Chris says that setting your white balance can really dial in the color balance. Bringing a white card and placing it in the scene and then adjusting your camera's manual settings can really make your colors pop. But the custom presets in your camera can get you 90% there, even in your smartphone. Sun symbol for outdoor light. LightBulb for indoor light. Florescent symbol, etc. But don't forget to change it when you change your lighting conditions.
Chris just got back from 11 days around the islands north of Norway, just inside the North Pole. The light is amazing. The landscape is incredible. A great place to explore and take pictures. The Aurora Boreallis is also a challenge to shoot because it can be a bit faint. You really have to set it up with a tripod, a wide lens, and a long exposure. Shoot ISO 1600. F2.8 or wider. Expose for 20 seconds. That's the starting point. Rich wants to know if you can shoot it with the smartphone. Chris says no. Not even the pro settings are good enough for shooting the northern lights.
Chris says that while Kodachrome is probably gone for good, Kodak is bringing back EktaChrome, but it had to be re-engineered because Kodak can't use the same chemicals as before. But the new EktaChrome is being beta tested now and will be out on the market really soon.
Chris says that cameras have gotten really smart, essentially allowing you to just point and shoot, no matter what camera you have. You can even tell it to track a subject and keep it in focus. Amazing. But sometimes, it makes the wrong choice as a result. And the more advanced you get as a photographer, the more you want to take control of the image settings to experiment and make the image look the way you want.
Chris wants to talk about macro lenses today. Designed to get really up close shots with very shallow depth of field, a Macro lens is a great way to get up close and personal. There are 50-100mm macro lenses, which are designed to get up close without being close. It's called the "flight distance." There's a macro lens on Kickstarter which is also a wide angle lens as well. It's called the Laowa 24mm F/14 probe lens, which lets you get super close without getting the camera in the way. But at $1400, it's a very specialized lens.
In Europe, there was a lunar eclipse recently, right during the moon rise. Called the "Blood moon," the eclipse would make for very dramatic photographs. It also happened during the golden hour, just before sunset. Chris used the app The Photographer's Ephemeris to know where the moon would be in the sky and when, and what lens to use to shoot it. Unfortunately, at the last minute the clouds rolled in and he lost it all.
Chris says that sometimes you need to "heal" an image to make the image better. The cloning brush in Photoshop, Lightroom, or any other photo editing app is ideal for healing areas of a subject you'd rather not be there. The cloning tool uses pixels from another part of the image, and clones it to the destination. But it's best used sparingly. There is also a healing brush, which will adjust the color and brightness of the cloned pixel, to that of the destination. If you hold down the shift key, the edge gets feathered. And it's non destructive if you don't like it.
Chris has been pushing Leo to spend a weekend just shooting with the 50mm lens. It's a great lens. Why?
1) It's boring. It's not a special lens, so it forces you to compose better pictures. It's great for remembering the basics.
2) 50mm f1.8 or below gives you more light, and lets you take more natural photos.
3) Better image quality, and bokeh (that out of focus background to make your portraits so good)
4) You can add a few extension tubes and make it into a great macro lens.