In this challenging time for all of us, I have made some videos to share my experience of post processing and photography for birding, wildlife and macros. I hope some find it useful.
Tag Archives: Camera
Now that we have the basic DSLR functions and gear out-of-the-way, let’s continue exploring how to get blur free images. I say “blur free” more often than “sharp” since it is possible that a sharp image is not what is desired in certain cases. Although, there are “blur” effects as well, but, we will not get into that for now.
Keep in mind that we are talking only about the creative modes on a DSLR, i.e., the PASM modes. In the PAS modes, you help the camera arrive at a better decision for taking an image of a given scene. In the M mode, you tell the camera what to do rather than help it to reach a decision.
As already indicated in previous posts, always watch the shutter speed. The other points to watch out for are how you actually press the shutter, the focus point and the overall exposure of the scene. Let us consider all of these in some more detail.
Well, as mentioned in an earlier post, nothing is really “required” as such, but, let us look at some gear that will help and will remain useful for quite some time to come.
The pop-up flash on the DSLRs today is probably “the” example of stagnation in technology. This is the worst location a flash could be on any camera…Right on the centre of the lens and low on top of the camera. Quite a few of the high-end DSLRs do not have a built-in flash for the same reason. Keep in mind that we are capturing light and photography is basically all about light!
There is already a ton of information on the net and I will not get into any specific details on this part. If you are really interested in learning more about the flash, it’s working, modifiers and more, here are a couple of sites that I would recommend that you go through.
- Strobist – This is considered to be “the” place to learn about lighting.
- ScanTips – This one has a variety of related information.
Both Nikon and Canon have their own speedlites for their camera bodies. Both use TTL metering to figure out the amount of flash (light) to add to a given scene. Almost all of these branded speedlites are expensive when compared to a variety of third-party hardware. I would recommend that you purchase one that suits your budget and supports i-TLL for Nikon and e-TTL/e-TTL II for Canon. Although manual speedlites from third-party vendors are a lot cheaper, you can always add those as and when needed for a multi-light setup. Most of us would probably start with one speedlite and stay there. TTL speedlites make it a lot simpler to start understanding their purpose and utility.
In my experience, so far, speedlites generally be a lot brighter than ideal by default. You might want to set your flash exposure compensation to around -1 (lower by 1 stop) for most scenarios.
A speedlite TTL cable or a wireless setup is good to have in order to take the flash completely off the camera. Although you can use the pop-up flash on the camera to trigger a stand-alone flash in manual mode, it also implies that your pop-up flash will fire and add to the available light. A cheap light stand might also be a good idea for experimenting with the direction and intensity of light.
After a lot of research, I decided to go with a Yongnuo speedlite for Nikon. They also build the equivalent models for Canon. The online links are under the “Good Deals!” page. After I was comfortable with the flash, I also got the wireless commander and transceiver for the same.
While most lessons/tutorials on learning photography start with an understanding of exposure, my personal experience says that you start with trying to get stable, blur free images first. This goes hand-in-hand with the study of exposure and makes it simpler and faster to grasp in practical terms. As a bonus, the images start becoming better from day one rather than later.
Do take the time to look at the links here referring to articles on Wikipedia for more technically correct details as I will be mostly skipping details in the initial articles here. There is no need to understand all the math and details, but, a read through on Wiki would be quite helpful.
Before we can get to the basic practice of getting sharp, blur free images, it would help if we can understand the meaning of some of the very basic terms used in photography as related to a DSLR. Most of the current P&S cameras will also have these semi-automatic modes and some of this discussion is also applicable to them. Read the rest of this entry »
With the festival of Holi right around the corner, there might be some people looking to buy a new camera. Even without the “season” or “reason”, sometimes, we get a new one anyway…
There is always the hope that a more modern camera might deliver better results. Quite a few of us buy an expensive DSLR hoping that this would increase the quality of the photographs. After all, a DSLR is way more expensive than a Point & Shoot and has to be better.
Well, the answer is a “yes” and “no”. The only point that is completely correct is that a DSLR is expensive and will continue to add to the expense to get anywhere close to the range of even a mid-range P&S camera.
A better understanding of the use, pros and cons of both will go a long way in making a better informed purchase decision. This is what we will look at first.