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04-30-2014, 05:17 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by pjm1 Quote
The only thing I was struck by repeatedly was lens flare... visible in the example below. Is there anything I can do, filter-wise to prevent it? Aside from not shoot towards the sun, of course
Block the sun from hitting the front element of your lens directly. I carry a small black piece of card stock for things like this, but your hand will also work. Given how close the sun looks to be to the outside of the frame, this will take some fine tuning to keep the card stock or hand from being visible.

A lens hood is of course a good idea in general, but it probably wouldn't have helped here given the position of the sun. If you use them, removing unnecessary UV filters can help with flare. Especially if they're the cheaper variety.

04-30-2014, 05:26 AM   #17
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Thanks BrianR - I'll start to carry a piece of card with me. I also need to get a black foamie thing for my flash, so that's two pieces of high quality kit I need to invest in.

I had a lens hood on, but it isn't a big one (to be fair it's a wide angle so obviously the hood can't be massive). No filters as I like the glass to be as good as it can be.
04-30-2014, 07:33 AM   #18
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I never shoot without a lens hood, sometimes its more useful than others.

Without knowing your experience level here is my 2 bits worth of advice, but I definitely don't know what I am doing.
Change the time of day in that picture, even if you eliminated the flare you should have the sun about 45 degrees farther around to your left to light up all the objects in the foreground better. As it stands you have mostly sun glare off all the highly reflective wet areas and dark shadows so all the color got bleached out.

Portrait orientation landscape photos can work but you have to have depth of field and exposure set to get a lot of foreground detail without making the distant stuff out of focus. Usually that orientation is to highlight the details leading up to the horizon, or to emphasize a big sky.

Look up the definition of hyperfocal, and use a tripod with the 2 second timer to both adjust the height to change what foreground distance is in the frame and to get longer exposures at smaller apertures to increase depth of field.
Early morning or later evening from the correct direction with a long exposure works nice on a beach as the wet areas pick up the colored glow of the horizon more than your eyes.
It seems all the exif data was stripped from your picture which makes it harder to judge what was done.
I would suggest investing in a DA15 if you like landscape, I think it would suit you plus being a prime it has the depth of field scale that is so helpful for those portrait orientations.
04-30-2014, 07:55 AM   #19
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One of the biggest advantages of digital photography is precisely that photos cost (almost) nothing.. more clickety click is fine .
Compare that back to the day when each shot cost developing film and printing... click more, learn faster

04-30-2014, 08:25 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by PPPPPP42 Quote
I never shoot without a lens hood, sometimes its more useful than others.

Without knowing your experience level here is my 2 bits worth of advice, but I definitely don't know what I am doing.
Change the time of day in that picture, even if you eliminated the flare you should have the sun about 45 degrees farther around to your left to light up all the objects in the foreground better. As it stands you have mostly sun glare off all the highly reflective wet areas and dark shadows so all the color got bleached out.

Portrait orientation landscape photos can work but you have to have depth of field and exposure set to get a lot of foreground detail without making the distant stuff out of focus. Usually that orientation is to highlight the details leading up to the horizon, or to emphasize a big sky.

Look up the definition of hyperfocal, and use a tripod with the 2 second timer to both adjust the height to change what foreground distance is in the frame and to get longer exposures at smaller apertures to increase depth of field.
Early morning or later evening from the correct direction with a long exposure works nice on a beach as the wet areas pick up the colored glow of the horizon more than your eyes.
It seems all the exif data was stripped from your picture which makes it harder to judge what was done.
I would suggest investing in a DA15 if you like landscape, I think it would suit you plus being a prime it has the depth of field scale that is so helpful for those portrait orientations.
Brilliant - thanks for these comments! I read about hyperfocal distance a while back and then promptly forgot all about it. I now have installed a DOF/HF calculator on my smart phone. I need to remember to take a tape measure with me to make sure I leave enough space between the camera and the first rock...

My experience level is... erm... 6000 photos! Seriously, I'm just starting out and with so many different things I want to take photos of (kids, other family, landscapes, mountains, sunsets/rises etc.) I feel I've barely scratched the surface of any of it. Apologies for the lack of EXIF data - I think that must be a photobucket problem? I had -1.5EV dialled in, zoom set to 18mm, ISO140 (I was on TAv unusally) exposure 1/1000 at f/8. Next time I'd push to f/11 to get more DOF - I think I used f8 as it's pretty much bang in the sweet spot of that lens (which is ok for a kit lens, bar the flare issue). I'd love a 15mm LTD but my LBA needs curtailing for a wee while... having bought all five of my lenses in the last 3 months (including my favourite DA*) I will be in the bad books if I get any more right now!

The great thing about this location is it's five minutes from my house, so I can go back and revisit the photo over and over. I also have Loch Lomond about 20 minutes away so I'm planning a sunrise trip there one morning... hopefully get a shot of the sun coming up over Ben Lomond with the Loch in the foreground. I'll need to take the mandatory withered, bleached branch with me, of course

Nass... thanks for the encouragement and btw I love your extreme macro site (that is yours isn't it??) - I'd love to get into that at some point.
04-30-2014, 09:29 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by pjm1 Quote
Oh dear... I've had my K5 since late January, so about 3 months. I bought it second hand with a shutter count of about 3100.

It now has a shutter count of 9000.

Anybody have any bright ideas on how I can stop my finger pressing the shutter release so much? Why am I not magically a better photographer just by taking loads of photos!? (I probably am - especially coming off a very low base, but 6000 photos!!!??)

(My hard disk is probably quite pleased that fewer than 10% of my photos have been keepers!)

I think the only solution is to go and buy another lens or two and use my clicky finger for the "checkout" button at my favourite online store. Any other suggestions?
You can set the shutter to be in either single shot, burst or continuous mode. That way if you press the shutter too long you have the option to limit the number of shots.

As the frame rate has increased from *istD through K10D through K7D and K5D (my list of bodies owned) I have noticed the "sensitivity" seems to have increased also, simply because with the latest cameras at 6+FPS compared to 3 what seems like a simple touch actually results in multiple shots if you are not careful
05-03-2014, 02:12 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnyates Quote
Get yourself a monopod or tripod!
I have them. For set piece shots they rock.
When I jump out of the car for something fleeting I take a few at once.
05-05-2014, 03:09 AM   #23
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You just hit a realisation, you don't want to knock out rubbish you want quality.


Im not suggesting your producing rubbish I have seen the work you've produced and its good, what I am saying is you realise its just too easy to simply snap away and move quickly on.


I once read that the reason an army chef cant produce 10,000 cordon bleu meals in a day, whereas in the savoy grill you get the finest meals, is because the savoy grill chef has the time to lavish love on his cooking.


In film days my hit ratio on 35mm was 1 in 12, that's one keeper in twelve images taken. when I moved into medium format, my hit ratio went up to one in three.


I pondered why, I was no better a photographer on Wednesday than I was on Tuesday the day I changed format but the effect was immediate.


I concluded that as has been alluded to here, I was forced to slow down, take my time, maybe even lavish more love on my images like the savoy chef.


What I am saying is this, abandon the idea that a digital image is free. Stop, think, plan.


Plan every image as though it is intended for an exhibition of your work. If you were building a portfolio of your very best images what would be good enough to grace it. Be the most severe critic of your image before you take it. When you go out for a day don't come back with 700 images, come back with 7.


Ansel Adams produced some of the very best photographs ever taken. One was of a tree that he wished to photograph, he saw this wonderful object but he didn't plant his camera and begin to compose, He planned and schemed, worked out how he wanted to depict it, he worked out the composition tonal values and the lighting,


He wasn't happy that the light was right, he worked out the time of day that the light would be right, and kept returning day after day until he saw the light he wanted. after several days it was right and he took the shot, just one.


His hit rate was close to one in one.


Where do you want to be in 10 years, what do you want to have achieved, 350,000 images some of which you are happy with. or 350 iconic images that you and others love.


Yesterday I went on a journey, as ever I took my digital camera with my favourite lens, a 135mm with macro ring. Sure I used some of my time for test shots, that's the beauty of digital, free test shots and practice. Along the way I stopped at a tulip field. This was the target for the days serious shoot, I had planned it. I made 2 exposures, both were keepers.


I don't have to spend an hour in photoshop on those 2 keepers, I got it right in camera and the framing was right. I followed Ansels lead and I urge you to consider trying it. It may be the approach your looking for.


Last edited by Imageman; 05-05-2014 at 03:10 AM. Reason: dumb spellling mistake
05-05-2014, 03:38 AM   #24
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Imageman, thank you (again)... you seem to have me down to a tee - but more importantly, what I ultimately want to achieve. Others have alluded to the same point and it's taken me until now to appreciate it fully.

Being realistic, I'm sure I will have a few thousand shots in my digital catalogue at some point, which I rarely look through. They're there "just in case". What I'd really like to have are those few dozen or maybe even hundred which are the photos I'd happily print out and hang on my wall, if we had space.

With the exception of trying to get kid "activity" shots or deliberate test shots, I think I need to start thinking about "is this shot going to be a keeper". Especially with landscapes, I need to be getting as close to that 1:1 ratio as I can.

Sure, because I'm still learning I'll still be taking a lot of test shots. But I need to recognise those as test shots beforehand. If I'm pressing the shutter, it's because I've seen something I want to capture, be happy with and potentially hang.

Interestingly, you touched on one of my other passions (and a much longer-standing one): cooking. If I just rush a quick meal - I can rustle up a pretty competitive spaghetti carbonara in as long as it takes the pasta to cook - I end up with something which is sustenance and little more. But, if I prepare (mise en place), if I think carefully about what I want the end result to be - a melange of flavours and textures - and how to assemble them from the raw ingredients in front of me, I almost always end up with something I'm actually happy with (and maybe a little bit proud of).

This is what I want from my photography. Thank you all!
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