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Overread's Forum Comments

Overread > Overread Recent Activity > Overread's Forum Comments
TopicRepliesLast Post
"The fact, though, is that every digital photographer enhances their pictures."
It's never too late - there are always those new to the hobby who go through many of the same thoughts and steps those longer in it did years ago. Of course this means those of experience have to be wise; they can partake again and share their thoughts (maybe even write and see if with focused thinking their views have changed!) or they can move on and talk in another more interesting (to them )thread

106 25/05/2015 - 1:10 AM
By Just Jas
"The fact, though, is that every digital photographer enhances their pictures."
Chris don't forget
"Gosh that's a fantastic photo, you must have a really great camera"


"I wish I could take photos like yours, but my camera isn't good enough"

The photographers skill was non-existent in the eyes of the unwashed masses of the public long before photoshop.

Still least we have it better than painters and sketchers who work in public and get the "did you paint that"
Line when they are quite literally sitting there, paints/pen/chalk/pencil in hand doing it.

In General Photography discussion | Page: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
106 25/05/2015 - 1:10 AM
By Just Jas
"The fact, though, is that every digital photographer enhances their pictures."
"Am I cheating"

I can't cheat unless I measure my method to another persons standards or to my own chosen standards. Depending what I shoot these will change as well. Cheating in my view is two parts:
1) Using methods to tell a visual story which is significantly different from that perceived visual story presented to the photographer. Ergo by intent you see something and you compose to choose to not show what you see as truthful and instead aim to show that which is not.

2) Telling lies about the context/situation/source of the photo when asked.
It is one thing for the audience to read a photo, to read the potential message(s) it conveys; however when asked its an outright lie and cheat to say other than the truth of the source and context.

The wolfshot is a prime example of failing in both cases. The shot was composed to appear wild and not captive and when asked the photographer lied about the source.

"This shot cheated me"

No photo cheats you; however speaking through a pictorial visual medium allows one to read the same photo in many different ways. As photographers we should be more aware of this and thus more judgemental of our own interpretations of photos. That is to say we should be open to the idea that our estimation of the message is wrong when provided with the proper context.

Then again sometimes the message a photo has isn't important in context. The message said is the one that is found most commonly by those viewing and as such is the intent of the photographer.

so its all nice and complicated Smile

In General Photography discussion | Page: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
106 25/05/2015 - 1:10 AM
By Just Jas
"The fact, though, is that every digital photographer enhances their pictures."
Mikes pointing out an example in relation to what I said (since I couldn't find my example). It was purely highlighting how differences in framing and composition change the message drastically already and that cropping in editing is thus not a "be all" and "end all" to authenticity nor faithful reproduction of a scene.

In General Photography discussion | Page: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
106 25/05/2015 - 1:10 AM
By Just Jas
Paying to be on a recommended suppliers list?
Far as I can tell:

1) The company is asking for payment to provide advertising space for the photographer. This sounds perfectly normal, if you want to advertise then most places are going to charge you to advertise. It's then your choice to weigh up if you think the advert will recoup its investment in more sales. It's also why many companies have that "where did you see our ad/find out about us" in QAs because part of marketing is finding out what does and doesn't really work for you.
That way you can end contracts for marketing which are not generating sales; or change the type of advertising you do there to best market to that market segment.

2) At no point has anything been said about if the company the OP contacted does or does not perform any validation of the services that are provided by those seeking to advertise. All we have is the message that the company will provide X services in advertising space for Y payment. Might be that an evaluation of the photographers skill and product will come later when they show proper interest in advertising; or might be the company is, as its a wedding fair, doing to have a huge number of advertising parties and as such is not really to worried about the skills and is more concerned with the advertising and revenue.

I would honestly say that derailing things to try and argue about how "companies are not vetting advertisers" and "photography is going to the pits because anyone can do it" is either a lame attempt at ranting and derailing the thread or a not so subtle way to snub the OP's photography skill. It's really not needed and honestly its nothing new - there were hacks and rubbish photographers in the film days (I mean heck look at the tonnes of old film cameras sold on ebay - do you honestly think that with that huge volume there were no bad wedding photographers?)

In General Photography discussion | Page: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
23 20/05/2015 - 12:49 PM
By themak
"The fact, though, is that every digital photographer enhances their pictures."
The key is to realise that photography is not two distinct arts but one.

Many get hooked on the idea that photography is split into "capturing the photo in the camera" and "Processing/editing the photo in the darkroom/computer".

Now whilst it is true that photography is a skill which has (for film or digital) two separate skill sets which result in the final output; it is a falsehood to think of them as separate parts which can thus be weighted against each other. You get people arguing all the time about which is the most important, or which one can be ignored or overlooked.

Greatly you see a "fear" of many which is that people will ignore one skill (typically in-camera capture) and focus more upon the latter skill - although they nearly always focus this on digital; as if digital manipulation if somehow inferior to darkroom manipulation. (what it oft boils down to is inexperience on the part of the person as to how the digital area works).

So I don't try to weigh up editing and in-camera capture. It's utterly totally pointless. Both parts of equal value; both parts are critical; both parts HAVE to happen to give you a print or file to show online. (yes jpegs in camera are edited - the camera does it for you - just like if you send your film into the chemists they edit it for you during processing).

As for the authenticity battle the key there is to learn to appreciate what you see artistically; and then to question it factually. For the photographer the key is to be honest. That's really all there is to it.

All the battles of trying to push out editing; or curtail it in general are pointless; you can't do that. You can by all means publish a book and have all shots edited to only a certain point; you can expect newspapers to uphold integrity and publish only shots edited to a certain point. etc.... Through all that we MUST remember that manipulation of a scene starts IN the camera. By choosing what you do and don't frame you can make a vast impact on the message a photo carries (I can't find it but there's a great example showing 3 different messages from a single photo - one appears to be a soldier giving water to a thirsty person; another appears to be threatening a man with his gun in torment and the third was more of the whole scene).

106 25/05/2015 - 1:10 AM
By Just Jas
Building a Personal website - advice needed
Ok so I've had flickr for a long while as my main gallery where I show my photos and its worked well; however its not 100% suitable. For a start the link to it is a bit of a mouthfull of random numbers and letters- fine for a link but a fuss around for real world exchanges.

I've also had a couple of people show potential interest in future purchases (yes that kind of once in a blue moon kind of offer); but most non-photo people don't have a flickr so saying "look on flickr and send me a note isn't a good option either.

I've had a wordpress blog in the past and it was great for blogging style, but not really ideal for a gallery approach (unless one heavily modified it).

So I'm looking for a web-host (since I'm no coder) that would suit as a general gallery display which could at the very least allow for easy contact. I'm not totally looking at turning it into a business of any kind, however I know a good few of the web horses for photography oft have a built in shop-front style approach so I'd be curious to hear any of the ins and outs people have had.

In Computers | Page: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
9 20/05/2015 - 5:33 AM
By Fujiconvert
Award shake up

Quote: When we get more, we get threads on getting less and when we get less you can guess the where this is going........Wink

Clearly the solution to have a random number assigned at random intervals. That way everyone can agree Wink

16 27/04/2015 - 8:42 AM
By StrayCat
Tripod - quick release plate
Those tripods are rather nice in that they are super light - you can keep them clipped to the camera and walk around with them on all day. Heck I recall going to the zoo and would just hold the tripod on the camera mount just like it was a monopod (ergo swinging it forward whilst walking around).

Thing is they are light and cheap.

The cheap part means that parts will wear out (a good common trick is also if you unscrew the panning handle enough its internal nut drops out - and then you can never screw it back in - least in some models of the same type of tripod).

The light part means they are easy to carry and there the bonuses end. See a light tripod isn't weighted to the ground well and even a light DSLR on top you don't want ot be leaving it free-standing.

If you head to ebay you can get some older metal tripods that sell for not too much which are heavier; but much better built and stronger and with more weight lower down will give you far more stability.
Save up a bit more and you can get some very good tripods.

If you just want something light for support then get a good quality monopod instead - sure you can't leave it freestanding, but it will be light, compact and easy to use whilst on the go shooting.

In Accessories | Page: 1, 2
9 26/04/2015 - 5:04 PM
By helenlinda
what is your pet hate

Quote: Drivers who signal at the last minute before turning.

Worst is drivers who don't signal when in town roads because "There's no car around".

hint - pedestrians can see car signals - and we also cross roads as well!

One roundabout/corner (its technically a roundabout but its more a half moon shape and runs around half the ruddy town centre) around our way its pretty much now a case of waiting till there is nothing on the road at all before crossing - because so many take the first left without putting a single signal on.

159 28/04/2015 - 9:10 PM
By petebfrance
Choosing a 70-200mm f/2.8 for FF canon
From what I've heard/read the new Sigma/Tamron beat the old Canon whilst the New Canon beats all the others. I would thus say consider the new Sigma/Tamron and read some reviews that compare the two and see which one comes out on top.

In Lenses | Page: 1, 2 ...10, 11
9 17/04/2015 - 1:01 PM
By banehawi
What is more important, the shot or the editing software afterwards?
The concept of conformity has nothing to do with Photoshop - nor indeed any photo-editing software. Conformity or copy-catting or repeating or following ones peers/contemparies etc.. whatever you want to call it has ALWAYS happened and ALWAYS will happen.

The only difference is that today a whole lot more people have the option, equipment and ability to do it and the ability to post it for the world to see.

Otherwise its just more of the same we've had for generations - someone sees something they like and sets out to repeat it and do it themselves. Or will make small alterations to it. The style will shift with generations and with time; sometimes in slow sweeps sometimes in big jumps.
It's also true that those who get bored of it the most are those who are often most keen on the hobby; that's because you expose yourselves to a much bigger range of visual inputs and actually pay attention to them as well. As such you get a huge injection of whatever the current fad(s) are and quickly get bored - thus you either seek out those "rare gems" of people doing something different or you do something different yourself.

And by heck chances are one of those "different" things will catch on and in a year - 3 years - 5 years or whatever everyone might be doing that thing you're doing and loving it (at which point other people will be "bored" of that Tongue)

As for Editing and Capture in camera I view it as a 2 part process.
IN CAMERA - you get the best shot you can in the conditions you're in with the skills you know and the equipment you have. Note that the best shot at the time need not mean that its finished; it means that you get a shot that is as close as to what you desire based upon your processing process toward your output medium(s) of choice.

EDITING/PROCESSING - you take what you got in camera with the RAW and adjust it. For some this happens in-camera with default or tweaked settings on the JPEG; indeed you might not even keep the RAW.
For others it happens in the computer. Doesn't really matter - what matters is that you use the tools you have to get as close to what you want from the shot.

There is no "purity" in the original photo any more than there is purity in editing. The camera and lens can tell whopping lies about the situation; just as you can edit them in in editing.

In the end this is one of those circular debates; everyone puts their bit in and most people agree on the middleground. Then they have a good old fight about the extreme situations.

Oh and neither stage is more important - they are of equal worth; you can't have the latter without the former and you can't do much with the former without the latter (I mean you can I guess enjoy pure RAW shots without any conversion as pure streams of numbers or rolls of negative undeveloped - but it sounds pretty dull to me)

56 14/04/2015 - 9:39 AM
By Evertonian
Taking close ups
If you get extension tubes without the electronic contacts then the lens and camera can't talk to each other. The result is that you will lose aperture control and auto focus.

Now the latter isn't a huge problem; most cameras struggle with close-up focusing and thus manual is often the preferred approach for macro - even with the big top range DSLRs.

Now the aperture control though is a big problem because depth of field is very very thin with macro photography. Now whilst you can most certainly get some fantastic photos shooting wide open; most of the time you will want aperture control. As such a lack of control over the aperture is a critical problem.

Now some older lenses have manual aperture rings so you can change the aperture on the lens - however its a somewhat clunky way to go about things and isn't as fast as the auto-aperture control of electronic lenses.

So I would say yes they do cost more, but get the better quality extension tubes with the metal contacts. If you ever do get a macro lens in the future you can always keep using the tubes - on the macro lens - for even more magnification fun!

In Olympus Cameras | Page: 1, 2, 3, 4
6 14/04/2015 - 4:59 AM
By StrayCat
Resizing results in a loss of sharpness in general. Doesn't matter if you're getting smaller or getting bigger. Now some resizing codes build in a bit of sharpening to correct for this; but its generally safe to say that the best approach is to resize to the size you want to upload and then you can sharpen the photo before you save it and then upload it.

That way the photo gets the right amount of sharpening for your needs (as some shots need more and some will need far less).

6 11/04/2015 - 2:34 PM
By Graham63
Using the separate AF Lock function
I love back-button AF mode and its what I use all the time. The only time I turn it off is if I'm passing my camera to a non-photographer person (because it confuses them Tongue).

It takes a little while to get used to but is so powerful! .

1) If you are using a USM/HSM/all the time manual focus lens (ergo one where even in AF mode you can turn the focus wheel on the lens and shift the focus) you can just not press the back-button and you're instantly in manual focus mode. No hunting for switches, no fiddling with settings - instant in-out of manual to AF mode.

2) You can use the AF to pre-focus on a specific spot (or MF if using a lens like mentioned above) and then you can take a shot at that pre-focused spot when the subject arrives and the AF won't suddenly engage because you pressed the shutter button.

3) You can Spot meter from the scene, move the camera around the scene and take meter readings all without the AF engaging on the half-presss of the shutter button.

4) If you are using IS/OS/VR you can half-press the shutter button to engage it and let it spin up; but the AF won't engage. This is great if shooting a subject where its not yet in the scene, but you know it will be. So you've got the anti-shake already running and ready to go for when the subject is there to focus on and you don't have to tilt the camera or find something at the same distance to keep the AF locked on (ergo faffing around which might mean you miss the subject appearing).
This is important as most anti-shake systems take a few moments to spin up and provide anti-shake and during that short moment they provide their own blurring (its why many sports shooters who are used to a "pointshoot" approach oft don't use anti-shake because its never got enough time to get going).

Yes it takes a little time to get used to; but its very versatile and once you get used to it very very few ever go back.

24 15/04/2015 - 6:57 PM
By StrayCat
x 2 or 1.4 converter
The 7D will af at f8 - actually far as I know most Canon DSLRs will do that now - but only in live-view mode (as it uses a totally different set of AF sensors).

Viewfinder wise I think some are now adding the feature (I think the 7DMII and 5DMIII can af at f8 but double check as I'm going by memory on that and don't own either).

In general though on cameras that don't af after f8 you can "tape the pins" which basically means the camera doesn't "see" the teleconverter which thus retains the AF; however many report that when done AF is slower and more prone to missing (though its decent enough on some prime lenses).

In Lenses | Page: 1, 2
24 10/04/2015 - 8:47 PM
By LenShepherd
No professional cameras allowed.
Yeah they are classic catch all rules - they are simple because the people overseeing the event/location are not going to be trained in how to recognise 10001 different models of camera; nor how to recognise a "pro" from a "serious amateur". So its easier to have simple open to interpretation rules that those in charge can use at their own discretion .

If they tried listing specific makes and models they'd never hear the end of "well its a "pro" body but I' not a pro" and "you didn't list the rebel; I mean sure its not listed as pro on the website but it can do some really pro work - I know I'm a rebel using pro!" etc...

25 09/04/2015 - 10:14 PM
By Paul Morgan
x 2 or 1.4 converter
Tomcat - I think the confusion comes because Canon officially calls their teleconverters "extenders".

Rather like how Nikon calls its macro lenses "micro" lenses.

In Lenses | Page: 1, 2
24 10/04/2015 - 8:47 PM
By LenShepherd
Using a canon x2 Ill extender
Far as I can tell the main difference in the MII to MIII teleconverters is the AF chip inside them, but that only works with a select range of lenses (from memory its all the new MII L versions of telephoto lenses 300mm or longer - so your 300mm f2.8 IS L MII etc.... (and not the 70-200mm f2.8 IS L MII)). There is also improvement in the edge details and quality, but on a crop sensor camera that might be a more marginal improvement.

In Lenses | Page: 1, 2
13 07/04/2015 - 1:15 PM
By cheddar-caveman
Best Place to Sell
Remember if you sell to any retailer you will get less money for your item. That's because they've got to turn around and sell it on and profit from the sale; so any price will always be below market value; sometimes you can offset this by part-exchanging, but not always.
The bonus is you get a quick easy sale with very few risks

Direct selling yourself is a bit more risky and there are some pitfalls to avoid (avoid people who want Western Union payments - or insist upon using Paypal "gift" to pay - or who want you to post to different addresses to the one on the card etc....). I've sold gear and bought gear online without problems thus far; though I've honestly not done much.

Last I checked I think EPZ now charges to use their classfields - but there are many sits out there (heck even Gumtree) where you can trade. You can also hit up the local camera club as they oft have second hand sales days.

*the latter one can be acceptible as people do move around some (esp students) so its a bit of a "your call" situation; but most should not oppose it if you insist upon it

24 11/04/2015 - 12:02 AM
By thewilliam
Birds birds birds birds and more birds
Hmm not sure one can class a rant as a debate Wink

There's no real topic presented other than your viewpoint on the current state of common/average bird photography. And to be honest your right. You are 100%, inarguably right that your viewpoint is this.

We can't really take that any other way since we can't change your view outright. Indeed you might be the most avid bird twitcher and a keen ornithologist in your own time. Indeed the more you might view a single subject the more bored one might become. If you expose yourself to masses upon masses of photos then even those of high quality might become lost in the sea of simple repetition.

To my mind it would say its time to try viewing other subjects; or to view select photographers - to find avian photographers whose styles you prefer rather than to let the masses choose for you.

In Healthy Debate | Page: 1, 2
49 07/04/2015 - 7:32 AM
By Ross_D
Focus stacking
Zerene Stacker
Helicon Focus
Combine ZP (freeware - so legally totally 100% free)
Photoshop CS

Each one works well; each one has different controls and several "stacking" codes it can use. Each one works slightly differently.

The result is the no single one is the best; each one will render the same set of files slightly or greatly differently. I've had shots fail in one that were fantastic in another. Somewhere someone did a huge series of tests and identified some of the common parameters which each one worked better with; but they were such that you couldn't "shoot" with them in mind (at least outside of a 100% controlled studio with very specific light control). As a result its one of the rarer situations where owning and using more htan one bit of editing software can give a make or break difference.

In Digital imaging | Page: 1, 2, 3, 4
5 05/04/2015 - 7:49 AM
Apprentice in Wiltshire UK
Generally speaking I'd make use of multiple resources at the same time. EPZ has some very active members in the critique section and whilst the forums are not as active as they have been in the past they still have a good number of experienced photographers visiting them so throwing up threads can give results.

Do a search on the subject focus of your choice - you will likely find a lot of dead forums these days (facebook just saps way too much attention of people these days) however put in the effort and you can often find a few active and a very of the very experienced still around. In addition the archives of the forum (ergo old threads) can oft contain a wealth of information if you go hunting.

11 07/04/2015 - 4:41 PM
By themak
Is this book good?

I am open to tutorials but on youtube i found no sequence in tutorials. One will teach me how to use magic wand, the other will start making a fine art image!

This is my general experience as well. The internet is fantastic for methods and processes when teaching a single element of the process. However most sites don't string it together into an overall workflow approach. So you get bits here and bits there and end up with a tonne of methods but no overall way to logically string it together.

Books tend to provide (good ones at least) an overall workflow approach which gives you a structure and context to work with. There are guides and youtube videos that do this as well; but because workflows tend to be more involved it tends to be that hte best are oft behind a pay-wall as well.

In the end we all learn different ways and there are fantastic websites, videos, DVDs, books, articles, in person workshops etc.... out there.

Edit a photoshop workflow 17 videos broken into one method per video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hn8FKlslwl4

19 02/04/2015 - 1:59 PM
By IshanPathak
First ever photography shoot
What about looking up insurance for charity/voluntary organisations as opposed to those for business

In Event Photography | Page: 1, 2
179 08/04/2015 - 4:26 PM
By scottishphototours
First ever photography shoot

Quote: Does this mention the number of images you will process, print and present in an album or on CD/DVD?

I'd agree to set shooting locations/events (eg the cake cutting - the ring - the kiss etc...) but I wouldn't put down numbers of photos they should expect. You've never done one before; you have no idea what so ever how many you'll get through the day let alone how many will be keepers worth presenting.

The other problem is most people will try to talk you into providing lots - hundreds of photos (I mean those pro cameras shoot like 50 frames a second and I want every single one - and you'll be shooting all day too!). What most don't realise is that most shots won't be keepers (esp at your experience level). A handful of good photos will stand all the stronger than the same handful in a sea of a few dozen/hundred average to rubbish ones.

In Event Photography | Page: 1, 2 ...11, 12
179 08/04/2015 - 4:26 PM
By scottishphototours
Online Photo Labs
Not really - its the same as arguing that you own copyright of a book or DVD or music album because you bought the product.

Theft can happen where you're not picking something physical up off the shelf and running out the shop with it.

In Printing | Page: 1, 2 ...11, 12
18 30/03/2015 - 12:35 PM
By keithh
First ever photography shoot
Since you're thinking a lot about the business end of things this suggests that you're not doing this just for the experience; but because you'd rather like to further your own interests in that area. Consider then that if your first outings as a wedding photographer under your own name are a disaster that it will haunt you. Locally word will get around; and online it will stick around for life. Even if the Bride and Groom are happy chances are what you produce at your stage in photography will be very sub-standard to what you potentially will be able to do in even a year - let alone two or three year of learning.

Thus you'd be crippling your chances by putting out low-standard work and getting a name for yourself of providing that level of quality. And that's without disasters. Disasters and things going wrong or the B&G disliking what you provide is even worse and any drama fallout will persist (esp if anything gets onto facebook and the like).

The modern shopper does google things and complaints will be found.

As such I'd second what the others say - yes you want experience but there are ways to get that without the risk. At your stage even just a few friends and an evening or two having fun doing photography would work. At the end of the day the photography of a wedding is black and white subjects in close poorly lit environments - you don't need to to a wedding to practice that (heck you can learn a lot about lighting and angles just with a few stuffed toys - plus they don't get bored half way through either).

In Event Photography | Page: 1, 2
179 08/04/2015 - 4:26 PM
By scottishphototours
Online Photo Labs
One could make the same argument for shoplifting then - I mean it is cheaper and it is technically stealing but its bound to happen lots - esp from supermarkets. Buying photos for the average person isn't running a business either; its a luxury product not an entitlement.

Of course this is moving away a little from the OP's point; the pro they hired might be one who makes their profit from the sitting cost and then gives out print-ready files (though I would expect most doing that would also give the name of at least one or two good quality printing services that they would recommend to their clients to use).

In Printing | Page: 1, 2 ...11, 12
18 30/03/2015 - 12:35 PM
By keithh
Online Photo Labs
If you search around it does happen; stores have refused to print - although often it only happens when they have due cause (such as "copyright so and so" watermarks on the print or a signature in the corner that isn't related to the person asking for the print. Marks on the back of formally released prints also get stopped if you send a photo for pro-photocopying and reprinting).

Sure they won't catch everyone, but they will some. Furthermore as a fellow photographer surely you're not promoting the demise of your own hobbies professional segment? Many a pro relies upon print order to put food on the table.

In Printing | Page: 1, 2
18 30/03/2015 - 12:35 PM
By keithh
What is VS Mode ?
Irene its purely computer generated. The whole thing basically just matches up random photo to random photo and whichever ones win the most go up to the leaderboard. Purely a bit of fun

6 29/03/2015 - 10:07 PM
By Overread
Online Photo Labs
True the lab is going to be cheaper.

However its only valid if:
1) The OP actually has fullsize or suitably sized files for printing
2) If the OP bought printing rights/copyright along with the purchase of the photographs. Without one or the other its in breach of copyright for the printers to print the photos (fair few print labs won't print photos if they've got "copyright" notices upon them unless the one ordering is the owner of said copyright).

18 30/03/2015 - 12:35 PM
By keithh
Online Photo Labs
If they are pro prints did the professional give you fullsized versions to print? Otherwise if they are web-resizes they won't print well. Furthermore why not simply buy our prints through the professional and support the industry?

In Printing | Page: 1, 2
18 30/03/2015 - 12:35 PM
By keithh
Help with Camera Upgrade
A few key questions:

1) What is your budget. You might think its lots but this can get expensive fast - you can easily spend tens of thousands of pounds on a good system!

2) What is your current lens line up like? What specific lenses do you have currently

3) What current additional items (such as tripods, flash, etc...) do you have?

These are important questions. Without a budget we can't tell you what will fit your situation at all. Furthermore the lens and other gear you have is important to know; many times you can find that a new higher end lens or lighting setup will give a VAST improvement over a new camera body.
Wildlife in particular is an area where both body and lens are very important, but where most gain the most by investing into higher end lenses over higher end bodies.

In Nikon Cameras | Page: 1, 2
8 22/03/2015 - 7:55 PM
By Lastboyscout
The act of taking a photo - for non-photographers - is it all an illusion?
So my mother wants me to take a photo of some flowers she got.
We also (almost like a religion) take a photo for every single birthday
And when out and about at events photos are also sometimes taken too.

But nothing ever happens after the shutter is pressed. Indeed it seems that there is a huge desire to document the event; but never one to relive it. Indeed go to instagram/facebook/twitter and barring the 1 in a billion photos that goes viral most photos are taken - looked at once after taking and then never again.

It seems we are, as a culture, addicted to documenting events; addicted to "TAKING" photos but then nothing. We are almost like kids, we do something because everyone else does it; because its the done thing; because we should. But no one told us why - or if they have we've forgotten the why and suddenly we don't know what to do with them.

They reside upon memory cards - overwritten in time. They reside in disposable cameras that sit in boxes that will never be developed. Sometimes they reside within computers never to see the light of day.

So why? Why have we this huge desire to document if we do nothing after?
Is it potential - do we WANT the potential to be able to choose to do nothing?
Do we want to preserve the memory and the way we remember is to "take a photo". Actually and really taking it so that we can say "ahh yes that event; you took a photo of it remember" without ever seeing the photo?

I'd say facebook/instagrame etc.. - much as it might be looked down upon by some serious "photographers" has at least given most of us a reason. Even if its a very short term; very instant; very forgettable something.

so what are your views on this - is my family mad (well yes but that's beside the point); are yours like that or your friends or even you yourself?

27 01/04/2015 - 11:26 PM
By Paul Morgan
Using a canon x2 Ill extender
Generally speaking the 70-200mm f2.8 IS L MII +2*TC (MII or MIII) gets image quality about the same as the 100-400mm original. The 100-400mm will beat it in side by side un-edited tests - but its a very slight difference and after editing impossible to tell them apart.

So yes I'd get the 2*TC and go for that it will get you out to 400mm and just like on the 100-400mm you will want to stop down to say f7.1 or f8 to claw back that sharpness you lose from using the TC (or on the 100-400mm to counter the fact that zoom lenses are softer at their longer end),

A 400mm f5.6 is better, but I'd honestly keep hold of the 70-200mm; its a very versatile and powerful lens and whilst it might not specifically be the best for birds its certainly a fantastic lens to have in the bag - most photographers make use of this focal range.

In Lenses | Page: 1, 2
13 07/04/2015 - 1:15 PM
By cheddar-caveman
Knee pads - what are yours?
A mat/cushion isn't going to work as I'm up and down a fair bit whilst doing this; if i were going to be in one single spot for longer I'd probably want to try some kind of chair or support that let me go right low or sit higher so I wasn't crouching the whole time (because crouching for hours will just result in pins and needles!)

Justin the trousers+slip in pads might be a good option - I tend to enjoy wearing the camo trousers I've got simply because they do have useable pockets (though at this time of the year the double lining is a life-saver for staying warm as whilst I'm up and down I'm not running around like a manic).

8 13/03/2015 - 9:23 PM
By Paul Morgan
Knee pads - what are yours?
Ok so after many an aching knee I've decided I'll stop talking about getting knee pads and get some knee pads!

So anyone know a good sturdy, secure, waterproof set that will last the test of time and save my knees from torment?

8 13/03/2015 - 9:23 PM
By Paul Morgan
Ethics in Macro photography
Brian that's rather shocking, but yes does show the slippery slope that is all too easy to fall down!

Most mouse and similar small mammals shots are done in studio conditions - ergo its a setup that the photographer uses because in the wild they live in dense foliage and even your lightest footfall will have them scurry down to hide. Thus many do use traps to catch and then pose the smaller animals (one oft used setup is to have a water "ring" around a raised stage area - the mammal thus sticks to the land rather than head into the water and the rim of the water container is slippery and steep so they can't escape).

Of course photographers doing this would do so with respect and concern for the welfare of their subject. Providing suitable food during/after the shoot and returning the animal to where they captured it from.

A few humane traps that live-catch would be all you'd need; certainly no need to go digging up hibernating mice!

33 05/03/2015 - 12:00 AM
By Fogey
Ethics in Macro photography
Also don't forget habit. If you develop your skills around shooting specimens then your whole practice can be changed as a result. Indeed if it works well for you then you can find that it might be the only way you'd choose to work - that's fine on houseflies. It's not so fine on anything rarer.

Many institutions also recognise that 1 person doing this is typically not a threat unless they target a specific niche species in serious decline. However if hundreds or even thousands get the idea that "killing bugs is the way you get cool shots the "pros" do" then suddenly you've a much bigger problem. Especially as you know its going to be dragonflies, butterflies, stag beetles which will be hit not houseflies.

33 05/03/2015 - 12:00 AM
By Fogey
x 2 or 1.4 converter
Far as I know pretty much any TC should fit that lens; the limiting factor with teleconverters is that the front element protrudes forwards into the rear of the lens mounted to them; so a lens has to have space in the back; which this lens does have.

From memory and experience:

Sigma - Sigma TCs are high grade and will work well; though their 2*TC is a tiny tiny tiny bit shorter in what it gives than a Canon. This difference is so small you would never notice unless comparing side by side; even then its slight.

Canon - the MII and MIII give you about the same optical performance (though I think the MIII give improved edge performance, but that's unlikely to be visible unless you're shooting with fullframe cameras). Otherwise their biggest difference is that the MIII allow for better AF performance; but only with select lenses (these are typically your MII versions from the 300mm f2.8 and longer - the original version of those lenses and any others won't have any improved AF performance at all).
So if you're on crop and your lens isn't the MII you could go for MII teleconverters.

Kenko Pro - flattest front element protrusion (ergo can fit the most lenses) and high grade optics - but make sure you're getting the pro series as they make two lines; one better than the other.

In general go for what you need; non-L optics are certainly very good and very viable so its really your choice as to what you go for.

In Lenses | Page: 1, 2, 3
24 10/04/2015 - 8:47 PM
By LenShepherd
Ethics in Macro photography
The problem is not really related to your common housefly.

It's a matter of principles and habit.

There are insects out there which are very endangered and where the practice of killing for photography would potentially cause great harm to them; consider many rare and endangered butterflies which would be easy pickings for eager photographers.

As such its one of those things you have to consider in the wider context, especially when doing a competition or being high profile. Discouraging killing is a good move. YES we kill bugs every day; heck we probably kill millions in our lifetime; but this isn't accidental killing nor controlling of a pest species in extreme numbers; this is selective premeditated and can risk more vulnerable insects if we don't take it seriously.

33 05/03/2015 - 12:00 AM
By Fogey
Ethics in Macro photography

Quote: I find a lot of very tired bees, photograph them, then give them a drop of honey, which they eagerly lap up before flying away.

I've read that its better to give sugar water over honey because whilst bees will eat it, honey from a different hive can be poison to the bee. Thus sugar water (which is what bee keepers also use as a supplement after taking the honey) is a more suitable alternative treat.

One can also spread it into leaves and other surfaces where it will draw in quite a few bugs over a space of time. Eating being one thing that will render make bugs quite still and focused upon the task and thus easier to photograph.

33 05/03/2015 - 12:00 AM
By Fogey
Ethics in Macro photography
It's an odd thing - flies in the kitchen one can swat away with the fly swatter without worries; yet when it becomes something like photography we can often become discouraged to the idea of killing for our hobby.

I would say its something you'll have to come to your own terms with; but I would say that if you decide that you will kill for your photos then I would advise that you really learn about it well. As such after the event you can maximise the potential of what you have and store it long-term as a record.

Myself I don't; flies are dead easy to find dead (though they can be somewhat dusty) and if you head out in the early morning you can find many insects in a very torpid state where they really can't do anything. After rain showers you can also oft find bigger bugs (like bees) cold and crashed down and still.
A large reason many dragonfly photos have nice warm light is that early in the morning you can find them sunning themselves before they've warmed up.

33 05/03/2015 - 12:00 AM
By Fogey
Photographic Artistic teaching/guides/instruction/bits of paper!

Quote: Quote:This thread assumes that YES it is an artistic form and that as such there are methods, techniques, concepts etc.... which are applicable to it.

Yes, but what form of art is it? Can such a discussion stand apart from such a definition?

The form of art isn't the important concept here. What is important is the sharing of concepts of art. These might be technical applications - artistic theories - compositional theories - ideas of art itself. The key is trying to build up a resource of information. With that we can put structure to it and toward the general key goal of boosting the general confidence in art and peoples desire to discuss it.

I feel that too often such talk gets side-tracked far to easily into the debate of "what really is art" which quickly moves away from photos.

As for groups, yes we can make groups; but my view is the forums are already very quiet; there's no value in taking what is currently as smaller population and further sub-dividing it even more. Plus for the most part this has applications to all photographers of all skill levels. At its most basic its the good old rule of thirds - at its most advanced its many more.

17 31/03/2015 - 1:59 PM
By JeffHubbardPhotography
Photographic Artistic teaching/guides/instruction/bits of paper!

Quote: What is art? What is artistic? Is photography art? Each of these questions has in one form or another been frequently asked in this forum.

Ahh but this isn't so much a debate on those topics; that is in essence a side discussion/debate. This thread assumes that YES it is an artistic form and that as such there are methods, techniques, concepts etc.... which are applicable to it.

Whether its defined and accepted as art by major galleries; notable people or bored philosophers with too much time on their hands is not really relevant to this thread.

17 31/03/2015 - 1:59 PM
By JeffHubbardPhotography
Photographic Artistic teaching/guides/instruction/bits of paper!
So having done this thread: http://www.ephotozine.com/forums/topic/photographers---are-we-too-easily-pleased...
It seems there are several core reasons why we stick to technical and don't really advance much outside of it when talking about photos; one of which is that many feel they are not skilled nor experienced enough within art to really talk about the subject.

This, to me, is a major stumbling block; sure beginners need a lot of technical help, but we also need more artistic inspiration and guidance for us all as we advance through our hobby/interest in photography. So I thought lets start a thread - lets pool what resources and knowledge we have in the view that we can help teach each other art and thus improve the number of people who are confident to speak about the subject on the site.

17 31/03/2015 - 1:59 PM
By JeffHubbardPhotography
User Awards
For those not getting replies - I think its important to realise that awards on the site don't generally promote conversation. It's almost a very remote way of socialising.

Now if when a user award was given there was the option of writing a little message to the person (like a pm) which then also when received had a "reply" box right underneath I think there would be more chance of a reply (it would then hinge on you writing something into your comment box that was personal not just "FAB SHOT").

In Light-hearted chat | Page: 1, 2
37 09/03/2015 - 6:21 PM
By StrayCat
User Awards
Any award is, to a person, only as valued as the person giving it. So yes getting an award from someone every day isn't going to be that valuable. Whilst if someone you respect gives you an award that will always go further.

There will also always be a social and time based element to EPZ awards; you can't expect everyone to view every upload; so yes people will view friends and also at certain times and thus posting during some hours or networking will nearly always net more awards than not (post at midnight and chances are you'd have to have an outstanding shot to get noticed whilst a higher level but not outstandingly special shot posted at key times will get more votes/awards simply because more people see it

In Light-hearted chat | Page: 1, 2, 3
37 09/03/2015 - 6:21 PM
By StrayCat
User Awards
I think part of the problem is that EPZ isn't focused on one subject nor user-type. It's got everything.

So when you've one award a week you can only award one photo - now might be that week there are several photos from different genres which are equally, within their own rights, fantastic shots; but the limit makes you vote only upon one.

4 a day is a big jump though; but it allows more free-form voting over a larger population spread. It allows more people to feel valued within the community.

It's a tricky thing though and yes the more awards there are and the more freely they can be given out the more devalued they become. Flickr had this with LOADS of user award groups and they have now mostly died off (actually most groups on flickr are totally dead now sadly). It was so easy to get awards and get lots of them that they quickly lost all value for people.

The flipside is that lots of people like getting awards and the "devaluing" doesn't affect them; or they are new to the net and each award feels greater. Indeed just being around for a while and getting "more" awards can make them devalue for the person (which is why sometimes you see multiple justified award winning photographers who heavily question their skill and if they "really are good"). Part of EPZ is generating interest and activity and having more awards might yet help promote more activity.

At the very least its adding another level of interaction between users beyond just "voting" for a community award vote. (A tricky thing as many are like to just view photos and not do anything)

In Light-hearted chat | Page: 1, 2, 3
37 09/03/2015 - 6:21 PM
By StrayCat