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CindyN11

Photography Tips, Treats, Tricks and Cheats

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Since so many explorers use a camera for their various jaunts I thought this would make a good topic of conversation. If you use a camera you probably have something to contribute. You don't have to be a pro to do so. We all stumble upon some interesting or useful advice, or happen to find a great method  that works in a given situation. 

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While working out some good settings for underground / cave photography I happened to come across this nice little "cheat." Naturally tou can't take it with you underground, but you can play with it, find the settings you like, write them down, and use them as a reference when you are underground.

 

This is a virtual online camera that lets you choose and mix settings based on lighting...

 

http://dryreading.com/camera/index.html

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Great topic, I don't shoot enough to have any good tips, except to suggest keeping your camera safe if you are in an environment with major temperature changes. When moving a camera into a warm vehicle from a very cold environment, throw it into a zip lock bag with some silica. This will prevent condensation from forming  on the inside of your lens.

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I use inexpensive digital cameras.  My last two have been Kodak brands.  Since I carry my cell phone, I also shoot many photos with it (it's not a smart phone and it is only 3 megapixels and doesn't have the picture quality of my 7 megapixel Kodak).  Digital photos tend to come out of the camera "dry" and bland.

 

To make them more like I remember, I very lightly enhance them in Photoshop.  Just about 2% contrast, hue and saturation; as well as darkening highlights to bring out more texture in clouds, snow and other bright surfaces.  Takes seconds per photo.  And cropping if applicable or desireable.  Other than that, I don't resort to any fancy tricks.

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One of the things I love about my new camera is that I can shoot in RAW format and the photos show some very nice dimension to them. I also prefer to have a bit of perspective so try to avoid straight on shots of structures and instead find a nice angle which captures the whole while taking away the flatness.

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My current camera only shoots JPEG mode, as well as my cell phone.  My old Kodak, which had manual and auto settings (aperature preferred and / or shutter preferred) could shoot in .tif mode, but I seldom used it as the then very expensive SD cards (I think I paid $30 for a 128 MEGABYTE card) would only hold a handful of images in .tif mode.

 

I generally shoot hundreds of shots daily when on travel, so I wasn't about to spend megabucks on the then newfangled gigabyte cards or carry a hundred dollars worth of megabyte cards.  As it was in those days I took along my laptop computer with me on travel so I could download all my images each evening.

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I have that same feature Cindy, I can shoot in raw mode and make edits later. I just need to buy a bigger memory card as those raw images take up a lot data!

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One issue I have when taking photographs that drives me crazy is a lack of crystal clearness (sharp images), when I view them at full size. I have tried with a tripod, and still the photos come out slightly blurry at full size. Any suggestions? I think once this site takes off, we are going to need a photography section since photography goes and in hand with outdoor exploring.

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Here is a major tip... Never, EVER use your shirt, a kleenex, spit, water, etc... to clean your lens. Always use lens cleaner sprayed on to a soft lens cleaning cloth, and then wipe the lens with it. If possible, buy a lens brush to gently brush it off before cleaning with lens cleaner.

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Good tip Cindy, I recently purchased on of these and one of these. I was putting filter on to protect the lens for a while, but I swear it really degraded the photos. I am going to get a lens shade before this summer to help with glare. But it seems no matter how I take the photos, manual, auto, iso settings, etc, they are always blurry at full image size. I am going to grab my camera now and go through the settings.

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What is your AF-Area set at?  You want it set to Dynamic Area.

 

I am not seeing that setting, do you know if it might be called something else?

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I am not seeing that setting, do you know if it might be called something else?

 

Checking now :)

 

This might be a stupid question, but when you are preparing to shoot do you depress the shutter button hald-way first to allow it to auto-focus and then press it all the way once it has focused?

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Yeah, when I am shooting in auto focus. I also have image stabilization turned on too, think that could have anything to do with it?

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What are you shooting with again? A Rebel?

 

Yeah, it's a Rebel T2i. I don't shoot with it as much as I would like to, I should really starting shooting with it daily to get a feel for the settings and such.

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Yeah, when I am shooting in auto focus. I also have image stabilization turned on too, think that could have anything to do with it?

 

Okay, I have been checking out your manual, as well as the advice of long-time Rebel users. This is some very sound advice. Its called “Back Button Focusing” and basically it changes the mode of focus to the rear button on the camera just above the + sign. The camera will only focus with this button and using your timer when the camera goes off it is probably focusing itself. Here is how you set it up,

 

Turn the T2i on.

Press the MENU button to display the menu

Select the tool symbol just to the left of the STAR

Select Custom Functions

Select Custom Function 9

Highlight OPTION 1 AE lock / AF

Press Set

Press Menu to exit menu

Many people once they use this they leave it set there.

Pre focus your subject and see what happens.

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