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Abstract's (requisite) first photos with his new Nikon D50!

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Abstract, Jan 31, 2006.

  1. macrumors Penryn


    Ok, so I guess I should share some of the photos I've taken with my new Nikon D50 since many of you helped me with my purchase and have taught me a lot about lenses, settings, etc. I got my Nikon D50 around 2 weeks ago, bought a Lowepro case last week, and received a1 GB Sandisk card yesterday.

    Unfortunately, I haven't really had a great opportunity to take some photos. All photos taken so far have been just short 1 hour trips to the beach/harbour and gardens. This was done in order to get a chance to use the camera, since I feel weird about buying it and not using it. :(

    I only learned the very basics of lenses around 2 weeks ago, so bare with me. :p Suggestions are welcome. Tell me what I'm doing wrong. I only have the 18-55 mm lense, so I guess I'm limited right now. Thinking about getting either the Nikkor 18-200 mm VR lense, or the 12-24 mm Nikkor. Can't decide. This will be many months from now. For now I'm just enjoying. :)

    Attached Files:

  2. macrumors Penryn


    Last one. ;)

    Note that all the beach and harbour photos were taken in the evening and so light wasn't so great. The flower ones, especially this 6th photo, just didn't come in entirely focused, which is too bad, I think.

    Attached Files:

  3. macrumors 6502a

    My 2p worth (from a photography dunce who bought a new camera a few months ago)

    Evenings (and mornings!) can give you some of the best light (especially in Oz where daytime sun can be very harsh). Try to avoid shooting into the sun until you get more accustomed to the camera.

    Good luck

    Edit: Or (for example) if you want to shoot into the sun to get something like the reflective effect on the beach, reframe the photo to exclude the sun. The experts will have much much better advice, but this sort of approach works for me.

    Attached Files:

  4. ksz
    macrumors 68000

    Nice attempts. Some comments:

    1. Use a polarizing filter for the bright daylight shot. If shooting in the morning light or twilight, no need for the polarizer.

    2. Bracket your exposures! Especially if you're starting out. The sunset picture is a bit overexposed. Try a Neutral Density (ND) filter if shooting into very bright light. Also try RAW and make some exposure corrections during PP (post-processing). However, you cannot post-process what the imaging sensor never recorded, so it's best to bracket with the camera itself.

    3. Watch your focus. The daylight picture seems out of focus. You may need to apply an unsharp mask.

    4. Download trial versions of Bibble Pro (www.bibblelabs.com) or ACESee Pro 8 not the standard non-pro version (www.acdsystems.com) or even the trial version of Nikon's own Nikon Capture 4.4 and see what these tools can do for you. (For best results, you'll need to shoot in RAW.)

    Good luck!
  5. macrumors Penryn


    Thanks. What sort of filters are out there, and what does each type do? I know there are UV and circular polarizers, but I don't really know what they do. I mean, we can't even see UV.... :confused:

    Don't worry, I actually thought it was great advice. :) If I had a longer zoom, I would have just cut out most of that beach entirely and concentrated on the water, but I shot more sky than anything else because at the bottom of that photo were a lot of ugly rocks and the grass I was standing on.
  6. ksz
    macrumors 68000

    A UV filter can reduce atmospheric haze and produce slightly cleaner images. I am not sure how well it works on digital sensors, but it does help with emulsions on print and slide films. CCDs are sensitive to UV, but to a much lesser extent than film. However, a UV filter is also a good lens protector (and does not require any exposure compensation)...dirt will not accumulate on your lens, and neither will fingerprints.

    Click here for good information on filters including Before and After shots.

    There are tons of filters. I was browsing the Photography section at the local Barnes and Noble a week ago and found many well-illustrated books on the subject. This is really the *best* way imo to get a flavor for what is possible.

    Another alternative is to browse the websites of filter manufacturers. Here are some suggestions:

    Hoya Filters
    Tiffen filters
    Cokin Filters

    Edit: Can't believe I misspelled "durt" in the original.
  7. -hh
    macrumors 68020


    Agreed. Here's my suggestions -on- suggestions, etc:

    > polarizing filter ...

    Can be a YMMV. Classically, it is used to darken blue skies or to change the reflections off of water and/or windows...and by "change", this can be to make the surface either more reflective or less reflective.

    > 2. Bracket your exposures! Especially if you're starting out. The sunset picture is a bit overexposed.

    The first beach sunset looked very "dreary" (blue/grey); it looks like the 2nd beach and the harbor were to change the white balance to "shade", which resulted in it having a warmer cast (more yellow), but this also appears to have "blown out" the exposure...this is where bracketing would have given you a few more originals to work with and pick the best one. BTW, particualrly with a RAW file original, you can play around with these to see how the post-processing controls change things, etc. Just make sure to work on a copy :)

    > 3. Watch your focus.

    Agreed. I thought it was me.

    BTW, I really liked the 'extra' image of the yellow flower. What does it for me is the almost black-&-white monochrome background. Can you explain how you got this?

  8. macrumors Penryn


    Beginners luck, I guess? Not sure. However, I like that photo for the same reason you do........dead looking throughout the photo due to the colours, but so much life coming from the flower. I took another flower photo like that except the background turned out a bit lighter, although it was still dark. After reviewing it, I liked it a lot, but then I chose another flower and purposely went for one in a shady area where there was very little light. I also stood directly above it to block out the light. Then I just edited it a bit in iPhoto to brighten the yellow of the flower, which didn't effect the almost dead-looking foliage behind it much.

    And I guess I'll try buying a filter. I just never could have guessed that UV would have any effect on colour since we can't see it.

    Is it a general rule that you never include the sun in a photograph when taking photos? I find that it would be impossible not to overexpose any image, like my harbour photo, if I'm shooting in the direction of the sun setting. :confused: Should I avoid the sun?
  9. -hh
    macrumors 68020


    IIRC, the general rule is to put the sun over your shoulder. But the real rule IMO is "always be aware of where the sun is...and be careful when shooting into it!".

    Its definitely easier to avoid various problems by putting the sun behind you. But as you observe, that's not always easy, nor is it necessarily desirable.

    I think the general problem you've run into here is a pretty simple one: the way that you're using your camera's default exposure settings tend to cause a sunset to be overexposed.

    And notice how I worded the above..."the way you're using" and "default settings" are two different items here: you might be able to get away with changing just one thing instead of many, and simpler is always better.

    Also, there's also lattitude for what is a 'proper' exposure. John Shaw's books have a great example of this with some green leaves ... should they be light green, dark green or somewhere in between? The correct answer is "what does the photographer want"?

  10. ksz
    macrumors 68000

    Good advice from -hh. However, shooting sunsets is a tricky thing, but not really that difficult nor something to be avoided. Try a graduated neutral density (ND) filter. This will darken the top half of the frame while leaving the bottom half unaffected. Because it is graduated, there is a gradual boundary between the top and bottom halves. Cokin in particular sells all kinds of graduated filters along with mounts that let you rotate the filter in front of the lens.

    Pros might use a combination of graduated ND filter and graduated red/orange filter to accentuate the reds and oranges of a sunset.

    You can also intentionally underexpose a sunset to turn the foreground into a silhouette. Here's an example:


    Couple more sunset/dusk examples (not meant to be quintessential examples):


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