Optimizing Your Gear Part 1


Think Like a Photographer


Lesson Info

Optimizing Your Gear Part 1

first off earlier we had talked about buildings and I want to cover a little bit about a special application when it comes to shooting buildings if you tell your camera up when shooting a building so you could get the top portion of the building in then the distance from the bottom of it edge of your lens to the building will be shorter than the distance from the top it of your lens to the top of the building it's just a longer distance away at the top of lens anytime something is further away it gets smaller you know just like you take your hand put it close to your face looks big put it further away and it looks small that's all that's happening there is a way to capture that building and keep the top of the building the same size as the bottom well still standing the same position where you usually need till your camera up and that would be a special lens I have one of them right here and it's known as a tilt shift lens and it's mainly useful one of the uses for it at least is when ...

shooting architecture's so I'm gonna put it on my camera here and let's talk a little bit about it sometimes you can back up to prevent tilting sometimes you can't sometimes there's a wall behind you sometimes there's a pole or something that would be in your scene if you backed up so sometimes also backing up change the perspective before you might have been able to see underneath like an awning or something but then you back up and suddenly you can't anymore so sometimes important to stay in the same position inactives if you tilt the camera up well that's what this particular lenses for this happens to be a fancy one because it's a wide angle lens and they're rare tohave one that comptel and shift and that's why if you look at this lens it's kind of crazy looking in that the element front element of the land sticks right out you'll only see that if it's a really wide angle tilt shift most tilt shift lenses look normal on the front but what's special about it till shift lens is if I look at it from the side there's a knob here and if I move that knob it's going to shift the lens down or if I move it the other direction I can shift it up and what that does is it's the equivalent to tilting your camera up or down but the front element of your lens both the top and bottom are the exact same distance away from the building so if I level this so that this here is parallel with the front of the building then when I need to see the top of the building I can shift this upwards in it's kind of like in this diagram here the lens will move up but the distance between the top and bottom there stays the same distance away from the building in this gives you the effect of looking as if you're tilting but the top or bottom of the building is not getting larger or smaller in order to do this which he need tohave is a lens that is wider has a wider coverage than usual this lens is more of one that would work on a medium format camera where the sensor in the back would be much larger and so this needs to project light over a huge area in the back of the camera so it has space to be ableto only look at the bottom portion of that frame or the top portion of the frame whereas most lenses can't do this because the lens itself would only project light right where the sensor is and wouldn't go any further past it but since this one is wider lets it go past it you can shift it up and down so if you shoot a lot of architecture er this is a lens you might want to consider this is the widest version that I know of its eh seventeen millimeter till shift kanan offers that nikon I don't believe has one that wide most of time you're going to find them ah slightly longer lens so I don't remember what the numbers there might be twenty four in ninety five that kind of thing so other things when it comes to gear one is the size of your sensor matters if you hear about cropped frame sensors and you hear about something called micro for third sensors and all that let's think about how that affects what you're photos look like we only talked about lenses the other day in how certain lenses are going to compress space and other lenses they're goingto exaggerate the space between things well those kinds of things are going to change if you get different sized sensors when you hear about a full frame sensor they're referring to thirty five millimeter film thirty five millimetre film was a particular size and if you say you have a full frame censor it means it's the same size is what thirty five millimeter film used to be remember you used to get film on your cameras and you could see that that size of a frame but if you put a smaller sensor in your camera then we might have a lens that we're still talking about that could cover that thirty five millimetre frame but we're just not getting the whole thing instead were cropping into it and it's going to make it so we capture less of the image if smaller sensor just imagine you at a picture and you literally cropped it because your sensor wasn't big enough to capture everything that lens was delivering it cropped in on it the smaller the sensor is the more it has effective cropping and as it crops the image it really makes it as if your lenses air longer then they usually are in that's where you hear about a crop factor you'll hear that a lens has a not a lens a camera has a one point six crop factor that means you have to take the millimeter markings on your lens and multiply it by one point six to see what it is the equivalent to on that particular camera because it's not going to capture a full frame and said it's going to crop in on that image well let's look at how that effects the way your lenses work so you can see that lenses are a bit different opinion what kind of camera you have so here are different crop frame sensors the first off the red want to be a full frame that is thick women to thirty five millimeters when I say thirty five millimeters I don't mean the lens I mean the size of this sensor in the back then the middle one this one here is what's called a psc it's what you would find when you hear of crop frame sensors that are one point six is the crop factor and that would be like the can't think model numbers canon nikon both make them they have a smaller sensor and the green thing here would be a micro four thirds camera that you'll hear about olympus panasonic and many others making smaller sensors in smaller cameras the lenses they're smaller is very convenient because they're really small and light to carry around so let's see how that affects things well if it's going to crop in our images so we're getting less of the full frame then it's effectively making all our lenses longer than usual so if I needed to capture this car with each one of these cameras having the exact same lens on it I would have to back up the smaller the sensor is the more I would have to back up like this to get the entire car in go for us even smaller sensor and I'm going to have to back up to get the entire car in right well then this looks a little bit like a discussion we had the other day about different lenses look at what it's doing to the background with all three cameras I might fill the frame with that car but the background is smaller the sensor is the less of the background I'm going to get and so you remember how longer lenses ends up compressing space more in ends up making it so it's easier to knock the background out of focus kind of thing well that's going to start happening with a smaller frame sensor but with wide angle lens is is wide angle lenses are going to become more of a telephoto lens it's going to be cropping and acting like they're longer and longer lenses and so it acts a little different on how the background appears in your photos and so you just got to think about that I find it like the full frame um sensor look because you only get a lens to be so wide and I can keep it were I get the look that I like I find the crop friend censor the psc is great if you like shooting wildlife in other things because makes all your lenses longer than usual so that you can pull things even closer than usual I find the micro four thirds is not great for shooting wildlife because they just don't have a lot of long lens is available with that but there's all sorts of debate about those cameras I like thie small micro four thirds cameras if I shoot landscapes a lot and I don't mind having everything in focus that's usually what you like in a lot of landscapes then those little lightweight cameras could be really nice it's something like when I go on a lot of trips but otherwise I find I have a wider selection of lenses on the full friend okay other things about our gear let's talk about how I changed my gear a bit and just different elements about working with our gear so first off lens caps he might not think so when's caps matter all that much but they do especially if you have a long lens all right if you have a long lens it usually has a lens hood lens hood makes it so theatrical front element of your lens is recessed considerably if I could never get this lens hood on so if this is on your camera by chance you just pulled it out of your bag put it on your camera if you happen to leave this on so it's ready to shoot or close to ready if the lens cap happens to be on good luck getting the lens cap off was designed like this one look at where you have to grip this lens cap to get it off can you see it soften the edges got a pinch those well it's in here right now you see if I can even get to those okay that takes forever this is a kind of lens cap you want for any long lenses it pinches in the middle to take it off and therefore I can reach into any long lens and get it off in a matter of seconds whereas these types you're gonna fumble with a lot so nyu cons lens caps are designed this way cannons lens caps have traditionally been designed this way although their newest ones they've switched to the other design so if you have older cannon lens caps put him in a drawer when it comes to your long lenses and either get nikon lens caps or get the newest cannon once that pinch in the middle is going to make it much easier to pull this out then when it comes to shooting with a tripod here's some ideas I'm not sure if you're aware over not a lot of people are ah where that these kinds of things are available on the bottom of your tripod legs we have a foot in that foot usually looks don't drop it somewhat like this it's rubber in a rubber foot works great if I'm on a wood floor something where I don't want to mar the surface and works in a lot of different situations but there's a lot of times when it's less than ideal if you go to shoot a waterfall and when you're shooting the waterfall you're standing on wet rocks which is commonly what's at the bottom of waterfall if this is on a wet rock and it's not perfectly on top instead it's a little bit of an angle on the side of the rock it's very easy to slide off because wet rubber gets slippery so if I grab my tripod here for a moment I'm just gonna make the legs short and I'll show you what the bottoms look like because the last thing I was shooting when I used this tripod we're reflections in a stream and I was sitting on uh wet rocks standing on them look at the way the bottoms look like these air rock clause and you can unscrew these and put a different kind of bottom on in iraq claw is great when you're going to be shooting on wet rocks or other uh kinds of surfaces that rubber isn't goingto grip well and so I have a set of rock clause for when I'm in that kind of a situation and I also have a set of spikes so these are my three different bottoms like putting my tripod not everyone needs these but it's good to know that they're available for a lot of different kinds of tripods so that if you get into certain situations and you specialize in a particular type of shooting you might want to acquire them they can sometimes be expensive because not very many people buy them so if they only make a few of them they're going to charge more but let's look at when I'd want to use it this when I'm afraid of damaging the surface and putting my tripod on for one I'm in somebody's house and they have a wood floor I don't want to put marks on it that kind of thing or just day to day shooting that works great I already mentioned the rock climb good for wet rocks shooting at the base of waterfalls and just any time it seems my tripod is slipping around on a surface then this could work great then this one you might be thinking when the heck would you need that well I shoot this if I'm ever going to do long exposures at the beach you know if you see the crashing waves and you've probably seen a lot of photos of crashing waves and sometimes you get this blurred looking the crashing waves and sometimes people do exposures that are so long that you can't even tell if their waves it just looks almost like fog sitting down there where the water would be well that's because they put a really dark neutral density filter on their lens like a nine stop neutral density filter they're taken of a photo over two and a half minutes worth of time or maybe in sixty seconds or something like that and if your camera moves those rocks are not going to be sharp so if I put these in the bottom of my tripod legs then I can push my tripod leg into the sand at the beach or if I'm shooting on just dirt I can again push it in there and that's going to make it rock solid um to be able to do those really long exposures of waves at the beach I put these in just a little bitty zipper case this is actually the separate case for a loop that you put up to your eye it's called a goodman loop that I happen to have and it fits whatever varieties I want and I just keeping allen wrench in there because it just goes through here to help tighten them but I find most people just don't aren't aware these are available at all so they don't even know to look for them but they can be expensive to paint on what brando tripod you have you do need to get them specific for your tripod because the threads that the bottom aren't the same on every tripod so you need one that's compatible with yours mine happened we made by a company called really write stuff anything really right stuff makes us very expensive so look at the manufacturer tripod you have and see if they offer these things then when I'm out shooting another I am when it comes to gear is I don't like the camera straps that come with most cameras I put this one on most cameras come with the camera strap and that seems to be what people use but the problem with it is its stock on your camera and so if I ever put my camera on a tripod then my camera straps just getting in the way hang in there and if it's windy out it might be flopping around in getting in the way so I use a camera strap that is nice and comfortable up here at the top this is very squishy it's like wet suit material and it is removable this particular one is actually removable in two different spots at the very top here I can pinch these take it off you remember that vest like thing I was wearing I could get little connectors for this to click onto that so this suddenly is not connected to my neck instead is connected to that belt based system but I'd have to get a compatible clip for it or I can take it off right by the camera if you look here I just need a pinch slip these off and if I take it off with that point now there's very little actually stuck on the camera and therefore I can have it on my tripod and it's not gonna get in the way at all I don't I just take the thing that I just took off I slip it through my belt that's always on my waist and then click the two together so this this is hanging from the belt that's around my way so I never leave this somewhere because otherwise you leave this somewhere you take your camera off your tripod and now you're stuck with it just sitting there this particular version is made by a company called op tech yusa that's o p t e c h yusa but there are lots of other companies that make similar products all right other items that I have in my bag you might want to be aware of this when I wish wasn't as expensive as it is but this little guy is something that I put on the hot shoe of my camera and when I do lock it in it talks to the camera all I gotta do is turn on and what it is is a gps it keeps track of my location at all times turn it this way you can see the label on it and now every photo that I take has its location tagged to it it also has I believe the compass direction that I was pointing my lens at us well in what's nice is if you use a program like adobe light room it can actually show all your shots on a map so instead of having to go through your folders to locate images where you're like when did I shoot that in what was the name of that place I was out instead you can just look at a map and zoom in to the map and you see little pins showing you where you've taken all your photographs and it's much easier to remember where things are but this is not a cheap item I wish it wass when we get into talking about aps and websites I'll show you an alternative to this that's extremely cheap it's only a few dollars and it would allow you to use your phone where you know your phone usually has a gps built into it if it's a smartphone well it could just keep a log of where you were at any particular time of day and then it khun sync it up with your files just by comparing the clock on the two on your phone and on your camera and it can take your images for you uh so it will be a much less expensive option there you might notice though when I have this I have a piece of tape covering up the brand that's here that's not on purpose toe toe hide the brand this tape is gaffer's tape and it is like duct tape except for it's easily removable and I take gaffer state in cover just about any open surface on all of my gear with it if you look at my lens hood do you see this stuff that makes you look kind of more crude that's gaffer's tape if you look at my bag you see this surface in my bag up on top every open surface in my bag is covered with gaffer's tape and the reason for that is because a roll of gaffer's tape is a very inconvenient thing to have in your camera bag a roll of gaffer tape takes up an awful lot of space but covering every surface of your gear with gaffer's tape I usually have gaffer's tape on the bottom of my laptop means that any time I could use some I have available so what do I use the gaffer's tape before first off with gaffer's tape I try not to buy cheap gaffer's tape cheap gaffer's tape leaves residue especially if you leave it on for like say overnight and the sun catches it so it heats it up a little bit then when you try to peel it off it's going to leave sticky residue to whatever it was on you want high quality gaffer's tape I happen to find a brand that I like I don't know you know them sure there's a lot of other brands that are just as good but it's called pro gaffe it's what I use in program makes it so I can remove this stuff any time and it's not going to leave for us to do and it works really nice so gaffer's tape what do I use it for well on my candid camera around the viewfinder is a diop ter adjustment you know if your eyes are not perfect you khun dial in a correction for it well it's something that is notorious for getting bumped so that you pick up your camera and things look soft because it's trying to compensate for your vision even though doesn't need to sew after adjusting my diop tter if I need teo I put a piece of gaffer's tape over it so it can't get bumped on karen canon cameras these little viewfinder um surrounds the eyepiece that's rubber that makes a comfortable hope up to your ear are notorious for falling off so I put a little piece of gaffer's tape where it connects to the camera to make it so that it's going to stick there nice and tight not going to fall off this lens is actually broken right now one of these little wheels came off there's just a screw on the end of the wheel and after using it enough times and vibrating over the the years of using it one of the wheels fell off and I need to send it in to get it repaired well I put gaffer's tape over the the part where the wheel was toehold on the little washers that were there and to make it so this isn't going to get messed up these little body caps like these sometimes they get loose where I found one of these and one of my two long lenses was falling off all the time you see if I can find out which one it wass but I would find it I would find it around my uh my home it's like why it's one of these caps sitting around there and it's because it came off it here and it was way too loose so what did I d'oh I just grabbed a tiny piece of gaffer's tape grab my loose thing and I just put it I'm going to see it there because it's black I doubt it will show up on the video but I just put it around the edge so that now it's going to be tighter when it goes on so now I can put this on and that ain't coming off but I need gaffer state for all sorts of things sometimes I want to tape something to a tree like a little black card so that it can cut down the sun from hitting the front of my lens well if I have some gaffer state that's easy to dio there's all sorts of things that I used with gaffer's tape in fact we have a whole bunch of photos of things we've repaired with it it's kind of like what you hear with duct tape on how you could make all sorts of things out of it but what's nice about gaffer's tape is it's removable and therefore putting on these flat surfaces uh it's not a problem to get off other things that I use things that I change is in my camera bag taking just a second to grab something here this little bag has this little drive in it you see how small this thing is this is a let's see here I think it's four hundred and eighty gigabyte what's called ssd drive this is an extremely fast hard drive faster than any external hard drive that has a spinning disk in it this is extremely fast this is what I used for my backup see how nice and small it is now if you need a rugged one of these where you could drop it you could drop it in water you could do all that kind of stuff you then you want to look at a different style that'll be slightly larger but I'll tell you what these are called this one is from a company called o w c oh w sti sti c stands for other world computing in this is called the thing's called the aurora pro that's what I am personally use if you want to really rugged one where you could drop it you could possibly drop it in the water that kind of stuff then look into a different brand it's called I o safe I owe safe and look for the rugged portable drives they'll have two versions one will be a normal hard drive which won't be as fast and the other which you will be an ss d which means really really fast that's what I used for my backup I also usually have a little invert I don't have it here it's it's usually in my car but it's a little box that plugs in my cigarette lighter and on the other end of it it has a normal outlet like you'd have a home that's I was sitting in the car so if I ever need to charge any camera batteries or anything else I don't have to wait till I get home I could do it right there in the car also I find most card readers that are used feel overly cheap the pin seemed to bend very easily when I'm traveling a lot in all of that so I found one that I feel is actually well built which is rare for a card reader usually they're going for the cheapest thing on earth and this one has a little metal door so the pin's air not exposed until you put a card in and they're forthis sits in my camera bag and little things come up to it it doesn't usually damage the pins but this is from a company called goodman is called goodman steel uh and it's the card reader that I use I just find it's feels actually sturdy and it seems tto last and it's also fast cause it's usb three there are other ones out there but this is just one that I happened to run into and I like most of the others I find to be such cheap plastic that they're like disposable or is this one nice and usable hey ben are you gonna actually talk about the specific media in your camera ah specific media and not necessarily I mean I have just you know cf cards um but I don't think that much about these other than you don't want the necessarily the cheapest ones because the speed on it might be a little slower but this is what I use this happens to be a goodman as well ok how many gigs do you like to have and what's speed you just buy you sixteen good cards okay it's just at the time that I acquired him that was more of the this was a large card at the time you say nowadays you can get the much larger in a speed wise the u d m a I believe is the faster speed but I don't know as faras the actual when it says the actual speed like this one says six hundred seventy five x unless you're shooting video or something else once you get to a certain speed it will be fast enough for your camera to operate at its full frame rate and then you're fine great all right then let's look at a few other ideas one is a trick with the fish islands that it might not be aware of if your cannon shooter let's see if this particular one has it yes okay fisheye lenses or once where I usually can't put a neutral density filter on the front fisheye lens is something that shows you one hundred eighty degree view of your image and if you were to put a filter on it just the outer ring of the filter would show up in your frame and most fisheye lenses if you actually take the lens hood off they're not flat glass instead the glasses curved it actually sticks out so if you were to put a filter on there the filter would actually hit that and the edge here is not even threaded so I can't really put a filter on it well if it happened to use cannon fisheye lens this doesn't work on nikon there's something I find that very few people know about if you want to shoot a waterfall with this and you want to do along exposure takeoff the body cap that would be on the end in here so you feel you'll be able to see this right here yeah I see little rectangular markings as if they're marking the corners of something there's actually a slot in here where you can slide a neutral density filter it's just you don't want to use the standard glass type that you'd screw onto the front of your camera lens instead you're going to use those kind of flimsy thin ones the kind that you might put on the front of a flash for your camera or something and you're gonna have to cut it to a very specific shape but there's actually a holder here to allow you to slide a neutral density filter in the back part of the lens so if you're going to use a cannon fish I take a look at it and see if you have this just slight a little in that here that allows you to slide in a neutral density filter then you can do long exposures with your fish eye and it's a really nice feature the cannons are the icons I don't believe have at least my wife's all right then let's talk about modifying your your gear we've talked about putting gaffer's tape on things because I find gaffer's tape to be overly useful and so I wanted always available but then there are other things that I do with the camera itself to customize it that could make closest a little bit so it's easier for you to see uh first off lens hood's lens hood's on some cameras are easy to come off in the newer designs and someone from our great they have a little button you have to push in or to be able to rotate it to get it off but older designed ones they just seem to get bumped a lot and if this kid's bumped where it's at the wrong angle it's going to be in your frame and it's gonna have dark little corners in your frame so this is another area where I often use gaffer's tape right after I put my lens hood on I'll put a little piece of gaffer's tape right where the lens hood connects to the lens just gaffer tape it between those those too surfaces and now it's not gonna row takes its stuck in place or if you have to take off that lens hood a lot because you shoot through glass and you need to get your lens right up close that kind of thing then instead take off your lens hood and just put the gaffer's tape around where the threads would go and if you can see it there exits black on black but that's going to be where now when I put this lens hood on it's gonna be hard to turn it and so it's going to be hard to knock it out of alignment so that's another thing I think about

Class Description

So you just bought your first DSLR, now what? In this two-day workshop, professional photographer and Photoshop Hall of Famer Ben Willmore will take you inside his award-winning mind. From composition techniques to post-production Photoshop magic, Ben will unpack everything the pros know about taking and editing amazing photos. Ben will reveal his entire thought process when shooting — showing you how simple choices like lens selection can dramatically alter your results. You will also learn what settings you need to capture the right light, how to modify your gear to make it more useful, Photoshop techniques to polish your photos, and how to use apps and software to streamline your workflow. Whether you’re a beginning photographer, or a working photographer interested in a refresher course, this workshop will teach you how to make the most out of your DSLR.


Ashleigh L

AMAZING CLASS! I caught bits and pieces of the live stream, but even in those bits and pieces of it, I learned so much! He's a great teacher, easy to understand and great visuals. He "walks around" the subject to give us different POV, tells us the negative/positive/neutral of the photo, and tips. Thank you, Ben!