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Old 27 November 2005, 14:53   #1
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Not a day to leave the harbour...

This was the situation on Saturday (27/11/05) at Balintore Harbour (in the next village to my house). As the title says, not a good day to try and get out of the harbour.

Keith Hart (even my brackets stayed at home)
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Old 27 November 2005, 15:23   #2
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Beautifull photographs - what camera do you have - or is it all down to your photography skills.

Im not sure what you call it or even exactly what it is, not being a photographer, but theres something about the photos thats missing from most that you see.
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Old 27 November 2005, 17:06   #3
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Thank you for your kind comments Roycruse.

The camera used was a Canon 10d digital slr.

The first photograph used a Tamron 28-300 mm telephoto lens, a couple of graduated neutral density filters to avoid overexposing the sky, a remote shutter release to keep the camera still and therefore the picture sharp, and a tripod.

The second picture was done from about 1/2 a mile away so I used a Sigma 170-500 mm telephoto, remote shutter release and a tripod (no filters on this one).

I had to take the photo some distance away to get the angle of shot I wanted. No way was I taking my boat out to get that shot!!!

I have used these two photos on my website.

Keith (exposure brackets) Hart
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Old 27 November 2005, 17:24   #4
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Great photos Keith. What was the wind speed when those were taken?
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Old 27 November 2005, 17:29   #5
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Maybe you can give me some tips - I have always resisted buying an SLR camera - for a few reasons

1. I'm not convinced I would get enough out of it without some serious learning to do first.
2. I already have too many expensive hobbies.
3. everywhere I go that I want great shots of is hostile (ie wet or moving violently) and carrying a giant camera bag around does not appeal and is probably not wise.

The thing I like most about your photos is the kind of almost 3D effect that you get in them - (only other place I have seen it was in a photographic gallery I visited once) I'm not sure what the technical photographic term for it is - It is most noticeable in the first shot with the stone wall running from the foreground away.

If I was to take that same shot with my compact (Nikon 7900) it would seem very flat in comparison and would not have that feel about it.

So is this effect generated simply by having bigger lenses - is it because you are using telephoto or something I'm completely missing or is it just the way you choose your shots - I've tried to get the same feel with my little (naff) camera but so far it has eluded me - is it even possible to get good shots with a compact or do I have take up yet another bankrupting hobby...
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Old 27 November 2005, 18:03   #6
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great Moray shots. Beautiful part of the world
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Old 27 November 2005, 18:09   #7
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After further study of yours and other photos and comparing them to mine and doing some reading - I think I've answered my own question - i think...

I think what gives that kind of "your in the picture" 3D ish type of effect is a larger aperture reducing the depth of field so you get some blurring in the foreground and background - this being due to your SLRs much larger lenses and thus rendering any compact useless at ever achieving those kind of shots as regardless of how I try to set up the shot - nearly the whole frame is in focus which I think is what makes my pictures look so flat. Or am I talking rubbish...
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Old 27 November 2005, 19:36   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roycruse
2. I already have too many expensive hobbies.

3. everywhere I go that I want great shots of is hostile (ie wet or moving violently) and carrying a giant camera bag around does not appeal and is probably not wise.
I can certainly relate to reason #2 My interests seem to reach alot further than my wallet. As for reason #3, I'd suggest using a 'pelican' hard case for any delicate equipment. When I bought my digital camera, the first accessory I got for it was one of these cases because I knew it would be bouncing around on the floorboards of a SIB in rough conditions at WOT.

http://www.pelican.com/products.html

You can see the lid part of the open case in my SIB
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Old 27 November 2005, 21:30   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roycruse
After further study of yours and other photos and comparing them to mine and doing some reading - I think I've answered my own question - i think...

I think what gives that kind of "your in the picture" 3D ish type of effect is a larger aperture reducing the depth of field so you get some blurring in the foreground and background - this being due to your SLRs much larger lenses and thus rendering any compact useless at ever achieving those kind of shots as regardless of how I try to set up the shot - nearly the whole frame is in focus which I think is what makes my pictures look so flat. Or am I talking rubbish...
Far from talking rubbish.

Actually the Tamron 28-300 is not that fast a lens 3.5-6.3 I believe. The faster the lens(smaller f stop) the more light it lets in and the shallower the depth of field.

Shallow depth of field is used for isolating the foreground from the background - like that wave or a tennis player against a crowd.

You can tell a "fast" lens by the weight and price of the thing. For example a 300mm F2.8 lens will cost big bucks and be like a dustbin in size.

For most landscape work you want as much depth of field as possible - so you would use a small aperture - say f22 or whatever.

The other important factor is the SIZE of the image or negative or ccd - in smaller digi cameras it is a small sensor used so you get better depth of field. In other words a compact digi with the SAME aperture will not give you as shallow a depth of field as a camera with a bigger sensor.

To be honest most people prefer a greater depth of field!!!

The lens on my Lumix is awesome - equiv 35 - 420mm and a constant F2.8 which is great for low light work. In an SLR with a bigger(larger surface area)chip the lens needs to be a lot bigger - all of a sudden you are talking a really heavy and bulky lens weighing a few kilos and costing 2,000.

I have loads of expensive 35mm gear and some medium format(REALLY huge lenses) but they seldom see the light of day any more - yes they ARE better but not often I can be bothered to lug them around.

Here are 3 pics of lenses that are all about the same - 420mm and f2.8 - shows the diff in size for small digital - digital SLR or 35mm(weighs 6kg) and medium format. Cheated on the medium format - this is only the 600mm f5.6 - the 800mm which is the equivelent of a 420mm on a 35mm is 17kgs weight and 12,000!!!
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Old 28 November 2005, 07:48   #10
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Hello all

Roycruse, the MOST important rule in photography to remember is this:
The PHOTOGRAPHER takes the photograph, NOT the camera
You can take crap photos with a very expensive camera.

The next most important rule in photography is:
Only show people your BEST photographs
Learn from your disasters, but don't put them on show...

The third most important rule in photography is:
Go on an expedition with Photo4x4 if you really want to improve your photography...

This is a very BIG subject so I'll try to keep this as brief as possible (honest).

Depth of Field - This is directly affected by the aperture, the smaller the aperture the larger the depth of field (more of the picture in sharp focus), the larger the depth of field the more shallow the depth of focus (less of the picture in sharp focus). The smaller the number the larger the aperture, the larger the number the smaller the aperture. This is because the aperture number (also called f stop) is actualy a fraction. Therefore 1/2.8 th (f stop 2.8) is larger than 1/22 nd (f stop 22).

As you quite rightly say with an SLR camera, digital or film, you have much more choice as to how the final shot turns out than with an automatic compact type camera.

This shallow depth of field is most often used in portrait photographs, but can be used at any time when you want a particular item to stand out in your photograph.

As Codprawn says the 'fast' telephotos cost thousands of s.

The convention is to use wide angle lenses (28mm up to 50mm) for landscape photography and with maximum depth of field. However conventions are there to be broken! The lens that I use most for landscapes (you can see the results on the website) is the 28-300mm. Most of the experienced photographers that I take out on expeditions are amazed by just what you can do by trying something different.

In perfect weather in perfect conditions the 'convention' is okay (a bit boring but it works) however in the UK conditions are not often perfect. Then it pays to have a few unconventional tricks up your sleeve. The telephoto zoom lens can be used to isolate detail and to emphasize aspects of the landscape.

I have another set of rules that I give to my customers:

Rule 1: There are NO rules
Rule 2: In case of doubt apply Rule 1

Photography is a fascinating subject and digital photography has boosted interest in it.

Digital photography is NOT an excuse to be lazy and take loads of shots so that one might just be okay.

Digital photography is however an ideal excuse to EXPERIMENT.

Remember that the Victorians produced some truly stunning photographs, and they did it with cumbersome plate cameras with the lowest of technology.

Keith (((auto bracketing Hart

This photo was taken with a wide angle lens, thereby proving that I break my own rules...
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