Skip to Content

photography tip for the week

Discuss and share your wildlife photography, filming and equipment

Moderator: lion queen

EOS_User
Posts: 97
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:30 pm
Location: A grey UK ! Longing to be in SA !

Re: photography tip for the week

Unread postby EOS_User » Wed Feb 16, 2011 6:12 pm

Without knowing the basic EXIF data; it's hard to constructively comment.

If you have PhotoShop, or your camera's user software, you should be able to see what the setting were quite easily!

As for having 500mm lenses - two apparently - can I be your friend and borrow one :lol:

Anyhow, if I was to take a guess, I'd say it was more a Depth-of-Field issue than just shutter speed. The tail and right wing-tip look quite sharp to me, but the nose & left wing-tip are definately out-of-focus.

For a big airframe like this unless you're side-on, I'd look for at least f/8 to ensure adequate depth-of-field, and with a shutter-speed of at least 1/750 and 1/1000 for preference. Push up the ISO to maintain shutter-speed...

HTH...

mikef
Posts: 118
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 4:44 pm

Re: photography tip for the week

Unread postby mikef » Wed Feb 16, 2011 10:53 pm

steamtrainfan wrote:Please, Please everybody. :pray: :pray: :pray: My wife had just picked up this thread today and was really excited about actually learning something about her camera that was written in plain and simple english. And now suddenly - BOOM - all seems to have ended. Please MM, DQ and all other contibutors, can we continue from we we left off. Let me give an example of her/our frustration. On Saturday the new SAA Airbus A330 was doing some touch and goes at Waterkloof Airforcebase. Both Joan and I took some photos using camera and 500mm lens. All the picyures are ever so slightly out of focus. They look ok at normal size but as soon as one crops them the out of focus becomes apparent. Please continue with this thread as there are so many of us out here that can learn so much from so few. :pray: :pray: :pray:


Richard - I can't access the exif data on your image DSC_0073.1 - however if it is the same as DSC_0074.1 then the settings used were a shutterspeed of 1/160 at f18 and an ISO of 200 on a focal length of 150mm. I suspect your biggest problem was a too slow shutterspeed and that the aperture of F18 is to small for optimal image quality. Increasing your aperture too f8 would have increased the shutterspeed to about 1/800 which should provide an overall sharper photo.

steamtrainfan
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 442
Joined: Sun May 31, 2009 10:30 pm

Re: photography tip for the week

Unread postby steamtrainfan » Wed Feb 16, 2011 11:04 pm

odessy, RUMURUTI, Robbie A, EOS_User and mikef - Thank you very much for prompt responses and advice. We have made a note of your comments and will experiment on those lines.
Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark. Author unknown.

Sprocky
Posts: 2159
Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2009 8:51 am

Re: photography tip for the week

Unread postby Sprocky » Thu Feb 17, 2011 10:01 am

Hi steamtrainfan. That shot is not that bad. What everyone else has said about shutter speed i agree with. Jets are relatively easy to photograph as you can use high shutter speeds. Prop aircraft are a different story, with prop a/c you need to use a lower shutter speed to get movement in the prop. You can even be real daring and try for a full prop disc.

Here is a jet shot at 1/500th.

Image

Another very important aspect to aviation photography is the exposure. You must expose for the a/c, even if the background is over or under exposed it does not matter. The a/c must be correctly exposed.

Here is a prop a/c taken at a slower shutter speed. Note the moving prop and blurred background.

Image

User avatar
DuQues
Honorary Virtual Ranger
Honorary Virtual Ranger
Posts: 17941
Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2005 5:42 pm
Location: Red sand, why do I keep thinking of red sand?

Re: photography tip for the week

Unread postby DuQues » Thu Feb 17, 2011 10:24 am

f/18 (or even smaller) is something I hardly ever use.
f/16 for landscapes, f/8 or f/5.6 for animals, and flying birds the lens at it's widest for minimum shuttertime, "freezing" the moment.

f/16 will get the background nicely sharp all the way for the landscape photos.

For animals (and portraits of people) you usually don't want any background, so you open the lens. Problem with the lens is that almost all lenses are sharper if you close it down one stop, so my 100-400 at 400 mm should be at f/5.6 + 1 stop = f/8.

With birds in flight you will be moving your camera heaps, trying to follow it's movement, so to avoid blurr from your movement you want the fastest time possible.
Arriving currently: The photos from our trip! Overhere! :yaya:

Feel free to use any of these additional letters to correct the spelling of words found in the above post: a-e-t-n-d-i-o-s-m-l-u-y-h-c

EOS_User
Posts: 97
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:30 pm
Location: A grey UK ! Longing to be in SA !

Re: photography tip for the week

Unread postby EOS_User » Thu Feb 17, 2011 10:57 am

One other tip when shooting moving objects like aircraft...

Unless you're VERY good at panning; Use your camera's Servo & continuous-shooting modes to have the camera's AF auto-track the subject.

Using centre-spot focus-point is also the best option (IMO) rather than the default all-points.

Cheers...

User avatar
Flutterby
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1645
Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2008 3:42 pm
Location: Paulshof, Gauteng

Re: photography tip for the week

Unread postby Flutterby » Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:39 am

Thanks for all the tips!! :thumbs_up:

DuQues wrote:For animals (and portraits of people) you usually don't want any background, so you open the lens. Problem with the lens is that almost all lenses are sharper if you close it down one stop, so my 100-400 at 400 mm should be at f/5.6 + 1 stop = f/8.

What would be the best f-stop for a 75-300 at 300mm...also f/8?
"I think the environment should be put in the category of our national security. Defense of our resources is just as important as defense abroad. Otherwise what is there to defend?"

SAY NO TO HOTEL DEVELOPMENTS IN KRUGER

EOS_User
Posts: 97
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:30 pm
Location: A grey UK ! Longing to be in SA !

Re: photography tip for the week

Unread postby EOS_User » Thu Feb 17, 2011 12:09 pm

Hi flutterby;

My starting-standard would be to use f/5.6 on your 75-300 @ 300mm, stopping-down to f/8 if I had to! At f/5.6 you will let more light into the camera, so you'll achieve a higher shutter-speed. At f/8 there's less light, so a slower shutter-speed, or you need to ramp up the ISO to compensate.

At f/5.6 it may not be the 'best' in terms of sharpness, but you can correct that to a degree in post-processing, so long as the subject is in-focus. It won't correct out-of-focus shots! f/8 in general terms will result in a shutter-speed too slow unless it's a very bright day.

Provided you're a distance away, say 50' or more, and the animal is side-on, f/5.6 @ 300mm will keep the animal in focus, and the background nicely out-of-focus.

Depth-of-Field though is a minefield. The longer the focal-length, and the wider the aperture, the shorter the depth-of-field, so you do need to bear that in mind.

Eg; If you're using a crop-sensor body, f/5.6 @ 300mm with the subject at 50' will generate a depth-of-field of just 1.8ft. OK if the animal is side-on, but not if it's a big animal at 3/4 view - unless you only want a 'head & eyes' shot...

However, if the animal were 100' away, DoF would be 7.2ft, so more than adequate for 99.9% of the time.

Try a few experimental shots to see how it looks... That's the only way to learn 8)

steamtrainfan
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 442
Joined: Sun May 31, 2009 10:30 pm

Re: photography tip for the week

Unread postby steamtrainfan » Thu Feb 17, 2011 1:45 pm

Sprocky, DuQues and EOS-User - thanks very much for more information. As you say - experiment with what you have.

Sprocky - That prop plane is a fantastic shot and this is what Joan and I want to achieve on birds in flight in Kruger when we go in August.
Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark. Author unknown.

EOS_User
Posts: 97
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:30 pm
Location: A grey UK ! Longing to be in SA !

Re: photography tip for the week

Unread postby EOS_User » Thu Feb 17, 2011 2:02 pm

steamtrainfan wrote:Sprocky - That prop plane is a fantastic shot and this is what Joan and I want to achieve on birds in flight in Kruger when we go in August.


Mmmm - haven't seen too many birds with props - but then perhaps I haven't been looking :lol:

If you want that 'blurred/speed' background, you will need to wind down the shutter-speed a great deal, and practice panning techniques; it's not as easy as it looks!

Good luck..

steamtrainfan
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 442
Joined: Sun May 31, 2009 10:30 pm

Re: photography tip for the week

Unread postby steamtrainfan » Thu Feb 17, 2011 2:57 pm

:thumbs_up:
Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark. Author unknown.

User avatar
Flutterby
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1645
Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2008 3:42 pm
Location: Paulshof, Gauteng

Re: photography tip for the week

Unread postby Flutterby » Fri Feb 18, 2011 6:54 am

Thanks EOS_User....will get practicing. :thumbs_up:
"I think the environment should be put in the category of our national security. Defense of our resources is just as important as defense abroad. Otherwise what is there to defend?"

SAY NO TO HOTEL DEVELOPMENTS IN KRUGER

User avatar
Robbie A
Posts: 144
Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2010 5:05 pm

Re: photography tip for the week

Unread postby Robbie A » Fri Feb 18, 2011 7:44 am

6 Steps that will help maximize your Digital Photography

Modern digital cameras help it become incredibly easier to take great photographs compared to the older style film cameras and even earlier digital cameras. Despite the fact that digital cameras are simple to use there are numerous tricks that could maximize your photographic results. The photo tips below can easily improve your results and help make you a better photographer.

Aim - Tilt your digital camera at a slight downward perspective rather than head on at the subjects face when taking people shots. Unless you are specially doing a head shot portrait never shoot just the face of your subject. Do not try to aim so your subject is at the center of the picture. Take your shot somewhat off center to obtain a considerably more pleasing composition. In case you are photographing a group, find an imaginary center line and shoot towards the right or left of the line.

Focus - Keep in mind your focus. Try relocating closer or even further away from your subject. Fill the frame indicator with your target and have the focus perfect prior to pressing that little button. Nobody enjoys out of focus photos unless you are getting into an abstract photo contest.

Background Check – Always check the background for disruptions or anything which will make your photo less attractive. You can try some other angle or get your subject to move to stay away from ugly backgrounds. Keep in mind the surroundings, particularly anything which may be moving and may interfere with your shot. Among the benefits of digital cameras is that you may immediately see your results. Be sure you check what the background in your shot looks like and retake the picture if necessary.

Lights - Utilize light to your advantage. If your digital camera has various flash options (including off) you should experiment with these flash settings to obtain the best lighting. Generally flashes are way too harsh and may ruin subtle skin tones and make your subject seem like a zombie. In case you are photographing inside you might want to select an area with more daylight as well as position your subject to take advantage of light from the windows. Be sure you turn off room lighting if you’re able to given that they are able to give an unnatural color to your photograph.

Camera - Double check your camera settings. Even though you don’t have to be worried about wasting film when utilizing a digital camera you will still want to take full advantage of your time and effort. It’s not necassary to waste time taking bad photos when a simple settings check will probably avoid that.

Action - Keep in mind that many digital still cameras may also be utilized to take video. You no longer need to have a expensive camcorder to catch the action on video. Learn the many features of your camera and you will be able to take full advantage of your investment as well as be the best photographer that you can
Capture the light and expose it to the world..

mikef
Posts: 118
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 4:44 pm

Re: photography tip for the week

Unread postby mikef » Fri Feb 18, 2011 10:11 am

Some great tips - thanks Robbie :thumbs_up:

Interesting that for people shots it is better to tilt the camera slightly downward (does makes sense however) - for wildlife shots I frequently find the lower angle one can get the more impressive the photo. Obviously these are just guidelines and always depends on the story you are trying to tell.

User avatar
DuQues
Honorary Virtual Ranger
Honorary Virtual Ranger
Posts: 17941
Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2005 5:42 pm
Location: Red sand, why do I keep thinking of red sand?

Re: photography tip for the week

Unread postby DuQues » Fri Feb 18, 2011 10:44 am

I'm not sure if I agree on the downwards angle. :hmz:
I recently saw a series of photos of small kids made by a really good photographer, and all the eyes were slightly upwards, looking at the photographer. Thus of course showing white at the bottom of all the eyes. I did not like it at all, and for the below reason too.

I keep to the rule "Shoot at eyelevel, or slightly below it."
There is psychology behind that rule. You put your subject at the same level as you, acknowledging they are at least as good as you are.
If you move slightly lower you put the subject on a pedestal, giving them extra eh... can't find the word, esteem I guess?

Garbage should be photographed on a down angle, you are way better than it is what you show then.
Arriving currently: The photos from our trip! Overhere! :yaya:

Feel free to use any of these additional letters to correct the spelling of words found in the above post: a-e-t-n-d-i-o-s-m-l-u-y-h-c


Return to “Wildlife Photography Enthusiasts”