Author Topic: Photography technical advice, questions, tips and techniques.  (Read 4593 times)

Sherman Firefly

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Re: Photography technical advice, questions, tips and techniques.
« Reply #90 on: August 09, 2018, 10:12:41 AM »
Composition and other rules are very useful and my opinion is that we should be aware of them, but once they are internalized, we should not be slaves to them. It is OK to break them or ignore them. It's the old "Picasso could not draw" philistine statement, whereas nothing is further from the truth. He just chose to throw out the rules when it suited him.

Agreed. Being slavish to rules ruins spontaneity.
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Sherman Firefly

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Re: Photography technical advice, questions, tips and techniques.
« Reply #91 on: August 09, 2018, 02:40:05 PM »
Hyperfocal distance.

For any given aperture and lens combination there is what is known as a hyperfocal distance. This is the distance from the front of the lens that you focus on, respective of where the subject actually is. The farthest point of the depth of field will be at infinity (the horizon) and the nearest could be be a couple of meters in front of the lens while the lens is actually focused say 25m away. And everything from the horizon to 2m in front of you is in focus. This is how cheap little film cameras get away with not having a focusing mechanism. They have a wide angle lens with a small (f8) aperture lens with a focus set at the hyperfocal distance.

You can use the hyperfocal distance to good effect where you have moving subjects like a football match. Set the lenses focus so the distant part of the depth of field is the far side of the football pitch and then you don't have to touch the focus for the whole game.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2018, 03:54:46 PM by Tank »
If religions were TV channels atheism is turning the TV off.
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Dave

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Re: Photography technical advice, questions, tips and techniques.
« Reply #92 on: August 09, 2018, 03:27:47 PM »
Hyperfocal distance.

For any given aperture and lens combination there is what is known as a hyperfocal distance. This is the distance from the front of the lens that you focus on, respective of where the subject actually is. The farthest point of the depth of field will be at infinity (the horizon) and the nearest could be be a couple of meters in front of the lens while the lens is actually focused say 25m away. And everything from the horizon to 2m in front of you is in focus. This is how cheap little film cameras get away with not having a focusing mechanism. They have a wide angle lens with a small (f8) aperture lens with a focus set at the hyperfocal distance.

You can use the hyperfocal distance to good effect where you have moving subjects like a football match. Set the lenses focus so the distant part of the depth of field is the far side of the football pitch and then you don't have to touch the focus for the whole game.

Understand and have used the "focus and forget" principle, but thanks for given it a name, Tank - that's new to me.

In some time critical cases, like birds on a nest and trying to capture a specific behaviour, it maybe saves precious time: setting the focus manually will mean not having to wait until the auto focus allows the shutter to open.
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hermes2015

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Re: Photography technical advice, questions, tips and techniques.
« Reply #93 on: August 09, 2018, 04:21:55 PM »
I own a circular polarizing filter, but have never used it. Have any of you guys had any experience with one?

Dave

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Re: Photography technical advice, questions, tips and techniques.
« Reply #94 on: August 09, 2018, 04:51:33 PM »
I own a circular polarizing filter, but have never used it. Have any of you guys had any experience with one?

I usually leave mine on the Nikon all the time. It deepens blue sky if there is a little very thin cloud, improving sky/cloud contrast,  and tends to make greens greener. The "anti-reflection" qualities are good if you have highlights, even on shiny leaves, that are distracting - the ability to improve shots into water is well known.

But you have to remember to rotate it to get the best shot each time, you may want the highlights!

Take it out and play with it.

Er,  :redface:
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Sherman Firefly

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Re: Photography technical advice, questions, tips and techniques.
« Reply #95 on: August 09, 2018, 05:38:19 PM »
I own a circular polarizing filter, but have never used it. Have any of you guys had any experience with one?

Yes. I'll find some examples.
If religions were TV channels atheism is turning the TV off.
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hermes2015

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Re: Photography technical advice, questions, tips and techniques.
« Reply #96 on: August 09, 2018, 05:45:29 PM »
Thanks, Dave and Tank. Perhaps I should try it some time.

Sherman Firefly

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Re: Photography technical advice, questions, tips and techniques.
« Reply #97 on: August 09, 2018, 05:49:36 PM »
Thanks, Dave and Tank. Perhaps I should try it some time.

It works best when the Sun is in line with your shoulders. It has next to no effect if the Sun is in front or behind you. Too many clouds and it won't work at all.
If religions were TV channels atheism is turning the TV off.
“Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt.” ― Richard P. Feynman
'It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it's called Life.' - Terry Pratchett
Remember, your inability to grasp science is not a valid argument against it.

Bluenose

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Re: Photography technical advice, questions, tips and techniques.
« Reply #98 on: August 10, 2018, 11:50:10 AM »
Back in the day, I used to have a Minolta XD-5 SLR (actually, I still have it here somewhere).  When I went on a Squadron run ashore, I used to fit a wide angle lens (28 mm from memory), adjusted the focus to about 2 ft to infinity with an aperture to f22 and tape the focus ring so it would not move and fitted a diffusion filter to my Sunpack flash, which was quite capable of giving me decent exposure at up to 20 ft away.  I could then enjoy my night out with my fellow officers, get as pissed as I liked and still got quite acceptable photographs of the proceedings.  My mates often commented that my photos were better than what they tried under the same circumstances - prior planning.

On a related note, I was photographic officer on my squadron.  We had Nikon SLRs with 80-210 mm zoom lenses (big, heavy old fashioned ones) for use by the front-seaters in the aircraft.  We were using Ilford FP4 100 ASA black and white film for reconnaissance photography.  The cameras had a "needle and ring" type of manual exposure control.  We were getting only about 15-20% usable photographs, mostly out of focus, but also badly exposed.  I decided to have a trial of using fixed settings to take the variation out when used by non-photographer aircrew (who really couldn't care less about f stop, exposure and focus etc).  I spoke to the phot section guys and they suggested a particular f stop and exposure (time prevents me from recalling exactly what) and I adjusted the lens to about 100 mm and set the focus to give a depth of field from about 100 ft to infinity.  Because FP4 is a very flexible film the phot guys could compensate for around 2 stops over or under exposure during processing with not too much loss of quality, or even more if needs be.  Effectively I had turned these very expensive cameras into point and shoot devices for nubes.  The results were about 80-85% usable photos, which I considered to be win!
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Sherman Firefly

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Re: Photography technical advice, questions, tips and techniques.
« Reply #99 on: August 10, 2018, 12:08:37 PM »
Back in the day, I used to have a Minolta XD-5 SLR (actually, I still have it here somewhere).  When I went on a Squadron run ashore, I used to fit a wide angle lens (28 mm from memory), adjusted the focus to about 2 ft to infinity with an aperture to f22 and tape the focus ring so it would not move and fitted a diffusion filter to my Sunpack flash, which was quite capable of giving me decent exposure at up to 20 ft away.  I could then enjoy my night out with my fellow officers, get as pissed as I liked and still got quite acceptable photographs of the proceedings.  My mates often commented that my photos were better than what they tried under the same circumstances - prior planning.

On a related note, I was photographic officer on my squadron.  We had Nikon SLRs with 80-210 mm zoom lenses (big, heavy old fashioned ones) for use by the front-seaters in the aircraft.  We were using Ilford FP4 100 ASA black and white film for reconnaissance photography.  The cameras had a "needle and ring" type of manual exposure control.  We were getting only about 15-20% usable photographs, mostly out of focus, but also badly exposed.  I decided to have a trial of using fixed settings to take the variation out when used by non-photographer aircrew (who really couldn't care less about f stop, exposure and focus etc).  I spoke to the phot section guys and they suggested a particular f stop and exposure (time prevents me from recalling exactly what) and I adjusted the lens to about 100 mm and set the focus to give a depth of field from about 100 ft to infinity.  Because FP4 is a very flexible film the phot guys could compensate for around 2 stops over or under exposure during processing with not too much loss of quality, or even more if needs be.  Effectively I had turned these very expensive cameras into point and shoot devices for nubes.  The results were about 80-85% usable photos, which I considered to be win!

What a waste of good kit  :'( :'( :'( :'(
If religions were TV channels atheism is turning the TV off.
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Remember, your inability to grasp science is not a valid argument against it.

Dave

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Re: Photography technical advice, questions, tips and techniques.
« Reply #100 on: August 10, 2018, 12:22:01 PM »
I sort of agree, Tank, but it's horses for courses. With objective being obtaining the best quality image you can achieve there's no point in using a Kodak Brownie.  :grin:

You might consider the fitted WW2 air recon cameras, with the best lenses that could be made at the time, "point and shoot" jobs!

On appeture and focus/d-o-f  with the old rings on the lens it was so easy to adjust the focus scale with focus infinity at the f No and be sure that everything from about 5ft forward would be in focus. Then, for general shots, you could adjust the speed at the eye if you had an internal exposure indicator.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2018, 02:02:45 PM by Dave »
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hermes2015

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Re: Photography technical advice, questions, tips and techniques.
« Reply #101 on: August 10, 2018, 01:22:03 PM »
Those were the days, Dave. I spent many a lonely weekend hour in the darkroom of the Physical Chemistry department developing and printing. I used to be happy to produce just one good print per day.

I used a trick to extend the dynamic range of Tri-X film (which I really loved), by overexposing by 1 stop and then under-developing. To do that one set the camera meter at ASA 200, although Tri-X was rated at ASA 400. This overcame the old film problem of blow-out highlights, and gave negatives that weren't just pure black in the highlights and transparent in the shadows. The resulting prints showed good detail in the highlights as well as the shadows. Now with digital, the results are better if one underexposes to prevent blown highlights, and crank up the exposure in the shadows. This is most successful when you shoot RAW.

Sherman Firefly

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Re: Photography technical advice, questions, tips and techniques.
« Reply #102 on: August 10, 2018, 02:41:15 PM »
Those were the days, Dave. I spent many a lonely weekend hour in the darkroom of the Physical Chemistry department developing and printing. I used to be happy to produce just one good print per day.

I used a trick to extend the dynamic range of Tri-X film (which I really loved), by overexposing by 1 stop and then under-developing. To do that one set the camera meter at ASA 200, although Tri-X was rated at ASA 400. This overcame the old film problem of blow-out highlights, and gave negatives that weren't just pure black in the highlights and transparent in the shadows. The resulting prints showed good detail in the highlights as well as the shadows. Now with digital, the results are better if one underexposes to prevent blown highlights, and crank up the exposure in the shadows. This is most successful when you shoot RAW.

Interesting. I'll have to try that. You are rekindling my interest in RAW files.
If religions were TV channels atheism is turning the TV off.
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'It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it's called Life.' - Terry Pratchett
Remember, your inability to grasp science is not a valid argument against it.

hermes2015

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Re: Photography technical advice, questions, tips and techniques.
« Reply #103 on: August 10, 2018, 02:53:48 PM »
Those were the days, Dave. I spent many a lonely weekend hour in the darkroom of the Physical Chemistry department developing and printing. I used to be happy to produce just one good print per day.

I used a trick to extend the dynamic range of Tri-X film (which I really loved), by overexposing by 1 stop and then under-developing. To do that one set the camera meter at ASA 200, although Tri-X was rated at ASA 400. This overcame the old film problem of blow-out highlights, and gave negatives that weren't just pure black in the highlights and transparent in the shadows. The resulting prints showed good detail in the highlights as well as the shadows. Now with digital, the results are better if one underexposes to prevent blown highlights, and crank up the exposure in the shadows. This is most successful when you shoot RAW.

Interesting. I'll have to try that. You are rekindling my interest in RAW files.

Glad to hear my RAW proselytizing has had some effect.

hermes2015

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Re: Photography technical advice, questions, tips and techniques.
« Reply #104 on: August 10, 2018, 02:57:18 PM »
Of course, one can also do HDR processing, but it needs at least 3 shots, and the results can look very artificial.