need help with photography

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BEAR

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I bought a Canon T2i from Costco about 5 years ago. It came with a EFS 18-55 lens and a EFS 55-250 zoom lens. I am just now getting into the photography element of off roading and overlanding and was looking for some basic tips and tricks for this camera( or just photography in general ). I am also looking into a new lens and just wanted some opinions from people on what works good for strictly outdoor, scenic, shots of the rig ect. I know there is more than one I should get so maybe what is the next one I should get. I also just learned from a thread on ExPo about renting lenses. Is this something worth doing to try out lenses or should I just get one that is tried and true?

I'm just getting so confused with ISO, Aperture and shutter speed. I just watched the video that came with the camera that kind of explained it but like a lot of things it kind of flew over my head. can anyone touch on this and how to use it in the outdoor, overland setting.
Thank you so much!!
 

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Steve

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ISO, Aperture, and Shutter Speed all work together to create the correct exposure. More of one needs less of the others.

Aperture is how large the opening in the lens is. The lower the number, the bigger the hole and the more light that gets in. The corollary to this is that the larger the hole, the shallower the depth of field. This means less of the view is in focus in front of and behind your subject. This can be good or bad, depending on your intended photo. The smaller the hole, the less light gets in and the more of your view that is in focus. With the smallest hole (highest aperture) you can have very close objects and distant objects all be in focus. Every half step allows twice or half as much light in. (f/3.5 - 4 - 5.6 - 8 - 11 - 16 - 22.)

Shutter Speed is just that; how long the shutter stays open during an exposure. The shorter time (higher number) the more it stops action. The longer time (lower number) the more blur you will have. Each step allows half or twice as much light in (1/8 1/16 1/32 1/64 1/125 1/250 1/500 etc.)

If you have the correct setting, but not the shutter speed or depth of field that you desire, you need to increase one setting, and reduce the other. Fortunately, most cameras do this automatically for you.

ISO is a remnant of film cameras, and was an indication of the light sensitivity of a particular film. The higher the ISO number, the more light sensitive it was, and could take the same exposure in a lower light setting. Where ISO 64 film might be perfect in bright light, it wouldn't work well at dusk, but ISO 400 would be a good exposure. The trade off was that the higher the ISO, the grainier (or less detailed) an image was. Those famous Kodachrome photos from the '50s and '60s were most likely taken with ISO 25 film.

The digital equivalent of ISO is how sensitive the chip that collects the image is. Ten years ago, ISO 400 looked grainy in almost any situation. Now real good cameras can have an ISO of 25000 before getting grainy.

Some camera settings adjust ISO, aperture, and shutter speed for you to take the best photo for that lighting situation and at the distance the camera automatically focuses. They use a matrix to determine when to start adjusting each element of the three to optimize the image. This is where the Sport, Portrait, Mountain, Night, etc. settings come into play. By changing to these modes, you are letting the camera know which matrix to use to get the best photo.

I grew up with manual cameras and used the same ISO film for most of my photography, so I tend to use the Program or Aperture Priority mode instead of the Automatic modes. And sometimes the full Manual settings. Start out using Automatic and se what the results are. What is nice, is that the settings are stored with each image, so if you like the way one looks, see what the settings were and note them for later use. Then manually set your ISO and use the Program mode. This uses the matrix to set Aperture and Shutter Speed, but leaves ISO where you set it. On my old camera, I'd leave it at ISO 100, but on my new, better camera, I leave it at ISO 360, and sometimes go higher. I recently took a handheld photo after dark without blur at ISO 51,000. It was really grainy, but worked amazingly well.

Think of ISO, Aperture, and Shutter Speed similar to traveling using Time, Speed, and Distance. Changing one or two effects the third, so if one increases, the other has to decrease to keep the third the same.

Probably way too much, but hopefully it helps a little,
Steve
 

BEAR

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This is awesome. I may print this out for a cheat sheet in the field. I've been using the auto function for a while and want to step my game up.
 

NetDep

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ISO, aperture and shutter speed all work as a "three legged stool" meaning that you can't change one without affecting the other two. There is a great basic book that I found very useful - there are several but this one does a very good job of explaining what the OP is curious about - and it is my library.... As well, the Canon Rebel was my first digital camera and a very good one that was a great stepping stone.


For overlanding photography and to give you a quick answer for some gear advice you might be seeking number one is a tripod. A good tripod will be worth it's weight in gold - especially for those low light, star chasing shots of your rig/campsite that we all lust over!! Your camera is capable and a decent lens for it to consider is....

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EF-24-105mm-f-4-L-IS-USM-Lens-Review.aspx

This is a EF lens and if you at some point upgrade to another body it will make the journey. It provides a good range of zoom for a lot of what you want to do and will be at home at camp or in town. It is a "L" designation (pro lens) so it will last a while and take the dust and bumps that a lens in your overlanding rig will be subject to.

Another thing to consider, as you acquire a couple of lenses, body, a place to keep your memory cards and cable release (for the tripod) is a good backpack bag. This will let you keep all your gear together and take it with you - I like a backpack and there are several but my preference has become ThinkTank after going though more than a few of other well known brands.

I love photography and there are many different styles, types and needs for the type of photography you are doing and the kind of photographer you are/want to be. Do you tote your point-n-shoot along to capture the events of the day for your blog/twitter or are the purpose of your overlanding getting to the places that you will base camp and photograph?

Different cameras for different purposes to be sure but with no question - and just like guns - the best camera is the one you have with you. When I started riding a bicycle for fitness/fun/travel I did not want to lug my Canon 7D and lenses along so I invested in a quality point-n-shoot and have been happy with it. I wouldn't dream of capturing eagles with it or taking it to shoot polar bears.

As far as a general piece of advice - look at pictures - lots and lots of pictures and pick out what you like. Go to a site like flickr and search for the style/type of picture you want to take - look at LOTS and LOTS of them, look at the EXIF data and see what the camera settings were and study what it is about the picture that draws you to it. That will determine your style and what you enjoy about taking pictures. There is an art and science to photography - there are some basic rules and to break them you should know them first.

Hope this makes some sense - take a look at my www.flickr.com/netdep and see if there is anything there you like. I have about 24k images on my hard drive and have been to a few places to take pictures, sold a few and given a few away -- it's fun and rewarding!!!

Enjoy - take the time if you want or just let the camera do the work if you want.....either way - have fun!!!
 
Last edited:

mellowdave

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ISO, Aperture, and Shutter Speed all work together to create the correct exposure. More of one needs less of the others.

Aperture is how large the opening in the lens is. The lower the number, the bigger the hole and the more light that gets in. The corollary to this is that the larger the hole, the shallower the depth of field. This means less of the view is in focus in front of and behind your subject. This can be good or bad, depending on your intended photo. The smaller the hole, the less light gets in and the more of your view that is in focus. With the smallest hole (highest aperture) you can have very close objects and distant objects all be in focus. Every half step allows twice or half as much light in. (f/3.5 - 4 - 5.6 - 8 - 11 - 16 - 22.)

Shutter Speed is just that; how long the shutter stays open during an exposure. The shorter time (higher number) the more it stops action. The longer time (lower number) the more blur you will have. Each step allows half or twice as much light in (1/8 1/16 1/32 1/64 1/125 1/250 1/500 etc.)

If you have the correct setting, but not the shutter speed or depth of field that you desire, you need to increase one setting, and reduce the other. Fortunately, most cameras do this automatically for you.

ISO is a remnant of film cameras, and was an indication of the light sensitivity of a particular film. The higher the ISO number, the more light sensitive it was, and could take the same exposure in a lower light setting. Where ISO 64 film might be perfect in bright light, it wouldn't work well at dusk, but ISO 400 would be a good exposure. The trade off was that the higher the ISO, the grainier (or less detailed) an image was. Those famous Kodachrome photos from the '50s and '60s were most likely taken with ISO 25 film.

The digital equivalent of ISO is how sensitive the chip that collects the image is. Ten years ago, ISO 400 looked grainy in almost any situation. Now real good cameras can have an ISO of 25000 before getting grainy.

Some camera settings adjust ISO, aperture, and shutter speed for you to take the best photo for that lighting situation and at the distance the camera automatically focuses. They use a matrix to determine when to start adjusting each element of the three to optimize the image. This is where the Sport, Portrait, Mountain, Night, etc. settings come into play. By changing to these modes, you are letting the camera know which matrix to use to get the best photo.

I grew up with manual cameras and used the same ISO film for most of my photography, so I tend to use the Program or Aperture Priority mode instead of the Automatic modes. And sometimes the full Manual settings. Start out using Automatic and se what the results are. What is nice, is that the settings are stored with each image, so if you like the way one looks, see what the settings were and note them for later use. Then manually set your ISO and use the Program mode. This uses the matrix to set Aperture and Shutter Speed, but leaves ISO where you set it. On my old camera, I'd leave it at ISO 100, but on my new, better camera, I leave it at ISO 360, and sometimes go higher. I recently took a handheld photo after dark without blur at ISO 51,000. It was really grainy, but worked amazingly well.

Think of ISO, Aperture, and Shutter Speed similar to traveling using Time, Speed, and Distance. Changing one or two effects the third, so if one increases, the other has to decrease to keep the third the same.

Probably way too much, but hopefully it helps a little,
Steve
This is one of the best posts I've ever seen on this topic. I've read exhaustively on it trying to improve my own crappy captures, and I've never seen it described so well.


Sent from my iPhone using Overland Bound Talk
 

BEAR

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ISO, aperture and shutter speed all work as a "three legged stool" meaning that you can't change one without affecting the other two. There is a great basic book that I found very useful - there are several but this one does a very good job of explaining what the OP is curious about - and it is my library.... As well, the Canon Rebel was my first digital camera and a very good one that was a great stepping stone.


For overlanding photography and to give you a quick answer for some gear advice you might be seeking number one is a tripod. A good tripod will be worth it's weight in gold - especially for those low light, star chasing shots of your rig/campsite that we all lust over!! Your camera is capable and a decent lens for it to consider is....

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EF-24-105mm-f-4-L-IS-USM-Lens-Review.aspx

This is a EF lens and if you at some point upgrade to another body it will make the journey. It provides a good range of zoom for a lot of what you want to do and will be at home at camp or in town. It is a "L" designation (pro lens) so it will last a while and take the dust and bumps that a lens in your overlanding rig will be subject to.

Another thing to consider, as you acquire a couple of lenses, body, a place to keep your memory cards and cable release (for the tripod) is a good backpack bag. This will let you keep all your gear together and take it with you - I like a backpack and there are several but my preference has become ThinkTank after going though more than a few of other well known brands.

I love photography and there are many different styles, types and needs for the type of photography you are doing and the kind of photographer you are/want to be. Do you tote your point-n-shoot along to capture the events of the day for your blog/twitter or are the purpose of your overlanding getting to the places that you will base camp and photograph?

Different cameras for different purposes to be sure but with no question - and just like guns - the best camera is the one you have with you. When I started riding a bicycle for fitness/fun/travel I did not want to lug my Canon 7D and lenses along so I invested in a quality point-n-shoot and have been happy with it. I wouldn't dream of capturing eagles with it or taking it to shoot polar bears.

As far as a general piece of advice - look at pictures - lots and lots of pictures and pick out what you like. Go to a site like flickr and search for the style/type of picture you want to take - look at LOTS and LOTS of them, look at the EXIF data and see what the camera settings were and study what it is about the picture that draws you to it. That will determine your style and what you enjoy about taking pictures. There is an art and science to photography - there are some basic rules and to break them you should know them first.

Hope this makes some sense - take a look at my www.flickr.com/netdep and see if there is anything there you like. I have about 24k images on my hard drive and have been to a few places to take pictures, sold a few and given a few away -- it's fun and rewarding!!!

Enjoy - take the time if you want or just let the camera do the work if you want.....either way - have fun!!!
this is great info as well thank you so much!!
 

BEAR

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I also love the Flickr idea. That's a great reference to see how people captured the shot. I think my next purchase is going to be a nice, light tripod.
 

Steve

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I think my next purchase is going to be a nice, light tripod.
I bought a MeFoto aluminum Globetrotter earlier this year. I didn't see the sense in spending another $175 for carbon to save 0.5 pounds. It already weighs almost half what my good Bogen weighs, and takes up much less room. I'll be more likely to take it all the time. One leg works as a monopod, too.

Amazon link: http://amzn.to/24lc4fw

 

mellowdave

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I also love the Flickr idea. That's a great reference to see how people captured the shot. I think my next purchase is going to be a nice, light tripod.
Im in need of a new one too. Ive decided to hold off on a new camera, and instead pick up some better supporting equipment this year. New Tripod, monopod, and a few other things.
 

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ISO, Aperture, and Shutter Speed all work together to create the correct exposure. More of one needs less of the others.

Aperture is how large the opening in the lens is. The lower the number, the bigger the hole and the more light that gets in. The corollary to this is that the larger the hole, the shallower the depth of field. This means less of the view is in focus in front of and behind your subject. This can be good or bad, depending on your intended photo. The smaller the hole, the less light gets in and the more of your view that is in focus. With the smallest hole (highest aperture) you can have very close objects and distant objects all be in focus. Every half step allows twice or half as much light in. (f/3.5 - 4 - 5.6 - 8 - 11 - 16 - 22.)

Shutter Speed is just that; how long the shutter stays open during an exposure. The shorter time (higher number) the more it stops action. The longer time (lower number) the more blur you will have. Each step allows half or twice as much light in (1/8 1/16 1/32 1/64 1/125 1/250 1/500 etc.)

If you have the correct setting, but not the shutter speed or depth of field that you desire, you need to increase one setting, and reduce the other. Fortunately, most cameras do this automatically for you.

ISO is a remnant of film cameras, and was an indication of the light sensitivity of a particular film. The higher the ISO number, the more light sensitive it was, and could take the same exposure in a lower light setting. Where ISO 64 film might be perfect in bright light, it wouldn't work well at dusk, but ISO 400 would be a good exposure. The trade off was that the higher the ISO, the grainier (or less detailed) an image was. Those famous Kodachrome photos from the '50s and '60s were most likely taken with ISO 25 film.

The digital equivalent of ISO is how sensitive the chip that collects the image is. Ten years ago, ISO 400 looked grainy in almost any situation. Now real good cameras can have an ISO of 25000 before getting grainy.

Some camera settings adjust ISO, aperture, and shutter speed for you to take the best photo for that lighting situation and at the distance the camera automatically focuses. They use a matrix to determine when to start adjusting each element of the three to optimize the image. This is where the Sport, Portrait, Mountain, Night, etc. settings come into play. By changing to these modes, you are letting the camera know which matrix to use to get the best photo.

I grew up with manual cameras and used the same ISO film for most of my photography, so I tend to use the Program or Aperture Priority mode instead of the Automatic modes. And sometimes the full Manual settings. Start out using Automatic and se what the results are. What is nice, is that the settings are stored with each image, so if you like the way one looks, see what the settings were and note them for later use. Then manually set your ISO and use the Program mode. This uses the matrix to set Aperture and Shutter Speed, but leaves ISO where you set it. On my old camera, I'd leave it at ISO 100, but on my new, better camera, I leave it at ISO 360, and sometimes go higher. I recently took a handheld photo after dark without blur at ISO 51,000. It was really grainy, but worked amazingly well.

Think of ISO, Aperture, and Shutter Speed similar to traveling using Time, Speed, and Distance. Changing one or two effects the third, so if one increases, the other has to decrease to keep the third the same.

Probably way too much, but hopefully it helps a little,
Steve
Really excellent Steve!

I can't hand-hold less than 100 shutter speed. I keep my ISO under 200 as much as possible and love my low fstop for shallow depth of field.

Also... GLASS! Head over to the main web page and look at that Alabama Hills shot. I took that with a rented lens. Prime lens (no zoom). I could not have got that quality with the lens that comes in the bundle.

M


Sent from my iPhone using Overland Bound Talk Beta
 

Steve

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Also... GLASS! Head over to the main web page and look at that Alabama Hills shot. I took that with a rented lens. Prime lens (no zoom). I could not have got that quality with the lens that comes in the bundle.
Wonderful photo! No EXIF data attached. What lens did you rent? My 85mm f/1.4 and 180mm f/2.8 are by far my best lenses, and take similar images.
 

BEAR

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Really excellent Steve!

I can't hand-hold less than 100 shutter speed. I keep my ISO under 200 as much as possible and love my low fstop for shallow depth of field.

Also... GLASS! Head over to the main web page and look at that Alabama Hills shot. I took that with a rented lens. Prime lens (no zoom). I could not have got that quality with the lens that comes in the bundle.

M


Sent from my iPhone using Overland Bound Talk Beta
I'll also have to rent that canon lens mentioned before and truly it out before I drop $600.
 

MA_Trooper

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ISO, Aperture, and Shutter Speed all work together to create the correct exposure. More of one needs less of the others.

Aperture is how large the opening in the lens is. The lower the number, the bigger the hole and the more light that gets in. The corollary to this is that the larger the hole, the shallower the depth of field. This means less of the view is in focus in front of and behind your subject. This can be good or bad, depending on your intended photo. The smaller the hole, the less light gets in and the more of your view that is in focus. With the smallest hole (highest aperture) you can have very close objects and distant objects all be in focus. Every half step allows twice or half as much light in. (f/3.5 - 4 - 5.6 - 8 - 11 - 16 - 22.)

Shutter Speed is just that; how long the shutter stays open during an exposure. The shorter time (higher number) the more it stops action. The longer time (lower number) the more blur you will have. Each step allows half or twice as much light in (1/8 1/16 1/32 1/64 1/125 1/250 1/500 etc.)

If you have the correct setting, but not the shutter speed or depth of field that you desire, you need to increase one setting, and reduce the other. Fortunately, most cameras do this automatically for you.

ISO is a remnant of film cameras, and was an indication of the light sensitivity of a particular film. The higher the ISO number, the more light sensitive it was, and could take the same exposure in a lower light setting. Where ISO 64 film might be perfect in bright light, it wouldn't work well at dusk, but ISO 400 would be a good exposure. The trade off was that the higher the ISO, the grainier (or less detailed) an image was. Those famous Kodachrome photos from the '50s and '60s were most likely taken with ISO 25 film.

The digital equivalent of ISO is how sensitive the chip that collects the image is. Ten years ago, ISO 400 looked grainy in almost any situation. Now real good cameras can have an ISO of 25000 before getting grainy.

Some camera settings adjust ISO, aperture, and shutter speed for you to take the best photo for that lighting situation and at the distance the camera automatically focuses. They use a matrix to determine when to start adjusting each element of the three to optimize the image. This is where the Sport, Portrait, Mountain, Night, etc. settings come into play. By changing to these modes, you are letting the camera know which matrix to use to get the best photo.

I grew up with manual cameras and used the same ISO film for most of my photography, so I tend to use the Program or Aperture Priority mode instead of the Automatic modes. And sometimes the full Manual settings. Start out using Automatic and se what the results are. What is nice, is that the settings are stored with each image, so if you like the way one looks, see what the settings were and note them for later use. Then manually set your ISO and use the Program mode. This uses the matrix to set Aperture and Shutter Speed, but leaves ISO where you set it. On my old camera, I'd leave it at ISO 100, but on my new, better camera, I leave it at ISO 360, and sometimes go higher. I recently took a handheld photo after dark without blur at ISO 51,000. It was really grainy, but worked amazingly well.

Think of ISO, Aperture, and Shutter Speed similar to traveling using Time, Speed, and Distance. Changing one or two effects the third, so if one increases, the other has to decrease to keep the third the same.

Probably way too much, but hopefully it helps a little,
Steve
This is a spectacularly good explanation. I already knew all this and still feel like I've learned something. Very well said, sir.
 
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Does anyone have advice for shooting pics of vehicles climbing steep hills? I find the pictures rarely seem to do justice to the situation. Things I've found that help are shooting from the side, and /or ensuring to keep the camera parallel with the trees(if there are any), vice pointing straight at the rig when doing a front or back shot, but looking for some pro tips...