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Corla Plankun
May 8, 2007

improve the lives of everyone


i've had an okay camera for a while but i only got into photography really during the pandemic. im still pretty bad but i enjoy nature photography

i think this is my favorite photo because i identified this great horned owl by sound alone, and then found its silhouette on a distant tree purely because i remembered what the tree shadow looked like usually. Its at like the actual max ISO of my camera and a full second of exposure and it looks like tv static but it is a happy memory


these two are all around better pictures and better illustrate how far i've come but they dont have fun stories they're just birb


my only pithy photography tip i've learned that i remember is that if you point your shadow at the subject you can usually catch the sun in their eyeballs and it makes a huge difference in how animated the critter looks

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Corla Plankun
May 8, 2007

improve the lives of everyone


prime lenses are cool because i like being a little bit constrained by them (e.g. having to move my body to figure out how to get everything I want into the frame)

its nice to be reminded that there are things i can tweak outside of the camera that impact my photos

Corla Plankun
May 8, 2007

improve the lives of everyone


this might not be the right thread for this, but how do y'all (americans) buy lenses?

i ordered a telephoto one from bonanza and it was cheap and worked out fine but it took like 2 actual months to arrive. I've been thinking about buying a faster, wider lens for dim/indoor shots but every time i try i get analysis paralysis because there are so many different places to buy lenses and i don't know what i'm doing

i wish my local economy was functioning as well as echhi's because renting lenses sounds fun as heck

Corla Plankun
May 8, 2007

improve the lives of everyone


MrQueasy posted:

The idea of street photography is weird to me outside of an event (or some context where people are expecting there to be phootographers). It just seems too invasive and creepy to take pictures of strangers.

That's why I shoot raw and do color balance in post. My camera is really bad at guessing, especially when there's multiple light colors in play.

yeah! raw is great for white balance and i've had luck with stepping dowm/up the ev in auto and priority modes on my camera to fix blown out stuff. But it kinda feels like an additional skill that is just as finnicky as the other ways to change the exposure so it makes more sense to me to just shoot in manual all the time

Corla Plankun
May 8, 2007

improve the lives of everyone


i watched a youtube a while back of some well-known master street photographer and he was just carrying around a camera photographing people right in the face like point blank without asking and I would likely die of shame and embarrassment if i ever--even accidentally--took a photo of a stranger at that range.

Corla Plankun
May 8, 2007

improve the lives of everyone


is there a rule-of-thumb/calculation for the approximate width of the focal plain given an f-stop and a focal length? I've been trying to develop an intuition about it but it is challenging, and I mostly just know that my 300mm-with-no-aperture-control is like 18 inches of depth* while my stepped down lenses seem to be so huge that it's practically infinite

i'd like to be able to intuit whether a scene is going to be coherent enough (e.g. the subject and the background/noise are far enough apart), and also maybe start using the non-extreme ends of my aperture setting on lenses that have it.


* actually this doesn't make sense because i think it varies based on what distance i'm focusing on. drat this poo poo is complicated

Corla Plankun
May 8, 2007

improve the lives of everyone


Sagebrush posted:

you are correct that the depth of field varies with focal length, aperture, and the distance to the focal point. when you focus more closely your depth of field is narrower, for a given lens configuration and aperture diameter.

i don't know if there's a rule of thumb for it. you can certainly calculate it mathematically, though, and there are lookup tables, paper slide rule calculators, and i assume phone apps now to help. old manual lenses have a scale on them to help you figure it out:



the red diamond is the index mark. the lens is set to f/8 on the aperture ring, and focused on a point 2 meters / 6.5 feet away. the scale on either side of the diamond gives you the depth of field, so you can see that at f/8 and this focus distance, the depth of field is between about 1.2m and 7m.

note that depth of field is perceptual. there is only ever one plane that is truly in perfect focus, and what we call the depth of field is the range that is acceptably sharp. the scale on this lens is based on what asahi engineers figured was about right given the scenario (i.e. shooting on film, handheld, and viewing prints at reasonable enlargements), so if you are using a 50-mp camera on a tripod and pixel peeping, that scale may be too loose for you. but it's a good starting point.

there are two other neat things about this scale. first, the reason the 8, 10 and 3 are red is because those represent the hyperfocal settings. if you put the lens on f/8 and focus it to 3 meters, you'll see that one end of the 8 mark on the scale is at infinity -- so everything from infinity down to 1.5m will be in acceptable focus. the idea is that you can set it there, choose a shutter speed that fits your lighting, and forget about it. point and shoot at any subject more than 1.5 meters away. in the image above, the infinity symbol is over the 11, so you need to be at f/11 at this focal distance to have everything out to the horizon in focus. easy!

second, the little R to the left of the scale is the infrared focus mark. all light is bent by lenses slightly differently depending on wavelength; this is how a prism separates light into a rainbow, and why you get chromatic aberration on edges. the red light bends less than the blue light, they end up in slightly different spots on the film or sensor, and sharp edges start to form a rainbow. some people like to do infrared photography, but we can't see IR, so if you look through the lens and focus it in visible light, the IR image will be defocused. instead, you focus in visible light, note where the index mark is, and turn it so the IR mark is at the same point before taking the picture.

i regret that new lenses (other than super professional ones) don't have these scales. i know autofocus is better and faster for all practical purposes, but i just like the thoughtful mechanical nature of manual lenses.

:eng101:

goddammit beaten again for once again putting too much effort into my posts

that is WILD and a huge amount of info, thank you! I'm surprised that IR photography is common enough that they'd add a little icon for it but it looks like my old 300mm has it too so I guess its more popular than I know



if I understand correctly, this also has the depth info but its kinda irrelevant because the previous owner of this lens removed the aperture for some reason. Probably the 5.6 bands are accurate enough and they confirm that it is just the tiniest zone; I used a calculator and the hyperfocal distance for this thing is a half a mile lmao. It also gets super purple/cyan very easily if i photograph a bird with backlit branches behind it. Still, I've managed to take some pictures with it that I'm very happy with.

I need to mess around with the calculator for my shorter lenses to figure out what they're technically capable of.

Corla Plankun
May 8, 2007

improve the lives of everyone


edit: ^^ gd that's a great photo. your eye for composition is so good

the way that my eye adjusts to whatever i am looking at (eg eventually things that are way too warm look fine if they become the baseline) makes it so hard for me to get a good feel for how to properly tweak photographs

getting up helps a lot but it would take me a week to do a single shoot if I got up everytime i felt like i was slipping

sometimes (especially with birds) I'll just google up a color reference and work towards it instead but i long for the days where i can trust my own eye/the indicators

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Corla Plankun
May 8, 2007

improve the lives of everyone


the workflow that i've come away with as i'm learning is basically:
1. get the picture to look "normal" by
a. correcting the white balance and tint
b. adjusting the exposure, contrast, and blacks/shadows/highlights/whites until the details that you care about are interesting
2. deal with the remaining distracting elements by masking and adding blur or desaturate or even just under-exposure
3. optionally do art on it to re-grade the colors or add vignette or whatever if you're trying to get fancy

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