Digital Photography 101: Some tips for nonprofessionals Bill Hackett, Cheshire Cat Photo

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<ul><li><p>Digital Photography 101:Some tips for nonprofessionalsBill Hackett, Cheshire Cat Photo</p></li><li><p>3 Things to decide</p><p>JPG or RAWTripod, monopod, or handheldMultiple exposures with bracketing or single exposures</p></li><li><p>Equipment</p><p>Cameras and lensesTripods and monopodsComputers and software</p></li><li><p>Cameras (and camera backs)</p><p>Canon - Excellent lenses, leads in electronics, prompt repairNikon - Excellent lenses, durable bodies, premium pricesOthers - Choose on basis of lens and image processor</p></li><li><p>The lens</p><p>Length - 50mm normal lens, 70-200mm telephoto zoom, 10mm wide-angleSpeed - f/1.4, f/2.8, f/4-5.6 (higher numbers = slower lenses)Quality (Chromatic aberration, sharpness, etc.)</p></li><li><p>Tripods and monopods</p><p>Tripods are more stable than monopods (3 points determine a plane)Monopods are convenient and can be better than nothing (handheld)Choose a heavy (and tall enough!) tripod with fewer leg segments, flip-lever (rather than turning ring) locking, and quick-release head. Use a cable release or infrared (IR) device to trip shutter!</p></li><li><p>Platforms</p><p>Macintosh - Choice for security, stability, and scalability, since UNIX-based. Most viruses are not written for Macintosh, but you should STILL use firewall and antivirusWindows PC - Use Windows 7 and the best antivirus and firewall package available.Others (Android, iPhone, iPad) - Screen size is limiting for the phones. Excellent camera in iPhone. iPads might be an option for processing.</p></li><li><p>Software</p><p>Adobe Photoshop and Bridge, Adobe LightroomAdobe Photoshop ElementsApple iPhoto and Aperture </p></li><li><p>Photographs</p><p>Kinds (and Sizes!) of filesWorkflowStorage and Backup</p></li><li><p>Photographs: Kinds of Files</p><p>JPG and PNG - JPG is destructive (lossycompression); PNG is losslessTIF (TIFF) - uncompressed and L-A-R-G-EcRAW and DNG - camera RAW and Adobe Digital Negative</p></li><li><p>Workflow</p><p>Dictated by your end-product - What are you trying to produce?Must fit your needs - KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid! :-) ) MethodologyMust make sense - Retain all of the picture information that you need</p></li><li><p>Workflow Tips</p><p>Never lose photo information - store a file that has everything youll need laterAdjust exposure, white balance, and sharpness of RAW files first, then colorThe Level and Cropping Tool are your friends!</p></li><li><p>Storage and backup</p><p>Store photos on &gt;1 PHYSICAL device (no single point of failure)Back up your work regularly and as frequently as makes senseBack up important work at &gt;1 physical LOCATION (e.g. at home and office; at home and online storage)</p></li><li><p>Organization</p><p>Computer Folders (Directories) by date and mnemonic nameSpreadsheets - Excel, othersData bases - I use Filemaker, the #1 data base for Mac and the #2 for PC </p></li><li><p>Shooting</p><p>PhilosophyLightComposition: framing and cropping, settings, exposure, focus, and depth-of-field</p></li><li><p>Philosophy</p><p>Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here? That depends a good deal on where you want to get to, said the Cat.What is there to DISCOVER? (NOT: What is there to photograph?)In photography, we order the chaos around us, emphasizing one aspect of the world, ignoring all others, representing that subject in a way that shows how it has engaged us emotionally.</p></li><li><p>Light</p><p>Photography literally means painting with lightDull light = dull photographs, regardless of subject matterLight has a direction, a character, and a color</p></li><li><p>Light direction</p><p>Frontlighting - Wipes out any shadows; WORST for landscapes and BEST for tight shots of birds and animalsSidelighting - Shadows emphasize shape and texture; early morning and late afternoon sidelighting for landscapesBacklighting - Outlines shapes by creating glowing halos or even silhouettes</p></li><li><p>Light character</p><p>Hard or SoftHard = Direct bright sunlight or head-on camera flash; Produce sharp-edged black shadows from point source of light; Sensor (and film) cannot capture the RANGE of exposureSoft = Low-contrast lighting; Great for closeups and delicate color; Shadows disappear or are diffused, depth perception is limited, colors saturate</p></li><li><p>Light color</p><p>Warm reds and oranges early and late in the dayCooler blues at middayOvercast makes lighting cooler; Cool light can emphasize snow and frost but you may need to filter (or digitally adjust white balance [light temperature degrees Kelvin!]) for brightly colored subjects</p></li><li><p>Composition</p><p>SLOW DOWN! Take your time. The light on your subject is changing constantly!Vertical or Horizontal (Portrait or Landscape)Framing and Placement (keep in mind aspect ratios of later frame sizes); Yet another reason for using a tripod; Avoid cutting off the subject with the edge of the frame; Zoom lenses; Rule of thirds</p></li><li><p>Adobe Bridge showing Histogram, White Balance, Exposure, and Saturation for cropped DNG image of surfer, Steamer Lane, Santa Cruz</p></li><li><p>Exposure</p><p>Exposure is the major problem facing all photographers. - John ShawExposure of RAW images can be adjusted, so... it is not as big a problem!Correct exposure means that tonal values turn out the way that YOU wanted</p></li><li><p>Aperture and Shutter Speed</p><p>Aperture = the size of the hole: f/1, f/1.4, f/2, f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/16Shutter Speed = time the hole is open (in seconds): 2, 1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/15, 1/30, 1/60, 1/125, 1/250, 1/500, 1/1000With Aperature-priority, you size the hole, and the camera picks the speed; With Shutter Speed-priority, you pick the speed, and the camera sizes the hole; With Full Auto, the camera picks both (and the cameras brain is SMALLER than OURS! :-) )</p></li><li><p>Focus and depth-of-field</p><p>Focus is the region of sharpest definitionDepth-of-field is the depth of this regionAperture-priority: large holes = shallow depth of field, small holes = greater depth of field</p></li><li><p>Good Vibrations?Only in the heart.... All other vibrations are BAD for Photography!</p></li><li><p>Presentation</p><p>Digital: cell phones, Internet email, Facebook, Web sites, Digital framesPrints, photo gifts, CDs and DVDsDigital slideshows</p></li><li><p>Digital</p><p>PortabilityWorldwide reachJust-in-Time production of prints and gifts, on demand</p></li><li><p>Physical</p><p>Prints - Wallet sized to large posters, canvas, metal, etc.Disks - CDs are approximately 700 MB; DVDs are approximately 4.7 GB; thumb drives (USB sticks) come in a variety of sizes, use solid-state storageGifts - playing cards, puzzles, keepsake boxes, coasters, tiles, clothing, etc.</p></li><li><p>Bear Gulch Trail (Eastern Pinnacles); Fungi, Muir Woods; Bridalveil Fall rainbow</p></li><li><p>Muir Woods: Bohemian Grove, Cathedral Grove, Understory</p></li><li><p>Muir Woods Redwoods</p></li><li><p>Bermuda Buttercup (Sunset State Beach)</p></li><li><p>Arbor, Mission San Luis Obispo</p></li><li><p>Are YOU serious? :-)</p><p>Shoot ONLY cRAW (Camera RAW)Use a tripod whenever reasonableShoot multiple exposures per setting and bracket your settings (... and prepare to spend HOURS and DAYS at the computer with your work.)</p></li><li><p>The Road Not Taken - There is always more to discover!</p></li><li><p>All right, said the Cat; and this time it vanished quite slowly, beginning with the end of the tail, and ending with the grin, which remained some time after the rest of it had gone.</p></li><li><p>Questions?</p></li></ul>