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06-03-2011, 08:31 AM   #76
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zafar Iqbal Quote
Thanks for the comments. Much appreciated.

And as before, these are WIP's. I can't keep up with the post-processing
What's WIP's. I take it means something like you've not had a chance to edit them, and so on.

I really like three pictures from this Day 2.

They are:
# 3 . I would try and crop it later, maybe some blur, but I like the feel of it.

# 15 - Excellent in my eyes for just about everything. Lighting, OOF, great angle.. Oh, she's very nice looking as well.

# 21 - Excellent as well. You caught him at the right moment.

Really look forward to seeing some of these when you edit them.

06-03-2011, 05:22 PM   #77
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QuoteOriginally posted by ggeorge11 Quote
I ran into a small issue here in SOuth Texas, I was on a 3 week business trip to El Paso and, decided to go to Marfa, and Ft Davis for the wweekend. I took Hwy 90 into Marfa and decided to take several pics, of the area, and also of the House that staterted the largest fire in Texas's history. Everytime I stopped, I had a borderpatrol agent stop to see what I was doing. After the 3rd one, I did ask If they bothered to talk to each other on the radio. . ......
Whoa, what a story! Just goes to show that perception is everything. Really something to think about, thank you for posting this!

Well, I finally got up the courage to photograph those hay bales! LOL! Here's proof:





06-03-2011, 07:01 PM   #78
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Thanks, glee46.

WIP - Work in Progress. Meaning I didn't put too much time in white balacing, cropping, contrast etc etc. This is in particular true with todays pictures.

I've decided I'll publish the photo's after it's all over. It's too much for now. I was out today and had planned to stay till dark, to put my Metz to some use and gain experience on that area. I have very limited experience with this so it also means I didn't get as good pictures as I wanted.. but hey, I have to start somewhere.

I noticed early on that people were *very* cooperative today. In fact I had many more photo requests than the previous two days - combined! I'm thinking this is because of 3 things. It's the 3rd day and I bet lot's attended at least one event before. Media exposure and (I hope) me being more confident and showing this through body language. I was snappier and more direct today whereas before I'd hesitate or think too much before taking the shots. I'd imagine this could send some kind of an awkward wipe.

I got rather frustrated by the lack of light because I didn't feel I could adjust the cam as I wanted except in Manual mode. and although I have most experience with the Manual mode,(not with people), I didn't want to use that.

Copenhagen Distortion - Day Three

01: I wanted to shoot a row of people sitting by the kerb but changed my mind and photographed this girl and then quickly moved on... because I am still a chicken Should have stayed few more seconds. Could have resulted in a better picture.
02: I like the flash in this one. Slightly overexposed background though and the composition could have been much better. This importance of this photo is that a crowd was gathered at a distance and were watching this band perform. I arrived at the area perhaps 15 minutes earlier and thought I better jump right into it, so I walked into the open area and began photographing the band. That "broke the ice" however I still did leave the place as quickly as I entered it
03: I paied a lot attention to the exposure settings today but I kept having problems with slow shutterspeeds. the cam would behave "normal" with the flash off, but as soon it was on, the shutterspeed dropped to something slow. Adjusting the cam EV didn't do anything.. I'm very puzzled about this :S Oh, and heads are often still in the dead center.. meh.
04: A lucky mistake? I think the cam was on continuous focusing.
12: The backs looked too bright when I checked the LCD but looked much better on the computer.. can't get used to that LCD :| I've noticed the LCD being *very* off before too.
13: Had the flash EV turned down because of pic 12 - got an underexposed pic but managed to save it somewhat in post processing. I am still self-conscious. Took three pics of these girls and this is the best one. why didn't I check the feet? Would have been a much better pic then.
15: Auto focus started to fail. This is in particular because of the Sigma I was using. It also tend to hunt for too long even if it's brighter. I turned to manual focusing. That didn't work well for me.
17: Thought this could make a good pic, and I kinda like it - but too bright flash.
24: After I had left the crowds and wanted to head home. A guy was being rather psychotic across the street and naturally everyone looked, including me. Then it hit me: I should capture the expression of the spectators.

It was overall a good evening in the sense that I noticed I really lack experience with low light/night photography and that I in general need much more routine with compositions. I'm also getting the feeling that these evenings are helping out a lot regarding being self-conscious however I recognize that it's very different than shooting some random day at some random place. But still, one of my problems are that some people may look like don't want to have a picture taken when in fact they wouldn't mind at all. I also still get to learn how to communicate with eyes and/or body language. And that, I believe is something I can gain from elsewhere.
06-03-2011, 07:02 PM   #79
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QuoteOriginally posted by loco Quote
Well, I finally got up the courage to photograph those hay bales! LOL! Here's proof:
Haha.. those are some very good shots, though!

06-03-2011, 07:10 PM   #80
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zafar Iqbal Quote
Haha.. those are some very good shots, though!
Thanks! I just kept thinking, "the folks at the Pentax forum said it was OK!"
06-03-2011, 07:24 PM - 1 Like   #81
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Zafar, you are doing exactly what you need to do-taking your toys out, playing with them, having fun and learning as you go. Practice is the only thing that helps us get better with our shots. If you don't want the heads in dead center, check your focus settings. You might have it set to center.

Loco, I love the clouds in that last shot. (and your avatar, too)
06-03-2011, 07:31 PM   #82
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QuoteOriginally posted by subeeds Quote
Zafar, you are doing exactly what you need to do-taking your toys out, playing with them, having fun and learning as you go. Practice is the only thing that helps us get better with our shots. If you don't want the heads in dead center, check your focus settings. You might have it set to center.

Loco, I love the clouds in that last shot. (and your avatar, too)
Thanks! It was a gorgeous day, sometimes you get lucky.
And your avatar is extremely cute!
06-04-2011, 05:27 AM   #83
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Another Good Day

Today, I liked

#8 - Fantastic shot - love to see people caught in action with true expressions on their face. (Would have really fantastic if you had got her whole face, but that's the problem of shooting in a crowd.)

# 17 - Tells a story for sure.

# 24 - I agree that some times it's better to get the look of what's being looked upon.

You're getting better at DOF and catching that right moment as well. Even the difficult shot of crowds are looking better as well.

#14 & #23 really show you're really beginning to step into the creative insight of photography. I'm not even near there but look forward to experience it myself when I get out of small town USA.

06-04-2011, 06:21 AM   #84
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@Mike_cash, loved your post and pictures.
06-04-2011, 07:02 AM   #85
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I did 22 years in the military, and all but the last 5 years as an MP, so I try not to get bent about being detained. The crime in Mexico is so bad, the Law Enforcement folks are being as pro active as they can. During my drives on I-10 I saw several traffic stops, and the driver, was removed from the car, standing about 10 feet from their car also. So I have no gripes at all, and would go back there in an instant.
06-04-2011, 08:01 AM   #86
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I don't much like them, but I don't really have a problem with highway checkpoints in Mexico (at every state line, and elsewhere) and Arizona (north of Tombstone and Ft Huachuca). But I also make a point of NOT raising a camera at any roadblock (as with Zapatista "toll-takers") or pull-over. A sane photographer SHOULD feel self-conscious when armed guys have stopped their vehicle. Or am I just cowardly?
06-04-2011, 09:07 AM   #87
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That is why I did not go into LE when I retired, It is a tough job, and no matter what, almost anything will look suspicious. It is the price we pay, for the bad people in our country. I think we get caught up in the thought process of, "I am not a bad guy! I don't want to hurt anyone, I just want to take a picture!!" The problem is, our country does not issue T-shirts for us to wear, to separate the good guys from the bad ones. They LE folks just don't know, until they detain and talk to you. It was time consuming, BUT... Each individual that made contact with me, NEVER intimidated me, made me feel like I was about to be placed into a small room and water boarded . I will just make sure, that from now on, whenever I go to a high risk area, and being close the fence in now considered a high risk area, I will either stop at an outpost, and let them know who I am and what I will be doing. The sidebar on that is, not only will they know who and what I am about, they will probably keep tabs on me, to ensure I am OK. I will be going back to that area, in November, and spending a ton of time on the Hwy 90 corridor. There are so many places to stop and get great shots, It is a shame that it is a main route for drugs, coyotes, and other crimes.
06-04-2011, 06:18 PM   #88
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QuoteOriginally posted by loco Quote
Thanks! I just kept thinking, "the folks at the Pentax forum said it was OK!"
rofl

QuoteOriginally posted by subeeds Quote
Zafar, you are doing exactly what you need to do-taking your toys out, playing with them, having fun and learning as you go. Practice is the only thing that helps us get better with our shots. If you don't want the heads in dead center, check your focus settings. You might have it set to center.
Thanks - that's 50% of the reason I'm attending these events. I've naturally photographed few friends and family members before, but not enough people photography. This stood very clear the first day of these events. Not only did it take me 45-60mins to take out my camera because I was very self-conscious then, even if such events are easier, but I was also much more clueless as to how to compose, pick the distance or even what to aim for etc. I haven't perfected anything yet, but I feel I've come far. Not sure but I may have spend 15 hours in total over the past 4 events. Things can go too fast when learning, but because each event was similar, I was able to bring what I learned or notice from the earlier day with me, and try to improve from it. I'm glad I decided to do this although my body is starting to scream for some proper rest

Re forcusing point. I could do that but I think it would complicate things or slow me down too much for now. I think I first must learn to really SEE through the viewfinder. I was out today and that's today's lesson. I don't pay enough attention.

QuoteOriginally posted by glee46 Quote
You're getting better at DOF and catching that right moment as well. Even the difficult shot of crowds are looking better as well.

#14 & #23 really show you're really beginning to step into the creative insight of photography. I'm not even near there but look forward to experience it myself when I get out of small town USA.
Thank you for the feedback. I feel much more confident now than just few days ago. Lot's of it is because loud mood and happy people got me thrilled - even to a degree that I could still feel it till the day after. Fact is, I've never experienced anything this big in my life. Now I just hope this newly gained confidence will stick rather than dissolve over the next few weeks.

I tried to be creative today as well. Shot directly towards the direction of the sun, to achieve glare. Some of the shots were successful IMO while others may have had too much glare in them.

The event today was toned down a lot - perhaps 1/20th of the size of the previous events. Just a single booth playing vs. many many more the other days. I thought I shjould try to take some photographs and still make the event look huge. not sure if I succeeded, but what I noticed afterwards, was that I sortof blindly too crowd shots. When checking the pics on the PC, I found that even though they were crowd shots, there were people that would be perfect to focus on. Never did that. The thought never occurred to me while I was on the site. All I thought was to get good compositions.

Copenhagen Distortion - Day Four

03: Wanted to wait for the person to pass by, but took the shot anyways. the event was much smaller so I went for a while to do some architectural shots - but later decided to try and make the event look bigger than it was.
07: A good example of me not paying enough attention to whats going on in crowd pictures. The person is taking a picture and while it may not be interesting to capture, he is begging for attention even when being out of focus.
08: I was very self-conscious when I took this picture. The guy looked around randomly after I just took the picture (no, not because he heard the click). That was enough for me to move on
24: I started focusing on this guy when he was facing me (passing by) but got focus lock too late because the my Sigma apparently likes to annoy me. I do still love the lens though.

Daylight only meant I was overall much more confident than yesterday. Yesterday was a big mess once the light started to disappear.

Todays event was called Final Party. Tomorrow it's Chillout. Not sure how interesting it will be but I'm thinking it would be a shame to ignore it, considering I've been to all the others.
06-04-2011, 07:09 PM   #89
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Each day better & better

You're really getting the hang of crowd shots. I think when you go back over the days you'll see it as well.

I love #5 - The building with only one person in the shot is great. Sort of that alone and lost in a big world look.

I like # 9 as well. Not sure if it's because of the main guy in the middle or the guy to his right with the hat and cheesy smile. I would crop both and see what happens.
06-05-2011, 03:02 PM   #90
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Thanks. I feel I've learned a lot. I got better at not rushing too much, although it can still happen.

Today was the last day and as expected, very laid back. there was a tiny booth playing music and people were scattered all over the place. Basically just enjoying the weather and the company of friends and loved ones. In fact, it could just as well had been any other random summer day.

This made more self-conscious than the previous days but on the other hand, people were just chilling and I didn't want to get closeups just for the sake of it. but then again, I kind of should have.

Some guys were playing basketball, and I thought thats an excellent opportunity to get into some action shooting as well - oh boy, that was difficult. The cam kept swapping the focus point between the background and the players. I wasn't fully in control when following the ball/action. Lot's of things were packed into much shorter timeperiods. I did end up with some ok shots, I think. The pick from today contains less pictures than the previous days. I did most sports photography, and didn't want to add too many of those pictures.

Copenhagen Distortion - Day Five

01: Wanted to get some glare. Didn't work too well and the lensflares don't work too well with sports.
04: This guy, along with his friends, were sitting next to the pool. He noticed me and asked me to take some pictures. Sure, no problem. Then a friend of his asks me not to include him. Sure, no problem. But as I shot some pic, two guys kept being paranoid or whatever and in general were showing some rather bad/immature behavior. I wasn't interested in solving anything, so I left quickly, but calmly. I heard the two guys in the background, having a go at the guy I took pics of - that he shouldn't have had asked me to take pics. That was odd!
14: I noticed these guys and even though I'm a skinny guy and they were intimidating, I asked if I could take some pictures. They weren't too happy about it at first but eventually said ok - perhaps because I told them I wasn't working for any agency. One guy made an offensive joke (These are clearly some badboy types and I guess they think someone who walks with a cam must be a candidate to pick on) I am confident and mature on other areas, so lame remarks don't bother me too much. I gained respect after I showed them the pics though - now they also wanted me to mail them the pics because they really liked what I shot

So, 2 main things I learned today:

1: I suck at action photography. I know the term shutterlag, but I really felt it today.
2: Bring prints. I suspect showing prints can make people think twice or be more relaxed - it might have helped with the "conflict" by the pool. Those guys weren't aggressive, but the mood was turning rather creepy.

That's all from me. No more spamming, I promise Now I'll get some rest, have a look at the different pictures and then, hopefully soon, publish them.. somewhere.. I still do not have a site or online gallery yet.
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