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Thread: Camera Noob

  1. #1
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    Camera Noob

    Hello all,

    I have searched over this forum, but havent found what I am looking for. I would love to document my rides and have seen a lot of good pics that you guys and gals hve taken. My question is how ? I seem to only get crap pictures . What cameras are you all using, settings? just need a little of friendly help. Thanks all.
    MEH.... I need beer

  2. #2
    Moosehead
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    any small point and shoot digital will work, biggest tip is to clip your camera to your camelback strap in a camera or phone carry case so it's easy to pull out and take many shots. it's a different mindset to seek out and stop for photos while riding vs just letting it rip.

  3. #3
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    Post a picture so we know what you think a "crap" shot is.

  4. #4
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    There's a decent thread/blog on shooting mtb over on ridemonkey, plus the usual discussion to either derail the subject or to totally geek out.

    What I've found, and the article speaks to it, is that with a point and shoot you have to trick all the auto-stuff. So panning with the subject, pre-focusing, and ensuring good light are always going to be key.

    Here's the thread, from the first post you can get to the article.

    I actually have the same 850IS Canon Digital Elph he talks about and agree. I'd love to try the G series but they aren't as compact.

    I am no expert, but I know there are several peeps on this board who take great shots, perhaps they'll add some insite.
    Biker? I don't even know her.

  5. #5
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    The biggest problem with point and shoot camera's is the shutter lag time, the time between pressing the shutter release button and the actual event of the shutter opening.

    If you are doing static shots not such a big deal, but if you want to get action shot ( wich is where the best shots come from) you need a faster shutter lag time.

    conveinince is also important, you have to be able to get the camera ready to shoot relativley easily, a pouch on the shoulder strap of your pack works well.

  6. #6
    ~Disc~Golf~
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    ok... where to begin...
    first, it would be nice to know; what camera you are using, what you are trying to shoot[ie. action, landscapes, portrait - since this is a mtb forum i'll focus on action] and what you think is a crappy photo.

    ok, the basics...
    a camera simply put, is light capturing/recording device.
    there are three major controls on a camera which affect how that light is handled.
    1- shutter speed- controls the duration of exposure. a faster s-s will 'freeze' the action better than a slower one. it also lessens the light entering the camera. so for a proper exposure, sufficient light must be balanced with the speed of your subject. for stopping motion, shutter speeds above 1/125 of a second usually do the trick, although faster speeds like 1/500 will do a better job of freezing spokes[ that may or may not be the effect you're after].
    2- aperture or f-stop [see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F-number]- controls the amount of light by an 'iris' similar to that of your eye. a bigger opening [lower f-stop #] lets in more light; conversely, a smaller opening [higher f-stop] lets in less light. naturally, the lower the f-stop[bigger opening], the faster your shutter-speed can be.
    but, something to think about, the aperture also affects the 'depth of field' or the amount of focus from the foreground to the background. you may have noticed photos where the subject was in focus and the background was blurry [bokeh] - often seen in portraiture; this was accomplished by having a low 'f-stop' [big hole]. in photos where everything is in focus [landscapes, commonly] a higher f-stop was employed. i find a happy-medium between the two works nicely for action, although this is just preference - there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to your personal aesthetics.
    3- ISO - this controls the sensitivity to light. with film, ISO is determined by the photo-sensitive 'grain' size; with digital, it is electronically controlled at the sensor. just know this; the lower the number [100iso typically] the less sensitive to light, but less 'noise' - better picture quality; the higher ISO [say 800-1600] is more sensitive to light- allowing for faster shutter-speeds and/or higher ISO's; but more noise or pixelation [improper term] results.

    all of these controls generally work on a factor of '2', meaning that, for instance,a shutter-speed of 1/125 lets in twice as much light as 1/250; or ISO of 200 is half as sensitive as ISO 400. if you get all of these in the right balance, you will have a decent exposure - generally.

    next, i will go over how to use these controls practically on your camera. i'm sorry if all this is generalized and maybe basic, but a photographer needs to understand the generalities if he/she can even expect to get good pictures consistently.
    think of any questions while i go for a beer-run
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  7. #7
    Inflexable...
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    Auto will work for most shots.
    A bigger lens is usually better and more expensive.
    Shutter speed is critical for most action shots. The faster the better.
    Light is your friend.
    Shoot an hour or less before sunrise and an hour or less before sunset.
    Sun should generally be to your back.
    Almost any camera from Canon will take good pictures.
    Practice and take many pictures.
    Use T mode for action and set shutter speed to 1/250 or faster.
    Use A mode for scenery and use 5.6 to 11 (depending on camera).
    Always use something to steady the camera (ie tripod, rock, bike, ski pole...)

    Have fun with the camera and explore the features.
    Tact is for people not witty enough to be sarcastic...

  8. #8
    ~Disc~Golf~
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    ok... now that i'm 'properly lubed' pbr anyone?
    'kchri' makes some points; like a bigger lens is a better one...
    ok...he made some points.....
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  9. #9
    "Oldfart from Wayback"
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    So does Nikon

    Quote Originally Posted by kchri
    Almost any camera from Canon will take good pictures.
    .

    Time for a real FLAME WAR

  10. #10
    ~Disc~Golf~
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    alright... so most modern cameras have some sort of a 'pictogram' on a selector dial. a 'mountain' for landscapes, some runnin' guy for action, and usually a tulip for portrait/close-up. if this is all you have, great---you can still take great pictures...you just have less control, which will force your creative side to work a bit harder is all.
    to have control of your pictures, you need to forget those pictographs and focus on the 'lettered' parts of the dial...but before that - set up your camera.

    in the menu, you can set-up a multitude of things.
    --quality - set it to high [obviously] ...but, if you have a choice between 'jpg' and 'raw' [and you have decent photo-editing software] choose 'raw'.
    RAW format is unadulterated info from the sensor, a standard jpg image gets processed by the camera[ may be convenient, but not controllable]
    --white-balance...i generally set this to 'auto', but if your pics consistently come out w/ a blue or an orange tinge, you might wanna check if it's set to fluorescent or tungsten for example.
    ISO - see above post
    AF - or auto-focus modes...one-shot/progressive
    one-shot---when you press the trigger half-way, the focus remains locked on the last 'focal-point'...nice if someone poses where someone 'will be'. as long as you have the trigger held down 1/2 way, your subject; a dude flyin' off a jump for example, will be in focus instead of the background.
    progressive--continuously focuses on the subject in center, but it can slow the camera down.
    metering - if your camera has this adjustment, it will vary from the 'full scene' to 'average' to 'spot'.
    'full scene' reads the light from the full scene - uh...duh...which means, however, say if you shot your subject against a bright sky, the sky would out-weigh the subject [and would probably turn out dark].
    'spot' does just that... the camera meters light from a spot in the center - also a good idea along w/ the 'one-shot' focusing.

    some buds just came over...more later
    Last edited by highdelll; 12-01-2008 at 10:00 PM.
    Honestly... ahh I give up

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