06 November 2009

Hints and tips for the evening photography session

Today we heard the hints and tips how to prepare for the evening photography session of the photo course next week.

The hints and tips can be divided into two categories:
A. Stuff handy to have
B. Recommended camera settings

A. Stuff handy to have
This is the list of things which are handy to have (besides your camera):
  1. Fixation device - Tripod, Gorillapod or bean bag.
    A tripod is well known by everybody.
    A Gorillapod is something new - a kind of tripod with flexible legs.
    A bean bag is a bag filled with macaroni, rice, beans or other stuff.
  2. Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II lens.
    Nikon users have the equivalent of Nikon 50mm f/1.8 AF Nikkor.
    These lenses have a good price-performance ratio. That is the reason why they are recommended.
  3. A remote release (cable or wireless).
    Canon 40D or 50D users can choose the Canon Remote Switch RS-80N3 or Canon Timer Remote Controller TC-80N3.
    The Canon Timer Remote Controller TC-80N3 is more versatile than the RS-80N3 (but also more expensive).
    Canon 350D users and higher (400D, 450D etc) can use wireless controls like the Canon RC-1 Wireless Remote Control.
    Cheaper alternatives (check compatibility with your camera):
    Hahnel HRC-280 (cable).
    Hahnel HW-433 (wireless).
  4. Flashlight.
  5. Lens hood.
  6. Optech Rainsleeve .
  7. Light gum.
    A small black circle on a black stick.
  8. Spare batteries for the camera.
  9. Warm clothing.
My recommendations:
  1. Gloves .
  2. Something to eat.
  3. Tissues.

B. Recommended camera settings
  1. Turn off auto focus. Use manual focus.
  2. Turn off all noise reduction functions in the camera.
  3. Switch off the lens image stabiliser (only if your lens has one).
  4. In the camera turn on your histogram display.
  5. In the camera turn on your highlight exposure warning (or the 'blinkies' as I call this function).
  6. If shooting in JPG, select low contrast mode.
My recommendations:
  1. Shoot in RAW so you can worry about the colour temperature later. 
  2. If you are lazy (like me) shoot in RAW+JPG mode. This way you can try to set the settings manually. If you got the settings right you can use the JPG. Otherwise you can have a second go on the RAW image with your favorite RAW converter.

I will use DXO Optics Pro to process the images.

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