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5.0 Tips and Tricks
(ednote: one of the best investments one can make is to get a skylight or uv filter (if possible), and just keep it on all the time. If you mess up the filter, you can always replace it. Much less expensive than a new lens!)
(ednote2: another convenient way to clean a lens is to use a LensPen. These cheap (~10$) tools have bristles on one end, and a moisturized cleaning pad on the other end. First, brush off any loose debris from the lens/filter, then gently in circular strokes wipe the lens/filter using the moisturized tip. Once the moisturized tip no longer works, invest into a new lens pen.)
»Does Anyone here use a Lens pen?
(Links fixed. --kc)
What you need for infrared photography:
•A camera that is sensitive to NIR/IR
•An IR Filter
•NeatImage (not required but helps quite a bit - Demo Available)
A quick and easy test to find out if your camera is even remotely capable of infrared photography is the "Remote test". Turn the camera on and power on the LCD. If you have an SLR then you don't have an LCD to look at, just take a photo and look at the photo on your computer. Turn off all the lights (closets & bathrooms work pretty well). And point the TV/VCR/Cable remote at your camera's lens. Press a button and see if the LCD displays a white/red/orange color coming from the remote. If there is something chances are your camera is capable of infrared photography.
Some cameras that are great for IR photography:
•Older Nikon cameras
•And many more...
The general technique for infrared photography is hard to describe. The obvious suggestion is to shoot vegetation. Green healthy foliage is usually excellent. But it can obviously be almost boring as just about everyone tries to photograph greenery. Spicing up the photo with big/interesting structures makes the photo a little different. People can introduce an interesting element but they have to stand/sit still as the exposure for infrared photos is usually long.
Using a tripod is at times essential depending on the sensitivity of your camera. The big problem with shooting vegetation is that wind can cause movement of trees blurring your photos. To get around this it's best to shoot on calm days. Best IR is during the morning and late afternoon hours, it's when the lighting is most dramatic.
Depending on your camera it is possible that you will get different tints to your photos. For example, a C-2040Z will have a deep red tint to any infrared photo and the exposure time will be quite long (1 second or more). A quick and easy way of getting rid of the color cast is to use the B&W mode of your camera. A lenghtier process is to use an image editor such as Photoshop. The advantage of using an image editor is that you have much more control over the image manipulation. Playing with channels and gradients is a good way to alter the appearance of your image.
NeatImage can help you get rid of excessive noise in your photos caused by long exposures and warm temperatures in the summer. It's not required but once you see the difference you will ask yourself why you have not been using it all along.
To find more in depth information see one of these sites
•Cocam.com - Mostly Infrared Photography for Film users.
•wrotniak.net - Excellent resourse for information on Infrared imaging.
•How to do IR with a D70
•All You Ever Wanted to Know About Digital UV and IR Photography, But Could Not Afford to Ask
Also, save your flash! Learn to know when flash is needed and when it isn't.
(ednote: Keeping your batteries warm in cold weather also prolongs battery life.)
First, you must have a card reader attached to your computer that shows a physical drive.
Second,download a image recovery software program such as
Data Rescue and follow the instructions
Some Data Recovery Software will also restore images, check with the software author as to what type of files in is capable of recovering as some only recover text files
Red eye is when the light from the flash goes into the eye of the victim , uh, I mean subject, and bounces off their retina (The "film screen" in the back of your eye). The blood vessels in the retina turn the reflected light red, which is, in turn picked up by the camera.
1) Red-eye reduction thats built into the camera. This shines a small light, or fires a strobe at the subject that forces the subjects iris to shrink down, thereby reducing redeye.
2) Have your subject look a smidge to the left or right of the camera (just hold up a finger with your free hand about 8-12 inches off the side of your camera).. Or, move your flash off the camera. (Slave strobe or PC triggered strobe, But these are expensive and bulky). Just having the subjects eye not looking directly down the lens of the camera, will reduce the light reflected off their retina showing up on the final image.
3) Make a Bounce diffuser. This one is easy.. rotate your flash head up towards the ceiling, Now tape a white business card to the back of your flash, overhanging where the light comes out, and Viola.. A bounce diffuser. The light comes out of the flash, bounces off the white card, and the ceiling and evenly illuminates your subject, while reducing redeye.
Hope this helps you, Give these ideas a try, and above all else, Have Fun!!
addendum by your friendly neighborhood editor... take a look at Red-eye control for a somewhat more elaborate explanation, as well as additional hints...
But what if your camera doesn't have a threaded shutter release for a cable, or a remote control? You can use the camera's self timer instead to get the same result. Almost all cameras have a self-timer, and some digital cameras even have a special 2-second timer in addition to a longer 10-second timer for this purpose.
Another thing to try to minimize vibrations at medium speed shutter speeds (1/10-1/30th of a second) is to stabilize yourself against a tree or something similar. Breathing and the way you press the shutter release is also very important. I found that I got best results when exhaling and holding my breath. And holding the shutter release button also helped me stabilize the camera.
Also: Using a mat board helps (Matting). A mat board is cut out in the middle to show the picture, but fits into a larger frame.. Mat boards can be 1/8" and thicker, This serves to keep the surface of the print off the glass, and thereby reduce the chance of the image sticking to the inside of the glass..
A good way to test your camera for warm/dead pixels is to take a photo with the lens cap on. Or, if you own a camera that doesn't have a lens cap or the lens cap will interfere with the lens then go into a closet or bathroom with the lights off (complete darkness) and take a photo. The longest exposure you can get your camera to go (manual mode might provide longer shutter speeds) will show you more warm/dead pixels.
Then you can use this application to analyze the image for a detailed report.
Another info source, from climbers , is here: »webpages.charter.net/bbiggers/DC···ls.html#
This relates to the common question of "Is a 5 megapixel camera with 3x zoom better than a 2 megapixel camera with 10x zoom?"
What happens is that with a longer zoom you can sometimes place more pixels on the subject than a higher resolution camera but with less zoom.
Here's a great explanation and comparisons on Figure of Merit
Stars are: a) a light source (you wouldn't use a flash to take a picture of a lit light bulb!) b) WAY too far away to be "lit" by it (See "When should I use a flash?")
What you'll have to do is get a tripod. If you're confident with your camera, change it to the aperture/manual mode and test to see what will work properly. If you are not confident, fiddle around with it anyways! Just keep this in mind, try to get the aperture open as much as you can (A small number, like 2.0, 2.2 means it is open as far as it can be) and set the shutter speed to at least 1/2 a second, probably around 3-5 for a night shot depending on your camera/aperture, iso etc.
It is a very wise idea to use your remote control if you have one. Every little bit of extra shake (Including pressing down on the shutter button!) makes a huge difference for lengthy exposure times. (ed note: using the self timer feature will also minimize this problem)
With some cameras, if you press down on the shutter halfway it will show the approximate image (This only works when the flash is off) that it will capture. Adjust your shutter speed/aperture accordingly if it appears that the image will turn out too bright (UNLIKELY!) or too dark.
If you want some cool shots, crank your aperture up to something high like 7.0 or 8.0 and set the shutter speed to 10 seconds or more, you could end up with a "trace" from satellites, car headlights, airplanes etc.
So try it out! Make sure the flash is OFF and use one of the manual / unprogrammed settings that your camera offers (If you have them!)
The solution is to place an image on a memory card (it doesn't matter which) and rename it to the number minus one that you wish the camera to start at again. Depending on your camera, if it creates subfolders on the memory card, you may have to appropriately rename the folders to "fool" the camera into thinking it just took a picture with that file number, forcing it to use the next one.
For this reason, it's a good idea to make sure you keep your memory cards clean if you have more than one, and not switch back and forth because you could confuse the camera and create files with duplicate names.
Solution: There are a number of detailed websites explaining this process. If you want a good overview of what to do and what can go wrong, it's suggested you read one or both of these:
Submitted by Seagreen and added on to by zakooldude .
Digital Photography an online book, that is good for beginners, as well as old hands.
Unfortunately, the link is down. :( Thanks to the person who notified us.
Edit by DavisPhotog: The site is very elaborate but uses terms that can be understood by the average digital camera consumer.
An even more complete set for PS7 (Mac & PC versions) as a down-loadable PDF:
Photoshop CS commands and keyboard shortcuts in PDF format, designed to fit well on a double-sided sheet of paper:
Scroll to the bottom (or hit your 'end' key) to see a printable PDF format.
Jhead is a great freeware tool for this. Very useful if you want to make sure your edited photo has Exif data for posting here and elsewhere. Runs on several platforms.
There's also Photome.
Do not forget to have framed prints, matted prints, plain prints.. People are picky and choosy and many will want matted, matted & framed, framed, plain, etc.. My wife tends to take blank (pre-cut) mats with her so she can mat the customer's choice of color for an extra fee.
It helps a great deal to have a variety of sizes from 4x6" to 20x30" even.. Most 4x6" are sold matted to a 5x7" frame size. Doing limited runs can also help.. like say limit a certain picture to 100 8x10" prints and then it is retired (hand signed certificate of authenticity helps also).. but remember to keep track of these as if you sell 101 of them then you can be sued!
A nice way to sell the plain prints is in Crystal Clear Bags which can be purchased for very reasonable prices; they protect your pictures from fingerprints, spills, etc.. They work great for Matted images also.
It is sometimes nice to have a backing material with you as well, like Foam board or something even harder as some people will pay extra and prefer having a ready to hang print.
This test was designed more for the Canon 300D/10D because of the acceptable range figures they list, but you can still test your camera for general front/back focus accuracy with this test.
has a tutorial here
A wide angle lens captures more due to its wider field of view. Less than the normal 50mm is considered wide angle. Technically any lens shorter than a normal 50mm lens is wide angle. Wide angle lenses are commonly used in landscape photography to capture more of the scenery. The lower/smaller the number of the focal length the wider the field of view for the lens. Some common examples are: 14mm, 20mm, 28mm, 35mm, etc. These are examples of "prime" or fixed focal length lenses (non variable, non zooming).
A telephoto lens has a lower field of view and brings distant objects closer. Technically any lens longer than a normal 50mm lens is telephoto. Telephoto lenses are commonly used in wildlife and sports photography. The greater/larger the number of the focal length the Some common examples are: 135mm lens, 200mm lens, 300mm lens, 400 mm lens, and 600mm lens. These are examples of "prime" or fixed focal length lenses (non variable, non zooming).
A zoom lens is variable in it's focal length. Zoom lenses cover a range of different focal lengths. The focal lengths can be just wide angle, wide through short telephoto, telephoto only, etc. A 17mm-35mm would be a zoom covering wide angle, a 24mm-120mm would be a zoom that covers wide angle to short telephoto, a 70-200 would cover short to medium telephoto, an 80-400 would cover short telephoto to long telephoto.
Courtesy of CurranDJ
When you're trying to attain the fastest possible shutter speed, you're doing a guess-and-check method by using Shutter Priority, as you have to manipulate both shutter speed and ISO in order to try to stay at the fastest speed. At that, you'll always be changing shutter speed because of varying light conditions. If you know what the average ambient light is for the venue and you have a stop or two of dynamic range, you can set your camera on manual and just shoot away.
If you use aperture priority, and leave the camera set on the widest aperture, the only variable you need to manipulate is the ISO speed after that. You only then need to keep an eye on your shutter speed, as it will be as fast as possible for the given ISO speed you're at.
Generally, 1/250sec stops motion for basketball. For soccer, I have a hard time stopping the blur of the ball for anything under 1/1000sec.
A flash is generally not the way to go on a P&S if you're going to be shooting spots indoors. The range will not nearly far enough and you will not be able to attain a fast enough shutter speed with ambient light on either of the priority modes (because you should never use a flash at long distances in P mode, it will give you 1/60sec shutter speed and the flash won't work as the primary light source).
It's not exactly easy to shoot indoor sports, even with a dSLR and a fast lens. You're basically at the mercy of the ambient light unless you have remote strobes.
[ ] is center weighted average, good for portraits and such where you want the subject (center) to be the best exposed, it weighs more exposure decision on the center but then average the rest of the scene as well.
[+] is spot metering, good for macros, wildlife, where you want the exposure to be for the subject only basically and the rest of the scene may or may not be exposed properly
the other mode is evaluative, which is the one you would use for landscapes and such that you want the entire scene exposed properly.
Not the best or most technical explanations, but should give you a basic idea. The following websites will help you even more:
Panasonic also offers Image Stabilization with their optical image stabilizer. Most companies offer image stabilization, but some do it without a physical mechanism - they up the ISO to get a faster shutter speed, thus adding more noise & artifacts, results in less details and overall poorer image quality. With the Panasonic models, ISO stays low and you maintain all your details for greater over all image quality.
One of the best bang for the buck P&S style cameras currently (Dec, 2008) is the Panasonic DMC-FZ28. It can be had for ~$250 US. This sounds cheap, but the camera is far from it! It offers image stabilization (IS), great software (including Industry leading RAW conversion software SilkyPix), full auto controls for the beginner, full manual controls (including manual focus) for the advanced/professional user, incredibly accurate white balance, and the ability to shoot in RAW format. The FZ28 also offers super fast start up and shutdown times and very fast (dSLR like) shot-to-shot times. It can also shoot a burst speed of 3fps or 2fps until the card is full. In addition to all of this, you also get an amazing video mode with user-selectable true wide screen mode.
Some important things to clarify: Panasonics typically get a bad rap for noise, which can be true if you use the default settings that the camera has out of the box. However, if you follow this simple guide your image quality will improve greatly and image noise will decrease!
First of all, it is best to set your ISO to 100 and leave it there, unless you absolutely need to go above that. Never go above ISO 400 if you can help it. Make sure your picture size is set to the maximum and that quality is set to the maximum as well.
Next, make sure you turn OFF digital zoom! Digital zoom is bad since it greatly destroys image quality. This goes for any camera; you want only to be using optical zoom.
Next, go to your picture adjustment (PICT.ADJ. on most or maybe Color Mode on some) and set it to Natural instead of the Normal default.
Some, but not all models allow you to control the amount of in-camera noise reduction (NR). You want to turn this to the lowest setting possible. Your images might have a bit more noise as a result, but you will also have far more detail in your images. To remove resulting noise in post-processing, you might want to buy or download the demo of Neat Image. This will remove the noise easily while retaining the greatest amount of details. If you really want to retain the most detail but highly reduce noise, take the time and make a custom noise profile in Neat Image for your camera. You may be amazed with the results!
These simple steps will allow your Panasonic P&S style camera to perform at its best ability! Many of these tips also hold true for other brands of digital cameras.