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01-16-2016, 02:34 PM - 4 Likes   #121
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Shooting animals in the wild

I find that there are three secrets to shooting animals in the wild:

1. In the long run, what you see is proportional to the time spent in the habitat. Spend the hours and the opportunities will take care of themselves.

2. Be a naturalist first. This doesn't mean knowing what the book says about the creatures. It means watching the creatures so you can see yourself and the world as they do--at least a little bit. Among other things, this helps you get good shots without driving your subjects away.

3. The rarity of an animal says very little about how interesting it is as a subject. For one thing, an animal that is mundane to you is fascinating to someone from elsewhere. Raccoons and squirrels are a common sight in North America, and koalas and kangaroos are common in Australia. If your pictures reveal something, there are many people who will be interested. Common creatures also provide excellent technical practice so you are ready when the extraordinary creature happens across your path.

01-16-2016, 03:06 PM - 3 Likes   #122
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A picture of silence.

Hi all!

The reason why I like this picture is because it let me think about "silence": an abandoned boat, the glacier in the background, a thick low cloud covering the top of the mountains, spots of snow here and there to warn about the incoming winter. Apart from that, just an infinite, limitless silence.

The suggestion I an amateur like me can give, is to always try to picture some feelings, or emotions. That's the only thing that can make a picture unique, for all the rest there's Google Images!

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01-16-2016, 03:43 PM   #123
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QuoteOriginally posted by Outis Quote
I'm going to recuse myself from actually winning the lens because (1) I already have one and so does every Pentaxian I know personally, and (2) I won a 50mm in this year's giveaway. But, who doesn't like sharing photography tips?

Here's my advice for taking photos out the window of an airplane.

Where to sit on the plane: Either the front of the plane, in front of the wing, or as far back in the plane as you can go. There are two factors here. The first is that you don't want the wing of the airplane obscuring your view. The second is that planes often have engines mounted on or near the wings, and the exhaust will blur out the view, limiting the area you can usefully take pictures out of.

What focal length to use: If I don't want to get the wing of the plane in the picture, I find that 40mm is about the widest I can usefully go. My favorite lens for out-the-window shots is probably the 77mm, but I've also gotten good results with the 40mm and the 55-300mm.

What aperture to use: I generally shoot with a pretty wide aperture. One reason is that you need a fast shutter speed to prevent motion blur (see below), but also, the airplane window usually has some ice crystals or scunge on it, and if you shoot with a large aperture, you can usually blur it out until it disappears.

What shutter speed to use: Motion blur is a real problem, especially at longer focal lengths. You'll want to experiment early during takeoff so you know what shutter speed to use when you actually want to take pictures for real. I wouldn't use anything under 1/100th second, but you'll need to use some trial and error to figure out what actually works.

What ISO to use: Whatever you need to support a relatively fast shutter speed.

Focusing: I always switch to manual focusing and set the focal distance to infinity. With autofocus, you get problems when the camera decides it really wants to focus on the scunge on the airplane window. Don't waste valuable seconds fighting your camera on this.

Postprocessing: Especially if you're taking a picture of something very far away, the colors usually don't come out very well. Haze tends to make everything look more blue, and wipes out a lot of the contrast. I usually do most of my out-of-the-window shots in black and white unless there's a really compelling reason not to.
Just referencing Outis' original advice.

Sit in the BACK of the plane. In all the years of aviation, no aeroplane has ever yet flown backwards into a mountain...
01-16-2016, 04:17 PM - 3 Likes   #124
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Outdoors and when photographing landscapes in particular always look for an alternate viewpoint. Invariably, when seeing a scene for the first time, you are not in the best position. Walk around in the scene, position your tripod in a few different places. Adjust your composition, especially the relationship between foreground elements and the background.You will often be pleasantly surprised by the difference on or two metres can make.

01-16-2016, 05:38 PM   #125
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When shooting sunrises and sunsets meter for the highlights that way the highlights will not be blown out (Clipping), giving the highlights an accurate exposure. Then in post-processing using
Shadows & Highlights sliders pulling midtones back to the underexposed foreground.
This is just one way to capture high contrast shots, In digital photography you can not use the information you do not have!
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01-16-2016, 07:11 PM   #126
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Firstly I want to thank all of those that have shared their tips and suggestions which will be of great value to me as an amateur photographer.

Secondly for my tip/suggestion I wanted to say that when posting images taken with a particular lens to showcase the lens' performance I think the fair thing to do is to shoot RAW without applying any in-camera or PP to the images so that we can see exactly what the lens can do. Or at least mention what camera settings and/or PP was done to allow for a fair assessment.
01-16-2016, 07:11 PM - 2 Likes   #127
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Finding Yourself Through Photography

I hear words like amateur, beginner, and novice to describe people like me who are only embarking on a journey into photography. I do not have specific advice or tips at this point to share, but instead a truth I have told myself. Every photographer starts somewhere. Find something that speaks to you and capture it, whether it be Mother Nature, a stunning creation, or the beauty of people. Photographs unlock artistic vision and passion for cementing what makes us who we are as individuals.

Taken with Pentax K-50.
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01-16-2016, 07:23 PM   #128
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Always check your settings before you start shooting, especially if you are taking important shots.

(I can't admit to how many times I'd set the camera to 6mp JPG because I was posting some photos for a for sale ad or some other process and then forgot to switch back to raw, or forgot to check what mode I was in, or had switched to one type of ambient lighting and then shot another etc etc etc.)

edit: After finally reading the earlier advice, I noticed PancakeFlipper said the same thing on the first page - so credit where credit is due.

The other thing I'll add is 'pray and spray' works - when shooting moving objects or hand held macro or where your depth of field is really small, burst mode can be a shot saver - you'll have to throw out 90% of the shots, but you'll have a better chance sometimes of getting the 10% you really wanted.

Last edited by MSL; 01-16-2016 at 11:27 PM.
01-16-2016, 07:24 PM - 1 Like   #129
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My tip would be to read this thread completely. I have learned much already in the first 9 pages. I would also say don't be scared to try a shot, you will learn by your mistakes and might be surprised by the results. This was my first indoor shot with my new K100D Super back in 2008.
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Last edited by reduno; 01-16-2016 at 07:33 PM.
01-16-2016, 07:31 PM - 4 Likes   #130
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Look at the Viewfinder, not thru it

When I say "Look at the Viewfinder, not thru it", it's because many beginners look directly at their subject while looking thru the viewfinder. What they should be doing is using the viewfinder as a frame for the photo they are about to take. Look in the corners - are there distractions there? Look behind your subject. Is the background pleasing? Don't concentrate on the looking directly at your subject, but rather think about the final image- it's showing in the viewfinder right now!
01-16-2016, 08:56 PM - 1 Like   #131
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What advise can a beginner give? Take lot's of photos and try to learn something each time.
01-16-2016, 10:31 PM - 1 Like   #132
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Make sure to check the AF focus on all your AF lenses and make any necessary fine tune adjustments on the camera if your camera supports it.

Your out of focus shots may not be your fault, but the fault of the camera not being adjusted for the lens.

I wouldn't have even thought of this except that I was doing some shots with my FA 50mm 1.4 @ 1.4 on my K30 that just came back from being serviced and noticed that the AF was not right. After fiddling with the focus fine tune settings for a few minutes, it is spot on now.
01-17-2016, 01:59 AM   #133
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Take lot of pictures.
Even if you think that you just took a great shot, be patience and wait for more. Sometimes you can just be lucky and have a total different shoot after a minute.
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01-17-2016, 02:25 AM   #134
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Sensor Dust Removal that actually works

Sensor dust is no fun. Usually the Pentax built-in sensor shake system works well enough. But sometimes pollen or some other stuff sits really hard.

The solution is right under our noses: Pentax Image Sensor Cleaning Kit O-ICH-1.

The kit contains a polyurethane gel pad on a short stick. You press the pad lightly on the sensor and deposit the dust on a sticky paper that is part of the kit. Six presses cover the APS-sized sensor.

Repeat if needed. Result: An 100% clean sensor as factory fresh.

This kit is not for free but actually works!
01-17-2016, 03:10 AM - 4 Likes   #135
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remember to utilize perspective

"Treat your camera as if its a seperate set of eyes, a tiny little best friend".even if you have a larger dslr, treat it small. it allows you to visualize things from a new angle.

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