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masakmini

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Oct 16, 2009
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#1
Hi,

let me give a brief introduction of myself. I like well-captured photos and looking at those really makes me inspired to get my own shots. so I looked around for an entry level DSLR.
I got an old model, 2nd hand canon 350D kit lens, and 2 days before I collected my DSLR, I had read up online tutorial. I learnt few things but there are still things which I want to understand are not found online. I got myself a tripod (which was given by a friend for free. [thanks bro!]) because I wanted to try night shots on buildings like the Fullerton Hotel, Esplanade and Merlion.. so the tripod is there to give a stability. 3 hours shooting, I still can't figure out the correct use of functions. next day, went to Marina Barrage.
when I tried to self-timer, it doesn't seem to focus on my face. (or as matter of fact, my face and the boyfriends')may I ask few questions, I used P mode btw (it's suggested by the previous owner of the DSLR)

is the standard lens I'm using suitable for night scenes
if not, what are the suitable lenses?


how do I adjust DOF? is it dependable on the focus?

so when I take self timer, how do I make sure I get the focus?

I still don't quite understand the "Aperture". anyone care to explain to me?

is shutter speed link to exposure?

also, my friend had gotten this portrait lens, and when I asked him, he didn't know the ans.
when we use the portrait lens, do we still have to switch to Portrait Mode?
this question is necessary as is just out of curiosity
 

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masakmini

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Oct 16, 2009
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#3
thanks but what if even after I preview the DOF, and it isnt what I want, do I have to adjust the focus?
 

zcf

Senior Member
Apr 10, 2005
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270 degree of Singapore
#4
Camera autofocus may not be always correct, whether it focus on the centre or the background, so you can focus on your boyfriend or item that you are going to stand close to the location you intend to shoot, then test shoot to check for focus, if it's correct. Then set to manual focus mode and don't touch the focusing ring, set timer & shoot accordingly.
 

viix

New Member
Oct 25, 2002
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#5
Hold on!! Wall of text coming up!

I think you are overwhelmed with all the technical jargons and wanting to shoot beautiful pictures..

Let's step back for a while here, before asking what is focus, depth of field etc, it's best to go read up on the individual terms in photography. Sulhan's book as mentioned by ZCF should be easier to understand so it's best to read that first.. You can go check out some books at the library too!

once you understand what is aperture and what the various settings of shutterspeed and ISO does for you picture, read the Canon manual on how set them up for your pictures..


Let me try to answer your questions though
Q: I still can't figure out the correct use of functions.
A: For your night shots, best to use long exposure, but first you must understand how to read an exposure suitable for the scene. For starters, try using the Tv mode (Shutter Priority) instead and set it to say 3-5 sec and see what it's gives you.


Q: when I tried to self-timer, it doesn't seem to focus on my face.
A: Before you fully press the shutter release down to start the timer countdown, you need to half press the shutter release to focus on your subject first. Once the desired focus point is in focus, depress fully. And the timer will start.

Q: is the standard lens I'm using suitable for night scenes, if not, what are the suitable lenses?
A: Whatever suitable lens is the lens you KNOW HOW TO USE. Firstly, my advise is to understand how to operate the camera and take pictures satisfactory to your requirements first before getting your hands on other lenses. Those lenses won't be cheap, but here's some standard focal length people use: note that these are rough ranges to give you an idea but is not a cardinal rule to follow..

10-20mm: Landscape
18-100mm: walkabouts
50mm-100mm portraits
70-300: Nature/birding/sports etc

You can interchange these lens to do other stuff creatively.. so understanding depth of field and field of view and what it does to your picture is crucial.

Q: how do I adjust DOF? is it dependable on the focus?
A: Depth of field is the field in focus in front and behind the focal point. So it is dependent on where you set your focus. Also, the further away your focus point is set, the deeper the depth of field, relative to the focal length and aperture..

Q: so when I take self timer, how do I make sure I get the focus?
A: Replied above

Q: I still don't quite understand the "Aperture". anyone care to explain to me?
A: http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aperture
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aperture
Read the section on photography. Basically the aperture allows light through the lens via a diaphragm where the values are determined to a factor of the light lost.

Q: is shutter speed link to exposure?
A: Yes, the shutter speed determines how long the sensor is exposed to light, hence exposure related..


Q: my friend had gotten this portrait lens, and when I asked him, he didn't know the ans.
when we use the portrait lens, do we still have to switch to Portrait Mode?
this question is necessary as is just out of curiosity

A: Portrait lens are lenses in the 30-85 (maybe longer) range.. they are not just used for portraits, but have certain desirable characteristic that makes them the choice lens for portrait. You need not use portrait mode, but until you understand the desirable characteristic of such lens, the portrait mode will help.
Typically portraits are shot at f1.4-2.8, aperture priority..
 

Last edited:
Nov 17, 2006
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#6
oh my seems like you have a lot of work to do... i would suggest using Manual mode instead of Program mode. Although this is unconventional as a suggestion, my reasons are simply because you will be able to control the 3 variables easily and thus learn faster.
Program mode means the camera will do the exposure calculation for you and set the rest of the variables for you thats all.

Note there are 3 variables that you can control so that you can get enough light onto the sensor.

1. ISO - Sensitivity of the sensor. Higher means more sensitive. the picture will get brighter when you increase this BUT it will have more noise.

2. F-stop - How big the aperture is. Lower means bigger. the picture will get brighter by lowering the f-stop. the depth of field decreases by lowering f-stop. ie. the range that of objects that is in focus is smaller.

3. shutterspeed - how long the shutter is open for. lower means shorter. lol... look at the manual to see how canon represents this on the camera. 3" means ___ 1/30 means ___ A longer shutterspeed means more light and a brighter picture.

So if you want more stuff to be in focus, increase the f-stop. by doing this you are also making the picture darker(see 2.) Soooo... you either have to increase ISO or increase Shutterspeed. its quite simple actually.
 

Rashkae

Senior Member
Nov 28, 2005
19,105
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#7
You need to use portrait mode, but until you understand the desirable characteristic of such lens, the portrait mode will help.
Typically portraits are shot at f1.4-2.8, aperture priority..
Correction: You DON'T need to use portrait mode.

The only thing portrait mode will do is adjust color curves to give a (supposedly) more natural skin tone and try using larger apertures to blur the background.
 

Rashkae

Senior Member
Nov 28, 2005
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#8
I would REALLY suggest you take the time to read your manual, and read the photography notes for newbies posted right here. It may also help to go to the library and borrow a book on this.
 

viix

New Member
Oct 25, 2002
525
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Singapore
#9
Correction: You DON'T need to use portrait mode.

The only thing portrait mode will do is adjust color curves to give a (supposedly) more natural skin tone and try using larger apertures to blur the background.
Ops thanks for the correction
 

masakmini

New Member
Oct 16, 2009
26
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#10
wokay. .thanks ya'all.. can I upload some of my photos taken for judge? =|
 

masakmini

New Member
Oct 16, 2009
26
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0
#14
ok thanks! already did in the building and potrait gallery. (=
 

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