Photography Tips and Hints

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I figured I'd start a thread for photo tips and hints! What is your photo secret to get the best shot? 

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I'll start with another tip I learned from my crime scene photography class.

Macro photography, or photography that has the camera/lens close to the subject matter, has a VERY small depth of field (the area that will be in focus). What this means is that any object that you are photographing that is not flat and all the same distance from the lens has a great possibility of being partially out of focus. If you focus on the front of the object, the background and possibly the sides will be out-of-focus and soft. If you focus near the way back of the product, the front of the object will be out of focus. 

If you want everything in focus, focus on the middle of the subject matter. So that may mean you will be focusing not in the center of the image, but off to the side. 

 

internetchick

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Everything I know is in my Photo Guide lol. I'd love to take a class.

 
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I built a tent light to get the best lighting for some of my smaller items.

I'm still figuring out my camera and until then, use my iPhone for most of my photos.

 
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I learned another trick today!! And Im so excited about it.

Are you ever bummed that your flash is too bright? And even on the lowest flash setting it still just ruins the entire image? 

Place a finger (that is smaller than the width of your flash, for me it is my pinkie) in front of the flash, right in the middle. Dont put it so you are touching the flash, but hold out your finger about an .5-1inch away. You'd think that the image will have a big ol dark spot, but the light will diffuse around the finger and spread out on both sides evenly.

I was so skeptical, but I just tried it and it worked! I went from a blurry light mess to a perfectly exposed, gorgeous picture!

 
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omg... i just tried this. thanks for the tip. what are you ladies shooting with?

 
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Yay! Im glad it worked for you!

I use a Canon Powershot S95 for all the photos that I have taken on my blog. All the photos were without a flash, but now that I learned this tip, who knows!

But I have a Nikon D3100 in my possession for my schoolwork (so mine until May), but I haven't yet used it for my blog photos. But now that Im more comfortable with it, Im going to try using it next week. We have the option of buying the camera after the class, but we have to buy the ENTIRE kit and I have no use for a gigantic telephoto lens and that is a massive portion of the price! 

 
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awesome! i have a D3100. it's my first DSLR and I absolutely love it. I've had for almost a year and I have yet to learn  everything about it. If you ever have the oppurtunity to try the 50mm and 35mm I'd love to hear your feedback. I have a 50mm and wanted to invest in a35mm as well. I'm just not sure if it's reasonable to have both.

 
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you have just a single focus 50mm lens? 

I have the 18-55mm lens that came with the kit and the 70-300mm telephoto lens.

I would definitely recommend investing in the 18-55mm lens if you don't have it or at least a 35mm single focus lens. The digital sensor on the Nikon D3100 is smaller than a full-size sensor which means that it wont capture the same amount of detail as a full-size. Instead it ends up with a cropped view. The amount of reduction is called the focal length multiplier, and our camera has a 1.5 focal length multiplier since it doesn't have a full-size sensor. So an image on a full-size sensor camera with a 50mm would appear to be what the eye would see and is considered the normal lens, but for our camera, a 50mm lens will show a cropped view, which basically means that on a normal camera that same exact image would require a (50 x 1.5 = 75mm) 80mm lens. 

So for our camera, a normal lens is not actually 50mm. If you want a lens that shows the world how your eye perceives it we would need (50mm / 1.5 = 33.33) a 35mm lens :) /emoticons/smile@2x.png 2x" width="20" height="20" />

So yeah, I'd for sure recommend having a 35mm. But dont think you only can buy a nikon lens, generic brands can do the trick at a cheaper price. Just make sure the lens has a warranty and good reviews and you are good to go. But it is better to have a multiple focal lens since you can play around with your scene easily. 

 

internetchick

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Originally Posted by snllama /img/forum/go_quote.gif

I learned another trick today!! And Im so excited about it.

Are you ever bummed that your flash is too bright? And even on the lowest flash setting it still just ruins the entire image? 

Place a finger (that is smaller than the width of your flash, for me it is my pinkie) in front of the flash, right in the middle. Dont put it so you are touching the flash, but hold out your finger about an .5-1inch away. You'd think that the image will have a big ol dark spot, but the light will diffuse around the finger and spread out on both sides evenly.

I was so skeptical, but I just tried it and it worked! I went from a blurry light mess to a perfectly exposed, gorgeous picture!

Never heard of this before! I will have to try it next time I use my point and shoot.

aleeeshuh, I use a Canon T3i and my point and shoot is a Sony Cybershot DCS-HX9V

 
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Quote: Originally Posted by aleeeshuh /img/forum/go_quote.gif

omg... i just tried this. thanks for the tip. what are you ladies shooting with?
My camera is a Nikon Coolpix S4100 Digital Camera but I'm having difficulty figuring out the settings for some of the pics I want to do (mostly close ups). I'm sure its something stupid easy but I cant seem to get them adjusted correctly. So while I learn that, I'm using the camera that came with my iPhone

 
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No I actually have a 18-55 as well. I invested in a prime lens because I like the aperature better. I'm definitely going to invest in the 35mm.

Originally Posted by snllama /img/forum/go_quote.gif

you have just a single focus 50mm lens? 
I have a Sony Cybershot DSC-TX7. My first digital camera was a Sony in high school and I've been loyal to them since! :) /emoticons/smile@2x.png 2x" width="20" height="20" /> It's nice to be able to bring something compact in my clutch rather than a HUGE D-SLR!

Originally Posted by internetchick /img/forum/go_quote.gif

aleeeshuh, I use a Canon T3i and my point and shoot is a Sony Cybershot DCS-HX9V

 

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I have not been able to get the finger in front of the flash thing to work. :/

 
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Originally Posted by internetchick /img/forum/go_quote.gif

I have not been able to get the finger in front of the flash thing to work. :/
do you have your finger far enough away that it isn't touching? like at least a half inch or more? 

Plus it has to be a finger that is small enough that the light can diffuse on both sides of the flash still.

 

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Originally Posted by snllama /img/forum/go_quote.gif



do you have your finger far enough away that it isn't touching? like at least a half inch or more? 

Plus it has to be a finger that is small enough that the light can diffuse on both sides of the flash still.
I think so, but I can try it some more.

 
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It took a few shots for me too, but I got it to work. But the camera still has to be at the optimal distance for the flash to work. I was maybe a 7inches-foot from my product when I tried it. 

If not try putting white tissue paper over the flash to act as a diffuser. 

 
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Another tip!

I hate when Im taking photos of something square and end up with some disfiguring of the corners. The trick is not to use the extreme focal lengths of your camera. So if you have multiple lenses, use one of the middle lengths.

Example, my camera is 28mm-80mm, both the 28 and 80mm are more likely to cause lens distortion. Instead I use 35 or 50mm. 

If that doesn't completely fix any barrel distortion issues or your camera only has one focal length, don't fill the frame with the object you are photographing. Keep the object centered and away from the edges of the frame. Then in your photo editing software edit out everything but the object and you will notice that the distortion will be much less or completely gone :) /emoticons/smile@2x.png 2x" width="20" height="20" />

 
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I use a Canon and have been shooting from a birds eye view sort of angle. I usually stand on a chair to get good shots of the products that I lay out. I've also found that using a neutral background (like a white or wood surface) makes the products pop.

 
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