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just a camera question

Travel Forums Travel Photography just a camera question

1. Posted by starlight2 (Full Member 108 posts) 7y

okay so on my trip this summer i want to take a lot of photos, my camera can hold up to 800 photos, but i have 2 memory cards.

so thats not really my question. my question is, what should i do to make my photos really nice? i mean i see some people who take photos with a worse camera than mine yet their photos always look REALLY clean, defined, and professional. I'm not bad, but my photography skills are only taking pictures with my friends and for myspace, :P haha. I know angles make photos look better sometimes too.

anyways is it all just photoshop?

this is my camera

canon SD600

http://www1.sanjosecamera.com/sanjosecamera/images/Canon-SD600-thmb.jpg

2. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4428 posts) 7y

Probably the most important thing for taking good photos with any camera is to know how light affects a photo. The same location looks radically different in the hour before sunset than it looks at noon under a blue sky.
In general, the light in the hours around sunset and sunrise is the nicest to work with. You don't want what you are photographing to be in shadow - but rather to be struck by the light, which is much warmer, yet softer, than at any other time of the day.
Overcast but bright days suck for taking photos of landscapes - the sky will appear completely white, or the camera will try to compensate for that, making everything else appear really dark. But conversely these days mean there's no harsh shadows, so they're really good for taking photos of people and objects. Just always try to either 1) be higher than what you're photographing on such days, so that there's no bright sky in the background, or 2) have some kind of non-sky backdrop behind what you're photographing (mountains, large buildings, leafy trees), or 3) again wait till the sunset/sunrise hours, when the sky isn't nearly as bright. :)
Overcast days that feature dark and stormy clouds are wonderful though, as they both allow you to take photos of people and objects with harsh shadows, and are dark enough to let you take landscape photographs with lots of sky that isn't too bright.
Bright sunny days can be nice for taking landscape photographs, as long as you take care to avoid harsh shadows in the foreground. If you take photographs of people on these days, take special care with where the sun is located. You don't want the people squinting into the sun, but you also don't want the sun located directly behind them, as that'll cause their faces to be really dark (unless you use flash to counteract that, which is a decent tactic). Finally you want to avoid any shadows from nearby objects (trees, buildings etc) falling over people's faces.

Knowing these things intellectually is one thing, but applying them mostly takes a lot of practice (and then after you have that, you'll learn that there's always time to break these rules, as they're really more like guidelines anyway). :) Probably the most important ingredient for it all is patience - wait for the light to be just right, wait for yourself to learn the location, to see the angles and possibilities. There's no harm in taking some photographs right away, but you'll often see that the more time you take for figuring out how and from where to take the best photo possible, the better the result will be. That really holds for pretty much anything in life, I guess. :)

Finally, Photoshop definitely has a place, but it's more in the realm of fixing up mistakes, and getting the last 10% of quality for presentation out of a photo. Cropping is something I really appreciate Photoshop for. I always judge the minutiae of composition better if I can experiment with it on a large screen. And straightening horizons is just wonderful. :) But if the basic photo wasn't there, Photoshop would be powerless.

3. Posted by starlight2 (Full Member 108 posts) 7y

thats a lot sander ^^!!!!!!!!

4. Posted by Q' (Moderator 1987 posts) 7y

The one thing I see in every photograph taken by someone who doesn't know what they're doing is; there is no story, no message, no theme.

Knowing all the photoshop, having all the gear, knowing all the camera tricks won't help you at all.

5. Posted by starlight2 (Full Member 108 posts) 7y

Quoting Q'

The one thing I see in every photograph taken by someone who doesn't know what they're doing is; there is no story, no message, no theme.

Knowing all the photoshop, having all the gear, knowing all the camera tricks won't help you at all.

Well I think the point of taking a photo is to log your trip, that's a story in itself. Mostly I'll be taking pics of my and my friends. Some landscape ect ...

6. Posted by starlight2 (Full Member 108 posts) 7y

Sadly someone stole my camera from my home last week :[ ... not sure when I'm getting a new one [deff before japan trip though i hope!] .. my sister owes me one because it was because of her party she threw at the house it got stolen.

7. Posted by kirk1978 (Budding Member 12 posts) 7y

Quoting starlight2

Sadly someone stole my camera from my home last week :[ ... not sure when I'm getting a new one [deff before japan trip though i hope!] .. my sister owes me one because it was because of her party she threw at the house it got stolen.

Ouch! that's sucks

well.. back to the question.
this is what i always tell my GF, since she got the same complain, how come we are at the same location, same (or worse) camera. how come my picture looks better than hers.
0) make sure you are at the right setting, including picture size, lighting, white balance, etc.
1) in the viewfinder (or the LCD nowadays), use your eye to "focus" (as in pay more attention kind of focus, not optical focus, which the camera will take care of!) on the object/people you want to get in. dont' just blindly try to fit the whole scene/background in.
2) take a few pictures, dont' just take one, take more with different setting.
3) imagine dividing the picture in 9 equal size rectangle, by drawing 4 lines just like setting up a tic-tac-toe. place your object of interest at one of the 4 intersections. somehow our mind process that way!

i am sure there are alot more out there, some i can't think of now. but try these first. I am not expert, i am sure there are tons of ppl take better picture than i do.

8. Posted by exkay (Full Member 3 posts) 7y

It's more about the understanding.

do some read ups on Photography, understanding the basics of how to manually expose a picture does help greatly. Some might disagree with this as to learn manual might take some time and effort, and not to forget tonnes of practise and patience.

The next thing is understand how your camera works under different mode. Understanding your gear will make you more well prepared, not to mention you'll know how to "trick" your camera into taking pictures of your desire effects, all in all it still goes back to learn the basics of manual exposure, or at least understand how it works.

after understanding the two things mentioned above, the next best thing to do is to practise, practise and practise.

Be different is next. If everyone from the same tour bus of yours is taking the pics from the same angle at the same object at the same time, chances are your pictures will look boring and mundane. You can take a few pics from the similiar angle to note your arrival on that place, but scouting around at a lower angle, or higher angle does give you a more interesting angle.again, Be different.

but still it all boil down to how much practise you do. not to forget, an understanding of the subject matter that you're taking would help greatly too, this is where internet comes in handy, look and study about the place you're about to go, check out some pictures that people take, at least you'll have some insights on what to shoot or what will you see.

Photography basics by Mr.Kumon from Nikon.co.jp

The link above might seem to be created by Nikon, but basically all cameras work the same way and hence you can actually understand the basics of manual exposure thru this website. of course you can learn about the other things in his other tutorial too.

Have fun.

9. Posted by exkay (Full Member 3 posts) 7y

Quoting starlight2

Well I think the point of taking a photo is to log your trip, that's a story in itself. Mostly I'll be taking pics of my and my friends. Some landscape ect ...

Simple, take a look at these photos one is taken by me, another by a forummer in www.lowyat.net.

tell me how do you feel.

Photo #1]

Photo #2

10. Posted by sachman (Budding Member 5 posts) 7y

Wake up early, stay out late, a subject/scene can take on a distinctive new look just before the sun rises, or just after it sets. Of course if you have tripod as well, some long exposure shots will produce interesting shots.
So you've found a scene to shoot, take the shot, and then turn around, they may be an even better perspective behind you.