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Author Topic: Gaining technical knowledge for picture interpretation  (Read 3030 times)

junkwerks

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Gaining technical knowledge for picture interpretation
« on: October 15, 2012, 01:08:37 AM »
Hi folks,

Wondering if you can suggest some sites or books. I want to learn how to "read" or interpret photographs to troubleshoot the technical side of the image. In other words, what am I looking for to tell if there are problems/limitations with the sensor, lens, AF, light metering, etc.

Will take suggestions on composition too, but want to focus on the above.

I am new to the DSLR way of doing things. Currently using a T2i and FF in the works.  I still have my Nikon FE2 from the early 80's but looks like it is retired now.  Haven't shot anything since the early 90's.

Thanks.

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Gaining technical knowledge for picture interpretation
« on: October 15, 2012, 01:08:37 AM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: Gaining technical knowledge for picture interpretation
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2012, 01:48:00 PM »
For lenses, start here: http://www.canonrumors.com/tech-articles/how-to-test-a-lens/

For sensors, check for dust by shooting a white wall or clear blue sky at the narrowest aperture of your lens.  For dead/hot pixels, take a picture with the lens cap on at ISO 100, 1 s shutter. Download and run an analyzer (google dead pixel analyzer).
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RLPhoto

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Re: Gaining technical knowledge for picture interpretation
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2012, 01:59:50 PM »
Hi folks,

Wondering if you can suggest some sites or books. I want to learn how to "read" or interpret photographs to troubleshoot the technical side of the image. In other words, what am I looking for to tell if there are problems/limitations with the sensor, lens, AF, light metering, etc.

Will take suggestions on composition too, but want to focus on the above.

I am new to the DSLR way of doing things. Currently using a T2i and FF in the works.  I still have my Nikon FE2 from the early 80's but looks like it is retired now.  Haven't shot anything since the early 90's.

Thanks.

As for technical stuff, I wouldn't know much.

As for compositional stuff, I can actually recommend kenRockwell.com. Just ignore all the crap about his technical reviews but pay attention to the compositional advise he has. It does make sense.

I also recommend a visit to the thrift stores around you and visit the used book section. They tend to have alot of film photography books that teach composition, Which is timeless.
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neuroanatomist

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Re: Gaining technical knowledge for picture interpretation
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2012, 02:04:45 PM »
Also, books by Michael Freeman (Photographer's Eye, etc.).
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junkwerks

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Re: Gaining technical knowledge for picture interpretation
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2012, 04:58:44 PM »
Thanks Neuro/RLPhoto,

I will take a look at you recommendations. Stuff can be found by searching and I have been doing some. Reputable one-stop-shops are nice though. I want to say that I saw a write up on Canon AF written by you, Neuro.  Same person?  Don't know what site I was on at the time.

neuroanatomist

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Re: Gaining technical knowledge for picture interpretation
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2012, 05:02:38 PM »
Yep, me - on The Digital Picture.
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dr croubie

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Re: Gaining technical knowledge for picture interpretation
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2012, 08:00:58 PM »
www.luminous-landscape.com also has some great articles (except that they're all in weird categories that sometimes don't match what they're about, best pick a title that sounds good and skim-read to see if it's what you want). Keep an eye out for words like 'understanding', 'tutorial', and 'how-to'.

Techniques
Tutorials
'Understanding' series
Essays
Columns (these are organised by who wrote them, not what they're about, so just click through and 'back' if you don't like it)
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Re: Gaining technical knowledge for picture interpretation
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2012, 08:00:58 PM »

junkwerks

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Re: Gaining technical knowledge for picture interpretation
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2012, 12:31:06 PM »
Thanks dr croubie,

Looks good. Will be spending some time there.

Working on getting schooled up to the new way of doing things. I still want to grab the aperture ring. Not working out too well though.

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Gaining technical knowledge for picture interpretation
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2012, 05:04:46 PM »
Yet another supurb site for information.  You will see it quoted often around here.  Read it all, there is a huge amount of technical information there.
http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/

veraphoto

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Re: Gaining technical knowledge for picture interpretation
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2012, 06:43:23 PM »
I Strongly recommend this book. It is a very good resource and spends a few pages on precisely what you are requesting, technical interpretation of pictures. (I did a on week training session with Syl at Maine Media this summer and it was such a good expenditure of time and money, well worth it)

Lighting for Digital Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots (Using Flash and Natural Light for Portrait, Still Life, Action, and Product Photography)

Amazon Link:
http://www.amazon.com/Lighting-Digital-Photography-Snapshots-Portrait/dp/0321832752/ref=la_B0030620A4_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1350427098&sr=1-2

junkwerks

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Re: Gaining technical knowledge for picture interpretation
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2012, 05:58:23 PM »
Mt Spokane/veraphoto,

Thanks! Both look like good suggestions. 

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Re: Gaining technical knowledge for picture interpretation
« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2012, 08:16:06 PM »
I've looked at quite a few books and one really useful one was Mastering Digital SLR Photography by David D. Busch (he also wrote Canon EOS 7D Guide to Digital SLR Photography which is how I discovered him, I sought out a good guide right after I'd purchased my 7D).

What I really like about his style is that he starts with how lenses and a sensor work - simple colourful diagrams - and then he moves on to how to get the best out of your camera, as well as shooting tips.

junkwerks

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Re: Gaining technical knowledge for picture interpretation
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2012, 11:55:29 PM »
Thanks DB. Will check it out. Think I saw it in a local book store a few weeks back when I was looking for something else.

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Re: Gaining technical knowledge for picture interpretation
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2012, 11:55:29 PM »

Menace

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Re: Gaining technical knowledge for picture interpretation
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2012, 10:14:13 PM »
A slightly different approach to improving your skill is to join a local photography club. Ours meets twice a month - once for a workshop and once for a themed trophy competetion judged by an independent industry leader.

Judges are impartial and only interested in the merit of the photographs - they highlight good points and offer advice as to how to improve technical and artistic aspects of your photograph(s).

As competetions are 'set subjects' all members enter their interpretation and best judged image on the night wins. I've learnt a lot from these judges.

If there are not such clubs in your area, you can always start one and join up with some like minded people and invite professional photographers to judge.

Have fun and enjoy  :)
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bycostello

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Re: Gaining technical knowledge for picture interpretation
« Reply #14 on: November 19, 2012, 08:20:41 PM »
all the joe mcnally books are great for lighting.... even though they are nikon centric....  check out the strobist web site too

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Re: Gaining technical knowledge for picture interpretation
« Reply #14 on: November 19, 2012, 08:20:41 PM »