The purpose of our ongoing Photography tutorials is twofold. First, to help you buy and learn from your first DSLR purchase. Secondly, to review and discuss exactly how DSLR images are and/or can be incorporated into your web pages. If you have been shooting with what is called a ‘point and shoot’ digital camera and you now want more control over the images you take, it is time to enter the world of the DSLR cameras. In choosing any Photography equipment, some pre-buy considerations should be taken as it is not the cheapest hobby to explore.
However, if you do not buy the right equipment, it can be very frustrating also.First, have a range that you are willing to spend for your entry-level setup. For our discussion here, we will set a range from $1000-$3000. We will also lean towards the entry level range of around $1000.00. Each Manufacturer of camera bodies and lenses will offer what is called an entry-level package. This consists of just the camera body and a lens.
We will outline Canon’s line of DSLR(s) as that is what I shoot with.The important thing until you decide to narrow your shooting preferences, is buy the kit and start shooting and learning. Canon offers many combinations in their Rebel series of cameras.
This is a great level to start at
The Rebel series cameras have the necessary features to enter the world of DSLR shooting and at the point you decide to upgrade, the controls will remain the same. The kit lens is usually the 18-55mm lens, perfect for the “walk-around” lens. This entry level kit is under $1000.00.There are a couple of different Rebel camera bodies, so look at each one and compare. Most camera stores will have them ready to shoot so you can actually try it.
If money is not a concern, or you know exactly what you want to shoot, please leave a comment or e-mail me and I will get back to you with more detailed information.In our next DSLR discussion, we will take a closer look at camera bodies and lenses.
If you look at all the camera bodies available, you will notice that there are many features on all bodies. Certain features like megapixels, frames per second, sensor size, and image size will be different. That is why in my first article, I briefly touched on tweaking your shooting preference.If Landscapes and still objects are your area of interest, then you may not need the same body or lens that, say, a sports photographer, may need.
That being said, the camera body has some importance in your decision, but the choice of the right lens takes a front seat to everything. Before we dive into lenses, I want to be sure that you have a good grasp on ‘What is Aperture’. Simply stated, aperture defines the depth of field in your picture, or even more simply put, it defines what is blurred in front of and behind your focal point.
The focal point is in most cases, that area you aimed at to take the shot. Probably 90% of all people use the center of the image as the focal point.The aperture of the lens is displayed in what is referred to as F-Stops. These may look like f2.8,f3.5,f5.6,f8.0,f11,f22. All lenses have their own set of aperture values. Depending on your shooting preference, these values can decide which lens you need to buy.
Actually, the aperture value displayed in the camera’s viewfinder comes from the lens. To help actually see the aperture value in motion,set your shooting mode to ‘AV’. Now, take some pictures of the same object changing your aperture values as you shoot. You should notice some blurring differences. An aperture value of f2.8 will blur much more that f22.
In closing, let me reiterate, that all lenses do not have the same f-stop values. More on Aperture in our next discussion: ‘Buying Your Camera Lens’.
Welcome back! Now that you have been shooting with your new DSLR and kit lens, you have at least some grasp of aperture and you have some idea of what you really enjoy shooting. Now it is time to talk about a lens that is specific to your needs.
You will notice as you start looking at lenses that features set the price, and can even be more than on the camera body. First, I would like to mention 3 terms that might help you in your lens purchase. Terms for Lens Talk? Zoom Lens? Fast or Low Light Lenses? Image Stabilizer Lens The IS and Fast Lens features can change the price as much as $1000.00.
This is why it is so important to really decide what your shooting preference is. Before I go any further, I would like to make a personal statement of my own selection history. Buy the Lens that you need to make your photography the best, most enjoyable, and less frustrating experience it can be.
Even though the price can be one of your strongest factors, do not let it be the deciding factor.Zoom Lenses cover such a wide area of use, it is no surprise they are the #1 seller. Along with being the top seller comes a higher priority in upgrades, as I’ve noticed over the last 8 years.
It is good to remember though, that a wide focal length zoom, say a 28-300mm will have more glass for light distortion. So if a 28-200mm will meet your needs, go with it. I think the best way to help you decide is look at some common shooting situations and apply what we know to each. By doing this, we can make a much better decision on our purchase.
I would suggest for all shooting situations if you plan to hand hold your camera or shoot in low light situations, then Canons IS is a feature you should include. If you are shooting primarily outdoors just about any zoom will do. When it is sporting events like soccer, football, etc. you may want to look at a longer zoom to bring the action closer.
If shooting indoors either a fast lens so no flash has to be used, or a regular zoom like a 28-70mm used with a flash. This would also be good for single or group pictures. The “Grand Poobah” of lenses could not end without my suggestion for the all around, most sought after, perfect lens there is, the Canon EF70-200L IS f2.8.
This is the most versatile lenses, there is. It can be used in any shooting situation, but excels in portraits and weddings.It is worth every penny you pay for it, but will set you back around $1700.00, but considering this may be the only lens you will ever buy, serious consideration should be taken.
I can assure you in all my lenses buys to save money, I could have had this lens a long time ago.So now that you are a little more armed, go out and look at these lenses. Get a feel before you buy. If you have specific shooting needs, please leave comment with email and I will be more than happy to address you needs.Next on the series is a discussion on Accessories | Tripods | Filters | Flashes ——- see you then Lets Look at what we know the size of your image is defined by the menu setting you have chosen in the camera. Most all DSLR’s have several choices for the JPEG mode and also the RAW mode.
In my Canon EOS10D, I shoot JPEG Large fine which will produce an image of 3024×2048 pixels. That is not a bad size for up to 8×10 photos. For the past 3 years, I have been focused on learning all I can about printing and what is involved. My discussion here is in no way designed to expertly cover the whole gamut of printing.
I am hoping to share what I discovered and hope it will help you in your choice to print at home or at a lab. There are several areas I will list for a quick reference, that will be discussed. * Monitor Calibration* Printer Profiles* Image Cropping* Image Sharpening* Saving and Naming Your Files* RevisionsMonitor Calibration Monitor calibration is the process of adjusting your monitor to the existing ambient light so that the colors you see on your screen are as close to perfect as they can be.
If the light in your room caused you to see the colors incorrectly, then you may adjust them to what seems correct and when you print them will be terrible. I am not going to get into this subject as it would take forever. The best thing to do is Google monitor calibration and check out the software that is made just for this. Profiling Your Printer This is a subject I looked at and tried for over a year. It is the process of matching how your printer ink is put on the paper.
The process starts with a target sheet
It will print rows of different shades of colors. The Company doing your profile will take this print you sent out and put it in a Spectro photometer which reads all the colors matching that paper and makes a profile. What this means is yellow ink may be applied to glossy paper differently than to matte paper.
If you get into this really deep you will have a printer profile for every paper you use.image CroppingIt is kind of redundant to say, “You need all the pixels you can to print the best possible image. If your first step is to crop your image, you will lose valuable pixels that may be needed for image sizing.
My advice is not to crop until you are ready to save for the last time. If you find that you have to continually crop to get the picture you had in mind, then rethink your focal length when taking the image and zoom in or get closer to your imagined subject.
Sharpening, I think, is one of the most misused tools in the post processing of images.
It seems to be the first thing people do so they can see a sharper image. When in reality they have now created something that all of their other post processes must interpret. I have 3 things I only do at the very end of my post process workflow, and I only do them once. 1. Apply all your post processes first2. Then Crop3. Then sharpen4.
And most importantly, save your work, but ONLY ONCE.
Saving & Naming Your Files
We started something that improved our printing a hundred fold. When you crop your image at the end of your work flow process, crop for what you are going to print. In Photoshop you can enter your crop values for width and height. We save 3 images from the original. A 4×6,5×7,and 8×10. This will orient the math that printing uses and cut down almost to nothing the clipping printing can do.
Also, if you want to remember your Photoshop steps, save a file in .psd format just for Photoshop. Naming your files to include the 4×6,5×7,and 8×10 will quickly let you know which is which for printing. A code could even be used like this. If 4 is for 4×6 then a file name might be Sisandme_4, Sisandme_5, and Sisandme_8. Now you have all 3 print sizes ready to go.
Two things will do this quite nicely. Shoot in RAW format so you can revisit original shot to apply new techniques. And, save the file, as we mentioned in a .psd format so you can edit the original post process. I sure hope this personal information helped you in your decision.