Thursday, August 7, 2008

FAQ

I get several emails from photographers each week asking about what kind of equipment they should get, what kind I use, what type of post-processing I do, or what settings I typically use for certain pictures. I try to reply to everyone, but I don't always have the time - so I've decided that every now and again I will post an FAQ with some of the most frequently asked questions. So if you have something you want answered - just email me and I will try and include it in my next FAQ post.

This week's FAQ:
Why don't you post your settings with your photos?
This is an excellent question - and I agree, being able to see the settings other photographers use is a great way to learn how a particular effect is achieved. I usually barely have enough time to post my sneak-a-peeks so recording the settings for each photo can be difficult and time consuming for me. However...one of my favorite tools of ALL TIME is the EXIF viewer! For those of you who don't know what exif data is; for an awesome explaination - click here.

Many photographers strip their exif data when they resize their photos for web. I try to avoid doing this so that I can go back and look at my exif data if I want to, or so that other photographers can take a peek as well. Firefox has a built in plugin for viewing exif data, or you can use an online viewer like THIS one to view the data by simply copying the web address of the picture you wish to view. In the recorded settings you can see what camera is used, the lens and focal length, settings, and even some information on what post-processing program is used.

What kind of camera should I buy if I want to take better photos?
This is a loaded question, because while camera's DEFINATELY make a difference in the quality of your photos, they will not automatically produce a professional looking image - especially if you plan to shoot in Auto. If you want professional looking photos, you definately need professional equipment - but there are several things that go into producing a quality photograph; some of which are composition, spot on focus & exposure, efficient settings to achieve a desired effect, and effective post-processing in your choice of digital darkroom. All of these important factors go into professional looking photos. Having said that...I'm a Canon girl and always will be. So I can't help but point potential buyers in that direction.

How do you find such great spots to use in your photographs?
One thing you have to remember is that you don't need a giant space where everything is perfect. Many of my favorite photographs were snapped in a 3x5 space that had something I liked about it. Maybe some vines, some old brick, or a little step. Often what you see in the photo is the ONLY great thing about the area I find. Yes, there are parks and ally's that have several great spots for shooting, but when keeping an eye out for great spots - learn to look for little areas that can serve your purpose without expecting a giant backdrop to go with it.

2 comments:

kandicejill said...

Heathen -- Freeda is taking me camera shopping tonight. I think I'm gonna buy the Canon XSi cuz I can't really afford the 40D right now plus they have a WICKED deal going right now for the XSi... soooo I'm excited!

Snow Family said...

Thank-you for sharing. I know too many photographers that don't spill any secrets because they don't want to share their craft. But the ameture can't repeat your eye and your true gift, but what mom, grandparent, aunt or uncle doesn't want to be able to take a better picture of their family. I appreciate any insight. You take beautiful pictures.