How to be sure to take at home very good shot?

Antigen

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Aug 4, 2019
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Hi,

i have bought a GX85, i'm a newbie of the photo world, but i know what are the differences between Program, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority.

I admit that i don't love to shot in total automatic mode, because i think that an automatic mode can decrease in general the quality of our photo.

But i need a suggestion, i want to do a very very good photo, and i need some suggestion how to shot.

- a lot of people tell me to shot in RAW+ Superfine JPEG
- set the camera to Program or in Aperture Mode/Shutter Mode

I see on this forum very good photo, and i know that only experience can help.

But i hope to receive some suggestion to be sure, to take some very good shot during a travel.

Thanks a lot
 

wjiang

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What draws you in? What do you want to take pictures of? Take photos of said things, look at other people's photos of similar things that you like, and try and work out why you like those images. Share your images to get feedback. Improve for next time and keep practising.
 

Antigen

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Landscape, travel, people, moment in family, street… actually this is my subject

But my question is if use the P, A, S... and what setting i need to activate or deactivate.

For example, i can't buy Lightroom and other software (i'm only an photo newbie) the use of RAW is a nonsense?
 

wjiang

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There are no correct settings, you just have to adjust it based on the situation.

I would suggest leaving it on auto JPEG if you're first starting out, and practice to get good at composition, framing, timing, etc. You can learn how to improve from that baseline with more practice, and start adjusting settings intentionally.

As for RAW - when you get to that point, there are free RAW converters out there, e.g. RawTherapee.
 

ralf-11

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for now, shoot with the camera set to 'P'
(later, you can use 'A' to get a small depth of field for portraits, & 'S' to make sure you freeze fast motion)

always shoot in RAW & save those files; for now use RAW + the highest resolution .jpg - you will view and send the jpg's to friends; later you can use a program like LightRoom to process the raw files (e.g. adjust exposure in part or all of the scene)

take pics near sunrise and sunset; sleep during the day

watch out for the background on your pics - often a nice pic of someone has a telephone pole coming out of their head & you only see it later on, not when taking the picture

a good intro to photography is to find some of the old Time-Life books used

have fun
 

BosseBe

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+1 for shooting Raw + JPEG.
+1 for using P mode.
But if you have a lot of time somewhere, take the shot in P mode and try to improve on it in either Shutter or Aperture mode. (Don't forget to go back to P mode :) )

DxO sometimes have given their old version of their SW away, so look out for that. (There always free trials of all SW AFAIK).

If you have questions don't hesitate to post them, the worst that can happen is that you get directions to a thread where question is already answered.

Good luck on your photo journey!
 

oldracer

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The tool (camera) is not that important. Study the lighting in photographs. That is the most important thing. You can learn to use light by studying great portraits like here: https://karsh.org/photographs/ You don't need fancy lighting equipment either. Natural sunlight, maybe with a white card or reflector to fill in shadows will take you a long way. For example W. Eugene Smith shot a lot with available light: https://www.icp.org/browse/archive/constituents/w-eugene-smith?all/all/all/all/0 Henri Cartier-Bresson is another: https://www.magnumphotos.com/photographer/henri-cartier-bresson/

This is old stuff. None of these guys shot with anything even remotely as capable as what you have, regardless of the specific settings you use.
 

Mikehit

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First off, there are many free programs that do an excellent job for photo processing. I would strongly recommend GIMP - it is not as streamlined as programs like Photoshop but it has most of the functions. It also can work with RAW files from most cameras on the market - if not then use the Panasonic free software and convert images to .DNG format.
Also, the original Nik Software is still available free of charge and it is excellent (be careful - DxO bought Nik and has released their new update which does cost you)
Once you get an idea of what program functions you like, you will have a good idea of what program you want to look at in the future. Also, programs like DxO and OnOne often give away old versions free of charge so that they hope to tempt you to buy the newest version. I have used OnOne version 10 for 4 years now with no problem.

As for camera settings: I prefer to shoot in aperture priority because I can control depth of field, but some prefer to shoot in Shutter priority. After a while you will find situations where the variation in lighting is too great which leads to some areas being very light and some are very dark (for example indoors where a bright window is part of the image causing the interior to be dark). So for me the next stage is to learn 'Exposure compensation' where you override what the camera thinks is the right exposure and get the part you want to be exposed properly. A variation of this is using bracketing where the camera takes a quick series of images with the exposure of each image being different and you can take parts of each image that you like (you can also get free programs that will do that automatically:thumbup:).

One of the greatest aids to all this is the histogram - so read about what it can tell you (you can display this in the viewfinder so you can predict accurately how the image will turn out before you take it).
Also you have highlight warning (zebras) to help.


I have kept this very brief (ha!) so as not to confuse you but I hope it gives an idea of the learning curve. This is a great site for asking got help so if you want advice on how to take the image or how to improve the content (composition) of the image, post an example image and people will help.

Have fun !:drinks:
 

Antigen

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Ok, i will try to shot in P mode or in Aperture Priority.

Only a suggestion, for the ISO, do you suggest to stay in AUTO or not? (i prefer reduce noise)

P.s: Thanks to all this wonderfull community!
 

BosseBe

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The P mode is really working great, so just stay on auto for everything until you figure out how settings affect the picture.
Set your camera to show the settings so you can see them as you shoot, that way you can determine if you want to change something and take a new picture.
 

Antigen

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Do you suggest to stay OFF with i.Dynamic and i.Resolution? I read that they don't impact RAW file (true?) and i can disable them on SilkyPix by Lumix… but how? And… if they don't touch RAW how i possible that i can disable it in postproduction?
 

Mikehit

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I just remembered this article by Daniel Cox, a professional who used 'P' mode (much to the annoyance of many enthusiasts)

https://naturalexposures.com/photography-program-mode/

You are correct in that iAuto and iDynamic do not affect the raw file.
I have not used SilkyPix to process my images but this is how it works for Canon and I am sure Silkypix is the same:
I can shoot 'Landscape mode' (which enhances sharpness and greens/blues) or 'Portrait mode' which enhances skin tones, or I can shoot Cloudy white balances (which warms the image up) etc etc. If I shoot jpeg only I can only access the jpeg and whichever photo mode I choose is 'baked in' and not reversible.
If I shoot raw+jpeg, the Canon program will be able to display 2 images:
first the jpeg with the program effects 'baked in' and not reversible
second the raw image with the program effects applied (that is, no different to the jpeg image). However this is reversible because the program is reading only the image data that the camera tells the program to apply.

So for example, I take photographs under fluorescent light using fluorescent white balance. I then shoot a series in sunlight and forget to change white balance. I open the images in Canon software
JPEGS will be messed up forever.
Raw files will look the same as the jpeg when I first open them (the program reads the 'set as fluorescent white balance' from the camera) but I can change that at any time to the correct white balance and rescue the image. The editing program has a load of pull-down menus to do this.

So it is not a case of 'disabling' but choosing the setting you actually want.
 

ralf-11

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Do you suggest to stay OFF with i.Dynamic and i.Resolution? I read that they don't impact RAW file (true?) and i can disable them on SilkyPix by Lumix… but how? And… if they don't touch RAW how i possible that i can disable it in postproduction?
yes, for now

later, decide on if you want the camera to try and get it's best shot at processing on the fly, or just do it all in your computer (using the RAW file)

or compare your processing with the camera's
 

agentlossing

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A mode lets you control aperture, which is one of the clearest artistic choices you can make (blurring backgrounds or getting everything in focus). However note that unless you are using a large aperture lens, the effect may not be easy to see. On a typical kit zoom like the one that comes with your camera, the maximum aperture narrows as a result of zooming in, making the out of focus effect less dramatic. Using a lens with a f1.8 aperture looks a lot different at a given zoom or focal length than a variable aperture zoom.

The other things you want to watch in A mode are ISO and shutter speed. Generally, you want to keep ISO low unless the shutter speed gets too slow (you can go pretty slow since the camera has image stabilization designed to keep the sensor steady and counteract movement, but if your subject moves, your subject will still be blurry, and you will have to raise the shutter speed). Raising ISO will also raise the shutter speed. So, make sure the shutter speed is sufficient to capture the image without unintentional blurring due to shakiness, and do that by means of ISO, while setting aperture to get a given effect.

Of course, aperture affects the exposure triangle too, so it is also part of the balancing act. But you can work up to that, for now primarily setting aperture to get the effect you want in photos.
 

stevedo

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It's been mentioned a couple of times but I think the key is to initially just take photos. You know what you like to take photos of so take lots using different settings to determine how those settings affect the image e.g. depth of field, lighting, shutter speed etc. Maybe take a look at a few videos on YouTube that discuss basic composition. This will help you in composing your own shots e.g. understand the rule of thirds. At this stage I would not recommend getting bogged down in all the technicalities too much. Use the wonderful tool that you have to look at the settings applied to your photos and see what works for you.

As a little side story my wife declared that she wanted to learn photography. She threw herself into it watching YouTube videos, reading technical articles and getting thoroughly confused as a result (is F2.8 a bigger or smaller hole than F5.6?). My advice was to take photos and see the difference for herself and not worry too much initially about the actual number. I showed her some of our own travel photos as examples. She likes to learn the theory of things like this and know how it all works. She actually took very few photos. I don't believe this is the best approach.

Incrementally taking lots of photos will cost nothing (no film to process :) ). I learnt in the late 70's and had to write all my settings in a notebook and then analyse the shots when they came back from being processed to see what worked. So much easier in todays digital age. I think it's a user on here that has a signature which reads "your first 10,000 shots are your worst". Don't be disheartened if initially you don't produce award winning photos. It takes time, perseverance and practice. I wish you all the best in your endeavours.
 

Antigen

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Aug 4, 2019
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Thanks a lot for your suggestion.

Another question:

- i read that to improve the quality of the JPEG out the camera, i can reduce Noise Filter to -5 and improve the Sharpness to + 4 : it's a good idea? And this setting will impact the RAW file?

Thanks a lot
 

stevedo

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Steve Douglas
Thanks a lot for your suggestion.

Another question:

- i read that to improve the quality of the JPEG out the camera, i can reduce Noise Filter to -5 and improve the Sharpness to + 4 : it's a good idea? And this setting will impact the RAW file?

Thanks a lot
The RAW file will not be impacted by JPEG settings.

The amount you adjust the noise filter and sharpness is very subjective as different people prefer different settings. Why not take some photos with different settings and see what YOU prefer and go with that?
 

Antigen

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Aug 4, 2019
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I read a lot about photo landscape and some aperture, and they tell me to no go over F8 because after the sharpness will decrease. I hope that this suggestion is ok.


I think that for now the best solution is:


- stay away from advance setting of my camera


- shot in aperture, priority o program


- set the camera to standard profile or vivid - that setting hit only jpeg true ??


- shot shot shot shot
 
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