Hi there! I'm writing this little tip's and tricks thingy cause I feel like it might have some value here. Seeing that there are a lot of great artists and photographers on this forum I thought I made a little contribution hoping that the forum (or you individually) learn something from it! I am by far a professional, I've had my camera for about half a year now, but I've had the opportunity to learn a lot in these months and I'm willing to share that with you guy's :)
Recomended kits: I have a Canon 60D with a 18-135mm EFS lens that I bought for €900 at the time. I also bought a flash: the Canon 430 EXII (250€ I believe).
!! When you are starting with photography, save some money for external items like filters, polarisers, tripods and lights. Ebay is a great place for getting that cheap item you want to try out.
!!! Ebay is a great place to start out, you can buy items cheap, but don't expect great quality. Reality is reality, quality = money.
!!!! If you are looking for cheap studio lights and you don't have a lot of money, I suggest the CN-126 LED video light. I have one and it's been working great for me! You can find one on ebay for as cheap as 30$ ( link )
I would appreciate it if you could leave some feedback!
What i'll be talking about:
- How to improve the sharpness of your pictures
- Tips for beter photo's
A) Improve the sharpness of your pictures
1. Use a tripod when you can, but don't over use it. Vibrations can and will ruin your picture, so if you don't have that much of a steady hand, invest in a good tripod!
*Recommended Manfrotto 055DB, about 100€. But if you have some money to spare, buy the Manfrotto 486RC2 ball joint to put on that tripod. You'll find out that a ball joint is easy in use when it comes to tripods!
2. Remote shutter releases are cheap and a must have for every photographer. You can get one on ebay for as little as 1$! It's usefull for those long exposure photo's, or even portrait photo's because those remote shutter releases mean that you don't have to push the button ON the camera, meaning that there are less vibrations! If you don't have a remote shutter release, use the timer on your camera. LESS VIBRATIONS = MORE SHARPNESS.
3. If you have a more professional camera, have a look through the manual if you have a mirror lock-up option. The movement of the mirror causes a little bit of vibrations in your camera and as you should know by now: less vibrations = ...
4. When using a tripod in a controlled environment, turn off the VR or IR on your lens if it has that option. If your camera is on a tripod in a place where there are no vibrations the lens will still look for them and might cause vibrations... (simpler then it sounds).
5. The best and sharpest diaphragm is usually the one 2 stops above your lowest F-stop. Ex. If your lowest F-stop is f/2.8, your sharpest pictures will be taken at f/5.6. To learn more about f-stops click HERE
6. A good lens is important. We all start off with a standard lens cause they're cheap and usually come with the camera. If you become certain that you want to do something with your photo's, you might want to think about investing in a good quality lens. THIS DOES NOT MEAN YOU HAVE TO SPEND ALL YOUR MONEY ON CANON OR NIKON LENSES. Do your research and you'll find out that other brands sell the same quality lenses as a 2000$ one for half it's price! Recommended brands: Tamron and Sigma
7. Keep your ISO as low as possible. Post processing can fix a lot these days but it's better that you don't have to fix anything at all!
8. Zoom in to see if your image is sharp! Most camera's today have a zoom button. Use it to see if your images are sharp enough. If you're more of a manual focus person, zoom in on the surface you want to focus on IN LIVE VIEW and turn and twist your focus ring untill it gives a clear image. !!! AN PHOTO MAY LOOK SHARP ON THE LITTLE SCREEN OF YOUR CAMERA, BUT IT CAN BE A LOT MORE BLURRY ON A BIG SCREEN.
1. Wide Angle lens:
- Environmental Portraits (ex. fire fighter and his fire truck)
- AF Nikkor 24 mm f/2.8 (€350)
- Canon EF 24 mm f/2.8 (€300)
- Sigma 28 mm f/1.8 (€350 *compatible with canon, nikon and others)
2. Telezoom lens
3. Fast lenses
! With it's f-stops as low as f/1.4 or f1.8, these are great lenses to shoot in low light and without a flash.
4. Tilt-shift lenses
- Architectural Photography
! You can take pictures of tall buildings without morphing the tops of buildings.
5. Clean your lenses but be careful doing so, if you don't have faith in yourself, you can get it done at a local camera shop or ask one of your friends that has experience in that sort of thing.
6. When changing lenses on your camera, hold your camera with the lens pointing down. That way the chance of dust getting in and or around your camera and sensor is reduced.
7. Lensbaby-lenses are great and (relatively) cheap lenses for the more creative photographer. It uses in lens filters which can make a great photo! More info HERE
There are many ways of lighting in photography. The most known ways are: Flash, LED, ........
You'll have to experiment with the diffrent kinds to find your personal favorite. I'll have a short chat about Flash and LED lighting.
! LIGHTS are really important when it comes to photography. To demonstrate this:
First picture: Only light on at that moment is my room light: an orange/yellow like spot light (! avoid orange light as much as possible, for some situations it fits, but for most it's preferred to have white clean light)
Second picture: Only light on at that moment is my CN-126 LED with a white diffuser (30$ total) on a 1/4th of it's power at the same hight as the stand she's sitting on at a distance of about half a meter.
Third picture: Top light + CN-126 LED (at 1/2 of it's power) + Flash at the right with a white diffuser, pointing upwards to make the flash less direct, and to make the light bounce off the ceiling to even it out a bit.
Batteries are mainly used to power the next ways to illuminate your image. Therefore you have to choose the right batteries! Recommended batteries are nickel-metal hydride batteries. They have a lower voltage so your flash can fire faster than when using alkaline batteries. Also, these batteries charge really quick when using the right charger, a set of 4 nickel-metal hydride batteries from Energizer (brand) can fully charge in 15 minuts.
Pop-up flash: Don't you ever dare and use this. This little pop-up flash can make the most beautiful model look like shrek (figure of speech). No but really, don't use this. Professionals only use this to trigger other flashes which are placed around the model.
External Flash: Do use external flashes, but be aware. You might find some cheap flash (ex. Yongnuo yn-560 iii) but these give up fast, drop them once and your light bulb breaks, fire a lot of flashs after eachother and it might start smoking. Only go for the cheap ones if you REALLY can not afford buying a better, high quality flash. Professionals use these cheaper flashes as backup flashes or side lighting flashes. (recommended flash for canon: Speelite 430 EXII (250€)
The best distance away from your subject when you're using a flash is about 3 meters. When using a diffuser (recommended) point your flash head upwards with an angle of +- 45°
DON'T BE AFRAID to chance the position of your flash, don't put in on your camera and never take it off. Put it on slave mode and take it off and change the position up!
I've found my CN-126 LED light really usefull as a main and shadow fill light. It's great quality for it's price (30$ on ebay). The brightness is easely adjustable by using the wheel on the side so you can have the lighting you want! It comes with a white, yellow and magenta diffuser.
LED lights have the advantage that you can see the lighting without taking a picture. With a flash you have to take a picture and then adjust your lighting.
The downside about these led lights is that they require lots of batteries and go through them quite quickly (faster then a flash), and thus I recommend to buy rechargable batteries (preferably
Nickel–metal hydride battery, see above for a reason).
MORE COMING SOON
Edited by MrLando, 02 November 2013 - 01:49 PM.