Advice and Guidance

An insight into how I take photographs and a few things I've learnt so far

Introduction to photography

What types of camera are there

Film

disposable

Mobile Phones and Smartphones

Webcams

Dashcams

CCTV

Action Cameras

Basic Digital cameras

advanced Digital cameras

professional digital cameras

mirroless cameras

DSLRS

APS c

Full frame

Medium formet

specalist cameras

vidio cameras

advanced video cameras

production video cameras

specalist video cameras

Camera terminology

sensor

ISO

Shutter Speed

apature

mega pixel

focal range

lens

wide angle

prime

telephoto

teleconverter

macro

tilt shift

aspect ratio

FPS

burst mode

depth of feild

digital zoom

optical zoom

focus

histogram

hot shoe

metering

noise

JPEG

RAW

Time lapse

Viewfinder

White Balance

720p

1080p

4K UHD

4K DCI

2K

abberationimage stabilisation

screen type

APH h

CCD COS

Codec

Colour depth

compreesion

colour temperature

dynamic range

DPI

PPI

File format

micro four thirds

Fringing

GPS

low pass filter

noise reduction

red eye

reflex

reresolution

rig

saturation

Thumbnails

Vignetting

watermark

video size

crop

flash

rule of thirds

bokeh

portrait

landscape

exposure

memoey

battery capacity

weater sealed

chromatic abramation

motion blur

auto focus

manual focus

feild of view

manual mode

automatic mode

apature priority

shutter priority

filters

tripods

shutter release

photoshop

bulb mode

How do I take pictures of wildlife?
Examples include: Birds and Mammals

Static or moving?

Composition and effect

How do I take pictures of aircraft?

Static or moving?

Use a fast shutter speed of around 400/s-1000/s Using a faster shutter speed of eg 4000/s will cause the image to be so dark, that details may not register.
With fast shutter speeds, you need to use a wide aperture. Depending on the camera/lens this could be some where between F22 and F2.8
You will also need to change the ISO speed to around 400 but Auto ISO mode is safer as it will compensate for changes in lighting eg. when the Sun goes behind the cloud

 


You will also need a telephoto or prime lens.
With a telephoto lens you can zoom in and out to get your composition right but with a prime lens you cannot zoom becuase prime Lenses are fixed focal length.
A telephoto lens will give you greater flexibility with getting the shot in the frame, but the prime lens will give you are far more detailed image

 


For photographing aircraft for prolonged periods of time eg. At an airshow it's a good idea to bring at least 3 replacement fully charged batteries, at least 2 high capacity memory cards (SD or C fast etc - but not, micro SD)

 


The weight of the camera body and the lens could weight around 3kg + depending on the set up. You will get fatigued trying to hold the full weight of your camera so use a tripod or better still a monopod so it can take the weight.

 


As usual check the weather forecast if your equipment isn't weather sealed and be prepared to bring a camera and lens rain cover


Composition and effect


To keep track of fast moving aircraft, keep both eyes open so one eye is looking through the viewfinder and one eye is looking at the aircraft. This wil allow you to plan and prepare for your shot without trying to hunt it down through the viewfinder

For aircraft with visible propellers, you will want to use a lower shutter speed to create a blurred rotor effect. However, reducing the shutter speed will increase the likelihood of camera blur. To avoid this use a support such as a tripod, use the countdown timer mode and set this to 2 seconds (so the action of you pressing the shutter doesn't contribute to the blur).

 

If you can get the filter for your lens, it is worth the small investment of a Natural density filter (ND) This is a tinted lens that acts like sunglasses, filtering the amount of light entering the camera. Start of with an ND 400 filter, and make sure the filter has the same thread size as the front of your lens eg. 58mm

How do I take pictures of astronomical objects?

Object type
This could be the Moon, stars, satellites, the Northern lights, galaxies, the Sun etc
It depends on what you want to take, and depending on that you will need certain equipment for it to work - and be safe. For instance when photographing the Sun, without the correct equipment such as UV filters, Natural density filters, solar filters - focusing your camera on the sun could seriously damage your camera.

Photographing the Moon


Ideal to start with as it is visible most clear nights. Look at weather and moon information to make sure you are going to be able to see the moon from your location. I use the BBC Weather Application for Android OS, the Solar System Scope Application for Android OS and ... I would expect that there are similar if not the same applications for IOS (Apple Devices) but I only use Android and windows devices so I cannot say for certain.


Use a telephoto or prime lens around the 400-700mm region
If you can use your set up with your hands (it's not that heavy) then do this or if you can't hold it high and above you head for long use a tripod.

 


When zooming in on the moon, try auto focus first and if this doesn't work try manual focus.
Use the cameras live view function to adjust ISO and shutter speed aswell as apature.
Adjust this settings until the Moon is bright and surface detail can be seen.

 


Beware that when using a tripod and having a fixed set up - and zoomed in, as time passes you can actually see for yourself how fast the Moon alerts to over across the sky, so if you set up with a tripod, don't take so long that the Moon has moved out of shot.

Photographing stars


Use a zoom lens with manual focus,

 


Start of with a short zoom eg.18mm to get maximum sky coverage

 


Set up a tripod (tripod is essential for this to work) and set it so the camera aims at a point in the sky where you can see the brightest star

 


Use manual focus and the 100% digital crop function through live view and adjust the focus until the star becomes a bright point (in focus)


Composition and effect

How do I take landscape pictures

Composition, planning