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Thread: [Ghaz1] Very Basic Photography Series Outing #1 Discussion

  1. #1

    Default [Ghaz1] Very Basic Photography Series Outing #1 Discussion

    Hello budding photographers! This is where we will discuss matters pertaining to the outing organised by [Ghaz1] (why am i talking in the third person?) to Bedok Reservoir this coming Sunday. I've just expanded the list from 5 to 8.5 (coz 1 yet to confirm but placed there on merit) due to bro Dingaroo's kind helping hand. I will expand the list even further should the number of experienced photographers increase so those still on the waiting list, do not despair, it is early days yet. Though many of the powerhouse seniors are not available due to family commitments and contractual obligations (otherwise known as marriage life).

    Basically, i've been shooting at Bedok Reservoir (BR) for the past month, every weekends, scouting for possible locations to organise a photoshoot. I believe i've found the ideal spot. Very nice view of the entire reservoir with many opportunities to include foreground elements and framing. Don't worry, we will discuss all those terms later. I am hoping that much of the learning will take place here so that by the time you go to the field, you are already well equipped to do the actual photography. The experienced shooters serve as role models for you to observe. Check out their technique, don't be poisoned by their gears though i think it is bound to happen as we grow in this wonderful hobby of ours and ask when in doubt.
    Last edited by Ghaz1; 6th September 2010 at 02:50 AM.
    Vision is more important than gear

  2. #2

    Default Re: [Ghaz1] Very Basic Photography Series Outing #1 Discussion

    Tip #1: Set an appropriate aperture

    What is an "aperture"?

    The aperture of a lens is the diameter of the lens opening and the larger the diameter of the aperture, the more light reaches the film or image sensor.

    Why is aperture important for our photoshoot?

    The size of the aperture is measured in f-stops e.g. F2.8. The smaller the F-stop number (or f/value), the larger the lens opening (aperture). The Depth of Field is the distance where objects are in focus. A smaller f-stop number results in a shallow depth of field and vice versa.

    There are times when you desire a greater depth of field, i.e. where objects both close to you and far from you are in focus. This is especially true when you are taking a landscape picture and want as much as possible to be in sharp focus.

    Then there are times when you want to isolate your subject, as when you are taking a portrait and want your subject to be in sharp focus but the background to be out of focus. In this case, you need a shallow depth of field.

    Hence, at Station 1, you want to set an aperture of f11-f16 to get a sharp image from foreground to background.



    1/8sec f14.
    Vision is more important than gear

  3. #3

    Default Re: [Ghaz1] Very Basic Photography Series Outing #1 Discussion

    Tip #2: Use a telephoto lens to isolate focal points

    If you look at the ultra-wide angle (UWA) shot of the reservoir, you can see two tall buildings in the distance that dominate the horizon of the picture. You can use a telephoto lens from the same location to isolate that feature and really highlight it as an image in its own right.



    65mm f13 1.6sec.

    So you can see the difference 55mm makes, from 10mm to 65mm. A telephoto will open up more possibilities for you even in landscape shoots. I think if you have a 50mm prime, that would work nicely too. Otherwise, your 18-55mm kit lens is pretty versatile and allows you to use both the short and long end effectively. Just know what image you are after and use your available equipment to its optimum capability.

    BTW, do not close your mind into thinking that the image above is the only way to shoot the focal point with a telephoto. You must use your own creative judgement to position the elements within the frame in a manner you feel is most suitable. There are guides to help you like the rule of thirds but where you place those elements of interest within the frame is still mainly up to you. Some may prefer the buildings to be in the right third of the frame, others prefer left third. Sometimes the sky itself determines for you like the pic above where i wanted to go for symmetry. So although we are shooting the same scene, it does not mean everyone has to go away with the exact same image. Experiment and create.
    Last edited by Ghaz1; 6th September 2010 at 08:30 PM.
    Vision is more important than gear

  4. #4
    Member dingaroo's Avatar
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    Default Re: [Ghaz1] Very Basic Photography Series Outing #1 Discussion

    for the writeup!
    A picture a day keeps the blues away!

  5. #5

    Default Re: [Ghaz1] Very Basic Photography Series Outing #1 Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by dingaroo View Post
    for the writeup!
    Thanks bro, trying to keep it as simple as possible so most of our newbies will be ready to shoot with minimal guidance during the actual fieldtrip and we can focus on those who really need the attention. Wah, like classroom management already
    Vision is more important than gear

  6. #6

    Default Re: [Ghaz1] Very Basic Photography Series Outing #1 Discussion

    Tip #3: Use your tripod properly



    Why do I need a tripod?

    Basically, tripods help to minimise any vibration caused by the camera shutter and mirror, or the wind, or by the photographer himself. The need to use small apertures also causes a frequent need for slower shutter speeds which exacerbates the problem of camera shake even more. Slow shutter speeds make tripod support a must for getting sharp images.

    Proper setup

    The right height for a tripod would be roughly at your head height with the camera mounted, without the need to extend the center colomn. This is because the center column is the part of the tripod most subject to torsion and vibration – many photographers choose never to use it at all unless really necessary, like the owner of the power setup above, he raised the center column just enough to shoot over the barrier in front of him.

    Notice also the use of a remote cord to trigger the shutter. This allows him to trigger the shutter without touching the camera, hence minimising any chance of vibrations being introduced. The remote cord also allows the use of bulb settings which opens the shutter for longer than 30 secs for long exposure shots. You can be certain this person must own a 10 stop ND filter that can lengthen the exposure time into minutes and therefore he needs a very stable setup like the one shown above. Not to worry though, the Stations I have chosen for our photoshoot do not require such long exposures and you can set the camera's timer to trigger the shutter after 2 secs. This is the cheap solution which works just as well when you do not have a remote cord.

    Also, some lighter tripods have a hook below the center column. This is not for you to hang your kopi or ice tea during shoots! It is for you to hang your camera bag to add further stability to the setup. Do it. But ensure your bag is not swinging in the wind which will defeat the purpose of putting it there in the first place.

    Can i use the freebie tripod I got when I purchased my camera?

    Well, for starters I suppose it would be fine but you must know the limitation of your gear. I've seen photogs who put their expensive equipment on cheap plastic tripods that shake and wobble at the slightest hint of wind blowing. Would you risk your thousand dollar investment on a cheap plastic tripod. Personally, I broke one 70-300mm telephoto when my tripod couldn't handle the weight and toppled. Luckily it was a cheap Cosina brand one, many many years ago... still heart pain at the time. If you plan on using one, do not stray more than an arm's length from your setup so that you can practice your reflexes if it starts tilting in the wind. We will be on top of a small hill by the way. Can get rather windy and if you start chasing the tripod downhill, well... at least you will be providing the foreground interest for the other shooters to shoot!
    Last edited by Ghaz1; 6th September 2010 at 09:03 PM.
    Vision is more important than gear

  7. #7

    Default Re: [Ghaz1] Very Basic Photography Series Outing #1 Discussion

    Ghaz1 nice detail tutorial! ^^

    Should add in hyper focus too
    Nikkon D90 | AF-S NIKKOR 18-105mm 1:35-5.6G | DI866 External Flashlight | AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G

  8. #8

    Default Re: [Ghaz1] Very Basic Photography Series Outing #1 Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by skylover View Post
    Ghaz1 nice detail tutorial! ^^

    Should add in hyper focus too
    I did think of doing that, but shelved the idea temporarily coz i wanted to keep it simple for the newbies. I wanted DD123 to give a talk on that but he's not available for this photoshoot. Next best person is Manita, she seems to have understood and applied the principle successfully.
    Vision is more important than gear

  9. #9

    Default Re: [Ghaz1] Very Basic Photography Series Outing #1 Discussion

    Tip #4: Composition rule - Dead center is deadly

    Watch this youtube clip and notice the way the photograper set up his camera. Look at the center column.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mesym...eature=related
    Vision is more important than gear

  10. #10

    Default Re: [Ghaz1] Very Basic Photography Series Outing #1 Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Ghaz1 View Post
    I did think of doing that, but shelved the idea temporarily coz i wanted to keep it simple for the newbies. I wanted DD123 to give a talk on that but he's not available for this photoshoot. Next best person is Manita, she seems to have understood and applied the principle successfully.
    lolx.. 1 person good at that can liao..
    Nikkon D90 | AF-S NIKKOR 18-105mm 1:35-5.6G | DI866 External Flashlight | AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G

  11. #11
    Senior Member Jacobs's Avatar
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    Default Re: [Ghaz1] Very Basic Photography Series Outing #1 Discussion

    Great, useful and informative tips for the Sunrise/Sunset shoot..
    雅各士 - ジェイコブ
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  12. #12
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: [Ghaz1] Very Basic Photography Series Outing #1 Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by skylover View Post
    Ghaz1 nice detail tutorial! ^^

    Should add in hyper focus too
    Quote Originally Posted by Ghaz1 View Post
    I did think of doing that, but shelved the idea temporarily coz i wanted to keep it simple for the newbies. I wanted DD123 to give a talk on that but he's not available for this photoshoot. Next best person is Manita, she seems to have understood and applied the principle successfully.
    I've wrote an extensive article on how to use hyperfocal distance already. You can find it here:

    http://darthbertz.blogspot.com/2010/...nto-focus.html

  13. #13

    Default Re: [Ghaz1] Very Basic Photography Series Outing #1 Discussion

    Hi Everyone! Sorry for the silence, life caught up with me and had to get some matters done before can escape to cyberspace again. I would like to thank DD123 for his insightful blog article on the hyperfocal distance. It is useful especially during the blue hour where the scene is still relatively dark and your autofocus will be hunting like crazy for some contrast to anchor on. This is where you can switch off AF and set your aperture and use the distance scale on your lens, provided you know what the hyperfocal distance for that aperture is. DD123's article explains it all in detail. A shortcut method is to just aim 1/3 into the frame and use a small aperture, but that's just me being lazy though it seems to work most of the time. Anyway, here's the tip for today:

    Tip #5: Use foreground interest

    Having objects in the foreground can lend your landscapes a greater sense of depth. This works best with wide-angle lenses as these let you get closer to objects in the foreground and give it greater prominence in the final image. The smaller the object, the closer you need to get to make it larger in the frame. Use a small aperture, such as f/16 or f/22, to keep everything in the scene in focus.



    Here i used the shelter as foreground interest but upon further reflection, i think it dominated the scene too much and I intend to do a reshoot during this Sunday's outing and perhaps take a wider perspective and pull back some more so that it becomes smaller and does not dominate the scene too much since i still wanted to showcase the reservoir as the main theme in the picture. I'd probably place it to the left or right too, to make use of the rule of thirds. I hope to see what you can come up with in this situation at Station 2. You need not even take the picture from this angle. Try a side profile for some variation. There's countless ways to shoot this one so experiment and be creative.
    Vision is more important than gear

  14. #14

    Default Re: [Ghaz1] Very Basic Photography Series Outing #1 Discussion

    Tip #6: Frame your picture when necessary

    Sometimes the sky just refuses to cooperate and is a blank canvas. Nothing you do can tease out anymore details. This is where you can start looking for some elements to fill that portion of the frame. I thought that this tip may come in handy for this photoshoot considering the kind of weather we've been having - rainy and cloudy. It's ok if the clouds are dramatic and intense but sometimes it could just be a great grey blanket.



    For this image of Station 2, I stepped into the shelter itself to take a contemplative shot of the scene from the point of view of someone standing in the shelter. The roof of the shelter nicely frames the picture, taking out most of the sky leaving only the best bits for my viewer. You can try a vertical shot from here and see how it looks.



    At Station 3, you can really practice framing. I intentionally left this for last so that by the time we reach it, the best part of the sunrise would be over and you must apply the framing technique as well as including foreground interest to make the best of your picture.
    Last edited by Ghaz1; 8th September 2010 at 10:21 PM.
    Vision is more important than gear

  15. #15
    Member neetsdeindie's Avatar
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    Default Re: [Ghaz1] Very Basic Photography Series Outing #1 Discussion

    Amazing Ghaz1...many thanks for the primer. Looking forward to learning more from you and other experienced shooters.
    Neetsdendie...India's Neets!!!

  16. #16

    Default Re: [Ghaz1] Very Basic Photography Series Outing #1 Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by neetsdeindie View Post
    Amazing Ghaz1...many thanks for the primer. Looking forward to learning more from you and other experienced shooters.
    Hi Neets, there is much to learn so take your time. Apply what you've learned during the photoshoot. Ask the experienced shooters when in doubt. You'll be taking wonderful landscapes in no time at all!
    Vision is more important than gear

  17. #17

    Default Re: [Ghaz1] Very Basic Photography Series Outing #1 Discussion

    Tip #7: Use lead in lines



    You don't have to take straight on shots for Station 1. Look around and shoot from different angles. The side-profile of the reservoir provides an opportunity to use the lead in lines from the curve of the waterline and the trees along the hill. In this case, the lines intersect in the center of the picture and joins the water to the land. So look for lead in lines that draw the viewer's eyes into the picture.
    Vision is more important than gear

  18. #18

    Default Re: [Ghaz1] Very Basic Photography Series Outing #1 Discussion

    Hi All!

    I just started photography and have yet to buy a tripod, would any one be kind enough to have a spare one and lend it to me for this outing?
    Thanks!

    and thank you to Ghaz1 for the very informative and easy to understand write up!

  19. #19
    Member dingaroo's Avatar
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    Default Re: [Ghaz1] Very Basic Photography Series Outing #1 Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by emowei View Post
    Hi All!

    I just started photography and have yet to buy a tripod, would any one be kind enough to have a spare one and lend it to me for this outing?
    Thanks!

    and thank you to Ghaz1 for the very informative and easy to understand write up!
    lend u my other
    A picture a day keeps the blues away!

  20. #20

    Default Re: [Ghaz1] Very Basic Photography Series Outing #1 Discussion

    Thank you!

    Quote Originally Posted by dingaroo View Post
    lend u my other

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