Friday, March 06, 2009

Camera Settings

On the off chance you might be curious, here's a list of camera settings I use:

1) manual focus - but rely on focus confirmation in viewfinder

2) manual exposure - placing the exposure mark above and below the centre as I think the image needs - I don't take advantage of the spot metering capability

3) mirror lock - always when on tripod and

4) tripod is used 98% of my images

5) EI 100 - why would you use anything else unless you need it

6) exposure blending - occasional - 1% of shots, I tend to shoot in fairly soft light

7) stitching - even with the 1Ds2, I still stitch about 1/3 of the time, especially if the image is going to differ from 2:3 - so for square images and panoramic images especially.

8) focus blending - using Helicon Focus - about 1/4 of my images

9) my most frequently used lens is the 70-200 f4L, why would a landscape photographer want to carry the extra weight of the 2.8?

10) flash - what's that?


Jen said...

EI 100?? I guess that's ISO 100. I haven't come across "EI" before. What does it stand for?

George Barr said...

I'm dating myself, ei is exposure index, by which I really meant iso, which used to be asa for us dinosaurs.


Carbon Based said...

I'm surprised that you most used lens is a 70-200mm and for "landscape" photography. Why is this your lens of choice?

Personally I use the 17-40mm on my 40D for landscapes and as a general walk around lens. But then I envision landscapes to be sweeping vistas of a sort.

So depending on your view of what "landscape" means or the method of achieving it (stitching) I can see using the 70-200mm, I guess. Could you elaborate further?

Jen said...

George, do you ever combine techniques, for example, exposure blending and stitching? I'm more into combining focus and exposure blending, but I'm never sure what is the better workflow. Blend focus and then blend exposure is the way I do it, but the results never seem quite as good as I'd like. What are your thoughts on this? Thanks.

George Barr said...

In theory you could stitch, focus blend and exposure blend all in the same image, but you are now into say 4 for stitching X 12 for focus blending X 3 for exposure and that's 144 images - this is getting silly. In this situation I will drop the stitching and accept the limits on print size. The number of images that need both focus blending and exposure blending is considerably less than 1% of my images and I almost never use automatic exposure blending, preferring to do any exposure blending manually. I would then focus blend the sets first then exposure blend if need be.

I am not a great fan of exposure blending, much preferring lighting which won't require it.


Anonymous said...

My part of the world (rural western New York state) is relatively wet and covered in green stuff, unless it's covered in white stuff. So I actually find the f:2.8 version of the 70-200 zoom useful for landscapes, using the term loosely. I like to frame single branches of (say) dogwood or other blossoms, or droplet-covered buds in the rain, against a soft wash of background color. It works best wide-open.
Toss in three or four other lenses and an Eos-1Ds class body, pretty soon the incremental weight of the f:2.8 version over the f:4 becomes trivial.

Geoff Wittig

Dave Thomas said...

We could add super-resolution to the mix so that your 144 could be multiplied by, say 5 exposure. As these tools and computers evolve, we are going to need make judgements about where to stop.


chester said...

add manual white balance and blend different color temperatures.

George Barr said...

white balance only has relevance when shooting jpegs - which I never do. You can certainly process raw images in more than one way, then combine the images in layers and use masks to control where the effect is going to take place. I don't often do this, but occasionally...