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Old 02-25-2013, 04:55 AM   #541
Kaanan
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Here's another one for you, if you'd like.

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Old 02-25-2013, 07:54 AM   #542
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaanan View Post
I import my pictures into Aperture, then export them to the image stacking program. When Aperture exports the image, it converts it from RAW to JPEG.

I took the picture for the star trails, I just needed a good foreground subject. My wife and I were on a pier in Sturgeon Bay, WI and it was about 10 out. My wife being me wife under dressed and was complaining from the second we got out of the car (the DHS no trespassing signs didn't help either, we were on Coast Guard property).

Long story short, I could and should have composed the picture better.

Thanks for all the great and obviously professional advice, I will take it to heart!
No problem, as technical tests you've got something that could be cool. Taking a night scene, making it lit like day almost and having the star trails would be an interesting thing to differentiate your landscapes which is the big challenge since we are so flooded with images now.

The compositions will be key though, think of this like HDR which is something people add to all sorts of images, a lot of time more for the HDR effect than anything else. You can have images initially grab people mostly due to the technical aspect but it's hard and you need to be doing something few others have.

An example of something like that would be my senior thesis. This was back in the days of horrible cell phone cameras and I was able to get images with a 2.0 MP one that could be printed to 8x10 and once the faculty and visiting artists heard that's what I used in the critiques they couldn't believe it and that was a big impact of the series. But even there the compositions/subject matter were good documentary images, and it had the tie in of my disability to the story all of which added to it. But it was that quality of print that got them first sucked in which is what's important.

Try thinking about the technical aspect, composition, and story all as part of the image/series. You want none of these to bring down the images but if you can make one really stand out on top of that then you have something special that will keep a viewers attention.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaanan View Post
Here's another one for you, if you'd like.

No problem, feel free to keep em coming. I've got ~420 images to process and more studio shots to take so these are a nice break....and will help me keep my sanity this week

This one is pretty much the reverse of the first shot in that the subject is the thing really grabbing the attention with the background playing second fiddle.

For the overall exposure I'd try taking out a few of the stacked images to bring it down. Right now the bottom of the tower is blown out, as are the areas around the lights.

For a basic composition one thing I'd do is not cut off the top of the tower. You have a very busy area up there and it's just cut off abruptly. Ideally you'd have it all included along with a little breathing space up there. The bottom has a similar thing going on but it doesn't bother my eyes as much at least. Dealing with crops like this is necessarily some times and getting it to the place where the image still looks complete can be a real pain in the ass.

The red dots to the right of the structure are something I'd take out but those don't look too hard to do. Being so bright they are a bit of a distraction and bring the viewers eyes to a place away from the "meat" of the image.

What's your current shooting process for this? With a subject like this I would just mess around taking shots at different angles and orientations to see what works to get the most interesting composition. And you said these shots are at low ISO right? It might be a good thing to jack your ISO to max (since this is just to test out the composition the noise doesn't matter) and take test shots, then when you find something that looks good on the LCD set your ISO back down and go through the normal process.
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:00 AM   #543
Kaanan
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I had a borderline angry wife in the car for this picture again, (it was right after I took the last one you critiqued) so my shooting process was plant the camera, aim it and start shooting.

It was in an awkward spot. I had a very small area to work in, and this was the shortest lens I had. It seemed more important to me to get as close to the base of the tower and wasn't too concerned with the top. Looking at them when I got home I realized my mistake.

I'd like to think my composition is usually much better, I was surprised at how well they turned out in spite of the composition for both of them. I had a bad feeling after taking them that they both would be sub par.

We don't have many clear nights this time of year, but when we do I will go out hunting for more pictures using your very helpful critiques. Thanks again.
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Old 02-27-2013, 05:04 PM   #544
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Originally Posted by Kaanan View Post
I had a borderline angry wife in the car for this picture again
Perfect!

Now the next time you want to go spend a few hours photoing stars.. you can invite her along and she'll remember how bored she was this time and turn you down. Then you can spend all the time you want!
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Old 03-01-2013, 02:41 AM   #545
Kaanan
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Perfect!

Now the next time you want to go spend a few hours photoing stars.. you can invite her along and she'll remember how bored she was this time and turn you down. Then you can spend all the time you want!
That's what we do now. It works well until I get the "we never spend time together anymore..."
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Old 03-02-2013, 05:28 PM   #546
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OK,,, I'll throw this one out,,, tell me what's good, what's bad.



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Old 03-03-2013, 07:12 PM   #547
XpressCS
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Okay here's another one of mine

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Old 03-04-2013, 08:29 AM   #548
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Originally Posted by scootac View Post
OK,,, I'll throw this one out,,, tell me what's good, what's bad.



Good:

The waterfall, you've got that nice silky look going on

Overall framing is pretty good too, the only thing that strikes me as out of place is that tiny bit of the trees up top. Basically the viewer is getting to see enough of them to know what's up there but it's abruptly cut off.

Bad:

You couldn't really get around much of it due to that type of photo....especially with the waterfall so much darker than the snow. That snow is just blown out to white which stands out a lot more than the subtle waterfall. And the leaves look like they are blurred a bit from the long exposure but you can't tell at this small size for sure.

I'm trying to think of some easy solutions and HDR came to mind. Not the crazy overdone look which you see so much of but if you could add in an exposure with the snow in properly (with a smaller aperture so you still get the same effect from the water) then it could work. The challenge would be to get a day with no wind so the trees aren't moving around.
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Old 03-04-2013, 08:35 AM   #549
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Originally Posted by XpressCS View Post
Okay here's another one of mine

Man you guys just don't want to take easy photos!

Composition at least is the part that isn't too hard to change....right now you have a ton of negative space up top so maybe a slight angle down to get more of the mountains would help that.

Now for the exposure, this is where it's sensor limited (what kind of camera did you use?) and you did a good job of not having a huge area blown out, but in doing so the rest is underexposed. I'm going to sound like a huge HDR fan but here again it could be a good tool if it's not pushed too far. I would expand the dynamic range and then use curves to bring down shadows a bit more. As it stands now you have some areas with just the slightest hint of detail and personally I'd just bring em down to absolute black.
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Old 03-04-2013, 12:01 PM   #550
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NikonsAndVStroms View Post
Good:

The waterfall, you've got that nice silky look going on

Overall framing is pretty good too, the only thing that strikes me as out of place is that tiny bit of the trees up top. Basically the viewer is getting to see enough of them to know what's up there but it's abruptly cut off.
THANK YOU! I appreciate your input!
And if you could,,, help me to understand,,, if I crop the trees out at the top,,, I'd be real close to not showing the top of the waterfall. And I'd think with the waterfall being my main feature, I'd want to show the complete falls, top to bottom. Being rather close to the falls,,, it's impossible to show any more of the trees. I'm not arguing your point,,, just trying to understand.
As for the white and snow, took this before I knew about HDR, but will keep that in mind for the future.
Again,,, THANKS!!!
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Old 03-04-2013, 09:29 PM   #551
XpressCS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NikonsAndVStroms View Post
Man you guys just don't want to take easy photos!

Composition at least is the part that isn't too hard to change....right now you have a ton of negative space up top so maybe a slight angle down to get more of the mountains would help that.

Now for the exposure, this is where it's sensor limited (what kind of camera did you use?) and you did a good job of not having a huge area blown out, but in doing so the rest is underexposed. I'm going to sound like a huge HDR fan but here again it could be a good tool if it's not pushed too far. I would expand the dynamic range and then use curves to bring down shadows a bit more. As it stands now you have some areas with just the slightest hint of detail and personally I'd just bring em down to absolute black.
I am shooting with a Canon T1i, and a 18-55m lens. Wish I could invest in some more lenses, but the KLR and Jeep won't let me

Here's a little edit I did quickly:



And the original:



I dumped out the small details with the landscape, which in turn enhanced the darkness of the clouds and thus brought out the colors a bit more. At least that's what I think. On the flip side, I like leaving in the small details, such as the rolling hills, to give the photo more depth rather than looking like a flat image. I suppose I could play around a bit more and delete small details while still keeping the depth...

I have a lot of sunset photos If you want to take a peek. You'll see a re-occurring theme with mine. They are always vibrantly colored and usually have equal parts color, equal parts absence of color.
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XpressCS screwed with this post 03-04-2013 at 09:35 PM
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:37 AM   #552
Blue Mule
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Couple of My favorites from some bike trips.



north shore trip 2011 085 by GB-Dan, on Flickr


north shore trip 2011 138 by GB-Dan, on Flickr


2012 bike trip 036 by GB-Dan, on Flickr
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Old 03-13-2013, 08:06 PM   #553
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I have a modest tax return coming and I think I can squeak out some dough for a camera. I have a Canon S90 P&S but I'm growing impatient with its limitations, especially here in the SW.
I can pull together a max of 500.00 for now and it will have to do. I've been looking at the entry level Nikons, especially refurbished models.
B & H has a factory refurbished D3100 with 18-55mm and 55-200mm lenses for a little less than 500.00.
My local Craig's List has a used D70 with an 18-70mm and 28-200mm lenses for under 400.00.
B&H also has a factory refurbished D3200 with an 18-55mm lens for a little under 500.00.
I'm about done with researching cameras. I'd much rather be out there photographing New Mexico's beauty so a decision must be made.
Anyone have any experience with any of the cameras I've listed?
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Old 03-13-2013, 08:46 PM   #554
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I have a modest tax return coming and I think I can squeak out some dough for a camera. I have a Canon S90 P&S but I'm growing impatient with its limitations, especially here in the SW.
I can pull together a max of 500.00 for now and it will have to do. I've been looking at the entry level Nikons, especially refurbished models.
B & H has a factory refurbished D3100 with 18-55mm and 55-200mm lenses for a little less than 500.00.
My local Craig's List has a used D70 with an 18-70mm and 28-200mm lenses for under 400.00.
B&H also has a factory refurbished D3200 with an 18-55mm lens for a little under 500.00.
I'm about done with researching cameras. I'd much rather be out there photographing New Mexico's beauty so a decision must be made.
Anyone have any experience with any of the cameras I've listed?
What are you planning to shoot?

I'd write off the D70, it was a good camera back in 2005 but today its limitations are very, very noticeable.

D3200 has a much better sensor so I'd lean towards it. But how old is your computer (the larger files can put a strain on older ones)? What types of shooting do you do? And do you plan to get more gear in the near future or is this it for awhile?
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Old 03-13-2013, 10:26 PM   #555
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Quote:
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What are you planning to shoot?

I'd write off the D70, it was a good camera back in 2005 but today its limitations are very, very noticeable.

D3200 has a much better sensor so I'd lean towards it. But how old is your computer (the larger files can put a strain on older ones)? What types of shooting do you do? And do you plan to get more gear in the near future or is this it for awhile?
I have a fairly new MacBook and a dual core processor.
The vast majority of my photos are of the wonderful landscapes here in the southwest and of the nature and wildlife therein. I also have a number of trips with photos posted in Ride Reports and galleries of my volunteer work on archaeological surveys.
I plan to get the best lenses I can afford over time and then an updated body when my fortunes improve. I'd like to move into large format to accommodate the huge landscapes I see almost every day.
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