problem. Email this, Facebook that, twitter the other.........and we never knock on the door.

I tried that once at the bank - went right in and up to the desk.

They sent me home to the computer and email (apparently online you got a better deal).

67 16/09/2014 - 6:18 PM
By keithh
Getting rid of reflection
Light Science and Magic - 4th edition. This is the reference book you want to get; it will help you a lot with light placement and subject lighting of a variety of material and reflective surfaces. Learning how to angle your lights to show certain kinds of reflection or to remove them totally from the shot is important; especially as things like circular polarizers won't work on all materials (they don't work on metals).

In Taking photos | Page: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
7 10/09/2014 - 10:56 AM
By Chris_L
Rabbitting about, whats the best way to photography rabbits
Look up pet photography in general. Granted it might focus upon cats or dogs, but the general concepts will remain the same (though for rabbits it will be carrots instead of dogtreats).

A few further thoughts:

1) Eye level with the subject - as said this really helps, not only does it help engage viewer with the subject (we instinctively look to eyes) but it also shows a different angle to what we normally see. If you shoot looking down its the "same old" angle we can see in every day life - getting right down opens up a whole new world of visual displays.

2) Surroundings - be aware of them and work with them - you've basically got to work like a studio photographer unless you're shooting right out in the open wilds/garden (then you need to think about fences and such!). So be aware of the surroundings and work with them so that they compliment rather than work against the subject. Note that the fact you can't control the subject means repeating shots - patience - treats and tricks as well as simply going with how they pose themselves.

3) Sometimes exercise before a shoot helps, it calms animals down and makes them more prone to pose and relax; if they've lots of energy or a new to a place they might simply be too excited or inquisitive to hold still enough to get a good clean shot (esp if you're indoors and thus can't move all around them easily.

4) Have fun, relax. Animals pick up on your mental state and attitude - if you'r stressed and such they will react to that; often in a negative way (or they'll just completely ignore you). So be relaxed and take your time - sure they might not do what you want but you can't get angry at them nor yourself; you've just got to accept it.

5) Learn to call it a day - after a while do call it a day - you don't want to stress your animal out overworking them because "next shot is the fantastic prize winning shot".

13 11/09/2014 - 6:55 PM
By ClementineH
Are Canon losing their way in the DSLR market?
Mirrorless will likely grow as big as DSLR - because the mirrorless cameras basically offer a bite-sized DSLR setup. Thus they compliment DSLRs perfectly for the photographer who wants the quality and features and control setup, but wants a smaller package than DSLRs can offer.

Plus even if you downsize your DSLR setup you'll always have gear creep (that rebel body soon gets a battery grip fitted - then you start adding other accessories - and then you start to take the BIG camera body because you're already carrying the DSLR anyway and before you know it you're back to your original setup).

Certainly for wildlife as a capable, but smaller and lighter option the mirrorless m4/3rds and others are an ideal option (because sometimes you just can't practically carry the big super-telephoto lens and camera and everything else you've got to carry around)

58 10/09/2014 - 2:25 PM
By petebfrance
Books on photography
A few thoughts:

1) When I started my camera manual lived with my camera and both lived in the camera bag. Thus where the bag and camera went so too did the manual. That was invaluable as it meant I could check whilst I was out shooting exactly what I needed to do control wise. Heck I recall sitting outside the zoo (waiting for it to open) flicking through and reading sections just to get a bit more familiar before the doors opened up. Refreshing your mind and getting a grasp of controls and operation helps massively with then learning to apply the exposure theories to your photography.

2) The Digital Photography Books by Scot Kelby - I only ever had the first book, but it was a great starting point for a total beginner without any previous camera experience. It's got a very simple, standard approach to things. It's not trying to teach you all about the camera; its just giving you a selection of situations and some starting settings to get going. It gives you a beginning point which can be very helpful.

3) Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson - this book went into more depth, but was still beginner focused; a good companion reference to the Scot Kelby book and a good way to make the next step. Most photography books cover the content; but this one goes a little further than most because exposure is all it's about so its got time to really go through things and give case studies you can try out yourself.

4) Practice Practice Practice - can't get around this one. Carry a book or two with you (as well as manual) for reference. Don't worry that its slowing you down; you're going to be slow. It's a new skill and a new focus so you're going to have a period of time where you're fiddling around more than getting shots. Keep at it and before you know it you won't need the books and you'll be flicking through settings and getting shots that you want!

In Beginner Photographers | Page: 1, 2, 3, 4
10 09/09/2014 - 5:58 PM
By StrayCat
Are Canon losing their way in the DSLR market?
It's Photokina just around the corner so all the manufacturers will be announcing things. A 7DMII is expected by most considering how well the 7D line has done and how its now both quite old (in digital camera terms) and discontinued. Of course Canon might well do anything - they could split the 7D into a higher and lower line release - they could boost it up to a higher price point - they could announce a totally new model at a higher price point that replaces the feature slot but not the market price slot.

58 10/09/2014 - 2:25 PM
By petebfrance
Concern over wedding shoot
A quick further point; Consider adding the following two ideas:

1) An email stating that you will no longer be photographing their wedding. This is sent out after your last reminder payment slot is done. If they fail to reply to or meet the final reminder payment point then send a message to confirm that you will NOT be shooting their wedding.
This confirmation might well tip many who've been putting off payment into paying.

2) Add a clause into your contract that if point 1 becomes a thing there is a surcharge added. This helps cover you for the time you've spent contacting them AND also exists as a way to pressure people into paying in the time slot.
Many companies use this method (oft after the debt is sent to debt recovery agents or just before) as a means to help prevent; but also add a sting to late payments - thus discouraging further late payment by that client.
In your case its helping keep them paying within the time window.

67 16/09/2014 - 6:18 PM
By keithh
Concern over wedding shoot
Remember your contract is there to protect both parties and to help avoid problems.

So when a client starts to cause a problem, such as not paying, and the contract has a specific statement within it that details your actions upon failure to pay (ergo you not shooting the event) then you've all rights and should honour that and thus not shoot. The only time you would is if you make an exception - eg you are aware of financial troubles for the couple, but want to do the shoot anyway.

Sometimes it can be helpful to also add in a formal contact structure into the TC/Contract - stating that they will be contacted X number of times if they fail to pay and if they fail to get back in touch that's it, you simply stop dealing with them. That helps give you a clear structured approach so that you don't end up wasting more time than you should chasing up a client.

In this case I'd suggest a final email stating in very clear terms (quote your TC/contract) that you require settling of the payment. Yes you're being forceful, but you've got to be otherwise you simply won't get paid. Sure you will get some who will drop you, chances are if they drop you they were never going to be able to afford to pay you/were never going to pay you. Whilst it can be a cold thing, you are running a business, thus you can't afford to waste your time and money.

Of course you are always free to break from the structured approach, to give an exception; but I'd say that if you make any exception you must also consider the real possibility that you will not get paid; ergo that you are donating the session to the client.

67 16/09/2014 - 6:18 PM
By keithh
a few shots from a beginner photographer with my macro lens
Mike raises an often forgotten point, which is that you don't have to use small apertures with macro. Indeed you can get some fantastic shots wide open (I know at least one photographer who has done this to great effect with flowers; it gives a much more dreamy effect and very much changes how you view a flower).

Myself I find that there a few things to consider;

1) With insects that are live where you want a deep depth of field I find that its best (no matter how cold and sluggish the bug is) to get at least 1 good shot in a single exposure (ergo typically focusing upon the eyes). That's your keeper shot should the bug or camera move too much and void the focus stack.

2) With focus stacking for insects what you need are sleepy bugs; early morning or after a heavy rain shower are ideal times to find many bugs in a very torpid and sluggish state - ideal for focus stacking.

3) I would say before learning to focus stack; first learn to work with one single shot. Not every photo has nor can be focus stacked and learning to get a good keeper shot with a single exposure is a very worth-while endeavour (esp since a focus-stack is not just one, but many such shots in a series - so its skill worth learning).

4) You can get a focus-stack handheld. Typically you'll need some kind of surface to lean/brace yourself upon and you'll not get many shots - oft only a handful (how much varies on the situation and how steady you naturally are). I find burst mode and twist of the focus ring works best for this - however keep a mind to how fast your cameras burst is and how fast your flash (if you're using flash) can recycle. On my 7D, for example, I have it set to 4fps instead of its normal 8fps when doing macro stacks (I use a custom mode to help with this so I don't have to flit with menu settings all the time) so that if I want to do a handheld stack the flash can typically keep up with the camera shutter for a good few shots before it starts to lag.

5 08/09/2014 - 2:41 PM
By ryuneo
Clarity Vibrance Saturation
Isn't the clarity setting basically the same as applying a high-pass filter for sharpening? I know that its basically a slider for a commonly used function in editing (which is important to remember - many of these processes can be repeated using other approaches - one of the most complex areas of Pshop is that there is often several ways to get to the same end result).

7 07/09/2014 - 6:35 PM
By lobsterboy
Focus rail
The Stackshot by Cogniseys is fantastic - got my eye on that machine oneday - expensive but it would take a lot of the pain out of focus-stacking (although I've my eye on their insect in flight setup first!).

On the subject of stacking software my experience is that you want to own a few of them. There's Zerene stacker - Helicon Focus - Combine ZP (totally free this one). I think there are a couple of others plus astophotography appears to have its own selection of software for image stacking as well.

In general each one works a little differently and allows you to tweak certain aspects of the stack or use different stacking codes. Sometimes the difference between one software option and the other can be make or break for a series of shots - however as they all work slightly differently there is no universal "best". If you're going to stack often I'd thus recommend getting a hold of a good few of them since the time in getting a stack is more lengthly its thus worth having a few options in case your favoured program fails with a series of shots.

They are all quite affordable (prices only go up if you want to use the software commercially).

33 08/09/2014 - 11:06 PM
By Ade_Osman
Focus rail
I've used one of the 4way rails linked earlier and must say I found it to be cheap, but very usable. Honestly I prefer mine over the manfrotto focusing rail approach (esp because the raised mount actually lets you fit a lens with battery grip when using the tripod collar - the manfrotto you have to get creative with to do that).

I think that if you want better you've got to look at higher prices, the Velbon linked earlier I've not used but I've heard good things about it. You've also got Novoflex who are very pricey but I think are about top of the game in this field for rails. You can sometimes get Novoflex stuff second hand where it tends to drop in value a bit more than some other higher priced products.

33 08/09/2014 - 11:06 PM
By Ade_Osman
Canon Lens Suggestions
If I were you I'd get a cheap 70-300mm lens. It won't break the bank, but it will let you get some experience of using a longer focal length lens. That will gives you a real world understanding as to what the different focal lengths are like and what you find yourself needing and using.

Something like a Sigma APO 70-300mm F4-5.6 DG MACRO or a Tamron AF 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD MACRO.

Both of those lenses do half life-size magnification, so whilst they call themselves macro they are really just close focusing. But it will get you get some distance close. From there you can find if you want to get closer still or if its enough for you.

I used an older Sigma 70-300mm when I started out with nature/wildlife. It helped give me a taste of what the longer focal lengths and macro were in real world terms to me. Not just theory or concepts others had, but an actual experience for me. From there I could better judge what I wanted to do, but also what I wanted to get; as a result I was far more able to make a choice as to what to get because now I had the direction to follow and also the real world experience to understand the differences in focal lengths; to appreciate the benefits of wider aperture lenses; to know that yes I really did want to get a lot lot closer than just "close up".

In Lenses | Page: 1, 2, 3
5 07/05/2014 - 4:22 PM
By BrenLee
Nikon 105mm macro with Nikon D3200
Honestly you can shoot macro hand-held with no problem - it does take practice and there are some times (windy) when its just impractical, but its very doable for most people. Note that most who do shoot handheld often (not always) shoot with flash. This helps get the typically used small apertures (f8-16), a low ISO and decently fast shutter speed (normally 1/200 or 1/250 ie sync speed with a flash) whilst providing enough light for the shot.

6 01/04/2014 - 3:08 PM
By Overread
The Forum needs an injection of life.
I got lost - but I found my way back again by eating the bread-crumbs. However I think in doing so I've mistakenly eaten everyone else's and - er - yeah that's why they can't get back either.

Also where am I?

19 02/04/2014 - 12:19 AM
By StrayCat
1st April hoaxes
Wolverhampton has the best one thus far ! (though only if you're travelling by train)

In Light-hearted chat | Page: 1, 2
7 02/04/2014 - 4:43 PM
By Niknut
Which Photoshop? Starting out.
Honestly I'd head over to Adobe's main website and sign up for their Photoshop and Lightroom package deal that they have on at present. 10 or so a month and you get both programs in their latest and most powerful versions to use.

The other option is to find a copy of the previous version of CS and use that. Newer is nearly always better and the last version is the last one Adobe made which is fully stand-alone

14 03/04/2014 - 7:53 AM
By NikLG
ND filter and long exposure
Long exposure noise reduction should help counter the heat generated noise on the sensor for these long exposures. Astrophotographers will do similarly long exposures and sometimes even longer still although once they start getting into half hours and such they end up having to super-cool their cameras otherwise they overheat way too much.

In daytime you might find you generate more heat than you would at night, but the camera shouldn't come to any harm I would think. Do some checks on asto photography - if anyone has pushed sensors to their limits and found when the noise gets too great or the damage potential increases it will be them.

11 24/04/2014 - 9:03 AM
By sausage
Does Mono Work For Wildlife Photograghy?
Mono is all about contrasts and textures. I think it works for any animal and lets us often see a more colourful animal with a new angle. We can focus on some details that might be otherwise hidden amongst its more gaudy colours.

Like all things it has its place. In the examples shown above its working well for the elephants, its bringing out a lot of detailed texture over their skin that, in colour, might be hidden or muted.

12 30/03/2014 - 10:34 PM
By Stevetheroofer
Getting everything in focus
You don't have to shoot in utter darkness. A small aperture, low ISO and fairly fast shutter speed combined with general indoor lighting will give you a black or nearly totally black photo. 1/200sec, f8, ISO 100 in a room with a 60watt light bulb just gave me a black shot.

Once the light in the shot is totally dominated by the flash the flash itself is controlling the motion stopping effect.

13 28/03/2014 - 9:07 PM
By thewilliam
what lens
What kind of "art" are you thinking about? Because art on its own means nothing - you can take fantastic are photos with a wide angle - a macro - a tilt shift -a telephoto - etc... So unless you can define a kind of art or area of subjects its hard to give any guidance.

A rough idea of the kind of budget you have to spend is also important; otherwise you could get some very expensive suggestions that are simply beyond your means to afford.

9 22/04/2014 - 11:15 PM
By Paul Morgan
adjusting aperture on macro setting
Scene modes like the macro, sports, landscape etc.. on the camera only adjust the aperture, shutter speed and ISO as normal, but assign a weighting to those values. So for macro its trying to get as small an aperture as it can (bigger f number); whilst for sports its going to try and get as fast a shutter speed as it can.

However the camera has no idea what you're taking a photo of nor what end result you want, so whilst its ok for someone not thinking; if you want control you've got to use the proper modes.

Aperture priority lets you set the aperture to what you want and the ISO as well; the camera then meters the scene and sets the shutter speed based on those components.

Shutter priority lets you set the shutter speed and ISO whilst the camera then balances the aperture based upon those criteria and the meter reading.

Full manual lets you define all the settings youself

For macro aperture priority is ideal; however if you are using flash as a major part of the exposure then full manual is the only way to go because the camera can't meter for the flash, so the settings will be based upon ambient light only with the flash - if in auto mode - will just be giving fill lighting. If the flash is more dominant in teh scene then shift to manual mode and force the settings you want and let the flash add the needed light.

Myself when shoooting macro and using a flash I'll oft be around f13, ISO 100, 1/200sec

4 28/03/2014 - 4:47 PM
By Overread
How i can get money for equipment!
Think outside the box.

Consider ways to earn money that are not photography related. You can always work in something to just earn the money which you can then use to upgrade your equipment and pay for tuition to increase your capabilities.

You'll find things open up a lot more when you've got some skills to show rather than just a dream (dreams are good but if you've got a proof that you're serious and a display of your determination and skills you'll have a massively better chance than otherwise).

Also, big lesson here, don't get too focused on what your camera can't do. Focus on what it CAN do. Because you'll find that otherwise what happens is that you'll end up so focused on what you can't that what you can flies right past and you miss it entirely. A 1000D might not be top of the range new, but its still a great bit of camera gear. Used right it can get some great shots (heck one of my best shots is still taken with a 400D which is honestly not much further from the 1000D you have ).

10 28/03/2014 - 12:18 PM
By keithh
Weddings! Only using 1 memory card?
It depends.

Go back 10 years and a 1GB card was BIG and a 2GB freakishly huge you'd never use one in case it died. Now I find that with the increase in file sizes (especially if you're shooting RAW) you'd be crazy to use a 1GB card. You'd want 4- 8 -16GB to work with unless you wanted to have a mountain of them.

Cards are more reliable in the past and in general so long as you're not buying cards at the very top of new releases you'll get a fairly stable and working card.

Against that there are a few other points to consider;
1) Cards are more and more expensive the larger the capacity - so whilst you might have fewer cards they'll cost you more - especially if you have to replace any.

2) When working the key is preservation of data. This means you've got to take sensible precautions to ensure that if something does go wrong you're covered. You have spare cameras and lenses in case something breaks - you have pre-event meetings and contracts - etc.. and data protection is no different.

So what can you do?
a) Use more smaller cards that allow you to break up the data for the whole event over several units. This has the bonus that if one unit fails the others can at least be used to provide a viable product at the end. Of course more cards also means you have to be more organised - you don't want to lose them nor end up getting them mixed up with the wrong wedding.
Ideally I would say break the cards into events (or groups of events). That way you've got a clear "event" on the card and you can change cards between events rather than in the middle of one.

b) Use duel card saving on cameras that support the feature - this cna get around the need to have more cards because you're doubling your data. Having two copies helps you ensure that if one fails you've at least got a full backup already made - this also has the bonus that you don't need an assistant nor take time out of things to produce the backup - its made as you go.

c) Use on-site laptops/external harddrives (you can get some that have card readers built in to allow you to fast attach and copy a cards content without need for a full computer). This is giving you instant backup on-site during the event. For something small like a drive with a card slot you don't even need anyone to help - for a laptop you might benefit an assistant though it depends on the work volume and event complexity (ergo if you've got 5 mins to spare or not).
Of course you've got to have a good method - no sense always intending to and then never backing up till you get home because "things got in the way" at the event.

So sure, you can shoot a whole wedding on one card - 32GB isn't that insane these days in card sizes. However because a single wedding is a major income source and because bad publicity will spread very fast you'll have to have suitable backup. A duel card slot or on-site backup to laptop/harddrive are essential to use through the event to help protect you against losing that all important data.

9 11/04/2014 - 9:56 PM
By Paul Morgan
2x convertor
Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 is one of the few zooms that can take a 2*TC and retain a usable level of image quality. Sure a straight 500mm or 600mm prime will beat it no question; but they'll also be 3 - 4 maybe more times its cost.

Drop the aperture down to f7.1 and you should not only have a good depth of field but also a good degree of sharpness in the shots. About the same as you'd expect from a 100-400mm or a 70-200mm f2.8 IS L M2 with 2*TC.

11 27/03/2014 - 6:21 PM
By brrttpaul
Studio Photography Help
First up I would strongly recomend the two following books as it sounds like you need help with both camera control and with lighting.

1) Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson - this will help you learn to control the camera; the aperture, shutter speed and ISO and learn how to combine them to get a clear shot in any situation.

2) Light Science and Magic - 4th edition. This is the introductory text book for lighting; it won't just help you to deal with light placement, but will also introduce you to how to control shadows and reflections over a variety of surface types (ideal for product photography where you might be dealing with a whole range of different materials including plastics, glass, metals etc...).

For a very rough beginning for this kind of photography I'd;

1) Put the camera into manual mode - the cameras built in meter won't be able to expose for the flash light you'll use so the other modes will be frustrating to use. Manual puts you in control.

2) As a starting point f8 - ISO 100 - 1/200sec is where I'd begin. Those are not "the perfect" settings that's just a nice sharp aperture - a low ISO and a typical sync speed for camera flash use (sync speed is the fastest shutter speed at which the camera can fire with flash outside of high-speed sync modes that you likely won't need for this at present).

3) The transmitter setup I can't advise with as I've not used the Yongo setup. All I can say is make sure the flash units are all turned on - make sure the transmitters are setup correctly and dialled into the right channels (ergo the same channel if they offer alternate channels which many oft do).
Ask your friend for some advice too since you've copied the setup - there might be a quirk to using them that isn't apparent.

4) Set the flash units to manual power output and adjust their power level to suit your shots needs. Take a test shot and see how the exposure turns out - make use of the histogram display on the back of the camera to help you review the photos.
Remember changing the distance of the flash light to the subject will adjust its power (closer = stronger / further away = weaker) as well as adjusting the power on the back of the flash.
Generally I would say work with one flash at a time - set its position and then adjust to give a good exposure then add the next flash and test it out for exposure.

2 20/03/2014 - 5:38 PM
By cameracat
wildlife photography
I would say at least 300mm and even that's short most of the time. 200mm is very short (even on crop sensor) for wildlife unless you are very good at getting close.

Equipment wise I'd suggest considering:

1) Best (ie most expensive Tongue) longest lens you can afford. There's a fair bit on the market from cheaper 70-300mm zooms all the way up to huge primes that cost as much as a small car. How much you have to budget and play with affects this greatly so - even if its just a rough value, put a number to it so we can get a reference point to start with

2) Best body you can get after getting the lens - yep lens before body in this case, whilst the body IS very important, the lens is far more critical in wildlife photography. Again this depends on what budget you've got overall to work with.

3) Tripod - a good set of legs and a ballhead (or others if you're getting heavier gear) is a good starting point. Tripods are very important if you're going to do any hide work - any time you'll be sitting for hours you want a tripod otherwise your arm will fall off.

4) Very heavy lenses will require a monopod even for handholding just to help take the edge off during a days shoot (you'll get stronger the more you shoot but a monopod helps give some rest to help you avoid fatigue)

5) Good out-doors clothing - and kneepads. Yes kneepads - believe me nothing is worse than crouching for a shot and having your knee go onto a stone (or trying to get up off rough ground when kneeling). You might feel a fool but you're knees will thank you for it.

Books wise I've no idea as to your current experiences so:

1) Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson - good book to start and get a good grounding in exposure with a DSLR

2) The Digital Photography Book series - books 1-4 by Scot Kelby - a great starting point for all things photography - gives a good overall approach to things for the beginner.

3) The Photographer's Eye by Michael Freeman - a good solid book that moves on from the technical and explores the world of composition and artistic theory. A very good and well recommended reference book on starting this subject.

4) Books written by John Shaw - all his publications are worth considering for the eager wildlife photographer. Well written and presented they are somewhat older and whilst film might have been replaced by digital the methods are still the very same (with the exception that now you can change ISO as you go with digital).

5) Books written by Joe McDonald. Again another strong wildlife photographer with some very good and solid publications.
Wildlife Photographers Field Manual is a particular favourite of mine of his if you can find a copy.

Check used book shops/ebay/amazon for those two authors and some of their older publications.

ID books - useful references:

1) Collins Bird Guide

2) Collins Butterfly Guide

3) Field Guide to the Moths of Great Britain and Ireland by Waring, Townsend and Lewington


All those guides use drawn plates not photographs for identification. Personally I'd strongly avoid photograph based ID books. They can be pretty, but in my experiences its a lot harder to tell a species based on a photo as opposed to a drawing. Drawings can present perfect idealistic visual references which won't have quirks or unique features that photographs of individuals will have - they are also easier to pick out key details and features - photographs can hide these. You also typically get a few drawings per ID 0 that might be old and young - above and below etc...

Also look out for bird books by Helm, they make some fantastic reference books containing a lot of information and are pretty much some of the top bird ID and general information books out there.

5 18/03/2014 - 1:34 PM
By peterjones
"Photographer" Types...
Rockwellians (followers of the way of Rockwell)

Suffering artists (its not art unless the photographer suffers in its taking)

Film purists

Glass plate purists (rumoured to be extinct now barring some remote corners of Scotland)

Rugged Wildlifer (you know that guy/gal who's always at least half or fully dressed in camo)

Prime Perfectionists (primes only none of those zoom things!)

Macro Addicts (yep those people who subject us all to multi-eye'd flies and giant spiders).

84 20/04/2014 - 12:16 PM
By ade_mcfade
Account reminder emails..
EPZ just loves and misses you that much! Grin

In ePHOTOzine discussion | Page: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
7 15/03/2014 - 3:17 PM
By saltireblue
Using the Classifieds - problems
So first up gah the forum changed and everything went grey - I miss the red.

In other news just tried to use the classifieds and came across a problem. Not sure if its the site or my browser, but it seems to have a problem with the "duration" slot. I enter the number 1 and it doesn't appear and preview states that I need to add 30 odd credits to count. So clearly its trying to count per day listings instead of per month.

Browser wise I'm using Opera in case that's a factor

1 10/03/2014 - 11:39 PM
By dougv
Should they raise the minimum age for driving?
Raising the minimum age won't really solve all of the problems - in fact the main problem we have isn't so much reckless drivers, its just the fact that we've so many drivers and only so much road space. Cram more and more people onto the road and those little mistakes (that we all make) become more and more dangerous and even a small bump can suddenly escalate.

What they should really do is focus much more on public transport - get the costs down on that. If you want to do long distance by train the costs for a small group of people can end up being about as much as second hand car! We all hear about those "prebook super cheap" train tickets, but my experience is that they are not always for where you want to go and are only any good if you've time and forewarning to hunt around ages before you travel.

If they could improve the public transport to the point where people really are able to and will use it more often then I think that would solve a lot of the travel and driving issues that we face today. We can't keep building more and more roads everywhere and building one road over/under the other is just far too expensive (and adds a lot of risk for any accident).

As for the test I'd honestly say that we should add in snow driving. We take snowfall as rather a "oh it won't happen this year" attitude. Which means when we do get a bit of ice on the road everything snarls up. We don't train for snow driving - heck you can pass your driving test in summer and hardly have any night, rain, snow or fog driving experience. Theory is all well and good but you need practical experience too!

I'd also do away with the fast courses for anyone who hasn't already had a few months of regular training. Sure some people do need to pass fast, but they should have prior experience as "cramming for a test" never works long term and with such a short period of experience they've less time to really get good and to experience different things.

Note also that raising the age puts a lot of pressure on those younger groups who might not still be in school. If you cut off the ability for people to travel in this day and age and don't replace it with effective public transport you can quickly end up hindering their ability to secure a viable job.

16 22/10/2013 - 4:59 PM
By jondf
strobes macro ringlight help
Depends, if you are using it artistically I'd say just balance the white balance settings until you get something that looks good to your eye.

If you want colour accuracy then I would look into how to manually set your white balance; if the ringflash is providing all of the exposure light (ergo black photo if the flash were off) then you'd only have to set the manual white balance for it once and you'd have the value ready for any shot where the flash is dominant as the light source.

Most LED setups I see tend to say "daylight" so I would start there as a default starting point when setting the white balance and see how it looks.

In Lighting | Page: 1, 2
4 12/10/2013 - 5:36 PM
By sparrowhawk
Finding a good quality fast printing service
Thanks guys - gave DS colour labs a go and they've done well - impressed with their communication as well!

6 12/10/2013 - 3:25 PM
By Overread
Finding a good quality fast printing service
Greetings all!

I've a need to print off some photos and have them arrive at the very latest by this Saturday, so there isn't too much time for any too and fro adjusting them for the best possible results (should any errors/problems show up - eg highlights a little too strong).

Has anyone got a good printing firm that I could print with who won't got the world, but who can deliver within that rough time period and with a good degree of quality?

Also as an aside when displaying a portfolio roughly how big should prints ideally be? At the present I'm thinking that the typical A4 size (ok I know its not A4, but its around that size, 8* something). I don't think there's a great need to display a larger size, unless people think that larger is going to be significantly better for display?

6 12/10/2013 - 3:25 PM
By Overread
One of the saddest days of my life
Didn't we already do that in Wales and didn't the studies there show that it had little to no effect on the bovian spread of TB?

57 03/09/2013 - 9:40 PM
By tomcat
The ISO should be as high as you need for the shot given the lighting you're in.

There is a general view that you should keep it as low as possible, however that does not mean you always have to keep it low. Indeed I'd strongly suggest that you learn to work with higher ISOs - cameras today can easily work with ISOs of 400, 800, 1600 and higher very easily; especially once you learn some noise reduction and sharpening methods in editing.

You also need to consider what subjects you're working with and how your exposing them. If you're doing mostly landscape you might well never need to use a high ISO for most typical exposures - whilst if you're shooting sports you might be sitting on ISO 400 or even 800 as default in anything other than the best of lighting.

In Taking photos | Page: 1, 2, 3, 4
6 30/08/2013 - 1:36 PM
By cameracat
One of the saddest days of my life
Forgot to mention (and can't edit in now)
Our biggest problem though is education - we treat natural studies as a rather childish or optional component of our education system and we only teach the very basics when young and as we get older the component reduces until almost nothing is taught unless you opt for it.

AS a result the vast number of people have very little to nothing in the way of even very basic understanding which directly harms any approach to then put into practice or take serious these issues.

57 03/09/2013 - 9:40 PM
By tomcat
One of the saddest days of my life

Quote: the badger cull on the other hand is more about politics than scientific fact.

This is the core of the problem.
There is so much politics involved that the science and study gets lost. As a result we end up with policies that don't really make any sense and are driven more by either the demand to "do something" or are based upon the animals relative popularity as cute or devilish.

Then there is also this desire for all or nothing, but it seems to get used wrong. Where we have invasive species we seem to approach it timidly; whilst where we see overpopulation or such we approach with extreme culling methods (deer could be said to be one of the few who are controlled rather than culled madly).

In Healthy Debate | Page: 1, 2, 3, 4
57 03/09/2013 - 9:40 PM
By tomcat
Interesting TFP agreement...
Honestly a lot of contracts are made only for the client they are made by and often contain a lot of clauses that will be countered or removed or adjusted. They are put in there on the offchance that they are agreed to; if not then they can be negotiated - this looks like one that needs to be negotiated.

In Freelance | Page: 1, 2, 3, 4
34 01/09/2013 - 7:09 PM
By ade_mcfade
Calibrating lenses, is it worth doing? How?
Also remember that micro adjust is only adjusting the focusing of the lens and camera; it won't affect the best possible sharpness with the camera and the lens (you have to send the combo into the lens manufacturer for calibration if you want that - having found that you're getting soft shots even in test conditions and its not a focus error)

In Lenses | Page: 1, 2, 3
7 19/12/2013 - 10:31 PM
By thewilliam
no photos on ephotozine

Quote: I think you shouldn't be allowed to win competitions until you have been a member for let's say, 12 years.


Only if you've posted photos to the gallery and have never posted a

1) HDR/False HDR/Tonne mapped photo done in bad taste

2) Selective colouring

3) Blurry/milky water

4) Robins

5) Flowers

6) That 'tree' (that one that's all half blown over in the middle of no-where).


27 23/08/2013 - 11:16 AM
By TonyPrower
Wildlife photography classes/lessons
Wildlife photography is formed of 3 parts.

1) Technical camera skills - with a general focus on photographing active and moving subjects.

2) Artistic compositional skills - technical camera skills get you so far, but composition is very critical to shifting from just record shots/snapshots to photographs.

3) Field-craft (this includes both learning and knowing your subject and how to find and track/prepare for it; but also to take account of camera relative elements such as distances, angle of the sun/lighting).

That list is also the rough order that I would focus leaning upon; control the camera; learn the art; learn the fieldskills. Now of course any normal learning environment is not going to learn those in isolation; but it is the order that I would focus upon.

Decide where you are and what you're after and then as you sift through the courses focus on which ones will offer you the core skills that you're missing and want to focus upon.

As mentioned above zoos, wildlife parks, heck even just your pets can provide ideal environments to practice upon similar subjects. Note that many times you'll also encounter new problems (eg with a zoo or any enclosure you meet the new challenge on how to work with the bars -getting close enough to remove them from the short or including them as part of the composition).

7 21/08/2013 - 5:24 PM
By Overread
no photos on ephotozine
The site offers a lot of features for a wide range of users - galleries - discussion forums - competitions - sales - etc.... Not all users will make use of all those features and many might just make use of one or two of those areas.

27 23/08/2013 - 11:16 AM
By TonyPrower
Forum Etiquette

Quote: I think it would help if the OP was able to close the thread when they deem it finished.

Ahh but many who ask questions don't know the answers when they get them ;many a time a person will just read the first answer, but often debate and discussion can extend things way beyond the original depth of the first answer; or it might show alternative options or ideas. If the OP were able to close threads at will many would lose out.

22 22/08/2013 - 9:46 AM
By MichaelMelb_AU
Do todays digital cameras have too many gimmicks?
Paul, very much agreed that new sensor and hardware advance is needed as well as the software. I'd just like if Canon didn't drop cameras so quickly in their line up from updates.

thewilliam - what is the photographer has reached the limits of skill for the shot and is restricted by technical elements of the camera or its control?

In Digital cameras | Page: 1, 2
31 02/09/2013 - 9:19 AM
By Evertonian