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Old Nov 5, 2012, 01:34 PM   #76
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Originally Posted by ijohn.8.80 View Post
Fcortese, AlexH, Cheese&Apple I get inspiration from yours too! I like the more quirky style observations that you guys do quite regularly, than postcard scenes I suppose. That's more in the vein of where I'm headed as a style I guess.
A very nice compliment from a passionate photographer...thank you John.

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Originally Posted by lizardofwoz View Post
I like the cropping to the essentials, although the actual flower - and its 'beak' - is larger than this pic. This is a Bird of Paradise and is a fairly common garden flower in my neck of the woods. Nice work
Thanks lizardofwoz. You're very fortunate that this is a "fairly common garden flower" in your neck of the woods. I battled through 90 minutes of traffic (each way) to get these shots.

Here is another view of the same Bird of Paradise(from a different shot, lower perspective and using a different lens). I do like the tighter shot myself.


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Old Nov 5, 2012, 02:40 PM   #77
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Hey, I wasn't being a smartass about 'lakes'. I really like the Doylem pictures ...and in answer to the nitpicker correcting grammar... it turns out I was correct. It is the Lake's District. Only one lake

Mere and tarn have Old Norse origins. Lake is more likely linked to Old French and was probably imported by Billy the Conk. 1066, and all that.
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did not take it as that at all ,just used your quote as a lead to my photo
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 04:07 PM   #78
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Speaking of understanding and working (or playing) with light pre-camera, as has become my new mantra! What are your thoughts on light meters? I just ordered the Sekonic L-358, with the intention of getting the 1 degree spot sensor for it a bit later on to spot meter distant shots.

I'm trying to get to a point where I don't have to do much with Lightroom or Photoshop to any pictures as the real work has been done before even pressing the trigger. This I'd say is the secret to the great works of those I mentioned (and those I forgot to mention) in the previous post and from the documentaries I've been watching it appears is definitely the secret of the old masters!
I don't have a particular need for an external light meter. And when I'm shooting on a tripod, at ISO 100 & f11, in 'normal' daylight conditions, I don't really need an in-camera meter either. Since I generally expose for the highlights (however small an area of the pic they may occupy), I know that a typical sunny day in England is 1/125sec, bright sun 1/160sec and those occasional days when your have to shade your eyes is 1/200sec. Hazy sun might go down to 1/100sec. These are my basic settings, and I change them with a click on the thumb-wheel rather than thinking about numbers. Everything changes, of course, if the camera comes off the tripod, or the light levels are lower.

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Originally Posted by Phrasikleia View Post
Unless you're shooting film, gadgets like light meters are not going to make a major difference for most types of photography. The real key to getting interesting photographs is timing. With landscapes that means timing on several levels: time of year, time of day, and timing of ephemera. There simply is no substitute for being in the right place at the right time. That said, don't be too quick to dismiss the possibilities of the digital darkroom! Absolutely, getting things right at the moment of capture is the greatest part of the battle, but you're still responsible for what happens afterwards. Some people think it's too much work to get up for a sunrise shot or to wait around for good light, and others think it's too much work to finesse a photograph in post; ultimately, the person who avoids putting in extra effort on either end of things will be missing out on opportunities to create something extra special.
+1 I try to make the effort to be in the right place at the right time (or, rather ahead of time...), because then I find the pictures pretty much assemble themselves. The rewards repay the effort... and I hate trying to cut corners. There are so many ways to improve our photography, often in just small increments... and most of them don't require spending any money.

Just a shot of Bowness this afternoon...

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Old Nov 5, 2012, 05:12 PM   #79
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 06:54 PM   #80
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Dusk in Rome...

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Old Nov 5, 2012, 07:48 PM   #81
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wonder what is he thinking
Grassland... that is a Setter He is not thinking
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 09:35 PM   #82
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Hawk in the Grass

Image
Yesssss !!! Such a majestic bird.

Never had a chance to photograph one myself, but some day...
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 11:13 PM   #83
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Originally Posted by Phrasikleia View Post
Unless you're shooting film, gadgets like light meters are not going to make a major difference for most types of photography. The real key to getting interesting photographs is timing. With landscapes that means timing on several levels: time of year, time of day, and timing of ephemera. There simply is no substitute for being in the right place at the right time. That said, don't be too quick to dismiss the possibilities of the digital darkroom! Absolutely, getting things right at the moment of capture is the greatest part of the battle, but you're still responsible for what happens afterwards. Some people think it's too much work to get up for a sunrise shot or to wait around for good light, and others think it's too much work to finesse a photograph in post; ultimately, the person who avoids putting in extra effort on either end of things will be missing out on opportunities to create something extra special.
I think you misunderstood me, I wasn't saying I want to be lazy in these programs, I was trying to say that I want to do as minimal an amount of alteration to my pictures in them as I possibly can. That the main work is done before you press the trigger and therefore requires very little change in these programs. HDR and layering bracketed shots is not my style, I know it can look good (when done well), but to me it feels like cheating. I'd rather use a graduated ND or other filter and work with that. The beauty of life is that almost everything is subjective to the individuals point of view, so we can all have different opinions in this regard.

A serious interest in combined light sources and artificially (street) lit scenes is developing for me. I feel this requires a meter for me at this stage, until I know like Doylem knows his local daylight conditions, what that particular street light is and how it's going to effect my pictures, if that's even possible for me. I need to know what the (Kelvin) frequency is, its intensity, its luminosity, its throw pattern, etc... and a meter can help me to learn all of this and to reassure me scientifically that I'm using the right settings and maybe filters for a particular shot. Just because I see an orange street light, doesn't mean it is going to be the same as every other orange street light, there are various gases used to produce similar frequencies of light, not to mention the use of LED's and they can have different effects on a camera lens as I found out the hard way the other night in a distance of about 100 metres.

I own a base model DSLR and the more I can compensate for that with correct settings, the better my shots can become. Framing the view interestingly and waiting for the moment to press the remote trigger is another thing altogether!
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 03:50 AM   #84
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 04:47 AM   #85
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Originally Posted by VirtualRain View Post
Dusk in Rome...

Thumb resize.
A charming scene. I like how the palm tree seems to be leaning to one side to allow a better view of the sky and the building in the background.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ijohn.8.80 View Post
I think you misunderstood me, I wasn't saying I want to be lazy in these programs, I was trying to say that I want to do as minimal an amount of alteration to my pictures in them as I possibly can. That the main work is done before you press the trigger and therefore requires very little change in these programs. HDR and layering bracketed shots is not my style, I know it can look good (when done well), but to me it feels like cheating. I'd rather use a graduated ND or other filter and work with that.
That is more or less what I understood you to be saying. My point about processing is that even subtle changes can make a big difference and can require a substantial investment of time. It's a realm worth exploring because even photos taken with the greatest of care can end up looking neglected without follow-through in the darkroom, whether it's the digital or chemical variety. I suppose I'm just trying to discourage the notion that spending lots of time on the processing end of things means you got something wrong in the initial capture or that you are pursuing unnatural results; after you press the shutter button, your camera's data is only as good as its processing.

As for metering: whatever meter you use will tell you what is "out there," but your camera's histograms can tell you how much of it your camera was able to capture. The latter is the most important information.

So if your camera can display histograms (and most newer cameras can), then you should get into the habit of viewing them while shooting. Bracketing in tricky situations can also help a lot. Also be sure to compare the results on your computer against what you see on your camera's screen and on its histograms so you can learn how well to trust what your camera is telling you.

Sorry for the long reply. I hope some of it is helpful!


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Originally Posted by Designer Dale View Post
Hawk in the Grass

Thumb resize.

EXIF Summary: Canon 7D 1/320s f/6.3 ISO200 Sigma 120-400@400mm (35mm eq:640mm)

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It's nice how the hawk seems so intently fixated on something. Beautiful bird.
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 04:53 AM   #86
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yes imagine...surfing in newfoundland in November.I couldn't zoom in very close with my trusty little cannon but I thought it was worth a shot.
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 05:32 AM   #87
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Originally Posted by Phrasikleia View Post
That is more or less what I understood you to be saying. My point about processing is that even subtle changes can make a big difference and can require a substantial investment of time. It's a realm worth exploring because even photos taken with the greatest of care can end up looking neglected without follow-through in the darkroom, whether it's the digital or chemical variety. I suppose I'm just trying to discourage the notion that spending lots of time on the processing end of things means you got something wrong in the initial capture or that you are pursuing unnatural results; after you press the shutter button, your camera's data is only as good as its processing.

As for metering: whatever meter you use will tell you what is "out there," but your camera's histograms can tell you how much of it your camera was able to capture. The latter is the most important information.

So if your camera can display histograms (and most newer cameras can), then you should get into the habit of viewing them while shooting. Bracketing in tricky situations can also help a lot. Also be sure to compare the results on your computer against what you see on your camera's screen and on its histograms so you can learn how well to trust what your camera is telling you.

Sorry for the long reply. I hope some of it is helpful!
Phrasikleia I totally appreciate your generosity and honesty with me. I agree totally that you will only get out what you put in, whether before or after the act! I'm personally focused on the art and science of the camera at this point in my development as I am a total beginner really, having only purchased my DSLR 3 months ago. Photoshop, Lightroom and workflows will come later. I really want to push myself to make the camera work with me and for me first and foremost!

I'm currently undertaking a series of 5 courses, of which I'm on the second one right now, covering light and composition. The next course is about on and off camera flash, and illumination. Then natural light portraiture. Then Photoshop. I'm investing in comprehensive training first, then lenses, then a new body. A slow process to be sure! I'm hoping that by the time I get to the new body, I'll be deserving / worthy of it!

With regard to metering from my histograms, I do notice that I get blown out highlights, such as in the following picture, when they are not indicated in the histogram! Notice how there is no detail to the white central part of the flower? In reality it looks like a miniature cauliflower! Do you think I expect too much from a 18-55mm kit lens? This was a 2 second shot that I hoped would have amazing detail to it, taken in the twilight this evening.

The first thing I'll be doing with the meter when I get it is calibrating this camera, so I truly know when it's at 100 ISO, etc... and when white is truly white, as in 255,255,255 in Photoshop!

The length and thoroughness of your reply is a god-send and is most appreciated by this eager enthusiast! Thank you.

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Old Nov 6, 2012, 06:08 AM   #88
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With regard to metering from my histograms, I do notice that I get blown out highlights, such as in the following picture, when they are not indicated in the histogram! Notice how there is no detail to the white central part of the flower? In reality it looks like a miniature cauliflower! Do you think I expect too much from a 18-55mm kit lens? This was a 2 second shot that I hoped would have amazing detail to it, taken in the twilight this evening.

Thumb resize.
No, you're not expecting too much from your kit lens; it's not the problem here. A 2-second exposure of a flower (outside of studio conditions) is a recipe for motion blur, and is why you're not seeing "amazing detail" in this photo. The light-colored stamens of the flower may not have clipped without the blur. Then again, they may have clipped regardless, and your histograms should be able to tell you as much right after you take an exposure. If they're not giving you accurate information, then you probably need to change your camera's JPEG settings, even if you're shooting raw. Keep in mind that the histograms are reporting the values of the JPEG that *would* be created with your current JPEG settings, even if your camera is not actually outputting a JPEG file along with the raw one.

Here are some tips for getting accurate histograms:

1) Try setting your camera's picture style to neutral and its color space to Adobe RGB.

2) Read the RGB histograms, not just the luminance one. You can be clipping in one of the channels and still have a luminance histogram that shows no clipping.

3) If you really want to get technical, use UniWB (Universal White Balance), which will reflect your raw data even more accurately. It's a custom white balance setting that you can create on your own or download from some websites. Profiles for many popular cameras are available for download at the bottom of the page here.
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 08:58 AM   #89
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This thing that looks like a monster emerging from the depths, or perhaps some sort of WMD, is a machine used in underground mining. It attaches bolts and screens to the walls of the tunnels to prevent collapse. This photo was taken about 500 m below surface. The photo is not just handheld, but taken from a moving vehicle in very low light conditions. The blue glow is light coming from my vehicle.


Underground by Melissa.O.Anderson, on Flickr
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 10:04 AM   #90
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 10:36 AM   #91
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Centennial Park Greenhouse by Cheese&Apple on Flickr

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Old Nov 6, 2012, 10:57 AM   #92
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Originally Posted by Rowbear View Post
Yesssss !!! Such a majestic bird.

Never had a chance to photograph one myself, but some day...
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Originally Posted by Phrasikleia View Post
//Edited for the sake of space//

It's nice how the hawk seems so intently fixated on something. Beautiful bird.
Thanks for the comments, folks. It was unusual to find a bird like this just sitting on the ground searching for prey. There was another hawk on the wing and a Bald Eagle, too. This guy was much easier to shoot.

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Old Nov 6, 2012, 11:05 AM   #93
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Really beautiful. Great timing with its wings outstretched for the camera like that. Great colors in this one too.
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 11:14 AM   #94
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Butterfly by DigitAl3x, on Flickr
Nice framing. The butterfly is a Common Buckeye

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Old Nov 6, 2012, 03:09 PM   #95
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 07:23 PM   #96
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A charming scene. I like how the palm tree seems to be leaning to one side to allow a better view of the sky and the building in the background.

...

So if your camera can display histograms (and most newer cameras can), then you should get into the habit of viewing them while shooting. Bracketing in tricky situations can also help a lot. Also be sure to compare the results on your computer against what you see on your camera's screen and on its histograms so you can learn how well to trust what your camera is telling you.

Sorry for the long reply. I hope some of it is helpful!
Thank you, especially for sharing your wisdom on the general subject of post processing!... Q... when you have a high contrast scene (with more dynamic range than your camera can handle) where you are going to have blown highlights (the clouds/sky), crushed shadows (shade or dark subjects) or both, do you tend to expose for the shadows, the highlights or try to minimize the impact on both ends? Personally, I find it easier (the tools I use are better) at extracting info from shadows than highlights so I tend to sacrifice more shadow detail and expose for the highlights hoping to recover the shadows in post. Thoughts?

Here's a photo for today where I was faced with this problem and exposing for the highlights seemed to work out ok for me... (the bronze canopy over the alter was black and lacking detail in the initial RAW image but came to life with a bit of adjustment)...

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Old Nov 6, 2012, 07:37 PM   #97
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Wow, Lovely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexH View Post
Thumb resize.
Butterfly by DigitAl3x, on Flickr
Such lovely colours and composition. Nice.

Mine for today... a fall oak leaf.



----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by mustang_dvs View Post
Thumb resize.
Amy by dvsmith, on Flickr
I love this shot, the light, the young woman... the fact she's looking "off Camera" makes me want to see what she sees.
But there's something odd that makes me think something is missing. Maybe more of her back perhaps ?? Anyone else feel that way ? But this is a lovely shot. Love the B and W conversion.

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Old Nov 7, 2012, 12:12 AM   #98
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Originally Posted by Phrasikleia View Post
Really beautiful. Great timing with its wings outstretched for the camera like that. Great colors in this one too.
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Originally Posted by Designer Dale View Post
Nice framing. The butterfly is a Common Buckeye

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Thanks!

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Old Nov 7, 2012, 05:07 AM   #99
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 05:55 AM   #100
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I love this shot, the light, the young woman... the fact she's looking "off Camera" makes me want to see what she sees.
But there's something odd that makes me think something is missing. Maybe more of her back perhaps ?? Anyone else feel that way ? But this is a lovely shot. Love the B and W conversion.

BJ
I think the eye line is a little low for me but I do like my eye lines normally on the top third line. Personal preference I guess!
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