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Mileage does indeed vary considerably.
I grew up with film. I played around a bit with IR film when doing my photography C&G. Therefore I consider the application of an IR effect in digital processing the equivalent using an IR film. In fact, it's one of the areas where digital is lacking. I used to be able to stick an IR film in my film camera, whereas to shoot native IR in digital I'd need a dedicated camera as I understand it (don''t think you can just do it with filters, but happy to be educated).
As for "not the done thing" to shoot wildlife in mono, please can you point to where that is enshrined in the Magna Carta? I recall plenty of mono wildlife documentaries before the colour service started on BBC2 in 1967.
It's not enshrined in anything at all. I'm simply saying that it is not what any decent wildlife photographers I have seen in the last decade do. That doesn't, however, mean it isn't an area worth exploring. I don't shoot wildlife anyway so it matters not to me.
Just my opinion Jocko, but I think that makes a more impacting picture. The gull now stands out against the background and forms the central focus of the picture.
Again, this is my opinion, but I don't think losing the passing duck detracts as the duck and it's wake weren't the focal point anyway - I think something like this needs to just have one object for the viewer to concentrate on with everything else serving to just bring the main subject to the fore. This is illustrated through the difference of still life vs portraiture in the world of painting. Nothing to notice in the background of The Laughing Cavalier for example, or indeed Whistler's Mother from a different era. Some of the famous portraits of nobles, or those less famous that can be viewed in stately homes might include hunting dogs or horses, or weapons etc, but these are allegories to tell the story of the person depicted. But that's not the point here. I'm sure it's a very pleasant and personable duck, but in my opinion it's an irrelevance in your picture and is not part of the story of the gull.
Photography is all about light. I don't know what post production software you have, but you'd both get a lot out of this tutorial...
http://www.apogeephoto.com/may2010/watts52010.shtmlGetting the levels correct often means that no adjustments to contrast are needed.
Interesting article. I prefer to use Curves to do the same. I set my black point to 8 and my white point to 245, with a view to printing my work, but as I seldom do print I should maybe reassess these values. I use the original Photoshop CS (Photoshop 8 as it was known) for all my post camera work. I used to use Levels but was spirited away from it after reading one of the many Photoshop books I have in my collection.
It's not enshrined in anything at all. I'm simply saying that it is not what any decent wildlife photographers I have seen in the last decade do.
I happen to think these are some stunning wildlife pics:
Photography is all about light. I don't know what post production software you have, but you'd both get a lot out of this tutorial... http://www.apogeephoto.com/may2010/watts52010.shtml
Thanks for the link. Had a quick look at my version of Photoshop and though I can find the adjustment layers they don't match up with what's described here. My version is several years older than the article (article is 2010, my version of PS is 2007, I believe). Perhaps it's time to invest in some new software! That said, I should be able to read between the lines and get the gist of what I should be doing.
Hey ho. Back to work.
Found it. D'oh! If I knew what I was doing with technology I'd be dangerous.
You the guy that found the lost chord?
I've lost many chords in my time, but I'm yet to find any of them again.
You're right, they're great.
Bought myself "Camera Raw with Photoshop for Dummies">
I bought the Kindle version and I am very impressed. The book was published in 2006 and as such is for Photoshop CS2, the exact software I am using.
Having made inroads into the book I splashed out and ordered the paper version, a few minutes ago. The actual book is in colour (my Kindle isn't).
Here's a photograph of a regular visitor to my back garden. I applied the tutorial that 23rdMan linked to above to this. Definitely looks a little more 'glossy' than my previous attempts. To me, anyway.
Now I've got to figure out how to get my photo sharper. They look all right through the view-finder but when I zoom in they're all very blurry!
What camera are you using, Derek? A blurry photo could be for a few reasons: 1) camera shake because the shutter speed is not fast enough 2) subject movement for the same reason (shutter speed) 3) you simply missed focus. Also depending on the quality of the lens and sensor in the camera you may just not get particularly sharp results.
To 23rd's point about the sensor, it also depends how far you are zooming in as it's not an infinite capability before you start seeing the pixels that then gives the impression of blurring. There's also a the relationship with monitor resolution - if that's lower than your pic it could be a limitation of your monitor. E.g. If I look at pics on my big monitor they always look far better than the lower resolution of my laptop screen.
Cheers guys. I think it's a combination of all of the above plus having a tripod that's cheap and spindly and whose legs wobble more than mine after a few pints of Hobgoblin.
Woody here was actually taken with a Nikon D5100 which I literally borrowed this lunchtime. I used a Tamron 70-300 zoom at the 300mm end - which I know probably doesn't help. As regards speed and ISO and aperture...
I did try taking some with a tripod but every time I pressed the shutter button the tripod was bouncing up and down like space-hopper on a hot trampoline. I tried the self-timer trick and I think that was a bit better, but overall I guess I need to go back to basics. I knew where all the settings were on my Lumix, this Nikon is a bit more complex. Good news is, I've got it on extended loan so I shall experiment...
A reasonable layman's guide for zoom lenses when hand held is don't go longer than one over the lens focal length for the shutter speed. That is, if you're using a 300mm lens, the lowest practical hand held shutter speed with a reasonably steady hand is 1/300s.
Of course, these days many lenses have built in image stability that buggers up this old rule of thumb that I learnt back in the dark ages of film and separate light meters. One of my canon zooms gives me four stops of stability and hand held shutter speeds I could only have dreamed about 35 years ago when I got my first SLR. I was extremely dubious at first but it actually works in the majority of cases. Not familiar with the set-up you have borrowed but check the lens to see if you've got an image stabiliser option - it should be a button or switch on the lens.
I just looked at the data for the picture above and the exposure time was 1/250th second and the focal length was 240mm... so in the ball park. But it also says 35mm equiv. 360mm - which I understand is because the sensor is a little smaller than a 35mm; but I'm not sure what that means in terms of your hand-held speed rule/advice? I guess it means I was a little slow compared to where I ideally should have been.
On the Nikon lens that I've borrowed there is a VR (Vibration Reduction button) but there isn't one on the Tamron.
Good stuff, anyway. I always figure if I learn something about anything each day then that's a good day!
Damn, yes, keep forgetting the smaller sensor vs 35mm film. I've only been into digital for 18 months now having been pretty much forced to it by a combination of a disappearance of good quality film processing at reasonable cost, and the fact the regular local comps I enter have all removed their film categories due to lack of entries (and they wouldn't keep giving me first if I'm the only entry ).
So my head is still very much grounded in film. Bit like the recording trials and tribulations I've been having over on the Newtone strings thread where my head is still grounded in analogue.
It's a choice of a one or a zero - how bloody difficult can this digital stuff be?
Two things. Sometimes the camera software has a sharpness option in the set up menu. A sort of Soft - Normal - Hard setting. Make sure your camera is not set to soft. Prior to my biblical conversion to RAW I always had my camera set for Normal.
That brings me to point two. I always do a little image sharpening, in Photoshop, as the last stage before saving my final image. Just a little Unsharp Mask. Here are two images I have just processed. The first has no sharpening, the second a tiny bit of Unsharp Mask. Hope the difference is evident.
With regard to your image Derek, I would be more than happy with that. Nicely composed, properly exposed, a great opportunity taken.
Looking at them on screen, the first one looks the better of the two! The second is just the first with Unsharp Mask added. Looks like it degrades the image contrast, if this is anything to go by.
EDIT. No it is not. It depends where on the screen of my laptop, (eye line, angle etc) the image is viewed.
Now that is a problem I'm very familiar with - I have a real issue trying to optimise contrast and colour saturation before printing stuff for comps such that what comes out the printer (making sure any processing in the printer software is turned off and takes values from Elements) matches what's on the screen.
I don't know how to cure that (I've tuned my monitor colour rendition to the best of my ability) but even the tiniest change in viewing angle makes a big change to how the pic looks on the screen. Any of the digital pros any suggestions?
I used to use a 19" CRT monitor for my photography (until I wiped half the anti reflective coating off with Cillit Bang). I find my ACER X193w LCD monitor, used with my desktop PC, does not change a great deal as the angle changes.
You can also use a Colorimeter for calibrating your computer display, but I think you would have to be making a living from your photography to afford one of those!
Until I got this laptop I only used my desktop PC for my photography. Maybe I should revert back to using it.
I know they're not great examples, but these were done with a very tatty old gel filter and a D70
That second one is slightly oversharpened, John. You can see it in the stones where it appears to be artifacting.
You need a better screen. You can pick up a decent LCD screen for £150 these days. That and decent calibration software is essential for regular printing.
One more from me then I'm off to practice The Claw!
The sole point of this one was my trying to address the sharpness issue - used a tripod, self-timer so as no vibrations from me pressing the button, manual focus...
Yes, I increased the sharpening on that one to try and make it obvious here on the forum.
nothing wrong with that.
Sharp as a pin there Derek.
So now you need to decide is that exactly what you wanted in focus or whether a greater depth of field would increase the impact of the shot by having more of the pot contents in focus given you have a nice neutral background that doesn't distract.
Increased depth of field can be achieved by stopping down the aperture and increasing the exposure by the same number of stops. The camera you have borrowed should have a semi-manual setting where you can set it to shutter or aperture priority. If you set it to aperture priority the shutter speed will adjust accordingly (but as depth of field increases through stopping down the aperture camera shake potential will increase as the length of time the shutter is open increases).
From a composition point of view, if you increase the depth of field you might want to recompose the shot so the plastic pot is less prominent - with an increased depth of field more of the pot will also be in focus and become a distraction. That in itself might be a good feature if the pot was an old terracotta jobby with some interesting texture, but not the plastic!
Bry, love that shot!
I'm not really into photography, but am enjoying looking at the work of others on this thread - it's a simple thing, but a good photo image takes me to somewhere else, away from my normal surroundings, and let's me look through someone else's eyes as it were. It's refreshing and good stuff, cheers chaps!