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01-17-2016, 08:40 AM - 2 Likes   #166
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My advice is to never value gear over practice. As nice as it is to own all of the latest gear and 2 dozen 50mm lenses try to learn the techniques with what you have and hit your limits. I don't have much money so I'm very limited in my gear but even with just my DA 40mm xs, my 18-55mm and my very small assortment of older lenses paired with my k-01 with over a year of use and I'm not even close to hitting my limits. With just this gear and have learned so much already. Focus on the photography and you'll become better for it.

Taken with the 40mm xs, not some fancy high end landscape lens.



01-17-2016, 08:40 AM - 2 Likes   #167
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If you want to improve your skills, make friends with other aspiring photographers. Go on photo dates in your home town. Check out photography exhibits. Like any art, photography is all about gaining a new perspective -- pun definitely intended.
01-17-2016, 08:42 AM   #168
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QuoteOriginally posted by Spotmatic2 Quote
Don't forget to take advantage of the close focusing capabilities of your wide-angle 24mm and 28mm prime lenses. Use wide apertures for narrow DoF and creamy bokeh. Image below captured with Sigma 24mm, 1/40 sec, f2.8, ISO 400
Need to try again. Use the Manage Attachments button to upload directly from your computer.
01-17-2016, 08:47 AM - 2 Likes   #169
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One piece of advice that goes against the "shoot more" school of thought:

Shoot less... by getting a smaller card. I recently got an old 1GB (for free!) and using RAW format I only get about 35-36 shots (reminds me of my film days!). It forces you to think about all your settings in camera, previsualizing the shot, and questioning whether the shot you're about to take is a great one. Granted, you can delete bad shots (it is digital!) but it really helps encompass a lot of the tips laid out so far. One follow-up tip is to use the digital preview (aka depth of field preview) to see whether you're getting the shot you envisioned without taking the shot itself and seeing it on screen (and on newer cameras can be saved anyway).

01-17-2016, 08:47 AM   #170
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Tips for long exposure shots

I'm a novice photographer and always on a budget. When taking long exposure shots to reduce the initial shake when mounted on a tripod I set the timer to the lowest it can go (for my K-50 it's 2 sec) and then take the shot. This is way the camera has two seconds to stabilize itself before it actually takes the shot. This is a nifty trick if you don't have a remote or have forgotten it and are willing to sacrifice the initial 2 secs, which given the nature of most long exposure photography is digestable.

Hope that is useful for some of you. Thanks. Now give me the lens...
01-17-2016, 08:48 AM - 5 Likes   #171
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Two tricks for the price of one.

To make the stars pop in an image I found this trick on stackexchange: in photoshop, duplicate background layer 4 times, turn blending mode to lighten, move each layer in a different direction (up, down, left, right) just a bit. Flatten the image and voilą.

To get the first light of day without washing out the stars the sun has to be between 16° and 18° below the horizon. You can check on free planetarium software (like Cartes du Ciel ) to know when this happens for your location.


K-30 with M28 mm F2.8, 60 seconds iso 400. Stars tracked with astrotracer.
01-17-2016, 08:58 AM - 2 Likes   #172
svo
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Simple.. practice, practice, and take it the camera off 'auto', put it on M(anual).

01-17-2016, 08:59 AM   #173
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In fishing, I like to tell people "you can't catch if you don't cast". The same general rule applies to photography, it means get out there and do it, no excuses. Don't be afraid to take a few risks with the camera, yes it's expensive if something happens, but you'll never get that special shot if you aren't willing to take the risk. But most importantly, have fun and don't take things too seriously.

Last edited by Auzzie-Phoenix; 01-17-2016 at 08:59 AM. Reason: typo correction
01-17-2016, 09:01 AM - 2 Likes   #174
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Simple tip to protect your lenses

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The simple ones are always the best!

If like me you travel a lot and live in and out of hotels, just snag those shoe shine mitts and these can be used as nifty lens protection sacks. I even manage to get my Sigma 10-20 f3.5 and 17-50 f2.5 lenses in them! Excellent for all your vintage Pentax primes also, such as my wonderful SMC 50mm M f1.4 shown in the photo.

If you can't get them from your hotel visits, there's also a cheap supply available from ebay or hotel supply sites. They last a surprisingly long time too! The one in the photo came from a hotel in Boston 15 years ago.

For added protection drop in a couple of small silica gel packets to ensue any moisture is dealt with.


Derek

Last edited by Blueclay; 01-17-2016 at 11:59 AM.
01-17-2016, 09:05 AM - 2 Likes   #175
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from Italy

No matter what kind of lens are you using ............. come to my country once in your lifetime and take pictures, as many as you want

Pentax forever ....bye
01-17-2016, 09:11 AM - 3 Likes   #176
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A quick, basic way to improve composition for novices: Once you've taken your photo, close your eyes, then quickly look at it for a second or two, then look away. Is what your eyes were first drawn to the focal point of the shot? Or do you focus on something in the background that draws attention away from your subject? Use this to make sure photos are composed properly. The photographer may know what the subject is, but someone else may focus on an entirely different, unintended aspect.
01-17-2016, 09:12 AM   #177
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
The time has come for us to offer the final prize from our Holiday Giveaway! Enter in this thread for a shot at winning a brand new HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm lens



How to enter:

As a reply to this thread, post a photography-related tip or suggestion for fellow users. It can focus on cameras, lenses, technique, accessories, post-processing, or other related topics you think would be helpful.

Limit your submission to no more than 5 sentences and no more than 1 image/link.

Winner selection:

The top 15 replies with the most Likes in this thread will be voted upon by forum members in a separate thread, similar to how we pick our monthly contest winners. Submissions will be accepted through January 31st, and voting will be between February 1st and 8th.

Submissions may be compiled into a reference article to serve as a community resource.

Good luck!
One more thing - anytime you get a new DSLR, or any digital device for that matter, first thing you do is check the mfgr.'s website for firmware upgrades and apply those before you start monkeying with settings. With my Pentax K-50, for example, there's no way to back all that stuff up, and upgrading the firmware wipes out all the settings. So, as others have wisely said, read the instructions first, charge the battery, initialize an SD card, and then (following the instructions carefully), make sure the firmware is up to date. THEN start playing with the settings.
01-17-2016, 09:14 AM - 1 Like   #178
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Black & White film

I dusted off my Pentax K1000 originally bought in 1976 and decided I wanted to take old school B&W photos. I'm shooting Ilford 100 and 400. I've also been experimenting with filters. Early morning or late afternoon have been giving me the best results because of natural shadows. I used a yellow #16 filter with the ISO 400 film at the Mission San Luis Rey in the early morning. I used a red #25 with ISO 100 film at Fort Rosecrans Cemetery at a cloudy sunset.
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01-17-2016, 09:19 AM   #179
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
The time has come for us to offer the final prize from our Holiday Giveaway! Enter in this thread for a shot at winning a brand new HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm lens



How to enter:

As a reply to this thread, post a photography-related tip or suggestion for fellow users. It can focus on cameras, lenses, technique, accessories, post-processing, or other related topics you think would be helpful.

Limit your submission to no more than 5 sentences and no more than 1 image/link.

Winner selection:

The top 15 replies with the most Likes in this thread will be voted upon by forum members in a separate thread, similar to how we pick our monthly contest winners. Submissions will be accepted through January 31st, and voting will be between February 1st and 8th.

Submissions may be compiled into a reference article to serve as a community resource.

Good luck!
Use an Eye-Fi card for quick access to photos on another device.
01-17-2016, 09:21 AM - 1 Like   #180
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If you want to improve your post processing why not check out some of the many free webinars which take place every week on the internet.

Some, like the ones run by Topaz Labs, or Capture One, will often have guest presenters, often professionals, who will show you how they
use that particular software, and Adobe also have regular ones for their products as well.

This can save a lot of time spent trying to work out how to make the best use of these programs by yourself, and many will offer attendees
useful discounts on their software for taking part. Webinars - Topaz Labs Blog
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