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Photofocus Episode 85
NOTE: We had a sync problem caused somehow in the editing and conversion process in the original airing of the show. We fixed that and re-uploaded the show so if you want to avoid hearing the poorly synced version please re-download the show. We apologize for any inconvenience.
Welcome to Episode Number 85 of Photofocus with Scott Bourne and special guest Joseph Linaschke. Photofocus is the show devoted to your questions about anything photography related including gear, technique, locations, etc. Your questions will shape the direction of this show so be sure to send your questions to [email protected]. We will try to answer as many as we can but we get a lot of questions so we’ll try to take a collection of questions that represent a particular topic and present them together.
This week we kick things off with a question about using your camera in extreme heat:
Question One – Using Your Camera in Extreme Heat
Yasin from Las Vegas writes: I was reading the manual that came with my camera (D90) the other day and it says that I shouldn’t use the camera outside when it’s over 104 (if true,that’s seriously a massive disadvantage for those of us that reside in Vegas…its over 104 half the year!!!) and haven’t been able to use it for a while now cause of said issue. I wanted to get your two pence on this.
Joseph: My first reaction when I saw this was that it had to do with the sensor. I looked at the manual and the reasoning for this has to do with battery life. I wouldn’t freak out and just exercise a bit of caution.
Scott: I’ve been living in Vegas for close to a year with no issues. Where Yasin’s concern has more merit is when it hits 120 degrees. For a few minutes that’s no big deal but for extended periods of time, some of your solvents in your camera begin to break down and your mirror can get gummed up. If you leave your camera in your car all day at 104 degrees then that might be a bigger issue.
Question Two – Second Shooter’s Rights
Jason from Milwaukee writes: As a second shooter on a wedding, who owns the rights to the images I make? Am I free to post them on my website?
Scott: It depends on the contract you have with the other photographer. If there is no contract then you own the rights however posting them on your website could be an issue. The best policy is that if you’re there as the 2nd shooter you need to respect the first shooter.
Joseph: Just discuss it with the person you are shooting with.
Question Three – Deciding Upon Using a Range finder Camera
I have been listening and reading about your Leica M9 journey. I am 62 and gear weight is starting to take it’s toll. My question is not really gear specific but is this: How do you recommend someone determine if true range finder photography is for them? Renting or maybe a book about technique? John Davis Lawrence, KS
Joseph: I have the Lumix GH1 and I love shooting with it. I think the only way to know is to try it. Renting gear is a great way to try gear out.
Scott: Check out Borrowlenses.com and see if they will rent you a Leica M9. I love mine and my Sumicron lens. I won’t ever use it for fast moving birds or cars however.
Question Four – Dust on the Inside of the Lens
Gary Harris from Kenai AK writes: I was cleaning the lenses I use with my Canon 60 D, when I noticed a large speck on my EF 28-135 f/ 3.5-5.6 IS lens that came as the kit lens on either this or my wife’s 40., The speck was on the backside of the outermost lens and I thought at first that I had the UV filter still attached and the problem was on the backside of the filter. But, no, the filter had been removed and the large particle of whatever it was defiantly, mocking me – – untouchable. Can I get to the backside of the lens? Can anyone? It doesn’t appear to show up in my raw files and I know I can edit out whatever does make it’s way in. But what are my options?
Scott: It sounds to me like you may have the beginnings of fungus or mold. It could also be dust and the only way to deal with it is to send it into a professional. The kit lens you have isn’t terribly expensive so it might cost more to fix it than to replace it. The minimum focusing distance is likely around 6-7 feet so it shouldn’t show up but if it does then it will be easy to fix. One bonus tip, if you’re buying used gear and you see dust or mold inside the lens then walk away.
Joseph: The only time you might see it is when you’re stopped all the way down but if it does show up then it’s easy to fix.
Question Five – Firewire Card Readers
Any suggestions on how to transfer files from CF cards quickly to a Mac? It seems all Firewire 800 CF Card Readers are no longer made. Nothing available for Thunderbolt yet. Am I stuck with going backwards to USB2? Fred Light Boston MA
Joseph: It does seem like nobody is making these FW 800 readers anymore. I’ve been having problems with mine so I have reverted back to my USB 2.0. I did find some from Delkin.
Scott: Years ago I did a test with some Hoodman FW and USB readers. I assumed that the Firewire would be faster but it was only slightly faster. When the Thunderbolt ones come out, I would wait for the 2nd generation ones.
Question Six – Which Eye to Shoot With
Is there an advantage or disadvantage of using my right eye to look through the viewfinder? I noticed many of the top wedding and portrait photographers such as Jerry Ghionis, Joe McNally, and Mike Colon shoot with their left eye. It may be stupid question but I was wondering. Ted King Catonsville, Maryland
Scott: It doesn’t matter at all. We each happen to be dominant in either our right or left eye so whichever you are, then go with that. Just worry about finding good light.
Question Seven – Lens Recommendation
What’s the best lens for a budget conscious father with three young children (3, 6 and 9)? I’m documenting their lives and also sharing with our family who lives across the globe, so I’m just looking for good, quality photographs, not necessarily “art”? We spend a lot of time outdoors (but in grey British weather) but most of our time indoors. Lots of shots at home inside or in the garden, and with three girls, lots of shots at ballet recitals. Tom Surrey, UK
Joseph: I’m going to assume he is either Canon on Nikon shooter. Both make an 18-200mm or 18-135mm in around the $700 range. They will get the job done and are affordable. He can also get a very fast 50mm lens for a very good price.
Scott: Zoom lenses if you’re budget conscious are always a good bet. There are some that cover further ranges like the 55-300. There is also the 70-200mm f4 lens which is very good quality. The 28-300mm Nikon lens is one of the best all around lenses for the price.
Question Eight – Switching from Lightroom to Aperture
I have been struggling for at least a year with trying to move from Lightroom to Aperture. My problem is adjusting from one set of controls to another, and not knowing which features are comparable to one another. Every time I try, I get confused and just quit. There are a number of “Switching from Windows to Mac” guides out there that explain differences such as “Control-C is equivalent to Command-C,” or “The Control Panel is equivalent to System Preferences,” etc. What I am searching for is something similar: “Switching from Lightroom to Aperture.” “Clarity is comparable to _____,” or “_____ is how you set Camera Calibration Profiles,” etc. I’ve been using Lightroom for the past three years, and have taken classes and gotten rather proficient. But in the end, I’m a Mac/iPhone/iPad and AppleTV user, and hate not taking advantage of that tight Apple-ecosystem for my photos. Matt
Joseph: I don’t have a book but maybe that’s something I should look into. There are a lot of great online resources and places where you can go to talk to other Aperture users.
Scott: I think it’s a pretty narrow field so I don’t see there being too much demand for a book like that. I think the best thing to do is to just wipe everything you learned about Lightroom from your memory and start fresh with Aperture.
Question Nine – Managed or Referenced Libraries in Aperture
Managed or referenced libraries in Aperture? Nils Eddy from Bend, Oregon
Joseph: I personally use both. I have my main system with my primary library and that is entirely referenced because I have images across multiple drives. When I’m on my laptop then I work managed. Then I move it over to my iMac.
Scott: I strictly do managed so I don’t lose things.
Question Ten – Getting Honest Feedback
What would be the best way to get honest but valuable feedback on your photography? Feedback from your family and friends does not count. Flickr.com and the likes seem to be a big popularity contest type of places and the feedback there is not the most useful. Some other websites I found are more equipment oriented and the feedback on the quality of photography is more of a reflection of what your camera is capable of. Is there a place you could post your photos and have knowledgeable, experienced photographers give you their honest feedback? Igor from Jacksonville, FL
Joseph: I don’t know of a specific place. I think to get true valued criticism is to surround yourself with a group of photographers who can be critical together.
Scott: Most of the online forums don’t work well because most of them are anonymous and there is no authority. There seems to be a bit better feedback on 500px.com. I think you should try to go to some portfolio reviews at conferences or workshops. You may just wind up having to pay a professional photographer to review your work. You could also try to setup a feedback group.
Question Eleven – Photographing the Moon Over Water
When shooting a full moon on a cloudless night over water, what can you suggest to preserve detail of the moon while also allowing enough exposure to illuminate objects in the water? Is the answer here to use a graduated neutral density filter? Ken Wolter from Stillwater, Minnesota
Scott: I would start with exposing for the moon first. Then to get the other details then I would go with HDR.
Joseph: A graduated ND might be a good solution but it depends upon how much separation there is. HDR is a good way to go or you could do a simple composite. If you’re going to do a long exposure, get a black card and hold it over the part where the moon is and then just flash it in during the exposure.
Question Twelve – Best Way to Expose to the Right
In trying to “Expose to the Right”, what is the correct method to accomplish this. Is there a quality difference between using exposure compensation vs. adjusting the ISO vs changing the shutter speed/aperture combination? I have a Nikon D200, but I’m not sure if that changes the answer. If I were to guess, I would assume that the Shutter speed/aperture combination would be “best” method, but exposure compensation seems much easier than metering, changing settings, and potentially missing the moment in the “walking around” shots. In any case, I defer to the experts…. Brian Clark in Lowell, Arkansas
Scott: When you start talking about ISO, then ISO should be ISO and has nothing to do with exposing to the right. You want to change your shutter or your aperture to push the histogram to the right. If you want to get more depth of field then you have to use a different aperture but if you want to freeze the subject or show movement, then you need to adjust your shutter speed. On the left you have more digital noise so you want to try to expose more to the right. If you have a camera that is capable of displaying an RGB histogram, pay attention to the Red channel.
Joseph: If you are in any automatic mode, you’re still going to have a balanced exposure unless you use the EV exposure. If you are shooting in manual mode then what you change will change the exposure.
Question Thirteen – Flash Exposure Compensation
Under flash control on camera, is reducing the flash exposure compensation the same as stopping down your flash in command mode? If using ETTL why do I continue to have adjust this? In case it’s needed to answer the question….. Canon 7D / 430EXII. Matt Rhodes from Pea Ridge, AR
Joseph: ETTL generally works great but sometimes you need to override what the camera is doing for creative reasons and so in those situations you would use the Flash Exposure compensation to increase or decrease the output of the flash.
Scott: Just don’t confuse flash exposure compensation with exposure compensation.
Question Fourteen – Photographer’s Mindset
You often speak about how a photograph often reflects the photographer as much as the subject. I’m wondering about the mindset and behavior of the many photographers who are nervous or just plain scared) about posing in front of the camera. What’s your view on this statement? “In order to to create better photographic portraits we must walk the talk and get comfortable on both sides of the camera” Stephen Cotterell Kington upon Thames England
Scott: I don’t think I have to be comfortable being photographed but I do feel you need to empathetic. I do believe that the camera looks both way so if you have a scowl on your face when you’re shooting their portrait, don’t be surprised if your subject does.
Joseph: Empathy is a big part of portrait photography. If you’re working with models or posing people, then it can be helpful to get on the other side of the camera to get a better understanding of how it will feel on their side.
Question Fifteen – Tips for Panning
I was wondering if you could share some tips on panning, my main problem is getting the entire car sharp when taking the shot when it’s at say a 45 degree angle, with the shot attached, the focus point was just left of the drivers side headlight, but other shots could have the rear of the car more in focus but the focus point is in the same spot. Jayde Aleman from Gold Coast Australia
Joseph: To get it right, you have to be moving at the same speed they are. That means tracking them for a second or two before you fire the shutter. Squeeze the shutter and keep tracking and following through. If they are still blurry, try shooting with a faster shutter speed. You can also try shooting in manual focus.
Scott: Pan with your subject at the same speed and if you’re shooting something like fast moving cars, a shutter speed of 1/1000 is recommended. Make sure you have the right focus tracking mode turned on and make sure if your lens has IS or VR, make sure that it’s set in the mode for when you’re panning.
We want themes and questions from you. Be sure to visit the blog at PhotoFocus.com for articles, how-to’s, videos and more. E-mail us at [email protected] follow us on Twitter. Don’t just take pictures – make pictures.
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