Our Most DEPRESSING Photo Ever | Camera Menu Settings | Filming Static Subjects

Our Most DEPRESSING Photo Ever | Camera Menu Settings | Filming Static Subjects

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Coming up on this episode of Photography  Online: we take our most depressing photo ever we continue our Video Academy series and we reveal some useful camera menu options… Welcome to another episode of Photography Online.  Before we kick off another commercial free show,   here’s a quick photography question for you: What  does the “f” number on the aperture scale refer   to? A - Fraction. B - Factor. C - Full. Or D -  Focal length. As usual, this just for fun and   I'll be revealing the answer later on in the show.  Okay, let’s get Photography Online ball rolling.   When we head out with our camera, most of us will  look for impressive and eye catching subjects,   but sometimes the very opposite can offer  just as much photographic potential. Get  

ready to witness the most depressing  photo we’ve ever featured on the show… Now usually on Photography Online we accompany  most of our features with a musical background   as this gives them atmosphere and pace. But today  for the first time ever our subject deserves no   musical accompaniment. I mean look at it. We’d  need a solo violin to do this any justice.   But personally, I think the soundtrack  of passing traffic on a damp road   is perfectly adequate, so enjoy that.

Now I first discovered this scene  when I was driving in that direction   at 70 miles an hour so I only had a  couple of seconds to check it out.   Now that was in the middle of the summer when  the whole place looked a bit more cheery.   We had leaves on the trees in the background  and green grass everywhere. But I knew that  

I wanted to photograph this in a much more  dreary condition. So I wanted an overcast   day in the middle of winter. Fortunately, this  is Scotland, so I didn't have to wait too long.   And bang on cue the snow starts. But let's not  let this scene suck us dry of all our positivity.  

Photographically, this has great potential  because it tells such a strong story.   It's a story of abandonment, of failure,  of dereliction. All things I'm reminded of   every time I look in the mirror. But my job as  a photographer, indeed our job as photographers,   is to tell a story with our images. Now more  often than not we're looking for this story   to be a positive one but there's no reason  why the opposite can't be just as effective.

Just as our ECS cheat sheet explains, the first steps to taking a photo are to  find a subject and to visualise the image.   I've done both of these. Here's our subject and  the visualisation is depression. The next step   is to work out the best viewpoint, meaning the  position of the camera. Before I can decide that   I need to explore all the options  so let's explore all the options.   So I brought a few cameras with me today because  I wasn't sure obviously what format I was going   to shoot this in. But I think it's crying  out to be shot on film so I've got the 617   panoramic camera with three lenses, I've  got a couple of uh six by nine cameras   with different lenses on them, because  these lenses are non-changeable so you   have to have a different camera if you want a  different lens, and I've also got this bad boy:   the Mamiya 6x7. So I can shoot 6x7, 6x9 and 6x17.  But now I know where my viewpoint is, I think  

panoramic format is gonna give me the best  option. Because even if I don't like it I can   still then crop it afterwards and get the best  of both worlds. Whereas if I shoot too tight I   can't add things onto either side. So I think  this is going to be the camera of choice today.   The film I've chosen to use is Kodak Portra 160,  purely because it gives quite desaturated results   which are going to be perfect for this scene. I'm  using no filters as I don't want to change the   scene or enhance it in any way and want to capture  it as naturally as possible. The camera I'm using,  

the Fuji GX617, only gives me four frames per  roll of film so I can't be too trigger-happy here,   I need to be economic with my shutter. Okay so the  best viewpoint is from the central reservation and   although it's perfectly safe for me to be there  I want to minimise the risk. So I'm going to keep   this camera here rather than take you over there  as well. So you’ll have to excuse the the distant   talking here and the fact that my back's to the  camera but I'll get it done as quickly as I can. Focusing is quite tricky with this camera  as it's basically down to guesswork.   But for this scene here  it's fairly easy to estimate   that the building is about 15 metres from  where I'm standing. So I need to cover  

between 15 metres and infinity on my depth  of field which is fairly easily done at f/16. So I’ve focused the camera and I've got a  light meter reading of f/16 at half a second.   So I'm just waiting for the traffic to be in the  right position because now the headlights are on   they'll make quite an interesting foreground. I just noticed there's some spray on  the lens so I need to wipe that clean. If you want to talk about  challenging conditions to work in,   this is about as challenging as it gets. Okay so we've done four frames so far.

I'm thinking maybe we'll do one straight  on now just to mix things up a little bit.   Having got the shot at 45 degrees which includes  the road, I decided to reposition myself so I   was looking straight on to the building,  just to give me a different perspective. Okay so I've waited for the ambient light  levels to drop and that's made it a little   bit more dreary than it already was. This also  allowed all the traffic lights to pop more   so that'll give the photo some life. This is  pretty much what I've visualised: the derelict  

cafe looking sorry for itself and also showing it  in its environment of being next to a busy road   where nothing for it stops anymore. Okay, just  as a an alternative, I just noticed that as   the lights have come on in the gas station over  there or if you're from the UK, the Shell garage,   is giving a nice kind of contrast. So  we've got no life here, lots of life there   and it's kind of like pessimism/optimism. So  I'm just gonna do a different shot, also on the   panoramic camera just from here. But it's good  from here because I can talk you through what  

I'm doing at the same time. So first things  first, I've got my viewpoint sorted out and   I've also got my composition sorted out.  So next thing I'm going to do is focus. Now on this camera there's no focusing without  taking the film out, which obviously I don't   want to do. So I'm just going to guess. It’s  not difficult. So everything is at least 30   metres away so that's infinity on this lens.  So I just put the put the lens to infinity.

I'm going to take a light meter reading. So this is saying f/11 and a half at 8  seconds so I'm gonna have to put that on Bulb. So that's going to be 20 seconds once  we've factored in reciprocity failure. Checking the front of the lens,  making sure there's no water on it. Then it's just a case of pressing the button and counting in my head to 20 because  I'm using the phone to film this on.

Although this is not my  favourite shot from my visit, I still like it. I like the way the right  hand side of the image looks brighter   and more optimistic, with the break in  the evening sky, the bright headlights of   oncoming traffic and the lights of the  fuel station glowing in the twilight.   Yet the left hand side is cooler in tone, looking  a little sorry for itself. I also like the high  

traffic trails which go over the roof of the  building. All done intentionally, of course. I also shot a few frames with  the Mamiya RZ67 from straight on,   concentrating just on the subject itself. Plus  one from the same position as the panoramic shot   but at a longer focal length to  fill the frame with the subject.

My favourite shot is this  one, which comes closest to the image I had visualised. Showing  the subject in its gloomy surroundings,   in the dreariest light imaginable. The patchy  snow is perfect too, just adding to the misery   factor. Hopefully this goes to prove that  there's no such thing as bad light as what's   bad for one scene will be perfect for another.  The key is to match your subject to the light.

So hopefully that goes to show that you don’t  need happy, vibrant, and attractive subjects to   make good photos - which is just as well,  otherwise I'd be inundated with requests!   Before we continue, I thought I would let you  know that our annual magazine is now available   from our online shop. It features articles  from the team as well as from a couple of   our regular customers who have written about  their personal photography journeys. It also has   all the information about all the photo holidays  we’ll be running over the next eighteen months,   so if you want to get a copy, we only charge what  they cost us to print and produce which is £2.50.  

If you want the physical copy like this one, then  you’ll need to pay for shipping, but there’s also   a digital download version if you want to save on  postage and get it immediately. As usual, there’s   a link in the description below, or if you’re  watching on a smart TV, head to our shop next time   you are browsing online. Okay, at the beginning  of this year, due to popular request, we started   a 6 part feature about how to shoot video using  the equipment we already have as photographers.   Last time Harry looked at how to capture  movement - a key part to a successful video.   But what if you want to record a static subject  and engage your audience? Here’s Harry to explain… Last month on our Video Academy series we explored  moving subjects and learned how important movement   is when it comes to video. However, what happens  if we want to record a subject which has no   movement at all? Unless we create movement of some  kind it will be difficult, maybe even impossible,   for the viewer to distinguish between a video clip  and a still photo. So how do we create movement  

in our scene when there is no obvious movement  present? The answer is simple. We move the camera. Moving the camera is one of those things  that actually looks far easier and simpler   than it is in reality, at least if  you want to get good results that is.   The main problem you will have is to get steady  camera movement, free of wobbles and bumps. This   is where additional pieces of equipment can come  in handy such as sliders and gimbal stabilisers.  

Many of the latest digital cameras  have IBIS, in-body image stabilisation,   which can help with achieving smoother camera  movement. But to get Hollywood looking results   it's likely you're going to need some extra gear.  Now this can add a lot of expense, faff and weight   to your setup and before long  you'll be needing a sherpa. If you've seen our previous two Video Academy  features, I've highlighted just how good phones   can be for shooting video. Most phones have  great stabilisation which makes it easy to get   smooth camera movement and great images without  the need for that ton of extra gear. For instance,  

the latest iPhones come with Dolby Vision HDR  which is already widely used in professional   filmmaking and now the technology is built right  into the phone. Capturing content in Dolby Vision   via an iPhone will allow you to get the most from  the camera's dynamic range and colour capability.   Thanks to the dynamic metadata Dolby Vision  captured content will play back consistently   on any Dolby Vision enabled device. This ensures  consistent top quality whether you're viewing your  

footage on a laptop, a mobile phone, a tv or  a tablet. The footage you record is accurately   represented. You can instantly upload any Dolby  Vision captured content to your Vimeo channel   where viewers can see it in all of its glory.  Your footage will look like it's come straight out   of a Hollywood film production studio. It's almost  like having Steven Spielberg right in your pocket. Wth its deep blacks, sparkling highlights  and rich yet lifelike colours, Dolby Vision   will transform your footage and take it  to a whole new level. Add in the phone's   stabilisation to smooth out all camera movement  and the result is incredibly eye-catching,   guaranteeing to hold the viewers attention.  Let's move on to the do's and don'ts of moving  

the camera. Whether you're using a  digital camera or a mobile phone,   keep movement simple. Don't be too ambitious.  Avoid moving in all planes at the same time.   Subtle movement is often more effective. Less  is definitely more so don't overdo things.   However, if doing subtle movement, make sure  you have something close to the camera otherwise   it may not be obvious that any movement is  taking place. Think of movement as having   four planes. We've got left to right, up  and down, forwards and backwards and pan.

Last time we discussed zooming digitally  by shooting at a higher resolution than   your output video. For example, by shooting  in 4K even though my output is only 1080HD,   this allows me to zoom in digitally. If we  combine a digital zoom with a camera movement   we can get some funky but attractive effects.  

This shot you're seeing now has the camera moving  from left to right during recording but we've   also added a digital zoom at the same time. This  gives the impression the camera is moving in two   different planes simultaneously. If we move the  camera forwards and backwards, your foreground   subject will get bigger and smaller in frame but  the background will largely remain the same size.   If you then add a digital zoom to counter the  camera movement so that the foreground subject,   i.e me, stays the same size in frame, you can  start to have some real fun with the perspective.

Using camera movements opens up a whole  new chapter of creative options to us.   We can reveal scenes by starting the clip with  the view being obscured from the camera to later   be revealed. One thing you'll probably want to  avoid is camera movement in the tilt plane. Try   to keep your video camera level at all times. This  is where a gimbal can really help, regardless of   whether you're using a digital camera or a phone.  A lightweight, cheap gimbal cradle will suffice   for a phone but you'll need something a bit  more substantial to stabilise a heavier camera.   Like most things in photography and videography,  planning always makes things easier. Planning  

your movements and even rehearsing them beforehand  will let you get them as good as you possibly can.   By combining static camera shots of  moving subjects with moving camera   shots or static subjects you can start to  create some really effective looking results.   If you're using an iPhone, letting Dolby  Vision take care of all the technical stuff   lets you focus on the more creative side of  things, of which movement is an important tool.  

Give it a go and see how you get on. Next time  on our Video Academy series, I'll be looking at   low light videography. This could be something  of a challenge especially when you appreciate   that we're limited to a minimum of a 30th of a  second with our video work. There are, however,   solutions and answers to all of  the problems, so join me for that.

Now on our second February show I asked the  question - what does ISO stand for? A vast   majority of you thought it was International  Standards Organisation, but there is actually   no such thing. There is the International  Organisation for Standardization, but that   would be IOS, not ISO. The correct answer is that  ISO is actually an abbreviation for Isos which is   Greek for equal - as clearly stated on their own  website. None of the other multiple choice answers   we provided were correct, though many of you have  been adamantly contesting this. However, hopefully   that’s cleared it up and next time you hear  someone refer to it as Eye Ess Oh, you can correct   them and explain it is actual Eye-so, or if we’re  being super accurate, Eee-so. I'll be revealing  

the answer to today’s question soon but before  that, it’s time to polish your camera skills… Back in the good old days, cameras  used to look a lot like this.   They were simple things with only a few controls  on them. So I've got focus, I've got exposure time   and I've got aperture. And that's pretty much  it. There's no menus or functions and many   of these cameras didn't even take batteries.  But then this came along, the digital camera,   and suddenly taking photos became a lot more  complicated. …will be the serial number coming   after the file number of the final single exposure  used to create the merged multiple exposure image… One thing we know many people struggle  with is the setup of their cameras,   so we thought we would show you a few of our  suggestions as to what settings you might want   to customise to your liking. Before we go any  further, we just want to make it very clear that  

these are only our individual preferences. We're  not telling you what is the best way for everyone.   If you already have your preferred way of  doing things, then keep doing it your way.   But for others, some of the following advice  may be useful. Now I'm always explaining to   people that fluency with your camera as well  as your other equipment is really important.   If your mind is preoccupied with operating your  camera, then you're not thinking creatively or   paying attention to your surroundings. This can  mean that you're likely to miss shots and any  

brief moments of that perfect light. So setting  up your camera to work as effectively as it can   is a basic but really important stage. We're  going to be using our own cameras for this   bit so don't give us any abuse for using Canon  again. Most, if not all, of these options will be   available on your cameras but they may be called  something different and be in a different place,   so that part is down to you. Okay, so let's start  with the basic layout of most menu systems. These   are usually broken down into chapters and pages  to make it easier to find things. If you've got  

a modern camera, then you might find it has  touchscreen which makes navigating the menu   a little easier. This, of course, is assuming  you're not wearing gloves or it isn't raining. One of the first things you are likely to find  is Image Quality. This is where you set the kind   of file which the camera will write to the card.  You can set this to various sizes of JPEGs or RAW.   JPEG means the photo is edited by the  camera before being saved to the card   whereas RAW is unedited. The advantage of shooting  in RAW is that it simplifies the capture stage,  

as we don't need to worry about things like  white balance and other picture settings,   as none of these are baked into the RAW file  itself and they can easily be adjusted afterwards.   Another advantage is that a RAW file will give  us more information to work with when editing,   meaning we can pull more detail out of dark shadow  areas or bright highlight areas which simply don't   exist in a JPEG file. The advantage to JPEG is  that your photos will look far better straight   out of camera, as they've already been edited  for you. So if you don't like editing or you need   your images immediately after capture, then this  cuts out the editing process. You can still edit  

a JPEG externally but you'll have nowhere near  as much control as you would do with a RAW file.   Whatever your preference is make sure this is set  to how you want it and remember to check this if   you ever do a factory reset because it will  probably default back to shooting JPEG only. I always have this enabled as I like to have an  audible confirmation that the camera has focused.   With this turned off, you could be taking photos  where the camera hasn't locked onto anything   and you may not notice until it's too late.  Obviously, if you're shooting a wedding reception   or a sensitive wildlife subject then you might  want to turn this off and be as quiet as possible.

If you are shooting in RAW, then leave the white  balance set to Auto and you will never need to   worry about it again. If you shoot in JPEG,  then you'll need to be constantly setting this,   as you need this to be calibrated to the current  lighting conditions before you take the shots.   Another thing you can ignore if you're  shooting in RAW are the picture settings.   These will have no influence on  the files being saved to the card   but they will still affect the review of  the photos you see on the camera's screen.   If shooting in JPEG, then you need to set this  up for each individual scene which is a pretty   tedious task. For this reason, shooting in  RAW makes the capture stage so much easier.

If you're taking some long exposures,  let's say one minute in duration,   then if you have long exposure noise reduction  turned on, you will have to wait an additional   minute after each exposure has finished before you  can use the camera again. This can be tedious and   frustrating as you can guarantee that the best  conditions will present themselves during the 60   seconds when your camera is out of action. In our  experience this function does very little anyway   and you can usually apply the same adjustments  in post, so our advice is to turn this off. A menu function which we see many people not know  they have control over is Auto Rotate. Basically,   you want to set the camera so that if you take  a shot in portrait orientation, it rotates   the photo on the card so that it appears the  right way up when looking at it on a computer.   But you don't want it to rotate the photo in the  camera, otherwise you'll be twisting your neck   looking at it when you are using a tripod.  Also a portrait shot which isn't rotated  

only occupies half of the screen, so enable  this for the computer but not for the camera. This is probably the most commonly badly set  function I see on other people's cameras.   All cameras have a screen brightness control.  Now this has no bearing on the exposure itself,   it just makes the screen brighter and easier to  see. You'll probably find there's an auto setting   but this will constantly adjust the brightness  according to the ambient lighting conditions. So  

it will make the screen brighter if you're outside  on a bright day and it will make it darker if   you're shooting at night. My advice is to not use  the auto setting as you can never calibrate your   eyes to the ever-changing brightness of the screen  and it becomes difficult to get a feel as to how   your images will look. I have mine set to one step  down from maximum brightness and I keep it there   regardless of what lighting scenario I'm working  in. There are loads more menu options, some of   which will be relevant to you and many which  won’t. You might find that you have a custom menu  

function where you can store all of the ones you  change the most, as this saves time going through   all of the chapters and pages, trying to find them  all at the time. Just add the most useful ones to   your custom menu and they will all be in the same  page. You may also find that you can customise all   the buttons to perform many different tasks.  The options on the latest cameras are almost   endless but the important thing is that you set  your camera up so it's intuitive for you to use.   This way when you pick it up you can be fluent  in its operation and you can then concentrate   on being creative and capturing the moment. One of  the largest and most comprehensive chapters in the  

menu system is the autofocus chapter. Personally,  I very rarely adjust this as it's really only   useful to wildlife and sports photography where  you're using long lenses and following fast moving   subjects. However, Harry will be taking us through  the most useful AF menu options in our next show   so if you found this useful then be sure  to check out that in a couple of weeks. So hopefully that was useful to you. Don’t forget  that all the camera skills we’ve covered since the   launch of Photography Online are included in these  two volumes which act as the perfect manuals to   help you develop your photography. Available in  both hard copy like this and also as a digital  

download, they are priced at just £12.50 each  and are available from our online shop which   can be found at this address. We’ve also included  a link to make it easier if you’re watching on a   computer or a handheld device - just check out  the video description and you’ll find a whole   host of useful links there. Okay, before I go,  I need to tell you the answer to the question I   asked at the beginning of the show: What does  the “f” number on the aperture scale refer to?  A - Fraction. B - Factor. C - Full. Or D - Focal  length. The correct answer is D - Focal Length.   Aperture values are simply their diameter  as a fraction of the focal length. So   f/4 means 1/4 and f/8 means 1/8th of the focal  length. So f/4 on a 100mm lens will measure 25mm  

in diameter. Pretty easy. Well done if you got  that right. Sadly that’s it for another show,   but fear not, I'll be back next month with a  couple more action packed shows - one of which   I'll be bringing you from somewhere rather unusual  and very interesting - hmm, the mind boggles. Make   sure you join me for that. Until then, take  good care, but most of all - take good photos. Now most of the time we're looking for that  story to be positive but there's no reason why   a big snowflake can't go in my eye… planning makes things so much easier and planning your movements and even… reversing? …which is why shooting in  RAW makes the capture sage, stage Marcus, stage,   stage… hopefully though that's cleared it up  and next time… *Ruth’s very own language…* …which is why shooting in RAW makes the capture  sage, stage, capture stage, stay, aah, ankle! If you're shooting in RAW then  leave the white balance set to Auto   and you will never ever… never ever ever…  never ever ever have to worry about it again!   …you may also find that you can customise  all the buttons and *!@!#... Ow... *girly grunts of pain*

2022-03-14 19:35

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