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  1. #271

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael808702 View Post
    your firework pics are my favorite so far idk why but something about them makes me wanna keep looking at them
    Thanks Michael,

    I have a whole bunch more of them from that night that will be posted to my Flickr account pretty soon. I just need to finish going through them and upload em. Probably in about 4 or 5 days they'll be uploaded. They will also be full size, so you can download any of them you want.
    Life is far too short for bland food!


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  2. #272

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    8-29-10
    In today’s “Disneyland Photo Tip of the Day” we will delve into the subject of Focal Distance, Zooming and their effect on your photos.

    For most of us, having a big powerful zoom lens or a strong zoom feature on our cameras is a good thing. However, there are some effects that zooming has on your pictures that you should be aware of. The Focal Length of your lens has a dramatic effect on the depth of field in your pictures. A lens with a smaller focal length, such as a 20mm wide angle lens will produce more depth of field (clearer background) than a big zoom lens will. This means that a 20mm lens set to an Aperture of F/8 will have a greater depth of field than a 200mm zoom lens will, even though they are both set at the same F/8 Aperture.

    I know this seems kind of confusing, so the following pictures will do a much better job at visually explaining how zooming and focal length affect the depth of field in your photos. I used a 55-250mm zoom lens to take these pictures of the Minnie Mouse Statue with the Castle in the background.

    In this first photo, I had the lens backed out all the way to a focal length of 55mm and an Aperture of F/11. As you can see, the castle is reasonably clear in the background. (It has more depth of field)


    For the second photo, I backed up a bit and zoomed in on it to 250mm. As you can see, the castle is a lot blurrier and has much less depth of field.


    Zooming also has another effect on the picture that can be a good thing or a bad thing depending upon your desires for the photo.

    When you zoom in on an object, it doesn’t bring you closer to the object, it brings the object closer to you. That movement is amplified even more on any object that is farther in the background.

    As you can see in these pictures, the first shot at 55mm, F/22,shows the castle about the same distance from the statue as my eyes remember it to be.


    Once I zoomed in to 250mm, F/22, it seems like the castle has moved right behind the statue. This is the amplified effect of the zoom lens bringing the background object closer to you than the foreground object.


    If that is the effect you want in your photo, that’s fine but it can be visually disturbing if not done with the proper balance of focal distance, foreground and background. There are very good professional series zoom lenses available that make it very easy to get that proper balance of distance, foreground, background and depth of field, I just don’t own one yet. YET!.....

    I played with that balance a bit with these shots of the Partners Statue. This shot is at 55mm, F/22.


    This one is at 171mm, F/22 and it did bring the castle closer to the statue, but it has more of a dramatic effect rather than a negative one. I think somewhere around 125mm might have been better though.


    From my personal standpoint, it has always been my philosophy (along with many other photographers) that the best zoom lens you can buy, you already own. It’s your feet. I like to get as close to my subjects as possible, unless of course I am in Alaska taking pictures of Grizzly Bears. For that, I would get the biggest most powerful zoom lens I could find, possibly even attach a telescope to my camera. On the occasions where I can’t get as close to my subject as I would like and need to use my zoom lens, I try to only use it on things where the main subject and the background are very close together, such as this shot of Louis from the Princess Tiana’s Mardi Gras Showboat Jubilee when they did it on the Mark Twain. I was at 250mm for those and it worked just fine.


    I hope this little foray into zoom lenses and focal distance has been somewhat illuminating and answers more questions than it raises.

    There is another type of zooming tool available that is also free. It’s your Crop Tool in your photo editing software and that will be the subject of tomorrow's post.

    Happy Snapping
    © Michael Greening 2010
    Life is far too short for bland food!


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  3. #273

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Hot Sauce 1 you have hit the nail on the head!

    That there friends is why my pictures come out the way they do is I'm always getting close to the subject, and usually I zoom in as much as I can to help separate the foreground from background.

    The big thing to point out and make sure everyone's aware is this isn't just a feature of DSLRs. While the much larger lenses help - you can do this with point & shoots as well! The closer you get & the more you zoom in, the better pictures will come out.

  4. #274

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by Hot Sauce 1 View Post
    8-28-10
    For all intensive purposes, a Neutral Density Filter or “ND” is like putting a pair of sunglasses on your camera lens. They come in different darkness levels and can be stacked on top of each other to become even darker.

    The reason you would want to use a ND filter is because it enables you to reduce and control the amount of light that enters the camera lens. This makes it possible to use smaller apertures and slower shutter speeds in bright light. This comes in handy when you are trying to photograph waterfalls during the day and you want that soft misty look on the water or clouds streaking across the sky. (Mistr Webmastr recently took some wonderful waterfall shots at Disneyland using a ND filter, so I hope he sees this and is kind enough to post them below.)
    I have been on vacation and away from my computer, so I've only been glancing, but now that I actually read through it (great post on ND filters, BTW) I caught you were asking me for waterfall pictures.

    Here's some examples of what you can accomplish with waterfalls & an ND 0.9 filter.







    I want to give you an idea of how an ND Filter works. These two pictures of the Grizzley Falls were taken from essentially the same spot but during vastly different lighting conditions. The first one was taken in January when it was storming like mad, but with no ND filter, and the second one was in June, at noon which is when the sun is brightest in the sky. Notice how they look almost the same, because the ND filter dropped the light down to the overcast conditions.




  5. #275

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Thanks for posting those beautiful waterfall pics Mistr Webmastr. They really help show why a ND filter should be in eveyones camera bag.
    Life is far too short for bland food!


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  6. #276

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    A most excellent update, Hot Sauce! I never really understood the difference other than zoom compresses but your visual examples really helped!

  7. #277

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by Hot Sauce 1 View Post
    8-29-10
    In today’s “Disneyland Photo Tip of the Day” we will delve into the subject of Focal Distance, Zooming and their effect on your photos.
    Very cool effect. Still working on wrapping my head around this concept and how it works with my point and shoot camera. But I like it!

  8. #278

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    I had never even heard of a ND filter before your post. Thank you once again for enlightening us novice photographers!

    That being said, now it is time for the dumb question. Couldn’t you have achieved the same affects with a polarizing filter, and had the benefit of better (or different) color saturation? To use the sunglasses analogy, if the ND filter is your lens’ shades, then isn’t the circular polarizer just the more expensive set of shades with the addition of polarization?
    - Bobd

  9. #279

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobd20011 View Post
    I had never even heard of a ND filter before your post. Thank you once again for enlightening us novice photographers!

    That being said, now it is time for the dumb question. Couldn’t you have achieved the same affects with a polarizing filter, and had the benefit of better (or different) color saturation? To use the sunglasses analogy, if the ND filter is your lens’ shades, then isn’t the circular polarizer just the more expensive set of shades with the addition of polarization?
    Excellent question Bob. For my daytime shots of the Astro Orbiter, a Polarizing filter would have worked just as well, but might have darkened the sky a bit too much. (I'm not really sure) The advantage of the ND filters is that they come in different darknesses so you have more control over how much light you want and they don't do anything to change the colors of what you are shooting. For the night time shots of it, a Polarizing filter would have altered the colors of it, probably muting them too much.

    Polarizing filters are mainly used for landscapes because they richen the colors of the sky and plants and for trying to reduce the glare off of things such as glass or water. They are excellent at reducing glare
    Life is far too short for bland food!


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  10. #280

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    8-30-10
    Today’s “Disneyland Photo Tip of the Day” is going to focus on the first and most important part of post processing, The Crop.

    The act of cropping is keeping the part of the photo that you want people to see and getting rid of the parts you don’t.

    The first and most important thing about cropping is to ALWAYS use the largest file size that your camera will allow. Cropping eliminates pixels, which means your cropped picture will be smaller than the original, so depending upon how much you cut out, you may not be able to make very big enlargements. For online viewing, this isn’t much of a problem.

    The next important rule of cropping is to Be Brutal! If it isn’t necessary, get rid of it!

    The first step in making a good crop is making the decision about what needs to be in the photo and what is either a distraction or doesn’t add anything to the photo.

    When cropping a photo make sure that what you keep captures the essence of the picture. Feel free to change the dimensions to suit the picture. Also feel free to change from Horizontal to Vertical and vice versa.

    When I was at Disneyland last week, I photographed the Flag Retreat Ceremony. Those photos will provide us with perfect examples for this discussion on cropping. We’ll start with the original photo and then discuss the "why’s" and the "how much" of the crop.


    My first crop was to put the drummer on the edge of the frame in order to get rid of the distraction caused by the drummer behind him and the shadows on the ground. The problem with this crop is that it cut the person on the left edge in half.


    I then cropped it tighter to eliminate the half person on the left. The problem now is that it cut off my main subject a little too close to the ankle.


    The reason cutting him off at the ankle is not good is this;
    When cropping people, never crop at a joint (elbow, wrist, ankle, knee) or parts of the hands or feet. When cutting off someone, especially a woman in the torso, cut either below the breast or above it. Never in the middle.

    Next I cropped even further, going halfway up his thigh and eliminating the saxophone player on the left. I cut off part of his drum but as long as the top of it is showing, you know what he does.


    In this shot of Ernie, who is so disciplined in precise in his movements that he is an absolute pleasure to watch, all I want to focus on is him and that stone determination in his face and salute.


    I switched from Horizontal to Vertical and cropped him mid thigh, just below his left hand and kept the picture just wide enough to keep his entire right arm.


    In the next shot, the officer on the right needs to stay because he is who is receiving the salute but the drum behind him is pretty distracting as is the musician behind Ernie.


    I didn’t want to put both of them on the very edges of the frame so I just cropped a little bit to make them more of the focus.


    In this shot of the flag almost down, the red and white stripes are very dramatic but lose some impact because of the red marquee on the Opera House in the background.


    I cropped in mostly from the upper left corner, just enough to leave the flag at the edge of the frame so the stripes have a more powerful presence in the photo.


    In the next shot, the three Color Guard are so intense and Ernie is especially focused that he should be the sole focus of the shot.


    Again I went from Horizontal to Vertical and kept just him holding the flag.


    In this one, I love Ernie’s expression and his reverence to the flag but what makes it even more powerful is the difference between his downward gaze and the two other Color Guards staring forward.


    So instead of keeping just Ernie, I cropped it to leave all three, to showcase the difference between them.


    I also cropped in much further, keeping just his hand and the flag for a more emotional shot, which is the one I used the other day in the Watch People Work post.


    As you can see, an extreme crop like that requires a huge file, so that is why I say to use the largest size your camera will allow. You spend so much money just going to Disneyland that extra memory cards are a cheap investment in order to get great memories.

    I hope this “cuts down” on any confusion about cropping and helps make your photos shine.

    Happy Snapping
    © Michael Greening 2010
    Life is far too short for bland food!


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  11. #281

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Wow! Great post. Really shows how effective cropping can be if done well.

  12. #282

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by Hot Sauce 1 View Post
    Excellent question Bob. For my daytime shots of the Astro Orbiter, a Polarizing filter would have worked just as well, but might have darkened the sky a bit too much. (I'm not really sure) The advantage of the ND filters is that they come in different darknesses so you have more control over how much light you want and they don't do anything to change the colors of what you are shooting. For the night time shots of it, a Polarizing filter would have altered the colors of it, probably muting them too much.

    Polarizing filters are mainly used for landscapes because they richen the colors of the sky and plants and for trying to reduce the glare off of things such as glass or water. They are excellent at reducing glare
    I have both a circular polarizer, as well as ND filters. They are intended to do different things. Polarizers remove non-metallic glare, plus drop the about 1.5 F-Stops. ND Filters are specifically designed to reduce light uniformly, without changing the colors. They're both different means to accomplish an end.

    To be perfectly honest, this is one area I'm still trying to learn. I run around taking lots of pictures, so I usually forget to try stuff like taking different pictures with ND filters & polarizers.

  13. #283

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by Hot Sauce 1 View Post
    8-30-10
    Today’s “Disneyland Photo Tip of the Day” is going to focus on the first and most important part of post processing, The Crop.

    The act of cropping is keeping the part of the photo that you want people to see and getting rid of the parts you don’t.

    The first and most important thing about cropping is to ALWAYS use the largest file size that your camera will allow. Cropping eliminates pixels, which means your cropped picture will be smaller than the original, so depending upon how much you cut out, you may not be able to make very big enlargements. For online viewing, this isn’t much of a problem.

    The next important rule of cropping is to Be Brutal! If it isn’t necessary, get rid of it!
    Talking about cropping brings up a good point about Optical vs Digital Zooms. Optical zooms are adjusting glass elements which magnify the image to the sensor. Digital zoom is where the camera essentially crops the image. My .02: NEVER EVER use digital zoom. You can always crop later, and you might loose stuff you'd prefer to keep.

    The other thing about cropping: Be careful how much you crop down. While it might look good on screen, keep in mind that a 18MP picture really is only as good as 35mm up to 8x10. The more you crop, the smaller it gets, and the smaller you have to print for it to not be pixelated.

    This is a good example:

    This image is slightly cropped, at 2075 x 3113 pixels. Printed at 600DPI (which is comparable to 35mm prints.. but more on DPI later) comes out to just over 4x5 from my 8MP camera.



    This one was a portrait picture I cropped to landscape. It is only 2304x1536. This one could only really be printed as a 3x2 picture.



    Ultimately cropping is an excellent creative tool, but just be careful how much you chop out. Your best tool is framing the pictures the way you want in the camera.

    (Note, if your curious how big your pictures can be printed, I calculated them from this handy form: Image Size Calculator/Convertor. I would highly recommend at least printing at 200DPI or above, to not see pixels when you look closely at your prints.)

  14. #284

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by Hot Sauce 1 View Post
    8-30-10
    The reason cutting him off at the ankle is not good is this;
    When cropping people, never crop at a joint (elbow, wrist, ankle, knee) or parts of the hands or feet.
    Excellent point!


    Quote Originally Posted by Hot Sauce 1 View Post
    In this shot of Ernie, who is so disciplined in precise in his movements that he is an absolute pleasure to watch, all I want to focus on is him and that stone determination in his face and salute.
    I'm glad you captured Ernie! Great crop!







    Really like the "before" and "after" format. Helps me to see what you saw and then how you changed it.

  15. #285

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by MistrWebmastr View Post
    (Note, if your curious how big your pictures can be printed, I calculated them from this handy form: Image Size Calculator/Convertor. I would highly recommend at least printing at 200DPI or above, to not see pixels when you look closely at your prints.)
    Awesome resource! Thanks!

    Also, one more word on picture sizes. Most point and shoot cameras, no matter how many MP they are, will, in normal configuration, compress the file. Which means, unless you have a way to choose inside your Point and Shoot camera, you still will only be able to print up to about an 8"x10" photo without .jpg artifacts. Some point and shoot cameras will give you the ability to choose from RAW or compressed file, etc... But you usually have to CHOOSE it.

    The feature is mostly to save space on your memory card and to shorten the time it takes between one picture and the camera being ready for you to take the next one.


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