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post #1 of 150 (permalink) Old 01-31-2007, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
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photo taking tips.

well, being that it is winter I have nothing better to take pictures of, so I thought I'd make a small photo taking tips thread.

pro photographers, amatuers, whatever you may be, add any tips you have that will help out the newbies!

General tips
~read the user manual. it will tell you A LOT.
~keep garbage out of the shot. it is distracting. pick it up and toss it in a garbage bin.
~well lit areas are your friend.
~A tripod is your best friend if you plan on taking night time pics.
~if you have a point and shoot (PnS), keep the ISO setting low. this reduces noise in the pictures.
~the beauty of digital cameras, you can delete bad photos, take LOTS of pictures. take doubles, triples, multiple angles. wear that camera out. the last thing you want is a beautifully composed shot that is out of focus.
~don't always put the car in the middle of the shot.


~White balance. it's very important. Learn how to use your camera's custom white balance. (more on this later)
~contrast! makes your pictures *POP*. a white car in a snow field does not stick out. put it in front of a brick wall and BLAM! it pops out a lot more.

Night shot tips
~get a tripod. no arguments. go out and buy one. now. DO IT!
~spot metering. use it.
evaluative metering: (meters light in the whole scene)

the face of the car is DARK, you can't see the details

spot metering on the car: (meters light in a small spot in the center of the viewfinder)

the face of the car is exposed properly (excuse my camera-shake)
yes, the spot metered picture is totally blown out in the background where the light is. solution?
1. crop the picture. also, the light size to car ratio is way bigger than in real life so this is a bad example.
2. try to keep the light equal all around the vehicle if possible.

White Balance
Lots of people like taking parkade shots.
the problem with this is lots of older parkades use orange or heavy-yellow lighting. what do you end up with? a nasty color cast.
the solution? White Balance.
note: an 18% gray card (from a local photo shop) works better than something white.
Auto White Balance (AWB):

Custom white balance:


setting custom white balance takes seconds and saves even more time later fixing it in photoshop. I know from experience, setting white balance in photoshop is not an easy task. I simply can't do it. If you know a way to do it, please, let me know. (I am not saying it is impossible, I just suck at it)


Depth of Field (DSLR users)
F1.4 small depth of field. MORE light goes into the camera. OPEN
F22 huge depth of field. LESS light goes into the camera. CLOSED

SMALL DOF, low F value:


BIGGER DOF, higher F value:


I recommend Aperture Priority to get your desired results. take lots of pictures at different values.
The wider the focal length (wide being 10mm, long being 200mm) the larger the DOF.

a lens at 200mm F7.1 will have MUCH smaller DOF than a lens at 10mm F7.1

What camera should I buy?!?!?!
~www.dpreview.com my favourite review site.
~my personal preference is Canon. user friendly, great quality. the A5XX series is magnificant and most likely enough for the common user.
~megapixels? you don't need 10MP. you don't need 8MP. You don't need 7MP. 6MP is more than enough for net photos, desktop wallpapers and 4x6 prints.
~dont be fooled by cameras boasting 3200ISO. it will be noisy and look horrible.
~IS, OS, VR, anti shake systems are nice to have. its even nicer to use a tripod.
~DSLR-like cameras, A waste of money IMHO. spend the additional 200$ or so and get an entry level DSLR
~DLSR on a budget? Pentax makes feature packed cameras at a reasonable price
~DLSR WARNING.
+it is easier to take a bad shot with a DSLR than with a PnS.
+DSLR images require PP (post processing)
+a PnS will generally produce nicer pictures straight out of the camera than DSLR.
+DSLR photography is an expensive hobby. more so than cars. I'm almost 2500$ deep and I have entry level equipment, and not a lot of it.

[size=14pt]PHOTOSHOP TIPS[/size]

Straightening your photo
for some odd reason, we all have a hard time shooting a straight picture even when we can see it on the LCD screen in front of us.
there is an easy way to fix this.

~Click and hold down on the eyedropper tool and select the measure tool, it looks like a ruler.
~make a line on something that should be straight. a building, a post, the floor, horizon, anything.
~Image > Rotate > Arbitrary

Clone Stamp
Have some garbage in your photo? a dent? some dirt? oil spots?
pretty straight forward.

~click on the clone stamp tool (it looks like a stamp)
~select a brush size *slightly* larger than the spot you want to remove.
~hold alt, and click one a spot near spot you want to remove with similar lighting conditions
~let go of alt and click over the spot. do NOT hold and drag, just a simple click.

Cropping a perfect 4x6 image
if you're using the square marquee tool to crop images and can't get that perfect 4x6 ratio here is how you do it.

~click the marquee tool
~in the top toolbar, click on the drop down that says "normal" and select "Aspect Ratio"
~enter your ratio, (6 & 4 in this case)
~make your box.

Making a simple border
want a simple black or white border?

~Image > canvas size
~make sure the "relative" box is checked
~select your units to pixels
~and select your border size. 10-15 usually sits well on a 800x600
~make sure all the arrows surround the middle box and point outward.
~click ok

Unsharp Mask (again)
Filters > sharpen > unsharp mask.
300% | .3 radius | 0 threshold
this is a general guideline, feel free to deviate. this will sharpen up your pictures.
This is usually the last thing I do.

Before:

After: (@250%)

*Be careful not to oversharpen your pictures.*

Exposure/brightness Adjustments
Image > Adjustments > levels
I find this is the easiest way to adjust brightness.
Curves are harder to use, but if you have the time, curves can do amazing things.

that is all I can think of right now.

Hope this helps all the newbies.

PLease keep comments to a minimum. and tips to a maximum 8)

Cheers


EDIT: 06/Aug/2007
DON'T HAVE PHOTOSHOP??????

A FREE ALTERNATIVE

http://www.gimp.org/

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post #2 of 150 (permalink) Old 01-31-2007, 11:00 PM
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Re: photo taking tips.

you make me want a real digi cam so bad now.


great write up. i dont even have a "real" digi cam yet this was a good read.

Went from a brand new 06 Silver Hatch to a Crispy 06 Hatch to a White 06 tC
I miss her
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Ya. Thats my old Hatch on the Grip Tuning Advertisement Banner. After a nice photoshop, HOLLLLAAAAAAAAAAa
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post #3 of 150 (permalink) Old 01-31-2007, 11:03 PM Thread Starter
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Re: photo taking tips.

you take excellent photos with your camera. no need to upgrade

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post #4 of 150 (permalink) Old 01-31-2007, 11:12 PM
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Re: photo taking tips.

This should be stickied. I'm going to read up on my camera in the manual, then try to master it. Thanks, blam
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post #5 of 150 (permalink) Old 01-31-2007, 11:28 PM
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Re: photo taking tips.

Uh... vote for sticky? Icky? Oooo weee?

You happy now? HUH? Are you?


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post #6 of 150 (permalink) Old 02-01-2007, 01:06 AM
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Re: photo taking tips.

could you add some more of your photo shop tips?


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post #7 of 150 (permalink) Old 02-01-2007, 01:11 AM Thread Starter
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Re: photo taking tips.

what are you looking for specifically?

I don't do too much PS to my photos

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post #8 of 150 (permalink) Old 02-01-2007, 01:15 AM
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Re: photo taking tips.

just some little things like that unsharpen mask. ive used it before but didnt know about the other settings. i want to make my car pop out of the picture.


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post #9 of 150 (permalink) Old 02-01-2007, 01:46 AM
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Re: photo taking tips.

My vote to sticky,
very handy info even for experienced photographers.
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post #10 of 150 (permalink) Old 02-01-2007, 03:56 PM Thread Starter
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Re: photo taking tips.

Some more photoshop tips off the top of my head.

Hope these help.

[size=14pt]PHOTOSHOP TIPS[/size]

Straightening your photo
for some odd reason, we all have a hard time shooting a straight picture even when we can see it on the LCD screen in front of us.
there is an easy way to fix this.

~Click and hold down on the eyedropper tool and select the measure tool, it looks like a ruler.
~make a line on something that should be straight. a building, a post, the floor, horizon, anything.
~Image > Rotate > Arbitrary

Clone Stamp
Have some garbage in your photo? a dent? some dirt? oil spots?
pretty straight forward.

~click on the clone stamp tool (it looks like a stamp)
~select a brush size *slightly* larger than the spot you want to remove.
~hold alt, and click one a spot near spot you want to remove with similar lighting conditions
~let go of alt and click over the spot. do NOT hold and drag, just a simple click.

Cropping a perfect 4x6 image
if you're using the square marquee tool to crop images and can't get that perfect 4x6 ratio here is how you do it.

~click the marquee tool
~in the top toolbar, click on the drop down that says "normal" and select "Aspect Ratio"
~enter your ratio, (6 & 4 in this case)
~make your box.

Making a simple border
want a simple black or white border?

~Image > canvas size
~make sure the "relative" box is checked
~select your units to pixels
~and select your border size. 10-15 usually sits well on a 800x600
~make sure all the arrows surround the middle box and point outward.
~click ok

Unsharp Mask (again)
Filters > sharpen > unsharp mask.
300% | .3 radius | 0 threshold
this is a general guideline, feel free to deviate. this will sharpen up your pictures.
This is usually the last thing I do.



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