Underlight As Accent, For Power and The Main Light for Photography

Underlighting, in which fill or accent light comes from
under the topic, is not widely used technique in the traditional
Portraits, even though it will have its place. for
Beauty and glamor of the work, there are many cases
when under light Extras will zip be a welcome addition
Your images.

There are a couple of details you should be aware of when lighting from below:

  • Underlight must be brighter than the main light; otherwise, it’s just fill light.
  • The underlight should never be the main light on a face unless you’re going for the “bad horror movie” look. Instead, let the light “kiss” the face in areas that are not overly important to the physicality of the model such as the edges of the mouth, nose, and forehead.
  • Watch all up-shadows. Angle your lights so shadows falling on the body are minimal, if they are there at all.
  • Follow the usual guidelines for main light placement. Make sure the nose shadow follows the line of the cheek in a graceful and attractive manner.

Underlight As Accent

There’s one significant problem with underlighting: because the light needs to be brighter than the key, you have to pay attention to how it affects the underside of your client’s throat, nose, and eye sockets. Further, underlight can throw a shadow up from your subject’s upper lip. You’ll have to look carefully and tweak the position of the light(s) or the pose of the subject to minimize these problems. Note that none of these problems are deal breakers. Upwardly directed light can be sexy and sultry just because it’s different and unexpected; you’ll just need to change the problems this light presents into assets that benefit your vision.

Just putting a light on the floor may not allow for enough light-to-subject distance to get the desired depth of light. In other words, the subject needs to be positioned so as to avoid rapid falloff of the light.

For my first set, I began by building a “stage” out of a sheet of 4×8-foot plywood that had been placed on three metal sawhorses, 30 inches above the floor. This is where the model would stand.

In front of the stage and on the floor, I set two strip lights in a wide V pattern, propping them up on sandbags to aim the light properly, about 2 feet from the left and right corners. A medium softbox was placed at camera right, over the strip light on the floor, and aimed at where the model would be standing. Additional lights included a beauty bowl with a grid and a strobe with a 20 degree grid set under the stage and aimed at the canvas background. See diagram 13A.

The two strip lights were powered to 1/3 stop over the key, as was the background light. The strength of each of the strip lights was metered at the model’s shoulders, allowing the light below the meter-mark to be brighter. The background light was metered at the hot spot.

 Underlight complicated setup

This was a complicated setup, but the result (image 13.1) was worth the effort. The light contoured the model differently than one would expect, while the height of the model (relative to the floor) allowed the light to do its job.

the background light

I had a minor flash of insight as my first set came to a close. While the model was in the changing room, I moved the two strip lights from the sandbags they’d been leaning on and clamped the edges of the softboxes to the sides of the stage itself. This meant that I’d lose a lot of the light’s power because it was now aimed straight up, but it also meant that the light, now coming from an angle perpendicular to the camera, would soften some of the effects of light placed almost directly below the subject. Also, the light would be more even at the bottom of the image because most of it was shooting straight up. This time, however, I metered the strip lights at her waist, producing a hard hit at her elbow while allowing a soft kiss of underlight on her face. You just gotta love it! See image 13.2.

soft kiss of underlight

Underlight For Power

For an extremely dynamic look, ring your subject from behind and below with strong, gridspots.

Using the same platform as in the previous example, I first set a large softbox slightly to camera right, about 5 feet from the model. This would be my main light.

To camera left, I placed a white bookend to bounce light back into the shadow side. The bookend was snugged up, closer to the model, to bounce a strong fill.

I set two strobes, fitted with 30 degree grids, on the floor and aimed them up to the model from each side. They were placed close to the platform to get a dramatic upward sweep and were powered 1 full stop over the main light to blow out detail and create perfectly white highlights over most of the area they would hit. An additional light, a beauty bowl with a 25 degree grid, was set on a boom above, but within 2 feet of the model, and powered to 1/3 stop over the main light as measured at the shoulder. Taking the meter reading from the shoulder meant the strength of the light on the top of her head would be stronger than +1/3. See diagram 13B.

top of her head would be stronger

The final image (13.3), with strong, upward sidelight, features impressively strong highlights. Shapeconforming light like this lends a feeling of aggression, a dynamic of strength, to the image that’s not achievable with softer light.

Underlight As The Main Light

The keys to good glass bead photography are focus, exposure, diffuse lighting, and in some special cases underlighting.  It is worth getting your camera’s manual out to find out how to put the camera in “spot focus” mode.  The normal focus mode of most digital cameras is some sort of average focus mode.  That means that the camera will try to look at an area and base the focus on an area of what it sees.  It’s better for close up photography to put the camera into spot focus mode, this will allow you to see exactly what the camera will  be focusing on. Getting the camera to focus properly on the beads entails some effort, but the results should be worth it. A final word on focus.  The above steps assume that you are using your camera’s auto focus feature.

A couple of words about tripods and product photography. Use one. As you get closer to an object any motion of the camera is greatly magnified.  Even a surgeon probably doesn’t  have hands steady enough to take a good product photo without using a tripod.  A sturdy tripod is essential for sharp images.

We mentioned above that the other key to some glass bead photography is the under lighting.  The Illuminated flat panel we chose to use for our underlighting, matches the 5000k daylight color of the ShortEZ lightset we used. Whatever lights you choose, it is critical that the color temperature of all your lighting matches. The illuminated flat panel is not necessary for most product photography, and will do little or nothing at all for most. However for translucent glass with the right degree of transparency, the underlighting can give you almost magical results, highlighting inner glass details that would otherwise go unnoticed.

This technique will work best if your model angles her head down, toward the underlight.

I began by setting my HiLite background behind where my model would be standing. In a bit of reverse engineering, I powered up the HiLite first, to a perfect f/16. This meant that my main light, a combination of two lights, would need to equal f/11 so the background would overexpose by 1 stop.

The HiLite is a very large softbox, lit by strobes that are inserted into its sides. It produces a very even light over its entire surface and is used to create a white background with light that wraps around the sides of a subject. You might also try using a large softbox, or perhaps something like an Octobank, to get a similar look. See image 13.4.

Camera large softbox

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After my target f-stop had been established, I set a 2×2-foot softbox on a short stand on the floor, aiming it up to my model’s face. The effect wasn’t particularly unattractive, but it did have a bit of a bad horror movie look to it. I metered for the correct f-stop, a –1/3 f-stop of f/10.Why f/10? As just one more affirmation of the fact that the effects of light are cumulative. I knew that when I added the next light, the combination of the two could easily be tweaked to f/11, the target aperture. See image 13.5.

effects of light are cumulative

Next, I set a light with an umbrella above where my camera would be. I’d turned off the underlight in order to correctly gauge the power of this light, which would act as general fill. Having the model look directly at the camera, and setting the light for a correct shadow, meant she could move to almost any position and still present a proper and attractive nose shadow. Prior to taking a meter reading, I moved a white bookend to camera right, next to the model, to open the shadows and mitigate the future effect of the underlight. This image (13.6) was made at the metered f-stop, f/8—1 full stop under the target.

By tweaking the power of the umbrella’s strobe, I got the exposure to a perfect f/11. Notice, if you will, that the exposure in image 13.7, while correct and showing detail in all white areas, lacks a certain “snap,” the little extra that would make the image noteworthy. If you look at the top of her head, you’ll probably agree with me that her hair, while holding detail, could look better with a little more life.

I moved an additional strobe and umbrella, mounted on a boom, mostly centered over the back of her head but favoring the right side. I made certain the light was far enough behind the model so as not to throw any additional light on her face, primarily across her nose. Without turning off the other lights, I balanced the new umbrella light to the target f-stop.

Complicated? It sounds like it, but the truth is it took about 15 minutes. When you master the effect (and I hope you do), you have at your disposal one more trick that will set your work apart from that of your competition. See image 13.8.

Note that even though there are lots of lights within this scenario, and each one throws something into the mix, the overall exposure is correct because the meter was calibrated to the camera. With that kind of control, you’ll never need to shoot RAW files to get results like this. See diagram 13C.

calibrated to the camera

Double Main Light And Underlight

I began by setting the two strip lights in their horizontal positions, one over the other and separated by about 3 feet. Each light was independently powered and adjusted until the output was the same, then remetered with both strobes firing. That measurement would be the working f-stop.

My model was posed about 3 feet from the lights. Having her this close meant that a couple of things would happen: the reflections of the lights would be large in her eyes and the lower light would not intrude into the shadow under her chin because her body would block it. I also set a beauty bowl and 25 degree grid on a boom arm over her head, to accent her hair and kick her out of the dark background. This light was powered equal to the other two lights, as measured at the middle of the back of her head, so the top would be only slightly brighter.

The first image (13.9), with all of the lights powered equally, was stunning. There was beautiful light from above, with underlight to fill in shadows under her brow and nose, as well as her hair.

the lights powered equally, was stunning

You can, of course, vary the power of the underlight for a more subtle effect. Image 13.10 was made with the underlight at 1/3 stop less than the upper light. The catchlights in the model’s eyes are still spectacular, as are the reflections on her lipstick, but her face is slightly more contoured than in the previous example.

stop less than the upper light

A wardrobe change to a lighter garment pointed out a potential problem that you may encounter, too. Because she’s so close to the lights, the underlight is stronger where her body gets closer to it. The lighter cloth and the position of her elbows meant a further reduction in power would be necessary to avoid blowing out any detail. I reduced the underlight by another 1/3 stop, now 2/3 stop less than the top light. In image 13.11, the catchlights and reflections are still terrific, and her face is more contoured, but the exposure in the bottom third of the frame is equal to the rest of the image.

the catchlights and reflections are still terrific, and her face is more contoured

Image 13.12 shows what the setup looked like from behind the model. The camera was positioned directly in front of her head.

setup looked like from behind the model

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Canon 50D assets video recording through Magic Lantern RAW hack

Canon 50D gains video recording

It may be time to dust off that Canon 50D you purchased aback in 2008. The association abaft the Magic Lantern firmware add-on accept pulled yet addition aerial out the accepted hat (or is it lantern?) by enabling RAW video recording on the APS-C-based DSLR. What’s even added absorbing is that the 50D lacks video abutment out of the box, so this new-found functionality is absolutely magical. This drudge comes hot on the heels of the Magic Lantern aggregation adulation the Canon 5D Mark II / III into capturing 24 fps RAW video. With the firmware add-on installed, the 50D is able of cutting video up to 1592 x 1062 pixels at 30 fps. There are some caveats, though. First, there’s no audio recording back the camera lacks a microphone ascribe and associated electronics. Second, capturing RAW video requires fast CF cards (at atomic UDMA 6). Third, we now absolutely apprehend to see the 50D accelerate in amount on the acclimated market. Hit the breach for a few sample videos.

 

 

 

 

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Proper Main Light Meter Placement

The correct position of the light meter determines the correctness of exposure. Indeed, there’s a reason why incident light meters utilize a plastic dome to see the light before it hits the meter’s sensor, and that reason is undeniably easy to understand; the shape of the dome mimics the shape of the face, and that shape reads the strength of light and shadow relative to a face and gives you a correct and proper f-stop for your camera. It makes no difference what color of skin you’re working with because a correctly metered light will be a perfectly exposed light, and any skin color will be properly represented.

So, what is the correct position of the meter’s dome? In the vast majority of circumstances, the place to hold the meter is directly under the subject’s chin and aimed at the camera. This guarantees the meter reads the three zones of light—the specular highlight, diffused highlight , and transition zone—with an equal balance. The result, if your meter is calibrated, is an exposure that’s so perfect you can go straight to proofs without tweaking Levels at all. When you’re using a calibrated light meter, the amount of time you’ll save is enormous. You will be confident enough with your metering techniques to avoid shooting RAWfiles entirely, if you wish.

Let’s back up for just a minute. RAW files are the digital equivalent of a film negative, allowing you up to 2 stops in exposure compensation. RAW files are a digital gift because in tough shooting situations they can really save your bacon. Each RAWfile is worthless by itself, however. It must be “processed” via digital software before it can be used as a JPEG, TIFF, or any other format.

As you know or can imagine, the amount of time required to process a large batch of RAW files can be enormous. Imagine a wedding photographer who shoots two or three thousand shots in RAWformat over the course of the big day. Each shot may take 3 to 4 minutes to tweak, plus the time necessary to process the files into a TIFF or JPEG format (depends on the speed of your computer). Think about the amount of time you might save if you nail the exposure, especially in JPEG format, straight out of the gate.

If you feel you must shoot RAW, set your camera to shoot large JPEG files and RAW files at the same time. When you download, separate the RAWs and JPEGs into separate folders. Look at the JPEGs first. If you find JPEGs that need to be tweaked, use the RAW files to do so. If the JPEGs are fine, trash the RAW files or just burn them to a disc. Your time savings will be huge.

Metering for correct exposure in the studio is quite easy. I’ve photographed a few test images just to show you how foolproof it can be.

Let’s begin with the light set at zero degrees to the lens axis (i.e., directly over the lens). I used a simple parabolic reflector as a modifier for this test. It’s rather contrasty, but it will demonstrate the principle nicely.

In image 2.1, you’ll see there is a full range of tones, from the bright whites of the subject’s teeth through the shadows of her hair.

The correct position of the light meter, in at least 90 percent of all situations, is directly under the chin and aimed directly at the lens. This will guarantee the meter will read all three zones and deliver an average reading that will give you a proper representation of those zones. See image 2.2.

At 22.5 degrees from center, the angle of incidence begins to change. You may have been taught in photo class that the “angle of incidence equals the angle of deflection,” and this is absolutely true. The meter angle stays the same, straight on to camera, but you begin to see some changes in the specularity of the light because it’s now aimed at different planes on the face and reflecting directly into the camera from some of them. See image 2.3.

At 45 degrees, the shadows deepen because there is no fill on the shadow side. The exposure, measured with the meter still aimed at the camera, still produced a perfect exposure when the strobe generator was adjusted to the target exposure, f/10 for this example. See image 2.4.

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At 60 degrees, which is more than most attractive portraits will tolerate, a meter reading aimed at the camera still yields a beautiful result. Shadows and highlights are properly represented, even though the image is very contrasty. See image 2.5.

So, what happens if we aim the meter at the light? At 60 degrees, what can the difference be, after all? Interestingly, the difference can be quite major.When you aim the meter at the light, you will only measure the brightest part of the light, not the average of highlights and shadows we’ve been measuring so far. With the meter aimed at the light, note the difference in shadow density and highlight brilliance between the previous examples. The inference is clear: most circumstances do not require the meter to be aimed at the light. Aiming it at the camera will produce more consistent results almost all of the time. The first image was made at the previous aperture, the second was made with the reading given by aiming the meter at the light, not at the camera, a 1/4-stop difference. See images 2.6 and 2.7.

The easiest way to add fill light to your image is to bring in a white bookend or any other kind of white fill to add light to the shadow side. I’ve never been a fan of adding another strobe as fill. I much prefer a fill card of some kind because it will not add any shadows of its own. Be advised that, even at 3 feet away from the subject, the extra light that bounces in will affect the overall exposure. In this case, introducing the bookend added 1/3 stop of light to the overall exposure, which meant I had to either take the exposure down at the source (as I would recommend) or move the main light straight back a few inches. Either approach will maintain the ratio of any other lights that may have been set. This image, metered with the dome aimed at the camera, is a perfect example of how bounce fill can open up the shadows without looking like a second source of light. See image 2.8.

Metering a profile is different in that it’s one of the few times you’ll need to aim the meter at the light rather than the camera. This assumes that the light is coming from in front of the profile (and from the side,

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11-3-2556 14-56-16

11-3-2556 14-56-44

11-3-2556 14-57-49

relative to the camera). When the light is coming from any direction less than the 60 degrees we previously discussed you can meter, with confidence, with the dome facing the camera.

When the light is coming from 90 degrees to the side, if we were to meter with the dome aimed at the camera, the amount of shadow would throw off the accuracy of the reading, causing a poor exposure. See images 2.9 and 2.10.

Once you’re satisfied with the reading and f-stop, set and meter any other lights you wish to use. I reintroduced the white bookend and added a hair light, powered to the same f-stop as the main light. A small piece of black foamcore, mounted on an accessory arm, created a flag that blocked off part of the light striking the background. The result (image 2.11) is a visually interesting and lovely image. This is a perfect technique for many portrait applications, from beauty and glamour to graduation portraiture.

Nikon D7000, Bracketing Exposures

So what if you are doing everything right in terms of metering and mode selection, yet your images still sometimes come out too light or too dark? There is a technique called bracketing that will help you find the best exposure value for your scene by taking a normal exposure as well as one that is over- and underexposed. Having these differing exposure values will most often present you with one frame that just looks better than the others. If I am in a tricky situation when I have to get the exposure right, such as an outdoor wedding, then I’ll use bracketing. I’ll start by spacing my exposures apart by one to two stops and taking three images: one normal exposure, one underexposure, and one overexposure. (Figure 11.7).

control panel shows you just how much bracketing
Figure 11.7 The control panel shows you just how much bracketing is being applied on an over/under scale in the upper right corner of the screen. The number and letter to the left tells you how many frames you’re shooting; here, it’s three frames, shown as 3F.

As you are viewing the control panel and holding the exposure button, you can decide how much variation you want between bracketed exposures. You can choose from one-third of a stop all the way to two full stops of exposure difference between each bracketed exposure. If I am in a particularly difficult setting, I will typically bracket in two-stop increments to help zero in on that perfect exposure, and then just delete the ones that didn’t make the grade (Figures 11.8–11.10). Remember, your lighting will dictate how many stops you want between exposures.

Two stops of exposure below normal
Figure 11.8 Two stops of exposure below normal, creating a much darker image.
Normal exposure
Figure 11.9 Normal exposure, as indicated by the camera meter.
Two stops of exposure above normal
Figure 11.10 Two stops of exposure above normal, creating a much lighter image.

Setting auto-exposure bracketing

Setting auto-exposure bracketing

  1. You can quickly set your bracketing by holding the BKT button (on the front of your camera directly below the flash button) while rotating the Command dial to 3F (three exposures).
  2. Next, continue holding your BKT button down while rotating your Sub-command dial to the 2.0 setting (two stops between each exposure). For more information on bracketing, please review pages 109–110 of your manual.
  3. If you are in Single Frame shooting mode, you will have to press the shutter three times, one for each exposure. If you are in continuous shooting mode, you will press and hold the shutter button and the camera will take all three exposures with one press of the button.

When I am out shooting in the RAW file format, I typically shoot with my camera set to an exposure compensation of –1/3 stop to protect my highlights. If I am dealing with a subject that has a lot of different tonal ranges from bright to dark, I will often bracket by one stop over and under my already compensated exposure. That means I will have exposures of –1 1/3, –1/3, and +2/3.

Another thing to remember is that auto exposure bracketing will use the current mode for making exposure changes. This means that if you are in Aperture Priority mode, the camera will make adjustments to your shutter speed. Likewise, if you are in Shutter Priority, the changes will be made to your aperture value. This is important to keep in mind since it could affect certain aspects of your image such as depth of field or camera shake. You also need to know that AE bracketing will remain in effect until you set it back to zero, even if you turn the camera off and then on again.

Canon EOS 60D, Picture Styles

Picture styles on the 60D will allow you to enhance your images in-camera depending on the type of photo you are taking. The picture style is automatically selected when you are using any of the Basic Zone modes. When using a Creative Zone shooting mode, you decide which style to use.

There are a few things to keep in mind when using picture styles. The first is that when you are shooting in RAW, the picture style doesn’t really “stick.” When previewing your images on the LCD Monitor, you’ll see it applied to the image; but once you bring it into your RAW editing software, you can change it to any of the other styles. Shooting JPEG images or video, however, will permanently embed the picture style to the image or movie and can’t be changed. This is extremely important to keep in mind when using styles such as the Monochrome picture style, since you will be discarding all color from your image.

These styles can be applied in the menu, while shooting in Live View, or while editing your RAW images in-camera. There are six styles to choose from, along with three additional user-defined styles:

  • Standard: This general-purpose style is used to create crisp images with bold, vibrant colors. It is suitable for most scenes.
  • Portrait: This style enhances the colors in skin tone, and is used for a softerlooking image.
  • Landscape: This style enhances blues and greens, two colors that are typically visible in a landscape image.
  • Neutral: This style creates natural colors and subdued images, and it is a good choice if you want to do a lot of editing to your photos on the computer.
  • Faithful: This picture style is similar to the neutral style but creates better color when shooting in daylight-balanced light (color temperature of 5200K). It’s also a good option if you prefer to edit your photos on the computer.
  • Monochrome: This style creates black and white images. It’s important to note that if you use the Monochrome style and shoot in JPEG, you cannot revert the image to color.

SETTING THE PICTURE STYLE IN THE ME

  1. Press the Menu button on the back of the camera, and then use the Multi- Controller to get to the second menu tab.
  2. Using the Quick Control dial, scroll down to the Picture Style menu item. Press the Set button.
  3. Use either the Main dial or the Quick Control dial to scroll through the styles. When you’ve selected the one you want to use, press the Set button.
  4. To edit any of these styles, select the one you want to change, and then press the Info button. To edit a specific setting, select the setting, press Set, and then use the Quick Control dial to make the changes.

SETTING THE PICTURE STYLE WITH LIVE VIEW

SETTING THE PICTURE STYLE WITH LIVE VIEW

  1. Press the Live View shooting button to get into the Live View shooting mode.
  2. With Live View activated, press the Quick Control button on the back of the camera, and then use the Multi- Controller to scroll down to the Picture Style icon. Press Set.
  3. Use the Main dial on the top of the camera to select from among the different base picture style choices (A).
  4. Once you’ve selected a picture style, you can change any of its four parameters by using the Multi-Controller or Quick Control dial to select them (sharpness, contrast, saturation, and color tone), and then use the Main dial to make the changes (B).
  5. Press the Set button to lock in your changes.

 

Canon EOS 60D, In-Camera Image Editing

The 60D has image-editing features that allow you to quickly process images in-camera and save those files as a JPEG on your SD card. This feature is not a replacement for editing images on your computer, but it is a useful and fun way to create quick, ready-to-use images directly from your memory card.

CREATIVE FILTERS

The Creative filters are a fun way to add different effects to your images. The 60D comes with four different filters, each with settings you can change to customize the look of your image. Now, one thing to note is that you are unable to apply these effects to images photographed in the mRAW or sRAW quality settings.

  • Grainy B/W: This will make the image black and white and also add grain to the image. You can control the amount of contrast in the image—the contrast setting in Figure 10.2 was set to “low.”
  • Soft Focus: This adds a classic “soft glow” to an image by adding blur (Figure 10.3). You have control over the amount of blur you would like to add to your image.
  • Toy Camera effect: This effect adds a color cast and also vignettes the corners of the image to make it look as though it was photographed with a toy camera (Figure 10.4).
  • Miniature effect: If you want to mimic the look of a tilt-shift lens, then this is really fun to use. This filter adds contrast and blur to the image to make your scene look like a diorama, and it allows you to select the area of focus. It looks best when applied to photos taken from high up, like from a cliff or balcony (Figure 10.5).
Grainy B/W
FIGURE 10.2 Grainy B/W
Soft Focus
FIGURE 10.3 Soft Focus
Toy Camera effect
FIGURE 10.4 Toy Camera effect
Miniature effect
FIGURE 10.5 Miniature effect

APPLYING A CREATIVE FILTER TO AN IMAGE

APPLYING A CREATIVE FILTER TO AN IMAGE

  1. Press the Menu button and use the Main dial to go to the fifth tab from the left. Scroll down to the Creative Filters option using the Quick Control dial and press Set (A).
  2. Use the Quick Control dial to select an image to edit (your camera will only display compatible images at this point). Press the Set button.
  3. Use the Quick Control dial to select the Creative filter you would like to apply, and then press Set (B).
  4. Use the Quick Control dial to adjust the filter (the options are different for each filter) (C). When you are finished editing, press the Set button. (You can also exit any of the filters at any time by pressing the Menu button to go to the previous screen.)
  5. Select OK on the next screen, and your image is now saved as a JPEG on your memory card. Press OK to confirm, and press the Menu button to exit.

RAW PROCESSING

Along with the Creative filters, you can also do basic adjustments to RAW files on your 60D. This feature is helpful if you need to quickly edit a file and save it as a JPEG, and you don’t have access or time to do so on a computer. Just like with the Creative filters, you cannot process images photographed in the mRAW and sRAW quality settings.

PROCESSING RAW IMAGES WITH THE 60D

PROCESSING RAW IMAGES WITH THE 60D

  1. Press the Menu button and use the Main dial to go to the fifth tab from the left. Scroll down to the RAW Image Processing option using the Quick Control dial, and press Set (A).
  2. Use the Quick Control dial to select an image to edit (your camera will only display compatible images at this point). Press the Set button.
  3. Use the Multi-Controller to select an option to edit. Then use the Quick Control dial to make changes.
  4. Continue making changes to each setting as necessary, and when you are finished processing the image, scroll down to the Save option (B). Press Set.
  5. Select OK on the next screen, and your image is now saved as a JPEG on your memory card. Press OK to confirm, and press the Menu button to exit.

RESIZING IMAGES

Sometimes you might want to quickly resize an image, and the 60D has a feature that makes this very easy. You can resize JPEG L/M/S1 and S2 images, but not RAW and JPEG S3 files. This feature is perfect if you edited an image using a Creative filter discussed earlier in this section and need to use the image on the Web or send it as an email attachment.

RESIZING IMAGES ON THE 60D

RESIZING IMAGES ON THE 60D

  1. Press the Menu button and use the Main dial to go to the fifth tab from the left. Scroll down to the Resize option using the Quick Control dial and press Set (A).
  2. Use the Quick Control dial to select an image to resize (your camera will only display compatible images at this point). Press the Set button.
  3. Use the Quick Control dial to select the size you would like your image to be, and then press the Set button (B).
  4. Select OK on the next screen, and your image is now saved as a JPEG on your memory card. Press OK to confirm, and press the Menu button to exit.

 

VARI-ANGLE LCD MONITOR

One really cool feature of the 60D is its Vari-angle LCD Monitor (commonly called an “articulating screen”), which can be really handy in certain situations. Benefits of using this feature are very apparent when shooting in Live View or video mode, since you can angle the display so that it’s shaded from the sun. You can also angle the display when you want to lower or raise the camera beyond your field of view by moving the LCD Monitor so that it’s always facing in your direction. You can also swivel the display so that it’s flipped completely around, making it possible to do self-portraits or videos of yourself.

Another nice benefit of the Vari-angle LCD Monitor is that you can turn the display so that it’s flush against the camera, protecting the LCD Monitor from scratches while not in use. This is a good option when packing the camera in a camera bag or while using it in a harsh environment where damage to the monitor can easily occur.

VARI-ANGLE LCD MONITOR

Nikon D7000, Advanced Techniques to Explore

This section comes with a warning attached. All of the techniques and topics up to this point have been centered on your camera. The following two sections, covering panoramas and high dynamic range (HDR) images, require you to use image-processing software to complete the photograph. They are, however, important enough that you should know how to shoot for success should you choose to explore these two popular techniques.

Shooting panoramas

I’ve never been much for panoramas until I visited the Grand Teton National Park. The Tetons are probably one of my favorite mountain ranges and easily identifiable, but a single frame just doesn’t do them justice. Only a panorama can truly capture a mountain range, cityscape, or any extremely wide vista.

The multiple-image panorama

To shoot a true panorama, you need to use either a special panorama camera that shoots a very wide frame or the following method, which requires the combining of multiple frames.

The multiple-image pano, as photographers often call a panoramic, has gained in popularity in the past few years; this is principally due to advances in image-processing software. Many software options are available now that will take multiple images, align them, and then “stitch” them into a single panoramic image. The real key to shooting a multiple-image pano is to overlap your shots by about 30 percent from one frame to the next (Figures 7.19 and 7.20). It is possible to handhold the camera while capturing your images, but the best method for capturing great panoramic images is to use a tripod.

Now that you have your series of overlapping images, you can import them into your image-processing software to stitch them together and create a single panoramic image.

Here you see the makings of a panorama, with nine shots overlapping by about 30 percent from frame to frame.
Figure 7.19 Here you see the makings of a panorama, with nine shots overlapping by about 30 percent from frame to frame.
I used Adobe Photoshop to combine all of the exposures into one large panoramic image.
Figure 7.20 I used Adobe Photoshop to combine all of the exposures into one large panoramic image.

Sorting your shots for the multi-image panorama

If you shoot more than one series of shots for your panoramas, it can sometimes be difficult to know when one series of images ends and the other begins. Here is a quick tip for separating your images.

Set up your camera using the steps listed here. Now, before you take your first good exposure in the series, hold up one finger in front of the camera and take a shot. Move your hand away and begin taking your overlapping images. When you have taken your last shot, hold two fingers in front of the camera and take another shot.

Now, when you go to review your images, use the series of shots that falls between the frames with one and two fingers in them. Then just repeat the process for your next panorama series.

Shooting properly for a multiple-image panorama

  1. Mount your camera on your tripod and make sure it is level.
  2. In Aperture Priority mode, use a very small aperture for the greatest depth of field. Take a meter reading of a bright part of the scene, and make note of it.
  3. Now change your camera to Manual mode (M), and dial in the aperture and shutter speed that you obtained in the previous step.
  4. Set your lens to manual focus, and then focus it for the area of interest using the HFD method of finding a point one-third of the way into the scene. (If you use the autofocus, you risk getting different points of focus from image to image, which will make the image stitching more difficult for the software.)
  5. While carefully panning your camera, shoot your images to cover the entire area of the scene from one end to the other, leaving a 30 percent overlap from one frame to the next. The final step would involve using your favorite imaging software to take all of the photographs and combine them into a single panoramic image.

Shooting high dynamic range (HDR) images

High dynamic range (HDR) can create stunning images by using the full tonal range of an image. Depending upon your preference they can look quite real or very surreal. I have found people either love or hate HDR, but regardless of what side of the fence you are on it is a wonderful way to understand the effects of exposure on an image.

HDR is used quite often in landscape, cityscape, and, believe it or not, interior design images. Typically, when you photograph a scene that has a wide range of tones from shadows to highlights, you have to make a decision regarding which tonal values you are going to emphasize, and then adjust your exposure accordingly. This is because your camera has a limited dynamic range, at least as compared to the human eye. HDR photography allows you to capture multiple exposures for the highlights, shadows, and midtones, and then combine them into a single image using software (Figure 7.21).

A number of software applications allow you to combine the images and then perform a process called “tonemapping,” whereby the complete range of exposures is represented in a single image. I will not be covering the software applications, but I will explore the process of shooting a scene to help you render properly captured images for the HDR process. Note that using a tripod is absolutely necessary for this technique, since you need to have perfect alignment of the images when they are combined.

This tonemapped HDR image combines several exposures.
Figure 7.21 This tonemapped HDR image combines several exposures.

Setting up for shooting an HDR image

  1. Set your ISO to 100–200 to ensure clean, noise-free images.
  2. Set your program mode to Aperture Priority. During the shooting process, you will be taking three shots of the same scene, creating an overexposed image, an underexposed image, and a normal exposure. Since the camera is going to be adjusting the exposure, you want it to make changes to the shutter speed, not the aperture, so that your depth of field is consistent.
  3. Set your camera file format to RAW. This is extremely important because the RAW format contains a much larger range of exposure values than a JPEG file, and the HDR software needs this information.
  4. Change your shooting mode to continuous. This will allow you to capture your exposures quickly. Even though you will be using a tripod, there is always a chance that something within your scene will be moving (like clouds or leaves). Shooting in the continuous mode minimizes any subject movement between frames.
  5. Adjust the Auto Bracketing (BKT) mode to shoot three exposures in two-stop increments. To do this, you will first need to press the BKT button while moving the Command dial to the right.
  6. Now use the Sub-command dial to adjust the bracketing to 2.0.
  7. Focus the camera using the manual focus method discussed earlier in the chapter, compose your shot, secure the tripod, and hold down the shutter button until the camera has fired three consecutive times. The result will be one normal exposure, as well as one under- and one overexposed image.

Setting up for shooting an HDR image

A software program such as Adobe Photoshop, Photomatix Pro, or my favorite, Nik Software’s HDR Efex Pro, can now process your exposure-bracketed images into a single HDR file. Remember to turn the BKT function back to Off when you are done or the camera will continue to shoot bracketed images.

Bracketing your exposures

In HDR, bracketing is the process of capturing a series of exposures at different stop intervals. You can bracket your exposures even if you aren’t going to be using HDR. Sometimes this is helpful when you have a tricky lighting situation and you want to ensure that you have just the right exposure to capture the look you’re after. In HDR, you bracket to the plus and minus side of a “normal” exposure, but you can also bracket all of your exposures to the over or under side of normal. It all depends on what you are after. If you aren’t sure whether you are getting enough shadow detail, you can bracket a little toward the overexposed side. The same is true for highlights. You can bracket in increments as small as a third of a stop. This means that you can capture several images with very subtle exposure variances and then decide later which one is best. If you want to bracket just to one side of a normal exposure, set your exposure compensation to +1 or –1, whichever way you need, and the use the bracketing feature to automatically bracket your exposures.

 

 

Canon EOS 60D, Exposure Settings for Video

Setting the exposure for video is similar to setting exposure for still photographs, but you will notice a few differences that will only apply when recording movies. One obvious difference is that you can only view your scene in Live View, and the LCD Monitor will display a simulated exposure for what your video will look like during the recording process. There are also some limitations on shutter speed and exposure—keep on reading to learn more about them.

AUTOEXPOSURE VS. MANUAL EXPOSURE

When shooting movies on the 60D, you have two options for exposure: Auto and Manual. When shooting in Auto, the camera determines all exposure settings (aperture, shutter speed, and ISO), whereas with Manual, you have control over these settings just as you would when shooting still images. Auto is a simple setting to use if you want to get a quick video and don’t have the time to change the settings manually. However, with autoexposure you have limited control, and if you want to take full advantage of your DSLR and lenses when shooting video, you’ll probably want to give the Manual mode a try.

The Manual mode for video functions in the same way as it does for still photography: You pick the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. You can even change your settings while you are recording (although the microphone might pick up camera noises— read more about audio later in this chapter). I prefer to use the Manual mode when shooting video because I like to have control over all of my settings, and I also like to use the largest aperture possible to decrease the depth of field in the scene.

One important thing to note when shooting video is that you have some shutter speed limitations, depending on your frames-per-second setting. The slowest shutter speed when shooting with a frame rate of 50 or 60 fps is 1/60 of a second, and for 24, 25, or 30 fps, you can go down to 1/30 of a second. You can’t go any faster than 1/4000 of a second, but it’s recommended that you keep your shutter speed between 1/30 and 1/125 of a second, especially when photographing a moving subject. The slower your shutter speed is, the smoother and less choppy the movement in your video will be.

CHANGING THE MOVIE EXPOSURE SETTING

CHANGING THE MOVIE EXPOSURE SETTING

  1. Set the camera to video mode using the Mode dial on the top of the camera.
  2. Press the Menu button and use the Main dial to get to the first menu tab, and then select the Movie Exposure option at the top (A). Press the Set button.
  3. Make your selection (Auto or Manual), and then press the Set button once again to lock in your changes (B).

WHITE BALANCE AND PICTURE STYLES

When shooting video, you want to be sure to get the white balance right. Remember the difference between RAW and JPEG. Well, think of a video file as a JPEG. If you were to edit the video file on your computer, it would be difficult to change the white balance without damaging the pixels, and if the white balance is completely off, you might not even be able to salvage the video’s original colors.

What’s neat about shooting video is that you can see what the video quality will be like before you start recording. This means that you can set the white balance and see it changing right in front of you

Picture styles are also a very useful tool when shooting video. They work the same way as with still photography and you can preview your scene with the changes while in the video Live View mode. Just remember that once you record in one of these settings, you can’t change this quality of the video. For example, when using the Monochrome (black and white) picture style, once you’ve recorded a movie, there is no way to go back and retrieve the color information.

 

 

Canon PowerShot G12, Shadow Correction and Dynamic Range (DR) Correction

Your camera provides two functions that can automatically make your pictures look a little better: Shadow Correction and Dynamic Range (DR) Correction. With Shadow Correct, the camera evaluates the tones in your image and then lightens any areas that it believes are too dark or lacking contrast after you take the shot (Figures 10.10 and 10.11). Dynamic Range Correction works in the other direction, attempting to prevent highlights from blowing out to white. The Correct modes work only when shooting JPEG images (not RAW or RAW+JPEG).

The two controls are accessed from the same menu, even though they perform opposite actions.

Without Shadow Correction, the shadows on the chair and the fireplace are dark.
Figure 10.10 Without Shadow Correction, the shadows on the chair and the fireplace are dark.
Although the exposure hasn’t changed, the shadows are brighter after enabling the Shadow Correction feature.
Figure 10.11 Although the exposure hasn’t changed, the shadows are brighter after enabling the Shadow Correction feature.

Setting up Shadow Correction and Dynamic Range Correction

Shadow Correction and Dynamic Range Correction
Shadow Correction and Dynamic Range Correction
  1. Press the Function/Set button.
  2. Use the Up or Down button to highlight the DR Correction menu item (just above the white balance setting).
  3. To enable DR Correction, press the Right or Left button to choose Auto (only if the camera is in Auto mode), 200%, or 400%. The higher the setting, the more correction is applied.
    To enable Shadow Correction, press the Display button and then press the Right or Left button to choose the Auto setting.
  4. Press the Function/Set button to return to the shooting mode.

Canon 7D, Getting Started

Before you jump into making movies of your own, let’s go over some of the basic settings you’ll use in order to ensure that you’re getting the quality you want.

VIDEO QUALITY

The fi rst setting that’s important to understand is resolution. You’ll need to know what movie-recording size you want to use, along with the frame rate, or frames per second (fps). The fi les are recorded as .mov fi les, and the quality and the resolution (size) of each fi le is measured in pixels. The fps rate is defi ned as how many frames (images) the camera records in a 1-second timeframe.

The 7D has three different sizes you can choose from:

  • 1920 x 1080: This is the full High Defi nition (HD) setting (16:9 aspect ratio). You have the option to record in 30, 25, or 24 fps. Using this setting at 24 fps is the standard for recording motion pictures. This setting is often referred to as “1080p.”
  • 1280 x 720: This is another HD setting with an aspect ratio of 16:9, but in a smaller resolution. It records movies at 50 or 60 fps and is often referred to as “720p.” This is good for shooting Web-sized videos or if you want to create a high-quality slow-motion effect with your movies using editing software. Using this setting will take up the same amount of space on your CF card as the 1080p setting since it records twice as many fps.
  • 640 x 480: This setting is for Standard Defi nition (SD) recording and records at a 4:3 aspect ratio.

FRAME RATES

The frame rate numbers listed on your camera are an approximate number of what the camera actually records. The true frame rates are as follows: 24: 23.976, 25: 25.00, 30: 29.97, 50: 50.00, and 60: 59.94.

SLOW MOTION

If you want to slow down your videos and create high-quality slow-motion videos, then you’ll want to start by shooting in 720p. This setting records the video at 60 fps so that when you bring it into an editing program you can set it to play back at 50 percent speed, or 30 fps. Your video will now play back half as fast as you originally recorded it without sacrificing image quality.

NTSC AND PAL

You can set your 7D to record video in one of two formats: NTSC (National Television Standards Committee) or PAL (Phase Alternate Line) (Figure 9.1). NTSC is the standard format for broadcasting in North America, South America, and Asia; and PAL is the standard format for most European countries and other parts of the world. The main difference between the two when shooting with the 7D is their frame rates (25/50 fps for PAL and 30/60 fps for NTSC). It’s recommended that you set your video format to the broadcasting standard for whatever country you’re located in.

The 7D can record video in one of two formats: NTSC or PAL.
FIGURE 9.1 The 7D can record video in one of two formats: NTSC or PAL.

SETTING THE MOVIE-RECORDING SIZE

SETTING THE MOVIE-RECORDING SIZE

  1. Set the camera to video mode using the Movie shooting switch (A).
  2. Press the Menu button and use the Main dial to get to the fourth camera tab (B) (you’ll notice a new icon at the top of this menu—this is because you are in video mode).
  3. Scroll down to Movie Rec. Size using the Quick Control dial, and press the Set button (C).
  4. Use the Quick Control dial to select your preferred movie-shooting mode, and press the Set button to lock in your changes.
  5. Press the Menu button to go back into Movie shooting mode.

SETTING THE MOVIE-RECORDING SIZE

The 7D is also limited in regard to the length of each individual movie fi le. The longest movie fi le you can record at a time is roughly 12 minutes for HD and 24 minutes for SD (a 4 GB fi le size). This typically should not be much of an issue since most videos are recorded in small segments and pieced together during the editing process, but it is good information to know since there may be times when you’ll want to have a movie fi le that is longer than usual.

OVERHEATING

When shooting video with the 7D, it’s a good idea to turn the camera off between shots, especially if you are outdoors on a warm or sunny day. The camera’s internal temperature is more likely to increase when using the video mode, and shooting for a prolonged period of time could degrade the image quality of your still photos and videos. So when you’re not recording, be sure to turn the camera off.

The next thing you’ll need to consider is the type of compact fl ash card you are using. Because the camera will be writing the movie quickly and needs to process the information as fast as possible, I recommend using a card that has a very fast write speed (anything greater than 8 MB a second).

IMAGE QUALITY—WHY DOES IT MATTER?

You might have noticed that an image quality setting (RAW/JPEG) displays when your camera is in the video mode (Figure 9.2). Whatever your image quality is usually set to, you’ll see that this setting stays the same on the Info screen in between recordings— if you typically shoot in the RAW format, that setting will appear on your screen before you start recording movies. Just to clarify, the camera does not have the capability to shoot each frame of the video in the RAW format, but this setting does have a purpose…trust me!

You can shoot still images while recording a movie— the image quality setting will appear on the rear LCD Monitor along with your video settings.
FIGURE 9.2 You can shoot still images while recording a movie— the image quality setting will appear on the rear LCD Monitor along with your video settings.

Let’s say you’re in the middle of doing a video recording and you want to take a quick still photo but you don’t want to stop the recording, go back to still shooting mode, change your camera mode and exposure settings, and so on. Instead of going through all of that trouble just to get one image, all you need to do is press the Shutter button down, even if you are still recording your movie. You’ll notice a pause in the recording, but after the camera takes the photo it will automatically return to recording your video. The drawback to this feature is that it creates 1 second of a still image in your movie, but it’s a nice feature to have if you need to jump to temporarily taking still photos.

SHOOTING AND PLAYBACK

So now that we’ve gone over some of the basics of getting started with video recording, I’m going to show you how to record your video and review it in the Playback mode. There are still a few other things to discuss in order to ensure that your videos are top-notch quality, but before we get to that, let’s put everything to the test—and the only way to do that is to actually shoot some video.

RECORDING A MOVIE

RECORDING A MOVIE

  1. Locate the Movie shooting switch on the back of the camera and turn it to the red video camera setting (A). The rear LCD Monitor will immediately go into Live View mode.
  2. Compose and focus your scene and press the START/STOP button to begin your recording. You’ll notice a red dot appears in the upper-right corner of the LCD Monitor (B). This indicates that video recording is in progress.
  3. When you are fi nished recording, press the START/STOP button. The red dot will disappear, indicating that you are no longer recording video.

PLAYING MOVIES

PLAYING MOVIES

PLAYING MOVIES

  1. Press the Playback button located on the back of the camera.
  2. Turn the Quick Control dial until you reach one of your videos. You’ll know it’s a movie when you see the video camera icon in the upper-left portion of the LCD Monitor (A). Then press the Set button.
  3. To begin playback, press the Set button (the Play option on the bottom of the LCD Monitor will be highlighted by default) (B).
  4. To stop or pause playback, press the Set button once again.
  5. To exit from the playback screen, use the Quick Control dial to select the Exit option and then press Set (C).

The 7D gives you several other options while in the playback screen. Figure 9.3 shows all of the options you have when playing movies on your camera.

Use the Quick Control dial to select the other options in the Playback mode. If you recorded sound with your movie, you can also use the Main dial to adjust the sound volume during playback.
FIGURE 9.3 Use the Quick Control dial to select the other options in the Playback mode. If you recorded sound with your movie, you can also use the Main dial to adjust the sound volume during playback.

A Exit
B Play
C Slow Motion
D First Frame
E Previous Frame
F Next Frame
G Last Frame
H Edit
I Sound Volume
J Main Dial

VIDEO PLAYBACK ON YOUR COMPUTER

Viewing movies on your computer that were recorded with your 7D is simple. Just download the .mov files to your computer from the memory card (you can also connect the camera to your computer using a USB cable). If you have a Mac, they will automatically play in QuickTime when you open the files (PC users can download this software online for free). The Canon Utility software that was included with your camera also has a program, ImageBrowser, that allows you to view still photos and play .mov files on your computer.