Moderator: HAZ - Moderators
Using f22 is great for getting sunstars, or just getting a longer exposure, but it does have its drawbacks. For a dSLR, as the camera's aperture narrows (the numeric value in the f-stop gets larger as the aperture narrows) past usually f/11, diffraction begins to make the fringes of the photo become less sharp. By f/22, sharpness has deteriorated remarkably compared to say f/8. Not to say that I won't shoot f/22, but I only do so if absolutely necessary. In cases where I need depth of field (a strong foreground subject with an expansive landscape behind), I usually I try to go no narrower than f/16. Of course, I am also at a point where my equipment is frustrating me. My 18-55 lens is not super wide, and is nearly impossible to manual focus, especially if trying to hit the hyperfocal distance. My only saving grace is that at 18mm, to capture big landscapes with foreground subjects I usually have to step back from the foreground quite a bit, which definitely allows me some breathing room as far as achieving depth of field and getting in the hyperfocal neighborhood without manually focusing. Getting away with the technical mumbo-jumbo, my reasons for not shooting photos enough generally stem from working six nights a week (can't shoot sunset from a pizza kitchen) with the seventh night typically dedicated to spending time with my wife. I can do sunrises, I suppose, but when I work all night, getting up pre-dawn to drive all the way out to a good location usually does not work out. Not trying to sound like a complainer, just saying that I'll shoot any sunset with the camera set-up I have, it's just a problem of getting out there.burntlizard wrote:f22 seems to be a sweet spot for most great photos
You could be the greatest hunter in the world, but if you're hunting deer with a bb gun, then expect to come home hungry. Camera equipment matters a lot (mainly the lenses). Point-and-shoot cameras don't cut it when photographing birds unless you go to areas where birds are within range like at Gilbert Preserve or the Everglades. Even then, it's the equipment that sets the photographer apart from the rest.I agree with it, your only as good as your skill set.
I generally agree with a lot of what you say except for this. The persistent theme I hear in reading about/looking at wildlife photography is about getting close. I've been going to some of the national geo lectures they have at the mesa arts center (highly recommended, though they are sometimes too expensive for me given the subject. I got a great deal this last season by buying tickets on black friday). Some of the best photos that mattias klum (go look him up, hes got some national geo covers) has, I think, could've been taken with a compact, because he was so close. Gummo, you rock at getting close (maybe rock too well).gummo wrote:it's the equipment that sets the photographer apart from the rest
For wildlife (and sports photography) this is perhaps somewhat true, in order to get crisp telephoto shots in low light. However, just because you have a $3000 full-frame dSLR body with a 400mm lens strapped to it doesn't mean you will take a better photo than someone with a $100 point-and-shoot. Better equipment can expand your abilities, but only if you know how to use your skills, creativity and tools to do so. But tools CANNOT replace skill and creativity. That's the essence of what Lance's article is getting at. If you can only afford a $100 point-and-shoot, maybe photographing wildlife at sunset is out of the question, but use a rock pile as a tripod and shoot the sunset itself! Save up for the gear you want, but use what you have to its maximum capabilities, it can do much more than you might think.gummo wrote: Camera equipment matters a lot (mainly the lenses)
Wow, what an enlightening and stimulating conversation. Personally, I wouldn't be taking better photos if I upgraded right now especially, with the limited knowledge that I have. My mind set is what allows me to get decent wildlife shots, which is not very often, I try and think like a mammal(Gummo's advice), rather than blazing through the brush making noise. Sitting still and patience is a contributing factor, not really my gear. Although, my elbow and knee tripod still works wellhippiepunkpirate wrote:Better equipment can expand your abilities, but only if you know how to use your skills, creativity and tools to do so. But tools CANNOT replace skill and creativity.gummo wrote: Camera equipment matters a lot (mainly the lenses)
Not sure if "pro" is yet an appropriate term to describe me, but thanks! I would like to add that in this day in age, most people that own dSLRs would be best served to go another route. Not that dSLRs should be reserved for the elite, but we are to the point now where "super zoom" point-and-shoot cameras or even the great cameras in smartphones really do well for the vast majority of users. Past are the days of taking rolls of film to have developed, and most people will take a digital photo to post to them web, e-mail to friends and family, and mostly likely view their pics strictly via computer or some other piece of technology. Getting prints made seems to becoming more of an afterthought, and the average person that gets prints made is not enlarging to the point where a dSLR capture will make a substantial difference in print quality. If you aren't planning on printing at great quality at a large size, purchasing a $700 entry-level dSLR kit might not be the best value when your needs could be better served with a "super zoom" point-and-shoot that has a much longer telephoto range than a rinky-dink kit lens, not to mention the more versatile macro capabilities that a "super zoom" has. It might not have as big a sensor or the f-stop range, but if your just web-posting and making small prints, you will most likely enjoy the increased zoom and macro capabilities more than jump in image quality. Someone that is dead set on getting a dSLR will easily spend over $1000 just to get the same zoom capabilities, and if they aren't taking advantage of that big sensor and expanded f-stop, why save a few hundred dollars and pick up some other cool toys? And the capabilities of smartphone cameras are reaching the point where not carrying a camera is perfectly awesome for a lot of people when their smartphone takes essential the same photo as their cheap point-and-shoot set on auto. Plus, with awesome apps like Instagram that let you quickly browse through filters to get artsy with your photos, the person that simply wants to be more creative with the photos they post on the web now has an easy way to take sweet photos without even having to upload photos to their computer. Matt Hoffman (aka Hoffmaster who isn't really HAZ-active anymore) does dSLR photography, but also uses Instagram daily and has started an online store via a website that lets you sell canvas prints of Instagram photos. Matt is an experienced photographer who has been published in Backpacker magazine, and he has bought into the real capability of iPhones and other devices as being able to produce legitimate forms of photography. Yes, I shoot dSLRs and am constantly begging my wife (usually in vain) to let me buy new lenses and all sorts of other crap. But iPhones, Androids, point-and-shoots and beyond all have their own capabilities that can easily blow a dSLR out of the water. The difference is the person behind the camera, simple as that.burntlizard wrote:I'm blessed to have pro's like you two to learn from, thanks Gummo and Hippie.