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Thread: Viewing photos

  1. #1
    Slabstick's Avatar
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    Viewing photos

    I have a simple question.
    When I am out shooting whatever it may be, I have a really difficult time seeing my photo on the LCD. It makes it difficult to make adjustments if you cant see the shot. I saw a video once where there is an adapter with a magnet that attaches to your viewer. When attached you can look through it and it cuts out all the sun so you can see. What is it? Is it safe to attach without damaging your LCD? Any tips? Thanks

  2. #2
    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Viewing photos

    This response could to appear trite and condescending: but it is not meant that way . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by Slabstick View Post
    I have a really difficult time seeing my photo on the LCD. It makes it difficult to make adjustments if you cant see the shot.
    Learn to get the Exposure and Framing correct, before you release the shutter.


    That said: the LCD screen is NOT a good veiwing platform for 'general' information.

    Arguably the salient technical information from the LCD screen are only:
    • The Blinkies
    • The Histogram



    Perhaps:
    • The Framing (maybe to check if the shot was rushed)
    • Focus (maybe to rough check if the shot was rushed).


    For viewing the Blinkies and the Histogram, if one is 'CHIMPING' - then using an hand over the screen to create a shadow on it, is usually enough, even in bright sun.

    ***

    Also – if you are NOT SURE of the exposure going into a shot, then BRACKET it (if the shot allows it).

    WW
    Last edited by William W; 12th January 2013 at 07:14 AM. Reason: added bracketing as an option

  3. #3
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    Re: Viewing photos

    You are looking for an LCD hood. I do not use one but I know a couple people that enjoy the ones made by Hoodman.

  4. #4

    Re: Viewing photos

    Quote Originally Posted by William W View Post
    Learn to get the Exposure and Framing correct, before you release the shutter.
    When you are new/trying to improve the best way to perfect your framing and exposure would be to look at your shots so that you can see what is wrong - hence the OPs request for assistance in doing that. Telling him to be better isn't really going to help much when he is trying to get better.

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    Re: Viewing photos

    Quote Originally Posted by Slabstick View Post
    ...there is an adapter with a magnet that attaches to your viewer ... Is it safe ...
    I've no idea but personally I would be extremely wary of attaching anything to anything electronic, using a magnet. Basic physics, magnetism and electricity are two sides of the same coin so it sounds like a recipe for scrambled data.

    Ken

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    Re: Viewing photos

    Photography for my wife and me would be a lot less enjoyable on bright days were it not for the Hoodman Loupe, especially when zooming in to check for sharpness and depth of field. However, consider making this modification.

  7. #7
    Slabstick's Avatar
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    Re: Viewing photos

    Quote Originally Posted by dan marchant View Post
    When you are new/trying to improve the best way to perfect your framing and exposure would be to look at your shots so that you can see what is wrong - hence the OPs request for assistance in doing that. Telling him to be better isn't really going to help much when he is trying to get better.
    Bingo Dan,
    Thanks for understanding. Your right, I have to get to that point first. Eventually I know I'll get to where I can just set my exposure and shoot and be confident I'm getting the shot I want.

  8. #8
    Slabstick's Avatar
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    Re: Viewing photos

    Quote Originally Posted by jeeperman View Post
    You are looking for an LCD hood. I do not use one but I know a couple people that enjoy the ones made by Hoodman.
    Paul,
    Thanks, not sure that's what I'll do but it's an option.

  9. #9
    Slabstick's Avatar
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    Re: Viewing photos

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Buckley View Post
    Photography for my wife and me would be a lot less enjoyable on bright days were it not for the Hoodman Loupe, especially when zooming in to check for sharpness and depth of field. However, consider making this modification.
    Thanks Mike,
    Yeah, that's what I'm lacking in the field. I don't want to have to pull my camera off to a shaded area everytime I take a shot to see if I "got the shot".

  10. #10

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    Re: Viewing photos

    Richard,

    I, like you, would never use the LCD to capture an image when hand holding the camera unless the angle makes it awkward or impossible to use the viewfinder. However, I would always use the LCD when capturing an image using a tripod in a studio condition or any situation where the lighting makes it easy to see the LCD. Moreover, the use of Live View makes it possible at least on my cameras to zoom in and view nuances of depth of field that are not possible to see when using the viewfinder even when using the depth-of-field preview button. In that situation, the combination of using highly magnified Live View and manual focusing makes it possible to obtain the exact look that I desire when there is no other way to reliably, consistently do that without "bracketing" the depth of field.

  11. #11
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    Re: Viewing photos

    I misread the original posting and assumed that it was regarding using live view when shooting. Here is my modified posting regarding using the LCD to view images which have already been captured.

    BTW: I don't usually view my images on the LCD regarding composition. I occasionally glance at my LCD to make sure that I have acquired the image and occasionally check for focus. I feel confident that what I saw in the eye-level viewfinder is what I captured. I also usually shoot several shots of every image, adjusting the general composition and perhaps the exposure. That is the great advantage of digital - shooting is basically free. However, chimping for composition would really slow down my shooting. I also sometimes have a "script" of shots that I want to capture. I use the LCD to check if I have satisfied my needs for the specific images that I wanted.

    And, yes, I do occasionally use live view when shooting in certain unique situations and will use the Hoodman Loup when doing so. Among the times that I use the LCD is when shooting with my 400mm f/5.6L lens + 1.4 TC and have lost A/F capability.. My prejudice against live view for shooting is only when the photographer uses it to shoot all of his or her shots.

    Since viewing images using the LCD can be darned inefficient (more so when shooting than when viewing your shot) I have a Hoodman Loup hanging around my neck. This also helps when using the camera menu to change shooting parameters. The Hoodman is quite pricey but does the job quite well. I don't like using the Delkin LCD shades because for my uses, they are not efficient...

    However, before I bought my Hoodman, I used this home made device that I constructed from a plastic pill container and a jeweler's loup I had hanging around. I could not see the entire LCD using this crude device (which is why I purchased the hoodman) but, I could check things like focus. The amber color of the pill container was an efffective sun shield. While I could not see the entire image with this device, the cost (free since I made it from scrap materials) was certainly an advantage...

    Viewing photos

    My original intent when I made this viewer was to use it to view the miniscule sized text on the menu of my old 350D (Canon XT). I tried to use a Delkin pop-up shade but that was also PITA fo me to use. I finally solved the menu problem by getting rid of the 350D (gave or loaned it to my son-in-law) and buying an xxD series DSLR with which I did not need to use the menu as often to select shooting parameters...

    I have a hood which I use for shooting video with my Panasonic dedicated viedo camera. It is not this Cowboy Studio hood but is very much like it. This "MIGHT" help you view your shots by shading the LCD...

    http://www.amazon.com/LCD-Hood-Canon...amera+lcd+hood
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 12th January 2013 at 03:56 PM.

  12. #12

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    Re: Viewing photos

    Quote Originally Posted by Slabstick View Post
    I have a simple question.
    When I am out shooting whatever it may be, I have a really difficult time seeing my photo on the LCD. It makes it difficult to make adjustments if you cant see the shot. I saw a video once where there is an adapter with a magnet that attaches to your viewer. When attached you can look through it and it cuts out all the sun so you can see. What is it? Is it safe to attach without damaging your LCD? Any tips? Thanks
    I had that problem on my compact camera and had tried a hood. It didn't work at all. I then tried attaching a 7" long cardboard wrap-around to the hood to see what would happen. That didn't help either. What I finally realized was that the glare on the screen was being caused by the sun reflecting from my face...so there was no way to actually block it. I held up my hand to block the sun from my face, and all of the sudden I could see the LCD. Then there are days when that are so bright and hazy that you can't see anything on any LCD. An enclosed loupe system is the only thing that works in those conditions. But it's another thing to carry.

    As I said, that was with my compact. With my DSLR I don't normally use the LCD so it's no longer a problem.

  13. #13
    Slabstick's Avatar
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    Re: Viewing photos

    To all,
    I should probably clarify a bit. I don't usually take my shot using the LCD. I like to use the view finder. It's just after the shot I'm trying to see. As some of you said for focus issues and correct exposure. It's just another tool to make my shooting a little more exact. Thanks for all your replays. Again, you people are very helpful to us "me" beginners with a DSLR.

  14. #14
    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Viewing photos

    Quote Originally Posted by dan marchant View Post
    When you are new/trying to improve the best way to perfect your framing and exposure would be to look at your shots so that you can see what is wrong - hence the OPs request for assistance in doing that. Telling him to be better isn't really going to help much when he is trying to get better.
    IF one reads the post in total the meaning of the whole post is self evident: and the meaning of the whole post is predicated by the opening sentence:
    "This response could to appear trite and condescending: but it is not meant that way . . ."

    Selective quoting, out of context, is a nice game to play, but I don't play it - if you want to play that game, then that's fine.


    The OP asked for "any tips" - clearly if the OP want to see the LCD screen to interrogate anything, even in bright sunlight, then casting a shadow over the scene as I described will work – and it doesn’t cost any money and the other hand is always available.

    ***

    However, the point of my whole post was to highlight how poor the LCD screen actually is for detailed interrogation and that for exposure interrogation the Blinkies and the Histogram can be a good guide – but better still is to harness the skill to nail the exposure.

    I note the OP has credited your post and thus I assume the OP has taken some offence at my post.

    Well that is unfortunate: as the words I have written were literal and specific and genuinely were to offer guidance as to not develop the habit of taking a shot and then automatically looking at it in on the LCD – that practice is habitual and is a culture which is developing, sheeplike and exponentially.

    And most importantly, Photographers do this habit, without questioning ‘the why’ from first principles; or dutifully seeking alternative procedures and techniques.

    WW

  15. #15
    Slabstick's Avatar
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    Re: Viewing photos

    Bill,
    In no way did I take your response offensively. I have the utmost respect for all of you gracious folks to take time out of your day and answer questions. I'm new at this and by no means have all the answers so, believe me, I'm grateful. In my opinion there are no sides to take in this type of forum. Everyone has their opinion and that's what makes America so great. Also what solves so many problems is a diverse field of view. Thanks for everything.

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    Re: Viewing photos

    Quote Originally Posted by Slabstick View Post
    Bill,
    In no way did I take your response offensively.
    The same for me.

  17. #17
    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Viewing photos

    Quote Originally Posted by Slabstick View Post
    . . . In no way did I take your response offensively. . .

    That's good.
    But I was more concerned that I was not clear enough in expressing exactly what I meant.

    I completely understand that you are just beginning this journey and I was NOT saying to you "well just get better".



    Australia is not so bad, either.

    WW

  18. #18
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    Re: Viewing photos

    Bill, I understand. Thank you. Look forward to your posts.

  19. #19
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    Re: Viewing photos

    -
    Bill, most of the points in your 1st post in this thread are fine by me, except this one:

    Quote Originally Posted by William W View Post
    ...the LCD screen is NOT a good viewing platform for 'general' information.
    and particularly when taken together with this one from your 2nd post:

    ...the words I have written were literal and specific and genuinely were to offer guidance as to not develop the habit of taking a shot and then automatically looking at it in on the LCD – that practice is habitual and is a culture which is developing, sheeplike and exponentially.
    as the tone suggests that only an unthinking fool would try to learn from the shot just captured by reviewing it on the LCD screen.

    Although I do not have any statistics, to me it would seem reasonable to guess that there might be quite a number of serious photographers who use the Review Mode as a tool to aid their photography, and not only in the ways you positively endorse in your first post (i.e. histogram & blinkies), but also by considering the general appearance of the captured shot, and perhaps sometimes by magnifying its details.

    Of course the LCD has limitations, e.g. by its small size and from surrounding light. However, the screen on a modern DSLR can be quite good, and even adjustable for colour and brightness. One can also learn by camera use, practice, and experience in different environments, how the image reviewed on the LCD screen is likely to relate to its appearance (after some PP) on a monitor or in print.

    As you have written in answer to the OP, to aid reviewing "using a hand over the screen to create a shadow on it, is usually enough, even in bright sun", and I would add that also turning ones back to the light and , if possible, moving into the big shadow of e.g. a nearby wall or tree will add to its visibility.

    Cheers.
    Philip

  20. #20
    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Viewing photos

    Philip thanks for your thoughts – interesting conversation.

    If I might take individual points and address them, hopefully to provide a better understanding of my ‘whole meaning’:

    1. You disagree with “...the LCD screen is NOT a good viewing platform for 'general' information.”

    Yes, I believe you understand why you disagree with that – please continue reading.

    ***

    2. My comment:
    “...the words I have written were literal and specific and genuinely were to offer guidance as to not develop the habit of taking a shot and then automatically looking at it in on the LCD – that practice is habitual and is a culture which is developing, sheeplike and exponentially."

    You interpret this in conjunction with the first, to mean: “only an unthinking fool would try to learn from the shot just captured by reviewing it on the LCD screen.”

    Your interpretation is not correct.

    Please re-read the Post # 14 and note the word “automatically” is underlined and also bolded.

    The key word in that whole sentence is “automatically”. The key concept of that sentence is NOT about being foolish to use tools to review, but it is about “automatically” carrying out the procedure (any procedure), WITHOUT first thinking through the usefulness of it.

    That meaning is further made quite clear and reinforced in the following sentence:
    “And most importantly, Photographers do this habit, without questioning ‘the why’ from first principles; or dutifully seeking alternative procedures and techniques.”


    ***

    3. Getting back to: “...the LCD screen is NOT a good viewing platform for 'general' information.” . . .

    By “general information” - I mean general information for general usages – all the time – for every shot. Perhaps better understood if we explore this next point:

    ***

    4. “Although I do not have any statistics, to me it would seem reasonable to guess that there might be quite a number of serious photographers who use the Review Mode as a tool to aid their photography, and not only in the ways you positively endorse in your first post (i.e. histogram & blinkies), but also by considering the general appearance of the captured shot, and perhaps sometimes by magnifying its details.”

    Yes I agree.

    Especially many Sports and Events Photographers, including myself.

    But I would add it is done selectively, not habitually: that’s again my point.

    For example I generally shoot two specific Sports – Swimming and Field Hockey.

    If we assume exposure is nailed the ‘review’ process using the LCD at a swimming event would most likely be for confirmation the “form” of the image was nailed, for example, for a front on breaststroke image that the hands, forehead, goggles and nose are just cracking the water. . .

    Only if there was doubt that it wasn’t nailed would I review the shot.

    This is so with the other guys with whom I shot on Pool Deck – none of us ‘habitually’ check for form or framing.

    Yes, this goes to “experience” for sure. The fellows I am talking about all have shot Sports with Film SLR Cameras.

    BUT (and this is the important bit) – Swimming is a ‘rhythmic and repetitive' sport, so therefore shutter release timing can be anticipated.

    I wrote: “And most importantly, Photographers do this habit, [automatically looking at the screen] without questioning ‘the why’ from first principles; or dutifully seeking alternative procedures and techniques. (my underlining, this time)

    So, for example, if we want to shoot swimming and to ensure the form of a stroke is nailed every shot:
    The ‘procedure’ is to address the timing of the shutter release in co-ordination with the beat of the swimmer’s stroke. The Procedure is NOT to automatically look at each shot in the LCD to see if we have jagged it, or not.

    This is what I mean by working out the procedures from first principle.

    If the best practice procedures are worked out, then learning will be more efficient.

    ***

    Similarly at an "Event" – let’s choose a Wedding and the procedure for ensuring good / adequate framing of important shots made under the pressure of time:

    Let’s choose the Processional. Is there any time to check the LCD between shots if the Flower Girl does a bolt down the Aisle? No. So the best procedure might be (as one example) to shoot a bit wide and crop later.

    This example can be applied to a Family Birthday Party where Mum or Dad just want to make some nice photos of their Children.



    The point I am making is: IF the procedure of ‘LCD review’ is habitual, then there will be so many good shots never seen, never taken, because the brain is programmed to “shoot - review” rather than: “see shot – shoot . . . see next shot – shoot".

    In one (psychology based) class I took, I learned that it takes approximately five seconds for the average person to refocus their 100% attention to a specific detailed task, if that task is interrupted – that might be right or it might be wrong I don’t know: but I do know one thing – give me a group of kids of equal abilities and let half of them use the technique “shoot review habitually” and the other half “see the shot - shoot” – and I guarantee which group gets the best shots and the most of them – and that’s the second group.

    I chose ‘kids’ as an example, because I regularly coach High School and Uni Students: I note they are generally more easy to crack of “habits”, than Adults.

    Cheers back to you, too.

    WW

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