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Old 30-06-2012, 08:53   #1
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Photography for Cruisers - Basics and Concepts !

Hi there,
sea often offers some panoramic vistas to be captured and you guys seems to be serious about photography and you all have some pretty cool modern DSLRs.
I am an old school cinematographer, I.e. I learned exposing 35mm negatives on motion picture cameras arri 435 and panavision cameras. I feel compelled to share some tips with you all. If you already are a pro please forgive my 'extra' initiative, but it will help those who are new to photography or are about to invest in good expensive gears or even a manual SLR.

WHAT ARE F STOPS?

Often what happens because of the automation we tend to gloss over F stop readings.
The arithmetic is very simple. It's all about the number - 2. Yes, correct, and all your photographic values hover around numbers multiples of 2. If you can perfect this, then you will have no problem setting up your own Tstop on the camera and not let the latter do it for you for more creative pictures.

We often wonder where did these camera manufacturers got numbers like 2.8 and 5.6? Couldn't they have rounded it off? Well no. There is a logical reasoning behind

The iris/aperture of the lens Is round with many aperture blades. Number of blades depends on the build and the quality of the lenses. With each stop you open or close the lens, the area of aperture either doubles or halves, thereby doubling the quantity of light passing through or halving it.
Area =pi * r [square]

Therefore,
2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256 imagine these are the areas doubled at every step or you can also say the quantity of light doubled at each step.
Now the square root of these figures above are the T stops
1.4, 2, 2.8, 4, 5.6, 8, 11(rounded off a bit ), 16

So it's about the square root of the number 2. The more you are adept with it, the easier it will be to run the numbers in your mind.

So on a bright sunny day your light meter or your ' through the lens' metering might read 16. (actually it will be a lot brighter 32 or 45 maybe ) So you set an exposure T stop at 16 to get an 'averaged' picture. What is an averaged picture? It's a different story.

If it is twilight and you want to take a picture of the anchorage, your light meter might read anywhere between 2.8 down to 1.4 depending upon the quantum of light available. You set your exposure accordingly.

And did I forget to mention shutter speed. Oh yes I did. The above two examples I quoted should be at a cinematic exposure speed of 1/50. Shutter speeds do play a very creative role in determining the look of images.
Imagine, a little difference in frequency of PAL vs NTSC creates difference in looks.

Cheers
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Old 30-06-2012, 09:02   #2
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Re: Photography for cruisers - basics and concepts!

wow good education. i dont use slr anymore--i used to take race car pix with one, loong ago--now i use cheap digital..... ty for the info.
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Old 30-06-2012, 09:03   #3
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Great stuff, thanks.

I have one major queation though...

...how can you make the sea state in the video/picture look as big in the picture as it did in person? Always looks smaller...

Keep the info coming but lets go past aperture an fstops and get into composition and filmin strategy? I am an eager listener as i have hundreds of hours of video footage and am embarrassd to even admit how much wouldmbe usable.

Some queations.

1. When grabbin alot of footage that doesnt have a specific subject, like sea states, passing shoreline, wildlife, etc, what is a good benchmark for duration of footage? I mean you will be editing this into other footage so 60 mintues of the same angle and shot of dolphins off the bow is only sp useful

2. How do you library all your photos and videos? Do you use a database provramme? Adobe somethng or other? I have so many video clips that sorting them is impossible. Is there an industry methodology for tagging and naming a file or record of a video/photo to allow you to search it for use later?

Lots of questions....
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Old 30-06-2012, 09:13   #4
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Re: Photography for cruisers - basics and concepts!

i get what you mean. i.e. you are going through hell in a sea state 4 condition, you decide to film that and chronicle it but later when you connect the video camera to your TV you are disappointed - the sea doesnt look menacing at all. wth! :-)
there are lot of factors - framing, lensing, height of camera and lighting (set the right mood through exposure. dont just listen to what your camera says. set your own exposures to determine how bright or dark/menacing you want the sea to look) and USE STORM FILTERS!!!
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Old 30-06-2012, 09:24   #5
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Re: Photography for cruisers - basics and concepts!

[QUOTE=foolishsailor;980758]Great stuff, thanks.

I have one major queation though...

...how can you make the sea state in the video/picture look as big in the picture as it did in person? Always looks smaller...

WATCH THIS VIDEO
it is an awesome docu-film that has been shot on 35mm gear. check out how cinematographers have captured sea through different moods

Oceans - Trailer #2 - YouTube
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Old 30-06-2012, 09:32   #6
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Re: Photography for cruisers - basics and concepts!

Quote:
Originally Posted by foolishsailor View Post
Great stuff, thanks.



Some queations.

1. When grabbin alot of footage that doesnt have a specific subject, like sea states, passing shoreline, wildlife, etc, what is a good benchmark for duration of footage? I mean you will be editing this into other footage so 60 mintues of the same angle and shot of dolphins off the bow is only sp useful

....
chronicle/docu footage which is more for reference or will be used as an insert/cutaway in your narrative/documentory need not be more than 10 seconds. any good editor will splice after say 3 seconds.

if it is an opening shot of a new scene (say its a master) say of your arrival at a lovely anchorage - then you can record a bit longer to establish the geography in audience's mind and to cater for voice over which may run through 2-3 lines to may be longer. also, you should change your magnification. say take a very wide shot of shore, then a medium shot with a slight pan, and then may be a tight close up (keep your hands steady) of a church spire on top of the cliff. so there you are variety of shots - editor will be happy. :-)
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Old 30-06-2012, 10:05   #7
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Re: Photography for cruisers - basics and concepts!

how can i capture lightning bolts on my cybershot---or is that magic....
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Old 30-06-2012, 10:29   #8
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Re: Photography for cruisers - basics and concepts!

What's a T stop?

An f-stop is the ratio of lens focal length to aperture, not just aperture. Is T stop something to do with the aperture itself? People tend to use f stop since it has a direct impact on focal depth.
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Old 30-06-2012, 10:45   #9
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Re: Photography for cruisers - basics and concepts!

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
how can i capture lightning bolts on my cybershot---or is that magic....
If you have video capability that is probably the easiest way to capture an image of a lighting bolt.

If not the old school method was to pick a time when the sun was completely blocked by clouds and select an exposure so the shutter speed was quite long and using blub keep the lens open for say 30 secs, and repeat till you captured the image.

There are also some high tec sensors that detect the light change from the lighting bolt and trigger the shutter, but those are used on a DSLR.

I have a nice cell phone that can capture HDMI video and I can capture lighting bolts with it. Same goes for digicameras. Many camera makers include software with that allows you to grab a frame from a video and make it into a still. If your camera does not have it there are freebies on the internet to do the same thing.

On a side note I spent way too much time in the dark room while taking photography classes at FSU. But if the truth be known I spend way more time post processing my digital images on a computer than I ever spend in the dark room.
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Old 30-06-2012, 10:51   #10
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Re: Photography for cruisers - basics and concepts!

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Originally Posted by cwyckham View Post
What's a T stop?

An f-stop is the ratio of lens focal length to aperture, not just aperture. Is T stop something to do with the aperture itself? People tend to use f stop since it has a direct impact on focal depth.
A t-stop takes real life into account, as opposed to theory.

Any time a photon crosses the surface of an element in a camera lens bad things happen, specifically loss of light intensity being one. Some lens are worse than others so they eat up more photons reducing the amount of light that reaches the cameras sensor.

A t-stop takes into account how much light loss the lens causes and how much light is lost due to a smaller hole for the light to come through. An f-stop just takes into account the light loss due to a smaller hole.
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Old 30-06-2012, 11:15   #11
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Re: Photography for cruisers - basics and concepts!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cwyckham View Post
What's a T stop?

An f-stop is the ratio of lens focal length to aperture, not just aperture. Is T stop something to do with the aperture itself? People tend to use f stop since it has a direct impact on focal depth.
in practical usage, F-stop and T-stop can be used interchangeably. i.e. no difference.
but you must know the difference, if you want to sound a bit pro to other cruisers

1. F- stop is the light falling on the front element of your lens.
2. T-stop is the exposure you set on a lens i.e. 2.8 or 5.6 whatever.
3. there is a miniscule difference of say 0.001% or something (i dont have the exact numbers right now) because of transmission loss of light through the lens elements.
what does that mean? it means that there IS some loss of light from the front element of the lens to the lest element in the lens just before the aperture. (a lens may have 6,7,8,9,11 glass elements depending on the make/purpose of the lens). basically, T-stop is the value of light which has managed to pass through the glass elements and now fall on your sensor or film.
ok clear? now you will ask, why the heck did they invent F-stop then?

4. in professional photography and in motion picture photography when you light a subject or a scene, you measure light in terms of F-stops. (just a tech jargon) e.g. camerman may say - background wall is reading F2-F2.8, the table lamp in the corner is blowing at F16, person's face sitting next to lamp is reading F4 and he goes and sets the T-stop on 2.8.
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Old 30-06-2012, 11:22   #12
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Re: Photography for cruisers - basics and concepts!

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Originally Posted by cwyckham View Post
What's a T stop?

People tend to use f stop since it has a direct impact on focal depth.
this relation between Fstop of the lens and the depth of field has a corelation. what you said is correct.

for instance, if you are shooting a day scene on a beach and if the Fstop reading is F22 and you set that exposure on your lens then you will have a phenomenal depth of field.
i can say that you can comfortably place kids playing on the beach in the foreground, your dinghy slightly behind in the middle ground, and your shallow draught boat at anchorage in the background, all in focus.

and if you are shooting at night in a beach pub with a 1.4 opening lens, i can rest assure you, you will be struggling to focus either on the left eye or on the left eye :-)

also, depends the closeness of the subject to the camera lens to get desired pleasing 'bokehs' (out of focus circular light rings) in the background.
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Old 30-06-2012, 11:24   #13
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Re: Photography for cruisers - basics and concepts!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomfl View Post
A t-stop takes real life into account, as opposed to theory.

Any time a photon crosses the surface of an element in a camera lens bad things happen, specifically loss of light intensity being one. Some lens are worse than others so they eat up more photons reducing the amount of light that reaches the cameras sensor.

A t-stop takes into account how much light loss the lens causes and how much light is lost due to a smaller hole for the light to come through. An f-stop just takes into account the light loss due to a smaller hole.
very well! almost there. i liked the philosophical approach of explanation of photon travel :-))
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Old 30-06-2012, 16:27   #14
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Re: Photography for cruisers - basics and concepts!

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Originally Posted by foolishsailor View Post
Great stuff, thanks.

I have one major queation though...

...how can you make the sea state in the video/picture look as big in the picture as it did in person? Always looks smaller...
Use wideangle - objects up first will seem bigger ;-)))))


b.
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Old 30-06-2012, 16:31   #15
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Re: Photography for cruisers - basics and concepts!

video---d'oh.... makes it tooo easy--mebbe i can catch one...ty!
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