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Photography QnA: All About Photography

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Category: All About Photography

Interested in learning art photography? Want to become a master photographer? The following questions and answers are divided into two main groups - digital imaging and traditional, film-based photography. Learn the techniques of both here. If you want to learn more about how to make great photos take Jed Manwaring's Getting Started: How to Make Great Photographs online photography course.

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Photography Question 
Hans Abplanalp
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 2/8/2005
  71 .  Lens protection
Hi

Does using a neutral, clear filter to protect a lens impair image quality?

Thanks
Hans

10/30/2012 7:35:00 AM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  If it's high quality, not a noticeable difference. But another choice is to use a hard plastic lens hood.
Most cases, people drop their camera, and a lens hood will often hit and keep the front element from making contact with anything. But, projectiles and pointed objects would easily get past just a hood.

10/30/2012 7:45:18 AM

Hans Abplanalp
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 2/8/2005
  Hi Gregory

Many thanks for your reply.

Hans

10/30/2012 7:51:09 AM

  I use both a protective filter and a lens hood. The protective filter comes off when using OTHER filters. When using a CPL attach a rubber lens hood so you can adjust the filter to where it needs to be. With the hard lens hood it is too difficult to impossible to adjust the polarizer. The original use for a lens hood was to keep out unwanted flare from the sun or anything out of the frame that may shine unwanted light onto the lens. It also reduces glare which can give you false meter readings and it will also give you better contrast. There are very few occasions when it is not practical to use a lens hood. Examples: Flare is wanted and when it may scare an insect or get in the way while shooting Macro. Lens hoods are on my lenses 99% of the time including night shots and in the studio.

11/4/2012 11:04:36 AM

Hans Abplanalp
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 2/8/2005
  Hi Lynn

Thank you very much for your answer.

Hans

11/4/2012 11:49:34 AM

Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member
cammphoto.com

member since: 7/17/2003
  The only two times I've attached a filter to protect the front of my lens was during a windy day along the beach at Nag's Head, and while wandering through the Geiser Basin at Yellowstone.
During those shoots, salt, sand and sulphur spray were flying around so much that I was worried about permanent staining and corrosion.

Filters DO degrade image quality, albeit slightly...which is why I prefer shooting filter free.
As for protection...
Keeping the lens cap on (except for when taking a shot) is your best option in my opinion.

11/6/2012 7:30:21 PM

Hans Abplanalp
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 2/8/2005
  Hi Bob

Many thanks for your reply.

Hans

11/6/2012 9:45:32 PM

  Hans, I do as Lynn does. A while ago someone convinced me it was nuts to put a filter on good glass. One week out, I tripped on a rocky beach and put a huge scratch on my naked lens. Now I never have unprotected photography, but I do use the best filters available.

11/7/2012 6:01:37 AM

Hans Abplanalp
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 2/8/2005
  Hi Kay

Thanks for your input!

Hans

11/7/2012 6:55:48 AM

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Photography Question 
Ken Currie

member since: 10/10/2012
  72 .  Camera won't allow me to take picture in low-light
At times, the camera does not allow me to take a photo. 1) I am unclear how I override and make it take a phone. 2) I am also unclear how I force a flash. I know there is a setting to say flash is on but at times it doesn't come on or pop up when I enable that setting. Camera is Rebel T4! EOS650D.

10/24/2012 8:40:26 AM

  You can start by raisng your ISO. If you are using Aperture Priority open your lens more, and if you are using Shutter Speed priority decrease your shutter speed. Read The Manual that came with the camera.

There should be a small button on the prism section nerar the flash for making the flash pop up. Again RTM! Flash can only be taken a 1/250" or slower. That is fast enough to stop nearby motion since the minimum speed of the flash is 1/10,000".

I suggest that you take a course from BP to learn your camera. If they do not have one for the T4i take the one for the T3i since there isn't that much of a difference between the two.

I also suggest that you get yourself free from using any of those other pre-programmed scene programs. If you are new to photography I suggest that first you start learning in good light before you get into these situations.

For some reason people new to photography want to take photos closer than the minimal focus distance of the lens and at rediculous low light situations that are difficult for the best of cameras.

10/24/2012 5:07:36 PM

Christopher J. Budny
BetterPhoto Member
chrisbudny.com

member since: 10/3/2005
  We'd likely need a bit more info to pinpoint the cause (what Shooting Mode you're in, particularly) but it sounds at first pass like you're not able to achieve focus - and in AutoFocus mode, the Rebel won't fire if the lens can't achieve focus. (You'd see, I believe, a small solid-color circle or dot, in the viewfinder probably on the far right, blinking, when focus can't be achieved. When focus can be achieved, that circle/dot would be steady/not-blinking.) If you're in low-light and can't get focus, AND the flash is not up to provide some assist light, it isn't going to work for you at all. Lynn is right---there should be a small round button near the lens-mount area on the camera body, that pops the flash up...
It does sound like you need to gain some added familiarity with your gear and settings/operation, too---either an SLR basics class here, or one of the model-specific camera guides you can buy (if the Canon manual is too dry/unclear for your tastes.)

10/25/2012 12:16:36 PM

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Photography Question 
Carolyn Swadley
trugaitphotography.com

member since: 10/9/2006
  73 .  Zooming in with Photoshop Elements
Anyway to not sacrifice quality when editing photos if one wants to zoom in on a photo and crop?

10/19/2012 5:38:30 PM

  I crop at least 50% of my photos. However if I crop half of the photo out I do not try to make an 18" print with it. I will settle for an 8x10" instead. When cropping to a 9:16 format I insure that the '16' takes in the full length of the sensor. This way I only loose the the unwanted portions of the photo and 9x16" is the most I will print it. If I want it larger I will send the photo out telling them to uprez the image. Most 100% cropped photos should only be 4x6" unless using on the web. A lot also depends on the number of pixels and the quality of the lens in how much quality you get in your enlargements.

10/19/2012 8:38:06 PM

Carolyn Swadley
trugaitphotography.com

member since: 10/9/2006
  Thanks Lynn

10/21/2012 11:07:29 AM

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Photography Question 
Mary A. Miano
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Mary
Mary's Gallery

member since: 3/12/2012
  74 .  Canon Portrait Lens
I am thinking of investing in a portrait lens. I am looking at a 55mm f/1.2 or an 85mm f/1.4
Which one would be the best lens to get?

10/19/2012 10:56:59 AM

  It depends on which camera you have. Is it one with an APS-C sensor or full frame? Do you really need a fast lens for portrait? You would be better off using an f1.8 85mm lens, which would be considerably cheaper and just as good. If you have an APS-C camera the 55mm is the shortest lens you should use for portrait work. Unless if you prefer 'In your Face' photos.

10/19/2012 8:20:21 PM

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Photography Question 
Wendy M. Hansen-Penman
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 7/16/2011
  75 .  Release for concert photos
I recently took photos at a concert for a friend at a public venue of her band and a couple of other bands. Do I have to have a release in order to sell/use these outside of just selling them to the bands?

10/15/2012 11:01:29 AM

  They may be sold for editorial use in a magazine, newspaper or book for educational usage without a model release. For anything else a release is needed.

The manager or band leader may have the authority to sign for the entire band but if not a release will be needed from each band member. If the photos are taken in your studio a release will be necessary since you have been paid to take the photos.

10/15/2012 12:40:05 PM

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Photography Question 
Stephanie Halstead
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Stephanie
Stephanie's Gallery

member since: 3/3/2005
  76 .  copyright for company images????
A friend who is retiring from an airline asked me to take photos of memorabilia, i.e. pieces of her uniform through the years, like a hatbox, name badge, etc.
She wants these images made into photocards that she wants to give fellow employees for Christmas. Is this legal?

10/10/2012 11:29:55 AM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  Giving away as gifts, you'll be fine. There are probably company policies about portraying the company in a bad light. So if she were photographed, spring break or Vegas partaking in hedonistic activities and she were wearing her uniform, she could get fired.
But there isn't anything about wearing a logo and having your picture taken and printed that will get you into trouble.

10/10/2012 11:58:39 AM

  Thanks Gregory for your response. Actually it is just the memorabilia, i.e. hatbox with logo, name badge, and scarf with the company's name on it. All this is against a colored background. She is not in the photos.

10/10/2012 12:26:46 PM

  I agree with Gregory. As long as she is not selling these photos there shouldn't be a poblem. But if she is selling them later it might be a little iffy.

10/10/2012 1:59:34 PM

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Photography Question 
Tom R. Fleeman

member since: 4/26/2010
  77 .  sharp amage
Hi another dumb question. How would I know if my photo is not in focus or I don't have exposure right for a real sharp image. I have a couple of photos that are real sharp, but most of mine are not that sharp. Even on a tripod a good one. Thanks tom

10/9/2012 6:05:19 AM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  Look for an area of sharp detail, like a persons hair or an area on the ground. Follow from foreground back or the opposite direction and look at the gradual blurriness morphing into sharpness.
If your exposure's off, your colors will be dull. And look for excessive noise/grain in shadows or dark colors, if you've under exposed. If you've over exposed, look at light colors or highlights with a complete loss of detail. Or you might see a color shift in highlight areas if you're way over.
Just take your camera and shoot something and go through the entire aperture scale without changing the shutter speed so you can see a bunch of different exposure values.

10/9/2012 11:18:25 AM

  Too add to Gregory's excellent response here some other points you may want to consider.

- use a cable release or the timer on your camera.
- Use Live View the important reason for that is the mirror will be up and there will be less vibrations. Chech out the link I've added concerning LiveView

http://www.ianplant.com/blog/2012/09/10/my-love-affair-with-live-view-5-indispensible-benefits/

-check your ISO's to get a little more speed it's better a little noise you can fix later an have sharp images.

Hope this will help

10/10/2012 8:07:22 AM

Tom R. Fleeman

member since: 4/26/2010
  Thank you both I will try when I get a chance in the next few days and see what happens. If I still have a problem I will post a couple of samples of what I am talking about. Thanks again.

Tom

10/10/2012 10:46:28 AM

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Photography Question 
Michael K. Shaw
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Michael
Michael's Gallery

member since: 11/19/2011
  78 .  How to capture an award winning photo?
 
What tips can you share with me as to how I could have made this photo an award winning image?

10/6/2012 4:55:38 PM

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Photography Question 
Michael K. Shaw
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Michael
Michael's Gallery

member since: 11/19/2011
  79 .  How to capture an award winning photo?
 
What tips can you share with me that I may have done differently to have made these images award winning?

10/6/2012 8:51:24 AM

  Hi Michael. I'm sure you didn't intend that the cruise-ship image should be on its side. I should go back to BP Edit Image and delete it, then reload it from your file folder after you have rotated it by 90 degrees counter-clockwise.
Good luck. Pete

10/6/2012 2:57:23 PM

  Hi Pete, Sorry!! I can be a real dunce sometimes. Thank's so much for letting me know so that I could correct the image. Hope this is much better. Thank's again! Michael

10/6/2012 5:41:22 PM

  Um, Michael! I think you forgot to reload the ship image.
Now as for the Porsche image. Excellant, and wouldn't we both like to have one like that?

Pete

10/6/2012 6:08:20 PM

 
 
  " yellow porsche, south beach, Miami "
" yellow porsche, south beach, Miami "
My wife and I were spending the day in south beach, Miami when we saw this baby. Couldn't resist snapping a image.
 
  " Past and Present "
" Past and Present "
We were being taken back to the cruise ship after spending the day in the Cayman islands and had an opportunity to capture this image. 1/500, f/5.6, iso 400.
 
 
Whoops!!! Dog gone-it, I deleted and did my edit, thought I uploaded back to this page, but no image. Wondering what I've done wrong. Pete, please forgive me, it's pretty obvious that I'm not a rocket scientist ( lol ). Michael

10/7/2012 5:28:29 AM

  Hi Pete, I think I've finally succeeded in getting both images uploaded. Thank you your imput and your patience. Michael

10/7/2012 6:24:06 AM

  Ship the car to me, I'll pay the shipping cost, and I will take a bunch of photos and send you six 20x30 photos so you can see what you did wrong. Please remove the palm tree from the car so the truck can get under the overpasses.:=)

"...Considered snapping a image...", and that is what you got- a snapshot. It is a beautiful car though. The background is in conflict with the car, per the tree. This car deserves many close ups of its fine design and style. For a photo of the entire car a clean background would work much better and instead of taking a photo from the rear quarter it would be better from the front quarter. Also mid day lighting should be avoided. You asked how to take "Award winning" photos and unfortunately you were not in a position to move the car to another place so for you your goal was unfortunately impossible to do.

At first I thought this photo was taken with a Canon because the yellow car is blown out, overexposed, as is the reds on the photos in your gallery. This is a simple thing to correct. When taking the picture in bright light adjust the exposure compesation to -1/2 to -2/3. The background won't notice the lesser light and the car will look better. You should have heard me moan and groan when I saw a beautiful yellow Corvette with red pin stripes while usiing a Canon. And I also was stuck with mid-day lighting.

As for the old sailing vessel and ship once again you had no control of the view that you needed for an outstanding photo. It would have been better if you had more of a side shot of the sailing vessel and opened up the lens more to blur out the ship somewhat. Also the horizon line, in this case water line, is not level.

I checked out your gallery and really liked the "Grasshopper". What little yellow there was on it was shaded by the tree and was not blown out.

Please let me know when I can expect the car to arrive.
Huh?? When WHAT freezes over? :=)

10/7/2012 6:25:54 PM

  Hi Lynn, You wouldn't believe how much drooling I did over this baby and to top that off, a few minutes later, you wouldn't believe what sped by and I couldn't get a shot off. Seriously though, I do appreciate your suggestions and your time. I'll do my best to put these suggestions to work. Thank you. Michael P.S. When I finally found the owner and asked if he would sell his baby, I think that was the answer I got, When *&%& freezes over.

10/7/2012 7:54:23 PM

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Photography Question 
Tom R. Fleeman

member since: 4/26/2010
  80 .  Nikon D800
Hi everyone it has been a while. I have a question. I just purchased a Nikon D800. WHAT A CAMERA!!. My question is this, has anyone shot any sports photos with this camera yet. If so please let me know how it went as this camera is only 4fps. Thanks Tom

10/5/2012 6:25:35 AM

  I have shot sports with a film camera that didn't have a motor drive or fast autofocusing so it should be easier than that. Using my 40D Canon I find that I have more keepers shooting at the slower rate, 3 or 4 FPS, then going top speed on it which is about 8 or 10 FPS. I also have a lot less editing to do.

The best thing with any camera is to try and plan your shots and you can only do that by knowing the sport and anticipating the action. Also an excellent telephoto with a large f stop helps. You will want to shoot at a high shutter speed to stop action. However with auto racing use something like 1/250" at the most and pan with the action. The wheels have to look like they are moving otherwise it will look as if the cars, mortocycles, bicycles are in a parking lot resting.

For field sports do not expect anything great if you can only sit in the stands. So try to get on the sidelines or at least the first couple rows of the stands.

I saw some fine night baseball game photos taken with a Nikon Dx2 so you should have no problem with the D800.

10/7/2012 4:56:06 PM

Tom R. Fleeman

member since: 4/26/2010
  Hi, Lynn thanks for the reply. I shoot mostely high school sports, football at the moment. My son played a few years back and I know all the coaches and the AD so I have access to the field.I agree with the editing, it gets old after awhile. I am getting better this year not taking as many shots and also deleting the ones I will never use right away.I also have a D7000 to go with my new D800. It shoots at about 6 fps and that was one of the reasons I bought it, as I was looking for more Fps.Thanks for the advice on motor sports I didn't know that, will come in handy when I do that.I bought the new D800 because it was time to move onto a full frame camera, I really wanted a D700 but couldn't find one I wanted. This new D800 is really an amazing camera and I think I will really improve my photography a lot using it. I am getting ready to start doing portarit photography and it will really make my portraits look fantastic. Thanks again Tom.

10/8/2012 7:25:30 AM

Thomas W. Schoeller
BetterPhoto Member
SchoellerPhotos.com

member since: 12/4/2006
  Hi Tom.. It's been some time since I have come aboard the Q&A and happened to notice your post about the D800 from a few weeks ago. I'm wondering how/if you made out shooting sports action with such a slow fps rate.

The camera body is definitely not the first choice for sports action photography especially with all that resolution. 36.3 mp will show every mistake. The crop factor of the D7000 also lends itself nicely for matching up with a tele lens for this type of photography.

11/18/2012 11:58:57 AM

Tom R. Fleeman

member since: 4/26/2010
  Hi Thomas, I shot my first football game a week ago. This is a camera that you have to know your sport really well so you can shoot at the right time. Four fps is ok though. I did get some really nice catches even with the slow fps. The one thing with this camera is you have to be right on with the focus, there is little room for error. With that said this camera is AWESOME! The more I use it the better my photos have been. What I am going to do at our game Saturday ( we made the state finals in 6A football in Kansas Go Vikings) Is have my D800 with 80-400mm on my monopod and have my D7000 with 17-35mm wide angle for sideline shots around my neck. Maybe someday if I make some money with my portrait business I will use the D800 for that and purchase a D4 for my sports photos. And I do still love my D7000 it has been a joy to shoot with. Thanks Tom.

11/20/2012 6:47:36 AM

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