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Tips n Tricks

Anoop, Kumar 10:53am, 19 December 2011
Hi all,
Here we can share Tip & tricks to get better with our camera Canon Powershot SX40 HS
Link of video tutorial, your experiences and tips to enhance our photography skills.
any thing can be posted.
so keep sharing knowledge and experiences and happy clicking.
(101 to 130 of 130 replies)
Anoop, Kumar 5 years ago
I got this, Zooming to tiny object creates shallow DOF and light coming from background creates bokeh effect
Blossom of spring by Anoop, Kumar

@fjj_b: vertical panorama not available in sx40 though you can shoot series of photos and add them in any other software.
Lynn Morag 5 years ago
I did a vertical panorama inside a church - in Microsoft ICE it automatically turned the whole thing vertical.
:::Farhan::: 5 years ago
Am thinking of installing CHDK in my SX40 but in CHDK resources i noticed that all the versions available for SX40 has "_BETA" as postfix with their version number. Does it mean anything? would it be fine to install the beta version? Anyone?
Anoop, Kumar 5 years ago
No problem with Beta version.... you can go ahead
build is now sx40hs-100-1.0.0-1951-full_BETA.zip . will try it..
debraturner PRO Posted 5 years ago. Edited by debraturner (member) 5 years ago
Handy Golden Hour Calculator

The beautiful light that happens during Golden Hour is such a magical time for photography, but it doesn't last long and I often miss my narrow window of opportunity. I found a handy online Golden Hour calculator and thought I would share it. Just put in a location (such as San Francisco, California) and press the "search for address" button, and then enter the date and press the "Generate Table" button and it calculates the entire month for you. There are probably other sites with similar calculators, but this one seems very easy to use.

Golden hour is the first hour of light after sunrise, and the last hour of light before sunset (exact duration varies between seasons and with location). During these times the sun produces soft, diffused almost magical light with dramatic and interesting shadows.

mm 123 [deleted] Posted 5 years ago. Edited by mm 123 (member) 5 years ago
Just thought I'd share this little bit of information. If I'm taking people pictures with the pop up flash (or even a flash mounted in the hot shoe), then I will turn on the iContrast to lower the contrast of the shots so the people will look more natural. I have iContrast set on my "Short cut button". That way I can turn it on and off depending on the scene I'm shooting. It really comes in handy.
Siva301in Posted 5 years ago. Edited by Siva301in (member) 5 years ago
Kindly clarify the doubts;-

1. Does cropping reduce the quality of the image and lead to more jpeg artifacts?

2. Does the rule of thirds is better used while taking the photo instead of post production?
Lynn Morag 5 years ago
I always try to consider the composition whilst taking a shot ... and I do use the rule of thirds. However, there are many occasions when capturing the scene is more important than worrying about the composition - so I make sure I get enough scene/subject in the shot to allow me to edit and crop. An example is standing in a high wind by the sea - chances are that despite my best efforts the horizon will be squint as I am being blown around, so I try not to zoom too close but allow the opportunity to get the scene I want even after straightening the horizon.

Cropping reduces the size of the image but doesn't compress further (so far as I know) when used alone. Other forms of editing may do that though.
thenbman 5 years ago
Cropping does reduce quality if it's cropped a lot, if it's just a bit it doesn't matter I don't feel.

Rules are there to be broken. To me the rule of thirds is fine but if you like what's in front of you just shoot the thing. People worry too much in any art from of what's orthodox but as we know the greatest artists many of them went their own way.
Lynn Morag 5 years ago
Totally agree re rules, Nigel.

Certainly cropping leaves you with what might amount to a tiny image - but the quality is not reduced, it is just that you are now zooming in on a tiny portion of the original. The quality of the piece that is left is exactly the same as it was in the original image.
debraturner PRO Posted 5 years ago. Edited by debraturner (member) 5 years ago
Lynn Morag Lynn is correct. When you crop or remove portions of the original image, it leaves you with a smaller image but the image quality will be exactly the same.

A 4000x3000 pixel image will print on 8x10 inch paper with sharper details and less noise or artifacts, than the same image cropped down to 400x300 pixels and enlarged to fit on the same size 8x10 inch paper. Quality and resolution degrades when you enlarge an image too much.

Too much fiddling around with post production software can also introduce unwanted noise or artifacts, loss of detail, etc.

Hope this makes sense.
Siva301in Posted 5 years ago. Edited by Siva301in (member) 5 years ago
One of our group member asked these questions to me but i am not able to explain it in the detailed way, so i raised these questions here.

Thank you for clarifying my doubts also!

One more question i want to ask: I have taken a shot holding the camera vertically, while processing i have rotated the image to horizontal will it stretch the Image?
Siva301in Posted 5 years ago. Edited by Siva301in (member) 5 years ago
I found this Clip of Adobe Lightroom 4 - Create Stunning Images

Hope this will be useful for the users who are using or planning to use Lightroom 4

Pat_The_Elder 3 years ago
SX Manual Focus (MF) Tip

tip and trick: When "Servo AF" is off, I like to hold the shutter button "half way down" and when the servo focus moves then quickly left click the dial wheel. Waiting for the servo to pump before clicking left is key for a repeatable AF lock. This quickly switches to MF and locks the focus at the distance you are working. This takes some practice to get use to but it helps when the birds are at a feeder for example. To switch back to AF, left click twice on the dial wheel. This works the same way on the SX50 (see thread below).

page 91 in the SX40 Manual

SX50 related discussion thread focus problem
Siva301in 3 years ago
Also you can control the Aperture & Shutter speed by pressing the Up arrow in dial wheel.
Click the shutter button half way down and then press UP Arrow.
Pat_The_Elder 3 years ago

Just to clarify, this will change aperture and shutter speed together where the exposure remains constant as you spin the dial. Works in Mode wheel set to P, Tv and Av. Now that I have some experience, I will have to revisits these modes and practice.
fuwty 3 years ago
I'm new with the camera , what are the best settings for better quality ?
Lynn Morag 3 years ago
fuwty: Hi Ahmed - that's a big question. Too big. It would be worth your while to go through the Useful Thread Index. You will also find a number of tutorials online - for whichever camera you are using - just google it. There are plenty videos on Youtube. Otherwise, go through the manual and try out everything - it is the best way to learn.
To filter or not to filter -

I have been looking at purchasing some filters for my SX40 but have read mixed reviews whether to or not to use filters. What is the common consensus here among everyone? Also, what type are most commonly used.

Along with filters, what about lens attachments such as telephoto, macro, etc. I found a very nice bundle that includes the following:

1 - Altura Photo 58mm 0.35x Wide Angle Fisheye Lens with Macro Portion.
1 - Altura Photo 58mm 0.43x Wide Angle Lens with Macro Portion.
1 - Altura Photo 58mm 2.2x Telephoto Lens.
1 - Vivitar 58mm 4 Piece Close-Up Lens Set (+1,+2,+4,+10).
1 - Vivitar 58mm 3 Piece Filter Kit (UV-CPL-ND8).
1 - 58mm Adapter Ring.
1 - 58mm Graduated Blue Color Filter.
1 - 58mm Rubber Lens Hood.
1 - Pop-Up Flash Diffuser Kit (Set of 3).

Overkill or useful. Any suggestions/comments would be greatly appreciated.
Lynn Morag 3 years ago
Don't waste your money on the pop up flash diffuser - even though it is cheap, I never used it.

To be honest, I wouldn't bother with many of these but maybe if the bundle is a really brilliant price, it could be fun.
What are your thoughts on using filters in general? I have read mixed reviews whether to use or not to use. Some say it degrades the picture some say it enhances.
Lynn Morag Posted 3 years ago. Edited by Lynn Morag (admin) 3 years ago
Every piece of glass between you and the scene degrades the image ... that is why your filters should always be the best you can afford. But maybe you will create an effect you like by using them.
Tomorrow is 4th of July, some tips to take wonderful firework photos? I'll appreciate it! :)
BlueRidgeKitties PRO 3 years ago
A tripod is a must and it helps to use the timer to avoid camera shake when pressing the button. Finding a good location to set up is important as well. If you don't have those two things (stable support for the camera and good location) then even the best camera setting won't help. The best photos I've seen have something in the foreground or to frame the picture e.g. a city skyline or a body of water to reflect the fireworks, but so far I haven't been lucky enough to get a shot like that. There always seem to be too many people!

When shooting into the night sky, you can pretty much forget about auto focus - better to use manual focus set to infinity. Long exposure (several seconds) but not too long seems to work best. The last time I shot fireworks, I used ISO 100, F8 and 2 seconds exposure and liked the outcome, but experiment and find out what you like best.

Leave room for cropping and keep on shooting! You can't predict where those things will explode next, so a good strategy is to take as many pictures as you can get and plan on deleting most of them and keeping only the best. It can be very hit-and-miss but that's what makes it exciting when you do get a really nice one. Good luck!
BlueRidgeKitties PRO 3 years ago
I didn't see your filter question earlier, but just wanted to add: There are some filters that can give you effects that you can't get any other way. Those are worth exploring if you feel like experimenting with your camera. I find the most useful ones are a strong neutral density filter (for long exposures, i.e waterfalls) and a circular polarizer (very nice to take glare off water and vegetation). For close-ups I would recommend the Raynox macro lens.
BlueRidgeKitties PRO 3 years ago
I was lucky enough to have two opportunities to shoot the fireworks this weekend, as the neighboring town did them on the 5th. I know it's too late for this year's 4th of July, but for future fireworks opportunities, here are a couple more tips/observations from this weekend:

Put a new battery in before the fireworks start. Mine died halfway through the fireworks on Friday night, which is bad as the way the camera is designed with the battery access on the bottom you have to unscrew the camera from the tripod to change the battery and then reattach it to the tripod, all in the dark. I was quite annoyed with myself for not checking and replacing the battery beforehand.

Don't use flash - it's going to be useless against the sky. I saw so many people flashing while snapping shots of the fireworks. I'm not sure any of those folks got anything useful out of this.

I had the great opportunity to set up next to a professional photographer and his big gear. It was quite educational to watch him. He had a cable release and obviously used bulb mode, where the shutter stays open as long as you press the button on the release. That's not something the PowerShot cameras will let you do, but here's another trick that may be doable: He also used a black cardboard piece to block light. E.g. he would trigger the release as the shot went up but block the light until it actually burst, at which point he would remove the card and let it expose. That way he could avoid getting the light trail of the shot going up and the bright burst at the very center. He would then use the card again to block any additional bursts and let the camera expose for the background in between bursts to get some color in the sky and detail in the surrounding scenery. From what I've seen sneaking peaks at the preview on the back of his camera, he got some really nice shots that way. So I think next time I go to shoot fireworks, I'll take a piece of black cardboard with me!
Lynn Morag 3 years ago
Wow - thank you, BRK - interesting stuff!
BlueRidgeKitties PRO 3 years ago
It's always illuminating (pardon the pun) to watch another photographer at work, especially one who obviously knows what they're doing. I had never seen someone using a black card to control exposure before. He wasn't very chatty once the fireworks started (I guess he was counting exposure seconds in his head), but still learned a lot just from watching. It also gave me a starting point to find out more: If you search the internet for "fireworks black card" it turns up plenty of photography tips and tutorials for this method.
Siva301in 3 years ago
BlueRidgeKitties: Nice tips (black card).

Thanks, sorry I read it so late! Thanks for your good tips!
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