Friday, October 28

Capture Mobile Phone Photos Directly into a Lightroom Collection

I often use the Lightroom Mobile Camera app. Recently I read the Kelby Killer Tip that shows how to capture your mobile phone photos directly into a Lightroom Collection. Really cool, since you can access and edit those photos on your Desktop Lightroom application without having to import, copy, or Wi-Fi transfer those photos to the computer. 

Monday, October 17

FCCP Camera 101: Aperture - Shutter Speed - ISO

Members and guests of the FCCP (Florida Center for Creative Photography) have a great opportunity to strengthen their skills and knowledge as Jeff, the Director and Founder of FCCP provides a rare 4-part camera series. Called the Exposure Triangle, we learn the ins and outs in basic terms how to manage and get the best from our photos through proper use of aperture, shutter speed and ISO. Below I capture key points, recommendations and links to further resources and websites reinforcing the information shared.

Aperture:

1. Depth of Field (DOF) is refers to the range of distance that appears acceptably sharp
2. DOF is managed by: F-stop, Lens Focal Length and Distance to the Subject
3. Rule: avoid shooting at the extremes of your telephoto lens
4. Typical 'sweet spot' for a lens is 2-3 stops above the smallest F number (desired F8/F11)
5. Diffraction or light diffusion results at F-stops smaller than F11
6. Review Understanding Depth of Field for details on how to control and use Aperture

7. Note: Higher F #'s (11, 16, etc.) forces shutter speed lower and with auto ISO on, you get higher ISO causing additional noise. 
8. For the techie types The Ultimate Depth of Field Guide

Shutter Speed:

1. Shutter speed is the time the camera's shutter allows light to reach the sensor
2. Guidelines (secs. open): 1-30 for night photos using a tripod; 2-1/2 for silky images of waterfalls; 1/2-1/30 to add blur to moving subjects; 1/50-1/125 for acceptable handheld photos; 1/250-1/500 everyday freeze of sport activities; 1/100-1/8000 for shooting extremely fast motion scenes
3. How to Prevent Camera Shake ... especially if you hand-hold
4. Big mistake beginners make 'all photos must be sharp' - not so
5. Shutter speed of 1/focal length provides a guideline for 'minimum' shutter speed one should use to avoid/reduce blur
6. Be aware - crop sensors are more prone to blue due to smaller pixels
7. Each change of shutter speed (faster or slower) either reduces light to sensor by 1/2 or increases light to sensor by 2 times
8. Review Understanding Shutter Speed for more information
9. Although Shutter Priority seems to be the best way to control blur, there are issues and why Aperture Priority is Preferred by Most Photographer
10. Shoot in Burst Mode! Improve your odds on getting a non-blur shot. Take one shot 'it has to be right', take three 'you only have to get 1 in 3 correct'

ISO:

1. ISO is the measure of a digital camera's sensitivity to light

2. High ISO - more sensitivity - more noise; Low ISO - less sensitivity - less noise
3. ISO is the final leg of the Exposure Triangle we need to understand if we truly want to take photos of proper exposure
4. Noise is a key factor in digital photography and affects your image 5. Ways to Avoid Noise in Digital Photography 
6. Changing one 'leg' of the Exposure Triangle will require another leg of the Triangle to be adjusted to insure proper Exposure.
7. Sunny 16 Rule - On a sunny day you get a proper exposed photo by setting your camera to F/16 and Shutter Speed to 1/ISO

Pulling it All Together
:

1. The Histogram:
1a. make this an integral part of editing - it's a tool in your toolbox
1b. typically Histogram has 3 zones - shadows, mid tones, highlights
1c. under exposure = many pixels on left; over exposure = many pixels on right
1d. Tones are in the middle of the histogram
2. Human eye vs. Camera; 24 stops of light vs. about 14 stops of light 
3. High key emphasize lighter tones, Low key darker tones 
4. 'Bracketing' useful for larger dynamic range but doesn't work in sports 
5. Only use matrix/evaluative/zone metering, set it, use it, understand it
6. Center weighted meters 80% center/20% edges - good for flash photography
7. Spot is most accurate but inaccurate
8. All cameras measure reflective - you'll need handheld for incident light
9. Exposure Compensation only works in A, S, Program modes and only is applicable 'after' photo is taken and viewed for exposure - then adjusted
10. Can't focus (or camera searches): move focus point to a better contrast area that is the same distance from you to allow auto focus to function
11. Three factors affecting auto focus: contrast, motion, light
12. Image stabilization almost always aids auto focusing
Read:  Camera Exposure

Thursday, October 13

Cleaning Up Your Mess in Lightroom 6

Have you found a 'mess' in your Lightroom photo library? See this video to cleanup and learn some tips by B&H Tim Grey.
1. Use one Catalog for all Photos and Backup at least Weekly
2. In Catalog Settings check Automatically write changes to XMP (Lightroom/Catalog Settings/ MetaData/check box 
3. Perform all organization actions WITHIN Lightroom ONLY
4. Avoid a Date Folder Structure UNLESS it supports the way 'you' think about your photos. Alternately, if your a wedding photographer Couples name is appropriate, if you travel, Location folder structure may be appropriate.
5. When moving photos - move within Lightroom (but author prefers Copy and Paste - then Delete source image(s)
6. When moving Folders or Photos use Select>Drag>STOP>Drop (Stop is important so you can confirm new location)
7. Star Rating: 1= Acceptable; 2 thru 5 = multiple validation/edits ending with #4 and #5 being showcase 'keepers' 
8. Remember Camera File Number Count 0-9999 (see #8a)
8a. Consider renaming images during import with some distinctive context (your name, location, event letters, etc. to reduce or avoid duplicate number of same named file names (i.e. DSC_0001) 
9. Always: whatever works for you - use it!
Source: Cleaning Up Your Mess in Lightroom 6 Video (1:50.00)