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01-15-2016, 04:07 PM - 1 Like   #46
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To ensure that images render well (i.e. close to how they look when edited at full resolution) when resized and shown online after export from photoshop do the following. Resize the image to the required size, covert a duplicate to a 'smart object', apply Gaussian blur at about 7.4, reduce opacity of blur to about 10%. Next, apply smart sharpen at a radius of 0.2 and approximately level 200, reduce the sharpening opacity to a level that looks good (I tend to start at about 60% and tweak). Flatten the image and export for web. N.B. Figures are for resolution of 2048 pixels on the longest axis, smaller images need incrementally smaller radius of Gaussian blur applied.

Last edited by unkipunki; 01-16-2016 at 06:53 AM.
01-15-2016, 04:26 PM - 5 Likes   #47
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When using a manual + manual lens (MF, no AE), use this technique to get a decent exposure.

  1. Point the camera at a nice grey object such a a rock in the light your subject is in. I used a stretch of dry sand on the beach.
  2. Select your aperture to one you know your old lens has fewer CA/PF problems. (Example below is lens set to f/11)
  3. Press the Green Button Mr. Pentax conveniently provides
  4. Play back the photo and push the INFO button until you see the histogram. It should be peaking at about 2/3 the way to the right, but not be touching the right edge.
  5. Take all your pictures, but don't reset the exposure; just shoot away.
Using the above 5 steps I succeeded in taking a number of shots of these kids playing in the surf at Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. The nearest land behind them is either Hawaii or Japan. This was taken with a K10D, 1.7x AFA teleconvertor + my elderly M 400 f/5.6 set to f/11 on the lens. Tripod, cable release. I used the same setup to take pictures of black shore birds on black rocks and white seagulls on sand without changing the exposure. ISO 200, 1/640 @ f/18.7 effective.

Have fun and don't sweat the small stuff.

Last edited by Canada_Rockies; 01-15-2016 at 04:36 PM.
01-15-2016, 04:38 PM - 5 Likes   #48
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Work thy subject and it'll work for you

Well, if you stumble across something that looks interesting, remind yourself of that oft-repeated but still invaluable piece of advice to really engage with your subject and work it.

When I say that, I'm not advocating mindless spray-and-pray tactics, but rather being focussed on what you are doing, trying out different angles, positions, bracketing exposures, ensuring perfect focus, and the like. In digital photography, hey, you're no longer restricted to those 24 or 36 exposures on your roll of film. Nothing is more frustrating than encountering a great opportunity and then not nailing the shot. For this bokehlicious image of the Christmas star at my parents' terrace window, I persisted through 37 frames, hand-held at various positions, giving the AF a generous number of tries, with frame #21 turning out to achieve exactly the constellation of stars and blur that I was after, and that without even cropping:
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Last edited by Madaboutpix; 01-16-2016 at 03:26 PM.
01-15-2016, 05:13 PM - 1 Like   #49
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TIP: Buy the three amigos to improve your photography.
smc PENTAX FA 43mm f/1.9 Limited | Ricoh Imaging

01-15-2016, 05:23 PM - 2 Likes   #50
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ETTR - Exposure to the right

My favourite photography tip is ETTR - Exposure to the right. Camera Chips have one main Problem - black gets too dark and there are not enough details in an dark image. for example if you take a picture of a person wearing a black t-shirt and the pearson has black hears or it is simply a bit dark in the room or outside. the problem is: your camera chip can not take the same depth in information in all ranges of your histogram. the chip can take most information in the right (the brigter oart) of the histogram. to bring your dark parts of the picture to the right part of your histogram, you simply need to over exposure your picture a bit. Press your Av-button on your camera and set your camera to +0.3, +0.7 oder +1 Av to over expose your picture. your histogram should be as much as possible on the right side, but there should not be some bourned out areas on your image. you can check this with your histogram or turn on "Overexposure Warning" in your camera menu. later, when you edit your RAW in lightroom or photoshop or any other program, you can set back your exposure-setting of the picture to -0.3, -0.7 or -1. my experience shows, that i can take good pictures with +0,3 also on normal days (sunny, but nut too much sun) and inside the house with +0,7 and +1. when developing the raw i mostly do not underexposure the image the full Av. fpr example, if i overexposured the pic +1 i underexposure it un lightroom with -0,7.

hope that helps, Christian.
01-15-2016, 05:42 PM - 21 Likes   #51
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This isn't about technique as much as about gear. I shoot outdoors in all conditions, have a limited budget for buying photo gear, and I lose lens covers, so I've always used UV filters to protect those lenses from scratches when carrying them on hikes, etc. But I recently discovered a Dollar Store protective device -- beverage sleeves. These keep my lenses safe even with UV filters removed, and are easily pulled off to take a shot. I posted more about this on the forum already here.

01-15-2016, 05:44 PM   #52
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Soft Focus Lenses

I enjoy shooting Pentax because of how nicely the modern camera bodies interact with thousands of K-Mount lenses from so many different era. Older lenses were made with materials not used today, and create a mood that cannot be replicated with a Photoshop plug-in. One of my favorite older lenses is my SMC Pentax-FA 85 Soft, because of the magical effects it created in high-contrast situations, and the eerily realistic way it reproduces wet surfaces. So, my advice is to get one of these Pentax soft focus lenses, and shoot fish in a koi pond, like the one below.
01-15-2016, 05:45 PM - 3 Likes   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by builttospill Quote
TIP: Buy the three amigos to improve your photography.
smc PENTAX FA 43mm f/1.9 Limited | Ricoh Imaging
Nope. The gear does not make the photographer. Other way around. Unless you are arguing that having the finest lenses somehow makes you appreciate them more and therefore put in more creative effort.

01-15-2016, 06:05 PM   #54
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When starting out don't get overwhelmed with shooting photos in manual and stick it out. Photography is a lot of fun and gets even better when your photos start looking really good! Research before you buy!! Read a lot and watch videos and see which bodies and lenses are good and good for what you will be doing! Get the camera out of your bag and take lots of photos!
01-15-2016, 06:09 PM - 6 Likes   #55
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The last word on.... (If you're cheap like me!)
1. Lens cleaning: Isopropyl alcohol. Works every time, never causes any problems, cheap.
2. Sensor cleaning: I've yet to get something stuck on the sensor that won't be lifted by the Rocketblower.
3. Camera bags: Fancier KingKong 40. It just works for me 99% of the time. Cheap.
4. Macro on a budget: Reverse mount adapter.
5. Just recently I've discovered stiching. So When visiting places like the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, I can really get the feel of the landscape. (Pentax K-5 photo)
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Last edited by MarkJerling; 01-17-2016 at 07:52 PM.
01-15-2016, 06:18 PM - 6 Likes   #56
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Always watch your background in your photos, often a great photo is ruined by a distracting background. A good background can add to a photo so manage the DOF to improve it.
01-15-2016, 06:23 PM - 3 Likes   #57
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Its getting nearly impossible to come up with advice that hasn't already been given, especially for a beginner like me!

When for some reason not out shooting, find some pictures online (or in a book) you really like, and try to reverse-engineer them: what makes it so special? Try to figure out what the photographer had to do to get the shot: where is he/she in relation to the subject, is any particular gear necessary for the shot, what kind of settings do you think you would have to use on your camera to get a similar shot. Then, if you have the opportunity, take your camera and see if your thoughts were correct by trying to make a photo with the same feel to it.
01-15-2016, 07:02 PM - 3 Likes   #58
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The best way to improve is to practice. Use your camera every day.
01-15-2016, 07:05 PM - 2 Likes   #59
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As a newer DSLR shooter I found this important. Check settings before shooting.
-If the camera isnt working, don't assume it's broken. Too many times I've had a 2 second delay on and turned the camera on and off and even took the battery out to only find out I had the delay on.
- I've also had to reshoot pictures when I had multi exposure set.

Or make sure the settings don't stay set after you turn off the camera.
01-15-2016, 07:14 PM - 1 Like   #60
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Take a picture everyday.

Addendum: Ha ha! Just saw K David posted the same idea just before me!

Okay, try this then: practice seeing the light and not the things in the light.

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