Photography

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See also Digital Images for more on processing and organizing images. See my /Learning Journal for goals and progress.

Contents

Techniques

When you take pictures, there are basically three things you control:

Today's cameras do 90% of the focusing and lighting work for you, which means you can focus on composition.

Focusing on story.

10% of the time, your camera does the wrong thing. This is where the quality of your camera comes into play, specifically:

"The Big Picture About Exposure" from the The Bastards Book of Photography offers a great, simple explanation for how to control the amount of light your camera receives using manual settings. You start with your camera's exposure setting, which essentially manipulates:

You can also manipulate these four settings manually.

Kelby Training a possible source for online courses.

Composition

Focus:

Using telephoto lenses

The Kind Of Shot That Ultra Thin Depth Of Field Was Made For

Lighting

Filters:

Aperture

A nice explanation of apertures and focal lengths, and why you can't get good depth-of-field in point-and-shoot cameras (like mine).

In general, to [get shallow depth-of field], especially w/ point-and-shoot cameras:

Online Depth of Field Calculator

Fireworks

Dynamic Range

Panoramic

My Equipment

My primary camera is an Olympus OM-D E-M5. I also have a Canon PowerShot S95.

I have a Manfrotto 293A3-A0RC2 tripod with a ball head and QR plate. More on tripods here. I also have a Joby GorillaPod.

I have a Yongnuo 560 III and RF-602 wireless trigger. I may want to get some gels.

Digital cameras have limitations on video length.

Film cameras:

Old cameras:

Managing Photos

Most of my public pictures are on Flickr. View analytics via flickrstats. One day, I'll upload some of these to Wikimedia Commons. I'm intrigued by ThisLife and Everpix.

I use Adobe Lightroom for editing and photo management. There have been some suggestions that Olympus Viewer will render the RAW files more effectively than Lightroom, and that you should process RAW in Olympus Viewer, generate 16-bit TIFFs, then import those into Lightroom for processing and management. I've compared the two, and I haven't seen any differences in the rendering. Others have questioned this as well and have pointed out other tradeoffs.

Old

I wrote some of my own tools for cataloging my digital prints, which are now heavily outdated. They were inspired and based heavily on Gerald Oskoboiny's digital photo publishing software.

I'm experimenting with exiflow for managing my digital photography workflow (renaming files, metadata, etc.). F-Spot has an extension that supports an exiflow workflow.

I'm constantly disgruntled by F-Spot, but I keep returning to it, because it keeps getting better. I'm not crazy about F-Spot for importing images off of my digital camera, so I'm thinking about switching the default to gThumb.

I pondered a move to Google Picasa, but decided against it due to lack of development of its Linux client. If I ever do make the move, I'll need to import my F-Spot albums.

And now I've moved to Shotwell, because that's now the default in Ubuntu. I'm thinking about Lyn on my Mac.

Other tools of interest:

Services for scanning old photos:

Notes

Tags + types. Tags can have types. If I want to get really funky, types can have relationships -- an ontology! For example, the "Eugene Eric Kim" tag could be of type "People." This would allow me to do faceted classification.

Collections (or albums) cannot be tags, because you want to be able to do special things, like define cardinality and other metadata within a collection. However, you ought to be able to assign a photo to multiple collections.

I'd love to integrate Greg Elin's Fotonotes for granular annotations.

Developing and Printing

Two highly rated shops in San Francisco are:

I visited Dickerman Prints on December 17, 2013. They are incredibly friendly and helpful. The woman there made me feel really comfortable, showed me how to use Photoshop to enhance my photos, and helped me print the images. You choose one of six sizes (smallest is 12x30 for $30) and tile your images for printing. You can do this on your own and print remotely as well.

Developing film:

Notes on using expired film. Quick summary:

Favorites from Eugene Chan

Photo Mosaics

The best tool for doing these on Linux seems to be metapixel:

See Also

Photographers

Mentions from my photography class (April-May 2013):

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