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Need your input please.

Discussion in 'Nature' started by CDG, Dec 28, 2013.

  1. CDG

    CDG TalkEmount Regular

    33
    Dec 15, 2013
    Racine, WI
    Hello all, please give me your input on what I did wrong and what, if anything :) I did right in these picture.

    Thanks so much for your help!


    degady3u.
    8e3u4uve.
    aza8yhyq.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
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  2. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    Well, I think you did a nice job on the composition on all three. And I think you gave yourself a difficult job getting the exposure right on those first two. That's a wide dynamic range for the camera to cope with. I probably would have exposed them a little brighter, just up to the point of blowing out the sky, as the foreground is a little dark for my taste. I don't know if you shot jpegs or raw, but those first two cry out for the wide latitude in exposure you get from a raw image. You could then bring up the shadows in the foreground nicely, and then punch the saturation in the sky to make them really dramatic. Of course, that's all a matter of taste, and others here might disagree.

    Other than that, as Colin mentioned, Tapatalk has this perverse method of posting tiny thumbnails here, which makes us have to click on them before seeing them at the size you intended. I know, a first-world problem, to be sure. :roll eyes:

    You're off to a great start here. Keep 'em coming!
     
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  3. CDG

    CDG TalkEmount Regular

    33
    Dec 15, 2013
    Racine, WI
    Thank you very for your valuable input WoodWork. Although I have to admit that I'm at Picture taking 101 and some of your suggestions are way over my head. Lol

    I will eventually get there hopefully, so please keep them coming, in the meantime I will make sure to follow your exposure level advice in mind for such photographs.

    I am taking baby steps, this is my first "real camera", before this I was using the snapshot mode on my video or my cellphone camera, so I am doing all shooting in JPEG. Is that a bad idea? Should I try my hand at RAW?

    Thanks again for your help, please let me know if I am asking too many questions.


    PS: I have the NEX 6 with the kit lens of 16-50 mm, and the 18-200 manual zoom. All three pictures were taken with the 18-200 mm.


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  4. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    All of us here started at Picture Taking 0, charlyee. I'd show you some of my early efforts, but they'd scar you for life. :eek:

    If you want to get a leg up at this photography stuff, you could do worse than to read Bryan Peterson's Book Understanding Exposure. It breaks down the basic information better than any source I've ever come across. Highly recommended!
     
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  5. SpaceManSpiff

    SpaceManSpiff TalkEmount Top Veteran

    547
    Dec 13, 2013
    Tucson, AZ
    Eric
    Hi Charlyee,

    I am a rank newb myself (My NEX is my first camera with an mode dial, oooh ahhhh), but I hope you don't mind me chiming in. Woods advice is great, I think. I like what you were seeing in those shots. The first two are nice --I take a lot of those myself, but of desert landscapes...but run in to the same problem you do with nice skies but really dark foregrounds...and then when I try to edit the jpg pictures in iPhoto, the image quality takes a nose dive. I guess, I will just have to start shooting RAW (and not underexposing most of my shots) :crying: but I am skeered.

    In the low-light shots, I find that my camera struggles sometimes with the AF, and it is best to set the focus manually. Otherwise it can be pretty random where the camera guesses you would like the focus to be.

    For fun, I edited your pic (in iPhoto) much the same way I have been doing my desert-scapes. The result is a little different.
    aza2-L.

    I take a lot of shots like your third one, and then put them in the "oh, well" pile. I like the shapes of the curving pathway and the tree in the middleground, but to my taste the background is too cluttered and dark.

    HTH and Cheers, Eric
     
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  6. CDG

    CDG TalkEmount Regular

    33
    Dec 15, 2013
    Racine, WI
    You know it would be great if someone like you posted their beginning pictures. It would give noobs like us hope and inspiration. :)


    Thanks much for the book recommendation, just downloaded the Kindle edition, will start reading it from tonight.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  7. CDG

    CDG TalkEmount Regular

    33
    Dec 15, 2013
    Racine, WI
    Hi SpaceManSpiff, thanks so much for your input

    The manual focus is a great idea but I have poor eyesight and was hoping my NEX would do the focussing work for me. :D

    Your edited picture looks much better than my original. What did you change in iPhoto?

    I use iPhoto as well, even though both sunset photos are unedited and walkway just a tad bit cropped.

    Thanks again.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  8. SpaceManSpiff

    SpaceManSpiff TalkEmount Top Veteran

    547
    Dec 13, 2013
    Tucson, AZ
    Eric
    "The manual focus is a great idea but I have poor eyesight and was hoping my NEX would do the focussing work for me. :D"
    Most of the time the AF works really well for me. Have you tried focus peaking? it really helps me see what is actually in-focus.

    "Your edited picture looks much better than my original. What did you change in iPhoto?"
    Let's see, the main thing I did was lighten up the shadows (to 64), and then bring down the exposure a little (-0.44); with a boost in saturation (56), contrast to +33, and definition set to 100. (I also cropped out the driveway and snow berm in the foreground).

    Have you seen this thread? https://www.talkemount.com/showthread.php?t=4089
    Post #19 was an especially eye-opener for me.


    "Thanks again" No problemo! :th_salute:
     
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  9. CDG

    CDG TalkEmount Regular

    33
    Dec 15, 2013
    Racine, WI
    Wow that Post Processing thread is amazing, thank you for pointing that out to me. I am not sure I have the patience to spend 2 hours on one picture but I do see the power of RAW.

    I did some modifications on the other sunset picture.
    DSC00424.
     
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  10. SpaceManSpiff

    SpaceManSpiff TalkEmount Top Veteran

    547
    Dec 13, 2013
    Tucson, AZ
    Eric
    "I did some modifications on the other sunset picture."
    Ah, nice! For me this adds interest to the snow/trees/field stubble and helps to balance out the sunset.
     
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  11. ChangshaNotes

    ChangshaNotes Super Moderator

    Aug 15, 2012
    China
    Colin
    You don't need to spend 2 hours processing with a RAW fie to see good results but remember, when you first load images into your computer from RAW files, thy won't look as good as the jpegs. With the jpeg, the camera is doing post-processing for you but with the RAW file it's left... well, raw. So you will have to do some post-processing for them to even look as good as the jpegs would have.

    Many people here shoot only jpeg and get great results with or without a little tweaking. Some shoot in RAW+jpeg so that if the jpeg is good enough they don't need to spend time processing but it takes up space.

    With shots like your landscape shots above that have a wide range from the lightest light to the darkest dark (called dynamic range), shooting in RAW has a big advantage as the RAW file will have details in the shadows that you can reveal with post-processing. The jpeg doesn't as it's a compressed file that throws away information that can't be readily seen.

    Many landscape photographers take multiple shots of the same scene (with a tripod) at different exposures and merge them to get the exposure correct the full range of light and dark.

    You have a good eye of composition. One thing you might want to play with is changing the height that you are shooting from as well. In third photo, squatting down a bit would have changed the feel of the shot.

    Once you get comfortable with iPhoto and if you enjoy post-processing you could move up to Aperture or Lightroom. You'll be amazed what you can do in these applications with a good photo.
     
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  12. CDG

    CDG TalkEmount Regular

    33
    Dec 15, 2013
    Racine, WI
    Thanks, I am glad to hear this. I truthfully would like to keep the post processing to a minimum, so sounds like JPEG would be the way to go for me, at least now.
    Thanks for the very clear explanation, much appreciated. I come from a background of wildlife video, so still photographs and specially landscapes are very new and different for me. I have a trip coming up soon and was trying to get used to the camera by shooting anything and everything. Interestingly I am kind of enjoying the landscape shots and hope to get better at them.
    Thanks for the compliment.

    I can't remember exactly where I took the picture but I shot two pictures of similar views one standing up and the crouching down. You are so right, it gives a different perspective.

    A big thank you to all of you who replied on this thread, I learnt quite a bit in one day. Now if the weather would improve, I could go out and practice some of what I have learnt. :)


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  13. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    After recoiling in horror at the suggestion, I saw some merit in your idea, charlyee. After all, if you can avoid making the same mistakes I did...

    So here's a thread I started where we can all post our most spectacular early failures. I hope I'm not the only one dumb enough to step forward. :p
     
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