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Right – reading time. I’ll keep it shortish (you wish!)
This time I’m going to be a little technical and focus on technique and gear this week.
Lets start with the basics – Digital Photography School is an online education and information site and is Australian based. There are some good articles on the website, they have lots of material to buy (of course) and you can subscribe to their weekly newsletter for a digest of the weeks posts. The latest had a download of their book – The Ultimate Guide to Photography for Beginners both on their website and as a PDF.
I’ll give a brief mention of using shutter speed effectively. We all had a play at the light painting workshop and used long exposures, but to add your understanding, this short article by Viktor Elizarov in Photo Traces gives you a handy chart to help understand the effect of changing shutter speed.
On the topic of gear think about what lenses you should have in your bag. Prime lenses (single focal length) are often simpler, sharper and faster (ie aperture) than most zooms, but not as convenient if you regularly change your lens. Many of you will remember that the 50mm f1.8 of f2 lens was the standard lens supplied with most 35mm film SLRs many years ago. We now have zooms as the default lens, but a 50mm lens is remarkably useful (APS-C and Micro 4/3 sensors users need to consider 35mm and 25mm lenses respectively). Once you learn how to use the standard lens well – so called because the image appears normal like that you perceive with your eyes – it becomes very effective as your default lens and as an added bonus is quite unobtrusive.This article in Picture Correct gives your some more good reasons to use that standard lens.
The use of filters on lenses can be contentious. Filters are a two edged sword. They can protect your lens from damage, they can remove unwanted reflections or help increase exposure or add a creative touch. But they can also degrade an image. Some of you may recall an image I shared at peer review of a car descending from Mount Panorama at Bathurst at dusk. The image had what looked like 2 horns in the upper left corner which were a result of a reflection from the lens glass onto the filter. Some filters can also make your images less than sharp. If you are going to use a filter, then choose carefully. An article by Roger Cicala at Lens Rentals compares a number of UV and protective filters objectively on a test bench – and the results are not always pretty. Roger has some interesting articles and tests a lot of gear for his business so look around the site too.
Right – now for some inspiration – and it uses some simple gear – a mirror. Admittedly a very large one! I came across some amazing images by Australian photographer Murray Fredericks of Lake Eyre in Feature Shoot and was very inspired by his website. Have a good look and see what you think of our own back yard.
To finish off, a bit more gear – 24 photos of old cameras (and I have a couple of these) in the Photo Argus. I bet that will get some of you talking…….