Photo Tips

..... To be continued shortly ......

Tip of the day

TIP OF THE DAY (1) Your camera is programmed to see the overall tone of an image to be mid grey. Try this exercise: Take a picture (in jpeg) of a white piece of paper - no other colours so make sure the frame is filled with the white and not some of the table it is placed on. Then take a picture of a black piece of paper or card again making sure it is only black filling the frame. Put them on your pc - you will see that they both have 18% grey and not the true black or white that you have taken. To over-ride this control the camera yourself, Aperture; Shutter speed and ISO all allow you to control how much the camera sees. Using Auto or P mode is allowing the camera to decide.

Photography Tip Day 2: Shoot in RAW
When shooting Jpeg the image info is compressed & lost. When shooting RAW no information is compressed so you're able to produce higher quality images. How it was explained to me is if you go to the shop and buy a birthday cake already baked & decorated or go to the shop and buy the ingredients & mix your own. In RAW you get the highest level of quality because it records ALL the data from the sensor and records a greater level of brightness. The levels of brightness are the number of steps from black & white in an image - the more you have the smoother the transition of tones. Jpeg records 256 levels of brightness whilst RAW records between 4096 to 16385 levels (this is described as bits - Jpeg captures 8bit & raw is either 12bit or 14bit. The effect on your image is huge. It means you can make more adjustments (exposure, blacks, fill light, recovery, contrast, brightness) to your image without a reduction in quality. It's also easier to avoid posterization in the image (which is the banding that you see in bright skies etc when you print). Shooting RAW also makes it easier to correct over/under exposed images (blown highlights/clipped shadows). When you shoot jpeg the white balance is applied to the image and it isn't easy to adjust. With RAW the balance is recorded but it is easier to adjust if you got it wrong in camera. RAW has more access to sharpening/noise in PS or L/Room which are more powerful than those your camera has. Editing is non-destructive with RAW because you aren't doing anything to the original data so you can easily reset the adjustments if you get it wrong. Jpeg images lose quality (lossy files) each time you open them. Because of the finer graduation of tones/colours you will get better prints from a RAW file. You can adjust colour space when exporting the editing file ie easy to change to Srgb if it's going on the web or Adobe RGB for prints. I think I have covered most things here but those who are more advanced than me may be able to explain more if I've missed something.
Photography Tip 3: Exposure Triangle - When using your camera on manual you need to master the three basics: Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO.You also need to understand the relationships between these three controls. When you adjust one of them, you would usually have to consider at least one of the others, to get the desired results. (photo taken from google)
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Thanks to Jann for sourcing these tips.

Photography Tip 4: photographing flowers:
Get creative with composition. Usually you need to change your perspective to get something interesting with a flower. But the simplicity of the subject means you often need to stretch yourself to get something original with regards to its composition.
A straight up photo of a flower from standing height? You might nail it, but 9/10 times you just missed an opportunity.
You also need to think about backgrounds. Choosing your background is as important as choosing your subject. Have an unintentional or boring background, then it doesn’t really matter if it’s the most interesting flower in the world - your image is going to be boring. But saying this, don’t have a background that is going take the viewers eye away from the subject, don’t have anything in the background that is lighter than the subject, for instance.
You also need to consider the colours in the shot - not only that of the flower's but also of background, other colours, stems etc. - often you can make something of this and compose with colour.
Quality of light is another huge factor in good flower photography.
And finally, camera craft - when you have a stationary subject with a reliable light source, you really need to nail your settings and craft. Anything less will be noticed. Usually (but not always), I’ll limit the depth of field and try to get some complementary colours in the background, so that’s something extra to think about.
(Text taken but modified from Photzy)

Photography tip 5: Rule of thirds/Fibonacci spiral (golden rule) When it comes to compositional rules, it is very much a battle between golden ratio vs rule of thirds. Both are very handy when trying to guide how the viewer’s eyes go around an image. The golden ratio is a compositional tool, also known as the Fibonacci spiral. It is what you get when you do some complex maths on a rectangle: a/b = (a+b)/a = 1.61803398875. In a short form ratio, it is 1:1.618. The golden ratio is part of every natural object (ora and fauna). It comes across as being a very magical number. This is a balanced composition for those who view your images. We prefer images that are somehow harmonized, and the golden ratio is one way to balance your image. It keeps your viewer’s travelling around your image evenly. The great thing about the golden ratio is that you can use it in 8 different ways. Four with a portrait orientation and four with a landscape orientation. The rule of thirds is another compositional rule. The great thing about this is that our cameras and, more often than not, image editing software, can help us out. If you place two imaginary horizontal lines along your scene, one at 1/3 and the second at 2/3, you’re halfway. Next, place two lines vertically, again at 1/3 and 2/3. Deciding which composition is better is difficult. When we enter the world of photography, we all have the rule of thirds rammed down our throats. It is by far the most talked about and common compositional rule, but also the most hated. We need images more pleasing when focal points sit on these intersections. But it really depends on the scene. If we have a scenario where nothing much isn’t happening, we would use the rule of thirds. It helps make it into something better. This is something we can do as we photograph. Our cameras show us this grid in both the viewfinder and live view via the LCD screen. The rule of thirds doesn’t take up too much mental activity to follow. The golden ratio is more complex. I can guarantee, no photographer is sitting there, camera to the face, looking for the golden ratio. It would take too long, especially if you are capturing street, portrait or sport photography. The golden ratio is a great tool to crop images. It serves as a great tool when editing your images. The rule of thirds is also great for this. Most of us use it without thinking. See attached photos which make it clearer. (Text & images taken from Google)