buy antibiotics without prescription
Guild of Greeters   Suitable for Every Age   

Welcome Guest ( Log In | Register )

 
Reply to this topicStart new topic
> Looking For Photo Experts, share your tips please
indy
post Mar 9 2007, 10:24 AM
Post #1


Grand Master
Group Icon

Group: Veteran Moderator (Mod)
Posts: 2,912
Joined: 10-November 03
From: Germany
Member No.: 63



Hi All,

I was wondering if we have some professional or prosumer photographers here. For Christmas I got a Pentax K10d DSLR. I had a SLR long time ago so I'm just starting with DSLR. I know that a good camera does not make a good photographer so I'm looking for tips, advice and comments to improve my pictures.

I have uploaded some pictures in our gallery.

I would be very happy if some experts would share their opinion with me. (Post here or by PM)
Looking for feedback on:
- Composition
- Lightning, brightness, contrast
- Colors

I know that this is not a photo forum but I thought why not ask here first before I throw myself in the deep wink3.gif

This post has been edited by indy: Mar 9 2007, 10:24 AM


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Lord Chaos
post Mar 9 2007, 12:49 PM
Post #2


Uru Guru
Group Icon

Group: Greeter (Greeter)
Posts: 1,513
Joined: 25-December 05
From: Drifting...
Member No.: 3,876



Hi, Indy.

I haven't looked at all of your images yet, but thought I'd give you a few immediate comments that are more general. I'm not going to get into composition because only you know what you want the picture to say.


First, the biggest thing you can do to improve the quality of your images is learn how to set your camera's white balance. Your mind interprets light to make things look right, and it's much cleverer than the automatic white balance circuitry built into the camera.

So, your shot of the elevator switches is very yellow because of the incandescent lighting. Your camera must have some white balance presets. Usually for sunlight, clouds, shade, incandescent and flourescent. If you set this according to the light you have you'll get better results than with leaving it to automatic.

My other comment is about the photo of you in Honduras. Note how you and yoru wife are overexposed. This is because you, with your light-colored shirts, are in front of a dark background. The overall scene gets metered, but the camera misses the mark because of the darkness behind. You can do exposure compensation to make up for this. About 1 stop less exposure would be right, but you'll need to experiment.


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
racegirl
post Mar 9 2007, 01:46 PM
Post #3


Uru Guru
Group Icon

Group: Retired Greeter
Posts: 3,185
Joined: 28-March 04
Member No.: 1,608



Wonderful photos, Indy!! Jamaica is one of the "must-see" places on my list.


--------------------
I don't suffer from insanity.....
......I enjoy it!
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
indy
post Mar 10 2007, 05:43 AM
Post #4


Grand Master
Group Icon

Group: Veteran Moderator (Mod)
Posts: 2,912
Joined: 10-November 03
From: Germany
Member No.: 63



Thanks LC

I appreciated your comments I hope you can help me some more if I have some questions

QUOTE (Lord Chaos @ Mar 9 2007, 06:49 PM) *
I'm not going to get into composition because only you know what you want the picture to say.

But isn't there a rule of thumb how to set up the scene? Like the 2/3 rule or where to put the main object. I heard that putting the main object off center is more interesting a putting it exactly in the middle.

QUOTE (Lord Chaos @ Mar 9 2007, 06:49 PM) *
First, the biggest thing you can do to improve the quality of your images is learn how to set your camera's white balance. Your mind interprets light to make things look right, and it's much cleverer than the automatic white balance circuitry built into the camera.

So, your shot of the elevator switches is very yellow because of the incandescent lighting. Your camera must have some white balance presets. Usually for sunlight, clouds, shade, incandescent and flourescent. If you set this according to the light you have you'll get better results than with leaving it to automatic.

I forgot with that shot. The Pentax K10d has a very poor auto WB for incandescent lightning. I really need to think about that.

QUOTE (Lord Chaos @ Mar 9 2007, 06:49 PM) *
My other comment is about the photo of you in Honduras. Note how you and yoru wife are overexposed. This is because you, with your light-colored shirts, are in front of a dark background. The overall scene gets metered, but the camera misses the mark because of the darkness behind. You can do exposure compensation to make up for this. About 1 stop less exposure would be right, but you'll need to experiment.

What would be better, to under expose or to switch to spot metering? This picture I didn't make myself (of course wink3.gif) so I had to switch to full automatic


@Race, thanks! You are right Jamaica is very nice. But maybe you should also do island hopping when you are there. There are many more nice places like Grand Cayman, Belize, Cozumul. The pictures from the Mayan cities where from Belize and Cozumel.


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Lord Chaos
post Mar 10 2007, 09:07 AM
Post #5


Uru Guru
Group Icon

Group: Greeter (Greeter)
Posts: 1,513
Joined: 25-December 05
From: Drifting...
Member No.: 3,876



Yes, there are some "rules" for composition. Sometimes they even work. smile.gif The problem with rules is that people tend to use them exclusively.

An off-center subject can be more interesting, if there are other things going on in the photograph. If the main subject is all there is, then putting it off-center will mainly be annoying.

Sometimes you don't have much choice. Your turtle farm shot is an example; you're on a pathway, probably, and can only change your position laterally a little, and use the zoom. This is when you can develop your cropping skills.

The photograph as you have it:
Click here to view/hide a spoiler.


A *suggested* cropping, one of many ways:
Click here to view/hide a spoiler.


How you compose and crop depends on what you want to say. Your original gives a good impression of the turtle farm as a whole. The way I cropped this one brings the turtles themselves more to the foreground, but there are other parts of the image you could concentrate on, if you wanted.

So, the idea is to first really see what you're looking at, which I think you're doing well already. Then go a bit farther and look for scenes within that scene to pick out and emphasize. As an exercise, take a walk through your neighborhood and look around. Consciously look for images. Shoot them, then look at them and think about what worked and why. Maybe you can't figure out the why. Photography is as much about feeling as it is about anything else, and rules of composition can either be a flexible skeleton, bending with your demands, or a rigid steel frame that keeps you from doing anything fun.

-------

For the shot of you in Honduras, you could have dialed in some exposure compensation, and then handed the camera to your friend. Spot metering would have worked but whoever took the picture would have had to know what to do. Exposure compensation just applies some correction to the automatic setting.

Modern digital cameras have enough dynamic range that you could have given this shot at least one stup negative exposure compensation (one stop less exposure) and then brought up the background in your image editor program.

For instance, in this image I exposed mostly for the background because it was so bright. Ocean in the afternoon sun. When I got home I opened the image and used Photoshop's Levels tool to soften the contrast and make the sculpture more visible. It's still pretty dark, but at least there's some detail.

Click here to view/hide a spoiler.


Note that I do my image editing on a laptop now, whose screen has better dynamic range than the usual CRT. So, what looks good to me here doesn't look so good to people using old CRTs. I try to keep this in mind when adjusting contrast.

Note also that I'm breaking some of the rules with this one. The main subject is centered, and the horizon is pushed way up in the frame. To me this achieves better balance. The main subject is small, so centering it makes sure it will be noticed. The horizon is high because it's important, but not that important. This image's composition is sure to annoy some people, but looked at as an image, it works well enough. I don't need to concentrate on the sculpture because I have other close-up images. The photo isn't about the beach in general, but the beach is a big part. So is the ocean. So, this shot is about the sculpture in its milieu, sculpture and beach and ocean.

Here's one that's more "classically" composed.
Click here to view/hide a spoiler.


I wanted the light on the sculpture from a certain angle, which dictated where I stood. The background to the right of the sculpture is more interesting than what's to the left, so I aimed the camera that way and got the sculpture right where the rules say it should be: 1/3d of the way from the left, 1/3d up from the bottom. There's more sky in the full frame, but I cropped that out because it didn't add enough to the shot to be worth the download time. This brings up another point: where's the image going? The Web encourages tight cropping to minimize the amount of data.

If you look at the background of that shot you'll see it's blurred out. I shot it with my zoom lens at max (70mm) zoom, which made the depth-of-field shallow. The softness helps keep the background from being distracting. It's there, you can tell it's a beach, but it's not that important and helps highlight the sculpture. Controlling depth of field takes some doing on most digital cameras because their small sensors use short lenses. For your camera you'd need something about 100mm.

One nice thing about digital cameras is that they're less noisy than scanned film. Noise (film grain) doesn't compress well. The same shot above, which is 720X400 pixels and 56KB, would have been no bigger than 608X352 to fit under my self-imposed 100K limit had it been on film.

This post has been edited by Lord Chaos: Mar 10 2007, 09:24 AM


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
kurtg1265
post Mar 10 2007, 09:13 PM
Post #6


Cactus King
Group Icon

Group: Veteran Moderator (Mod)
Posts: 7,143
Joined: 10-November 03
From: Arizona
Member No.: 93



LC does have some great suggestions. smile.gif One thing I might add, to really get used to what settings you have do and how they work you might try this, set you camera up on a tripod with something in mind to take a picture of. It can be anything really, it doesnt matter, you may even want to try a couple times with various different items inside and outside as well. But, with your camera on a tripod and something to take a picture of, take the exact picture at the various settings and maybe even keep a note of what each one is, then compare each one on your computer to get a better feel of the change that each setting does. You should get a pretty good idea then of which settings will work better for you and your camera.


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
indy
post Mar 12 2007, 05:44 AM
Post #7


Grand Master
Group Icon

Group: Veteran Moderator (Mod)
Posts: 2,912
Joined: 10-November 03
From: Germany
Member No.: 63



This is great information, I'm really grateful for all the suggestions thumbsup.gif I hope more people will contribute

I know pictures are just like paintings some people like them some don't, like you said LC it is the feeling you have about it. I hope you don't mind but this is what I feel about the pictures you posted

1) About the first picture: I'm not sure what you want to show. The rocks are to far away to make a comparison between a natural formation (the rocks) and a human made (your sculpture). Also the shadow your sculpture cast on the beach draws my attention away. The first thing I notice is this shadow. I personally would not be to happy with this picture. (I hope you don't mind blush.gif )

2) The second picture: I really really like this picture. This is something I would buy to put on the wall. For me the main object is the sculpture. It shows that it is made on the beach, not just in sand because you see the sea to. The buildings in the back, out of focus, firstly compare modern buildings with a hand made "building". Secondly it also shows escape from the stress and hectic in the city to a relaxing environment on the beach. The colors are nice and warm also giving a relaxing feeling. The sculpture it self is also very good, you can look a long time at it trying to see where all the curves are going. Now I don't know if you intended it exactly this way but this is how I see it. This is how I would like to make my pictures worship.gif

@kurt: You are right I really should take the time and try this. Spring is coming so that might be the right time to do this. I hope I will get good enough that I can see in my mind how the picture will be. I should also learn to have a close look at the camera display to see everything. Now I still notice small errors afterwards when I see them on my computer screen. Things that are "in the way", things that look unnatural on screen but your "mind" didn't see it in real live. Like branches growing out of somebody ear.

@all: How do you make sure that the colors you see on the screen are the same colors you get when printed. Have you calibrated your screen?. What would be the best way to do this?

When there is enough interest we could start a GoG photo club wink3.gif


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Lord Chaos
post Mar 12 2007, 06:53 AM
Post #8


Uru Guru
Group Icon

Group: Greeter (Greeter)
Posts: 1,513
Joined: 25-December 05
From: Drifting...
Member No.: 3,876



I solve the color printing problem by not printing anything. smile.gif I don't own a functioning printer; all of my publishing is done on the Web. All I do is look at my Web pages on various displays and then aim for the middle of the cluster. I'm not looking for perfection, but "good enough."

If I had unlimited time and money, I would shoot everything in medium format black-and-white and scan the film. This is the real world. Digital is good enough, and cheaper to operate... but I still miss black-and-white.

As for composition, well, this takes some time, experience and education. We've all be trained in classical composition by millions of magazines and all those Kodak ads. To move beyond that to "I really like this but I don't know exactly why" takes some doing. I like the first photo better (the one with the breakwater) than the second. The second one, although it has truly lovely light, is just too organized.

Sand sculpture photography is kind of a specialty. I start out with an idea and high hopes. The day could end with beauty, or rain, or a heap of sand. The sculpture might be terrific but oriented so that, when photography time comes around, you can't see most of it due to the angle of the sunlight. There are many ways to fail, and then you add in the end-of-day fatigue and "sculptor's palsy" and it's surprising that any images turn out. I just walk around, aim the camera and hope that with enough images I get a few that at least look something like the sculpture. If I get some that work as photographs that's even better. smile.gif

Still... there are ways to achieve balance without symmetry. An image can be organized at a deeper level. A good designer can put in some visual "speed bumps" to slow people down and encourage them to look more deeply. Our whole world is designed around not seeing anything deeply, so artists have their work cut out for them. There's a fine line between having someone's eye bounce off a perfect composition, and have their eyes bounce off an image that seems disorganized. Somehow you have to draw them in without spoon-feeding them. Any photograph is a team effort: subject, photographer, viewer. Ultimately you want an image that calls to the viewer and is almost irresistible, but also gives them a bit of an itch.


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
indy
post Mar 12 2007, 07:56 AM
Post #9


Grand Master
Group Icon

Group: Veteran Moderator (Mod)
Posts: 2,912
Joined: 10-November 03
From: Germany
Member No.: 63



QUOTE (Lord Chaos @ Mar 12 2007, 12:53 PM) *
I just walk around, aim the camera and hope that with enough images I get a few that at least look something like the sculpture.

Isn't that the problem with sculptures? Every view has it's own interpretation. Varying the view can change the whole mood. Unless we will get real holographic imaging you will never be able to capture the whole sculpture.

I'm not an artist, or maybe a software artist wink3.gif I always envy people that are able to translate what they see and what is in their mind to real objects. But I do believe that photography is not only capturing the moment, it is also a way to pass a message/feeling. Therefor I don't think it is wrong to organize a picture.

I'm Dutch and when I was young we often went to see the work of our great painters. It is amazing how organized these pictures are. Nearly every object, expression, color has a special meaning.


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Piran
post Mar 12 2007, 08:44 AM
Post #10


Uru Guru
Group Icon

Group: Greeter (Greeter)
Posts: 409
Joined: 12-April 06
From: Ohio
Member No.: 4,045



Hello Indy,

I found your thread interesting and just wanted to contribute. I have always enjoyed taking pictures but never had the money for developing the film and now with two fairly run of the mill digitals, I am having a ball.

I know exactly what you mean about seeing things on the computer screen that didn't register with me when I viewed the camera viewer. That's one reason, even if I don't like pictures on the camera I won't delete them right there and then, but instead will put them on my computer and play with them. Cropping does wonders for some of my photos!!! This also allows me the luxury of playing with brightness a little bit if I messed up the exposure in the first place.

Kurt's suggestion is one of my favorite things to do. This has also helped me get to know my cameras much better too. I don't have anything fancy, but there are still so many settings on them that it takes a while to learn them all and understand the best combinations for different situations.

Honestly, I like the yellow hue in your picture of the buttons. I thought it added to the Mysty quality! Again, as Indy has stated, so much depends on what you are trying to convey.

Lastly, I would be interested in the photoclub, should you decide to persue that.

~Piran


--------------------
IPB Image
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Rex Havoc
post Mar 12 2007, 03:10 PM
Post #11


Retired GuildMaster
Group Icon

Group: Moderator (Mod)
Posts: 6,447
Joined: 3-October 04
From: Ki# 127766
Member No.: 2,857



Wow, that elevator button DOES look like it came out of a Myst game!! Thanks for sharing the photos, Indy.


--------------------

Ki# 651166
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
kurtg1265
post Mar 12 2007, 09:43 PM
Post #12


Cactus King
Group Icon

Group: Veteran Moderator (Mod)
Posts: 7,143
Joined: 10-November 03
From: Arizona
Member No.: 93



One other thing to keep in mind, although most people really dont do it. With a digital camera you usually have a nice screen on there someplace so you can hold the camera out in front of you and still see the picture you are taking. Personally, I still use the viewfinder and put the camera up to my eye. This actually will help you keep the camera steadier and you may find you have less out of focus shots that way. You also will probably notice more of whats all actually going to be in the picture, as what you are looking at isnt extended out at arms length on a tiny 2 - 4 inch screen and you arent fighting the sun glaring off it. (though there are some instances where that may be the only way to get a shot)

As Piran states, never delete any pictures right from the camera (well unless you know you really messed up bleh.gif ), without looking at them on the computer first. It also doesnt hurt to take several of the same shot, and that way you can choose which you like better and get rid of the ones you dont. Not having to get film developed does have some advantages. wink3.gif

And just for playing purposes, try setting your camera up on a tripod and setting the shutter to stay open longer than normal (for fairly long) and take a picture. If you are outside may want to keep the camera under some type of shade/cover to keep from getting too overexposed. Where something like this really looks neat is where there is movement, such as a road. (and I might add it looks even neater at night with the red taillights and headlights)

This post has been edited by kurtg1265: Mar 12 2007, 09:49 PM


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post

Reply to this topicStart new topic
1 User(s) are reading this topic (1 Guests and 0 Anonymous Users)
0 Members:

 



RSS Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 24th October 2019 - 12:16 AM