New to Photography

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by dab_20, Feb 19, 2007.

  1. dab_20

    dab_20 TPF Noob!

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    Hey everyone, I'm new here and new to photography. I've been trying to learn the basics by reading books and just messing with my camera... it's proving to be quite difficult. I'm really willing to learn, as I want to be a photographer when I'm older. Can any of you explain to me what White Balance is? I think I understand how to set ISO now... isn't it the brighter it is, the lower ISO you should use? When I photograph inside, I use 100 but if it's too dark I use a higher ISO. If it's too high my pictures come out grainy looking. So I think I'm starting to get it. Well anyways, any tips would be appreciated.

    BTW, I use an Olympus Evolt E-500.

    Here's just a few pictures I've taken that I particularly like.

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  2. shingfan

    shingfan TPF Noob!

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  3. xfloggingkylex

    xfloggingkylex TPF Noob!

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    White balance is used to get a "white" white. To see this in action put your camera on auto white balance and take a picture inside (especially at night) with the room being lit by regular incandescent bulbs. Don't use the flash as this will mess up the demonstration. set it on a table to avoid blur if you don't have a tripod.

    Now, go into your camera's white balance settings and select tungsten as the type of white balance. It may be represented by a picture of a light bulb. Take the same picture again and compare the two pictures. You'll notice that the second picture looks a lot more like what you see. White objects are white and other colors are natural looking. In the first picture everything will be warm looking (too much red/orange/yellow) due to the color of light that tungsten bulbs put out. Most fluorescents put out light that is whiter and closer to daylight than tungsten bulbs (your camera probably has a florescent white balance [WB] as well for this purpose).

    on the flip side of this, in the daytime take a picture with your white balance set on tungsten and you'll very quickly see things through the eyes of a smurf. This is because to compensate for the yellow/red tungsten light the camera basically adds a blue filter to the picture. leaving it on that WB setting leaves the filter on and so natural light becomes much more cool (the term used for blue-er light).

    Basically what white balance does is compensate for the color of the light in the picture so that your pictures are natural looking.


    EDIT: Some advice, when you post pictures make sure you add a space or two between each shot so they don't blend together, and it is also good habit to number the shots so it is easier for people to comment on them. I love your first shot, great use of depth of field (DOF) to blur the background. Photo number 3 suffers from incorrect exposure. Your camera is probably set to evaluative metering, and as a result the exposure is based on the entire picture, with certain parts having more weight than others. The problem with this is that your subject in the center needed more exposure and your background which was much larger needed less exposure. The result is your camera tried to make the most pleasing picture by having the majority of it exposed properly, leaving your bird too dark. To combat this you can either use exposure compensation to make the picture brighter, overexposing the background but properly exposing the subject... OR you can switch your metering mode to something like spot metering. With spot metering instead of the camera evaluating the entire scene it simply takes whatever is in the center of the frame and exposes properly for that. The result is the same either way.
     
  4. EBphotography

    EBphotography TPF Junkie!

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    ISO is used to describe how sensitive film is to light, and in digital cameras it basically means how reactive the camera is to light. In bright situations you can use a low ISO because you don't need a high sensitivity. But why not always use a high ISO, so it is that much faster? Easy, because as ISO increases the general quality of the photo decreases. As ISO increases to high numbers such as 1600 you will see an increase in grain, which in most cases is not the look you are going for.

    Eric.

    Edit: Of your pictures, the first is my favorite, you did an excellent job with that one. Something to improve upon would be your parrot photo, where the parrot is very dark and it's surroundings are very light. This can be solved by setting your shutter/aperture so that the parrot is correctly lighted, and the background is not.
     
  5. Icon72

    Icon72 TPF Noob!

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    The orange flower in the first one is very nice.
     
  6. dab_20

    dab_20 TPF Noob!

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    Thank you all so much for explaining it to me. I think I will take my camera out and try your tips tomorrow!
     
  7. EOS_JD

    EOS_JD TPF Noob!

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