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Overread's Forum Comments

Overread > Overread Recent Activity > Overread's Forum Comments
TopicRepliesLast Post
Thinking of changing my 50mm Sigma Macro to either Sigma 105mm or Canon100mm Macro.
A few thoughts:

1) Most macro lenses today get shorter in focal length as they get closer and closer. Even the MPE is something like only 40mm when at its closest focusing point (and it hasn't even got a focusing system just increasing magnification).
So whilst this is part of lenses I would not worry about it overly much in general.

2) Sometimes bees and insects will fly off because you got close - but a lot of the time its because

a) you shadowed them, sometimes all-but impossible to avoid doing even with a longer lens.

b) They are awake and active and its warm. If its warm and later in the day chances are they are doing what insects do and being active. So they'll be up and off fairly quick, esp if there is any local disturbance (footfalls - breathing - shadowing - flash). This is why a great many insect shots are oft done very early in the day or in the evening when insects are cooler and warming up; or getting ready to rest for the night.
Short showers also cause some bigger insects like bees, to crash down fast because the sudden cool catches them off-guard. So heading out after/during rainfall can help.

3) You made the right choice, 50mm is really getting very short for macro; making not only avoiding overshadowing hard, but also lighting because of the tiny amount of space between lens and subject. I'd typically say 60mm is the bottom limit for practical macro photography for most people - ideally with 70 or 90mm as a sane lowest limit for starting out.

4) Lighting wise ring-flashes work; but they've limitations. Because of their design they give a very even, very smooth, very flat light. Whilst higher end models can let you set one side brighter than the other and thus introduce some shadowing, its still a very flat light. Great for some shots, but not others.
The other problem is that because of their shape and position you can't increase the surface area of the light source relative to the subject very easily, if at all. So you can't soften the light very easily.

I'd suggest looking into a speedlite flash and a small softbox (lumiquest regular softbox is a good start). This lets you have a flash you can use in nearly any field of photography; along with a source you can control and soften.
An off-camera flash cable would be next so you can get the flash off the camera. From there you can look into a flash bracket. I'd personally suggest looking at RAM-Mount - they make sockets and ball-heads for bikes, which means they really do work well and they've screw-thread balls which match tripod screw threads - so you just screw the assembly into your tripod collar/camera tripod plate and then another into the base of the flash and link them up with a few double balls and double sockets.

11 20/01/2015 - 10:02 PM
By tonyb73
New gear suggestions - help me spend money and help against the recession
Hehe why are DSLRs only bought in Russia now?

13 20/01/2015 - 12:12 PM
By Overread
New gear suggestions - help me spend money and help against the recession
I've heard great things of the 135mm f2 lens! Certainly if I were more a fan of primes in that range it would be one to consider. At present though I feel that the 70-200mm spoils me well in that range for what I want and need it to do. I think if I were more used to going out with two cameras at once the135mm might tempt me more so.

Tripod heads I could certainly get a good couple of very high quality ones like a Wimblery and a good ballhead - heck I'd likely even have enough to fully set myself up with arca swiss plates too.

I think the problem is that I see tripods as support rather than opening new doors for me. Plus whilst a few are very pricey I can break out the overall cost over time rather than all in one go.

13 20/01/2015 - 12:12 PM
By Overread
New gear suggestions - help me spend money and help against the recession
Chris - I did and I got lots of possibilities - hence asking Smile

I kinda feel that the short-range zoom is the "gap" that should most properly be filled, but at the same time its just not a gap I use all that often which makes me want to start thinking about exotic things

13 20/01/2015 - 12:12 PM
By Overread
New gear suggestions - help me spend money and help against the recession
Stray yep its the f2.8 OS version - the one just before the new and current "sport" version of the lens. And yes I already use it with teleconverters to good effect (though I find that with it the handholding theory breaks - 1/600sec is not fast enough for handheld sharp - even with OS backing its iffy so I find I have to push the shutter speed faster - monopod and tripod area for certain for me).

The 18-135mm IS STM looks like an interesting lens, though I'm not as big a fan of its variable maximum aperture range.

Drummer - I've looked at the whole m4/3rd market and I'd like one I really would (Olympus OMD series I think). Thing is its a new system and whilst its compact and compliments a DSLR system well I'd kind of like to get my DSLR setup to a state of "got most of it" before branching out into another whole system.

13 20/01/2015 - 12:12 PM
By Overread
HDR Bible?
I can't recommend any books or websites nor articles, but it might help if you outline what it is about HDR that you like and do with it. It's a very variable method and the process itself is used to give effects from those so subtle you'll hardly notice all the way up to full blown "cartoony" effects.

Now of course breadth of understanding helps; so I'd certainly not advise avoiding any books that detail methods or approaches that differ from your own; only to say that it might help provide focus and some idea as to what you're really after which might give some prompting to others to think about artists who use similar methods in their work which can be recommended.

8 27/01/2015 - 5:15 PM
By Jestertheclown
New gear suggestions - help me spend money and help against the recession
Stray a good point regarding stuff I already had.
Currently got:
Canon 400D - 7D
Tokina 35m f2,8 macro
Canon 18-55mm - 65mm f2.8 macro - 70-200mm f2.8 IS L MII
Sigma 8-16mm - 70mm f2.8 macro - 150mm f2.8 macro - 120-300mm OS -

Raven - I've already got a 35mm and I do like the range when dealing with closer situations, but I'm not sure in a zoom if 18-35mm is "enough" for me at the long end. I just don't see myself as someone who uses that focal range extensively at present.

13 20/01/2015 - 12:12 PM
By Overread
Travelling with a pistol grip tripod head
I've not heard of anyone having problems.

Anything is possible, but generally I wouldn't expect trouble; its not shaped like a gun even a casual inspection should clearly show that its a tripod not a gun. If you are still worried take photos and ask the airport directly via email for some confirmation.

6 19/01/2015 - 11:55 PM
By cuffit
Canon lens from Taiwan
Lenses are all made in the same factory for each lens. If yours is made in Tiwan then they all are of that make (with the exception of some made in Japan before the tsunami). So the origin of the lens itself is always going to be the same no matter what country you buy it from.

Plus there isn't (or doesn't seem to be ) much of a market in making knock-off own brand lenses - there is a lot of 3rd party market options but I've never read of there being any knock-off lenses on the market (least in a big way).

What changes is the warranty you get really - I think Canon honours warranties internationally; but things have changed in that in the last few years so they might not. You've got Amazon warranty though so that should cover you without worry.

5 18/01/2015 - 11:36 AM
By KingBee
Infrared Filter by Cokin
As Lens says digital cameras have an IR filter fitted infront of the sensor which cuts out a lot of IR light that comes into the camera. An IR filter on the lens will cut out all but the IR light, however because of the filter blocking it over the sensor what happens is that you have to take a very long exposure (slow shutter speed) in order to get enough light into the camera.

You can have the IR filter removed and some companies do do this service; if you want you can also get an IR blocking filter to put infront of your lens if you want to use your camera for normal shots again (although typically unless you're very keen, its the kind of mod most people use for an older DSLR that they used before)

7 18/01/2015 - 7:32 PM
By PatrickElsender
New gear suggestions - help me spend money and help against the recession
so a while back I did a chat on a good "regular" lens to replace the 18-55mm lens that I kinda don't and never really have liked in my setup. So I did some hunting around and some chatting and sooort of kind of settled on the idea that a 24-70mm f2.8 MII is a nice idea - even though there are some 18-85mm type lenses as well and also a 24-105mm f4 as well.

Then there are some other shiny things too that I'd like - soo whilst I'm being indecisive come help!

Budget - around £1500ish (might end up less I can't be 100% sure).

Interests - wildlife (generalist) - macro (bugs mostly) - equine (events, might branch into other areas - depends on opportunities).

My ideas/things I need:
24-70mm f2.8 L MII
24-105mm f4 IS L
Tripod heads (currently I've only got the geared head) - wembly - ball heads - etc.. http://www.cognisys-inc.com/store/insect-system.html : High Speed Insect Capture System (I'd warm to this and exchange rate means its the same as the 24-70mm - but that's without import tax being paid)
Lighting - I'd rather like to get a pair of the new radio controlled flash guns and maybe sell my 580EX2

Other things - go ahead suggest useful ideas!

13 20/01/2015 - 12:12 PM
By Overread
Places in England where you can photograph big cats with no glass
Few thoughts:

1) Barring some specialist sites like the Kent centre mentioned above, most zoos are not geared up for photography especially. In fact big cats are one of the more tricky because where there isn't viewing glass there is nearly always double fencing. That is you have an inner "cat proof" wire mesh fence and then an outer "people proof" fence to keep people back (I assume its to save fingers).
Downside is it means you can't get the lens close enough to the wire to remove it - so you've got to rely on a really long zoom and the cat hanging back into the enclosure.
Marwell has a vantage point where you can get up high to the Tiger pen - though generally that just means you get a shot of wire tops and the cat lazing on its platform.

2) Glass can be t ricky with reflections, but if you take a cloth to clean it up a little (finger smudges) and then get the lens right up close (those cheap rubber lens hoods sold on ebay are good for this) you basically block any light behind you getting onto the glass you're shooting through - so no reflections. This also works for letting you use flash through glass.
Another way is to attach a large bit of black card around the end of the lens - again blocking the light behind.

3) Getting zoo shots with the enclosure are hard. They are hard because often the enclosure physical elements are rather unattractive. But its also hard because it generally is very very hard to tell anything but a sad story with such shots. The "finger through the wire sad face shot" is easier to get, but can send the wrong message regarding the zoo and indeed the animal itself.

14 10/01/2015 - 2:57 PM
By Overread
Lens Sharpness
When one wishes to test a photographers still one takes them out to shoot photos

When one wishes to test a lens one takes it into the lab and shoots test shots

Trying to compare one lens to another by comparing photos is not going to work because you're not comparing the lens, you're comparing the photographer. You can sort of do so if you keep the same photographer and the same composition and the subject and lighting all remain the same - however then chances are that you're going to be looking at the same properties in a landscape of a mountain that you would in a brick wall - and the wall shows these things easier and simpler without distracting aesthetics getting in the way.

It's interesting that he also mentions that you must use a lens wrong to test it - however in my view that is simply reinforcing a common element Ken has in that he has a very monotone view to shooting. He's the kinda guy who if presented with the idea of taking a macro photo will use a small aperture and never even consider using a wide one. Creativity is not just in the frame and subject; its also in the choice of how you present that using the tools you have.

I guess his main idea of the article is "forget about the test charts go shoot photos" but its wrapped up in comments and views that is not very helpful to any who don't already have the answers

10 04/01/2015 - 11:46 PM
By Sooty_1
Macro lens help
But Justin some people take a reeeeeeally long time to choose!

15 31/12/2014 - 2:30 PM
By justin c
Close up filter on step rings
Raynox optics have a screw-thread on them as well, so you'd just needs rings to fit it. They are pretty small but you won't suffer vignetting problems.

In Lenses | Page: 1, 2
7 30/12/2014 - 5:25 PM
By LenShepherd
Close up filter on step rings

i think your lens goes to 1:1, and if your Nikon is a 'C' sensor, that's another 0.5 magnification. How close do you want to go!

To a macro shooter there is no such thing as too much magnification http://www.ephotozine.com/user/overread-82735/gallery/photo/creepy-crawly-132706... 5:1 magnification (on crop sensor as well). Full frame shot of a springtail - try that at 1:1 and you'd never see the hairs and not much detail on the little critter.

My views:

1) Close up lens attachments/diopters/macro filters (they get called a bunch of names - I believe the first I've stated there is their correct name).
These come in two broad sorts, single element cheapies and multi-element. The Single element are the ones most people use first time around and because they are cheap and single element they are often low grade. As a result many try them and then speak nothing but scorn of them - yes they work but optical performance takes a significant hit.

The more expensive multi-element options are a whole other ballgame. They are more than capable of matching up to the high grade optics in a lens (in fact the sharpest 5:1 setup I've seen uses a Raynox close up lens attachment and beats the Canon MPE 65mm macro lens - a lens purpose built for that job). I would recommend Raynox series (they make a whole range) and the Canon 500D and 250D (note the 250D is the more powerful of the two Canon). Raynox I've used and have got a very good track record of providing fantastic results - yes you will get some image quality degradation, but:

a) Increasing magnification typically results in increasing the effective aperture, as a result diffraction kicks in a lot sooner. So whilst you could get sharp shots at f13 at 1:1 - once you start increasing the magnification (no matter how you do it) you'll end up wanting to shift to wider apertures to retain sharpness. Even with the MPE by the time you're out at 5:1 you might be shooting at f5.6 or even f4 because the effective aperture is already well below f20.

b) Any modification be it extension tubes - close up lens attachments - reversing - teleconverters - all result in you changing the lenses optics from its ideal. Many times the degradation is minor to insignificant (esp in macro where you're already typically closing the lens down to sharper apertures).

2) Extension tubes - these work well, but you won't get to 2:1 with a 100mm lens and extension tubes sold in typical sets of 65mm. In fact whilst you'll get a meaningful boost you won't get a vast difference. As a result you'd have to add way more which would have a more serious impact on image quality and also make the setup longer and harder to use.

3) Teleconverters - yep you can use these. They boost magnification by the same factor they increase focal length. So a 1.4TC gives you a 1.4:1 (a setup I often use as I find it lets you get the segmented eyes to appear clear on most flies - over the 1:1 where some of the smaller species appear more a blurry haze than clear segments).
Of course the bigger bonus here is that once the TC is attached you retain all your lenses normal properties - infinity focusing - normal minimum focusing distance.

You can also combine the options - personally I've used a teleconveter (1.4) and a close up lens attachment (Raynox DCR 250 - a popular starting close up lens attachment of decent power) to good effect in the past.

Shorter working distances are also part of higher magnifications - they make things harder, but not impossible you just have to get more varied in how you work and sometimes choose the moment well. Eg not chasing bugs in the middle of a hot day but waiting till early morning or late evening or going out just after a sudden downpour (sudden quick rainfall events often send things like bees crashing down for a while as they get torpid from the cold and have to recover).

How you choose to approach things is your own choice, but I'd say that for a 100mm lens if you want a serious boost to magnification then close up lens attachments are the most practical approach - the other is to use lens reversing, a method I've not dabbled in but can have significant effects (magnification is basically focal length of the lens on the body - divided by the focal length of the lens reversed onto it - so a 300mm on the camera with a 50mm reversed onto it is a 6:1 magnification potential - of course that excludes practicalities of things like the working distance).

7 30/12/2014 - 5:25 PM
By LenShepherd

Have a great time! Smile

26 26/12/2014 - 12:04 PM
By peterjones
Trade in/part ex.
Just remember if you part exchange/sell through a retailer you get less than you would if you sold the item yourself. Shops have to sell on at the market rate so what they'll offer to trade/buy at will always be under the market rate.

The bonus is that a shop is typically quick, safe and easy to sell to. Where-as selling yourself might take time to get the price you want and can have some risk factor (though so long as you approach things sensibly you should have minimal risk).

8 27/12/2014 - 7:18 PM
By gingerdougie
Photography Magazine Opinions
Few things I'd like to see that are not present:

1) Less adverts or at least better placement of them. Yes I know that they've got to make money and that in todays market adverts ARE a major source of their income; but at the same time when I flip through a magazine I shouldn't be feeling that over half is advertisements. This isn't the ad-trader its a hobby magazine it should at the very least have more hobby than advertisement.

2) More intermediate to advanced content. Most magazines do beginners pretty well - but they really don't do much for anyone else in the photography side. There really needs to be more information, more elaboration and more diversity so that intermediate to advanced users can have the potential to learn and at least engage with the magazine.

3) More content that isn't just how-to or gear reviews - linked to point 2 is the need for more additional content types. Interviews - history - etc... Things that are linked to photography but go beyond just gear and how to change the aperture

4) Photoshop elements - ok this one is abit weaker of an argument today with the £10 per month Photoshop and lightroom subscription - but certainly before that more magazines would have done well to have their beginner level how-to edit articles made using elements. Most beginners were not going to spend as much/more on the editing software than the camera!
Any magazine that was photography beginner focused using full photoshop was a waste since many times elements wouldn't have all the functions present (of course photoshop magazines and more advanced editing methods would be full photoshop based).

6 21/12/2014 - 12:46 PM
By cuffit
Road Traffic Accident.

Quote: [quote]Thanks all.....I think myself I'll go with the 6 points and resitting her test option as it's the only one that makes sense. Strange but if I find out more from my insurers I'll update as I go.

not sure why you feel that she needs to resit , points are awarded for breaking the traffic laws, having an accident is not a traffic offence.

She'd only have to resit if she gets 6 or more points on her licence - so if she has any already it could add up and then she's got to apply for a new re-test. Other times some situations let you do a top-up driving lesson (sometimes with test) but its not always the case (I know some speeding offences can waver the points if you pay and attend a course).

What is happening we can't tell, but hopefully things clear up soon - nothing worse than having a case hang over you even if you're not in any way in the wrong.

21 19/12/2014 - 9:12 AM
By Bridgelayer
Road Traffic Accident.

Quote: My insurance company have confirmed that all details are correct.....is it possible that she could be a new driver and could be forced to resit her test after a bump?

Depends - I know that new drivers only have 6 points on the licence rather than the normal 12; which thus encourages re-sits if they quickly gain those 6 points (I suspect the logic is that if you gain 6 points in a year that fast chances are the other 6 are not far behind so best to nip it in the bud now rather than later).

Another option is that they might have taken legal advice which is to say nothing. Not to say that you would, but sometimes people do say things which whilst they might mean one thing in common parlance, can mean something very different in legal terms. So they might just wish to avoid any potential worsening of their situation by saying anything - esp since recording a phone call these days is pretty trivial.

Or they could just be the kind of people who leave their mobile phone off a lot (heck I know I do).

21 19/12/2014 - 9:12 AM
By Bridgelayer
Rubber grips
Small blob of superglue (ordinary regular super glue) behind a small tab of leather on my camera fixed the job. The leather is typically not part of the weathersealilng, its stuck on the outside and generally there for visual effect and to provide grip when holding. A dab of superglue will fix it up and that's generally what was on there in the first place holding it in place.

If its glued back on firm water shouldn't get under it anyway.

In Nikon Cameras | Page: 1, 2
5 16/12/2014 - 10:08 AM
By Kool_Kat
Need some help with my first camera (Been photographing for quite some time though)
Define what "nature" means to you.

Are you thinking landscapes - macro - wildlife - birds - beasties - flowers?

5 03/12/2014 - 1:40 PM
By JackAllTog
Yahoo selling your images for its profit..

Quote: [quote]So you can counter this by just opting out of creative commons and reserving all rights on your photos

Erm… sorry to sound thick, but how do we do this?

Go to https://www.flickr.com/account Then to the Privacy tab - scroll down and there is an uploads segment where you can set the default licence for your uploads.

You can change the licence shown on any photo you've already uploaded by clicking on the licence description on the right side of the screen just under the photo when viewing the photo.

I think there is an option for changing all the licences to uploaded photos at once but I'm not sure where that option is (though I suspect its part of the Organise tab under the "You" menu

4 02/12/2014 - 3:56 PM
By Overread
Yahoo selling your images for its profit..
In fairness you have to opt-in to using the creative commons licences and if you choose to release your work under it then, yes, anyone (including Yahoo) can sell your work for profit without having to pay you a penny, so long as they attribute it correctly.

So you can counter this by just opting out of creative commons and reserving all rights on your photos.

4 02/12/2014 - 3:56 PM
By Overread
Macro lens choices
I would say that if you're having trouble at 90mm with subjects vanishing then there are few things to consider:

1) More working distance - this helps and it can also reduce your overshadowing of the shot as well. Though I would say forget 100mm - if you want a good increase then I'd say consider the Sigma 150mm or 180mm. They have original versions and the newer OS editions. Now the OS isn't as good as the Canon hybrid IS in their 100mm L (only macro lens on the market using that hybrid IS); but its certainly a boon to have and the optics are top rate.
They are perfectly usable handheld (been using a 150mm myself for ages).

2) Time of shooting - if you're out after the insects have had a chance to warm up chances are even with more working distance, any bug that is active and observant enough to spot you is going to keep spotting you. Earlier points in the day and after cold snaps (eg rainfall) are ideal times to find bugs more torpid and less apt to escape

3) Flash - some bugs do see flash and will react to it directly. If they are then they can be very tricky to grab a shot of; shifting into manual flash mode helps because then there is just one flash burst of light; in Ettl there are two (a preflash that works with the meter to set the power level - typically we can't see this, but some bugs can and will react to that before the main flash power has had a chance to fire).

8 01/12/2014 - 12:03 AM
By Overread
To add to Chris's point the way the drivers works often means that you won't see the same driver - plus if you're not buying all the time chances are you might only actually meet them a handful of times for a few moments each time so you don't have time to be known by them.

It's a downside of big business in that, yes customers are important. But no the individual customer is often not important for the typical running of the system itself (generally most companies will try to fix this in customer service at the personal level, but typically that only kicks in when things go wrong).

5 26/11/2014 - 6:46 AM
By Mozzytheboy
Canon EF 25 II - Extension tube extender for bird watchers??
To add, I've not done it myself, but I know afew photographers who use 500mm f4 L lenses which have something like a 5meter minimum focusing distance. Thus they will use extension tubes if they are doing hide work where they are wanting to focus closer than the lens would normally do so.

Teleconverters give you more reach, you'll get a closer shot from further away. However if you are closer and wanting to get closer still then its extension tubes you want. They are certainly not just limited to macro work - its just the most common use of them.

19 28/11/2014 - 6:24 PM
By RavenTepes
Are Headlights Now Too Bright?
At least the halogen lights have fallen out of popularity. Least round where I am I've noticed fewer and fewer of them around until they are almost gone. They really were a case of being far too glaringly bright as you were approaching them.

In Healthy Debate | Page: 1, 2
26 28/11/2014 - 12:35 PM
By mohikan22
Is it Safe
The problem with Elements is that whilst it will do nearly all the basic editing you want (and works with most 3rd party plugins) it lacks features in a few key areas which tend to limit what you can do if you want to use more advanced editing methods (I can't say what specific ones now as its been ages since I last used an Elements program).

The current buy and pay monthly approach for CS and Lightroom would be my suggestion as well - far far far less than you'd spend on film developing costs and yet gives you all the processing tools you'll need.

In Website Showcase | Page: 1, 2
10 16/11/2014 - 3:41 PM
By Overread
Macro photography
With the lens you've got you can potentially get more magnification with a set of extension tubes over the Raynox DCR250.

Both items work in a similar way, by removing infinity focus and reducing the minimum focusing distance. However extension tubes give more magnification (per unit of extension tube) on shorter focal length lenses; whilst close up lens attachments (like the Raynox) give more magnification on longer focal length lenses (for reference the strength of a close up lens attachment is measured by its diopter rating - the higher the value the more powerful it is).

Thus with a shorter focal length lens the extension tubes give you the greatest potential gain in magnification.

The bonus of the Raynox is that you can just clip it on and off the camera very quickly, no need to take a lens on and off; you just clip it straight on with its universal clip.

Another thought is that the Raynox doesn't extend your lens much further than it already is, whilst the extension tubes can potentially make the setup much longer. You might find this important to note with regard to lighting, any light source (eg flash) that is camera mounted will be more shadowed by your lens setup with the extension tubes than it will with the Raynox - however both will require some form of modification to bring the light forward onto the subject clearly.

11 15/11/2014 - 5:54 PM
By Overread
Wouldn't it be easier to retitle it to recent activity? Cause I know when I first looked I expected forums to take me to the main forum page cause that's what the link said it was taking me too Wink

18 15/11/2014 - 6:29 AM
By davidburleson
Will a Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di "work" with a Sigma 1.4X AF Teleconverter EX APO DG
Working also means will it physically fit as well - Sigma teleconverters have a protruding front element so if the rear of the Tamron has no recess of sufficient depth and width the TC simply won't fit.

Depending on what camera you are on AF might or might not work. Canon cameras won't engage AF if the camera detects that the maximum lens aperture is smaller than f5.6, although if you use live view focusing this limit is typically raised to f8 (its a different system). 1D line bodies can do AF up to f8 on normal viewfinder AF mode.

Of course that means that the camera must "see" the TV - sometimes 3rd party options or lens combinations won't send all the right into for the camera to see the TC.

Note that even if it can't see the TC the AF will still be impacted- the cut-off is there because after f5.6 the AF accuracy, speed and reliability drop off very fast.

Note lenses that end on f6.3 lie to the camera to some extend (or the camera only reads AF disabling on full aperture stops rather than half or one third stops).

Nikon cameras don't have this limitation, but they still suffer the same drop in AF performance.

In Tamron Lenses | Page: 1, 2
1 01/11/2014 - 2:18 PM
By Overread
No changes, no price increase
I seem to recall that some time mid year (I think) Adobe did raise the price for renewing for US customers or for all customers around that time. I think it might have sparked a backlash which might be why now the re-launch price isn't going up - although it depends on if you got it on a deal or not (if you got it on a deal - even an Adobe deal - the price might well go up).

Not sure what you're getting it for Paul - its £10 a month for me at present (or around the figure I can't recall the specific price off hand).

I think concern about them raising the price and such is valid to consider. I've known computer companies to make some VERY odd choices in this market. Mostly in relation to computer games where I've seen companies try to force users to remain online all the time whilst playing - even if the game being played is totally singleplayer (ergo no online multiplayer and no reason to need to be online); as well as some other oddities that just baffle the mind as to how they make it into being implemented.

32 03/11/2014 - 10:23 PM
By churchill123
How to read photographs with a view to learning
Slowsong - uptake is certainly important to consider - especially once you're past the teenage years when the mind is slower on the update in general. Sometimes I find that its not always the person, but the teacher. Give someone the right teacher or the right instruction and they can and will develop faster and better - other times the wrong teacher or the wrong self-learning will stifle or hinder full development.

Paul - yes and no. Yes when one is shooting a subject that they are more sure of; and also I'd say when the subject is more static. No when you're shooting something new (so you're more apt to experiment and less reliant upon methods you've already tried and practised) and also when you're shooting something very fast (esp if you're shooting close and its fast moving). In the latter element you can't always be sure you nailed "the" moment because its down to milliseconds.

Asides we have to review and look at what we shot (be it on the LCD - on the computer screen - on the negative or on a print) cause otherwise we won't see what we have taken Wink

20 01/11/2014 - 2:07 PM
How to read photographs with a view to learning

Quote: Do you think you can learn instinct?

We are not typically born with the instinct to photograph. It's not part of nature nor survival.

What we oft attribute to instinct is often simply the result of parental or personal interest in a specific subject and opportunity to pursue it from a very young age. If you did photography and studied it from when you could walk you'd gain near to 20 years of experience by the time you reach adulthood - plus you'd gain that understanding at an age when your brain is wired up for learning. So yes you'd have a lot more "natural talent" because you'd been focused in it and doing it far more than most others (who might only glance at photography and do snapshots without investing further effort in really learning)

Art can be taught - it can be learned. Otherwise many of the great artists would never get there (go look at many child prodigies and you'll find they often spent a LOT of their youth focused upon their area of excellence).

20 01/11/2014 - 2:07 PM
How to read photographs with a view to learning
keithh - I'd say digital certainly speeds up the process somewhat - the problem I find is that review on the LCD isn't as good as on the computer screen. The small screen size makes things appear different to when you get them on a larger screen. I think its partly because on the LCD you can take in the whole shot without much eye motion - so you don't have that draw and direction of flow of eye motion going on - when you view it larger I find you often see errors (esp leaving waste space for a subject to move into) because the eye is now moving around to see the shot - now the leading lines, direction of motion etc.. all come into play far more.

altitude - aye shooting is the only way to bring it all together. However it oft helps to go out there to shoot with some ideas. They might be totally your own; or you can take time to look at other photos and be inspired. My point here is to try and share and discuss how we can be inspired, but also how we can understand what inspires us and then be able to repeat that when we get out in the field and do indeed shoot.

Seeing a great landscape shot is fantastic - coming to understand the elements that add up to the final result even more so (indeed many times you can appreciate very subtle elements this way because you become overtly aware of them); then if you want to emulate certain parts or all of it yourself then you've got to understand how it was constructed so that you can take that away and repeat it - maybe on a totally different landscape shot (but containing enough of the same elements that allows for a good copy of the methods to be successful).

20 01/11/2014 - 2:07 PM
How to read photographs with a view to learning
You raise a good point regarding reading the overall content of the shot. Something I did indeed miss off was a reminder to view the shot as a whole (I guess I assumed that viewpoint from the outset).

Thing is if you're aiming to learn a new subject area then study of others works does indeed start to approach the "by the numbers" element. It's about seeing the building blocks that combine together to come to the final result. Sure you might read the shot and not get the same method that the photographer used to approach the shot; but you've got a viewpoint.

The intent is to be able to prise a shot apart to the point where you could emulate the shot given similar or the same conditions. From there you can then do the same to multiple shots within the same area of interest. Do that and now you've got a range of creative ideas - ideas that you can use alone or together in your own work.

20 01/11/2014 - 2:07 PM
How to read photographs with a view to learning
So having started up a new area of photography for myself I've found that I've come back to looking at the works of others for an idea of how they take their photos. However I've also found that approaching it somewhat ad-hock and without any structure leaves you going "ahh that's why" after the event rather than before, so I thought I'd strike up a discussion on this topic so that we can all learn to "read" photos better.

So what to look for - how to look for it - lets go! Note these are my thoughts and ideas, please add your views on them as well as your own things that you look for. Note for many things the use of editing can create a false lead. Personally unless the photographer states otherwise, assume no photoshop beyond simple corrections. No cropping - no significant exposure changes etc... Start with that approach as a base-line and work up from there. You might well find situations where its very clear that photoshop has been or has to be used to get the proper effect.

Tip - in your editing software of choice make yourself a little template with guide lines upon it so that you've a grid effect whilst having a transparent background. You can then impose this over the shots you're looking at. This can help in understanding some of the points raised below since the grid will help you line things up (esp in relation to what the viewfinder shows). Some editing software has automatic grids you can use without needing to make your own.

a) Composition itself - yep you've got the composition of the shot to look at. It helps here if you already know some compositional theories (rule of 3rds - golden circle - leading lines - how brightness affects eye attraction etc...). Once you know some theories you can start to see how they come together and play out over the frame. You can look for things like where the photographer has allowed for empty space - or where they've filled in the space.
Try as best as you can to get a grasp on the theories that are underlaying what you see. By doing that you start to understand what elements the photographer is looking for; what compositional components have come into play and panned out. It won't be the same every time, but it can start to give you some ground work for how they approach composing their photo.

b) Focus point selection - one that isn't evident at first as something you can take from a shot, but you can. You don't have to have the full meta data with the active AF point on show - but you can start to see what part of the frame is closest to the camera and in-focus - because that point will be what AF locks onto. From there you can start to judge how they've composed the shot (with point a) as well as how they've selected their AF point. It's a bit rough, but you can get a greater feel for how they've gone about taking the shot itself.
Note in some subject areas, like macro or landscape, AF might not come into the picture - although again you can still see where the focus is laying and that gives you a good hint as to how they are still composing and focusing, even if they are not using an AF point to work with.

c) Exposure itself - if the shot is online you can copy it and open it up in editing software and have a look at the histogram display. This along with what you see can give you some clues as to how they've exposed the shot. If they've left meta data up or stated out-right what settings they've used this is of great help. Again this is about looking at how the photographer has approached the shot - how they've chosen to work with the subject and light. You can see how close they've taken the whites to over-expose - how close the blacks are etc...
You can also look for subtle things - areas of blur suggesting a slower shutter speed - fuzzyness (of even out-right noise) potentially showing use of very high ISO; the nature of the depth of field (great or small). Note on the latter have a mind to the lens used if its stated - a tilt-shift will dramatically change how depth of field works in a shot.

d) Use of additional lighting or modifications. Have a look at highlight reflections (esp in eyes). Often you can come to see if the photographer has used a certain kind of light modification. Look at shadows too, sometimes (rare in skilled photographers) you can see alternate shadows suggesting more than one light source. Of course some things, light brighter shadows, can be the result of editing rather than flash or reflector use. It's challenging and almost a skill in itself to try and read this kind of info; but do have a look.
Also break the shot down - even if they've not used flash you can assume its the case and then consider how many and in what position lights would have to be to create the proper or at least similar effect. Think about where and how you'd position lights - now you're teaching yourself some lighting and getting some potential ideas.

e) Subject priority. Sometimes you might have a field of interest that presents multiple key subjects that might not be closely aligned. As a result the question is what is the primary - what subject is the shot most working for and which is the lesser one. Study and coming to get an understanding of how (and why) others have prioritised one over the other can be a big help in giving you some starting point ideas.

So those are a few of my thoughts on the subject, I'm sure there are more things that are of use that you might use yourself. So come and lets get some more ideas down or expand upon those already raised.

20 01/11/2014 - 2:07 PM
Accessing Money when abroad - any tips?
Ok so my sister is heading away for 6 months into Ostria to do hotel work and the question has come up about how she accesses her money from her bank account. From what she found its apparently a £5 charge every time she want to access her money when abroad.

Soooo - does anyone have experience of working abroad and know a more sane approach to getting access to ones own money? I'm sure there must be ways to do it, but I've never done banking abroad before (so yeah came to pick peoples brains).

For reference she's with HSBC

9 28/10/2014 - 10:48 PM
By cats_123
computer "virused"
Can you get into the Bios? If its not even booting to Bios it sounds like it could be hardware failure, potentially on the motherboard. If the Bois is booting up but then not the OS it could be harddisk failure. That it won't read CDs limits your options and also suggests possible hardware problems.

I think this might be one for the repair shop. The only other thing you could try is if you have a USB stick you can get a copy of linux that can boot from a USB - plug that into the PC and see if you can get it to boot from there (sorry for the sketchy instructions - I know such a process is possible, but I've never done it before - so you'll have to google around for a walk-through).

5 20/10/2014 - 6:03 PM
By JimL
PC Brigade
Jester - chances are if its a pro agreement they might not be able to enforce it off the teams own grounds - however that doesn't mean that coach knows that (all he might know is "we have a pro - only the pro does the shots"). I agree in the open public areas anyone should be free to take a shot.

So unless the park itself has any photography restriction, (and if the team is over 18 chances are they don't - since most "no pictures" restrictions are either for professional use or of under 18s) then the coach is in the wrong.

87 26/10/2014 - 3:27 PM
By mikehit
PC Brigade

Quote: (data protection usually pops up despite zero relevance)..

Amusing side story - the other week someone phoned up our home asking for my mother, I asked what it was in relation to "I'm sorry, due to the data protection act I can't tell you." All I could get was the name of the company from the guy. Sooo he never got any further.

In Off-topic discussion | Page: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
87 26/10/2014 - 3:27 PM
By mikehit
PC Brigade
It's likely not the PC brigade though.

The rule could come from multiple possible sources including:

1) The team has a pro(s) and respects their professional job in providing the photographs they need. Thus to shoot the team you "need a pass" so that the work of the professional(s) is protected.

2) The coach runs under 18 as well as over 18 and is used to the concept of needing permission for photographs of the team.

Chances are that the coach is just going on their standard policy approach; even though the park is fully in the public domain and chances are if its often used there were a good few phone and point and shoot shots taken of the team through their practice/game.

In Off-topic discussion | Page: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
87 26/10/2014 - 3:27 PM
By mikehit
Equine Event Photography
I'm using a 7D - I'll take it up to 1600 for ISO and be pretty happy with the results so long as I expose correctly. I could probably push it up to 3200 if needed, but chances are the results would start to drop off.

5 17/10/2014 - 9:10 PM
By Overread
Equine Event Photography
My thanks both!

Cf - I think outside in changeable lighting I would certainly use aperture priority. Indoors where the lighting was more fixed manual mode made more sense because the light itself wasn't changing much so once I had an exposure I didn't have to vary it to keep up - plus it meant that my shutter speed would stay nice and fast even if the dark body of the horse filled the main metering area of the frame.

Hob - if the light were stronger I'd probably have used a faster shutter speed - I might drop down from f4 to f2.8 but for the speed of a horse on the jump the 1/640 did well enough at capturing the motion still. There certainly wasn't, in my view, enough noise to warrant pushing the ISO higher and going for a faster shutter speed.

5 17/10/2014 - 9:10 PM
By Overread
First macro lens help (canon)
It also gives a good argument for not using macro lenses to too short a focal length. Once you start to use below 60mm macro lenses things get hard really fast because you're so close to the subject at 1:1 that you'r really shadowing it with lens, camera and body; plus you've a very small window to actually get light in and onto the subject. 60mm is really the limit I'd say - below that you're making more work and trouble for yourself.

Note this is not to say that shorter focal length macro lenses are inherently bad choices - just that for 1:1 work they are not very suitable (they can, however, make great little close up lenses. I use a Tokina 35mm macro and its a great little performer - I'd not much take it all the way to 1:1 but for close-up work and general shooting it does well).

14 23/10/2014 - 8:05 AM
By paulbroad
Serious Amateurs and Pro's are at least here:
Wait I want to know:
I've got a 70-200mm f2.8, 120-300mm f2.8, 35mm f2.8, 70mm f2.8, 150mm f2.8, 65mm f2.8 and an 8-16mm I can't recall what it is aperture wise but its something not f2.8 for once.

So do I fit in the serious category or do I need to get myself another f2.8 zoom lens to qualify?

262 23/01/2015 - 1:06 PM
By Evertonian
Thinking of Moving from Canon to Nikon D3300 Plus std kit lens - comments?

Many professionals have to use whatever the company has adopted as its standard kit and learn how to get the best results from it. Amateurs, on the other hand, have the luxury of choice.

Eh that's not much sense there. If your pro or amateur each group will have its own financial constraints that will limit what they can and cannot purchase as well as can and cannot justify. You get pros using dirt cheap gear because its the best they can afford for what they do - and you get amateurs owning whole collections of multiple top end gear - and vis versa.

In Nikon Cameras | Page: 1, 2 ...17, 18
32 25/10/2014 - 7:46 PM
By nikoniak
Serious Amateurs and Pro's are at least here:
Well that depends - if you start off insulting people chances are it will go south faster than this one did. I mean stating that only 3 lenses make a pro and that after those 3 zooms pros will then move onto primes only really is somewhat insulting to anyone not using that equipment. It's also childish and ignorant of the fact that many people use a wide variety of equipment setups and that they are still capable of producing fantastic results.

Yeah there is better, but what you present isn't better its just different and based upon your personal conditions and upon some basic "popular lens" statistics.

In Lenses | Page: 1, 2, 3
262 23/01/2015 - 1:06 PM
By Evertonian