I took several pictures for HDR and Photomatix and I was wondering... Can you possibly tell me the basic steps you use? I have never really played with it, but now I am really excited about a few of these images.
I've wanted to write an HDR tutorial for some time, but I have so little time these days. Here's a roundup of a bunch of HDR tutorials. I've read them all and pick and choose methods that work best for a particular image.http://tutorialblog.org/hdr-tutorials-roundup/I currently use a 19 inch Viewsonic CRT. I am looking at the Dell 24 inch widescreen Ultrasharp LCD. What are you using and what are your thoughts on the Dell?
Dell's Ultrasharp line of monitors is very good and are usually manufactured by the same people that make the Apple Cinema displays. The Dell 24" display is a very good monitor. Apple displays look nice and they are usually the recommended monitor; but the Dell ones are just as good and for a lot less money. They also have more manual controls for calibration.
I use a Dell Ultrasharp 20" widescreen Flat Panel Display. I like it a lot. It also calibrates nicely, that is before I got Windows Vista. They haven't updated the calibration software to work with Vista just yet, so my monitor is uncalibrated. I prefer using a single widescreen monitor instead of 2 separate monitors.I'm looking for a lens to take to Las Vegas along with my 28-135mm lens. I also want it to fill a gap in my lens collection. What do you think of the Sigma 17-70mm macro? Any other suggestions? I need a macro lens and a wide angle. A small mid range zoom is also needed.
If you want a macro lens, save your money for a true macro lens. The Sigma zooms that say macro are not true macro lenses. Now the Sigma 17-70mm is an okay lens. From what I've read, you need to stop it down to f/8 to get the best results; otherwise it may be a bit soft. Here are my choices for lenses at the moment, although I've not really used many of them yet:Wide Angle
: Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-45. A good cheaper alternative would be the Tokina 12-24mm f/4-5.6.Macro
: Sigma 150mm f/2.8 Macro. You can't beat the price / performance.Medium Telephoto
: Canon 70-200mm f/4 (non-IS). Again you can't beat the price / performance.
My next lens will probably be the Canon 85mm f/1.8 for portraits. For Las Vegas, I'd also bring the 50mm f/1.8. It will be great for low light shot without a flash. Just bump up your ISO.I have a Sandisk 1.0GB compact flash card in my Canon S500. Would it make a difference to the speed of the shots if I upgraded to a faster card, perhaps the Sandisk Ultra II 2.0GB? Would this difference be noticeable?
The answer is yes, but it will not solve your problem with the S500; and here's why...
Your S500 can probably write data faster than a standard Sandisk Compact Flash card can handle, but not much faster. The speed gain will be negligible with this camera. Your camera also has a buffer of somewhere around 2 or 3 frames where the pictures are stored before they are written to the card. So unless you are taking more then 2 or 3 consecutive shots in a row, you won't notice the speed at which that data is written to the card. The only time you may even notice any difference is if you are using the camera's video function. In that mode the camera continually writes to the card and the extra speed may give you smoother video in some circumstances.
However this is not the "slowness" you are encountering with the S500. The perception of slowness has to do with the S500's shutter lag. That is the time between the moment you press the shutter button and the time the actual picture is taken. Like most point and shoot digital cameras, the S500 uses a traditional CCD sensor. This is the same type of sensor that is found in your video camera, and it allows you to get a live preview on your camera's LCD window. The disadvantage of this is that when you press the shutter button to take a picture, the camera turns off the CCD sensor momentarily to reset it for the proper exposure to take the picture, and then resets it again to display the live preview. All this resetting takes time with a traditional CCD sensor and that translates into shutter lag.
The digital SLRs advantage is that first of all they don't use a traditional CCD sensor. They use CCD that specifically designed for photography and not video, or they use a CMOS type sensor. The first thing you'll notice about an SLR is that there is no live preview on the LCD screen. It's simply not designed to do that. SLR's use a traditional mechanical shutter to take the picture, so the sensor is either exposed to light or not exposed to light. This means no resets in between and very little shutter lag as compared to the point and shoot cameras. The lag between the time the button is pressed and the picture is taken is very short, so the camera seems to react "faster" and you are more likely to get the shot you intended to get. Digital SLRs also have larger buffers, so you can take a lot more pictures consecutively, especially in JPG mode before the camera slows down due to the write speed of your memory card.
The differences can be summed up this way. A point and shoot digital camera feels like a boat. You can't stop a boat immediately, it takes time. A digital SLR is feels more like a car. You can stop a car relatively fast. There's still some delay between the time the brake is applied and the actual time the car stops, but it’s a lot faster than stopping a boat.I just wandered across your site while searching for photography destinations in the South Florida area. I'm a Miami resident who recently found himself intrigued by nature photography. I have a 10 day vacation coming up, and would appreciate any suggestions for photography destinations within 100 miles or so of the Miami / Ft. Lauderdale area. My gear list might help, in terms of letting you know what sort of equipment I'll be carrying. I'll be shooting a 20D with a 17-40mm f/4 USM L, a 50mm f/1.8, a 100mm f/2.8 macro, and a 70-300 f/4 - 5.6 USM DO IS.
Thank you for writing. As you can see, most of my images are of birds, because they are abundant around South Florida. You'll find many of the nature photographers in South Florida concentrate on birds as their main subject. If you decide to pursue nature photography seriously, a 400mm lens is about the minimum that you would need to effectively capture images of birds. Of course there are other subject matters and it seems that you are well equipped to handle macro and wide angle landscapes.
With only 300mm, you'll need to get fairly close to your subjects, and there are two places in South Florida that you can do that. The first is Anhinga Trail in Everglades National Park, and the second is the Wakodahatchee Wetlands in Delray Beach. Both places allow you to get fairly close to your subjects. Aside from those places, you can always practice at a zoo. The Wings of Asia exhibit at Miami Metrozoo lets you get pretty close to your subjects. Flamingo Gardens has an aviary with many native birds from South Florida. Butterfly World in Coconut Creek, lets you get pretty close to many smaller birds and butterflies.
I hope that helps you find some good destinations for your vacation and bring home some fantastic photos.
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