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11-24-2010, 12:38 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Manel Brand Quote
George, You can take a photo at 12 o'clock in the summer on the middle of Dead Valley and come home with a perfect shot (on account of composition and exposure). That's all there is to it.
But wouldn't the same frame in the evening look so much nicer .-) All I am saying is that in this example, if you would have something like a shadow under a rock, your camera (and be it the marvellous Pentax K-5) simply can not expose for the shadow and not blow out the sunlit parts either or expose for the sunlit parts and underexpose the shadows. There will be no perfect exposure in this case, that's all I'm saying.

11-24-2010, 01:28 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by georgweb Quote
But wouldn't the same frame in the evening look so much nicer .-)
Yes, indeed sunsets are magical moments to take photos but, for what will you expose, for the sky or for background. You may end with a nice photo of the sky and shadows quite dark. It's the very same problem you face at noon.

QuoteQuote:
All I am saying is that in this example, if you would have something like a shadow under a rock, your camera (and be it the marvellous Pentax K-5) simply can not expose for the shadow and not blow out the sunlit parts either or expose for the sunlit parts and underexpose the shadows. There will be no perfect exposure in this case, that's all I'm saying.
No doubt K-5 would come in handy but, in case you are stuck with not such a great camera, you could always do a multiple exposure and your problem is solved. Best of the both worlds. You will need to process the thing, maybe a letdown for some but I actually like it. Look, it doesn't matter what kind of light you are dealing with (harsh or soft), it's always a matter of making that correct exposure happen.

Cheers
11-25-2010, 04:56 PM   #18
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Hey Manel,
I presume the OP has vanished in cyberspace anyways, so I will give you some answers if you don't mind, I think this is fun and I hope it is for you also.
QuoteOriginally posted by Manel Brand Quote
Yes, indeed sunsets are magical moments to take photos but, for what will you expose, for the sky or for background. You may end with a nice photo of the sky and shadows quite dark. It's the very same problem you face at noon.
As I said we would compare the very same frames (the rock, the shadow). Let's say that scene would have a dynamic range of 16 at midday and a nice 6 to 7 in that evening light.

QuoteOriginally posted by Manel Brand Quote
No doubt K-5 would come in handy but, in case you are stuck with not such a great camera, you could always do a multiple exposure and your problem is solved.
I knew we would discuss multiple exposures. I have forgotten to tell you that there is a rarely seen yellow-orange-sprinkled lizard on top of that rock and the near-extinct grey-black rattlesnake in the deep shadows right underneath. Unfortunately I just had time to focus and shoot for one exposure. After that both animals vanished. Coming back in the evening, the same thing happened!

All I'm saying:
There are moments in life when a multiple exposure will not save you.
Even the best camera in the world will not expose correctly in very harsh lighting. Or, to answer the OP: Some circumstances will make your camera-lens combo sing, and some will give it a very hard time.
11-25-2010, 07:56 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by littledrawe Quote
That helps. I havent really ventured into the post processing world yet. I just started learning photo shop this semester at school and havent had the money to buy the program and a computer worth putting it on. All in due time I suppose.
Download adobe RAW converter, and GIMP. Both are free. GIMP is a freeware version of Photoshop, and is actually very good.

Don't know how it will work on your computer but GIMP is phenomenal, while Photoshop costs an arm and a leg.

11-26-2010, 08:24 AM   #20
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I think the beauty of digital is the exif. When we were using film, the only way to know what went right or wrong with a specific photo was to keep copious notes about settings. However these days, your camera keeps track of everything for you, so you can see what things worked and what didn't.

As others have said good composition and exposure are keys. It helps to have an interesting subject. It is harder to take photos of things that have been captured numerous times before and have them stand out. RAW to me is a way of helping out with exposures that are off a little or white balance that isn't right, but it won't turn a mediocre photo into a great one.

Remember that the great photographers are just better deleters than the rest of us.
11-26-2010, 10:45 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
[SNIP]

Remember that the great photographers are just better deleters than the rest of us.
Ain't that the truth!
11-26-2010, 11:31 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by georgweb Quote
Hey Manel,
I presume the OP has vanished in cyberspace anyways, so I will give you some answers if you don't mind, I think this is fun and I hope it is for you also.

As I said we would compare the very same frames (the rock, the shadow). Let's say that scene would have a dynamic range of 16 at midday and a nice 6 to 7 in that evening light.
Hey George,
Yes, it happens all the time. Surely is fun, and productive, as we are here to help each other, right?

George, as I've referred to you before, it doesn't matter what kind of light, or DR for that matter, you are dealing with. Whatever the light available, you have to know how to expose for that particular situation. Light in itself is pure physics, capturing the light with a camera we call exposure.

QuoteQuote:
I knew we would discuss multiple exposures. I have forgotten to tell you that there is a rarely seen yellow-orange-sprinkled lizard on top of that rock and the near-extinct grey-black rattlesnake in the deep shadows right underneath. Unfortunately I just had time to focus and shoot for one exposure. After that both animals vanished. Coming back in the evening, the same thing happened!
Well George, you are right. We don't need multiple exposures. For instance, on the first photo below, only one exposure was made. Because it's a raw file, one can merge 2 versions of the same image, one exposed for highlights, another exposed for shadows. This one exposure was made at sunset, with the sun still visible on the horizon. You may not like this kind of trickery, but show me the "one exposure (shadows/highlights/neither?) unprocessed image" and I will tell you that I do like much more the HDR look, or faux HDR as the present example. Unless you are shooting with a high end dslr, You will have to expose for shadows or for highlights. Believing in what people say about K-5's high DR, that may be not a problem anymore. There's another solution for this problem which is the use of ND filters, as you know.

Maybe you need to try harder George. Lizards are not that rare, even when they belong to a endangered species as the one on the second photo; again, only one exposure was made this time at noon, 12:30 roughly, with the Sun at his zenith. You see George, you have to snap them when they are a sleep. Take your time. Have a beer (put it on your camera bag and let that lousy wide angle zoom behind), have a cigar, enjoy your reading and wait... the lizard will come to you (if you know where he is). With this fellow, I could have made not one, but all the photos I wanted. They really like that blazing hot sun! (as for rattlesnakes, they scare the hell out me George!). I know you are going to comment: -ah, that rock is on the blinking of blowing the highlights. -ah! if that bokeh was more bokeh...that would be perfect, and so on, but who cares, when you have something to look at? If you would came at the evening George, instead of that beer, you would be firing that flashgun or shooting wide open and pray to get, at least, the eye of the animal in focus, everything else will be a nice noisy bokeh.

QuoteQuote:
All I'm saying:
There are moments in life when a multiple exposure will not save you.
True. There are moments in life for everything.

(Sorry about the lousy jpeg 1024px, but the site doesn't allow more than that.)

I think that is enough for today. Sorry for the long post but since we are having fun, I was carried away.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Cheers!

P.S.. forgot to mention; both shot with the Pentax K10D, Tamron SP90mm.

Last edited by Manel Brand; 02-13-2011 at 08:50 AM.
11-26-2010, 11:42 PM   #23
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I think exposure and composition are really "all there is to it" but each one has so many variables involved that it's sort of like telling someone "in order to take a good picture you need to use your camera well".

11-27-2010, 01:19 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
I think exposure and composition are really "all there is to it" but each one has so many variables involved that it's sort of like telling someone "in order to take a good picture you need to use your camera well".

Not quite the same. I've told the OP that, in order to use his camera well he needs to know how to compose and expose and that is basically what he needs to know and improve. I believed the OP wanted a simple answer, not an in-depth, know-it-all, photography lesson (which would make him even more confused than he is already).

Perhaps you, paperbag846, are willing to provide us, and the OP, a more appropriate answer to his question. Let's hear it.

Last edited by Manel Brand; 11-28-2010 at 03:51 AM. Reason: typo
11-27-2010, 10:51 AM   #25
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Hi all, thank you for your in-depth discussion. I will need to read more thoroughly your replies. I have tended to shoot my kit lens around F8 just making the assumption that that is the fstop that would be the sharpest. I do use the histogram to expose to the right.

But here are some examples from my trip this summer. A billion photos but look at the grand canyon near the beginning and Zion at the end. All my photos just look really digital and I only have a few good shots to my eye and that is disappointing from a photographer standpoint I guess. But when someone posted on another forum his Yellowstone/Yosemite photos it was like film like, professional looking(and he isn't one) and not harsh at all. It could have been post processing and it could have been in the am/evening I didn't ask.

Speaking of people who can take a shot and look good, my ex-gf and her D90 in green mode gets great shots that people want to buy yet I struggle. Weird.

Anyway, here are a lot of vacation photos so you can see the digital look, and to be fair most were mid-day and some were shot with a point and shoot Canon.

Picasa Web Albums - Kevin - VegasHooverSe...

And on the opposite end of the spectrum for me, are photos I shot on a cloudy day of people with my DL, and 50-200 zoom lens. And some of them do have the smoothness and look that I am looking for and I am happy with including composition. Mabye I should just shoot people. LOL. I have yet to try any of that with the K-7

Picasa Web Albums - Kevin - Cracker.Earth...
11-27-2010, 11:14 AM   #26
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The thing is it's probably almost nothing to do with the camera dn/or post-processing that your ex-gf took better (more saleable) images and almost everything to do with her 'eye' for an image. By using the green mode she was leaving the camera to the techie stuff and concentrating on what was in - and not in - the image.

You have to take something that other people wish they had taken, and looking at the two albums you have posted I can't say there is anything that for me is outstanding. I've visited Bryce, the Grand Canyon and the Hover Dam (walked across it) and seeing the canyons in the middle of the day was deeply dissapointing. Come the hour or so before sunset and it all changed and they sprung into life.

BTW how come so many images were at ISO 200? The slower the ISO the better the image quality. And whilst yes, your kit lens is sharpest at f8 (according to the dpreview dot com stuff), being sharp isn't the be-all and end-all of a great image.
11-27-2010, 12:58 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Corvairfan Quote
Hi all, thank you for your in-depth discussion.
Hi Kevin. You are welcome.

Your assumption is generally correct regarding the f/8 aperture value as to sharpness; note however that some images look better when everything in not in focus. If this is unclear to you, please ask further info.

I have browsed your photos and I did find some quite good and pleasant images in there. They look certainly promising since, I presume, you are at an entry level.

From the standpoint of the OP topic and the discussion that followed, generally speaking, your images are well composed and there are no real negatives to point out. There's still some room for improvement, sometimes achieved by means of a simple crop in Pp. It takes more practice, but in time you will also learn how to better frame the composition in camera.

Some of your landscape images however, are not properly exposed; for instance there's no detail (pure white) in the the clouds/sky but the shadows, on the other side, are well lite and exposed. That happens because you are exposing for shadows, blowing out the highlights. That's basically the issue addressed here:
QuoteOriginally posted by Manel Brand Quote
We don't need multiple exposures (bracketing). For instance, on the first photo below, only one exposure was made. Because it's a raw file, one can merge 2 versions of the same image, one exposed for highlights, another exposed for shadows. (...) There's another solution for this problem which is the use of ND filters
Also, it looks that you are shooting jpeg, not raw mode! And don't post-process your images? Some of them would benefit from cropping, as I've pointed out already, and further adjustment in contrast and color.

If you want to post one or two images and ask for advice, feel free to do so, as to ask anything you want. In time, someone will address your questions.

Cheers.
11-27-2010, 03:11 PM   #28
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Here's the sad thing. I took b+W photography in high school and college and did a lot back then. Only went digital/zooms beyond the Canon ae1 50mm size when the DL came out and have been dissapointed in my shots compared to the ex-gf who is new to photography or shots other people have taken.

The DL was prone to underexposing so I tended to shoot consistently with +.03 and +.07 and it's lowest was iso 200. I made the mistake in the people shots of not dropping iso down from the iso 400/800 of the stage. Ooops.

But I will look out for the overexposing now thanks for the tips there too.
11-27-2010, 03:17 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Corvairfan Quote
But I will look out for the overexposing now thanks for the tips there too.
Ok. Anytime.
11-27-2010, 05:16 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by Corvairfan Quote
... I have tended to shoot my kit lens around F8 just making the assumption that that is the fstop that would be the sharpest.
I would say try f/11 or f/13 and avoid 18 - 21 mm focal length. Use the lens shade or shadow straylight by hand.

Of your 'digital look' photos, I found the guy in the shaded gorge interesting and also exemplary for my further discussion with Manel. Exposed more for the shadows, the highlight background would probably blow out but still the pic would look nicer.

Exactly this happened imo in your people shot were a lot of people are dancing. The background is blown out but what the heck. I like the mood of this picture and the lights in it. Would have gladly inserted your pics here but don't know if you appreciate it. If so just post them here, easily done with Picasa-pics.
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