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Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 02-18-2013, 05:59 PM  
Post Your Fujifilm X100/X10 Pictures
Posted By grainbelt
Replies: 4,931
Views: 434,269
Ernie is my GFs big German shepherd / lab mix. Lily is a tiny little beagle / basset of a friend of mine. They are both very sweet dogs, and Lily is only suspicious of Ernie, because he is a first-rate butt sniffer. :lol
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 02-18-2013, 04:08 PM  
Post Your Fujifilm X100/X10 Pictures
Posted By grainbelt
Replies: 4,931
Views: 434,269
Lily and Ernie got to hang out together on Saturday.

Forum: Photo Critique 02-15-2013, 03:58 PM  
Landscape Cat Bells
Posted By grainbelt
Replies: 5
Views: 651
I prefer the color version for the autumn tones on the treeline in the right-center of the frame. I also think the high-contrast look you went with on the B&W conversion went a bit too far or used the wrong ratio of reds and greens, as you've lost some of the texture in the hills and their reflection in the water.

That being said, I'd probably bump the black point in the color version and then really boost the midtones to bring out the color in the center of the frame. The histogram on the color version is one big cluster in the center.
Forum: Photo Critique 02-14-2013, 09:24 AM  
Architecture Nuclear Power Plant
Posted By grainbelt
Replies: 17
Views: 2,225
Agree with this, though it is hard to say without seeing the original.

Also, as much interest as there is in the top 1/3 of the frame, the bottom 1/3 is pretty much a throwaway. I wonder what a landscape oriented shot with more of the plant in frame would have looked like.
Forum: Photo Critique 02-14-2013, 09:16 AM  
People Portrait of Friend in the cold
Posted By grainbelt
Replies: 14
Views: 1,503
I really really wish you hadn't cut off her chin. Placement of her face and eyes in the frame is a little odd, low in the frame.

White balance is perhaps a little green (look at the whites of her eyes and the highlights in the fur).

But it is the missing chin that ruins it for me in the end.
Forum: Photo Critique 02-12-2013, 05:15 PM  
Landscape Lake Surroundings (First HDR attempt)
Posted By grainbelt
Replies: 6
Views: 781
I'd contend that your last image is simply overexposed - it may be the median image in your bracketed capture, but it is at least half a stop overexposed, to my eye.

This is also, coincidentally, precisely the type of scene that would benefit from a polarizing filter to really knock down the bright sky. That alone would do more for your image than any post processing or HDR.
Forum: Photo Critique 02-12-2013, 01:38 PM  
Architecture Golden roof
Posted By grainbelt
Replies: 6
Views: 1,408
That is certainly more muted, but there are some elements on the edges of the frame that could be cropped out. There also seems to be a fair bit of distortion - the three spires at the top of the building curve in.The EXIF data shows it was taken at 18mm, which explains the distortion - the kit lens has some noticeable distortion that calms down by about 24mm.

More to that point, you had plenty of light to shoot at ISO 100 or 200 - the closer you get to base ISO the better.

If you have the raw file, you can probably recover the blown out walls. What are you using for post processing? Here's a sample with the following adjustments made in photoshop elements

Distortion corrected -12
Crop
Noise reduction
Levels adjusted to get a black point
Curves adjustment, decrease shadows, decrease, midtones, increase midtone contrast
Slight unsharp mask

Forum: Photo Critique 02-11-2013, 01:00 PM  
Architecture Golden roof
Posted By grainbelt
Replies: 6
Views: 1,408
First, the lighting is very harsh. Sometimes we can't choose the time of day that we shoot, but if you can, try to shoot in the first or last hour of daylight.The white walls are completely blown out from the harsh light. RAW capture would allow you to pull them back a bit.

The most distracting thing for me, though, are the sharpening artifacts. look at the mountain where it meets the sky, the edge of the roof where it meets the clouds and sky - there are quite visible and harsh transitions there due to oversharpening. If this is a JPG straight from the camera, I suggest you turn your sharpness settings way down. If there were adjustments made in post processing, I'd suggest they were rather heavy-handed.
Forum: Photo Critique 02-07-2013, 01:43 PM  
Nature Desert Tree
Posted By grainbelt
Replies: 8
Views: 869
Regarding exposure, it is possible that you dialed in some Exposure Compensation (EV+/-) in the camera settings. Also, check to see if your exposure mode is set to 'spot', 'center-weighted' or 'matrix/multi'.

For focus, when shooting a landscape with a manual lens it is quite simple to set it to its hyperfocal distance and just blast away.
Forum: Photo Critique 02-07-2013, 09:06 AM  
Nature Desert Tree
Posted By grainbelt
Replies: 8
Views: 869
I own that lens, and while it isn't particularly sharp, I have to wonder if you missed focus a bit, as the image is fairly soft. Perhaps a bit of unsharp mask to try to bring some local contrast to the edges of the tree is in order.

Also, while you've darkened the highlights somewhat, the entire image is a bit overexposed - the 'adjust color curves' sliders in Elements allow you to darken the shadows and midtones as well as adjust midtone contrast.

The sky is also quite blue, and the vegetation fairly washed out. Not sure what your white balance settings were, but a warmer tone would bring out quite a bit in this image.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 02-06-2013, 09:58 AM  
Post Your Fujifilm X100/X10 Pictures
Posted By grainbelt
Replies: 4,931
Views: 434,269
Kathy Bates, always a crack-up.

My buddy traps squirrels and takes them across the river to St. Paul to release them.
Forum: Photographic Technique 02-05-2013, 12:39 PM  
Thoughts on a "street shooting" setup?
Posted By grainbelt
Replies: 23
Views: 2,068
The S95 will be very useful, I'd at least bring it along and slide it into a pocket as a backup. It has a fast enough lens you should be able to use it without flash and get some very nice images.



My 94 year old grandmother loathes having her picture taken. So, I spend a fair bit of time 'playing with my phone' when I go to see her. She hasn't quite figured out that I'm taking a dozen pictures in the process. ;)
Forum: Photo Critique 02-04-2013, 04:49 PM  
Nature Overdone
Posted By grainbelt
Replies: 17
Views: 1,675
A good technique I learned a while ago is to leave your file unsharpened until you have a display size in mind. What looks good at web display size (as in this thread) may look really overdone when printed or viewed at much higher resolution. I'd guess viewing these at close to original size would show them more oversharpened than what we are picking up at small web sizes.

Keep that base unsharpened image around, you may find different uses require different technique.
Forum: Photographic Technique 02-04-2013, 04:13 PM  
Thoughts on a "street shooting" setup?
Posted By grainbelt
Replies: 23
Views: 2,068
The beauty of 'street' shooting is getting up in someone's face with an unobtrusive camera and having them look right at you.

Your style of hiding in the corner and sniping them gave you images that in almost every case have the person looking in a different direction, capturing half their face (the small girl across the street being the exception).

If this is really a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, you may have to step out of your shell and actually ask people if you can take their picture. I understand that you're comfortable shooting wildlife that way, but your family really aren't birds. My $0.02, no disrespect intended. I just think you need to revisit your intended process.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 02-04-2013, 01:55 PM  
Post Your Fujifilm X100/X10 Pictures
Posted By grainbelt
Replies: 4,931
Views: 434,269
My girlfriend has a bunny. I don't quite know what to make of it, but he's sorta cute, sometimes.





As much as I'm sure the X20 is great, I absolutely love EXR High ISO for indoor shots without a flash. ISO 1600 in both, around 1/25th of a second exposure. Light sharpening and vignettes added. Custom WB off a piece of mail on the coffee table.
Forum: Photo Critique 02-02-2013, 08:32 PM  
Nature Blue skies but COLD
Posted By grainbelt
Replies: 7
Views: 616
In number one, is that an out of focus tree branch either in front or behind the bird?

I'd try to be more mindful of the backdrop, or alternately be very tempted to clone it out in post, as it is quite distracting.
Forum: Photographic Technique 02-02-2013, 08:26 PM  
Thoughts on a "street shooting" setup?
Posted By grainbelt
Replies: 23
Views: 2,068
Walking up to people with that cannon is not going to get pleasing candids, IMO. That said, my old 55-300 was F/4 until about 105mm and was useful for some candids and portraits.

If you can deal with a fixed focal length, I'd at least add a fast ~30ish mm prime for low light / indoor shooting. Evening or night outdoor shots will only make this more of a necessity.

I've had a lot of fun using an older A series lens set to say, F/4 and the hyperfocal distance, then just walking around in Tv mode and firing away. No autofocus, no settings changes. Instant shots. Don't even really have to hold it to your face, can hit the shutter from chest height with it around your neck once you get used to it.
Forum: Photo Critique 02-02-2013, 05:24 PM  
People Smile of life
Posted By grainbelt
Replies: 3
Views: 817
A truly great smile, but the slow shutter speed or completely missed focus have left the photo quite blurry.

Even a slight tilt front or back by your subject can have you missing focus or causing motion blur at 1/25th. There are times when flash is the only real option, and this may have been one of them.
Forum: Photo Critique 02-02-2013, 05:20 PM  
People What do you want?
Posted By grainbelt
Replies: 3
Views: 647
The frame is a bit crowded with the hand cut off on the right and the head very close to the left.

Focus appears to have been missed, the ear and hair are sharp but the eyes are not - always want the eyes in focus.
Forum: Photo Critique 02-02-2013, 05:18 PM  
Nature Against Winter Skies
Posted By grainbelt
Replies: 2
Views: 455
#1 is perhaps the throwaway of this bunch, with the twig exiting the top of the frame and what appears to be front-focus (the face isn't sharp).

#2 is quite nice. You have good luck with that male cardinal. :)

#3, I wish the bird's left foot had stayed in the frame, and the black point is too low - I'd like to see more contrast in the bird's body, I assume the dark grey is really black, the colors would pop more as a result.

#4 I really don't mind the composition, it actually tells a bit of a story with them looking opposite directions, and the profile view of the female cardinal is sharp and well exposed. Again though, the black point could be brought in to produce more contrast.

I don't know if you're doing much for post processing, but there are some minor tweaks that could really improve the exposure in these shots.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 02-02-2013, 04:57 PM  
Post Your Fujifilm X100/X10 Pictures
Posted By grainbelt
Replies: 4,931
Views: 434,269
Indeed.

If you're going to hold the camera up to your face (like a camera), the manual zoom is fantastic. If I end up springing for the X20, it will be for the information overlay in the viewfinder.

I just prefer operating the camera with it stuck to my nose. :D
Forum: Photo Critique 02-01-2013, 12:11 PM  
Nature Color on the snow
Posted By grainbelt
Replies: 3
Views: 519
#2 is by far my favourite, you have made the best of the lighting. The others appear to be in shadows, and are mostly underexposed. 'Mrs. Attitude' could be improved in post with some additional warmth, brightness, and contrast.
Forum: Photo Critique 01-31-2013, 09:39 AM  
Black & White Fishing Nets
Posted By grainbelt
Replies: 5
Views: 882
Given the shutter speed and ISO, you had plenty of light to stop down a bit and get more of the nets in focus. As it is now, the composition and strong structural elements are compelling, but as you look deeper into the photo, you are met with... nothing. The out of focus foreground is also a bit of a detractor.

From a technical perspective, your processing has pure blacks but the whites peak at around 240 - there is more contrast available to you if you want it.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 01-22-2013, 05:14 PM  
Post Your Fujifilm X100/X10 Pictures
Posted By grainbelt
Replies: 4,931
Views: 434,269
Yes, any reflective surface would turn a point of light into a big ball. Particularly noticeable indoors when shooting pictures of people with metal framed glasses, or my most typical one, pies. Pie filling is shiny and I'd get twenty orbs all over it.

Per the phone call they are going to replace it, but there isn't much feedback out of the shop in NJ. I'll call them this week if they haven't emailed with some resolution.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 01-22-2013, 02:44 PM  
Post Your Fujifilm X100/X10 Pictures
Posted By grainbelt
Replies: 4,931
Views: 434,269
I have found that subject isolation with the X10 is a matter of placement of the subject relative to the background, shooting full tele wide open, and using fill flash to underexpose the background.

I'll do some more of that if I ever get mine back from Fuji. They've had it for over a week, waiting for a refurb/replace due to the orb thing.
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