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  1. #1
    FM
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    New question here. Quick photography question- modes

    While I was laid up, I took a lot of landscapes and other static shots where I could shoot fully manual on my Canon A720, and work the ISO, aperture and shutter speed against each other. I have a good basic grasp on their interaction.

    Now that I'm riding again and taking action shots, I find it takes me 2-3 riders passing by to figure out the correct shutter speed using fully manual mode. So I'm trying to figure out what mode gives me the best balance of control and quick set-up. Keep in mind it's typically DARK here!

    Playing around in the house, Av seems like best option, since I can open up the Aperture (i.e. f2.8)to force quickest possible exposure in low light, but it still gives me control over ISO, and indirect control over exposure.
    P seems like the next best option, basically I only get control over ISO & flash. So I risk longer exposures since the camera wants greater depth of field.
    TV doesn't seem like much less work than shooting fully manual.

    Any thoughts from the Turner Photography Enthusiasts?
    Thanks for all the excellent photography tips so far, by the way!

    Token photo from a recent ride:
    (this was manual, f2.8, ISO400, 1/25)
    Last edited by FM; 01-16-2009 at 09:10 PM.

  2. #2
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    not a homer..

    (or is it meanie now?..can't tell w/ you guys )
    but...

    my suggestion , if your main priority is stopping action, is to use Tv (time-value) mode. I would suggest a S/S of 1/500-sec. to start (should freeze most action) and let your camera adjust the aperture. If, you're in some dark or shady areas, you may need to bump up the ISO as you increase speeds or use a flash-fill.
    Give it a *shot!
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  3. #3
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    I'm trying to figure out what mode gives me the best balance of control and quick set-up. Keep in mind it's typically DARK here!
    Man sitting on floor, in the corner, giggling manically, and mumbling: "Yes! Yes! Join me brother... the strait jackets are one size fits all!"
    Faster is better, even when it's not.

  4. #4
    FM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikezilla
    Man sitting on floor, in the corner, giggling manically, and mumbling: "Yes! Yes! Join me brother... the strait jackets are one size fits all!"
    Must be friday night, LOL

    Quote Originally Posted by highdelll
    I would suggest a S/S of 1/500-sec. to start (should freeze most action) and let your camera adjust the aperture.
    Cool, thanks I will try that.
    Looks like most of the semi-decent pictures I've taken manually, out in these woods recently were around 1/40 or 1/50 at ISO400, f2.8 and no flash. I've been trying to avoid flash/higher ISO but they are probably appropriate for the conditions!

  5. #5
    No, that's not phonetic
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    Quote Originally Posted by FM
    Keep in mind it's typically DARK here!
    Fill flash is the only thing that will save you.

    Let the camera meter to expose the background, and add enough fill flash to illuminate (and freeze) the rider. You will end up with a LOT of crappy shots, but when you get lucky and one pulls all the elements together, the effects are worth the bother.

    Even with a "fast" lense (wide aperture) and choosing a high ISO speed, you will still be facing long shutter speeds in the forest in winter. Panning smoothly with the rider's movement and adding fill flash will get you some compelling images.

    Edit: some specific suggestions- I always use aperture priority. Go as wide (low value) as possible to gather light and set flash to match or underexpose 1/3 stop relative to the metering of the background. If you are after a motion blur effect while panning with the rider, try to achieve about a 1/30 sec exposure. With a good pan that will blur the background but also give a short enough exposure to increase the likelihood that you will get parts of the rider sharp. Even if most of the rider is blurry and so is the bike, if the head is sharp, you have your shot.

    Flash, no panning:



    Panning, no flash:



    Panning with flash:

    Last edited by tscheezy; 01-16-2009 at 11:34 PM.
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  6. #6
    FM
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    good tip, thanks tscheezy.

  7. #7
    No, that's not phonetic
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    I edited my post and added some details...

    Experiment. That is the main thing. You will get a pile of really crappy shots, but that will teach you what doesn't work. I still toss 9 out of 10 shots. Luckily Barny is very patient with my shutterbugging.
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  8. #8
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    Meh, howz a pan-n-flash gonna show how big I goes if the gapper's all blurryz?
    Good tips, I'll play with them some.


    I was looking at the Cannon G10 today, and read the writeup on DPReview... Honestly other than full manual modes and a higher MP, I'm not seeing how it's going to get me better shots than my SD700IS... (same max 2.8 aper) Maybe I'll look at those bigger faux SLR cameras as they seem to have faster lenses. Besides for the G10 money I could start considering a Nikon D40. I'm resisting an SLR though. I just don't want to start down that road.(money bulk likelyhood I'll actually bring it)
    Faster is better, even when it's not.

  9. #9
    No, that's not phonetic
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    Most cameras today, even P&S cameras, are pretty "smart". If you turn the fill flash on with most modern cameras, they will automatically balance the fill flash to the overall background exposure.

    There is no silver bullet here when it comes to forest riding pics. Nothing is going to freeze all the action AND expose for the background shadows beautifully. There is not enough ambient light and the flash is certainly not going to do the job. Since you are probably going to end up with motion blur anyway, you may as well use it as a purposeful strategy.

    BTW- I have never been motivated to drag a dSLR around. I have always shot with cheapie Canon point and shoots. If they weren't up to the task, I figured I didn't need the pic that much anyway.
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  10. #10
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    FM, , , adjusting your aperture wide open, taking the ISO up, and adding fill light are all gonna help.

    I like to shoot in Av mode (rather than fully Manual) and let the camera calculate shudder speed. If it looks like shutter speed is gonna be too slow then I'll stop down the exposure compensation to increase shudder speed (- 1 stop EC = +1 stop shudder speed). Even if that makes the frame seem too dark initially, there's a good chance it can be recovered in post processing. I use Photoshop and am constantly amazed at the detail that can be brought out of what seemingly are way too underexposed frames.

    FWIW - in the newer SLR wars there's an arms race currently going on in the realm of ISOs that seems to be on par with megapixels. The new Canon 5d can go up to ISO 25600 and looks very usable at 3200 and 6400, , , its only a matter of time before that filters into P&S models. NOT suggesting an SLR for mountain biking, , ,

  11. #11
    FM
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    Awesome guys, thanks for the tips.
    Definitely some stuff to try for tomorrow's ride.

    I happen to be reading my camera manual for about the 10th time right now! Playin' with Custom White Balance and AF Lock.

    Took a bunch of photos hiking today, here's the best one I got:
    Attached Images Attached Images

  12. #12
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    Excellent shot FM!
    Faster is better, even when it's not.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by FM
    Awesome guys, thanks for the tips.
    Definitely some stuff to try for tomorrow's ride.

    I happen to be reading my camera manual for about the 10th time right now! Playin' with Custom White Balance and AF Lock.

    Took a bunch of photos hiking today, here's the best one I got:
    Dude!
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  14. #14
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    No need to reply except to say Tscheezy gave you perfect instruction on what to do/try. Damn fine tutolidge and images Tcheezy. A lot of people don't have any idea about forcing the flash on, or what panning is and they both can add so much to your images - as yours show. Panning with a slow shutter speed and fill flash can give you a really nicely lit image with a blury background - if you camera does rear curtain sync- like the one of Barney.
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??
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  15. #15
    No, that's not phonetic
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    Actually my Canon uses first curtain sync for the flash, unfortunately. If you pan then it is hard to tell which curtain the flash is synced to, but here is a pic where there is no question:



    Just remember to aim for the 1/30 sec exposure when doing motion blurs on riders, and practice the pan once or twice before the rider goes by. Any longer (e.g., 1/15 sec) and it gets really hard to get any part of the rider to not blur. You need the head/face sharp or all is lost. If you use a much shorter exposure (e.g., 1/60 sec) then the blur effect gets reduced to the point where the background just looks blurry but adds no sense of motion. All this of course depends on the focal length of the lens. I'm talking medium wide angle (around 30-35mm) which is what most P&S cameras use on the wide end. You could use a faster shutter speed when panning with a longer lens, or you would need a longer shutter speed with a wider angle.
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  16. #16
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    That's pretty impressive that Barney can ride backwards and at night too!
    A blind man searches in a dark room for a black hat that isn't there. Dashiell Hammett

  17. #17
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    Damn that's impresive Tcheezy, didn't know Barney could ride back wards Yup absolute front curtain sync give a way. That Canon's flash sure has some kick to it for a P&S.
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by tscheezy
    Just remember to aim for the 1/30 sec exposure when doing motion blurs on riders, and practice the pan once or twice before the rider goes by. Any longer (e.g., 1/15 sec) and it gets really hard to get any part of the rider to not blur. You need the head/face sharp or all is lost. If you use a much shorter exposure (e.g., 1/60 sec) then the blur effect gets reduced to the point where the background just looks blurry but adds no sense of motion. All this of course depends on the focal length of the lens and the speed of the rider. If the rider is moving at a good clip the background will blur at 1/60, or even higher.
    Important addition.

  19. #19
    FM
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    Thanks again for the tips!

    One thing thats cool about this A720 is that it does do 2nd curtain flash. Haven't messed with it much yet though.

    I took a few shots today, but it was pretty much a bust. Nothing worth posting unfortunately.
    I have been playing with custom white balance and a small grey card. Often it seems to make for a huge improvement in my colors, but today everything came out green.

    Another thing I noticed today, in Av mode, my camera does not seem to display what shutter speed it's using. Must be a way around this in the display settings.

    well thanks again for the tips, I understand the concepts and now I just need practice, practice, practice!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by FM
    ...
    I have been playing with custom white balance and a small grey card. Often it seems to make for a huge improvement in my colors, but today everything came out green.
    ...!
    For now, I would leave the WB (white balance) alone. The 'auto' mode is just fine for casual outdoor use. You got green-cast shots because you told the camera to expect a reddish light (incandescent or tungsten I believe).

    Another tip is to shoot in RAW mode if you have the capability. RAW mode bypasses 'all' of your camera's adjustments it does in it's computer and leaves all the original available data (I don't know if/why canon has not added this as of '09 for P&S) and does not compress the data. A well known hack, CHDK, ( http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/FAQ ) can be done to your camera I believe. It's totally non-destructive, and I have done it to my family members' cameras that it was applicable to with great results.
    RAW images are the best because you decide how a picture should be 'developed' (to a point) in an image processor like PhotoShop. You can adjust W/B, colorcast, contrast, etc.
    RAW Images, because they're not 'edited' and compressed (jpg) take up more memory, so that might be a draw-back for you.
    That said, It will not turn sh!t to gold...

    *EDIT - just so you know I'm not a complete hack, here's some shots (no bike content) - http://www.flickr.com/photos/highdel...7603964785585/ - an OK variety..
    Last edited by highdelll; 01-18-2009 at 08:56 PM.
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by highdelll
    RAW Images, because they're not 'edited' and compressed (jpg) take up more memory, so that might be a draw-back for you.
    Wait, is this the same guy who posted this bit of humor?

    "lenses- a wide angle lens distorts the scene and can sometimes warp your shot 'unfavorably'. while they definitely have their place, a 'normal' to longer lens will work towards your advantage."

    p.s. RAW images are often/easily compressed in-camera and the current camera settings are always applied to the file.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by curious george
    Wait, is this the same guy who posted this bit of humor?

    "lenses- a wide angle lens distorts the scene and can sometimes warp your shot 'unfavorably'. while they definitely have their place, a 'normal' to longer lens will work towards your advantage."

    p.s. RAW images are often/easily compressed in-camera and the current camera settings are always applied to the file.
    what's wrong with my statement? (unfavorably was in quotes - meaning that it distorts the scene - that's all)
    RAW images may be compressed, (i don't know what from...some other file format??...explain)
    settings, yes your settings; speed, aperature, ISO... are all the same but the camera's intenral processing are not.
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  23. #23
    FM
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    Quote Originally Posted by highdelll
    For now, I would leave the WB (white balance) alone. The 'auto' mode is just fine for casual outdoor use. You got green-cast shots because you told the camera to expect a reddish light (incandescent or tungsten I believe).
    many of our local trails are in mossy second growth with low light, green fir & cedar trees, and moss on everything. Pretty much %85 green everywhere. So I'm pretty sure the custom white balance can help- it certainly made for improvement on the non-action shots I took over the weekend. The CWB shots had vivid greens and golds, where the AWB shots had a bluish/purple tint going on. But maybe CWB may be too much hassle for action shots- I've often got only a minute to set these up before the riders appear.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shin Music
    I use Photoshop and am constantly amazed at the detail that can be brought out of what seemingly are way too underexposed frames.
    ^^ definitely! dodge and burn.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by highdelll
    what's wrong with my statement? (unfavorably was in quotes - meaning that it distorts the scene - that's all)
    Wide angle lenses do not have to distort the scene. Furthermore, suggesting that "regular" lenses or long lenses are better suited to capture the steepness of the terrain does not jive with my experience at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by highdelll
    RAW images may be compressed, (i don't know what from...some other file format??...explain)
    RAW files can by compressed, in camera, yielding "lossless" raw files and saving space on the capture media. Google "compressed nef" for more info.

    Quote Originally Posted by highdelll
    settings, yes your settings; speed, aperature, ISO... are all the same but the camera's intenral processing are not.
    That's a given in a RAW vs. jpg discussion.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by curious george
    Wide angle lenses do not have to distort the scene. Furthermore, suggesting that "regular" lenses or long lenses are better suited to capture the steepness of the terrain does not jive with my experience at all.



    RAW files can by compressed, in camera, yielding "lossless" raw files and saving space on the capture media. Google "compressed nef" for more info.



    That's a given in a RAW vs. jpg discussion.
    wide angle lenses distort - In my experience, this is true - If you know of one that doesn't I'd be interested in checking it out ( sorry I guess I never heard of such an animal) A distorted scene (barrel) will bend straight lines (ie. a 'slope') making it more difficult to depict a scene 'accurately'. Do you understand what I'm getting at?

    RAW files - I suppose I could've chosen my words more carefully. While you may have 'lossless' compression (like zipping a file) they are not compressed in the sense of going from 12-bit RAW to 8-bit JPEG (losing tons of information / gamma space forever) and will take up much more space on your card - that is all.
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  27. #27
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    I have to warn you guys

    All this technical talk of RAW vs JPG and wide angle distortion is just too much on this forum. It's interesting and all, and I personally know what ya'll are talking about, but this is after all a mountain bike forum with some photographers on it. Save all this in-depth stuff for the photography forums maybe. Unless I'm wrong and everyone else here is just eating up this back and forth shizz, in which case I'll just back away and let you two go at it.
    A blind man searches in a dark room for a black hat that isn't there. Dashiell Hammett

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by curious george
    Wide angle lenses do not have to distort the scene. Furthermore, suggesting that "regular" lenses or long lenses are better suited to capture the steepness of the terrain does not jive with my experience at all.
    Heh, nothing seems to jive with your experience. It depends on the desired effect, if you want to exaggerate or emphasise a slope, go for wide angle, but to show slope true, use a "long" lens.

    ALL lenses distort to some degree. There is no such thing as a perfect image because even your eye does not yield a perfect image, since it is essentially a lens. A near perfect image is an extremely difficult thing to achieve. (I am talking by thousands of a degree here, but it is distortion nevertheless).

    Wide angle lenses do distort, often quite noticeably such as hemispherical lesnes (like fisheyes), but not always. But make no mistake there is always a degree of barrel distortion present in a wide angle shot.

  29. #29
    FM
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    Hey I'm all for distortion!
    It sounds good on Guitars....
    And it makes for some rad biking pictures too!

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by FM
    Hey I'm all for distortion!
    It sounds good on Guitars....
    And it makes for some rad biking pictures too!
    Nice pic dude!

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by FM
    Hey I'm all for distortion!
    It sounds good on Guitars....
    And it makes for some rad biking pictures too!
    Me too!
    wide angles definitely have their place in photography
    plus I just brought up the CHDK hack / RAW thing because it's pretty useful for people with P&S cameras looking for more quality...totally didn't mean to Hi-Jack!
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by highdelll
    wide angle lenses distort - In my experience, this is true - If you know of one that doesn't I'd be interested in checking it out ( sorry I guess I never heard of such an animal) A distorted scene (barrel) will bend straight lines (ie. a 'slope') making it more difficult to depict a scene 'accurately'. Do you understand what I'm getting at?
    I understand what you are getting at, I just disagree.

    You claimed that a wide angle lens distorts the scene.

    A wide angle lens does not necessarily distort the scene. It depends upon how far you are from your subject, the background (especially linear elements) and a number of other factors.

    For example, please explain how the use of a 16mm fisheye "distorts the scene" here:




    Quote Originally Posted by highdelll
    RAW files - I suppose I could've chosen my words more carefully. While you may have 'lossless' compression (like zipping a file) they are not compressed in the sense of going from 12-bit RAW to 8-bit JPEG (losing tons of information / gamma space forever) and will take up much more space on your card - that is all.
    File compression means smaller file size. There are RAW files that are compressed.

    p.s. redrook, bugger off, you're out of your depth once again.

    p.p.s xcguy, if you don't care for the content of the conversation, stop reading. Simple, eh?

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by curious george
    File compression means smaller file size. There are RAW files that are compressed.

    p.s. redrook, bugger off, you're out of your depth once again.

    p.p.s xcguy, if you don't care for the content of the conversation, stop reading. Simple, eh?
    No I'm not, I know exactly what I'm talking about. At least i hope i do or i wont be getting a qualification or a job. Strange that ive lasted 4 years tho...hmm

    Also mate, its not so much a conversation with you, more a pointless, tedious argument. ta ta

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by curious george
    ...

    For example, please explain how the use of a 16mm fisheye "distorts the scene" here:


    ...
    If I had a comparison photo (same scene shot w/ a normal lens) I could tell you very easily. But, I don't, so I will explain the best I can...
    Either that was not shot with a 16mm fisheye ( no EXIF data in the image, so I can't tell for sure) or It has been 'rectilinear' corrected/mapped and/or cropped in post processing. Note the pine in the top-right corner - with an unedited (16mm fisheye) image it (the tree) would be bending towards the top-center.
    I'm done arguing...Sorry OP

    *EDIT - check this out for explanation - http://photo.net/learn/fisheye/
    Last edited by highdelll; 01-19-2009 at 06:42 PM.
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by curious george
    I understand what you are getting at, I just disagree.

    You claimed that a wide angle lens distorts the scene.

    A wide angle lens does not necessarily distort the scene. It depends upon how far you are from your subject, the background (especially linear elements) and a number of other factors.

    For example, please explain how the use of a 16mm fisheye "distorts the scene" here:






    File compression means smaller file size. There are RAW files that are compressed.

    p.s. redrook, bugger off, you're out of your depth once again.

    p.p.s xcguy, if you don't care for the content of the conversation, stop reading. Simple, eh?
    curious george, you sound a lot like bobsyouruncle, you know, the artist formerly known as Pete Fagerlin. I remember the last photography discussion we had here and you, I mean he, was right in the thick of it then. I could be wrong, but...you've both got the same condescending always-on-the-attack style. If you're not him you sure do sound like him.
    A blind man searches in a dark room for a black hat that isn't there. Dashiell Hammett

  36. #36
    No, that's not phonetic
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    Pete is WAAAAAY better at cutting people down.
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by highdelll
    If I had a comparison photo (same scene shot w/ a normal lens) I could tell you very easily.
    No you couldn't. Again, it depends upon how far you are from your subject, the background (especially linear elements) and a number of other factors.


    Quote Originally Posted by highdelll
    But, I don't, so I will explain the best I can...
    Either that was not shot with a 16mm fisheye ( no EXIF data in the image, so I can't tell for sure)
    It was shot with a 16mm fisheye, specifically a Nikon Fisheye AF Fisheye Nikkor 16mm f/2.8D.

    Quote Originally Posted by highdelll
    or It has been 'rectilinear' corrected/mapped and/or cropped in post processing.
    Nope, no correction, no crop, just typical post work like saturation, exposure, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by highdelll
    Note the pine in the top-right corner - with an unedited (16mm fisheye) image it (the tree) would be bending towards the top-center.
    Nope, and that's my point, your claim is inaccurate and you don't know what you are going on about.

    Here's the same photo with no modifications other than being re-sized/sharpened for the web, with the EXIF intact. I also included the EXIF info for you. I have many more examples of photos taken with wide angle lenses where the wide angle lens does not distort the scene, in case you are still struggling with that after looking at this example.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by xcguy
    curious george, you sound a lot like bobsyouruncle, you know, the artist formerly known as Pete Fagerlin. I remember the last photography discussion we had here and you, I mean he, was right in the thick of it then. I could be wrong, but...you've both got the same condescending always-on-the-attack style. If you're not him you sure do sound like him.
    Why are you still reading again?

    p.s. Your memory is not the greatest. The last time you had a meltdown in a thread where I was having a discussion it was a thread about video, not photography.

    p.p.s. Why are you still reading wannabe moderator?

  39. #39
    FM
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    Back to the topic at hand.....

    I am learning some interesting things!
    Yesterday I was trying the technique tscheezy suggested, using AE with fill flash (2/3 power) but I unknowingly had "slow sync" turned off. Much better with "slow sync" turned on now.


    Here's an excellent Tutorial I found on using slow sync.

    I also noticed that "slow synch" disappears from my menu when using Tv mode, which makes perfect sense.


    I am still struggling with finding the best ISO and flash strength settings when using Ae, to get good exposure. I can figure it out by shooting 3-4 "test" shots, but I doubt I'll have that luxury in the midst of a group ride.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by FM
    many of our local trails are in mossy second growth with low light, green fir & cedar trees, and moss on everything. Pretty much %85 green everywhere. So I'm pretty sure the custom white balance can help- it certainly made for improvement on the non-action shots I took over the weekend. The CWB shots had vivid greens and golds, where the AWB shots had a bluish/purple tint going on. But maybe CWB may be too much hassle for action shots- I've often got only a minute to set these up before the riders appear.
    That's why highdell's suggestion to look into CHDK is especially useful. If you can get a RAW file out of the camera, you can set the white balance at the computer, after the fact and not while your buddy is careening down that huge roller. White balance is only a tag that is used to squeeze your original sensor data into the color space of your choice. It doesn't affect the light reading of the sensor pixels.

    Canon used to have an option for RAW files even on point and shoot in the S series but a few years ago they abandoned it. A number of Canon P&S had their firmware reverse engineered and made available as a toolkit (CHDK). It is completely reversible and harmless to the camera and lets you control everything about the camera or even write scripts for remote capture, motion detection, etc.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by highdelll
    *EDIT - check this out for explanation - http://photo.net/learn/fisheye/
    That does not explain why the photo in question, and many other photos shot with that wide angle lens and other wide angle lenses, do not suffer from the "wide angle lenses distort the scene" business that you have been going on about.

    Again, it depends upon how far you are from your subject, the background (especially linear elements) and a number of other factors.

    What exactly is your photography experience? Googling "16mm fisheye rectilinear" (hmmm..what is the first link from that search? Interesting...that sounds familiar) doesn't count.

    p.s. nybike, nice long exposure shot there.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by curious george
    p.s. nybike, nice long exposure shot there.
    Thank you! It was also shot with a 16mm fisheye lens to reach all the way to the North star (center of the star trails).

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by curious george
    ..

    What exactly is your photography experience? Googling "16mm fisheye rectilinear" ....
    Academically ...
    2 years studying under Byron Wolfe
    1 year under Lorelle Lindquist
    (couple years of darkroom work in HS - but that was in the late 80's - can't remember the name )
    I know it's not much, but you can google them if you wish. (FWIW - I didn't google "16mm fisheye rectilinear" , It's just an old bookmark from photo.net - not that hard to do )
    Like I said, I'm done arguing ..................
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by FM
    I am still struggling with finding the best ISO and flash strength settings when using Ae, to get good exposure. I can figure it out by shooting 3-4 "test" shots, but I doubt I'll have that luxury in the midst of a group ride.
    Try this, shoot a bunch of frames at different ISO and figure out at what point your images become unusable because of too much digital noise (all the color dots). In my experience it's hard to shoot much past ISO 200 on P&S in low-light conditions (noise is particularly obnoxius in shadow areas), but sometimes you can get away with ISO 400. Once you find the highest ISO you are happy with, if you are shooting in the forest you'll need to set the camera at that ISO. Chances are, if you let the camera decide ISO on its own it will actually set it at a much higher value than your threshold.

    As far as flash is concerned, as you have discovered, there are two basic modes of operation: 1) flash as main light, 2) flash as fill light. In your "slow sync" mode you are using the flash as fill. On most camera bodies, the flash is supposed to compensate automatically to balance the foreground and background exposure. Typically, the results are a bit overflashed and so dialing in -1/3 or -2/3 flash exposure compensation tends to give good results. The exception is if the frame is filled with a very dark subject, in that case you will want to bring the flash exposure compensation down even more (about -1) or very white (compensate less, -1/3 or 0).

    Sometimes fill-flash leads to impossibly slow exposure times for handholding, in those cases you need to move away from this mode and use your flash as main light. Flash exposure compensation will become your main exposure adjustment dial, while the exposure knob (f stop) affects how far the flash reaches (google "guide number").

  45. #45
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    string monopod

    Panning and low-light photography can benefit from the use of a string monopod. It really helps to prevent camera shake and you can just wad it up in your pocket!
    It's probably the most cheapest-to-beneficial thing in my camera bag (mmm maybe my DIY flash diffusers are ). I googled 'string monopod' so you can see a step by step, but it's pretty self explanitory...
    http://www.instructables.com/id/String-Tripod/
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  46. #46
    FM
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    More good tips, thanks guys! And great shot by the way nybike1971.

    By the way, I had tried CHDK on my camera a while back. I figured I should get to know the camera better before I started adding even more features...but maybe worth another look.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by FM
    Hey I'm all for distortion!
    While this is something to be avoided in architectural photography, it can add an interesting element to outdoor or action images. I don't know why some folks have been so hung up on this point so far. A screaming wide-angle lens can create cool "environmental portraits" which basically put an action or subject in the context of the wider world.

    Of course you can also do this by photo stitching. If I shoot an action shot and the frame does not capture enough of the scene due to limitations in my available focal lengths or because of impossible extremes of exposure between the foreground and background, I will just shoot the subject and then take a series of other pics to record the rest of the scene and stitch them together in Photoshop or similar.

    Below are 3 different pics, all shot horizontally, but then stitched together one on top of the other to create a pseudo-wide-angle vertical. Here is Barny on the Big Boulder trail in Downieville with a rain squall across the valley:

    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  48. #48
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    Re: CHDK

    Quote Originally Posted by highdelll
    Another tip is to shoot in RAW mode if you have the capability. RAW mode bypasses 'all' of your camera's adjustments it does in it's computer and leaves all the original available data (I don't know if/why canon has not added this as of '09 for P&S) and does not compress the data. A well known hack, CHDK, ( http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/FAQ ) can be done to your camera I believe. It's totally non-destructive, and I have done it to my family members' cameras that it was applicable to with great results.....
    That said, It will not turn sh!t to gold...
    How true.. I've messed with CHDK, its kinda neat once you get it setup.
    In practice though, it slowed my compact Canon to a crawl. The "G" series
    has RAW mode, so I just use that if I need to.

    Practice, practice, practice. Work on your framing, rule of thirds
    the basics. Also, if your camera has a 'rapid fire mode' (where it will pop
    off a few frames by just holding down the shutter button) try that.. usually
    precludes using the flash though

    I'm a hack, some of my stuff is here

    Heck, I've even used the Kodak v1273 to take some crappy Video :-)
    (be sure to click the 'watch in high quality link')

    The rider with skills is Superstock btw

    The only reason I picked it up was for the HD video mode.
    As a camera, with no viewfinder, and that stupid touchscreen
    it blows. Takes nice photos though when you can see the
    LCD to actually compose a shot!!!

    I use Canon, s400, SD800, G3 and G6 as my main cameras.
    I'm likin the Nikon D90, but thats a lot of coin to throw towards a camera
    when it would be better spent on a new bike!

  49. #49
    TCB
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    Quote Originally Posted by curious george
    No you couldn't. Again, it depends upon how far you are from your subject, the background (especially linear elements) and a number of other factors.




    It was shot with a 16mm fisheye, specifically a Nikon Fisheye AF Fisheye Nikkor 16mm f/2.8D.



    Nope, no correction, no crop, just typical post work like saturation, exposure, etc.



    Nope, and that's my point, your claim is inaccurate and you don't know what you are going on about.

    Here's the same photo with no modifications other than being re-sized/sharpened for the web, with the EXIF intact. I also included the EXIF info for you. I have many more examples of photos taken with wide angle lenses where the wide angle lens does not distort the scene, in case you are still struggling with that after looking at this example.
    Sorry to say but the tree in your photo is distorted, all wide-angle and fisheye lenses will distort the image including rectilinear lenses. I shot this photo at 14mm with a Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 rectilinear lens and as you can see the image is distorted.
    CF15657G.jpg
    Last edited by TCB; 01-20-2009 at 10:34 PM.
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