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40 Questions to Ask before Taking a Picture

Great, short article!!
12 years ago, May 5th 2010 No: 1 Msg: #110249  

12 years ago, May 6th 2010 No: 2 Msg: #110319  
41) If I've just travelled 5 hours on the train to take pictures in a new city, and I'm standing in front of the country's best-known sight with a perfect shot in my viewfinder, is my memory card still in my laptop at home?


J. Reply to this

12 years ago, May 7th 2010 No: 3 Msg: #110382  

12 years ago, May 9th 2010 No: 4 Msg: #110515  
Just shoot (digitally, of course) F8 and be there! Reply to this

12 years ago, May 10th 2010 No: 5 Msg: #110581  
Always good advice Brett and Julie, but sometimes it pays for people to think a bit about their pictures. The more thought you put in before you shoot the better your pictures tend to me. With that said, "F8 and be there" was a mantra used by photo-journalists who didn't have a ton of time to think. Sometimes you miss opportunities if you think too much. But, if you're standing in front of a beautiful castle, you have time to frame your shot and think about what you hope to achieve!

Mike T.
Moderator Reply to this

12 years ago, May 10th 2010 No: 6 Msg: #110585  
I swear my father used to run down this list audibly before taking pictures of my sister and I as kids. It went something like "Oh, stop right there, that's perfect. Okay I gotta adjust this for the lighting... wait, no don't move. One second....let me move this and then ... be patient! I just have to .... oh come on, why aren't you smiling anymore?!?"

Haha. So yes, time and place for everything.

- Stephanie
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12 years ago, May 11th 2010 No: 7 Msg: #110661  
I totally hate when people take too long when taking pictures of people. Asian's are sometimes guilty of this issue. When you're waiting to take a picture and there's a family in front of you taking a half a hour to take the same picture, I get impatient!!! So, good point Stephanie, sometimes its best to run through this list quickly or not at all!!!

Mike T. Reply to this

12 years ago, May 12th 2010 No: 8 Msg: #110738  
Point taken Mike,
I love to shoot what I "see", regardless of whether it's of spur of the moment or 'frame the constant' statues etc. I see it in my head (eyes) and try to emulate.
I haven't played with or had an SLR (or DSLR now) for just over 20 years so am still trying to playing with settings etc - some work, some don't!
My main focus (apart from trying to create what I see) is light and depth of field. I love a good sunset and especially with something in front of it - a challenge for me to get it right, I will admit.

Post production helps but getting it right first/second time without any 'work' is satisfying to me anyway. You can fine tune a photo post production but the essence is in the original - 40 things (I think my head tries to compute that + some!)= everything to me...point, shoot, play, learn, enjoy! Beauty is in the eye of the beholder...!

Looking forward to getting the 'art' down, then investing in some decent lenses - playing with the basics thus far.

BTW - I love your shots - very impressive

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12 years ago, May 13th 2010 No: 9 Msg: #110816  
Thanks Brett,

Some advice for the sunset + something in foreground.
A) A tripod plus a graduated neutral density filter can accomplish wonders. If you haven't heard of one, they are a piece of glass that is half dark and half light. This allows you to position the dark section over a bright object (e.g. the sunset) and achieve a more equal exposure. thus the foreground looks lighter in relation to the sunset. the common problem with sunsets is that they are usually beautiful while everything else is dark. Here are some examples:

The photo with the tree was taken while merely hand holding the camera while the picture of Santorini was shot using a tripod and neutral density filter. As you can see the Greek picture isn't perfect (I'm always learning too) but the foreground is much lighter in comparison to the sunset.

B) The other option, if you have a small object, if to use a flash (an off camera or hot-shoe flash will work) and compensate for the bright sky by making the foreground brighter too. this is the technique used by portrait photographers when they want a sunset and smiling faces in front of it. This can be a tricky technique because you are usingte flash as a fill-flash instead of the usual super-bright flash. thus, you can't trust the flash on auto and have to change the settings manually. The first time you do it, your model might get really bored. Thus, by time the flash is right they're no longer smiling!

This picture was created with a tripod and fill flash (took 15 takes or more) and its still not perfect. Gotta learn sometime, right!

Mike T. Reply to this

12 years ago, May 13th 2010 No: 10 Msg: #110851  
Thanks Mike,
I do have some Cokin ND filters (and various others - 30 odd), recently purchased second hand and have had a little play. I have not brought any on my travels though (mistake - had to down size due to space, regrettably! - travelling light with no tripod but have found my remote shutter handy for a few night shots) Your advice is excellent and it makes perfect sense - thanks again and we will actually be in Oia in about 3 days - see how we go.

Thanks again Mike, excellent advice (and understandable) Have you dabbled in post production "redemption" for want of a better word? I prefer to get it right or close the first time and perhaps 'enhance' or 'improve' later - photoshop etc...? Would love to hear your thoughts on RAW also - is it worth the space?

Cheers and thanks again.

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12 years ago, May 14th 2010 No: 11 Msg: #110911  
I do shoot exclusively in RAW as it allows me more freedom to reset white point and color balance in post production. I use Adobe Lightroom for my RAW conversion after I've done slight sharpening, spot touch-up and color/contrast work. After converting to JPEG I do B&W conversion and any other work in Photoshop. I find that the extra size of the pics is really worth it.

When traveling for more than ten days I carry a laptop and extra harddrive for capturing edited and unedited pics. While heavy I find that the extra weight is totally worth it.

Of course, with all that said, there's only so much you can do to pictures if you've completely screwed up the exposure. You can try doing some HDR sort of stuff where you combine multiple exposures to get a better balance but I find this to be pretty artificial. Reply to this

12 years ago, May 14th 2010 No: 12 Msg: #110928  
Thanks again Mike,
I am not happy with leaving my filters behind, but am carrying the laptop and external hard drive as I figured my cards were not going to cope. This particular trip is very much an experiment for me, renewing lost 'abilities' and familiarizing myself with photography again. Not disappointed with the results but on a few occasions, I know better could have been achieved - live and learn.

I've been shooting in RAW and JPEG simultaneously (To be honest, I don't know exactly why but I figured there may be some method to my madness!?) Using the JPEG's to update Family etc and the RAW's for when i get home to play...Again, love your work and all the best to Team Turner.

Kindest regards
Brett & Julie

(PS) If you're ever in Melbourne (Australia) shoot me a message and we can buy you guys a beer/wine. Reply to this

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