Nature Photographers Meetup! Message Board Nature Photographers Discussion Forum › TECHNICAL ARTICLES (Photography, Printing, Post Processing, etc...)

TECHNICAL ARTICLES (Photography, Printing, Post Processing, etc...)

Sandi
user 8638852
Group Organizer
Spring Grove, IL
Post #: 167
Hi Everyone, I'm trying to get some things organized here for easy access and to encourage posting helpful articles, links and comments on the technical aspects of Photography. I have consolidated some of the posts under various categories. So if you can't find a thread it is probably in with one of these new threads.

IMPORTANT: We can post them as a "new thread "FIRST, so it shows up on the front page and then i can move them into one of these folders a few days later, for consolidating.

Thanks Everyone,
Sandi

Sandi
user 8638852
Group Organizer
Spring Grove, IL
Post #: 168


Picasa 3 (Free Download)

This is a free download program. I use this frequently.

http://picasa.google....­.


[color=grey]
Sandi Posted Nov 27, 2009 12:44 PM Link to this reply Edit Delete Quote in reply


Thanks Margo! I heard of Piccaso and was wondering what it was. I use Photoshop Cs4, but there are other good ones... Folks can also download a free trial of Photoshop Cs4 and some of the others if they want to get a feel for it and do some of their images on it. It's esp nice if you are concidering buying a program.
Jürgen R. Posted Nov 27, 2009 1:28 PM Link to this reply Edit Delete Quote in reply

user 7778446
Palatine, IL
Post #: 16
This is a free download program. I use this frequently.

http://picasa.google....­.

Picasa is now available for Mac users as well. And we have it integrated with fotoflot.com so that Picasa users can send their images easily to fotoflot.com.

Some of our customers really like the collage feature in Picasa.

Jürgen

Sandi
user 8638852
Group Organizer
Spring Grove, IL
Post #: 172
Margo McIntyre Posted Nov 21, 2009 7:56 PM

LIGHT TENT

With winter soon upon us, it is hard to always get outside and shoot photos. Last year I made this light tent and shot a lot of still life subjects. It is very easy to make. I shot my white on white flower with this. It's in my photo album.

http://www.pbase.com/...­.

Sandi Posted Nov 25, 2009 3:27 PM

Margo thank you so much! I have really wanted to buy one, but why spend the extra money if you don't need to.


Margo McIntyre Posted Nov 26, 2009 10:00 AM

You just buy different color poster board. Mostly I use white, but I also have many other colors. I have some lights that I got cheap at the hardware store and use them to light the background. It is just fun to experiment.

Beth Posted Nov 26, 2009 8:28 PM

Rob Domaschuk who taught a recent Macro class for the Chicago Meetup group has a similar lightbox, but one that can be disassembled and reassembled, taking less space, and being almost portable. I've ordered the 3 way corners.

Materials List:
• 4 pieces of ½" PVC pipe from Home Depot/Lowe's/Menard's cut into 12 36" pieces
• 4 yards of 45" wide white nylon material (preferably rip-stop nylon)
• 2 yards of 45" wide heavy black velvet material
• 8 ½" 3-way corners from www.FlexPVC.com (click here)
• Safety pins or velcro to attach the material to the structure

I am using full spectrum lights.

They are wonderful stages for photographing with few or no shadows. I purchased the black velvet, white posterboard and will try a "cloud" poster to simulate sky. I'll see how it works. In class, we used cardboard boxes and cut out three sides. Good start, but becomes worn out quickly as a lightbox.

Fun!

Sandi Posted Nov 27, 2009 1:25 PM

With the full spectrum lights i suppose that works fine for color images... just adjust white balance?

Sandi
user 8638852
Group Organizer
Spring Grove, IL
Post #: 179

blue hour sky night photos


Margo McIntyre Posted Nov 22, 2009 8:12 PM This was a link I heard about today at the seminar I attended. Looks like a great resource for that capture of blue hour sky night photos.

http://www.bluhour.co...­.

Sandi Posted Nov 23, 2009 12:55 PM Margo thank you, that looks like great information. I have yet to try a night sky with stars photo. I have an ok full moon shot through the oaks but, i would really like to try an evening with stars shot somewhere. i like the ones I've seen in the desert with cactus in the for ground. i guess the oaks would make a nice foreground but for the stars I'm thinking it would be too light from buildings around here... i think i need a vast area like a desert with no towns to lighten up the sky on long exposures.

i guess blue hour means right after dusk... i actually havent heard of it. not sure.

Tara Posted Nov 23, 2009 2:30 PM Margo thank you, that looks like great information. I have yet to try a night sky with stars photo. I have an ok full moon shot through the oaks but, i would really like to try an evening with stars shot somewhere. i like the ones I've seen in the desert with cactus in the for ground. i guess the oaks would make a nice foreground but for the stars I'm thinking it would be too light from buildings around here... i think i need a vast area like a desert with no towns to lighten up the sky on long exposures.

i guess blue hour means right after dusk... i actually havent heard of it. not sure.

For me the blue hour is usually about 7 or 8 during the summer. There's an hour in there somewhere, when the lighting outside just looks blue. Not exactly dark, but definitely not light. It's a neat time in the evening, I've just never shot during that time. Maybe we should have a mini contest, or a share section here within the group and challenge everyone to shoot during that hour. :)

After thinking about what I have shot over the past year, I reckon since the blue hour doesn't just occur in the evening, there's actually one in the morning, maybe I have shot during that hour.

Here are some I shot in St. Louis at Sunrise:

And at the Golden Gate at Sunrise:

Margo McIntyre Posted Nov 24, 2009 3:37 PM Love the photos. Especially the St Louis Arch. The blue hour chart is part of the link. I am going to go out shooting at the recommended time and see what I get.

Sandi Posted Nov 25, 2009 12:38 PM Tara your photos are breathtaking! i love the homework assignment... although can we really get anything but gray at this time of year? do you need a certain type of weather etc... to get that nice blue, does it have to be a clear night?

Tara Posted Nov 25, 2009 1:39 PM Tara your photos are breathtaking! i love the homework assignment... although can we really get anything but gray at this time of year? do you need a certain type of weather etc... to get that nice blue, does it have to be a clear night?

Thank you so much! Although I'm not a morning person, my husband and I kind of have a habit of catching the sunrise at least once in every spot we visit.

And you know, I think you're right. I've never really had to deal with these sort of gray-nighttime skies (we don't have them all the time in GA), so I'm not used to missing all these meteor showers, and interesting night shots. I do believe the best time to get these sort of colors are during the summertime, but it could be possible on a clear night during the winter too? I'm not really sure.

The St. Louis pics were taken after Christmas of last year, meanwhile the San Fran pics were taken in March. I think the big thing is to just have a clear sky. :)

Leslie McLain Posted Nov 25, 2009 5:18 PM From my experience the blue hour is really more like a half hour. The half hour starts at sunset and lasts for about 30 minutes (twilight) and is one of my favorite times to shoot. It's reversed at sunrise. To be effective the sky needs to still retain some blue. The sky needs to be clear to get good shots (always a challenge in Chicago). If the night sky is cloudy it doesn't photograph as blue, but rather a brownish, pinkish color which is not very attractive. Twilight pictures can be taken anytime of the year, the time to shoot just changes.
Leslie

http://www.betterphot...­.[/img]

Edited by Leslie McLain on Nov 25, 2009 5:19 PM

Sandi Posted Nov 25, 2009 7:48 PM Thank you leslie, that was really helpful! Now we need to pray for a clear day/eve!!! i wonder do we need to position ourself at a certain angle or have any particular filters, lens', or settings?

Margo McIntyre Posted Nov 26, 2009 10:03 AM Leslie, your Buckingham Fountain image is really gorgeous. I have not worked much with trying to capture that blue light. I found the article very interesting and my challenge is to try to capture more of these. This Chicago weather is a challenge all by itself.

Leslie McLain Posted Nov 26, 2009 7:27 PM Twilight is a great time to use HDR photography. Otherwise nothing special is needed.
http://www.betterphot...­.[/img]



Margo M.
user 10764237
Morris, IL
Post #: 35
Basic Exposure

[color=grey]This is a great site to learn about basic exposure (aperture/shutter speed). It is a virtual camera where you plug in the settings and you see the results. Excellent learning site.

http://www.photonhead...­
Margo M.
user 10764237
Morris, IL
Post #: 36
Learning Tutorials

[color=grey]I joined Outdoor Photographer on facebook and I just received this link to their new site of learning tutorials. I have viewed a couple of them and they were great.


http://www.outdoorpho...­
Margo M.
user 10764237
Morris, IL
Post #: 38
Photographing Wildflowers Article

[color=grey]You know me...I'm always on the lookout for informative web articles. Here is one on photographing wildflowers. Even though we have no wildflowers right now, this is a great article to read and study before spring comes.

http://photonaturalis...­
Sandi
user 8638852
Group Organizer
Spring Grove, IL
Post #: 186
laughing Hi All, you are awesome posting all these wonderful articles! Let's use this folder for the technical photography info and the other one for the other photo articles so we can build a couple nice resource areas for learning great stuff!!!

[color=grey]We have a lot of experienced photogs and pros in this group and any time you guys/gals want to help us with some of your experiences, stories, and knowledge, please feel free, we'd love to learn from you!
Thanks Margo and all who help us by finding these jewels of info and wonderful shooting places and ideas...you're the best! smile

Sandi
Sandi
user 8638852
Group Organizer
Spring Grove, IL
Post #: 200
helpful tips/photography basics


[color=grey]
Here are some helpful tips from Christoph
Posted Dec 15, 2009

For those who might want some tips, this might help.


ISO Setting
Set your ISO setting to its lowest, for the best possible image quality, even if your camera can take “good” pictures at higher settings. This will give you longer exposure requirements. I will be shooing at 125.

White Balance
Make sure your white balance is set properly for the lighting condition at Garfield. Because of the overhead glass ceiling enclosure, conditions change from room to room.

Lenses
Bring your Macro, normal and zoom for artistic variety, if you have them.

F/Stops
All lenses have a “best” f/stop position for best sharpness. You should know this for each lens you own, either from published technical specifications or your own experimentation. A rule of thumb is that most lenses are at their sharpest between f/8 and f/11. This is a compromise of the lens range, defined by the manufacturer. Your artistic requirements determine your settings, depending on what you want to do with the background blur/diffusion.

Polarizer
Bring one with you for great saturation, whenever possible.

Focal Range
If you are using a fixed lens (one focal – 50mm, for example), this does not apply. If you are using a zoom, absolutely stay away from your minimum/maximum focal settings. All lenses usually express barrel or pincushion distortion. With my 17-55 Nikon, for example (a $1600 dollar lens when I purchased it), I still shoot between 20 and 45. However, some software can correct aberrations, depending upon how critical it is to the image and your own quality standards.

Focus
If in auto focus, and depending on your camera meter matrix, it’s better for close up photography to put the camera into spot focus mode, this will allow you to see exactly what the camera will be focusing on. I will be shooting in manual focus.

Mirror
In order to eliminate or dramatically reduce vibration (mirror slap), check your camera settings to see if you can set the mirror (SLR cameras) to remain up, before the shutter releases. I always (95%) shoot with mirror up.

Shutter Release
If you have one, use a cable or remote shutter release device. This will keep your hands off the camera, greatly reducing additional shake/blur into the process. I always use, with critical photography shoots.

Flash
Do not use camera-on-flash. This will introduce harsh and improper lighting. As a general rule, pull it off the camera, place it a minimum of 12-14 inches above or to the side of the axis of the lens, with a light diffuser in between (this is where artistic interpretation comes in – depending upon what you want) Set flash on manual mode, so that you can control light output. If you have a point-and-shoot, turn on your flash and experiment with distance from the flower (typically 5-6 feet will give best compensation and reduce blur). I used natural lighting from within Garfield.

Tripod
An absolute must for sharp pictures and/or macro photography. If you don’t have one, a higher ISO/Shutter Speed/f-stop Combination may save the day. If you have a tripod “boom,” bring it with you. If you have none of the above, do your best with what you have, and enjoy the day....You will still get great pictures...!

Screen Diffusers
If you have one, bring a small (1 foot diameter) white screen diffuser, to give you “ideal” flat lighting (unless you like shadow – which I do). Because my equipment is based around studio photography, the smallest I have are 3+ feet. Since this is not a commercial shoot, I’m lazy and will not be bringing them. But by all means…bring one if want.

See You Soon
This should get you started.
Don't over dress...it is very warm and humid.
Bring memory cards, lens cleaner, charged batteries and a big assed smile – you’re going to love these flowers



Sandi
user 8638852
Group Organizer
Spring Grove, IL
Post #: 201
Learn how to mat and frame your images
Margo McIntyre

[color=grey] I just received this information from CACCA (Chicago Area Camera Club Association). I was not sure what link to post it in, but these are classes for those interested in learning how to cut mats and frame images. Currently there are not any classes in the Chicago area, but I think CACCA is trying to get enough people interested so the class could be held here. If anyone has an interest in this, let me know. I will keep you posted on what I hear at CACCA.

http://www.framing4yo...­.

Ed Crestoni Posted Dec 11, 2009
I started doing a little framing and matting.I definatley would like to know more.

Margo McIntyre Posted Dec 11, 2009
I will keep you posted if they come to Chicago.

Ravi Posted Dec 11, 2009 gravi

Thank you for this information Margot. I'd be interested in attending this in Chicago. Looks like they have planned Chicago for 2010.

Jeff Posted Dec 12, 2009
I would be interested in this also.

Jeff

leslie Posted Dec 12, 2009
I would for sure love to learn.. keep me posted, matted and framed on this..thanks


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