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Author Topic: A nice photograph
Too Cool To Quit
SuperBlabberMouth!
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Icon 1 posted August 04, 2005 05:50      Profile for Too Cool To Quit     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Taken this morning, probably 15 minutes ago.

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Any comments? It's possibly the first photograph I've ever taken that I felt like showing to someone, and I hope it wasn't in vain.

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Alright now, that's the last straw, I'm calling the ass taxidermist to tell him to stop making hats in your size RIGHT NOW.

Posts: 1097 | From: North Carolina | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
csk

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Icon 1 posted August 04, 2005 06:09      Profile for csk     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Very very nice. I like it a lot.

If I may make a slight nitpick, if you want to make it even better, I'd work on the blown out (too light) sky in the top corner, try to darken it a little bit. Otherwise, top notch! [thumbsup]

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6 weeks to go!

Posts: 4455 | From: Sydney, Australia | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
Too Cool To Quit
SuperBlabberMouth!
Member # 2217

Icon 1 posted August 04, 2005 07:07      Profile for Too Cool To Quit     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thank you for the advice. I'll see what I can do. I'm fairly new to the hobby, so I'm still working out the kinks, but that was a nice scene this morning, and it was right in my back yard, so I assumed take it.

Oddly enough, the sun was behind me in that photo, but the morning sky tends to be a bright anyway.

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Alright now, that's the last straw, I'm calling the ass taxidermist to tell him to stop making hats in your size RIGHT NOW.

Posts: 1097 | From: North Carolina | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
RScottV

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Icon 1 posted August 04, 2005 08:00      Profile for RScottV     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Beautiful composition!

CSK is right about the sky. I often have the exact same issue with my shots and I am still stumbling throug the solutions. (I have a hard drive full of overexposed skys!) To fix it you can try any or all of the following:

1. Take the shot earlier in the morning tomorrow. The light on the photo-left trees will be less severe in the 60 to 90 minutes after dawn. Dusk might be a good time as well, depending on where the sun is for the shot.

2. If your camera has manual controls, take an exposure reading. Whatever f-stop and shutter speed it gives you, knock the f-stop up a couple of steps which will decrease the exposure.

3. If your camera has an exposure lock function, point the camera more at the sky and lock the exposure (this exposes for the sky) then take the photo.

4. Some cameras will show you a histogram and an info screen that indicates when you have "blown out" your highlights. With digital shots, you are better off underexposing slightly. Underexposure can be fixed easily in an image editing program. When shots have areas of white out, the data there is gone for good and you can't get it back.

5. A sneaky fix for this would be to select the sky with the magic wand selection tool and then feather your selection. You can then either delete it and paint a sky in or paste a properly exposed sky from another shot into your selection. After you do that, you can darken the trees on the left a bit as they are only slightly overexposed.

Of all of these solutions, the best result would usually be to take the exact same photo at dusk or dawn with slight underexposure.

I also need some advice on some shots but will post later in a different thread.

Good luck and nice work!

Posts: 211 | From: Saint Paul, MN | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
csk

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Icon 1 posted August 04, 2005 08:07      Profile for csk     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by RScottV:
Beautiful composition!

5. A sneaky fix for this would be to select the sky with the magic wand selection tool and then feather your selection. You can then either delete it and paint a sky in or paste a properly exposed sky from another shot into your selection. After you do that, you can darken the trees on the left a bit as they are only slightly overexposed.

Or, alternately, select the sky, and try burning it to darken it (possibly the easiest method)

Or, take two exposures using manual mode and a tripod, with different shutter speeds. Combine the two exposures in different layers, and then use layer masks to combine them (hard, but very effective, so I hear).

Edit: A couple of the GIMP tutorials here and here might be of use, the second one shows how to do the multiple exposure trick I mentioned earlier.

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6 weeks to go!

Posts: 4455 | From: Sydney, Australia | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
Grey_girl

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Icon 1 posted August 04, 2005 11:41      Profile for Grey_girl     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Cool backyard. I'm jealous!
Posts: 764 | From: NYC | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Snaggy

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Icon 14 posted August 04, 2005 12:14      Profile for Snaggy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
ah nice!

*sigh* reminds me of our old Geek Culture Headquarters one room cabin by the lake...

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Posts: 8100 | From: Canada | Registered: Jan 2000  |  IP: Logged
hey-U
SuperBlabberMouth!
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Icon 1 posted August 04, 2005 12:27      Profile for hey-U     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Not even *slightly* envious of you folks with your countryside and your scenery, be it under-exposed, over-exposed or even wombling free...
No, not me guv...
I mean, who wouldn't want to live in a huge big city, given the choice...
(insert tongue-in-cheek icon here)

Seriously though, I love both those shots -- either would make great desktop wallpaper...
;-)

Thanks for posting some nice fresh summer air!

Posts: 1263 | From: London | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
maia
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Icon 1 posted August 04, 2005 12:50      Profile for maia     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Oh, yeah, that's nothing. [Razz]

Give me good old, picturesque Hutto,TX any day.

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OK, I'm completely kidding, and this is not where I live, by the way, but my uncle does.

Nice picture, TCTQ. I think you composed it very well. I, too, am quite jealous of your backyard.

Random side note:
I am in the process of switching to a new laptop right now, and haven't yet installed photoshop onto this machine. So, I innocently thought I would just use Microsoft Photo Editor to resize this photo, and I couldn't believe how bad it sucked ( take a look ). So, then I resorted to using Paint, and that's the one I posted which looks much better.

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Nothing is too petty to be thoroughly discussed.

Posts: 316 | From: United States | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
hey-U
SuperBlabberMouth!
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Icon 1 posted August 04, 2005 13:34      Profile for hey-U     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Pfft!

Well, I may not have wide open spaces and lakes and landscapes and everything outside my back door -- *but* I DO have a rubbishy camera phone AND there's some greenery:

http://www.peking0.net/view.jpg

AND I get occasional visits from the neighbour's cat, what more could I ask:

http://www.peking0.net/neighborhood_watch.jpg

;-)

Posts: 1263 | From: London | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
HalfVast

Member # 3187

Icon 1 posted August 04, 2005 15:30      Profile for HalfVast     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Good show, Too Cool...

This composition is excellent. The dock leads you into the scene
and the horizontal of the water and trees keeps the eye moving
through the shot.

There is some info in the sky. I pulled the shot into photoshop.
I used the shadow/highlight tool to bring down the highlights
(especialy the light reflecting off the leaves) and bring down the
value of the sky a little bit. Then like CSK suggested I burned in
the upper left corner to bring out a little detail. Finished by punching
up the saturation a little (Photoshop value +10).

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If your camera has filter threads in front of the lens the tool that
helps most in this situation is a polarizer. At 90 degrees to the sun
it can bring down the value of the sky for a deeper blue. It also
allows you to control how much reflection you're getting off the
water. You can experiment with having the full reflection of the
trees, none at all or somthing in between.

You'll find some real good tips on this (and more) here.
The Luminous Landscape is one of my favorite online photo
sites.

Posts: 795 | From: In the mitten around the abductor pollicis brevis. | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Serenak

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Icon 1 posted August 04, 2005 15:43      Profile for Serenak     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hi there, nice photos BTW.

Regarding dealing with blown out skies: there are a variety of digital methods that can help (some of which have been mentioned). One of the best (in Photoshop) is to make the picture into a layer and then create a new layer below. On this layer place a picture of a sky which covers the areas you wish to improve and then alter the blending characteristics of the original picture to allow the sky to mix through. This takes a bit of mucking about and trial and error to get right but will produce a seamless effect when done right. GIMP/Picture Publisher/etc. etc., will no doubt allow similar tricks but I am not really familar with any photo editor other than Photoshop...

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"So if you want my address - it's No. 1 at the end of the bar, where I sit with the broken angels, clutching at straws and nursing my scars..."

Posts: 1936 | From: Suffolk England | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged
Too Cool To Quit
SuperBlabberMouth!
Member # 2217

Icon 1 posted August 04, 2005 20:47      Profile for Too Cool To Quit     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
My camera is a Kodak EasyShare CX7000. Cheapo.

I plan on eventually investing in a dSLR that allows me to use filters and lenses as well, but that's further down the road. The EasyShare is not the greatest camera in the world, and doesn't give you a whole lot control over exposures, or any of that stuff.

Any recommendations on such a camera? I want the closest thing to a prosumer film SLR as I can get with digital.

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Alright now, that's the last straw, I'm calling the ass taxidermist to tell him to stop making hats in your size RIGHT NOW.

Posts: 1097 | From: North Carolina | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
csk

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Icon 1 posted August 04, 2005 21:16      Profile for csk     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Too Cool To Quit:
My camera is a Kodak EasyShare CX7000. Cheapo.

I plan on eventually investing in a dSLR that allows me to use filters and lenses as well, but that's further down the road. The EasyShare is not the greatest camera in the world, and doesn't give you a whole lot control over exposures, or any of that stuff.

Any recommendations on such a camera? I want the closest thing to a prosumer film SLR as I can get with digital.

Well, the absolute cheapest approach is to buy a cheap film SLR, and get the film processed and scanned for post-processing. Failing that, there's a few lower end DSLRs that are really good, including the Canon 350D and Nikon D70. With SLR, the biggest investment (over time) is, or should be, the lenses. They can make a huge difference, but also cost a fair bit at times (one of the lenses I've got an eye on costs AU $1500 or so, for example)

Alternately, find a low end digital that at least has a degree of manual control over things like shutter speed, aperture, flash on/off and intensity, ISO, etc. Get used to the concepts with that, work out if you want to really stick with photography, and then make the big investment later. In fact, the best things about DLSR vs compact digital are better performance (less shutter lag), better handling of low light (less noise at high ISOs), and better control of depth of field (handy when you want to do things like blur the background for portraits), and better ability to enlarge a photo of the same resolution (due to the DSLR's physically larger image sensor). If none of those things are important to you, then a compact digital may be all you need.

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6 weeks to go!

Posts: 4455 | From: Sydney, Australia | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
Too Cool To Quit
SuperBlabberMouth!
Member # 2217

Icon 1 posted August 04, 2005 22:34      Profile for Too Cool To Quit     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Those things are rather important to me. The main reason why I want a DSLR is because of the lenses, though.

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Alright now, that's the last straw, I'm calling the ass taxidermist to tell him to stop making hats in your size RIGHT NOW.

Posts: 1097 | From: North Carolina | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
RScottV

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Icon 1 posted August 05, 2005 06:03      Profile for RScottV     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I recently got a digital rebel with a 200mm Tamron zoom. I took my seven-year-old on a father/son camping trip in northern Minnesota 2 weeks ago and he was excited to use our "old" camera, an Olympus c3040. Most of his shots turned out better than mine! That being said, I see a lot of potential in the Canon rebel after I actually learn how to use the darn thing.

Those Kodak ez-share cameras are great and you can actually get some terrific shots from them.

Posts: 211 | From: Saint Paul, MN | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
zesovietrussian
SuperBlabberMouth!
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Icon 1 posted August 07, 2005 17:54      Profile for zesovietrussian     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
RScottV: try using RAW instead of JPEG and processing the files manually - it's a bit more time-consuming, but will give you much better results.

csk: Here's my attempt at saving the sky, so to speak. There wasn't much to recover, so I basically just made a new one - underexposed a copy a bit, adjusted the saturation, and layered it with the original.


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Posts: 1094 | From: Boston | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
csk

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Icon 1 posted August 07, 2005 18:21      Profile for csk     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
And turn on the histogram display for reviewing shots on the camera, that way you can get an idea of how correct your exposure is right away. I'd second the "use RAW not JPEG" advice, too.

Edit: Oh, and make sure you check out dpreview, too. One of the best digital photography sites on the net, the forums are phenomenally active.

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6 weeks to go!

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Bibo
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Icon 1 posted August 07, 2005 18:27      Profile for Bibo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Agreed, RAW is the best way to shoot, and Photoshop CS2 lets you convert multiple RAW images now. JPEG is fine for everyday shots though. What kind of settings did you shoot with, auto or manual modes? Have you used an SLR before or point & shoots?

Here are some shots I've taken with my Digital Rebel 300D, many with a Tamron 28-200mm Lens.
http://www.creativearms.com/rebel/

Here are 2 good sites for tips & tricks for the Digital Rebel & Canon Digital SLRS (and photography in general)

http://www.photoworkshop.com/canon/lessons/


http://www.canon.co.jp/Imaging/enjoydslr/index.html

Posts: 1641 | From: Grand Rapids, MI | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
HalfVast

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Icon 1 posted August 07, 2005 18:54      Profile for HalfVast     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'll fourth the RAW shooting practice. One of the strikes against
my A2 is it's smaller sensor and poor proformance over ISO 2OO.
The only reason I can use 200 at all is because of the noise reduction
options in photoshops raw converter. Fortunately I get away with
ISO 64 most of the time because of the cameras built in anti-shake.

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RAW will also give you about a stop of control in either direction
to affect the overall exposure (which does not mean that you shouldn't
try to get it right the first time [Razz] )
On July 1st I went street shooting at the fireworks downtown here.
I shot at ISO 800, 1600 and 3200 at the end of the night...
using black and white film...

Posts: 795 | From: In the mitten around the abductor pollicis brevis. | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Too Cool To Quit
SuperBlabberMouth!
Member # 2217

Icon 1 posted August 07, 2005 20:01      Profile for Too Cool To Quit     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I WOULD use RAW if I could. Uncompressed storage is not a feature of my camera though. I believe taking photos in JPEG is about the same as recording audio in MP3. Not desireable. So, like I say, a new camera is in the plans. Maybe next year.

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Alright now, that's the last straw, I'm calling the ass taxidermist to tell him to stop making hats in your size RIGHT NOW.

Posts: 1097 | From: North Carolina | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
csk

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Icon 1 posted August 07, 2005 20:12      Profile for csk     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Too Cool To Quit:
I WOULD use RAW if I could. Uncompressed storage is not a feature of my camera though. I believe taking photos in JPEG is about the same as recording audio in MP3. Not desireable. So, like I say, a new camera is in the plans. Maybe next year.

Well, we were mainly addressing RScottV who has a 300D which definitely does RAW [Wink] But, yes, JPEG does throw away some useful information compared to the RAW file. Post shot exposure and white balance correction is much easier with RAW files.

Mind you, there are still some scattered occasions where JPEG is a better choice, like when shooting sports with a low end DLSR, in order to capture a reasonable number of frames in a burst.

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6 weeks to go!

Posts: 4455 | From: Sydney, Australia | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted August 07, 2005 21:05      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Taco: I wouldn't knock JPEG *that* much. You're right that it is a lossy format, and the RAW images as cited above will surely be the best you can get. However, the JPEG stored by a camera, such as mine, at highest resolution is still /pretty damn good/. The key is to make sure you never save it as JPEG again past that point, so as to not degrade it any further. My images run about 2.0-2.5 MB on average, and I've recently gotten a very sweet 9x12 " print out of one.

Random aside: Does anyone have any experience with taking a tripod through carry-on in recent times? I'd consider taking mine with me on vacation if not for that charming three letter dept....and the schlepping...

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

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Bibo
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Icon 1 posted August 07, 2005 22:53      Profile for Bibo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by dragonman97:
Random aside: Does anyone have any experience with taking a tripod through carry-on in recent times? I'd consider taking mine with me on vacation if not for that charming three letter dept....and the schlepping...

What about picking up a tripod when you arrive at your destination? You can get a basic tripod for about $15 - $25. Then try to take it back with you on your flight home. Or pick it up at walmart and return it before you go home [Wink] .
Posts: 1641 | From: Grand Rapids, MI | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
csk

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Icon 1 posted August 07, 2005 22:58      Profile for csk     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Why through hand luggage, btw? Couldn't you just put it with your checked luggage, unless you're planning to do nice portraits of the stewardesses to kill time during the flight [Wink]

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6 weeks to go!

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