Back in 2016, I decided to “up my game” for photography, and I thought I would start with a class or two. Henry’s courses are popular, but there are also courses through the city’s annual learning catalog, and even through Algonquin College if I want to get really serious. But I wanted to keep it simple, so I started watching The Great Course’s “Fundamentals of Photography” series (Fundamentals of Photography – Class 01 – Making Great Pictures).
Recently, as part of my lingering 50by50 commitments, I wanted to get back into photography learning, but even in the last two years, my approach has changed. I have a decent camera — a Canon Rebel T5i aka the 700D — and it works well for me. It is considered a high-value entry level DSLR, but my needs are relatively modest, with just a couple of quirks.
My primary need is outdoors photography … waterfalls, landscapes, flora and fauna, hiking through nature, and friends and family doing both active and passive activities. » Read the rest
This one probably needs a wee bit of context. I mean, it’s not like red-winged black birds (RWBBs) are uncommon, right? You can find them near just about any marsh area, particularly if there are bullrushes. Or bowrushes, however you learned the word.
When I was growing up, we had a trailer out on Chemong Lake, 20 minutes north of Peterborough. Great location, good area, not too crowded, a great summer area. And each spring, usually on the 24th of May weekend when us kids were really young, my parents would “open up” the trailer for the year. Initially that was an A-frame camper trailer with a big porch on the front. Later we added a small trailer, and later still, we replaced everything with a long 40 foot construction trailer with living room area, kitchen and two bedrooms. Plus a big permanent porch on the front, oil stove, and winterized. » Read the rest
There is a rule that photographers use to figure out how long of an exposure you can do on a camera before you’ll start to see star trails. This assumes, of course, that you’re not TRYING to get star trails. Instead, you want those lovely little pinpoint stars. The classic rule says you take a set number of 600 and divide it by the effective focal length of the camera lens. If you have a nifty 50 lens, that means you would be able to do about 12 seconds of exposure before streaking occurs.
Most astronomers feel that the 600 number is a little high. More like 500. So then you would say 10 seconds. There’s a small extra factor in there if it is a crop sensor instead of a full-frame, and so for most DSLRs, you have to divide further by 1.6. So the article attached calculates that down to 7.5 seconds. » Read the rest
I’m frequently on the lookout for tips and tricks for astrophotography, although my ambitions are a bit basic to start with — smartphone use at the telescope eyepiece for now, maybe graduating to DSLR and webcam stuff later. And some of the easiest of the early photos are for moon shots. So, of course, I clicked when I saw an article on HowToGeeek.com entitled How to Take Good Photos of the Moon (by Harry Guinness, September 13th, 2017).
He breaks the challenge down pretty succinctly: the brightness and the distance. On the technical side, he recommends a tripod (duh), plus a 200mm lens for full-frame and 130mm on a crop-sensor. The tip, and why I thought the article was useful, came with a rule I’ve never heard of — Looney 11.
Astrophotographers have a rule for taking photos of the moon (it’s more of a guideline really) called Looney 11. The idea is that if you set your aperture to f/11, the correct shutter speed will be the reciprocal of the ISO.
As I mentioned earlier, I started watching videos on Fundamentals of Photography – Class 01 – Making Great Pictures from The Great Courses company. Class 02 of the course deals with camera equipment and related accessories. While the host is a National Geographic photographer, and has been for much of his career, he basically suggests getting equipment that fits in a backpack. No more, no less.
For the bag, he recommends soft shoulder straps so that you can lug it around for the day, and room for:
a lens or two;
external flash + batteries for it; and,
a sync cord for flash.
I confess I don’t really like my camera bag setup. I had one that came with the combo I bought, and it is a hard bulky near cube-like format. It would hold everything above, but it only has a shoulder strap, and it’s kind of blocky. » Read the rest