Zoom bursts

By , May 29, 2010 7:54 pm

This is a technique I learned in class and have been practicing. I know, I know, I need lots more practice! Also, you would not believe how many shots I took today trying to do this. You can do this with zoom lenses that have a manual zoom ring. The trick is to zoom the lens while the shutter is open with a slow shutter speed, usually below 1/60th of a second.

Here are the steps:
1. Focus on your subject.
2. Use a slower shutter speed in either Shutter Priority or Manual Shooting mode. Shutter speeds can range from 1/60 to 1/8.
3. Click the shutter release button and twist to zoom the lens simultaneously.

You can zoom from the shortest to the longest focal length or vice-versa. Using a tripod is suggested.

Now I have to figure out what subjects are best for this technique and just keep practicing. Any suggestions are welcomed!

My settings for the car shot:
Exposure Program: Shutter Priority
Shutter Speed: 1/10 sec
Aperture Value: f/36
ISO: 200
Focal Length : 55m


By , May 29, 2010 7:46 pm

I have been practicing panning in the current class that I am taking. I do need more practice but this is the first one I got that is kind of on track! I will get better – I’m determined! Here are the steps I attempted for “panning”:

1. Tried to keep my feet planted, my arms, wrist, and hands still and pivot at the hips. (glad there is no picture available of me!)
2. Used a shutter speed of 1/15. and worked in Shutter Priority mode.
3. Pre-focused on Genesis on her bicycle.
4. Used continuous shooting mode.

Having fun with silhouettes

By , May 29, 2010 7:39 pm

I’m having fun with silhouettes – gives you a chance to be creative! Here are the steps:

1. Make sure the subject is backlit. If you are using the sun, let a tree or something else block the sun’s direct light.
2. Use “spot” metering and meter off something other than the subject. I metered off the sky.
3. Choose a strong subject that is a recognizable shape that will be interesting to look at. It should be a definite shape.
3. Get as close as you can to your subject and frame your image so that the brightest light sets off the subject.
4. Make sure your flash is turned off.
5. Try different angles and if you have more than one shape, try to keep them separated.
6. Have fun!


By , May 29, 2010 7:29 pm

Needless to say, one of the most important skills for a photographer to learn is how to focus correctly. You need to be sure you are focusing correctly on what you want to photograph and not something that is beside it, behind it, or in front of it. You need to set your autofocus to one of the main focal points on your camera. On the T1i there are 9 focal points.  You need to put your camera on something other than automatic to do this. I usually use the Manual mode. Then look through your viewfinder and hold down the Focus Point Selection button that is located on the camera back at the top right side. While you are holding down that button, use the rotating dial (on the camera top in from of the ISO button and this lets you move between the numerous focal points. Set one particular focal point as the default main focus and then come back and change this, as needed.

Tips for beginners

By , May 10, 2010 9:02 am

Photo credit

  1. There is a correct way to press the shutter button. After you frame the shot, press and hold the shutter button  halfway down. When focus is established, the camera will give a little beep.  The focus indicator is a little green light that indicates that the camera has locked focus. It is located on the far right side of the viewfinder screen. Then you press the shutter button the rest of the way down to record the image.
  2. Early morning and late afternoons (right before the sunrise) usually provide the best lighting so try to take your photographs at that time of day. For any time of day though make sure the sun is at your back as much as possible.
  3. You can adjust the viewfinder focus to suit your eyesight. Right at the top-right edge of the viewfinder is a tiny black knob called the dioptric adjustment control.  To do this first remove the lens cap from the front of the lens. Look through the viewfinder and you will see the focusing screen which contains a group of nine autofocus points. They are little squares with dots inside. Rotate the viewfinder adjustment knob until the autofocus points seem to be in focus. Don’t worry about the actual picture now; just pay attention to the sharpness of the autofocus points.
  4. A lot of the buttons on the T1i have multiple names because they serve multiple purposes. It all depends on if you are taking pictures, reviewing pictures, or doing some other function.
  5. You access many of your camera’s features through the internal menus that appear on the monitor when you press the Menu button. There are nine menus. Color has a purpose on these menus. Shooting Menus and the Movie Menu are red. Playback menus are blue. The “My Menu” icon is green.

Practice! Practice! Practice!

By , May 6, 2010 3:29 pm

Practice is the name of the game now. I think the best thing I can do to help my learning curve is to use my T1i and try to take specific shots. Practice! Practice! Practice! I need to play around with the different settings. I have taken a lot of photos but it’s been a kind of hit and miss approach as I would find myself out in the field and not remembering many of the things I’ve learned. There are so many things to remember that I never considered when I was pointing and clicking.   Staying away from the automatic settings has made me focus on settings and exposures and things are beginning to come together a bit more.  I’m still not getting the kind of shots I know this camera is capable of producing. But the best thing you can do with your SLR camera is to use it. Play around with the different settings. I plan to make a few more posts to help me remember some things and give some tips that may help others new to the T1i and other slr cameras.

Creative Zone shooting modes

By , May 4, 2010 12:34 pm

Program mode

The camera selects both the shutter speed and aperture. You choose ISO and white balance. This is a semiautomatic but shiftable mode. When you press your Shutter button halfway, the camera shows you its ideal exposure setting in the viewfinder. You have to remember that this is held for only one shot as it goes right back to the suggested exposure. Another thing is that you cannot shift the exposure if you are using the built-in flash. Use this mode when you want to quickly change the depth of field and shutter speed for one shot while experiencing minimum camera adjustments.

Tv mode (Shutter Priority)

In addition to ISO and WB you select shutter speed and the camera chooses the appropriate aperture. This mode is used when you want to control how motion comes across. A slower shutter speed will show motion as a blur. A faster shutter speed will freeze motion. This mode is also helpful when you want to make sure that the shutter speed is within the limits for handholding the camera and getting a sharp image.

Tips  that I want to remember: (credit to Charlotte K. Lowrie’s book “Canon EOS Rebel T1i/500D)

  • Use 1/250 second when action is coming toward the camera.
  • Use 1/500 to 1/2000 second when action is moving side to side or up and down.
  • Use 1/30 to 1/8 second when panning with the subject motion. Panning with the camera on a tripod is a really good idea.
  • Use 1 second and slower shutter speeds at dusk and at night to show a waterfall as a silky blur, to caputer light trails of moving vehicles, to capture a city skyline, and so on.

Av Mode (Aperture Priority)

You set ISO and WB as well as aperture (f-stop). The camera chooses the shutter speed. You use this mode when you need to control the depth of field (DOF). A larger aperture (smaller number) will give you a shallow DOF and is good for isolating points of interest like flowers/portraits. A wide aperture like f/5.6 will create a shallow depth of filed with a softly blurred background.  A smaller aperture (higher number) gives a greater DOF and is good for landscape photography. A narrow aperture such as f/8, f/11, f/16, and so on, gives an extensive depth of field that will keep both foreground and background in focus and sharper.

Tips I want to remember for Av: (credit to Charlotte K. Lowrie’s book “Canon EOS Rebel T1i/500D)

  • Since the only lense I have at this point is the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens) , this  tip is specific to it. When you have the lens set to 55mm, the widest aperture you can choose is f/5.6, and you can’t choose f/3.5 at this zoom setting. This is called a variable-aperture lens.

M mode (Manual)

This mode allows the most creative control. First you determine the ISO and WB settings. Then, based on a meter reading, you set aperture and shutter speed in order to get the scene as you desire. You have to think about how motion and DOF will come across.

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