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12-23-2014, 02:24 AM   #1
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Wow, I have a LOT to learn! This is going to be fun!

Hello!
This will be my First Post, after day two with my new super-camera: Pentax K3, and DA 18-135 kit lens.

I've had it *just* long enough to realise that:
1) this is nothing like taking a photo on my iPhone (hah!), and
2) that my mother may have rather seriously overestimated my abilities in buying me this camera.

... I think this forum will be my new home for a while. It's nice to meet you all!

I may be going about things completely in the wrong way, but- never having had a proper camera before- I've mostly had the camera on TAv mode, making incremental changes to shutter speed/aperture with each shot to try to work out an instinctive feel for what works and what doesn't. (I did try reading the manual and a few pages online first, but with a lot of unfamiliar terminology, I'm not sure I retained much!) I am happy with some of the pictures I took though, and would love some feedback and critique from people who actually know what they're looking at! Don't be gentle haha... I really want to learn to use the camera properly!

Thank you!


Last edited by trip; 12-27-2014 at 09:34 AM. Reason: dud links - removed
12-23-2014, 02:33 AM   #2
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Welcome aboard!

To embed pics hosted on flickr, you need the direct links to the image files (ending in .jpg), rather than links to the flickr page.

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12-23-2014, 02:48 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Welcome aboard!

To embed pics hosted on flickr, you need the direct links to the image files (ending in .jpg), rather than links to the flickr page.
Thanks Adam! I'll fix it up now!

---------- Post added 12-23-14 at 02:53 AM ----------

Last edited by trip; 12-27-2014 at 09:36 AM. Reason: Flickr images removed - Higher res photos attached in below post
12-23-2014, 03:21 AM   #4
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Welcome to the Forums, trip. Looking at your images, I would say you have nailed the technique. I also have a new K-3 and I am ashamed to say I haven't actually had time to use it, except to make sure it was actually working. I may need some advice from you. But seriously, you will get some great information and feedback here. Very friendly place.
I see you are from Oz - lots of us here. Now I have to guess where in Oz you are - the vegetation looks like coastal SE Queensland or northern NSW to me. Let's see what others think.

12-23-2014, 06:04 AM   #5
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I'll guess somewhere in the Hunter.
12-23-2014, 06:15 AM   #6
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Thank you PJ1! That's a heck of a good guess just from those photos haha; I'm impressed! I'm Canadian, but living in Brisbane

Do you have any advice/critiques on what I can do to improve on those photos? Other than practice, practice, practice, what should I concentrate on? I'm just trying to upload slightly bigger images; I hadn't realised the quality would be reduced so much using flickr images... For my first two days with the camera, I'm pretty happy with those ones; they're a bit boring maybe (?) but at least the focus is mostly where I wanted it! Now that I can focus where I want (that was a big deal haha)... I'm not sure what I need to do? :/
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12-23-2014, 12:29 PM   #7
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I don't have any major critique for you. Focus is spot on if you look at the hairs (whiskers) on the horse's muzzles in I and 2. What lens did you use. The 18-135 ? I don't have that one. In pic 4 I'd say the dog's rear is in sharper focus that the eyes. Similarly in 5 the toy is sharper than the eyes. The eyes are usually critical. I think that may be because we still look for "eye contact" with the subject of an image (just my theory - don't quote me ). 4 and 5 are also a bit dark. Have you tried any post processing (PP)? I never did any PP once, but I have learned that some adjustments can be helpful, particularly mid-tone and (in some cases) a bit of contrast. You don't need Photoshop or anything expensive. Microsoft Picture Manager will get you started on contrast adjustments. Sharpening can be a useful tool if it is not over used (although it is not in Picture Manager). An out-of-focus image can't be sharpened anyway.
If you have not read the K-3 review on the Forums, you might get some helpful info from that, particularly on recommended settings. That is about as far as I have got with my K-3!
Have a great Christmas playing with the K-3. I am heading down to Brisbane today to spend Christmas with our daughters, their husbands and our grandchildren. But I will leave the K-3 at home and take my K-01. I still haven't learned to use that properly either
12-23-2014, 12:36 PM - 1 Like   #8
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12-24-2014, 03:27 AM   #9
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Welcome! You've got the right ideas and attitude, the K-3 is a great camera to work with and grow into
I like these shots, there's nothing glaringly bad about them, but here's a little critique:
In #3, the purple strap (?) and bucket in the foreground are distracting from the lovely interaction that you've captured, I'd either just have moved those objects or cropped them out in post.
#4 is a little dark as previously stated, bring up the shadows so that we can see the dog's eyes. You've also defaulted to putting him/her in the middle of the frame, which is easy to do, but the image would be much stronger of you had, for example, come in closer to the subject and gone vertical, so the subject filled the frame. Getting closer to the ground so that we're on a level with the subject would also help, you get a lot more personality out of a dog looking directly into their face.
#5 is sweet, but it would be nice if the subject was looking at the camera (I have a dog too, so i know how hard it is to get that to happen :P). In addition, think about the fore- and background of the image-- the wall in the foreground is unnecessary and can be cropped out. The chairs in the background are harder to deal with, but are a little distracting and bring some focus away from the subject.
I also find the images to be a little dull in colour, I'd try warming them up a little (just experimenting with the temperature and tone sliders in whatever processing program you're using), and bringing up the exposure in the last two as well.
Hope this was helpful and good luck!
12-24-2014, 04:32 AM   #10
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The second image is just stunning. I can't suggest any way to improve it.
The third has a lovely interaction between horse and human and the focus is *perfect*, but the out-of-focus purple and red foreground blobs are very distracting. A careful crop will help, but I suspect you'll very quickly develop a RADAR for avoiding this sort of thing.

Amazing results for your first foray with a serious camera. Welcome to the forum, and keep posting!
12-30-2014, 06:21 AM   #11
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Thank you! Hope you all had a great Christmas! Unfortunately my job doesn't stop for the holidays, so I was on shift 25-29 with little opportunity to practice. A couple coworkers had the camera shoved in their faces, and I managed a nice shot of a Minion cake (if you're familiar with the Despicable Me movies?)

PJ1 I did find the recommended settings article- googling for something like that is actually how I found the forum. It was very helpful; reading through that alongside the manual gave me a bit of an idea of what a lot of the settings do, and how to change them without constantly having to pull out my phone to search online haha. After a few test shots though, I dialed down the max ISO from what was recommended, because I found even if I took a photo on full auto mode in broad daylight, the camera was choosing to make everything waaaaay brighter than what was actually in front of me. Is this typical/what people want to see? I'm leaning more towards wanting to capture a true representation of what's in front of me on the day... at least until I've got a handle on the whole shutter/aperture/ISO relationship... THEN I can play with surreal, bright, super-punchy colours? (Or perhaps I'm just so used to dull, desaturated images the K3 is scaring me off! That would explain the dull colours ZoeB... I did purposefully tone things down a bit... ����)

All photos are with the 18-135, using varying degrees of zoom. It's the kit lens which came with the camera, and will be my only lens until 1) I know how to care for the lenses properly, and 2) I replace my laptop, which recently met its demise when *someone* forced some BIOS updates... Oops! For now, the setup is kit lens, ancient slow 2Gb SD card (so jpeg shooting only, to save space *sigh*), and an adapter to transfer the images from SD card to iPad. Post processing is minimal and using Snapseed, because I'm comfortable with that (Instagram-a-holic with my iPhone haha)... It's rough, but only temporary! For the images above, the only processing was warming the photos slightly, and some spot touch ups of saturation/contrast/sharpness. I didn't want to overdo it, just mostly wanted to correct the (perceived?) slight blue shift in colour the camera seems to be giving me. (I assume this is 100% operator error!) I'll have another play around with #4 and see if I can improve on the eyes/shadows in the face, because I can definitely see where you're both coming from! #5 I shared because I like the cute-factor, and the fact that the most wiggly dog in the world was *almost* in focus haha... can definitely see the eye contact/focus/brightness problems, but hadn't considered the background at all! Thank ZoeB! Good advice about the framing of #3 as well, thank you! I didn't want to change the aspect ratio in posting here for critique, as I thought I should show as much of the original captures as possible. Next time I'll be more ruthless with the crops! ��

Sandy, you're too kind! The second image is my favourite too, and was probably the most heavily edited of the lot, so I'm very glad it passed the test! I'll see if I can upload the original...

Last edited by trip; 12-30-2014 at 06:22 AM. Reason: Aversion to typos ;)
12-30-2014, 06:35 AM   #12
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12-30-2014, 07:20 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by trip Quote
I may be going about things completely in the wrong way, but- never having had a proper camera before- I've mostly had the camera on TAv mode, making incremental changes to shutter speed/aperture with each shot to try to work out an instinctive feel for what works and what doesn't. (I did try reading the manual and a few pages online first, but with a lot of unfamiliar terminology, I'm not sure I retained much!) I am happy with some of the pictures I took though, and would love some feedback and critique from people who actually know what they're looking at! Don't be gentle haha... I really want to learn to use the camera properly!
Others have commented on the quality of the images and I agree. Good composition and sharp. I'll also commend you for using TAv. A lot of new users get stuck in P or Green mode for too long. You've already figured out how to tweak the shutter speed and aperture for each shot. Just keep at it.
12-30-2014, 05:55 PM - 1 Like   #14
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While you are "keeping at it", you might be interested in this free photography course (there is a thread about it somewhere):
https://www.open2study.com/courses/the-art-of-photography


I'm in because I figure I need to develop my technical skills - and anything free grabs my attention. It is obviously a recruitment tool for their degree courses, but that doesn't matter.
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