Michael Freeman's Top Digital Photography Tips . but lies right at the heart of what digital shooting The details of the settings are in the manual, and. ILE X. Michael Freeman's Top Digital Photography Tips. Chapter 3_Color. First published in the UK in by. 53 Simplify 82 Crowd-Removal. Michael Freeman's Top Digital Photography Tips | Michael Freeman | Book Cover. Michael Freeman's Looking for the eBook? Check for pre-owned.
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We are doing everything with our phone, from a GPS assistant to photograph or record a movie in full p HD, even post processing those images, and i don't even speak about playing 3D games, read some news on internet and so on At the end, when we compare how we use our phone the most, in percentage, I can say safely that we barely use it to call someone , and this is why i call mine a photophone.
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Absolute Beginner's Guide to digital photography. Download Photography Tips eBook. How to do great pictures with a smartphone or a tablet. Tue 25 Oct There are several useful areas of training and preparation in this discipline. The camera. The result is visible detail everywhere. No apologies for this. What you judge to be a technical problem with one of your images may be solvable in a year or two.
Preparation and confidence with settings are essential. The software for processing images continues to get better. Observation A huge and amorphous area of skill that goes well beyond photography. All this was done in several stages using three different programs. Yes Cancel Highlights 1 makes it easy to download frequently without having to bother with duplication.
I put a full card at one end of a container and take a new card from the other end. If the spring-cleaning urge is too strong for you to resist. An overexposed frame that is almost not even exactly in register with another. Doing it in-camera is the most decisive and fully committed way.
If the software you use to download allows this. None of this was foreseeable a few years ago. In the heat of shooting it is surprisingly easy to format that is. Everyone has his or her own way of doing these things. Keep backups physically separate. Only you can decide when you are absolutely sure that you have no further need for an image.
Content-alignment algorithms can now deal with many hand-held sequences. The reason it does get ignored. Back up more than once. You ignore this at your peril. What you mainly need to protect against is human error. Burn the soon-to-be-deleted image files onto a DVD or two. If you use a number of cards. As you download. The question is. The main brands of memory card have an exceptional record of reliability fake cards offered at heavy discounts are a different matter so equipment failure is rare.
Keep copies in as many places as you can. Backup onto anything and everything. Deleting in haste may satisfy a desire for tidiness. Whenever you have a reasonable break from shooting. Or you could number them and tick them off in a notebook. I process the selected images on the laptop. And are you shooting Raw. The usual workflow stages are as follows: Choose the file format to shoot Download images from memory cards as necessary Make backups and store elsewhere Edit the shoot to select the best images Process.
This will affect editing times and procedures. This will affect the timing of different parts of the workflow. I try to keep pace with the shooting.
You fill up the memory card in the camera. You should know how many images you are likely to be dealing with each time you shoot. Workflow is about how images move through the different stages. All of this later transfers easily to the main database catalog at home. This will affect how the images move through different software applications.
The priority after any shoot. Make backups onto two largecapacity hard drives. When do you like to make these editing choices? Right away. Whenever I find a good connection. At the end of each day. But more than this. I open a temporary database catalog in Expression Media.
If I have time or an urgent need. On return. But what is important is actually to have a workflow planned out. Delete the images from the laptop. What needs to happen before you post your selected images onto a website or print them? It depends on how much you shoot. On a long trip.
These drives are kept physically separate. Formatting before transferring the images is the most likely disaster. My simple method involves moving cards from bottom to top in a cardholder—but I rarely use more than two cards in a shooting session.
The software used is Photo Mechanic. The graphic possibilities are obvious. Unless you do this already. To continue a little further. It could be content. What counts as a situation? Not often touted as a photographic skill. The best shot is not necessarily the last. I positioned myself to catch the moment when it would be visible in a gap between the two cattle as they crossed my field of view in a Dinka camp in Sudan. Situational awareness is the condition of knowing where you are.
Staying with this general theme of people against graphics. Probably all the lessons learnt here are applicable in other fields. Of course not. In the location. She is having a friend photograph her. It came. At this point. For landscape. In a more general field of photography. More often. Having waited. A situation like this.
I would argue. The assumption is that something about the situation has already caught your eye. For an hour before this moment. For people. Practice with a particular lens or a particular focal length on a zoom. It may help to look at other things as you shoot. I liked the lighting. But the time and attention you spend looking at the screen may negate any efforts to be surreptitious.
Ansel Adams wrote.
This applies as much to different views of a building or landscape as it does to an event involving people engaged in some activity. I had plenty of time to guess and try the framing and zoom for this waistlevel shot.
But you may be missing out. Shooting blind was very hit or miss in the days of film. One is to examine the situation. There are two ways of exploring further. You may have a good reason for moving on—there might be an obviously good photograph waiting to be taken a short distance away—but if not.
The underlying principle is that there is almost always something new to discover. Human nature being what it is. The shot was taken with the camera propped on my table. You can learn to predict the framing quite well if you keep the camera on a strap on your chest. The other is to explore with your camera techniques.
Instead of raising the camera to your eyes. In the case of these snow monkeys in winter. Aim and frame as well as you can. This is a situation where it helps to have everything on automatic. Digital cameras. I tipped it forward between shots to check the view in the screen.
Chance can take over from artistic intervention in any number of ways. In general. Taking pictures this close absolutely requires prior consent. The more uncertain you are about what you can and cannot do in a different society. The latter is what happened here.
Michael Freeman’s 101 Top Digital Photography Tips
The helicopter continued its counterclockwise pass. I then immediately reframed for a vertical in the hope of including the figure and all of the buildings.
This was a prime. By the nature of what we do. I suddenly caught a glimpse of the passing figure. You can always delete later. Digital shooting removes the one serious reason against this—that of wasting film. I was trying to catch the colorful reflection from the distant tower between the constant to-and-fro of people.
Where religion is culturally important. All bridges. Even so. I was looking for juxtapositions of people coming and going. Hindu and Buddhist societies. We all know our own. And you can see that Rashaida men are not to be trifled with. It might be better to shoot first. The view sweeping past the open window is unpredictable at this altitude.
Even though the top of one building is just clipped. The fundamental conflict. This happens most in street photography. Among the shots I looked at later was this one.
Religion may come into it. There was a lot of movement across the frame. Measure the values on the usual 8-bit scale from 0 to Find and mark the step on the right-hand side that measures anything higher is effectively white.
Once you do. NEF Save Image. In a browser. In this example. These two extremes set the dynamic range. This is know as the noise floor. Some sensors have extra technologies to improve the range. With film it hardly mattered which camera you used.
Note that the increases in exposure reach pure-white saturation more quickly than the decreases reach pure black. A great deal of research goes into this area. More than bit depth. Nikon D Preview Know your dynamic range Currently the biggest limitation to the dynamic range of camera sensors is the noise floor—the darkest part at which real content detail can be distinguished R: The main factors that control the dynamic range of the sensor are the bit-depth.
In this silhouette ISO 95mm B: The second reason for its importance is that dynamic range varies between brands and models of camera. If your camera shoots Raw.
Find and mark the step on the left-hand side that measures 5 anything less is effectively black. The larger they are. To take advantage of this. One of these is the size of the photosites.
Michael Freeman’s 101 Top Tips [BOOK REVIEW]
If you do this in a Raw converter. If you have a high-end digital SLR. One important qualification is that the practical dynamic range depends on what losses you are prepared to accept. The variable is what you as the photographer considers to be important. The examples here cover a fair range of situations. This is. But the effective dynamic range covers just the parts of the scene that matter. If you make yourself familiar with the dynamic range of typical situations.
These five examples are self-explanatory. If you let these go. Most photographers would let specular highlights blow out. You can probably discount some of the small and brightest highlights. Every scene is different. Entire Image Mean: Depends entirely what you want from the image. RGB Low contrast left Source: RGB Underexposed Channel: Cache Level: If you want the image dark. When this happens at both edges at the same time.
The histogram is a kind of map of the tones in an image and of the colors if your camera displays the red. Look first at the left and right edges. Std Dev: If the histogram is crushed against either end. On the left is black. Histograms may not at first look like a sympathetic way of judging images.
RGB Channel: Entire Image Source: Learn to recognize the telltale signs of a problem histogram—one that shows that the image is either not well exposed or is going to cause difficulties in post-processing. Crushed against the right means blown-out highlights. If the highlight clipping display is the most critical in my opinion.
If so. Crushed against the left means underexposed shadows—too much of the image lost to black. No technical problem there.
The left-hand peak in all channels represents the silhouetted trees and people. The color channels show a difference. Entire Image Be histogram-literate Mean: Add all together in an RGB histogram and you can see. Green Blue Channel: The regular succession of peaks show what the eye tends to skip over—that far from being a smooth transition of tones. In the blue channel. The idea is to learn how to read a histogram. The color channels show that blue dominates in the highlights.
As they march rightward from blue to red. Perhaps surprisingly. Red Green Blue Channel: Entire Image Histograms are not only good for troubleshooting. In almost every case the best strategy is to lose the shadows. The most basic strategy is also not new—exposing to hold the highlights. Having said this. You can go further with this by accepting flaring sunlight flooding through a door or window in an interior photograph. If all three channels are blown.
As it happens. Admittedly and intentionally distracting. These are actually possible to preserve by employing HDR techniques. As we saw. Few people would feel the need to capture detail in a specular highlight.
The overexposed shot has been processed using maximum Recovery in ACR. In high-contrast situations where there are few choices to balance the lighting and no opportunity to take multiple exposures. This is nothing new. In 3 there is no clipping as the exposure is deliberately for the highlights.
Even if the results may sometimes be artificially smooth. This held true for color transparency film in particular. The eye pays more attention to bright areas in a scene than to shadows. So few photons are striking the photosites that real recorded detail becomes indistinguishable from noise.
There is a partial solution when some data survives in one or two of the three channels. Fully opened up shadow areas with washed-out bright areas just look wrong to most people. In fact. There are two steps in choosing and working n a particular key—shooting and processing. For high-key treatments. In shooting it means finding a subject and composition that lends itself to a particular treatment.
Some landscapes work well. In film photography. High-key means generally bright. New Mexico are indeed white. If you have control over the lighting. While there is often no choice for the photographer. The same is not true of opening up images when processing.
For some reason. Overall simplicity. In processing. On location this may mean redefining the subject and reframing. Digital processing.
A lowkey treatment is about rich dark tones and texture. Scenes that have the potential to work well in an extreme key are those where almost all the tones are in a similar register. High-key implies a flood of light. This is yet another recommendation for when not shooting Raw. The idea. Admirable though these are. In this case. That is to say. The difference is that the lowprocess version contains more tonal information. I still believe that the best place for this kind of work is the computer.
If not. This is fine if someone really does need to use the image immediately. The other is to apply local tonemapping to adjust shadows and highlights. Increasing contrast and sharpness in particular destroys intermediate pixel values. The extent of on-board processing evolves year by year. But the march of technology in digital photography has made shooting naturally and unaided in low light a new and refreshing possibility.
Another is when the overall lighting is a little sad and lifeless. The details of the settings are in the manual. Flash here plays the single role of rendering him sharp. I have to admit that to quite a number of photographers. Its effect can be checked immediately. A photographer friend of mine. A third is in very low light situations.
Reducing the level. This last is the well-known rear-curtain flash.
You might like the effect. Flash has its place. One is in backlit situations. A quarter. The idea is to add a fraction of full-strength flash what would be needed to light the scene on its own to a regular exposure based on the ambient lighting. But the ability to add a carefully limited dose to an otherwise ambient-light photograph is easy enough with a digital camera. There are three broad reasons for doing this. Chien-Chi Chang.
This made it easier to allow the highlights, of which there were not many, to blow out. The white satin of the foreground costume also made this easier to achieve. Flash, as on the last pages, is one solution for backlit scenes, but by no means the only one. There are various ways of dealing with backlit scenes, including using the situation positively rather than treating it as a problem to be solved.
Basically, all are variations on five approaches, as follows: Use a reflector or indeed flash from the camera position to fill in the foreground subject Treat the subject as a silhouette and compose for shapes. This works. There are many ways to light a portrait, including not bothering. For instance, strong spotlighting, whether provided by a studio light or from sunlight through a doorway, can be dramatic, as well as highlighting skin texture wrinkles like crevasses, pores like small craters.
But not surprisingly, most people sitting for a portrait actually want to look good. In fact, if at all possible, better in the photograph than in real life. Professionals who specialize in beauty and fashion photography use an armory of lighting equipment and carefully honed techniques to create an identifiable style.
Nevertheless, if you come to portrait photography without such total dedication,. The three main things to remember are to place the main light frontal, keep shadows soft, and use plenty of shadow fill. Use studio flash lighting for full control Use a main diffused light over and close to the camera to avoid harsh shadows Up to a point, reflectors can substitute for fill-lighting, saving money That said, multiple lighting, including backlights, hair lights, and kickers, are a hallmark of many high-end fashion and glamor photographers Place a strong metallic reflector close beneath the face to fill chin and nose shadows.
Maxilite Reflector and Honeycomb suspended on boom arm with Ws head set to F7. Main Light. A silver reflector was held immediately under the face to lift potential chin shadows. The white background was lit separately. A more advanced technique, not shown here, is to cover the central lamp with a honeycomb diffuser instead of cloth, for more obvious catch lights. Shadows are then soft and minimal, while any reflecting surfaces in the object look smooth because they reflect a large light source rather than complex surroundings.
The easy way to achieve this, even though it takes a little while to set up, is to surround the object with diffusing material and aim one main light through this from a three-quarter high position, ideally adding one or two secondary lights.
One tip that I recommend highly, although it takes considerable extra effort, is to add one diffuse secondary light from below. If you remember what a light box used to look like for viewing transparencies , this is an ideal base lighting effect. It adds immensely to the professionalizm of the shot.
Use studio lighting for full control and flash for comfort and accuracy Use either softbox diffusing heads over the lights, or fix diffusing material around the object like a partial tent and aim lights through this For diffusing material, use opalescent Plexiglas, white fabric, or thick tracing paper Use a main diffused light over the object, either directly overhead or in a three-quarter position Use secondary diffuse lights or reflectors from the sides Place the object on a diffuse base and light that from beneath If you have enough lights, you can light the background separately.
Positioned here over a light table, it needs little more than a single bare lamp to deliver good modeling and diffusion. The front panel can be closed and the camera aimed through an adjustable zipped opening for full-surround diffusion, which is useful for highly reflective surfaces.
Yet the differences are real. What counts is how far the lighting is from white. If you shoot Raw. To make things easy for the user.
The Bayer array is a checkerboard of red. If you like the effect of an overall color cast. The color temperature differences between sunlight. If you need a whiter rendering. Remember that color casts can always be adjusted later. It is worth experimenting with the Auto setting also. Here I shot Raw so I could precisely fine-tune the white balance. Typically these are: The sensor measures only the quantity of light.
The most common way is to choose from the list of lighting situations. Having an overall color cast can be good for a picture—just think of a late afternoon scene bathed in golden light. Interesting though it may be to study color temperature. The white balance that works for you is whatever you like the look of.
Personally I shoot using the Auto white balance most of the time. But for the average run of scenes. All image-editing software. For the times when it is important. This runs some risk of color shift because it is influenced by the color of the skylight. A solution here would be to choose the white cotton fabric and then manually adjust the color channels in Curves or Levels to warm it up.
While never guaranteed neutral. It gives a standard reference for neutral. Naturally this works best if you shoot Raw. If your shot contains one of these. Recognizing this is the first step. Not all scenes have a neutral point by any means a typical sunset. This is not the place to go through the procedure step by step.
Practically speaking. The solution is a little time-consuming. Why would it not be? Many reasons. This is when two colors look the same under one light. Shifting everything to follow one color direction can result in some colors not being quite what you expected or wanted. Adobe RGB 4 Profile: But in addition there is the more difficult problem of metamerism. In exactly the same lighting as you are shooting in. Photograph it large in the frame. A warning: The software used here is inCamera.
Your eye might be able to deal with the two sources and see little difference. The scene may be a room lit partly by daylight from a window on one side. A grid overlay can be distorted and scaled to fit the image. This essentially means a GretagMacbeth ColorChecker. PRE Preset manual 5 Here. White surfaces are. The frame was removed from the wall. There are several ways of doing this. Once activated. For the general run of photography. When there is a readily available white surface.
This is not even an issue of re-shooting. These are wavelength and response issues. The tiger was more red than brown. A location fashion shoot is one example. DxO Optics Pro involved a series of adjustments and was anything but simple. Even if the light source is known fairly well—in this case a cloudy day in the region of 6.
Color accuracy was essential. You should compare the results once you have calibrated the screen with that on a desktop display. Comparing the just-shot images with the window made it possible to guarantee this on the spot. Display quality varies. For comparison. Good though some camera LCD screens are. As the shots had been taken in Raw. Like composition. What you give up is subtlety.
Intention and taste. Strong light with definite shadows enhances our perception of vividness. The search is still for combinations of two. Strong colors have their place in photography. The actual colors are often more interesting because they are less familiar than pure primaries and secondaries. It depends on finding the right combination.
Needless to say. Too much loss of saturation. A static. Like composition as discussed in Chapter 5. Red against green is a classic primary combination. The colors. A distinct contrast between two or three strong. Appreciating the subtleties takes the viewer longer.
The advantage of shooting softer colors is that it encourages a slower viewing of the picture. Discord can be more striking. These include adjusting the white balance when shooting. A single color unifies the elements in an image. There can even be a sense of surprise in finding and framing a view that is dominated by one color.
This was the point of the close-up image here of a mantis on rice stalks—a study in the green of things growing. If you have a set of images each dominated by a single hue. Red was kept moderate to high in both cases. Post-processing is where the conversion of a color file into monochrome allows you a range and delicacy of control that wet-print darkroom enthusiasts could have only dreamt of.
The mind-set of blackand-white photography is quite different from that of color shooting. In one. This in turn allows considerable refinement.
Black and White Preset: Some cameras also offer the equivalent of sepia toning results. The value of this is that it makes it easier to see what works in black-and-white at the time of shooting.
The RGB channels remain. Digital purists might also argue that as sensors capture in monochrome. In the other. Shown here is the black-and-white conversion dialog in Photoshop. Some cameras offer a black-and-white or monochrome shooting mode. Shooting in Raw. Every editing program. Eliminating hues elevates the modulation of tone to a position of great importance. A drop-down menu offers a number of presets mimicking the effect of traditional color filters for black-and-white.
The long tradition of black-and-white within the history of photography gives it a legacy that many photographers find satisfying. Focus will be set to infinity. While choice is good. Dust check Wide-angle lens The shorter focal length of a wide-angle lens gives a greater depth of field.
Expose automatically or slightly adjusted for a lighter than average result. The choices involve focus modes. If you spend most of your time shooting landscapes. There are now some very sophisticated automated techniques that can include scene recognition being able to distinguish the head and shoulders of a person and lock automatically into that and focus tracking. If you are a sports photographer. Fit the shortest focal length you have.
All of this will show up any dust shadows at their worst. This saves scrolling through the menus and sub-menus and hence wasting time. Dust is almost impossible to avoid if you change lenses in anywhere less than a sterile setting like a studio.
Stop the lens down to its smallest aperture. Featureless mid-tones Scenes with little detail. To be more conscientious.
A case in point is focus. One sensible way of making use of the features that you need. As opposed to such low-frequency areas in an image. The procedure for doing this varies with the manufacturer and model. Start at the top left corner and scroll along to the right.
The shadows cast by dust and other small particles that settle on the sensor or rather. Focus the lens manually to its nearest setting and aim at any blank. Any significant dust shadows should be clearly visible as darker spots. The next step is to clean the sensor see Tip Some ingenious manufacturing solutions are beginning to evolve. With each new SLR model comes an increase in its capabilities. A much better non-invasive that is. To lower mirror. Once you have a good view of the sensor. If you are cleaning the sensor because you just did a dust check.
Use the blower firmly. The big divide in sensor cleaning is between not touching and touching the surface. There are also dry-wipe kits. Note that camera manufacturers still advise against DIY cleaning.
In other words. But a blower is unlikely to remove particles from the chamber. Resist the temptation to use a small brush. Use a sensor cleaning kit and follow the instructions to the letter. Read the manual 5 Basic: This needs at least a full charge in the battery. Any dust that resists either of these methods needs to be lifted off physically. Some dust removal kits include this.
The lens. The simplest procedure is to use a bulb blower that you squeeze to direct a jet of air from its nozzle. You need to be more careful than with a blower because the suction effect is not as powerful and the head of the cleaner needs to be held very close to the sensor.
Find a clean. As long as you avoid touching the surface of the sensor with the nozzle. A sharply focused light is essential. If you are careful and confident. That was fairly reasonable in the days when camera manufacturers cleaned sensors without charge. No one expects to do this all the time. There may also be a choice between autofocusing methods.
The wider the aperture. You glance at the screen. If you are aiming for impressionistic and experimental results. The second most likely class of sharpness failure is motion blur.
The bad moment arrives in front of the computer when the images are being processed. I deal with some of these things in more detail in the Lowlight chapter.
A more subtle error is focusing on. This is a real danger. Yet it is arguably the most important quality of all. Many other mistakes are recoverable in post-production. In auto-focusing. As for achieving pin-sharp focus. Pan around the image if you have the time. Advanced cameras use a variety of methods for finding and keeping sharp focus on a key subject. High-end cameras have sophisticated procedures such as multi-point focus and focus tracking. In many situations.
It is process-intensive and complex. You might get some apparent improvement by applying some USM sharpening to selected areas only. Registered to Michael Freeman A focus mistake in which the lens aperture was wide. One plug-in that works well in many situations is FocusMagic. Registered to Michael Freeman Before What if you failed to make any of the sharpness checks just described and are faced with a soft image?
Or at least soft where it counts?
Before Image Source Motion blur can also be tackled by the same software. De-blurring software. The procedure is called deconvolution. A warning. Focus was repaired using FocusMagic. The upper. It pays to set your standards high. Stopping right down loses resolution because of diffraction effects. Include different zoom settings on a zoom lens. How sharp is sharp?
The answer is.The best approach is to experiment. Long lens. The result. You might know Photoshop inside and out, but if youre not using your camera to the best of its abilities, youre likely to be disappointed with the results. If you start with more information than you will eventually need.
I liked the lighting, but was too close to raise the camera and expect to shoot unnoticed. But despite all this.