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Food Shutter Bug Club (Part 1)


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#121 jhlurie

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 05:55 PM

Well, if you look at the studio photography section for Ms. Sheffer you notice something right away. Her distinct style on most of them is to turn the angle of the camera a few degrees (look especailly at photos number 4,8,9,11 & 12 in her "Studio" section). She also uses the anchoring technique already discussed here quite often (1,2,4,5,6,8,11,12).
Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

#122 Toliver

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 06:04 PM

It sure does not: since Toliver mistook those eggplants for mushrooms  :biggrin:

Oops, sorry about that. :blush: I don't eat 'em...don't know what they look like cooked.
Perhaps if you had some in their raw whole state in back of the plate, I'd have put two & two together. As it was, I thought they were some big-ass mushroom caps, obviously! :laugh:

i have a suspicion that there are many trucs that we, amateurs don't employ not only because we're not aware of them but also because our ultimate concern is to make a dinner: the picture is just a nice souvenir  :smile:

Yes, you're right. Professional Food Photography is an art unto itself. There are oodles of tricks to it but do we need to know them in order to post our dinner to the "Dinner!" thread? I think there's a happy medium here somewhere.

Toliver, thanks for those comments. I was hoping you'd ring in on postprocessing. Those images are I think unprocessed except for the resize. Maybe I could e-mail you the originals and you could show how you'd crop and improve them. I find that the Canon D60 has a consistent underexposure problem (this is noted on plenty of photography sites). I'm not sure if it has been corrected in the 10D and Digital Rebel, but if not you will want always to shoot with positive exposure compensation on the Canon DSLR line. I chose those photos because they were part of a few dozen taken the first or second day I had that camera, so they're especially ripe for a lot of commentary. By the way, I'm sorry your hunger for the salmon was not satisfied. I hope this will help:

Posted Image

Ellen,
I didn't comment on the postprocessing because it looked like the intention of these two photos was on-the-spot documentation of a meal being cooked. That usually means shooting in available light and shooting from the hip, so to speak, meaning you can't really interrupt the process to stage a photo. Given that, I thought they were both very good given the circumstances and didn't need to be picked apart since you didn't have control over the situation (I assume). Does that make sense? That's why the intent of posted photos can be important.
Yes (here I go critiquing them!), both are a little on the under-lit side and some cropping could help them but, again, given the spontaneous shooting conditions, they turned out quite well and your point is still made.
I will process the pics in Photoshop (I'll use what you posted) to see if they can be tweaked any but there may be a delay in posting the results because I am leaving on a week's vacation to the Land Beyond Computers (i.e., my mom's house in San Diego :laugh: ). I will attempt to borrow a computer down there to do the processing and posting.
And thanks for the gorgeous salmon photo! In the picture, your point of focus is very narrow and I don't have the know-how to suggest how to broaden it so more of the salmon is in focus. The lighting is good...perhaps a little reflector could have been added to the left side to fill in the shadows, but it's still very good overall.

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#123 helenas

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 06:12 PM

Well, if you look at the studio photography section for Ms. Sheffer you notice something right away.  Her distinct style on most of them is to turn the angle of the camera a few degrees (look especailly at photos number 4,8,9,11 & 12 in her "Studio" section).  She also uses the anchoring technique already discussed here quite often (1,2,4,5,6,8,11,12).

Not that it matters in the context of the thread, but Nelli is he :smile:

Edited by helenas, 25 June 2004 - 06:13 PM.


#124 robyn

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 06:29 PM

Yeah, I have to admit I'm not feeling the fruit thing quite so much either. It's almost hard to make that stuff look bad. The thing that's useful about posting cooked dishes/dishes in progress is that it is what most people have been doing already in the dinner thread and in the blogs, which was sort of the point of this exercise. So I would either go in that direction, or else pick some commonly occuring challenge like "glare" or "dim lighting" and try to find a means of dealing with it, either in the course of the photo, or via photoshop. At least, that would be much more useful for me.

That was kind of the point - that the subject is relatively easy - so people can concentrate on things like focus - composition - color - the basics. I am certainly not so advanced that I can say I have mastered the basics.

As for things like glare - or dim lighting - I think the latter is relatively advanced - the former can be really advanced (I had to take pictures of silver so I could get auction house opinions - it was basically impossible for an amateur like me to take decent pictures - I couldn't believe what the professionals actually had to do for the auction catalogue).

Anyway - it was just a thought....

Robyn

#125 Behemoth

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 08:22 PM

Okay, I have been playing around all afternoon with a digital enhancer (XnView for the curious). I can't believe how great these things are, but I can't help but feel like I'm cheating. I can recover almost any mistake with this thing! I am about to post an improved pic of the pad thai in the dinner thread. Yet another frightfully addictive plaything...Oy.

edited to reply to robyn -- I am willing to cede the choice of photo topics to the crowd, let's hear a few more opinions before we go one way or another. One option could be to have fruit as just the first round subject, to get people warmed up.

Edited by Behemoth, 25 June 2004 - 08:23 PM.


#126 fifi

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 08:33 PM

fifi has yet another stupid question...

Why is it that, when cropping, I feel like I have to retain the original proportions? Is this a hold over from the 35mm world? In the digital world, does it matter at all? Is it a thing about the normal print stock? If you never print it, who cares? But then, as I look at printed media, not all of the photos (not many?) adhere to the traditional proportions.

I think I am getting another headache.
Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

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#127 tanabutler

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 08:34 PM

Ellen, those two photographs are just so perfect, in composition, framing, color, subject, everything. What kind of lens, and what was your aperture in the second one? (I'm probably not asking the right questions, or enough about the technical stuff.)

Ellen: But people on eGullet as a whole would rather see the information than see no photos because of minor clarity deficiencies of the kind tana is a stickler for. That being said there is a fine line between flexibility in standards and collapse of standards.


Agreed with the first sentence, except for when it's supposed to be documentation of an event at which eGullet team members were included (exclusives, for example), and the shots look amateur. Not everyone with a camera is a photographer. I completely agree with most people wanted to see the information, and I'm in that boat, too: show me your dinner! Sometimes bad photographs still give good information.

But if the photography at an exclusive event, or one in which an eGullet team member has a privileged or unique view, and the shots are out of focus, motion-blurred unintentionally, badly composed, or just awful, it compromises my ability to praise the extremely high level of professionalism and knowledge in this forum. (And praise I do, because I am just flummoxed with how much the eG team knows and has access to.)

Ellen, I just wanted to see this again (and I broke up the paragraph so I could read and memorize it more easily). This is REALLY good information.

Some tips for correcting clarity problems:
1. Learn and work within the limits of your camera. If your camera isn't well suited to macro shots then don't take macro shots until another day when you have a camera that's better than that. Most digital cameras have a comfort zone within which they take their best photos. So move yourself around in order to place your subjects within that comfort zone and then crop if need be.

2. Observe how your autofocus system behaves. Every camera is different but after awhile you will figure out what your camera thinks it should be focusing on, and then you can push it to focus on what you want. You can also learn how to change your autofocus settings on some cameras.

3. Without getting overly technical, there are reasons why when working with zoom lenses the effects of camera shake and restrictions on depth of field will be worsened the more you zoom. So don't zoom way in if those are problems for you.

4. Use the viewfinder rather than the LCD screen when composing. When you use the LCD you extend your arms away from your body and amplify camera shake. When you hold the camera to your face your arms can brace against your body and you get much better clarity through the viewfinder. With SLRs you don't even have the choice to compose with the LCD, and that's a good thing.

5. Follow through, just like in tennis or softball. Taking a photo represents a whole cycle of body and camera motions. Train yourself to wait a full breath after the camera has taken the shot before you allow yourself to move away from the scene.

6. If you have really serious problems with camera shake, there are more things you can do, ranging from learning to control your breathing to using available objects as braces.

7. You may not get as artsy shots but flash, even daylight fill flash, will usually help with clarity.


HERE IS ANOTHER SUGGESTION FOR CAMERA SHAKE: get a tabletop tripod. My ex-husband (also a photographer) gave me one that he hates because he does nature shots. It's changed my photography. I'm still fine with using existing objects or surfaces as a brace, but the tripod rocks. There: you have my big secret.

I had a problem this morning with handheld focus, and I wish I'd saved one of the pictures--oh well, I can describe it. A toddler, backlit by morning sunlight through a window, was reading a book to himself. I set him off-center, to practice with that whatchamacallit on my camera that allows for off-center focus. But alas, the larger pictures revealed little Aidan to be a pink blur, with the plum tree outside in perfect focus. Good-bye, thirteen photographs!

Toliver:
One thing that has been missing from a lot of the posted images is any mention of the equipment being used to shoot the pictures.  I think that should be one of the rules of this forum since it's important information, IMHO.  Listing the type of camera should be a "must". 


Toliver, your suggestions have been so helpful that I think anything you want should be The Rules.

Type of camera = make, model and megapixels? Okay?

Hillvalley: aren't those cotoneaster berries, and not cherries?

Helenas: I knew it was eggplant. All is not lost. Your greens photograph is just beautiful.

Hillvalley: About fruit? Cherries are already out of season here, at least at my farmers' markets.

I agree with the matter of photographing dinner, since that is the biggest (and weakest, visually) thread in eGullet.


I had to deal with a bunch of photos from two different restaurant visits. I am just flummoxed that one shot, under seemingly identical conditions in distance from the camera, lighting, etc., doesn't respond to Toliver's Auto Levels trick. Maybe because the plate has so much golden food on it.

#128 Behemoth

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 08:43 PM

I had a problem this morning with handheld focus, and I wish I'd saved one of the pictures--oh well, I can describe it. A toddler, backlit by morning sunlight through a window, was reading a book to himself. I set him off-center, to practice with that whatchamacallit on my camera that allows for off-center focus. But alas, the larger pictures revealed little Aidan to be a pink blur, with the plum tree outside in perfect focus. Good-bye, thirteen photographs!

Ouch! :sad:

I have taken to enlarging in my LCD screen the first shot of any scene I am photographing, so I can check where the focus is happening. Often have to dump that first photo, but at least I can then try and fix it...its really helped me.

Yet another reason why digital cameras rock.

#129 jhlurie

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 09:06 PM

Agreed with the first sentence, except for when it's supposed to be documentation of an event at which eGullet team members were included (exclusives, for example), and the shots look amateur. Not everyone with a camera is a photographer. I completely agree with most people wanted to see the information, and I'm in that boat, too: show me your dinner! Sometimes bad photographs still give good information.

But if the photography at an exclusive event, or one in which an eGullet team member has a privileged or unique view, and the shots are out of focus, motion-blurred unintentionally, badly composed, or just awful, it compromises my ability to praise the extremely high level of professionalism and knowledge in this forum. (And praise I do, because I am just flummoxed with how much the eG team knows and has access to.)

Okay, now I'm massively confused. While dinner at Jason's house, or hanging out with Ellen at a restaurant, are indeed very exclusive invites, they are hardly the results of privledge which imposes on the eGullet membership.

Using Jason as an example, since I'm less aware of the circumstances of Ellen's photos, the shots you took the most aesthetic exception to were his dinner. Earlier shots, of the BABBP, were pretty crisp--almost definitely within whatever silent criteria most of us would impose--and while they benefitted from the post-processing suggestions of a member hardly broke any kind of trust barrier between the eG team and our user base.

Not to mention the fact that the purpose of the eG team at exclusive events, on the occasions when they occur, are not usually based on us being there as photographers. Sometimes the intent is to report, sometimes it's merely to be a representative of a forum where many of the participants have used our resources in various ways.

Straight constructive criticism is fine, but you seem to be digging deeper. You can say something is blurry without questioning someone's motives or obligations, or invoking creative adjectives.
Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

#130 tanabutler

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 09:08 PM

And you would be smart to do so. I forgot my camera has that functionality. But it's okay--I'm telling myself that all the shots I'm taking these days are experimental.

How convenient, since I have to photograph a 500+ person party at a winery tomorrow, and a farm dinner of 100+ on Sunday.

:laugh:

Tomorrow isn't as critical, but Sunday I will also be taking my G1, with which I am quite familiar, as a back-up.

#131 tanabutler

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 09:28 PM

Agreed with the first sentence, except for when it's supposed to be documentation of an event at which eGullet team members were included (exclusives, for example), and the shots look amateur. Not everyone with a camera is a photographer. I completely agree with most people wanted to see the information, and I'm in that boat, too: show me your dinner! Sometimes bad photographs still give good information.

But if the photography at an exclusive event, or one in which an eGullet team member has a privileged or unique view, and the shots are out of focus, motion-blurred unintentionally, badly composed, or just awful, it compromises my ability to praise the extremely high level of professionalism and knowledge in this forum. (And praise I do, because I am just flummoxed with how much the eG team knows and has access to.)

Okay, now I'm massively confused. While dinner at Jason's house, or hanging out with Ellen at a restaurant, are indeed very exclusive invites, they are hardly the results of privledge which imposes on the eGullet membership.

Using Jason as an example, since I'm less aware of the circumstances of Ellen's photos, the shots you took the most aesthetic exception to were his dinner. Earlier shots, of the BABBP, were pretty crisp--almost definitely within whatever silent criteria most of us would impose--and while they benefitted from the post-processing suggestions of a member hardly broke any kind of trust barrier between the eG team and our user base.

Not to mention the fact that the purpose of the eG team at exclusive events, on the occasions when they occur, are not usually based on us being there as photographers. Sometimes the intent is to report, sometimes it's merely to be a representative of a forum where many of the participants have used our resources in various ways.

Straight constructive criticism is fine, but you seem to be digging deeper. You can say something is blurry without questioning someone's motives or obligations, or invoking creative adjectives.

I'm not talking about eating dinner at someone's house. I'm talking about times when eGullet is included in more unusual or "exclusive views," and I don't mean the BBQ.

And I'm not going into the site and dragging up examples. It's just something that, hopefully, this thread is going to raise awareness of: what composes a good shot, and what composes a bad shot, and how to breach the chasm, if possible.

Clearly lots of shots that might seem marginal have tremendous potential for improvement. Toliver's tips turned six shots I had today into shots I can actually use, as opposed to going, "Oh hell, I have to go back and do it again."

I understand the definition of reporting, andd I know no one in their right mind need spend a half an hour fixing the lighting on the photograph they're going to post about their dinner. It's just dinner! I know that.

#132 Jason Perlow

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 11:22 PM

eGullet is a volunteer organization. An organization in which the "staff" have real lives, real jobs, and whatever contributions they make to this site are as a result of personal sacrifices of time and resources that they can reasonably afford to give.

eGullet has no professional photography staff -- the only person on this site who has such professional qualifications is Ellen Shapiro, and her photography is not paid for by the site and whatever she chooses to contribute, for example her journal of her recent travels in Asia and coverage of the Big Apple Block Party, is of her own good will and graces. Because she is an extremely busy person, for the most part she does not attend "special access" events with the express purpose of photographing for eGullet.

Now, if you have been following along, that means that when we are lucky enough to send a representative to a food event, and are able to get any beyond-regular-means access, photography is on a BEST EFFORT basis, and at best we can expect documentation-type or ameteur photographs, and my own shitty, legally blind, out-of focus, bad subject matter, camera-shaken, anally-retentively-macro-mode-why-does-he-always-go-for-the-extreme-closeup-I-dont-get-it-shots included. Not photographs of a professional nature. Not perfectly focused and composed or in perfect lighting. If they are focused and decently composed, you should consider yourself lucky. So I take extreme exception when someone tells me our photographs or any other content for that matter isn't up to their exacting standards.

I would also like to add there isn't a single web site or example of newspaper or magazine news media with the exception of eGullet that has been able to post such comprehensive editorial and photo documentary coverage of any food event or restaurant meals, especially on the extremely limited budget we are on in terms of human resources and money.

Thank you for your time. We now return you to your regularly scheduled food discussion thread.
Jason Perlow
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#133 Pan

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 11:45 PM

I have been following this thread but have yet to post, and I certainly will not post any of my photos here for comments. I would only say that I completely associate myself with Jason's remarks in his last post, and would add that objecting to typos, misspellings, or grammar mistakes as being unworthy of this site is just as objectionable as objecting to less-than-"perfect" photography as unworthy of this site. I definitely try my best to write every post well, and with proper grammar, punctuation, and spelling, but I do not tell others what to do in that regard, and I can immediately think of a member who makes loads of typos and spelling mistakes all over the place and whose contributions are quite valuable. I will never, never criticize that person for the errors or even mention the errors to that user, because the posts in question are easily understandable and that person is in a unique position to contribute content to this site. (I will not name or even indicate the sex of the user I'm talking about, by the way, so if you want to guess who I have in mind, you're on your own.) eGullet is not a site reserved for professional writers, photographers, and typists - nor even professional cooks. It is for anyone who is interested in matters having to do with food who is willing to operate within the eGullet User Agreement. And if anyone can't stand to look at posts with typos, grammar mistakes, spelling mistakes, incorrect punctuation, improper capitalization, and flawed photos, they are always free to spend their time elsewhere.

Edited by Pan, 25 June 2004 - 11:46 PM.


#134 jhlurie

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Posted 26 June 2004 - 12:02 AM

Pan. that was just horribly written!

Whoops. :biggrin:

Now back to constructive photo criticism. On Ellen's last posted shot, I really like the way the blue border of the plate guides your eyes. I'm not sure if her role in that situation allowed her to choose the plate, but to steal a phrase we've used elsewhere here... it makes it pop.

I'm trying to decide what I think of the soft focus on the plates in the background. I'm not sure yet, but somehow it's making me a bit too curious about what's actually back there.
Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

#135 bleudauvergne

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Posted 26 June 2004 - 04:07 AM

I was going to pipe up earlier, because I thought that the critique from the beginning of Jason's photos was rather harsh. I still don't feel altogether comfortable in the atmosphere here in this thread, because I'm not sure what people expect. Are we here to offer friendly advice? Technical advice? I'll be the first to admit I'm not qualified to do that. Encourage each other? It's what I've tried to do. This is "The Shutter Bug Club", yes? The context and grandstanding that it seems to be developing is offputting, in my opinion.

About Jason's photos: I personally found Jason's shots on this thread to be quite well chosen, and a nice documentation of a special event, with real personality. I will also add, in general, that in watching what he documents, and how he does it over time, in many areas of eGullet, I witness an inspiring and positive creative process that involves his discovery of the equipment he is using and some real flashes of inspiration. I also see within this context someone who enjoys what they are doing, shares their time and effort often and consistently, and the exhuberance is contagious. That's really very important to me as a member of this forum. In fact, in many ways I find that what he shares with us as well as what many others share, translates to a transmission of energy to me that affects my own efforts, which I value more than any "technically perfect" impersonal, glossy, post processed singular studio image.

Not once have I ever felt ill at ease while viewing the work of others on this board because of my expectation of a perfect standard from anyone, forum hosts included. I have no idea what all of the hullabuloo is about. I am certainly not going to worry about spinach in my teeth - because it kills inspiration, it's not a good thing. I'm going to continue posting a lot of amaturely done, dim, less than perfect photos, with glare, focus problems, and riddled with technical mistakes, everywhere, thanks. I cannot justify beating myself up and agonizing over whether a photo is done "correctly" or not, it's a hinderance to my own creative process.

Please Jason, do not ever put a second thought to sharing your photos with us. I can honestly say get a lot from your photo contributions. :biggrin:

#136 Jinmyo

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Posted 26 June 2004 - 05:36 AM

I can honestly say get a lot from your photo contributions. :biggrin:

You forgot a word in this sentence.

Disgusting. :angry:


/Kidding. Sorry. :wub:
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#137 fifi

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Posted 26 June 2004 - 05:39 AM

On Ellen's last posted shot, I really like the way the blue border of the plate guides your eyes. I'm not sure if her role in that situation allowed her to choose the plate, but to steal a phrase we've used elsewhere here... it makes it pop.

I agree on the blue border. Ellen may not have been able to choose the plate, but she had the great good sense to spot the opportunity. Maybe not consciously, because she obviously has "the eye", but she spotted it nonetheless.

I started into photography about 30 years ago when the kids were little. Then I got into botanical subjects that dragged me into the world of macro. Now, because of eGullet dammit :biggrin: , that has extended to food. One thing that happens with me, when I have a camera with me, is that I look at things differently. I now notice how lovely those bits of red pepper are in that salad, or how deliciously that texture of the refried beans makes my mouth water :laugh: . So far, the obsession hasn't led me into cooking for the camera, yet. But, maybe my plating will improve. I have never been much on photographing people (my kids excepted), but Jason's shot of Ed Williams is changing my mind. What a story is in that picture! I need to start trying to develop "an eye" for such opportunities.

All I am saying is that it ain't all technical, folks.
Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

#138 fifi

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Posted 26 June 2004 - 06:33 AM

This is like trying to put a t-shirt on an octopus, so many things to do all at once!

OK... I have been rereading this thread and have now identified my favorite phrase therein. Brilliant! :laugh:
Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

#139 robyn

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Posted 26 June 2004 - 06:43 AM

edited to reply to robyn -- I am willing to cede the choice of photo topics to the crowd, let's hear a few more opinions before we go one way or another. One option could be to have fruit as just the first round subject, to get people warmed up.

That was my idea - to start with fruit the first week - and then get increasingly complex. Gotta learn to walk before you learn to run. Guess the idea kind of got lost in the food fight last night. FWIW - I have Photoshop elements - but I never did all that much with it because my last computer didn't have enough RAM. Just got a new computer with more RAM - so I'm up for learning (either here or on my own). Robyn

#140 Ellen Shapiro

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Posted 26 June 2004 - 06:47 AM

What kind of lens, and what was your aperture in the second one? (I'm probably not asking the right questions, or enough about the technical stuff.)

Back when I was taking photography classes in college and there was no such thing as a digital camera, we used to have to walk around with a notepad and write down aperture, shutter speed, and several other attributes for every photo. It was slow going. A really nice thing about digital photography is that most digital cameras automatically store all this extended information in a format called EXIF. This is a standard format that allows camera-settings data to be stored in the JPEG. So as long as you are using a piece of software that can read EXIF camera settings data, you never need to take notes again. It even tells you what lens you were using. Even though these photos are a couple of years old, I can just pull them up in Canon ZoomBrowser or Paint Shop Pro 8 and tell you all the settings. Actually these are edited down because the full list of settings includes dozens of lines of information about custom functions that I wasn't using:

#####

Tofu:

Camera Model Name
Canon EOS D60
Shooting Date/Time
12/18/2002 9:38:32 PM
Tv( Shutter Speed )
1/45
Av( Aperture Value )
1.4
Metering Mode
Evaluative
Exposure Compensation
0
ISO Speed
100
Lens
50.0mm
Focal Length
50.0mm
Image Size
3072x2048
Image Quality
Fine
Flash
Off
White Balance
Auto
AF Mode
AI Focus AF
Active AF Points
[ Center ]
Parameters
Contrast Normal
Sharpness Normal
Color saturation Normal
Color tone Normal
File Size
1443KB
Drive Mode
Single-frame shooting
Owner's Name
Ellen R. Shapiro
Camera Body No.
1020701864

Salmon Wide

Camera Model Name
Canon EOS D60
Shooting Date/Time
12/18/2002 9:49:20 PM
Tv( Shutter Speed )
1/20
Av( Aperture Value )
1.4
Metering Mode
Evaluative
Exposure Compensation
0
ISO Speed
100
Lens
50.0mm
Focal Length
50.0mm
Image Size
3072x2048
Image Quality
Fine
Flash
Off
White Balance
Auto
AF Mode
AI Focus AF
Active AF Points
[ Center ]
Parameters
Contrast Normal
Sharpness Normal
Color saturation Normal
Color tone Normal
File Size
1668KB
Drive Mode
Single-frame shooting
Owner's Name
Ellen R. Shapiro
Camera Body No.
1020701864

Salmon Close Up

Camera Model Name
Canon EOS D60
Shooting Date/Time
12/18/2002 9:41:21 PM
Tv( Shutter Speed )
1/45
Av( Aperture Value )
1.4
Metering Mode
Evaluative
Exposure Compensation
0
ISO Speed
100
Lens
50.0mm
Focal Length
50.0mm
Image Size
3072x2048
Image Quality
Fine
Flash
Off
White Balance
Auto
AF Mode
AI Focus AF
Active AF Points
[ Center ]
Parameters
Contrast Normal
Sharpness Normal
Color saturation Normal
Color tone Normal
File Size
1648KB
Drive Mode
Single-frame shooting
Owner's Name
Ellen R. Shapiro
Camera Body No.
1020701864

#####

May I suggest something about this thread now? Online community laws of nature are such that as soon as a thread becomes about the thread or the site instead of about the subject of the thread, things get ugly. Gee was I trying to say that before? So I would suggest one of two things, either that everybody exercise self-restraint and hew narrowly to talking about photography in the narrow sense and nothing else, or that we stop this discussion altogether until we can set it up with rules and limits. And I might say that if the first option doesn't get adopted by the group, the second option will probably be imposed by Jon or another manager very soon. And all that was not an invitation to discuss the matter, but rather to get back to the discussion. Hope I'm making sense.
Ellen Shapiro
www.byellen.com

#141 FaustianBargain

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Posted 26 June 2004 - 06:55 AM

I find that the Canon D60 has a consistent underexposure problem (this is noted on plenty of photography sites). I'm not sure if it has been corrected in the 10D and Digital Rebel, but if not you will want always to shoot with positive exposure compensation on the Canon DSLR line.

if you send your d60 back to canon, they might recaliberate your meter..free if you still carry the canon warranty....

i like that image...was it RAW?

#142 Ellen Shapiro

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Posted 26 June 2004 - 07:03 AM

The warranty is only 1 year and the camera is closer to 2 years old. Because this seems to be a universal problem with the D60 I think there was hope that it would be corrected with a firmware upgrade. But the last couple of times I asked Fat Guy to check the Canon support site for upgrades he said that there had been none issued. Half a stop exposure compensation seems to do the trick, though it means you can never shoot on full auto.

Those images were taken as JPEG at the "fine" setting, not RAW. I love the RAW feature for critically important work but find that it does not suit my photography habits. I travel with my camera for extended periods of time in places where it would not be possible to power a laptop and even carrying a "digital wallet" would be inconvenient. So even though I keep about 3 gigabytes of CompactFlash cards with me that would not allow very much RAW shooting, whereas it gives me about 1,500 shots on JPEG "fine" mode. Also RAW images take up extra time in postprocessing, which is okay when you're getting paid but is a hindrance when you just want to share a bunch of photos with people.
Ellen Shapiro
www.byellen.com

#143 fifi

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Posted 26 June 2004 - 07:30 AM

fifi's stupid question #3...

What is RAW setting and what does that mean in processing?
Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

#144 Fat Guy

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Posted 26 June 2004 - 07:40 AM

RAW means you are getting the image exactly as the camera's image sensor recorded it. This is a very memory-intensive way to store data. But it allows for extra flexibility in processing because you have more data to work with. You can "push" and "pull" a couple of F-stops with RAW images with virtually no loss of quality. If you try this with JPEGs you will suffer noticeable loss of quality.

Most cameras by default store images as JPEGs, which are compressed files. There are different levels of compression, each of which makes compromises between storage size and image quality. The highest JPEG quality setting is plenty good for most purposes and usually takes 1/5 or less of the memory that a RAW image takes up.

Not all cameras have RAW settings, but all the professional and most of the "prosumer" ones do. You will need very large memory cards, or be willing to take very few shots between downloads, if you want to use the RAW setting. You also need special software to process RAW images into other, more usable formats (you could not for example post a RAW image on the Web without first converting it into a JPEG or GIF or other universal format), although the newest versions of the best image editors like PhotoShop can handle Canon RAW and some other RAW formats and there are plugins available for some other packages.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
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Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)


#145 helenas

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Posted 26 June 2004 - 08:11 AM

Can you tell us about more about your equipment and the intent of those images?

Ellen, thanks for asking, and i'm almost embarassed to answer as i don't know much about photography: i make pictures of food to show off on Dinner thread :smile: and of my three pets, because they're unbearably cute and goofy.
The main rule i follow i learned actually from you: make as many shots as possible. Usually after making around 20 shots i have one more or less decent :smile:

i use Canon PowerShot S230. Always use tripod while making pictures of food.
Microsoft Photo Editor mostly employing two options: Image Crop and Image Balance.

#146 Stone

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Posted 26 June 2004 - 08:22 AM

I know this is a little off-topic, but it would help if everyone posted their addresses and a schedule of what they're cooking and when. I'm really hungry now.

#147 Behemoth

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Posted 26 June 2004 - 08:57 AM

I know this is a little off-topic, but it would help if everyone posted their addresses and a schedule of what they're cooking and when.  I'm really hungry now.

:laugh:

So.

I’ve noticed several people mention that they feel a bit intimidated and unwilling to post photos on this thread, and I would like to say something about that –

I guess the analogy I have been finding to be most useful for myself (apart from the octopus one, I mean :wink:) is that learning to photograph, for me, has been a lot like learning a new language. The whole point of learning how to take good photos is to be able to express to people something along the lines of "look at this great experience I had" or "look at this goofy thing this kid was doing" or "look how great that sunset is" or here, "look at this dish I made last night, I am really proud of it and I want you to see why."

Learning to take a good picture is like learning grammar. There are a lot of things to keep in mind: "I need to conjugate that verb and use nominative case and was that thing male or female, anyway?" Eventually, with practice, some of these things become second nature and you can move on to more creative ways of expression.

I will make mistakes. People will correct me, or tell me about a better expression for the one I’ve been trying to circumscribe.

You would think anyone who expects you to speak the language flawlessly after 1 month, 1 year, or ever ten years is a jerk, and it is no different for photos. Sure, I could memorize a few beautiful phrases of poetry and when I say them in the language they are perfect and charming. But they are not expressions of what I want to say, and therefore useless for communication.

I think people are born with "an eye" for photography as much as they are born with "an ear" for language. Which is to say, not at all. Being able to express yourself well in language comes after reading a lot, thinking about how to say what you want to say most precisely. If you care enough, you will work on it, and eventualy develop an ear. No one is born knowing how to speak well. We have to appreciate that similarly, plenty of people have aesthetic taste, but it may not show up in photographs because they are not fluent in the language -- yet.

At first you almost always feel like a graceless idiot. This is especialy frustrating if you are used to being good at what you really do in life, be it grad student, chef, lawyer, music teacher, whatever. But eventually, you will have your first successful interaction in a completely new language and be completely blown away by how great it feels. Then slowly these successes happen more and more until people stop commenting on your "fine french" and just have a normal conversation with you, about the wonderful dish you just made, whose tempting photo you just posted on the dinner thread. And that is why I think you should put your pictures up here, critics (both internal and external) be damned.

Edited by Behemoth, 26 June 2004 - 08:58 AM.


#148 FaustianBargain

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Posted 26 June 2004 - 09:53 AM

The warranty is only 1 year and the camera is closer to 2 years old. Because this seems to be a universal problem with the D60 I think there was hope that it would be corrected with a firmware upgrade. But the last couple of times I asked Fat Guy to check the Canon support site for upgrades he said that there had been none issued. Half a stop exposure compensation seems to do the trick, though it means you can never shoot on full auto.

Those images were taken as JPEG at the "fine" setting, not RAW. I love the RAW feature for critically important work but find that it does not suit my photography habits. I travel with my camera for extended periods of time in places where it would not be possible to power a laptop and even carrying a "digital wallet" would be inconvenient. So even though I keep about 3 gigabytes of CompactFlash cards with me that would not allow very much RAW shooting, whereas it gives me about 1,500 shots on JPEG "fine" mode. Also RAW images take up extra time in postprocessing, which is okay when you're getting paid but is a hindrance when you just want to share a bunch of photos with people.

Ellen, the auto feature is a joke with the D60...if it werent for the price we have to shell out for canon dslrs, it would be hilarious...lets just say that shooting auto is just pathetic..

thread irrelevant question..how do you manage to keep your batteries 'alive' during your trips with digital? esp where its cold..nepal/himalayas/high alt...dont know where i read about it..but climbers are becoming amateur inventors trying to use solar power to keep their gadgets alive above the dead zone, it seems...

#149 Ellen Shapiro

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Posted 26 June 2004 - 10:10 AM

There is no room for anything to be pathetic within the bounds of a constructive discussion like we're trying to foster here!

There are problems with Canon's automatic settings and also with the D30 and D60 autofocus systems (the 10D is much better). This doesn't make them pathetic! It makes them challenges for all those of us who can't afford to spend infinite sums of money on camera gear. We make do. Plenty of professionals have been using these cameras for years for a variety of purposes, and they shoot auto and program a lot more than they admit. Because when you need to whip out your camera and capture that moment, when you're not going to get a second chance, you better be ready with your dial on the little square and a prayer that the computer won't screw up the shot.

Of course, if you have time, and you know how (and it's not hard to learn), there's no excuse not to use the various other modes, especially aperture priority which is how I shoot much of the time. But if you get a good picture, you get a good picture, I don't care how you get it.

In terms of keeping batteries alive, I travel with three of them and I keep the spares close to my body under my coat. I don't climb Everest so I don't experience the kinds of extremes of environment that some do, but I get in some nasty conditions with trekking and have done well just using body heat, Zip-Loc bags for protection, and figuring that the worst thing that can happen is I have to fall back on my Yashica T4 film camera which would probably work fine at the center of the sun.
Ellen Shapiro
www.byellen.com

#150 FaustianBargain

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Posted 26 June 2004 - 10:24 AM

There is no room for anything to be pathetic within the bounds of a constructive discussion like we're trying to foster here!

There are problems with Canon's automatic settings and also with the D30 and D60 autofocus systems (the 10D is much better). This doesn't make them pathetic! It makes them challenges for all those of us who can't afford to spend infinite sums of money on camera gear. We make do. Plenty of professionals have been using these cameras for years for a variety of purposes, and they shoot auto and program a lot more than they admit. Because when you need to whip out your camera and capture that moment, when you're not going to get a second chance, you better be ready with your dial on the little square and a prayer that the computer won't screw up the shot.

Of course, if you have time, and you know how (and it's not hard to learn), there's no excuse not to use the various other modes, especially aperture priority which is how I shoot much of the time. But if you get a good picture, you get a good picture, I don't care how you get it.

In terms of keeping batteries alive, I travel with three of them and I keep the spares close to my body under my coat. I don't climb Everest so I don't experience the kinds of extremes of environment that some do, but I get in some nasty conditions with trekking and have done well just using body heat, Zip-Loc bags for protection, and figuring that the worst thing that can happen is I have to fall back on my Yashica T4 film camera which would probably work fine at the center of the sun.

I agree, Ellen..in principle...dont get me wrong..i love my D60...i too use aperture-priority regularly, but one takes the auto feature for granted...d60 lets one done...as a canon loyalist, i feel let down...the biggest ever letdown for me was that the sensor doesnt allow infra red images to be recorded digitally...the D60 is only as good as your fastest lens...my $69 50mm prime PLASTIC lens is my best choice at f1.8...having said that...the d60 is like a first born to me...my first ever dslr..i expect many wonderful things in the future..but it will always be my first...20 years from now...hmmmmmm

i had to resort to layering the camera with fleece and hand warmers during our climbing trips to mt.washington...with wind chill and falling temperatures, it soon became a dead weight...very dangerous when you are counting every ounce you carry on your back.....good times on single use cameras...i am not complaining... :biggrin: ..it never ceases to amaze me how those cheapo plastic throw away contraptions you get from the neighbourhood drugstore almost always deliver beautiful results...its all in the eyes of the beholder etc, i suppose...

thanks! later..