Some Comments?

Lord Blackadder

macrumors G5
Original poster
May 7, 2004
13,697
2,724
Sod off
I visited a 19th century copper mine recently and took a few shots inside...I don't own a tripod but was able to set the camera on a hand rail to get a couple decent shots...





I shot with a borrowed Canon 20mm EF f/2.8 USM (nice lens, it weighs about the same as the camera!) on my Rebel XT. The first image was a 10 second exposure at f/18, the second was a 2.5 second exposure at f/18. I focused manually and did not use a flash. I cropped the photos (shot as JPEG, maximum quality) to upload them but they are otherwise unaltered. Yes, I need to get a tripod, I know. :eek:, but I've broken the el cheapo model I had for my point-and-shoot and haven't replaced it yet...

Anyway, any comments on how I could improve these shots?
 

CrackedButter

macrumors 68040
Jan 15, 2003
3,221
0
51st State of America
They look fine to me (other than the subject matter being a bit uninteresting), you seem to know how to improve them, but don't be too critical about not owning a tripod. Sometimes not owning one forces you to think in different ways because you have to make compromises, which can be a good thing. If you brought a tripod with you you could setup anywhere and be spoilt for choice, whereas not having one meant you have to use the hand rail or maybe the floor and it could make for some interesting shots.

My suggestion is to find something more interesting to take a photo of if you go back there. But do go back there, you're never finished after the first shoot because you always have another idea after going to a location and you can develop it further, stay in the environment for longer and you could end up possibly with better pictures.

I visited Japan recently (2nd trip) and I was kicking myself for having not taken this shot while I was there when I had the chance, If I had been there for longer in this market I would have noticed what I wanted to take a picture of there and then. Instead I got a flashback while on the plane. I have to wait now until I go back sometime in the future.
 

Lord Blackadder

macrumors G5
Original poster
May 7, 2004
13,697
2,724
Sod off
My suggestion is to find something more interesting to take a photo of if you go back there. But do go back there, you're never finished after the first shoot because you always have another idea after going to a location and you can develop it further, stay in the environment for longer and you could end up possibly with better pictures.
Being a newbie with photography, I sometimes become more worried with taking a technically "good" shot than thinking about the composition. In the first shot I was constrained by the location of the handrail (to set the camera on) and the light source, but I think it would have been better if I had shifted a bit to the left, as the tram rail running through the mine ended just outside the photo...

The other thing is that my initial photography training was for archaeological documentation purposes, producing photos that are probably interesting only to an archaeologist. ;) I haven't had much experience with "art", journalistic or portrait photography and so forth...but I'm learning (slowly :D).

On the second photo, the closest light source created some some orbs, but I guess there's nothing I can do about that without moving the camera, and again the location of the rails was a factor.

There were lots of bats in there too. ;)

You got that with a 10 sec exposure without a tripod?

...I'm very impressed.
I merely set the camera (set to aperture priority) on a flat handrail and gently pressed the button...later I realized I could have set it on the timer for perhaps a better result....
 

CrackedButter

macrumors 68040
Jan 15, 2003
3,221
0
51st State of America
Being a newbie with photography, I sometimes become more worried with taking a technically "good" shot than thinking about the composition. In the first shot I was constrained by the location of the handrail (to set the camera on) and the light source, but I think it would have been better if I had shifted a bit to the left, as the tram rail running through the mine ended just outside the photo...

The other thing is that my initial photography training was for archaeological documentation purposes, producing photos that are probably interesting only to an archaeologist. ;) I haven't had much experience with "art", journalistic or portrait photography and so forth...but I'm learning (slowly :D).

On the second photo, the closest light source created some some orbs, but I guess there's nothing I can do about that without moving the camera, and again the location of the rails was a factor.

There were lots of bats in there too. ;)
Good, you only learn by taking pictures anyway, so go back. You're right to not get hung up on composition for the moment, but remember the interesting photos are the ones people talk about. I only replied because you got hung up on the fact you didn't have a tripod and seemed to be making an issue of it. I wanted to let you know that it isn't always the case.

I took this picture in Japan without a tripod (15 second exposure, medium format) and its mildy successful for not having used one. This is what I mean by making a compromise, it didn't stop me from taking the picture. If I had a tripod instead of a road barrier I would have had a better view of the crowds crossing the road.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/crackedbutter/1551491097/

Btw, I studied Graphic Design not photography and I've only been doing it now for a year, ;-)
 

Doylem

macrumors 68040
Dec 30, 2006
3,858
3,640
Wherever I hang my hat...
Yes, ideally you would have had a tripod. But, without one, you have to fall back on second-best... which is what you've done.The first shot succeeds in suggesting just how grim and claustrophobic it must have been to do a shift down there. And the light ahead makes you imagine the next section of tunnel.

I keep a camera bag in the car, loaded up with the 'bits and pieces' (spare cards, batteries,etc...), which always includes a tripod. It's such an unsexy piece of kid; no-one goes weak at the knees when a new model comes out. But I don't believe there's a more cost-effective way of improving your photos than investing in a tripod.

The benefits are the obvious one of holding your camera rock-steady for those 10 seconds... plus the way it makes you slow down and consider every composition.
 
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