Cameras, camcorders, and photography advice.
Photography and Video
Chris joins us today to talk about what you should or shouldn't include in your pictures. Chris just finished holding a weekend workshop in front of tech-inclined people. He talked about how to put a picture together, and how to decide what to include in your photographs. Technology will help you do a lot, but it can't make those kinds of decisions for you. Once you figure out what to include in your photo, you have to make a decision on where to put it in the photo. Would going wide-angle make it easier or more difficult? It might be harder to determine what is important in the photo.
Tom has made movies in iMovie and wants to burn them on DVD. Leo says that iMovie will encode his movie into .MOV, which is a wrapper for MP4. But when he burns a DVD, it creates a specific format called MPEG2, which is SD quality. iMovie used to have the capability to burn to DVDs, but Apple stripped it out. So he'll need a DVD burning program to do it. That program will also author the structure with menus, etc. Here are some options:
This week, Chris wants to talk about Tilt-Shift photography. Tilt-Shift is where a photographer makes things look smaller, like a toy, with sharp center and out of focus edges, like shooting a macro shot. You can do it by using a specially designed lens that will shift off the focal plane. LensBaby is best known for their Tilt-Shift lenses, but Chris says it isn't strictly Tilt-Shift. They start at around $700 for a cheap one. So think buying used, or even renting it.
Chris joins us to talk about whether there's a difference between Canon, Nikon, or any others. Chris says not really. It really comes down to preference, comfort, and usefulness. If you already have an investment in lenses, it makes sense to stay in that family. But if you are just getting into photography, then mirrorless is a great place to get started because it's smaller, lighter, and the quality is still the same.
Alan is a private pilot and would like to mount cameras on his plane and record. Leo says that's a perfect use for GoPro cameras. They're wide angle, small, and he can mount them just about anywhere. Yi Action Cameras are a competitor of GoPro, and are more affordable. Alan should check out the Mr. Aviation 101 YouTube Channel. They have a few videos on what equipment they use.
Frank is wondering what software he should use to simply edit together video clips. Leo says that any editor will do this. There are some free ones. VEGAS Movie Studio will work, but he should edit it together before he re-encodes the video in Handbrake. Otherwise he's compressing what is already compressed. He should start with the best quality video files he has.
Manny wants to store his photos in the cloud, but he wants to have a better quality image stored locally. Leo says that iCloud always keeps the higher quality image in the cloud. In Google Photos, he can turn off "optimize photos" and it will keep the higher quality locally as well. But Leo says he really won't see the difference.
Chris says that no matter what camera you have, these tips will help someone get a better picture. Point. Think. Shoot. Have a clear subject. How does the subject relate to the photo within the space? Spacing can vary within a frame and can tell the story in and of itself. Balance is important and when one changes the balance of a photo, it can actually change the feeling of the image. Balance also makes a photo more pleasing to look at. If photographers have several subjects in the frame, how do they manage the space between them? Do they know each other? Are they family?
Chris says that smartphone cameras have gotten so good that most people are leaving their DSLRs at home. To that end, Chris says there's some great apps that can help make your smartphone pictures be all they can be.