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10-20-2012, 01:16 PM   #1
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Beginner's Woe's with new Camera

I've been experimenting with my first real Digital Camera. Lots of experience with Pentax 35mm but it took a long time for me to get my current K5. This picture was taken with a DA 2.4 70mm Limited Lens today. I was trying for max depth of field and clarity in this test picture although it was not a tripod shot. If you look carefully at the blue sky peeking thru the red and green leaves, it's blue but something just doesn't look right to me, almost as if the blue sky were brushed in, not natural. The other edges where blue meets the red leaves, it looks more natural (3D) to me. What's wrong with the peeking blue sky? It looks very flat in depth.

I'd appreciate if anyone could help me to understand what I'm doing wrong in this photo.

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Last edited by Stevizzy; 10-20-2012 at 01:22 PM.
10-20-2012, 01:26 PM   #2
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I cannot see the effect you talk about in this reduced version of the photo. So I'm guessing that what you're noticing is artifacts from the in-camera sharpening algorithm (assuming that you shoot in jpg format). You could consider experimenting with the settings of sharpness and contrast until you get a result you like.
10-20-2012, 01:27 PM   #3
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I think what you're experiencing is just colour contrast between the blue sky and the red/yellow of the autumn leaves. However, if the sky didn't look quite that brilliantly blue at the time, then reducing the blue saturation is possibly the solution. You don't appear to have blown the highlights, judging by the wispy clouds, but that's another area you could try toning down in post-processing, if you think you need to.

Edit: you could also tone things down selectively, in the small patches of sky, if you have software like Photoshop.
10-20-2012, 02:22 PM   #4
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I'm using Aperture but I did minimal processing on that picture. For "Ole" the areas I'm concerned about are the areas thru the leaves where the blue sky just pokes thru. To me, something just isn't right with how it looks. The contrast areas with the trees and blue sky on the left side of the tree look OK to me. The leaves blend in naturally with the sky. Between the leaves, it looks "painted" in, similar to how TV Weathermen look up against the blue screen. I dunno....it's just something fake looking to me.

Thank you guys so much for your comments. I'm just learning and enjoying this new hobby and camera I just purchased. Any comments are appreciated.

Here is another picture I shot last night with the K5 using a FA 1.9 43mm Limited Lens. It was shot at night using Reptile UV Light. Sorry about my snake having dinner, but the mouse looks happy NOT.

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Last edited by Stevizzy; 10-20-2012 at 03:01 PM.
10-20-2012, 02:26 PM   #5
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Opps, that wasn't the happy mouse pic, sorry:
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10-20-2012, 05:17 PM   #6
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I do hope the mouse was already gone before you offered it to the snake...

<ahem> Something else to keep in mind... nothing whatsoever to do with the camera, exposure, lens.. the human eye has some difficulty "seeing" adjacent areas of red and blue simultaneously. So the oddness you see in that image may just be your own color vision reacting. Place something red immediately next to something blue (solid colors) and at the join the colors will seem to vibrate.

Just my .02
10-20-2012, 06:07 PM   #7
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I thought I'd suggest that you try setting the white balance manually (say to cloudy) because that may help with the color cast. Your first picture looks fine to me, however.
10-21-2012, 04:15 AM   #8
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Julie, yes the mouse was already dispatched before the snake had dinner. Everyone, thanks for the support and comments, I appreciate the help.

10-21-2012, 05:01 AM   #9
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I agree this is probably just a red/blue contrast situation. I realize the posted image is probably not something you would print up but to my eye, those little bits of blue among the fall colors of the leaves is distracting. I'd probably just clone them out anyway to eliminate the distraction.
10-21-2012, 01:00 PM   #10
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Jim, you're right, nothing there worth printing but it's distracting to me as well. I was just trying out my new camera to see how it can handle extreme color and contrast. It's got it's limitations apparently.
10-21-2012, 02:30 PM   #11
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Here is another picture I took today with the FA 1.9, 43mm Limited Lens. I had a closer shot but the picture was already downloaded in another post and I couldn't use it twice.
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Last edited by Stevizzy; 10-21-2012 at 02:38 PM.
10-21-2012, 03:23 PM   #12
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I think that the first thing you need to realise is that digital Vs film you will notice diffraction limitations a bit more. I have noticed you are shooting at F22 on your first shot and F20 on the last one. These values, for any lens, will give you problems. I suggest that you pull that back to the range of F7.1-f11 just so that you are getting the best from your lens, as diffraction will reduce contrast sharpness and overall resolution. Many people find that they get better results where they need maxium depth of field by using optimum aperture range and taking a shot with a close focus and then another focused to infinity then focus stacking later.
10-21-2012, 04:36 PM   #13
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Thanks for the advice, someone else mentioned the busy background suggesting I move to the right to get a better angle on the train. Points well taken. I'm going to return to this spot, wait for the train with a better setup and do it over until I get it right.

Appreciate the constructive comments guys. THANKS!

steve
10-22-2012, 03:57 PM   #14
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I don't mind the background. I kind of like the context of the farm -- though maybe less depth of field would render it just out of focus enough to not draw attention from the train. (Which is quite a cool thing to be able to go photograph, by the way ) What I noticed was the colour, & maybe it's my monitor, but it seemed kinda faded. Do you have a polarizer? That can really enrich the colours.
Then I wondered, maybe your picture is a lot more realistic & closer to what the scene really looked like that day, & maybe we are just all used to seeing these overprocessed hypersaturated overcooked interpretations, so when we see ordinary colour, it looks flat...?
Just goes to show that everyone's perception is different, as are everyone's ideas of "good" pictures. As long as you are happy with the results & enjoy doing it, that's the most important thing.
Oh, and welcome to the forum
10-22-2012, 04:32 PM   #15
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Thanks for all the support and advice. I'm glad to contribute to the forum as I learn.

steve
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