DIGITAL DILEMMAS MADE EASY
Welcome to our FAQ page, where PRO photographer Peter Morey shares his technical expertise in some queries from aspiring photographers.
Q – I already have a camera and a lens, but as a keen wildlife enthusiast, I’d like to buy a longer lens so I can get closer to the action when I go to a game park. What would you recommend? Richard, Eastern Cape.
A – Ideally, I’d recommend getting two camera bodies if you can, so that you don’t have to keep changing lenses when there’s great wildlife action in the park. If you keep changing lenses, you not only miss the moment, but also increase the risk of getting dust on your sensor.
On the other hand, if you could afford it, I‘d recommend two cameras, getting– one with perhaps an 18mm-200 mm, or 70mm - 200mm lens – and the second with a long lens (maybe 400, 500 or even 600mm). That way, you’d be prepared for most shots and can focus on getting the shot rather than desperately trying to change lenses when the action starts.
Q –Whenever I see a lovely sunset, I photograph it, but the images are always disappointing. Either the sunset disappears, or my family becomes silhouettes in an orange ball. What is the best way to correct this? Jessica, Cape Town.
A – This is a typical result when you’re shooting on programme mode. The camera does not ‘know’ what effect you wish to capture, and therefore chooses the one it believes is correct. By learning to shoot properly on your camera’s manual setting (which we cover in our basic photo course) we’ll teach you when to use fill-in flash so you get superb results every time.
Q –Hi Peter when I look at your stunning images of models and beauty queens, they seem to stand out from the background so much more than others, why is that? Gerald, Centurion.
A – I achieve this effect by controlling the depth of field and opening up the lens to a maximum F-stop of f2.8. You can only achieve this by using the best (and more expensive) lenses. That is because some of the cheaper lenses can only open up to f5.6, which makes it more difficult for the subject to stand out from the background.
Peter Morey goes into tongue in cheek mode to answer some quirky questions on camera’s, long lenses and mothers-in law.
Q (What client says)”My wife loves photography, what camera shall I get her?” (What Peter hears): What small easy-to-use camera can I buy to take some foolproof nude pictures of my wife? Pierre, Pretoria
A –It really depends how much you know about photography, and what you want to achieve. If you just want a ‘mik and druk” to keep in your pocket and shoot pictures at a dinner or party, a small compact camera should do fine.
It also doesn’t help getting the best camera with lots of different settings if you’re only going to use it on the “p” or programme setting.
However, if you’re a little more advanced and wish to learn more about photography, I’d recommend a camera like the Nikon d3100 or d7000, depending on your budget. With this camera, you’ll learn to shoot on different settings and discover what effects you can achieve.
One of the main goals of the basic photography courses we offer is to teach people to get off ‘panic’ mode and onto manual. Once you understand that, your photography world really starts opening! Click here to contact us about our courses.
Q - What camera is best? Karen, Bedfordview
A – Well, best for what? Nowadays, technology is moving faster than my shutter lens, so with improved, quicker cameras flooding the market almost daily, it’s a difficult question to answer. However, in my opinion, the two market leaders are Canon and Nikon. I personally prefer Nikon, because we’ve been partners since 1980, and their backup service is impeccable; important factors if you damage your equipment.
Q –Gee that’s a long camera lens, how far can you see with it?
A – I can see the moon! Seriously, it’s not about how far you can see; as I can see the moon with both a 16mm fisheye and a 600mm lens. The only difference is the size of the moon in the lens that will determine how well it will reproduce in an enlargement.
Q – I love photography, and have shot my niece’s wedding as well as my daughter’s birthday party. All my family says I’m a whiz! Should I give up my paying job and become a photographer? It looks so nice, you always get invited to parties and all you have to do is shoot a couple of snaps….Derrick, Johannesburg.
A – Do you really think your mother in law would tell you your pics are bad when you offered to do them for nothing?!
As for leaving your job to become a photographer….if you have a few million in the bank to carry you for the next five years while you relentlessly pound door to door trying to convince potential clients they should pay you bucks to ensure they get good pictures of an event at the Palace in Sun City where they’re prepared to spend R500.00 on a bottle of champagne, but have only budgeted R2, 000 for a photographer to snap away for the entire weekend, then go for it!