Today I take on your photography questions! Earlier this week I went live in the Beginner Photography Podcast facebook group where I answer group questions!
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In This Episode You'll Learn:
How to get from where you are, to where you want to be in photography
How to get Lightroom Presets
Do you really need a full frame camera to be competitive
Are there any lightroom competitors that don’t have a monthly fee
Weather it’s better to use your cameras viewfinder or LCD screen
How to get started shooting weddings in a new city
When you should use Hard light
Do you need an external flash or not
How to use Flash Correctly
How to keep photos looking consistent in different lighting
Why your landscape photos might be fuzzy
How to run a photography business
How to not kill your love of photography
What focusing mode to use and when
How to know when your photos are good enough
Weather I use Photoshop or Lightroom more
Do the number of focus points really matter
How to get better at compositions
How to take great photos indoors without off camera flash
What settings to start off ever photo session
How to properly size your photos to send to clients
Did you enjoy this episode? Check out more recent interviews with other great guests!
Full Episode Transcription:
Disclaimer: The transcript was transcribed electronically and may contain errors that do not reflect accurately what the speaker said. Because of this, please do not quote this automated transcript.
Raymond: 00:00 Hey guys, Raymond here from the beginner photography podcast. And today I'm answering your questions. So I am doing a Facebook live right now. I am live in the group. Yesterday I asked a in here, in the group what questions did you have that were burning about photography. And today here I am and we are going to get to these.
intro: 00:24 Welcome to the beginner photography podcast with Raymond Hatfield, the podcast dedicated to helping you grow your photography skills. Raymond interviews the world's top photographers in their field to ask questions that will get you taking better photos today. Now with you as always, husband, father, home brewer, La Dodger Fan and Indianapolis wedding photographer. Raymond Hatfield
Raymond: 00:53 Going to get on into this. Like I said the other day I, I reached out to the group and I asked all of you what questions do you have about photography that are just burning inside of you? And right now, I'm going to take that time to answer those questions for you because well I've been editing my face off for the past few days and I'm looking for a break and I'm excited to interact with you guys. So let's go ahead and get on into it. Okay. Let's see. Six, right? Yep. Okay. So we're going to go ahead and start. The first question was from Isabelle and her question is, how do I get from where I am to where I want to be? Well, Isabel that is a a, I mean, that's a, that's a personal question, right? I can't answer that for you, but I can lay down kind of the the roadmap, right?
Raymond: 01:43 So the first thing to figure out is where do you want to beat, right? There, this is good analogy. Now I've never been sailing before in my life, but apparently when you go sailing, you don't plan your trip like you do in a car. Like I start from my house, how do I get to here? Okay, first I take a left turn out of my, you know, driveway or whatever. What you do is you plan backwards is that you plan from the destination to where you are currently. And that is how you plan sailing. And that is I think the best way to get from where you are to where you want to be. So the first step is defining where is it that you want to be. And I would encourage you to like really dig deep and find out what that means to you, right?
Raymond: 02:25 Like what is it that you want to be shooting? How much of that do you want to be shooting? If it's business related how much money do you want to be making? And then if you know how many clients you want, just divide that number by how much you want to make by how many clients you want to have. And then there's how much your average session fee should be if you don't want to be taking on clients. And then you figure out you know, the genre photography that you want to shoot. And then my next step would be go out to find others who have done exactly what it is that you want to do and then
talk to them. That's the whole reason why I started the right. I just wanted to talk to photographers better than me so that I could get better in my skills.
Raymond: 03:05 And then you guys are listening to the guests as well, which is going to better bring up your skills. So again, how to get from where you am to where you, where you are to where you want to be. Figure out where you want to be and then talk to people who have done it before you. And then I would get their advice. Start from there. Okay. next question is from Kimberly. Kimberly asks, where do we find your light room presets? I believe somewhere available somewhere and I could be wrong. Whoa, Kimberly, you really went back in the in the archives of the episodes and you're absolutely right. So those presets that this is the thing about podcasting that I'm realizing is like, it's not, it's not a weekly thing. Like whatever I put out goes out for years.
Raymond: 03:55 So very early on in the in the history of the podcast, we did offer presets for people to a that they could download. Unfortunately as there was some changes behind the scenes, I can no longer offer those presets. But I have made some new presets. They're, they're, they're a whole lot more, there's a Levon presets, I believe that they are, and they're an entirely different category. We went a different direction with the podcast. But if you're still interested in those presets they can either be purchased a on the beginning of photography, podcasts website which I will link, leave a link if that's possible as well as if you become a patron of the podcast, those presets are now available to you as well. So I hope that that helped. Okay. Next question from Michael.
Raymond: 04:52 If Michael is still here Michael Asks One, he has two questions. Do I really need a full frame camera to be competitive in the field and to, is there a light room, quote unquote elements that's a onetime buy and not a subscription. So two great questions. I'm going to tackle the first one first. That's always a great place to start unless you're sailing. Number one. Do I need a full frame camera to be competitive in the field? The short answer is no. No you don't. The long answer would be what field are you trying to be competitive in and how do you define competitive? Right. if you're asking, do you need a full frame camera to be proficient in a field of photography? No, you don't. I don't think that you need a full frame camera doll. In fact, I switched from full frame cameras, full frame canon cameras with the assortment of lenses.
Raymond: 05:51 Two crop sensor, Fuji Cameras. And I noticed a, I mean there were some hiccups on the camera side of things that have since been fixed since I first switched with, with hardware upgrades and software upgrades. But as far as the aesthetically speaking I was worried about that. I gotta be honest. I was worried because when I, when I was first starting out, I have a canon, I started with a cannon, a x t and then I went to the cannon a 40 d and I kept thinking to myself like, oh my gosh, you know, think of how great these images are going to look once I go full frame. And what I realized once I went full frame is that it's really not that much of a difference. It's really not. And I think that the, especially if you're shooting anything more than you know, 10 or 15 feet away, you're not going to notice much of a difference if you're, if, if you're shooting like astro photography, going full frame is probably smart just so that you have that extra full frame sensors can, can gather in more light and therefore it makes it a little easier.
Raymond: 06:53 But even for me shooting weddings where I shoot in pretty dark areas like reception venues and stuff, I've, I've been extremely happy as well as I've also never had a single client say anything about the photos aesthetically in, in a negative sense. Since switching to Fuji with Crop Sensor Lenses, so or crop sensors. So do I think that you need a full frame camera to be competitive in the field? Nope. I don't, let's go back to your other question, which was, is there a light room, quote unquote elements that is a onetime buy and not a subscription. So what he means by that is with Photoshop and with like Adobe premier,
you can buy like Photoshop elements or Adobe premier elements. And these are kind of like basic versions of of like the full fledged software. Adobe does not offer a light room elements.
Raymond: 07:53 And I think that's because a light rooms biggest, the re the, the, the point of light room is, is of course you can do some editing, but it's more along the organizational side, right? If it was all about editing, we would just have Photoshop, right? But with light room we have the ability to organize vast amounts of photos and then do some editing as well. But we look at it as an editing program. In fact, the name alone is, its official name is Adobe Photoshop light room. So, so it's not trying to be a Photoshop competitor, it's a branch of Photoshop and therefore it's more focused on the organization or the, yeah, I'm the organization. That being said, I did look up some light room alternatives. I can tell you that I've never used any of them because I exclusively use light room because it's what I've used for so long and you know, it paying for it for me makes sense as a, as a business decision.
Raymond: 08:54 So I will leave this link in the comments, but there is also some great information. So the first one that I found is on one pro or photo Raw 2019. So when you click on it, it takes you to this page right here, which you can see. And one of their first articles is switched from Adobe today. Learn how easy it is to switch your workflow on, on one. So yeah, like I said, I will leave the links below for you to check these out. It has a 30 day free trial, I believe. Is that what it says? Yeah. try it free today. No credit card required. So I would I would give that a shot because if you're not looking to pay for you know, a monthly subscription to light room, then this could be a really good alternative to you if it, but I would say legitimately, I would say, because I think a lot of people are kind of hung up on the subscription idea of lightroom.
Raymond: 09:53 And if, if, if you just looking to do some basic editing in photos, there are so many like free options, right? So many free options, including if you're on a Mac, just like the preview or photos that every Mac comes built in with photos. So you can, you can use that. You can edit photos in there and do it that way. But if I had to do it all over again knowing how powerful light room is, I would, I would probably pay the $10 a month, which includes both a Photoshop and Lightroom. I think. I think that's a killer deal. I use it more than I watch Netflix and we play, we pay more of it for, you know, Netflix. So it makes sense for me. So next question comes from Graham asks, why do I bother trying?
Raymond: 10:44 And I asked grantm for some more context. I said, talk to me what's going on? That's what I want to know, Graham, if you're watching, man, let me, let me know what's up. Okay, next question is from Leah. She says, is it better to use the view finder or the screen? I'm sure it's a preference, but what are the pros and cons of the two yet? You're right, it's totally a preference. Totally a preference. A, there are some pros and cons. Especially. Okay. So as you get into higher caliber cameras, so there's less of a, of a difference between the pros and cons. But I will say that when you shoot with the viewfinder, it's much faster. It's much more intuitive experience because you're in it, you're, you're immersed in the whole situation and you kind of have all the information that you need right in that little square that you're looking through and you can actually see what's going on, right?
Raymond: 11:39 But you know, your, your aperture, your ISO and your shutter speed all within the viewfinder that's technically all that you need. That's all that you need to take a photo where using the screen comes in handy is being able to see an accurate representation of the seen in front of you, right? So if you adjust your shutter speed or your aperture ISO, you can see how it affects the exposure of your photo. Either the, either the photo gets brighter or it gets darker, right? And you can see that. You can see how the photo will turn out. The problem comes a for me at least with traditional DSLRs, is that if you're looking at it through the screen and then you go to take the picture, the, the, the mirror has to
close, the shutter has to close and then it has to open and then open again to expose for photo rather than video.
Raymond: 12:28 Because the only way for it to see a video is to get that raw sensor information. So when you go to take a picture, it has to turn all that off, take a photo and then turn it all back on. And that is a very long process. On top of that, I mean lot long in term like, you know, it's like, I don't know, two or three seconds to take a photo, but when you're at like a wedding or something and like you need that like response time, it's too long. The next thing I've found is that auto focus is nowhere near as fast when you are using the screen on the back of the camera than if you're just using the view finder. And that's because when you're using the view finder rather than the screen, you're looking out through the glass and you're not, the sensor is free to do any calculations that it, that it needs to do or I guess the camera, the sensor is not really doing any calculations about the camera itself is free to do any calculations that it needs, including a figuring out exactly what should be in focus and nailing that focus.
Raymond: 13:23 So it is a preference, you know, if you're just shooting you know, like flowers around the house or something. Yeah, I would say go for it. You know, just use the screen if it's easier for you and make sure that you nail exposure. Or if you use a mirrorless camera like the Fuji cameras that I use since there's no mirror issue to go through a, they're kind of made for that, but kind of made for being able to use the screen if you wanted to. And I I do that quite often. Leah, I hope that that answers your questions. If you have an entry level DSLR, it's not going to be as easy. If you have a, a mirrorless camera, then it's more made for that and it's easier to do. But it is kind of a preference.
Raymond: 14:03 Next question is from Riley. Riley is a he's been in the group for awhile. He says how do I get started in wedding photography? How do I get my first wedding even for free in a new city? So Riley, this is a good one. This is a good question. When you get started in a new city, if I were to move, I'll tell you what, if I were to move to a new city today, what I would do is I would I would put out, I have a Facebook page right with my business on it. What I would do is probably reach out to probably start some Facebook ads, right? Do some Facebook ads, just tried to network, try to meet people. And if you're just starting off, just starting out, offer a free engagement session, right?
Raymond: 14:48 Offer free engagement sessions to couples. If they are looking for a free engagement session, they're probably going to get married. And then if you provide a good enough experience, there's a great chance that they will book you to shoot their wedding. So that's, that's what I would do. And then at that point, you know, it doesn't, it doesn't have to be free if you, you know, if, if, if you give them a free engagement session and then they like working with you and they liked your photos, they're not going to expect a, a, a free wedding. So that is how I would suggest getting into wedding photography if you're moving to a new city. Next question, not a beginner question, but a question nonetheless is from Omar by the way. He says a, when should you use hard light and when should you use Softlight in your pictures to take artistic style, take artistic style out of the equation and just go for the technical factor.
Raymond: 15:37 No problem. Let's see. Well, Omar the short answer is you can't take anything artistic out of the equation when it comes to photography because photography is art, right? When it comes to lighting, like that's a choice. You can always choose the light that you use, right? Now it may not be without any additional work, but you can always choose the life that you are going to use and therefore I'll try to answer your question in sort of a technical way. When should I use heartlight and when should we use Softlight in photos? Soft light is always going to be best for I take that back. You know what? Start off with soft light.
Start off just looking for soft light. Don't overwhelm yourself trying to do everything all at once. So focus on the soft light. That's all that you need to worry about.
Raymond: 16:28 Okay? Once you figure that out, then you can move on to trying to make hard light work for your photos. But when it comes to hard light, hard light is typically more of a, it's definitely more artistic. It's more stylized. And it's used to accentuate like details and textures. So like staircases buildings you know, things with like hard lines, things that are like engineered, right? I think always looked best with hard light. It gives it a very strong feeling. But as, as far as the soft light goes, I would say I just always look for soft light. It is very rare that I come into an occasion where hard light is like, this is the answer, this is the one that I need to use. And then that is what I, what I do. So just focus on trying to see the soft light because that's going to be the majority of the light that you shoot under.
Raymond: 17:20 And then once you feel like you have a really good grasp on that, once you feel like you can go out and find that naturally, then go ahead and start working on hard light. Next question is from a Darrell. Darrell said lighting is a good one. For a question, do I need an external flash or off camera like a luma cube or don't worry about it. Well they're all, you should always worry about lighting. Lighting is one of the most important factors in photography. Photography in the Greek translation means writing with light, essentially like recording light, documenting light and therefore it's very important. You need to always be focused on it. So when you ask do I need an external flash or like an off camera, like a luma cube I can tell you that a flash is probably the one thing.
Raymond: 18:16 Learning how to use flash properly is going to be the one thing to where if you are proficient in using your camera, if you're proficient in shooting in manual and you're like, okay, like I get it, I can shoot manual. Like this is how photography works. If you want to level up, if you want to get to the next level of the aesthetic of your photos, it is going to be in off camera flash. Now, the next question is do I need an external flash or an off camera, like a, like a loom. So what you mean is like a, like a video light or something, something that doesn't just like pop light but something that keeps light on continuous thing. I think as we go on, so a flash will give you so much more power, so much more power.
Raymond: 18:57 I mean the amount of the amount of flash power that comes out of like a, I should, I should have one right around me. They're all in my bag. So the amount of power that comes out from a flash, like a hand, like a on camera flash is enough to overpower the sun and you can get that amount of power by using four AA batteries. You know what I mean? But if you want it that much light power continuously from like a video light, you would need to have enough electricity to electrocute an elephant. And like, I'm not joking, like it's a lot more electricity. So a flash will give you a lot more power and a lot more control. But the Luma cube or some sort of video light will give you instant feedback and it is more convenient that way.
Raymond: 19:43 So it's up to you. But if you ask you and your question with or don't worry about it, no, definitely worry about it. Lighting is the most important factor of photography. And once you learn how to master light, once you learn how to see light correctly the, the quality of your photos is just kind of explode. It just gonna go up. Okay. Next question is from norm. How do I use a flash correctly? Well, normal. Great segue. I love that. How do you use a flash correctly? A flash. It's funny that you ask I should've brought this out before. Let's see. I have a whole course on how to use flash. It is called flash in a flash. This isn't like a, you know like a one size fits all class. This is not going to turn you in from somebody who's, who's never used a camera to somebody who's taking like incredible photos.
Raymond: 20:38 This course is for people who know how to use manual. It is your, are proficient in your skills in a shooting with your camera, your DSLR, or your mirrorless
camera. But this literally takes you through everything. I mean from opening up the box for your flash for the first time to you know, going out and shooting in crazy locations in beautiful or harsh light and getting incredible results. So if you want to check that out, I'll put that in the link below as well. So next question is from Brooke. She asks, how do you keep photos looking consistent in different lighting? That's a hard one. That's a hard one. You know our eyes naturally just kinda properly expose everything, right? So when we go out it can be hard to see a big quantity of light in, in different situations.
Raymond: 21:29 And I think same with color. Our eyes are really good at figuring out correct colors, accurate colors. But a camera is not so much. So how do you keep your photos looking consistent in different lighting? And the answer for me at least is editing, is editing. That's it, right? If you can get a great exposure in camera editing, just puts on the finishing touches. If you go out and you you know, go a little bit over, expose a little underexposed, then you can fix those problems in, in Lightroom to edit everything so that they look consistent. But I think that's probably what you're going to be doing most of right now in the stage of photography. But as time goes on, you are going to learn more and more to be able to shoot it right in camera. Next question is from Brooke.
Raymond: 22:20 She says, my landscapes always look kind of fuzzy. I tried to keep the ISO down. Aperture is in between eight and 11. If I can, oh, if I can. And they just never look as sharp as I would like them to as I'll ask help. And I said Brooke, what Lens Are you using? So she said that she is using the 70, 75 to 300 millimeter kit lens. And then actually I said, what your shutter speed. And she says, I keep the shutter speed as fast as I can depending on the lighting I'm working with and not try to go below 150. So Brooke, it sounds like you're doing all the right things, right? You have a, a small aperture to keep everything in focus using a fast shutter speed to make sure that there's no motion blur. So what's going on?
Raymond: 23:06 The truth is it's honestly in this case, it is the lens of the Ket Lens that comes with your camera is generally made out of plastic and therefore the image quality is not so good. When, when you know, you, you tell a photo in and get close to things, things like a chromatic aberration where the light just doesn't meet up correctly on the sensor, even just like a tiny, tiny, tiny amount will show up in the edges of, of all of the edges, all the contrast, the edges of anything in your frame. And that is going to give it a look that is not not sharp, but one that is soft. So hope that helps. I hope that, I hope that made sense. So to, to get over you could you would have to upgrade your lens honestly, to something that is like an all glass construction.
Raymond: 23:52 So typically if you're shooting like that telephoto what would probably do you well is the any else series lens. So Canon makes a a 24 to one oh five, it's an f four lens. But the all glass construction makes images much, much, much sharper for you. Okay. Next question comes from Thomas and he says, how do you keep your photography business running without it killing your love for photography? And then I got an amen on that one. So this is a hard one because this is one that I'm I've faced to be honest, I'll be honest with you. I've faced this when you go out and you shoot, like for a living, like it's your photography business. It does become a job at some point, right? You get into it because it's creative and then at some point it becomes a job.
Raymond: 24:41 And that, not that it's a bad job, right? It's one of the best jobs, but that's not the question that you're asking. It is how do you keep your photography business running without killing your love for photography? And for me, I think that the answer is getting out and shooting something that you are more passionate about, right? So I love shooting weddings. I love going to weddings. I love people like literally on the happiest days of their lives. And I get to share that time with them, right? And then they feed me cake, right? Like it's a great day. It is a great day. And I love the experience being around such like positive
people is, is, is fun and it's exhilarating, right? But at the end of the day, all of these people as much as I love them and they are great, you know, wonderful clients, like they're not my kids, right?
Raymond: 25:28 And I'm going to have naturally more of a passion and more drive to, to spend time with my kids. So what I do is I just photographed my kids, right? We go out and I want to do something fun. I want to put them in that fun environment that that I'm often at with brides and and grooms at weddings. Like they're having fun, they're having a great time, that makes me happy and want to photograph. So I put my kids in those sorts of environments. I take them to the park, I go, you know, do fun activities. We go to the fair, like we do fun stuff. And then I document that I photograph that because now they're in a great mood. I'm having fun, I'm watching them, I can document this process and that fulfills me. So even though you love photographing things, it's possible that you are photographing things that you're not a hundred percent passionate about and that can be difficult.
Raymond: 26:19 Or so. So then if that's the case, then you know, then you would have to find something that you are extremely passionate about and also photograph that. Or if you discover that what it is that you are photographing that you're not super passionate about, then then you need to transition. You need to stop doing that thing that you don't enjoy and start photographing what it is that you do enjoy. Next question is from Charlene. She says focusing modes. That's her question. They make my brain hurt. I don't know why I just leave it on auto, but I'm wondering to pry open, I'm wanting to practice manual. Any podcasts or articles of yours about this that you can recommend. I have a Nikon focusing is not the easiest thing in the world. You are not alone, Charlene. It is not. It is not something that everybody, it's not as intuitive as a lot of people think that it should be.
Raymond: 27:12 And I agree. I think that it should be a more intuitive than what it is. But it's not. So this is what, this is what we got to do. In fact, a long time ago, a Canon had a film camera that inside of the viewfinder it would see where you were looking at somehow and then it would focus on that thing and I thought that is the coolest thing in the world. Like that is like, that is wonderful. We should do more of that, but for some reason, I don't know if it's a fixed analogy behind it, but we, we moved, we moved away from that. So that's unfortunate as far as wanting to practice manual, manual focus is, is depending on what you're shooting, it is going to be the biggest nightmare of your life. Right? I think that auto focus is like is a blessing.
Raymond: 27:55 It is one of the best things in the world because it's so much faster. And if you, if you understand how to use it, it is, it's way faster and it's more accurate than manual focusing is. So I always let the camera do that work. Now if you're photographing things like flowers or you know, birds beat, you know, whatever it is, like things that aren't as eventful I suppose where things aren't as hectic where you have to move around and you have to like do things quick and capture things quick. Manual photography could work just fine for you. In fact, like there's been plenty of times where I tried to take a photo of something like really close up and then the lens like Hunt's for focus and that is really frustrating. So that is when I turned on manual focus. But when it comes to focusing modes, I would say start off with the easiest and just use single point auto focus mode and then just use the single point in the middle of your camera.
Raymond: 28:49 So van is what I would that is what I would focus on first as far as articles or podcasts about it. We don't have any because people who are looking for something like that are looking for like like an exact answer on their camera and there's just so many different cameras, you know, camera models that it's impossible to you know, make up, make an article for each one. So we we have, we haven't done that. Next question I believe is from Fricker. If I got that wrong, I apologize. She says how do I know when my photos are good
enough? Seems like a lot can be done with post-processing, but I'd rather work on my skills for straight out of camera first. A great intuition and I agree with you 100% if you know that you can get a shot right in camera than the amount of editing.
Raymond: 29:44 Okay. Well let me, let me start off with this. Like high-end like commercial photographers have to do a lot of Photoshop work, right? A lot of composite work. So their photos are already in Photoshop, right? Which is like the, like the, like the world's best resource to edit photos and manipulate photos. But does that mean that they can just kinda like be relaxed when they're shooting the images? Absolutely not. Like there is more attention paid. There's more attention to detail paid while shooting in that situation so that when the photos are brought into Photoshop or whatever, you know, editing program, they have to manipulate the image. It is done and it is right. And that is the way that we need to learn how to shoot. We need to stop looking at Lightroom and Photoshop as, as bandaids for our bad photos.
Raymond: 30:42 Although it can do that, but we need to look at, we need to start with the camera first. If we make sure that the, the, the photos that we take that are coming out of camera are great. First editing is just going to be a breeze and it is going to be enjoyable. It's not going to be something that you dread. So once again, how do I know my photos are good enough? My, my, my, my first reaction was good enough when you're editing, but I guess that's not the question. How do I know that my photos are good enough? I guess that you have to define what is good enough. You know, I can't answer that for you. That's not a very technical question. I can't just say when it's properly exposed, it's good enough because it's more than just that. It is more than you know, getting a good expression.
Raymond: 31:25 Because if you get a good expression and the photo was terribly underexposed or overexposed, it's still a bad photo. If you get a great exposure, but it's a terrible expression or nothing's going on in the frame, it's a terrible photo. So it's really a culmination of a lot of different things from composition from having the right settings. And then just like a little bit of magic, you know, just being in the right place at the right time. But as far as like like how do you know when your photos are good enough? I guess I need a little more information on that question. Do you mean good enough before you start editing or good enough just to shoot out a camera to, to, to be done with? So that would be my answer though, honestly. Like if you are happy with the photos, then they're done.
Raymond: 32:07 That's it. You know, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to do like the perfect debt and spend all this time to like make the, you know, everything perfect. And then there's no definition of perfect, you know, it just do like it. But I think when we're faced with so many different choices of sliders and buttons and options, we're never going to think, say, this is perfect when we know that we can do something else. So it's hard and I think that as time goes on, you're going to figure that out. But today you just gotta keep working, putting in the work. Next question comes from Cory. Do you use Photoshop or Lightroom more Cory? I use light room way more. I use light room like 98% of my workflow because most of my work is is, is, is, is shot closer to right in camera.
Raymond: 32:47 So there therefore I don't have to manipulate the photo. I look at Photoshop as photo manipulation and Lightroom as just basic edits and I typically just have to do more basic edits than total manipulation. So yeah, light room more for me. Okay. Next question. Ashley. Do a, the number of focal points really matter on camera and if they do, is that a huge difference to buy one with more focal points? Well, actually my first DSLR was the canon x t and it had seven auto focus points, two on each side, two on the top and bottom, and then one right in the center. And I got focused, you know, whenever I needed it. I had a hard time a lot of times, but it had a total of seven auto focus points. Okay. The New Canon
Eos are, has 5,000, 600 auto focus points and it goes from edge to edge of the amount of auto focus points.
Raymond: 33:45 So yes, it will make a huge difference, but this is one of those things that like, as time goes on, like I would say five years from now, every single sensor is going to have to full frame auto focus capabilities. It's not just going to be like, oh, a handful of points or even like a lot of points, it's going to be like, oh, it doesn't even matter because we have enough. It's like megapixels, you know what I mean? After like five megapixels, everything else is just extra. It's just extra. So therefore will it make a huge difference? Yeah, absolutely. And that is why we're working on making it better and better. But for today I would say you know, I think my Kenneth 70 d has like 19 auto focus points or something like that. And that's enough for me.
Raymond: 34:27 You know, like when I'm, when I'm shooting. But I will say that my Fuji Expo Two has 391 auto focus points and that camera it seems to be more intelligent when I, when I go to take a photo and it chooses focus. So next question comes from Akshay. Can we have a podcast on how to get good at composition and what to do to get inspiration for developing skills? Okay, great question. As far as, so composition is simply for those listening is simply how a frame is composed, how like where you point the camera, where the camera is in space, when you take a photo and then how that affects the frame for if you take a photo down low looking up, it is going to look entirely different than if you have the camera up high looking down. Right? But if you know, you don't have to change, you know, you don't have to move your feet, you don't have to change any settings.
Raymond: 35:22 Just, just changing where the camera is in space. Makes two entirely different photos. So talking about good composition and how do we get inspiration for developing skills, to be honest I haven't made a podcast on this because it's hard to talk about, you know, it's a very visual thing to talk about and that is why I I haven't made a podcast episode on it, but I did make a, a whole blog post about it. It is called the ultimate beginner photographers guide to composition. And in it, I go through my three favorites compositions, like the easiest ones to get started and how I use them, how, you know, you can use them as a beginner and how you can do intermediate and then into advanced and then with a whole bunch of examples of my own kids throughout their lives as well as putting them all together.
Raymond: 36:14 Like how, like, how to keep looking out for these things. So that is I will, I will leave a link for that as well and if you're listening to the podcast that will be in the show notes. I, all of the links that I post will be in the show notes. Okay. So a great question. I would check that out. As far as inspiration goes, to be honest, I would say paintings, paintings, like like old paintings. Like we're like Rembrandt like Da Vinci and set like I would go back and look at those paintings because those were math. Like they didn't have any sort of extras. So they had to like be able to see it and like something made them stand out and oftentimes it was both the lighting and the composition and, and paintings make great, great, great compositions. So check out some of those.
Raymond: 37:05 Google is a great resource. Google arts I believe it is, is a, is a great resource for that. So just take some time and go through them. Check 'em out. Next question is from Jer. How do I take a good picture? How do I take a good picture indoors without off camera flash and like terrible nursing home colored walls. I think sage and eggshell and cadet blue with the worst placing of windows ever. I feel like it's a white balance thing, but I've never had to play with the white balance a ton shooting softball and outdoors unless it is just insanely bright. So then Jared says a, and I would sell my soul for a sports photography guest. Guess what Jer? I interviewed Vinny bugliese on the podcast who has become a, a a
friend of mine who I will I will post the link below and post it in the show notes as well for you to listen.
Raymond: 38:00 It was a great, great, wonderful episode. So Jer is a question about how do I take a good picture indoors without off camera flash? Well you're right, it is a y balance thing and it's because the different types of light, right? So fluorescent light is green and it's gross window light is blue. When you mix these together and like everything's kind of PR, like it just doesn't look very good. It's washed out. You right. You know, you're absolutely right. As far as off camera flash goes, you don't need an off camera flash. If a, you know, sage and Eggshell, I'm assuming, I'm assuming that the, that the ceiling is white, right? The ceiling, nine times out of 10 is going to be white, especially in a nursing home. So you don't have to have an off camera flash. If you just have a flash that you put on your camera, all that you gotta do is point it straight up at the ceiling.
Raymond: 38:45 It doesn't have to be off of your camera at all. So that when you take a photo, what do we know about light, right? Softlight comes from a large light source. That is why on a cloudy day there's less shadows on the ground because the light is being diffused from the sun through the clouds and dispersing, making it much softer light, which looks better. So what you can do is take your flash pointed at the ceiling. Now the ceiling is the entire light source. The ceiling is the entire light source, much larger than a flash head. And then when it bounces off the ceiling down on the people you're taking, a photo of it is very soft, nice light. And now because that light can just overpower everything else, you don't have to worry about that other light. You don't have to turn off lights or anything.
Raymond: 39:28 It is so much brighter that to that to get the exposure that you need for that Flash, it will underexpose all the other types of light and you will get consistent lighting. So I mean, you could do that for like 60 bucks. You know, you can buy an, or you can buy a a dedicated flash to put on your camera for like 60 bucks. So I use the the yungnuo 560 IV and you can find those on Amazon again, super cheap. And I, I use them all the time. The great next question we're coming to the end is from Christina. Christina says, when I should have manual, how do I know what to start your settings at?
Raymond: 40:11 For anything like portraits, landscape, kids, et cetera. Is this just something you learn over time? I feel like I'm constantly like, okay, let's try these settings for this shot and see what happens and then hold on. She's got a follow up. How do I ensure that your posts will be sized correctly for high quality print such as canvas? Okay. Yeah, that's a, that's a different question. Okay. So let's tackle this first one first and we got a garbage truck outside. So if you can't hear me, I apologize. Okay. So when shooting manual, how do you know what to start your settings at? Well, great question. I start all of my settings exactly the same at every single shoot and then I adjust from that. My settings always start out at F 2.8 at a shutter speed of one to 50th of a second at ISO one above base.
Raymond: 41:00 So on my Fuji Cameras, the base ISO is 200. So I start off at 400 on Canon cameras. The base ISO is 100. So I go up to 200 and then I take a photo, right? And then I look at, I look at it on the back of the camera, I look at the histogram to see if it's properly exposed or not. And if it's too bright, the first thing that I do, I turned down the ISO because it doesn't need to be anything higher than as low as it can go with the photos too bright. And then I also speed up my shutter speed as well. I take another photo and then if it's too bright, like you gotta look at the, the light meter on the inside of your viewfinder. The light meter is the thing. It looks like a little a set of numbers.
Raymond: 41:39 It should have like a plus one plus two plus three. And then on the other side it has a negative one, negative two, negative three. And what that is, is telling you how exposed your photo is. If it's plus one, it's saying that your f that the camera thinks
that your is one stop over exposed. If it says negative two, it thinks that be your photos, two stops underexposed. So what I do is I adjust my shutter speed to get it right in the middle. I take a photo and then I adjust from there because oftentimes the camera doesn't make the right decisions when it comes to what is properly exposed and what it's not properly exposed. I like to make that decision, but those are the settings that I started with for the, you know, for first session. Every single time when I show up to a session, those are my settings.
Raymond: 42:20 But as time goes on you will get better at reading light and you will be able to see like, oh, you know what? Actually I know that these are all my settings and I haven't even taken a photo yet, but it is, you know, it's too dim out here. I'm going to bump up my ISO to, you know, 800 and I'm going to slow down my shutter speed to one, one 25th of a second, and then we can go from there. Then you take a photo and then you make those slight adjustments. So, Oh, if that helps. And your next question was how do I ensure that photos will be sized correctly for high quality prints such as canvases, et Cetera? Well, the, the, the answer is if your camera is more than five megapixels, you can just export your photos at full resolution every time and they will be perfect.
Raymond: 42:59 They will be perfect. You know, you can't, I'm not going to add resolution. The thing is like, it's not like what's that phrase like trying to fit 10 pounds of potatoes in a five pound sack or something like that. It's not like that, right? When you have all these extra pixels, if you try to upload it to print it on a canvas, it'll just, you know, adjust and we'll just, you know, make the photo fit that canvas. It's not going to make it gigantic. So I would just export everything at full resolution and then you know that you're set and okay. Laurie has one more question. She says, what is the lowest mega pixel image you would send to a client after cropping and editing? What is the lowest megapixel image I would send to a client after cropping and editing? Well, the truth is when it comes to delivering images, you got to think what I do naturally is I just export full resolution images, right?
Raymond: 43:52 From my clients. I just deliver full resolution images. They get it all right. Every single pixel, it's there. So you can do whatever it is that they want with it. If they upload it to Facebook, it's fine. If they want to get it printed, it's fine. But if you were to do something where a lot of portrait photographers shoot, and then they edit the photos small in the hopes that their clients will purchase prints, right? Because suddenly if the photo is too small to print, then they have to come to you to buy the prints. And that makes sense. That's not the, the area of photography that I'm in. But if you, honestly, like if you, it's hard nowadays because screens are such high resolution. If you just take a screenshot of something that's going to be large enough to print, you know, if you take a screenshot on your computer, that's going to be large enough to print.
Raymond: 44:40 But I wouldn't deliver anything personally. I wouldn't deliver anything smaller than five megapixels. Honestly. You can do pretty much anything with five megapixels and that's what I want. But if you wanted to go that path the way you didn't want clients to print your photos without your permission or without going through you, then one megapixel would be the largest and that would be you know there would technically be high definition is one megapixel. So there's that. It's all up to you and it's a, it's a personal choice. I choose not to go that way just because it, you know, with kids at home, it just doesn't make sense for me to spend all that extra time to make a few extra dollars on prints. If people are happy with their photos, I want them to do whatever it is that they want with them.
Raymond: 45:25 So, okay, guys, that is it. Thank you so much for joining me today on this Q&A for the beginner photography podcast Facebook group. I had a great time answering your questions. If you want your questions answered be sure to head over to Facebook and join the group yourself. We are now at what's the official count, 1,120 members in the group and it is one of the group is so active that I have a hard time keeping up. I gotta be
honest. But it is so much fun to jump in and answer these questions for you all at once. So head over to facebook.com and search the beginning photography podcast. You'll find the group and then a request to join. There are just a few quick questions once you answer them, you're in the group and then is it all right? Until next week, I want you to get out. I want you to keep shooting. I want you to stay safe and I want you to focus on yourself. That's it. I love you all.
outro: 46:17 If you enjoy today's podcast, please leave us a review in iTunes or your favorite podcast player and continue the conversation with Raymond and other listeners of the podcast by joining the beginner photography podcast Facebook group today. Thank you. We'll see you again next week.
BPP 148: YOUR Photography Questions Answered!
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