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Okay is the book time

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by alaios, Jul 29, 2013.

  1. alaios

    alaios TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2013
    Düsseldorf
    Alex
    Hi all,
    for some reasons I like reading books, perhaps most likely that I spend around 2 hours per day on the train commuting to the work.
    I have read already this book
    Bryan Peterson's Understanding Photography Field Guide: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera: Amazon.de: Bryan Peterson: Englische Bücher
    from Bryan Peterson . I have learned quite a lot of things that I did not know and I enjoy the way he is writing. I had also a look on the other books he has printed out
    http://www.amazon.de/s/ref=nb_sb_no...ryan+Peterson&rh=n:52044011,k:+Bryan+Peterson

    but when I looked inside the books I got the feeling that he is repeating his self over and over (even some images are the same).

    What I am looking for, perhaps you can also suggest me also more of Bryan Petersons books is
    1. Understand how to measure right the scene to get a correct exposure
    2. Understand depth of field and how to achieve defocused background with not so high appertures. For example I have seen shots with defocused background with the aperture at 5.6
    3. Understand shutter speed selection to convey a specific message.

    I would like to thank you in advance for your reply. What books would you suggest me?

    Regards
    Alex
     
  2. alaios

    alaios TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2013
    Düsseldorf
    Alex
    Hi,
    perhaps you might suggest me some web guide, if not a book.
    I am not sure how to understand the effects of the apperture on the bokeh. I have seen in practice that an aperture of 1.7,2.8 gives very nice bokeh.
    I have also seen though that people with (even zoom) lenses and appertures of 5+ to make also the background very nice to be defocused. With such big apertures I typically have all my scene in focus.
    I think I lack a bit of the theory here so some advice would really help.

    Regards
    Alex
     
  3. xXx1

    xXx1 TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 15, 2013
    Try to loan John Hedgecoe books from library, they are very well written and theory is up to date but they are mostly about film photography.

    Depth of field depends about focal length, aperture, focusing distance and circle of confusion. Longer focal length and short focusing distance will blur background more than shorter focal length and longer focusing distance. There are depth of field calculators in the net but only practice will tell what aperture to use.

    Prime lenses are quite useful when one wants to blur background. Just experiment with objective and it is quite soon that you know that you like most aperture 4.0 (or 2.8) with certain lens when taking head and shoulders portraits. With same lens and full person portrait you may need aperture 1.4 or so.

    After long thinking I did order Contax Sonnar 85mm/2.8 instead of Samyang 85mm/1.4. The Contax won't provide narrow DOF for full body portraits But I can use a 50mm/1.4 for these and sharp 85mm may be useful in many situations.
     
  4. eno789

    eno789 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    720
    Jan 1, 2012
    NoCal, USA
    Brian
  5. eno789

    eno789 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    720
    Jan 1, 2012
    NoCal, USA
    Brian
  6. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    If you are also interested in the mechanics and physics behind your lens, I can recommend Modern Optical Engineering from J. J. Warren. It's a free ebook (PDF) that can be found online easily. Just make sure that you've get the newer edition from 2000 or so, not the 60's original, because some things have changed in the meantime. But it's VERY hard to understand if you don't know the basics, and I had to read some passages three to five times to understand them, so it's really just if you want to dive deeper into this stuff.
     
  7. alaios

    alaios TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2013
    Düsseldorf
    Alex
    I will definitely read the Modern Optical Engineering book.

    My typical problems are:

    1. Measure correctly the light scene. Which metering mode to apply to which case.
    2. Understand the DoF and understand how people give images with isolated subjects (bokeh) even with zoom lenses where the aperture is typically higher.

    Regards
    Alex
     
  8. stratokaster

    stratokaster TalkEmount Regular

    54
    Aug 27, 2011
    This is a bit hard to understand.

    There are two basic concepts.

    1) For any given sensor size and magnification ratio (which means that you're shooting with the same camera and your object occupies the same portion of the frame) the depth of field depends only on the aperture of the lens. For example, if you're shooting a head-and-shoulders portrait, 16mm f/2.8 lens, 50mm f/2.8 lens and 200mm f/2.8 lens will give you exactly the same depth of field. This is a bit counteruntuitive, but still true.

    2) The amount of background blur and depth of field ARE NOT THE SAME THING. Background blur depends on the diameter of the entrance pupil of the lens, which can be obtained by dividing the focal length by F-stop number.

    It means that a 200mm lens at f/5.6 will produce the same amount of background blur as a 100mm lens at f/2.8 and a 50mm lens at f/1.4. That's why telephotos are awesome for portraits: they give you a useful amount of DOF (the entire face will be in focus) and beautiful background blur at the same time.

    Hope this helps.
     
  9. stratokaster

    stratokaster TalkEmount Regular

    54
    Aug 27, 2011
    You first need to understand how a camera meter works. It assumes that the object you want to photograph is middle gray. This means 2 things:

    1) if you point the camera at something dark, the resulting image will be too bright (overexposed) and you will need to use negative exposure compensation.

    2) if you point the camera at something bright, the resulting image will be too dark (underexposed) and you will need to use positive exposure compensation.

    If you want to know the amount of exposure compensation required by different scenes, you need to memorize The Zone System, invented by Ansel Adams. You can find a very good write-up about it here: Understanding & Using Ansel Adam’s Zone System

    In practice, modern cameras with their sophisticated light meters calculate the exposure using all variables and no fiddling with exposure compensation is necessary.
     
  10. alaios

    alaios TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2013
    Düsseldorf
    Alex
    Hi,
    my typical problems are with sources of reflections, like water streams, lakes, cars, and midday light. I only know the f/16 rule for high constrasty sunshine but I have never used it effectively.
    I am also a bit confused which would be the right exposure metering methos, evaluative, center or spot.. and when or not lock the exposure.
    I also had a fast look on the zone system... this looks complicated :p
    I would like to thank you in advance for your help

    Regards
    Alex
     
  11. stratokaster

    stratokaster TalkEmount Regular

    54
    Aug 27, 2011
    Just use evaluative metering. It will be OK most of the time.

    Specular highlights, such as reflections of bright light sources in shiny things, will always be overexposed. And they SHOULD be overexposed, otherwise your picture will be mostly black.

    I must also add that your NEX camera shows you live exposure. You can see right on your screen if the picture is too dark or too bright.