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View Full Version : New Nikon first round of photos....PICS!




ChicoWeb
Feb 5, 2006, 11:02 PM
Please Critique me :)

I do web design for a living and have finally gotten a camera so I can begin to make my own stock photography and give clients custom stock for their sites. This is the first weekend I've taken photographs with my new Nikon D50 w/ kit lens, which I purchased last weekend...

Any suggestions on a professional level would be much appreciated. I have no background in photography, nor do I know what I’m doing. I just tend to know what looks good and what doesn’t in the design realm. I'm trying to improve and my goal is to be able to produce professional stock photography myself for my own websites.

Thanks in advance!

All were saved down to 25% width and saved at 75% for web for bw reasons.

1.http://chicowebdesign.com/development/development/napa/1.jpg

2.http://chicowebdesign.com/development/development/napa/2.jpg

3.http://chicowebdesign.com/development/development/napa/3.jpg

4.http://chicowebdesign.com/development/development/napa/4.jpg

5.http://chicowebdesign.com/development/development/napa/5.jpg

6.http://chicowebdesign.com/development/development/napa/6.jpg



ChicoWeb
Feb 5, 2006, 11:10 PM
P.S.
Pics from Napa and Sonoma Wine Country :)

icloud
Feb 5, 2006, 11:22 PM
1. "Professional Level" is something I can't give you
2. I really like the colors you are capturing...they very crisp for the most part (what is your setting on the D50? Auto? Aperture Priority? Landscape? Manual?)
3. 3 4 6 are the ones i like
3 woudl be amazing if that fence were to say...dissapear
4. Like the lighting and the subject is quiet nice. Im a fan of simple shots and that one does a really nice job of it.
6 because i cant shoot people for the life of me. The colors are nice and the overall composition is nice...

First time with a SLR?

homerjward
Feb 5, 2006, 11:27 PM
i really like 4 and 5.
those colors are really great.

did you have to use a tripod for #3?

i really need to get out and shoot more pictures with my d50...:o

dogbone
Feb 6, 2006, 12:12 AM
You're doing real fine. Having a good eye is what photography is all about. The rest of the stuff is monkey work.

Two things to watch for though. When shooting wide angle keep an eye on the perspective. You can see in the first image that the right hand side is sloping inwards. Also when shooting portraits with not much depth of field keep an eye on the focus point. In the case of your shot the focus is about 4 inches in front of the face.

Aslo when taking shady stuff like the first shot I think that it would benefit from a bit more crispness, especially for the web.

cr2sh
Feb 6, 2006, 07:15 PM
Sorry to jump in on your thread.. but I snapped this one tonight on top of the cemetery across the street from my house.

Not anything fantastic... but I couldn't do this with my g2.

http://www.sinink.com/DSC_0043.jpg

ChrisA
Feb 6, 2006, 08:09 PM
Please Critique me :)
I do web design for a living and have finally gotten a camera


Your arts background will serve you well. Knowing color, lines balance and the like is far more importent than kowing a bunch of technical stuf.

There is one technical issue with a couple of the images. Notice tha sky in #1 and the electric lights in the interior shot. The hightlites are totaly blown out to "pure white" such that there is no detail. One can argue that one does not want detail to appear in a lit light bulb but clouds in the sky look better with some details showing. You don't want large sectins of the sky to appear "paper white" So a little less expose is in order there But then the shadow areas will go "pure black". Wecome to digital photography.

If the subject were smaller you could use a flash or a big reflectoer (white cardboard) to toss light into the shadows but a house is to big. You can try shooting RAW and playing with the contrast when you do the conversion.

People who shoot black and white film have a scientific and deterministic way to deal with this but I don't kow how to apply "the zone system" to a DSRL.

I have heard of people doing multiple exposures using a tripod, one for the sky and one for the forground subject and compositing the darker sky back into the photo using layers in Photoshop and a mask.

Sometimes a polerizing filter can darken the sky too.

Bottom line is that it's a common probllem, a weakness in current digital technology and takes effort to solve.

If you have an eye for graphic design you are way ahead of 95% of most non-professionals

Glenn Wolsey
Feb 6, 2006, 08:11 PM
I love the 3rd and forth! Great stuff.

ChrisA
Feb 6, 2006, 08:25 PM
Two things to watch for though. When shooting wide angle keep an eye on the perspective. You can see in the first image that the right hand side is sloping inwards. Also when shooting portraits with not much depth of field keep an eye on the focus point. In the case of your shot the focus is about 4 inches in front of the face.

Yes, when shooting either people or animals always focus on the _eyes_ If the eye is sharp the photo looks sharp even if it's not. I've gone as for as to attempt to salvage a shot by putting a feathered mask around the eye and using a sharpen tool on just the eye. Normally a sharpen tool adds to much noise but masked to the eye it's not noticable.

A sharp nose and soft eyes kind of draws attentin to the nose.

The neat thing about digital is that you can change the perspective on a building to make the vertical corners vertical. Just like using a view camera..
Some people will say that it's best to leave in a little of that "leaning back" perspective

ChicoWeb
Feb 6, 2006, 11:18 PM
Thank you everyone for your responses. I know I have quite a bit to learn, but I love what I can do with this thing! Sounds like the sky and large building delima is quite complex :) I did play with a lot of the levels, balance, and contrast, the standard stuff I use as a designer. I'm glad my number 4 came out because this is actually for a client in Napa :)

Anyways, Thanks all.

ChicoWeb
Feb 7, 2006, 01:44 AM
...2. I really like the colors you are capturing...they very crisp for the most part (what is your setting on the D50? Auto? Aperture Priority? Landscape? Manual?)

First time with a SLR?

It depends. I used Aperture Priority on 2 & 4, when I was using a Tripod. Other than that I was mostly shooting on Auto or Portrait for 6.

This is my first time with a DSLR. I took a class in HS, about 9 years ago with a 35mm Minolta Film cam. Seems so long ago :)

ChicoWeb
Feb 7, 2006, 01:46 AM
i really like 4 and 5.
those colors are really great.

did you have to use a tripod for #3?

i really need to get out and shoot more pictures with my d50...:o

No tripod for #3. I wish I had brought it up the hill because it's such a powerful photo if I had done it correctly. :)

-hh
Feb 7, 2006, 09:07 AM
3 woudl be amazing if that fence were to say...dissapear


I was thinking the same thing.

I think a couple of likely options (in lieu of 3 days with Photoshop) are:

a) Move up to the railing...shoot through or over it. This is the easiest approach, but since it closes the distance to subject, so you might need/want a wider lens.

b) Keep the camera location where it is, but raise its height. Even when you then angle down some, the railing will appear lower in the image and thus be minimized. It might be then easier to crop out without losing stuff.

c) "Make Lemonaid": figure out some way to put an interesting foreground subject that then compliments the railing. For example, a human model leaning on the railing, surveying the secene. Or a small table with a (perhaps colorful) object on it, etc. General exploitation of foreground/background.


EDIT:

d) If you're being paid by the customer for a professional photo shoot, you might be able to convince them to temporarily remove the disruptive object. I don't think that this railing could be simply unbolted (vs cut/weld), but if the customer likes a particular shot 'except for' and is willing to go to greater extremes (cost), it is not an impossibility.

EDIT#2:

I've just noticed that left of center, there's some sort of decorative logo in the railing. This might be a feature that could be exploited to make the railing a better part of the shot...? It might be interesting to reposition down/left and use that logo to frame the shot..

-hh

ChicoWeb
Feb 7, 2006, 12:53 PM
I was thinking the same thing.

I think a couple of likely options (in lieu of 3 days with Photoshop) are:

a) Move up to the railing...shoot through or over it. This is the easiest approach, but since it closes the distance to subject, so you might need/want a wider lens.

b) Keep the camera location where it is, but raise its height. Even when you then angle down some, the railing will appear lower in the image and thus be minimized. It might be then easier to crop out without losing stuff.

c) "Make Lemonaid": figure out some way to put an interesting foreground subject that then compliments the railing. For example, a human model leaning on the railing, surveying the secene. Or a small table with a (perhaps colorful) object on it, etc. General exploitation of foreground/background.


EDIT:

d) If you're being paid by the customer for a professional photo shoot, you might be able to convince them to temporarily remove the disruptive object. I don't think that this railing could be simply unbolted (vs cut/weld), but if the customer likes a particular shot 'except for' and is willing to go to greater extremes (cost), it is not an impossibility.

EDIT#2:

I've just noticed that left of center, there's some sort of decorative logo in the railing. This might be a feature that could be exploited to make the railing a better part of the shot...? It might be interesting to reposition down/left and use that logo to frame the shot..

-hh

This one was actually for fun :)
I was behind "another" railing with my camera going through one already so there was no access to that particular point to the public...

Abstract
Feb 7, 2006, 05:23 PM
I was thinking the same thing.

I think a couple of likely options (in lieu of 3 days with Photoshop) are:

a) Move up to the railing...shoot through or over it. This is the easiest approach, but since it closes the distance to subject, so you might need/want a wider lens.

b) Keep the camera location where it is, but raise its height. Even when you then angle down some, the railing will appear lower in the image and thus be minimized. It might be then easier to crop out without losing stuff.

c) "Make Lemonaid": figure out some way to put an interesting foreground subject that then compliments the railing. For example, a human model leaning on the railing, surveying the secene. Or a small table with a (perhaps colorful) object on it, etc. General exploitation of foreground/background.


EDIT:

d) If you're being paid by the customer for a professional photo shoot, you might be able to convince them to temporarily remove the disruptive object. I don't think that this railing could be simply unbolted (vs cut/weld), but if the customer likes a particular shot 'except for' and is willing to go to greater extremes (cost), it is not an impossibility.

EDIT#2:

I've just noticed that left of center, there's some sort of decorative logo in the railing. This might be a feature that could be exploited to make the railing a better part of the shot...? It might be interesting to reposition down/left and use that logo to frame the shot..

-hh

Even though I didn't take the photo, I always find your tips quite useful. :)

ScubaDuc
Feb 8, 2006, 03:08 PM
Yes, when shooting either people or animals always focus on the _eyes_ If the eye is sharp the photo looks sharp even if it's not. I've gone as for as to attempt to salvage a shot by putting a feathered mask around the eye and using a sharpen tool on just the eye. Normally a sharpen tool adds to much noise but masked to the eye it's not noticable.

A sharp nose and soft eyes kind of draws attentin to the nose.

The neat thing about digital is that you can change the perspective on a building to make the vertical corners vertical. Just like using a view camera..
Some people will say that it's best to leave in a little of that "leaning back" perspective


Ehm, I totally agree with focusing on the eyes for portraits, animals or people, but for wildlife is not always necessary. You got to take what u get, if you are lucky enough to get it....

If you think it's neat to use photoshop to change the prospective, then use a PC wide-angle type lens which shifts the axis. Don't "fake" the image with photoshop...

Abstract
Feb 8, 2006, 05:35 PM
I don't know if it's because of the compression or because you cropped like mad, but the quality of the photo is horrible, although it looks very very very cool.

I guess it's better to have a poor quality photo than to not get the photo at all.

ksz
Feb 8, 2006, 05:55 PM
That's a wonderful scene/subject and well exposed. However, it's riddled with purple fringing and compression artifacts (little color blotches, fat pixels, and jagged edges for example).

Dark
Feb 8, 2006, 08:04 PM
Nice Pictures man. The third is definately my favorite.

ScubaDuc
Feb 9, 2006, 03:03 AM
I don't know if it's because of the compression or because you cropped like mad, but the quality of the photo is horrible, although it looks very very very cool.

I guess it's better to have a poor quality photo than to not get the photo at all.


Yes, it is reduced in size to lowest quality settings for posting but it has not been cropped. I did what I could with what I had...It's not like a leopard in the wild is an easy find..... :rolleyes: The picture was taken in Namibia.

On the other hand, other species let you come quite close. Here is one of a turtle underwater...

Abstract
Feb 9, 2006, 05:06 AM
Oooh, I like that one. I know you just got your D50 last week, but what did you use to take this underwater photo?

ScubaDuc
Feb 9, 2006, 09:54 AM
Oooh, I like that one. I know you just got your D50 last week, but what did you use to take this underwater photo?


Sorry, I am not the OP. I posted the leopard pic as an example to a reply that suggested to focus on the eyes for animals. It is a true statement but only partially and I wanted to provide an example to illustrate the point. It really depends on the picture you want to take: action vs. static

As for the turtle, the picture was taken with a cheap coolpix 4600 in a fantasea housing at about 25 meters depth. Normally, I use a Nikon F3/F2 with a coolpix scanner...I am not sold on digital SRLs yet, partially because I have tons of optics which wont work and partially because I don't like the results with high ASA settings.

-hh
Feb 9, 2006, 10:02 AM
As for the turtle, the picture was taken with a cheap coolpix 4600 in a fantasea housing at about 25 meters depth. Normally, I use a Nikon F3/F2 with a coolpix scanner...I am not sold on digital SRLs yet, partially because I have tons of optics which wont work and partially because I don't like the results with high ASA settings.

I'm in a similar situation...I have around $5K invested in a 35mm Nikonos V underwater camera system.

But some shots are worth scanning...

http://my.fcc.net/~hummer/pic/puffer3.jpg
(15mm WA @ 15", 1/60sec, probably f/11; dual SS-200's @ 1/4 power...
...and damn lucky to have remembered to adjust for viewfinder parallax!)


-hh

Clix Pix
Feb 9, 2006, 11:44 AM
-hh, that last photo is stunning, simply stunning. I hope you've got a print mounted and displayed on your wall somewhere! It is magnificent.

I've been enjoying seeing your work in the various threads!

ScubaDuc
Feb 9, 2006, 03:55 PM
I'm in a similar situation...I have around $5K invested in a 35mm Nikonos V underwater camera system.

But some shots are worth scanning...

http://my.fcc.net/~hummer/pic/puffer3.jpg
(15mm WA @ 15", 1/60sec, probably f/11; dual SS-200's @ 1/4 power...
...and damn lucky to have remembered to adjust for viewfinder parallax!)


-hh

HH, I can't open your picture...I see the path but it won't open....and I do wanna see it!!!! Underwater photography is the ultimate in technical difficulty...we should start a new thread :D

Shark Raving Mad !!!!

Abstract
Feb 9, 2006, 05:11 PM
Ok, puffy fish are just plain cool. :eek: