All right, talk about camera movement. Cause camera movement can affect the sharpness of the image. So we did talk about this before, so I'll move quickly here. As we talked about the hand holding rule of thumb is you want a minimum shutter speed to be one over the focal length of your lens or faster. And so if you have a 60 millimeter lens, you want 1/60 of a second or faster. Now, if you have a crop frame camera, 1.5, 1.6 two times, or something else, you do want to figure that in as well. With a 60 millimeter lens on a crop frame camera you should probably have a 90th of a second because that's what the crop factor is. It's magnifying your view by that, it's magnifying your movements by that. If you have a 200 millimeter lens on a micro 4/3 system, you should really be shooting at a 400, maybe a 500th of a second. And so one over the lens, multiplied by the crop factor that you're actually using. So, for the full frame user, 50 millimeters well that's going to be around a 60 millime...
ter lens, you're 100 to 400, well that depends on where you're zoomed at for that shot, 125 to 500. Every camera manufacturer has their own little letters and what's happening is that the stabilization systems are continuing to get better. And so for instance, Nikon started off with stabilization vibration reduction that helped out by two stops. Would let you hand hold the camera two stops more. Now some of their cameras are four stops. I think there was somebody who introduced one, and I forget if it was Nikon or not, it might have been there 180 to 400 that I think is five or six stops. I think it was five stops better. And so technology gets better in these systems so the more current your lens is, probably the better the stabilization system that's going to be in there. With Nikon, they have vibration reduction, as they call it, they will have a normal and an active switch on there. Normal is if you're hand held or your on a monopod. Active is if you're riding in some other sort of vehicle, like an airplane where there's going to be mechanical movements on top of your normal human hand movements. And so normally you would leave it in normal, but active is for those other devices that you might be traveling on. And then there are some that have a sport mode, which is designed for panning. And so when you're panning, you don't want the camera to correct for your movements because you're intentionally moving. And so if you are specifically trying to do panning you may want to turn it into that sport mode on the Nikons. And so there are a number, I'm just trying to cover a few of the most common stabilization options out there. Some of the higher end Canon lenses will have three different options. The basic lenses will just have one option on it. The first option is just for normal, handheld photography and that's what you're going to find on most of their lenses. If you wanna put it in the second one, it's gonna accommodate for panning and it's not gonna correct for your movements panning. And it has a special third one where it turns off the image stabilization as you look through the view finder. You'll find that as you look through the view finder the camera, the image that you see does not mimic exactly your movements and some people get a little seasick because they're moving it, but they don't see it move, and then it moves and they're not moving. And some people, that doesn't work out very well with them. And so you can turn that off in certain types of action photography. And in all these cases, you don't want to have this turned on if you're camera is really steady on a tripod. You don't wanna have this turned on because what's happening is the lenses want to move a little bit to correct for your movements, so they're looking for movement and then it might actually get caught during the time of exposure when it's doing that. So just turn it off when it's on a tripod. And yes, a lot of us forget to turn it back on when we take it off, but you get used to it. You learn your lessons. Something else to be thinking about is the camera movement versus the subject movement. What is actually moving in there. And so in some cases you need to correct for your own movement, and sometimes you're needing to correct for their movement. Tripods, we'll talk more about these in the gadget section, but it's great for getting the sharpest photos, enabling great depth of field cause you can shoot at any different aperture you want, cause you can shoot any shutter speed you want. And I like it for really precise composition and slowing you down to think more about what you're doing. And I know, cause I do a lot of travel photography that carrying around a tripod is not the most convenient thing and it's not what I wanna do all the time. It's what I wanna do some of the time because it's a tool for solving problems. Now, one of the most popular photographic destinations in Seattle is our incredibly germy, second germiest in the world, gum wall down at the Pike Place Market. And you're gonna probably go down there if you're vising Seattle from out of town and photograph the gum wall. I haven't been down there in a couple of years, but it probably looks a little something like this. And if you're taking this picture, well you're gonna get a picture that looks a little something like this. If you're using a wide angle lens, wide open aperture, very easily hand holdable shot at 1/250th of a second. And then you're thinking, wow, all of this delicious gum, I want it all in focus. Let's stop the aperture down and get as much in focus as possible. So if you stop it down as much as you can, well we can get a lot in focus at f/22. But we gotta have a tripod out there and carefully set it up next to the gum wall, all right? All right, so our tripod photographer gets everything in focus, our lazy hand held photographer who didn't bring the tripod, can stop down as much as f/ because it's a 24 millimeter lens and a 30th of a second is the slowest they can go cause they don't have an image stabilize system here. And then if you want shallow depth of field, you can get shallow depth of field. So tripods aren't just for low light is what I'm trying to say here. There for times when you want to have creative control over your photograph. And if you want to have full control, sometimes the tripod just gives you more options to work with. And so, I could sit here all day showing you examples of photographs that I could not have taken hand held or they would not be as good of quality because I'm using long shutter speeds in almost all of these cases. Sometimes it's what I artistically want, sometimes it's just technically what that situation demands because it's relatively low light levels. And so tripods are a really, really handy thing and what I found that has helped me in using tripods more frequently is spending enough money on a tripod that I get a tripod I'm really happy with. And so my tripods I love, they are fantastic tripods, they are really good, and I don't mind carrying them with me because they're like close friends. They help me out with problems. And so all of these cases, I'm stopping the aperture down, I'm working at a lower light, I'm wanting or needing those slower shutter speeds. And if you are using a tripod then using that cable release is very important as well. You can also use the self timer, which is a good way, a trick of going around it. Now one of those little tripod tips that I like to mention over and over again because I still keep seeing people out there with their monopods up on top of a tripod, you don't want to use the center post unless you absolutely have to. It's not as stable as the full device. Use the cable release or self timer, sometimes you're going to need mirror lock-up for those of you with SLR's. And turn that stabilization either in the camera or the lens off and make sure that you are on solid ground. Sometimes you're on dirt or leaves or grass, just kind of push that tripod in, get it settled into the ground properly so that it's not loose in that way. And tripod collars for the longer lenses can be very, very helpful. They're not always supplied, sometimes you have to buy them extra. But if you have them, by all means use them. And then having a good head that supports the weight that you would put on it as well.
I think you may have answered this, but we'll ask it anyways. Steven Cook says should the lens VR be turned off or on when using a tripod with a gimble mount when photographing flying birds? Okay, so the general rule is, if it's on a tripod turn the stabilization off. The more specific rule is, if the camera is rock solid on a tripod, and the Gimble mount that he is referring to is a special mount that allows him to put a very big heavy lens and not lock anything down and it just balances in there cause the weight is actually supported up here. And in that case it's not rock solid. He's probably panning with animals that are moving in there, and so because it's moving around you would probably want to have the stabilization turned on. The other tiny exception is you put a camera on a tripod, it's not moving but the wind is hitting it and there's just a little tiny movement, that would be another time to turn the stabilization back on.
Unless you're trying to blur movement, would it be beneficial to have the camera lens stabilization on all the time or why wouldn't it?
So there's a couple different philosophies on how often you should leave the stabilization turned on. In general, I leave it turned on all the time. It seems to be fine, I like it turned on for compositional reasons. Because sometimes I'm trying to line up something that's near or not touching the corner and I can get it where I want it. There is another philosophy that says that you should not be using it unless you actually need it and that it may cause a problem in the focus of your subject because it's moving lenses around. And so there are certain sports photographers who, they don't like it for compositional reasons and once they get above 500th of a second they just turn that off and they don't use it. And they only use it when they get down to their marginal shutter speeds. I know that, I've read it, I hear their point of view, but I haven't seen a loss of sharpness in my fast shutter speed shots and so those are two different competing ideas out there. Question here, yes.
Are there modes in the camera where you can't use image stabilization?
I'd have to try to think, my brain's going through about a hundred cameras right now to think is there one where there would be a problem. It's possible on some, like I've played around, Olympus has a focus stacking feature and they have some built in HDR features and you can't use certain features with something else. I think Olympus and Sony have something I'm going to talk about which is a pixel shift feature. And what they're doing is they're moving the sensor to get greater resolution and I don't think that they can do that at the same time as stabilizing the scene. Because it's obviously using the same system, the motors in there, and so anything that it's trying to use the same thing, you gotta choose one or the other. And I think those are two good examples, I'm not 100% positive, but I'm like 99% positive those are good examples for them.
As a photographer, you will need to master the technical basics of the camera and form an understanding of the kind of equipment you need. The Fundamentals of Digital Photography will also teach something even more important (and crucial for success) - how to bring your creative vision to fruition.
Taught by seasoned photographer John Greengo, the Fundamentals of Digital Photography places emphasis on quality visuals and experiential learning. In this course, you’ll learn:
- How to bring together the elements of manual mode to create an evocative image: shutter speed, aperture, and image composition.
- How to choose the right gear, and develop efficient workflow.
- How to recognize and take advantage of beautiful natural light.
John will teach you to step back from your images and think critically about your motivations, process, and ultimate goals for your photography project. You’ll learn to analyze your vision and identify areas for growth. John will also explore the difference between the world seen by the human eye and the world seen by the camera sensor. By forming an awareness of the gap between the two, you will be able to use your equipment to its greatest potential.