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04-01-2014, 09:52 AM   #1
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Bowling Alley
Lens: smc Pentax-DA-18-55mm Camera: Pentax K-5 ii Photo Location: Bowling Alley ISO: 800 Shutter Speed: 1/15s Aperture: F6.7 

I realize I can do more with some touch up's etc. I am very new to photography and this was the first photo I have ever post-processed. I look forward to your critique. Thank you in advance.

04-01-2014, 09:57 AM   #2
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Bowling Photo

I obviously meant to attach this photo.
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PENTAX K-5 II  Photo 
04-01-2014, 10:27 AM   #3
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well, before we even venture into post processing, you need to master the basics of taking a usable photo.

1/15 sec is much much too slow for handheld shooting. to begin with, i'd suggest learning more about the basic aspects of what makes a technically good photo and how to use shutter speed, aperture and ISO to accomplish this. secondly, do some research on the art of composition also know as the "rule of thirds". there's a pretty good tutorial here on the forum, even.
perhaps a local community college offers a 6-8 class, or a local camera club offers seminars and peer review.

once you start getting a better handle on the basics of photography, we can worry about post processing. otherwise it's "just lipstick on a pig"

post processing will not made a bad photo better, or even useable, but it will make a very good photo special.
04-01-2014, 10:40 AM   #4
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So, I was only messing around with the camera at the time, and I thought that this turned out to be a cool photo. I fully realize that 1/15th is too slow for an attempt to get everything in focus. But, I thought the motion of her hair and the arms, while her face was in focus actually captured some motion. I have photos that are more "usuable" but thought this photo captured something unique. I am aware of those elements, and of course am at a point where I am creating much better photos. Perhaps this wasn't a photo worth getting critique on. I will look up the "rule of thirds"--that seems like it will be helpful. Thank you.

04-01-2014, 10:47 AM   #5
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Hi Tknuth, welcome to the forum. The thing that stands out is the image is very soft and has some motion blur. you used a very slow shutter speed for hand held and this has coursed some movement, if you wish to use such low shutter speed use a tripod or other means of camera support.
In the EXIF data states you used Aperture Priority, which is you choose the Aperture and ISO and the camera will meter for the shutter speed and it got your exposure at 1/15 second. Try TAV exposure on your camera next time which is you dial in the shutter speed and aperture, the camera will adjust ISO automatically for the right exposure. ISO 1600 in TAV would have doubled your shutter speed to 1/30 second which is much closer to hand held speed and ISO 3200 would have doubled it again to 1/60 second. The resulting shots at high ISO are acceptable for most shots with some Post Processing and noise reduction.

Your image is saved in that the girls face as some definition and not entirely out of focus or blurred. But try TAV it is my favoured shooting mode.

Regards
04-01-2014, 11:00 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by gmans Quote
Hi Tknuth, welcome to the forum. The thing that stands out is the image is very soft and has some motion blur. you used a very slow shutter speed for hand held and this has coursed some movement, if you wish to use such low shutter speed use a tripod or other means of camera support.
In the EXIF data states you used Aperture Priority, which is you choose the Aperture and ISO and the camera will meter for the shutter speed and it got your exposure at 1/15 second. Try TAV exposure on your camera next time which is you dial in the shutter speed and aperture, the camera will adjust ISO automatically for the right exposure. ISO 1600 in TAV would have doubled your shutter speed to 1/30 second which is much closer to hand held speed and ISO 3200 would have doubled it again to 1/60 second. The resulting shots at high ISO are acceptable for most shots with some Post Processing and noise reduction.

Your image is saved in that the girls face as some definition and not entirely out of focus or blurred. But try TAV it is my favoured shooting mode.

Regards
Gmans--thank you for taking the time to provide your critique. I will certainly be able to use your feedback. I have been doing a lot of AV mode just to get my feet wet. Recently started mixing in the TAV mode as I begin to understand what settings I should set the shutter speed to. Thanks again for the great feedback!
04-01-2014, 11:22 AM   #7
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Hi
Welcome to the forum. Since you're new to photography there is a lot to learn, in fact you never stop learning. First is to learn the controls of the camera and the basics of how shutter speed, aperture and ISO work. Then there is composition and then there is post processing, etc. Then as you get more knowledge you start refining techniques, approaches to take photos and better processing of the images.
Here is a link to one of many sites for basics but it explains things well I think.
Cambridge in Colour - Photography Tutorials & Learning Community
As for processing check out YouTube, thousands of videos. I typed in "basics of photoshop elements editing" and this is what came up. Some are better than others but something to work with plus you can bounce back and forth to try them on your photos as you follow along. Here's a link to what came up.
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=basics+of+photoshop+elements+editing
As for this specific photo. When we start out we make mistakes and aren't even aware that we are doing so. In this case as mentioned the shutter speed is too slow. You say you were trying to get some motion to show but in this case there isn't enough motion to stand out and has resulted in a soft slightly blurred photo. The processing is really dark and contrasty. There isn't any detail in the dark shirt and her face is quite dark. She is centered in the frame which in most cases is a giveaway that it's a novice's image because that's where they always put the subject. If you look at the photo there is a lot of empty space that doesn't help the composition. Thinking about the framing beforehand is best but things can be done in pp. In this instance cropping in and moving her off center and lightening the subject and tweaking the color will help. Slightly blurring the background more will help her look a little sharper in comparison. You can do a lot in pp but it's best to start with the best image and the resulting image will be better for it.
Since describing things is rather vague I've done a quick edit to show some of the points I've mentioned and posted it here.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/69407470@N06/13565577574/
Cheers
Greg
04-01-2014, 03:04 PM   #8
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Tim, your 18-55 might no be the lens for indoor flash-less photography. Don't hesitate to fire your flash if you use this lens indoor.
For outdoor photography this lens works very good especially around f/9.

04-01-2014, 06:48 PM   #9
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Nice save, Greg!

Tim, the flash was the way to go here. Crank right back the flash though so it doesn't wipe out the subject. You just want it for fill.
04-01-2014, 11:44 PM   #10
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The composition and focus seem pretty good to me in this photo (even though the previous commenters are all right about the circumstances), the white balance is really what bothers me here. You can get away with the blurred background, but your subject looks jaundiced, which isn't good.
04-02-2014, 03:15 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by ZoeB Quote
The composition and focus seem pretty good to me in this photo
Which part is in focus, Zoe?
04-02-2014, 03:45 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
Which part is in focus, Zoe?
The subject's face is more or less the only thing in focus, which draws the eye to her face. Although there are certainly more interesting things you could do with composition, it's effective in keeping our eyes on the subject. The execution isn't great, as you all pointed out at length, but isn't the point of the photo critique to give feedback on how to improve the images posted, rather than scold new photographers for mis-judging the circumstances when learning the way around their camera?
04-02-2014, 04:07 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by ZoeB Quote
isn't the point of the photo critique to give feedback on how to improve the images posted, rather than scold new photographers for mis-judging the circumstances when learning the way around their camera?
Actually, Zoe, everyone had a suggestion for improvement except you!
04-02-2014, 04:34 AM   #14
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Ok, fair point, I've argued myself into a corner.
04-02-2014, 12:39 PM   #15
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tknuth, as a beginner photography myself, perhaps I can offer some thoughts which might be helpful or not?!

I could be wrong with all this (since I'm about as far from expert as you can get) but... here goes:

Photography is a blend of three primary things:

1. Technical competence: basically can you get your camera to do what you want and record the image in the way you desire?
2. Artistry, style and "feel": the story, the effect you are seeking to convey and the composition (amongst many other things) - basically all of the creative and emotive elements
3. Wow and luck: this is something which just occasionally happens and isn't necessarily "designed" - it's just a fortunate coming together of timing, being in the right place and taking loads of pictures - the more you take, the more likely you will be to get that one in a million snap (although you can help "improve" your luck!)

I would suggest that #1 comes with practice - just like most skills, it's learned through mistakes and being able to identify improvement. Don't worry about this as it will come and your seeking critique shows you are wanting to improve and develop so you will do!

#2 is what I struggle most with - it's kind of innate and in terms of mastery, I suspect you either have it or don't. However, we can all become pretty proficient photographers by learning what (theoretically) makes good composition - what just looks better and what generally doesn't work. As with all rules, they're made to be broken occasionally, but they're there for a reason and a very good starting point. (I'm very much learning this right now - not always successfully!) Also think long and hard about what you want your photo to say - the story you're looking to tell. What has happened before the photo and what might the viewer think will happen next? What is happening outside the frame? This bit's fun!

#3 is what it is - nobody can predict it BUT if you improve 1 and 2 then when it does appear at least you should have a well taken, well-composed photo which just happens to have that magic dust as well. That's you're perfect photo. Really, it's just reinforcement that we all need to focus on getting ourselves as competent as we can at the first two and then just snapping away until #3 happens.

Not sure if this is in any way helpful, but that's how I see it!

I think you have had some great advice on how to improve #1. I think your PP and idea are good starts so you're on the way with #2. We have no direct control over #3 but it will happen! (So I'm told - I'm not sure I've had it happen to be yet!!!)
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