DSLR camera tips and tricks by me.
DSLR camera tips and tricks by me. Reviews
DSLR camera tips and tricks by me. May 19, 2011
before my trip to iceland last year, i bought a dlsr camera. and honestly i am a person that doenst read manuals, whether cellphones, computer/xbox games and of course - the camera lol. i just used "instincts" to deal with it. it worked in cellphones - it worked in games and i thought it could work on slr cameras - but i was dead wrong.
the biggest mistake (i only had 18-55mm lens that time) i made was that i shoot in "P" mode (to which the aperture and shutter speed are already pre-set) and only shooting in auto-focus and auto ISO - sometimes making it higher which was a no-no). then just adjusting white balance here and there in "P" mode. i was devastated that i couldnt take pics of slow/milky water effect of the hundreds of waterfalls we saw, the northern lights and the imagine peace tower.
then i bought a zoom lens and i somehow dedicated myself to learn "more" about slr camera tricks. some of my friends congratulated me for taking a step higher in photography, so i wanted to share the "tricks" ive learned.
what you need are:
18-55/200 mm lens
HDR software (you can download the program photomatix basic free)
photoshop (for adjusting the contrast to the finish product of hdr)
SLOW/MILKY WATER EFFECT
set your camera settings to "S" mode between 2-20 (experiment with it trial and error effect, till you get the right shutter speed that doenst whiten the flowing water that much) adjust the brightness to -2 and as much as possible, use less ISO (100) to avoid noise) then use a polarizer to reduce reflections. turn off the anti-shake in your camera and mount the camera in the tripod to avoid hand shake/vibration and if you dont have remote control, use the 10sec timer for taking the picture and remember to use manual focus on this one.
for the animals, i use "P" mode, brightnes -0.3 to -0.7, ISO less (100-200-400), zoom lens (200mm), series shooting mode. be patient taking pics of animals, observe them before taking pics - where they go/swim. concentrate on 2-3-4-5 animals in the zoo or in the aquarium. when you already know how they move, start shooting them in series until you get 20 pictures - dont forget to zoom in the eye of the animal because it is the most important part if you want the pic to be sharp (use manual focus) most of them will be blurred but you will get 1-2-3 pictures sharp. it doenst matter how many pics you take the impt. thing is you get the moment right.
clear skies and sunny weather is the best light but if its stormy and cloudy this is the most challenging for me, thats why i use HDR/photoshop on this one. it is difficult to take one pic where the sky is cloudy and dark and the lower part of the pic bright - it is usually - either the sky is cloudy and dramatic but the foreground is dark or the foreground is bright but you dont have the dramatic effect of the clouds and stormy skies. the trick is: mount the camera on a tripod, take 3 (or more) different contrast and brightness of a landscape subject (i use "P" mode on this one - normal lighting, darker and lighter (do not move the camera let it stay where it is). then combine them with PHOTOMATIX basic programm (using: automatic batch processing), you would see the difference, you can also adjust the contrast (if your not satisfied) in photoshop using "curves".
SHOOTING THE FULL MOON
use 200mm lens or higher, remove the UV filter on the lens, position yourself to where the moon is the biggest (if necessary away from city lights) and a tripod. set your camera to "S". to shoot the moon looking like an object seen from space (black and white) - use shutter speed of 1/25, to add more luminosity (as seen from the ground) adjust the shutter speed to 1-5). mount the camera into the tripod and use timer to avoid shake while taking pics (also turn off the anti-shake in the camera settings) in 200 mm lens the moon will only look like a small coin in the entire picture - but you can crop it to make it bigger like what i did - so use the highest resolution as possbile. (shoot in manual focus)
LONG MANUAL EXPOSURE/NIGHT SHOTS
set the camera into "M", aperture 3.5 (so that it absorbs more light as possible) then shutter speed between 1-10-20 (experiment on this one) depends how much exposure you want - the longer the exposure, the brighter the nighshot is. again mount your cam into the tripod and use 10 sec. timer to avoid shake.
MANUAL FOCUS vs. AUTO FOCUS
auto focus is preset and not good for taking pics of wildlife and nightshots because it takes its time to focus on the subject plus the cam wont shoot because it has little light to absorb (night) while manual focus - you can do everything even if its too dark plus you can create a dimension in your pics (for example a field of flowers that looks endless into the horizon). you can also focus on the subject closer while the background can be blurred (works best with 200mm lens).
USING WHITE BALANCE
if youre not sure what white balance to use, set it to auto but experiment more there are a couple of white balance settings in your camera that you can play or better yet set your white balance to the weather/light that corresponds to the day that youre taking pictures.
*remember - I AM NOT a camera expert, these are just little tricks in slr camera that i have learned by myself and listening to other people's advices, you may agree or disgree about what i had written, its your camera and you have the right to experiment yourself!*
it doenst matter which slr brand of camera you use - as long as you know how to use the settings!
have fun shooting in dslr in your travels and show your moneyshots!
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