FastBytes Digital Images

 FastBytes Digital Images

   photography - imaging - prints

my photographs
photography tips

Photography tips.  

Always have a camera handy. Bring along what ever camera you have even if its a phone camera. Point and shoot as well as phone cameras are getting better everyday!

What cameras do I use?
  My main DSLR camera is a Nikon D7200.  I also use a Nikon P7800 compact camera.

What DSLR camera lenses do I use and recommend?
For wildlife and scenic photography I have two lenses that I'm very pleased with. For most wildlife and some scenic situations my "go to" lens is a Tamron 150-600mm. Wildlife photographers can never get enough reach, but the cost of super-telephoto lenses can be out of reach for most of us, you may want to consider renting. For many wildlife situations and to remain a safe and respectful distance from your subject you want the longest lenses you have access to. I'm seeing amazing results from many point and shoot cameras with 10x and better zooms. For most scenic situations I use a Nikon 18-55mm, and to go really wide I use a Tokina 11-14mm. The Tokina also doubles as my primary for Astro/Night Sky Photos.

Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Olympus, Sony...???
 If anyone tells you one is better than the other that person is not paying attention, or they are just interested in selling you what they have. If I werejust getting started with digital, I would ne seriously looking at a mirrorless system. Go to your favorite camera store and pick them up and see which feels the most comfortable and seems to be the most intuitive to you. There are also other great products like Pentax, Leica, Sony and Zeiss. The best advice, whatever camera you choose, is get to know your device.

Nikon Shooters will benefit greatly from these:
Video tutorials from Mr. Steve Perry at Backcountry Galleries.
For everything that is not clear in the manual, Thom Hogan’s Complete Guide Books are a must have.
For a complete AstroPhotography tutorial, I reccomend Adam Woodworth Photography.


What software do you use?


A solid alternative to Adobe Photoshop - Linux | Mac| Windows

My goto for heavy lifting photo editing. Affinity Photo continues to push the boundaries for professional photo editing software. A standout alternative to Photoshop, Affinity includes a huge range of tools and features to suit your needs, whether you're looking to edit and retouch images or create full-blown, multi-layered compositions. Affinity Photo allows you to customize your workspace to work for you. Affinity Photo also works across platforms, available on Windows, macOS and iOS with perfect file format compatibility so you can work where you want to. It is a solid alternative to Photoshop, allowing the importing and exporting of PSD files and use of most Photoshop plugins.

Affinity Photo has a great user base with many very good tutorials on You-Tube and freindly groups on Facebook and MeGo.

FastStone Image Viewer

An extremely fast stand alone image viewer - Windows

Image viewer, browser, converter and editor. It's FAST, simple and easy to use for basic editing, red-eye removal, emailing, resizing, cropping, retouching and color adjustments. Its intuitive full-screen mode provides quick access to EXIF information, thumbnail browser and major functionalities via hidden toolbars that pop up when you mouse to one of the four edges of the screen. All major formats are supported including many camera RAW formats.


An extremely powerful Image organizer, cataloging system -  Linux | Mac | Unix | Windows

A primary function of a Digital Assett Management system is to make assets easily available to it users by providing a searchable index that supports retrieval of assets (photos/videos) by their content and/or metadata.  Digital Asset Management is the mainstay of digiKam. digiKam was originally a simple image viewer, and has since evolved to gain features to be used as image organizer. It supports all major image file formats as well as over 200 raw image formats and can organize collections of photographs in directory-based albums, or dynamic albums by date, timeline, or by tags. Users can also add captions and ratings to their images, search through them and save searches for later use. Using plug-ins, users can export albums to various online services including 23hq, Facebook, Flickr, Gallery2, Google Earth's KML files, Yandex.Fotki, MediaWiki, Rajce, SmugMug, Piwigo, Simpleviewer, and Picasa Web Albums.

Other tidbits worth mentioning:

    * Great lighting makes great photos.Use the long shadows and warm colors of the early and late hours of daylight.
    * Keep the backgrounds simple with your wildlife subjects. Watch out for trees and poles that seem to sprout from your subject’s head.
    * Off-centering your subject adds depth and interest to your photos.
    * Polarizing filters add punch to landscapes, especially in the sky.
    * Get a massive media card. You'll want at least a 32 GB card, and always carry a backup.
    * Shoot at the highest resolution you camera offers. You can always reduce the size, but ti is not so easy to add resolution later.
    * Sunset and sunrise landscapes often require the use of neutral density filters.
    * Create motion in your water photos with long shutter speeds.
        You must use a tripod and set your shutter to an exposure of one second or longer.
    * Don’t stress your wildlife subject. Keep a safe distance when viewing or photographing wildlife. If the animal's behavior changes,
        such as eating, resting or reacts at all to you, you are TOO close. Move away!!