In addition to information and links elsewhere on our site, the following resources may be of interest (in no particular order). We will endeavour to add more resources as time goes by.
Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the Practical Camera Club (of Southampton), its Committee, its members or its Webmaster, and featuring a product or supplier is not an endorsement or recommendation.
Getting Off Auto
Auto mode on your camera has its uses but generally you will be able to acheive better photographs by “Getting Off Auto”. First you will need to understand the Exposure Triangle: Shutter Speed, Aperture and ISO. Notes from this presentation from a club in New South Wales provide a good introduction for beginners.
Open University Course (Ref TG089)
This ten-week online course (reference TG089) from the Open University, developed and presented in partnership with The Royal Photographic Society (RPS), will develop your ability to create and share digital images. Develop your technical and visual skills as you learn the principles of digital photography and image editing. You will share your images with other participants as you develop your photographic and evaluation skills. Weekly assignments allow you to practise the skills you learn. The course culminates in submitting 10 of your own images for assessment and feedback.
What you can /cannot photograph in the UK
What is and what is not legal when it comes to taking photographs in the UK is largely a refelection of what common sense and politeness dictate!
There is some useful information in the UK Photographers Rights Guide which is available here.
Professionally printed images
Members can have prints made for them by a local business at very low prices as they can benefit from bulk prices on non-bulk quantities. Please note this offer is for paid up members only. Full details can be obtained at club meetings.
Some members use DS Colour Labs www.dscolourlabs.co.uk and find their service competitive in terms of price and quality. They do charge postage & packing, but saving up several images to print at a time can reduce the impact of this. One member has found that it is best to lightly over-expose and over-brighten the images before sending them off in order to get a printed result with proper vibrancy and punch.
Standard test image
You can use a standard test image for testing the colour or black and white rendition of your monitor and printer. Visual tests allow you to evaluate sharpness, colour casts, skin tones and general scenes. These can be found on the internet.
As an example, you could refer to Northlight Images website for test images and associated articles.
And the Colour Science test image is still available here
Plan your outdoor photography
Sunrise, sunset, moonrise and moonset for any selected day and place and lots more is available from The Photographer’s Ephemeris website. They provide it free as a desktop web based programme and as a paid for App for iOS and Android.
Ideas for places to photograph
There is a vast amount of information on the Photographers Resource website. They are in the process of redesigning and moving the site so the site may go down for a while; but if so, it will be back…
Clear information and tutorials
The Cambridge in Colour website has clear and concise information on a range of topics. They have first class tutorials with links to more detailed articles within the site. The tutorial on Digital Photo Editing Workflow, for example, is excellent. There is also a very active forum where you can get some expert opinion on hardware and software queries and critiques of images.
Canonplay has a free facilty to simulate the effect on an image of changes in variables such as aperture, shutter speed, ISO and camera modes. Unfortubately it does not cover focal length, distance, lighting etc.
Recovery of files deleted from card
If you have deleted files from your card and have not taken any photos using that card since they were deleted, they can normally be recovered. If you have taken more photos, they may well have overwritten the data and you will not be able to recover the deleted images. The following articles may assist, but the methodology has not been tested by the club.
Canon – http://www.anysoftwaretools.com/canon-photo-recovery/
Nikon – http://www.anysoftwaretools.com/nikon-photo-recovery/
Software tools for photographers
Here you can find a variety of tools listed by category with a short description of what they do. Some are photography oriented, others have wider application.
Night exposure guide
Here is a guide to some camera settings that may be suitable as a starting point for low light night photography for a variety of subjects/scenarios.
Beginner’s DSLR Guide
This link has a general beginner’s guide and lots of articles concentrating on particular aspects of hardware and types of subjects you might photograph. Also quite handy as reminder for the intermediate photographer.
Image size, resolution, printing and screens
What is a pixel? What is a 20 Megapixel camera? If my image contains 2 Megapixels will an A4 size print look okay? What is meant if my screen resolution is 1920 x 1080.
Read this resource and it may help you answer this type of question.
Clarity versus Contrast
The Digital Photo Mentor has an excellent analysis (with examples) showing how adjustments to contrast and clarity affect images. It is worth studying to get a detailed insight to the topic so that you can choose the right tool for your task.
Photoshop and Lightroom – keyboard short-cuts
A cheat sheet of keyboard short-cuts is available here courtesy of Mitchell Cruickshank.
The keyboard illustrated is an Apple Mac keyboard but the list of shortcuts, which are helpfully laid out in groups, are given for both Apple Mac keyboards and Microsoft Windows keyboards.
Lights, reflectors, backgrounds, posing props, etc
There are various videos, short tips, product overviews etc provided by Lastolite’s website.
Naturally they are promoting their own product ranges but much of the information is transferable.
Capturing droplets, breaking objects, passing animals, etc
TriggerSmart offers a way of remotely capturing digital still and motion images. The camera is activated by the use of sensors that trigger the camera on the detection of sound, light or on the interruption of an infrared beam. See http://www.sabreswitch.co.uk./a>