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CANON EOS TIPS

Online DSLR tutorial


Are you new to DSLR photography? See how DSLRs can be Iun and easy to use. Take photography to a higher
plane, and experience the true joy oI photography:
O !art 1: Fun and easy digital SLRs (basic introduction)
O !art 2: Using camera Ieatures Ior better photos (practical applications)
O !art 3: Choosing lenses Ior diIIerent kinds oI photos (interchangeable lens)
O !art 4: !rinting photos
O Terminology
Discover the real joy oI photography
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Picture Style files
Download !icture Style Iiles to emulate various 'looks' Ior diIIerent subject matters. You can choose Irom a
wide variety oI !icture Styles such as Standard, !ortrait, Landscape, Neutral, FaithIul and Monochrome.
Find !icture Style Iiles
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Travel like a boy scout
Where travel photography is concerned, Boy Scout wisdom is best: Be prepared! All the proIessional equipment
in the world won't be able to shoot your sunrise Irom the peak iI you run out oI batteries and memory cards.
Remember to pack some extras! Investing in more memory is always a good thing because it Irees you to shoot
in high resolution and keeps you Irom missing those amazing once-in-a-liIetime shots.
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Steady shots in low light
Stuck shooting a long exposure scene without a cable release? That's no reason to get shaky! Set your camera
on a tripod and use your camera's timer to trigger the shutter release- that way, you won't even have to touch the
camera, so there'll be no risk oI camera shake. Canon DSLR cameras come with a 2-second timer option so you
won't have to wait out the usual 10-second delay meant Ior chaotic Iamily photos. Canon compact digital
cameras come with Iully customizable timers, so you're the boss!
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'Correct' exposure isn't always best
Contrary to popular belieI, your camera's built-in exposure meter should not be the absolute deciding Iactor Ior
a photograph's best exposure. Some sunny days can look more brilliant 1 to 2 stops underexposed (especially
when Iilters/polarisers are involved), and some scenes can appear more vivid with a bit oI overexposure. The
mood oI a photo can change dramatically according to exposure levels. Can't work out your ideal exposure? Try
'bracketing' take a Iew shots oI the same scene in slightly diIIerent exposures ('correct', over, and
underexposed), compare the results, and take your pick! All Canon EOS digital SLR cameras come with easy-
access exposure compensation settings to make 'bracketing' easy.
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lur isn't always bad
Sometimes nothing gets an idea across like a good amount oI creative blur. There are two basic kinds to go Ior:
depth-oI-Iield blur and movement blur. Opening up the lens aperture Ior a shallow depth-oI-Iield (between I-
stop 4 to 1.4 is great) creates a gorgeous, soIt background blur that brings dramatic Iocus to your subject in the
Ioreground. For some beautiIul movement blur, set your camera exposure on shutter priority and keep the
shutter speed slow to capture nice streaks or even brush-like strokes as your subject moves in Iront oI your
camera. Another reason to love the creative Ilexibility oI aperture and shutter speed control on a digital SLR!
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Design with lines, patterns, and space
Here's a great way to get an interesting shot wherever you are: design your shot around the lines, patterns, and
space Iormed by the elements around you. This exercise is essential Ior achieving the 'make something amazing
out oI nothing' eIIect. You'll soon begin to see more possibilities Ior engaging compositions! II you Iind
yourselI caught up in the unremarkable details, try squinting your eyes: that oIten helps the distracting bits Iall
away. Also, start by keeping your compositions simple yet eIIective. A Iew vivid colours and strong lines work
better than a cluttered mass oI mediocre tones.
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Get those hard-to-reach places
Good photography can be as simple as brushing your teeth: It's better when you make an eIIort to get to those
hard-to-reach places. This is especially useIul when shooting in over-photographed locations. Don't want
another typical postcard shot oI the beach? Get oII your eye level and down to the sand, climb a tree Ior a high
angle, or get a shot Irom the water! The Canon Live View with autoIocus Ieature helps you shoot precisely Irom
rare awkward angles without you having to bend like a pretzel. Another great (less strenuous) trick is to shoot
through drinking glasses or windows, and look out Ior reIlections oI your desired subject in water, mirrors, or
other reIlective objects.
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The eyes have it
You may not even realise this, but when you see a photo oI a person or any subject with a Iace (even animals
and statues), most oI the time the Iirst thing you'll look at are the eyes. And iI the eyes are sharp, the rest oI the
photo Ieels comIortable and acceptably sharp even iI the Iocus is soIt. So make sure your subject's eyes are in
clear, crisp Iocus. That said, let's not limit people and portrait photography to pictures oI Iaces. It's amazing how
expressive silhouettes oI people, a close up oI a pair oI hands, or a portrait shot Irom the back can be.
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Keep the background simple
Less is more' is the main rule-oI-thumb where portrait backgrounds are concerned. Find an uncluttered spot or
hang a simple piece oI plain-coloured Iabric as a backdrop to give your subject the deserved attention. II you're
stuck in a busy and cluttered environment, shoot with your lens aperture opened up to its maximum. !laytime
contestant Tristan Lim uses his Canon EF 85mm I/1.8 USM and EF 70-200mm I/2.8L USM lenses to achieve a
shallow depth oI Iield, blurring out even the busiest backgrounds to isolate and draw dramatic Iocus to his
subjects. Canon's EF lens series, designed Ior the EOS system, oIIers one oI the world's brightest 35mm camera
lenses- the coveted EF50mm I/1.2L USM lens. Opening up to I1.2, busy backgrounds don't stand a chance.
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Get the light right
When the light is right, beautiIul photos are just waiting to happen. Generally, soIt lighting is the most Ilattering
Ior portrait photography, as harsh light (like the midday sun) can cast unIlattering shadows on your subject's
Iace. For more depth and dimension, try lighting your subject Irom the side or at a 45-degree angle. !lacing
your subject beside a window as the morning or late aIternoon sun streams through usually works wonders.
When you're outdoors, don't neglect the Iill Ilash (even when it's sunny)- it lends a luminous 3-dimensional
quality to your portraits and can give a sparkle to the eyes. II you're really not in the mood Ior Ilash or are
worried your subject will be put oII by it, put on a white outIit beIore heading out- that way, your outIit works
as a reIlector, directing a soIt Iill light on your subject.
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e nice
ComIortable people make better subjects, so be nice, polite, sensitive, and accommodating. Connect with your
subject- make eye contact, engage them in conversation, get some laughs going, and the warmth will inevitably
translate to the photos. A long lens can come in handy when you're shy, nervous, or when you preIer to shoot
Irom a distance Ior more candid shots, but it shouldn't be used as your cloak oI invisibility. Don't treat your
subjects like objects- respect is key, especially when photographing strangers during your travels. Don't be the
creepy person lurking at the corner with a camera. Smile and the world smiles with you!
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Light up!
Shooting portraits outdoors on a sunny day? Don't neglect your Ilash! Fill-Ilash is a great way to avoid
unwanted silhouetting in backlit conditions, add a sparkle to your subject's eyes, and generally lend your subject
a luminous 3-D quality. Most Canon compact cameras come with a Iill Ilash option. As Ior external Ilash units
without auto Iill-Ilash calibrations, adjust the Ilash's ISO setting to double that oI your camera's and match the I-
stops so both camera and Ilash are set at the same aperture value.
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Achieve maximum image sharpness with a telephoto lens
When using a longer telephoto lens, it is easy to induce camera-shake due to unsteady holding techniques. A
longer Iocal length magniIies the size oI the subject in the image, so any camera shake will be magniIied
proportionately. In Iact, the longer the Iocal length oI the lens, the more diIIicult it is to keep it steady.

Canon's Image Stabilizer technology helps to give you sharp images even with low shutter speeds. But it is still
useIul to learn the proper basics oI holding a telephoto lens steadily.

How do you hand hold a telephoto lens? Your leIt hand should hold the lens Iirmly (but not too tightly), while
your right hand operates the controls on the camera. The weight oI the camera and lens should be mostly (but
not totally) on the leIt hand, leaving the right hand Iree to operate the camera.

Tuck your elbows into your body to create a triangular Iormation, which will allow you to steady the lens better.
!ush the camera against your Iace (don't overdo it though) Ior greater stability. BeIore you shoot, take a halI-
breath by Iilling your lungs partially with air, hold it Ior a Iew seconds and then gently depress the shutter
release button.

Always use a tripod Ior optimum sharpness iI you can, but iI you do not have a tripod with you, you can lean on
existing walls, benches, trees or lamp posts to provide a very stable support. Alternatively, iI you have a bag or
a jacket, you may also use it as a soIt support to prop your lens against.
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&sing wide angle lenses effectively
Wide angle lenses are very popular Ior landscape, architecture and events photography. However, it is not
always easy to achieve good images with wide-angle lenses. There are several Iactors to take into account when
using a wide-angle lens. Keep them in mind and you're on your way to great wide-angle images!
O Dynamic diagonals
When the wide-angle lens is tilted upwards or downwards, it creates converging lines. This means that
lines which are really parallel (such as the lines oI the sides oI buildings) converge towards each other.
This simple technique allows you to create a dynamic image easily.
O Great curves!
Wide angle lenses accentuate curves very well, so use this to your advantage! The image on the leIt
shows how you can exaggerate the curves oI the building by tilting the lens upwards to make the curve
more bent than it really is, making the image more dynamic.
O Extensive depth of field
Wide angle lenses oIIer extensive depth-oI-Iield, which you can utilize to you advantage. By stopping
down a couple oI stops, you can improve the quality oI the optics and increase the depth oI Iield to
ensure that the image is pin-sharp Irom the Ioreground to the background.
O Corner distortions
Because the wide-angle lens has to compress a wider angle oI Iield into the image Iilm, there is some
inevitable stretching oI objects at the edges. The most evident stretching occurs at the corners, and this is
especially obvious when taking a group photo with a wide-angle lens the people near the edges will
have their Iaces stretched! You can overcome this eIIect by trying not to place subjects in the corner.
O Exposure problems
Because wide-angle lenses 'see' so much oI the scene, they might include in too much oI the sky. This
leads the camera meter to believe that the scene is brightly lit, and thus result in underexposure. You can
point the camera at your main subject to take a meter reading, and lock that exposure Ior shooting
(recommended method), or manually compensate Ior the sky.
O Leading composition to the background/subject
When you have such a huge expanse oI area in the Ioreground and background, you oIten need a
guiding line in the image to 'lead' the viewers eye Irom the Ioreground to the background, preventing the
viewer's eyes Irom straying about. This technique is known as 'leading', and it can be accomplished by
using obvious lines (such as the paths in the Iield).
O oreground and background
Sometimes, a scene presents itselI with both interesting Ioreground and background, and both are related
to each other. To bring out both the Ioreground and background, the use oI a wide-angle lens is ideal.
Use a viewpoint where you can combine the Ioreground and background in the same scene, and stop
down the lens to create suIIicient depth-oI-Iield.
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Street photography
Street photography is essentially photography specializing in taking pictures on the street. Although street
photography seems like a trivial matter, street photography has provided some oI the strongest documentation
work oI the liIestyles and living conditions oI diIIerent societies were accomplished through street photography.

Because the streets are accessible to anyone, street photos become the most common Iorm oI photography. But
street photography without planning or thoughts is not Street photography is essentially photography
specializing in taking pictures on the street. Although street photography seems like a trivial matter, street
photography has provided some oI the strongest documentation work oI the liIestyles and living conditions oI
diIIerent societies were accomplished through street photography.

Because the streets are accessible to anyone, street photos become the most common Iorm oI photography. But
street photography without planning or thoughts is not likely to yield any useIul results. This article will look at
the more simple techniques which you can pick up to improve your street photography.

You do not require IanciIul equipment Ior street photography, which may partly explain its popularity. The
compact DSLRs which many photographers own are perIect Ior street photography. In Iact, you can even use
compact cameras like the IXUS or !owerShot to shoot unobtrusively in crowded areas/streets!

In terms oI lenses, the wide variety oI subjects in street photography makes it impossible to identiIy any 'ideal'
Iocal length. Some preIer the close-up approach oI using wide angles like 24mm or 28mm, moving into the
crowd to capture the atmosphere. Others preIer to stand Iar back and use a telephoto to isolate the person or the
detail in a scene. You should experiment with a variety oI lenses to suit diIIerent situations or your own style.

Should you use a zoom lens or prime lens? Zooms oIIer the convenience and speed oI having a range oI Iocal
length, but are more bulky than primes, and they are slower than the prime equivalent. Some photographers
preIer the smaller and Iaster prime lenses such as the Canon EF 28mm I/1.8 to capture images in low-light.
Both primes and zooms have their pros and cons it's ultimately your call.
O lash
Should you use the Ilash in street photography? There is no right answer - it depends on the situation
and your intention.

For covert photography where your aim is to take candid pictures oI the subject unnoticed, Ilash will
deIinitely alert the subjects to your presence and give the game away. The best alternative will be to use
a higher ISO setting, since Ilash also tends destroys the atmosphere oI the scene.

However, iI you recording an event such as street perIormance where the subject is aware and does not
mind your photography, Ilash can help to bring out the vividness oI colour and show shadow details. In
addition, the elaborate costumes and colourIul makeup show up best with Ilash.
O ags and attire
Most photographers agree that low proIile and comIortable dressing is best Ior street photography. To
successIully capture candid scenes, you should blend into the situation and not draw to much attention to
yourselI.
O Know your equipment
It's impossible to capture good images unless you know your equipment well. Familiarity with your
EOS cameras and lenses allow you to watch the subject, Iocus on the situation, and taking the pictures.
Handling the camera should be second nature to you, so you don't Iiddle with the settings while your
subject stands up and walk away!
O Knowing your subjects
!articular subjects have particular Iorms oI behaviour, usually due to certain Iactors such as age,
situation or culture. For example, wedding photographers usually know the standard wedding
ceremonies, and they will position themselves at the best location to capture certain shots (e.g. cake
cutting or exchange oI vows). Because they understand the behaviour oI the subjects, they have the
advantage oI taking better shots.
O Spending more time on the streets
First oI all, spending more time on the streets will allow you to know the subjects and understand their
behaviours and action better, leading to better photographs. In addition, street photography is not a
scheduled perIormance. !hotographic opportunities happen randomly at various places, so spending
more time on the street will increase your chances oI success.
O Knowing your limits
Even as you are photographing, you should be aware oI your environment and surroundings. Some
places are more hostile than others, and you should always be on the alert Ior changes around you. For
example, it is dangerous to venture around in some cities aIter dark.
O The Decisive Moment
Henri-Cartier Bresson was probably the most Iamous photojournalist ever. He coined the term ""the
decisive moment"" a single deIining moment that sums up the entire action oI the perIormer.
Capturing the decisive moment will convey the story to the reader with the most impact.

The decisive moment is about anticipation. It requires you to be able to anticipate the unIolding oI
events with reasonable accuracy. By anticipating responses, you are able to wait Ior the best moment to
occur, and capture it when it Iinally happens.

By actively engaging with your subjects, you are attempting to put yourselI into their shoes and
anticipate their behaviours. This requires some active thinking and deliberation. Anticipation, with
patience and knowledge, will help you capture that decisive moment.
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Starting macro photography
What is macro photography? !ut simply, it is photographing close-up images oI small objects. For example,
you can be taking macro photos oI a Ilower petal, a postage stamp or even your watch. Macro photography
magniIies the small subjects by many times, and makes it possible to appreciate Iine details which are otherwise
unseen by the naked eye. There is a world oI unseen beauty right below our noses!

What do you need to start oII in macro photography? Many oI the Canon EF zoom lenses have built-in macro
Iunctions that allow modest close-ups oI objects. You can take great images oI Ilower petals and such with the
integrated macro Ieature. II you wish to get even closer, you can attach close-up lenses such as the Canon 500D
to your existing lens, giving you greater magniIication without spending too much.

II you are serious about close-up photography and want to go really close-up, consider investing in a dedicated
macro lens such as the EF-S 60mm or EF 100mm Macro. These lenses give you liIe-size magniIication, and
deliver exceptional close-up quality.

But whichever lenses you choose to use, you should be shooting with a tripod. When shooting close-ups, the
magniIication Iactor is very high and the tiniest camera shake will be very obvious. Using a tripod will help to
cut down any vibration and deliver crystal-sharp images. Some photographers use a cable release to Iire the
shutter, so that they will not accidentally move the camera while Iiring the shutter. II you do not have a cable-
release, you can set to selI-timer release so that any vibrant Irom your hands pushing the button would have
ebbed by the time the shutter Iires.

An important aspect to note during macro photography is that the depth-oI-Iield is very shallow. There is
usually barely enough Iocus to cover the entire image, so you have to be very careIul controlling the Iocus on
the most important portion oI the subject. For example, iI you are shooting close-up oI Ilowers, you'd want the
stigma to be sharp. You can try to stop down the lens (since you are using a tripod, slow shutter speeds should
not aIIect your image), but even then the depth-oI-Iield is still shallow at such high magniIication.

And when you are shooing close-ups, the subject is usually very close to the Iront oI the lens. As such, the light
source may be blocked by the camera or lens. You can try to reposition the subject/camera or source oI light so
that the subject is not obscured Irom the light. Alternatively, you can use mini white cardboards to reIlect light
back to the subject.

For the serious macro photographer, you might want to invest in specialized macro Ilash units. The Canon MT-
24EX Ieatures twin Ilashes mounted onto the Iront oI the lens to give even lighting regardless oI the proximity
oI the close-up subject. Or you can look at the Canon MR-14EX ring Ilash that works like the MT-24EX,
except that it provides a shadowless ring oI light around the subject.

The world oI macro photography is Iascinating and Iun, and the best part is that you can Iind great macro
subjects anywhere and anytime! So iI you are stuck at home on a rainy day, whip out your Canon EOS camera
and start snapping macro photos. Oh yes: the raindrops on your window make excellent macro subjects too!
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Night photography
Light photography is simple and Iun. In Iact, you hardly need any special equipment iI you already have a
tripod. Night photography is all about using long exposures to capture the light Irom the scene, so a good and
steady tripod is a must. Some photographers use a cable release to Iire the shutter, so that they will not
accidentally move the camera while Iiring the shutter. II you do not have a cable-release, you can set to selI-
timer release so that any vibrant Irom your hands pushing the button would have ebbed by the time the shutter
Iires.

Because you will be using a tripod, you can use a low ISO setting and slow shutter speed. This will deliver
stunning results with low noise levels (especially since the EOS cameras Ieature the excellent DIGIC image
processor), and the slow shutter speed captures any movement oI light sources as light trails.

Contrary to what the name suggests, night photography is best done in the evening! The last remaining rays oI
light in the sky will brighten up the image, so you do not end up with a Ilat and boring patch oI black sky in
your image. Try photographing between 7 to 7.30 pm Ior the best eIIects you should get a nice dramatic sky.

Experiment with diIIerent exposure settings, as the timing give you diIIerent eIIects. It is not uncommon to use
exposure oI up to 30 seconds. In Iact, longer exposure gives you more time to capture moving lights as trails,
which can really liven up your image! II you have traIIic in your night scene, the rear red lights oI the vehicles
oIten look better than the bright Iront headlights as light trails.

II you are an absolute beginner in night photography, place your camera on a tripod, compose and Iocus your
scene. Then set the camera to Aperture !riority (Av) mode and I/8 at ISO 100. Start photographing the scene
Irom 7 to 7.30 pm, and you should have a series oI interesting night photography images to start oII! Don't
Iorget that it's all about experimenting so remember to have Iun!
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