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01-19-2013, 08:41 PM   #1
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How do you all take these great photos?

Hello All,

Of course I'm very new to the forums and very new to DSLR photography. DSLR movies
I got that part down (5DmkII). So....

How the heck do I decide what to set my aperture, shutter, iso etc to get an amazing photo? I know it takes time to learn, are there and good video tutorials that show how different photos are taken. Example how long do I keep the shutter open for a long exposure? Or when I'm walking around, what are the settings I should keep in mind.

Amazing photos everyone.

Thank you.

01-19-2013, 08:59 PM   #2
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Much of it is trial and error. You can set the camera on P mode and see what the camera chooses for settings. Try varying them and see what the differences are. Use Av mode and change the value for the same subject to see how depth of focus is affected. Same for Tv mode to see how slow you can go before camera shake appears or how to blur or stop water in a fountain.
01-19-2013, 09:27 PM - 1 Like   #3
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“Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.”

― Henri Cartier-Bresson
01-19-2013, 10:19 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aegon Quote
“Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.”

― Henri Cartier-Bresson
That's priceless. I wonder what the modern digital version is? Your first 100,000?

01-19-2013, 11:19 PM   #5
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I'd say read the manual for your camera to get to know the controls and poke around the web for basic photo information. There's alway your local library for books photography. Read and take pictures. The great thing about digital is you can see what you did (right or wrong) very quickly so you can make adjustments as needed. Don't be too hard on yourself, sometimes some mistakes can turn out to be gold. Above all, have fun.
01-19-2013, 11:29 PM   #6
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Rather say, each previous is worse than the next, no matter if it is 1st or you already make them 100000. Once you think you are good, there is no more progress .
01-20-2013, 12:29 AM - 1 Like   #7
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This is a great book to help get the basics down.
Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson

Amazon.com: Understanding Exposure, 3rd Edition: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera (9780817439392): Bryan Peterson: Books
01-20-2013, 02:13 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
That's priceless. I wonder what the modern digital version is? Your first 100,000?
Well except for one lucky shot in the first 20.000 images I think that is about right.

01-20-2013, 04:19 AM   #9
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There is always instagram...

I agree with crew1, get a book like Peterson's Understanding Exposure and start experimenting. Look at photos you like and try to emulate them. Scott Kelby's first couple of books in the Digital Photography series are pretty good for explaining the basic nuts and bolts of how to take particular photos.
01-20-2013, 04:36 AM   #10
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Experiment, learn your exposure triad, experiment again, learn about the properties and qualities of light, and experiment some more. I agree with considering each photo a learning opportunity and your next shot destined to be better than the last. So enjoy the journey.
01-20-2013, 05:12 AM - 1 Like   #11
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Experiment, but be critical. Think about what made your good shots good, and why your bad shots failed. Failures don't cost money like they used to in the film days.

Have a look around some of the great threads in these forums: the FA limited club, the DA limited club, the fish-eye club, the 300+ club, the macro club and many more. Contribute to them if and when you can; you will learn a lot more by participating.

Consider joining the monthly "single in" challenges. Learning all the ins and outs of an individual lens, and being forced to be creative with it is very valuable.

Don't expect to become Ansell Adams (or even Mike Oria) overnight; it takes years.
01-20-2013, 06:47 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
That's priceless. I wonder what the modern digital version is? Your first 100,000?
So just set your counter to 100,001 and you're all set!
01-20-2013, 08:15 AM   #13
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Don't expect to take your DSLR out and just start shooting that kind of video. That takes some additional equipment, like a tripod, for starters. Notice almost everything was stationary. And that means a script, lighting, etc. And a follow focus. And even with that extra equipment, the videographers did not get the focus right in many places, which cannot be fixed in post-processing. It takes a lot of work and planning to make something look easy.
01-20-2013, 08:32 AM   #14
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Nice, some great advice here. This is what I started with:
1) ISO should be as low as possible to avoid noise, but modern digital cameras are decent even up to high ISO like 6400.
2) Shutter speed should be around double your focal length. So 100mm lens, should have shutter speed of 1/200. 200mm lens 1/400. This is to avoid motion blur, but if you have steady hands or image stabilization you can go lower. If you use a tripod and timer, shutter can be as long as you want. For moving subjects you will need a faster shutter, to freeze their motion, or you can use a lower one on purpose, to capture motion blur. In video shutter speed is slightly different, but also important, read up on that if you want to do video.
3) Aperture, the higher the f-number, the less light comes through the lens, but the more DoF you get. Each lens has its sweet spot, usually between f4 and f8. An old photographer slogan is "f8 and be there"
4) You need to combine those three factors to get an exposure that shows what you want the viewer to see.
5) Shoot raw and post process on your computer. Make sure your monitor isn't lying to you too much
6) Light is key, it is the most important thing. This is why studio photographers have a bunch of light stands and all sorts of different lights and reflectors and diffusers. When you see a pro photo, the light was planned and the photo was processed to show what the scene was like, not to "document what the camera saw." Movies have a bunch of this as well.
01-20-2013, 08:47 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tanzer Quote
Don't expect to take your DSLR out and just start shooting that kind of video. That takes some additional equipment, like a tripod, for starters. Notice almost everything was stationary. And that means a script, lighting, etc. And a follow focus. And even with that extra equipment, the videographers did not get the focus right in many places, which cannot be fixed in post-processing. It takes a lot of work and planning to make something look easy.
I think that IS his video. Good work too.
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