A novice looking for tips, hints, suggestions and critique.

Discussion in 'Photography' started by miktar, May 15, 2006.

  1. miktar

    miktar Guest

    I've recently found myself attracted to photography has a hobby. I
    started taking photos, and after I took around a thousand or so shots,
    I went through them all and picked which I thought were the nicest.

    You can see them here: http://www.dragotaur.com/photography/

    I'm looking for helpful suggestions that'll guide me towards
    improvement (as I know I have far to go, as is obvious when you look
    online on sites such as Flickr). My camera is a Kodak DX6490, cheap I
    know, but the only one I could afford.

    Thus far, I find it's lack of manual focus rather vexing.

    So, if you can make any suggestions, please do, I would appreciate it.
    :)
     
    miktar, May 15, 2006
    #1
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  2. miktar

    dadiOH Guest

    I can understand why. You have a far greater than average "eye"...an innate
    sense of composition be it for form or color. The best suggestion I can
    offer is that you get a camera ASAP that not only allows manual focus but
    manual exposure control as well.

    --

    dadiOH
    ____________________________

    dadiOH's dandies v3.06...
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    dadiOH, May 15, 2006
    #2
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  3. I looked at maybe 15-20 or so of your images. I saw 1 that I
    didn't like. I saw two that I would have changed (with
    Photoshop, or whatever, to have more contrast).

    That is simply *astounding*!
    You don't need suggestions from other people so much as just
    the opportunity to explore your talents!
    Probably not the camera I would have bought, but still that is
    not exactly a _bad_ choice! A 10x zoom that is moderately fast,
    etc etc.

    Regardless, I'd sell it now while it still has some value used,
    and find a second hand Nikon DSLR. Of course everyone has a
    different concept of what equipment is best, so you'll have to
    decide for yourself what best fits *you*.

    One reason for that suggestion is because your favorite subjects
    don't appear to require auto-focus at all. It isn't like you
    are shooting fast moving sporting events or little kids playing,
    where auto-focus is priceless. Consider that there are dozens
    of very high quality manual focus lenses available that will
    work with modern DSLRs (at least with Nikon and Pentax brands,
    maybe others). Superb lenses that sell for less than $100 are
    common, and less that $50 lenses are not hard to find.
    What I could not tell from looking at a couple of reviews, but
    probably would find in the manual, would be ways to trick the
    focusing system. Does it allow, in any way, locking the focus?
    Aim it at one thing, focus, lock, and then reframe on desired
    scene?

    What I saw said multi-focus zones. It may be that you'll be
    limited to whatever you can frame using different zones. (And
    that *would* be frustrating!)
    Save up your coins. Rather than look for suggestions on how to
    make pictures, ask about how to acquire whatever kind of
    hardware you desire without going bankrupt or going to jail for
    "misappropriation".

    Do you have any dreams about what kind of equipment you wish
    you were using? It might be that others here can help with how
    to go about it.
     
    Floyd L. Davidson, May 15, 2006
    #3
  4. miktar

    dadiOH Guest

    BTW, I'm not suggesting that your exposure is bad, merely that a
    non-automatic camera will allow you to expand on your obvious talent.


    --

    dadiOH
    ____________________________

    dadiOH's dandies v3.06...
    ....a help file of info about MP3s, recording from
    LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that.
    Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico
     
    dadiOH, May 15, 2006
    #4
  5. miktar

    miktar Guest

    Thanks. ^^ I guess you're right, I should step up my equipment a bit.
     
    miktar, May 16, 2006
    #5
  6. miktar

    miktar Guest

    Thanks. I have to stick to my current camera for a while though, it
    cost R2000 and that was a pretty penny for me to begin with. ^^ I can't
    quite sell it yet.

    I'll try the focus lock idea, not sure if that will work though. I
    don't really know much about equipment, so I'll have to research.
    Thanks for the help!
     
    miktar, May 16, 2006
    #6
  7. miktar

    Kernix Guest

    Yeah, bag that camera. I bought Canons A2 at a time when it was the
    model just below their pro model. I just bought a 2nd used A2 body at
    KEH for about $200 or $250. I buy all my equipment used now - and from
    them. Here's a link:

    http://www.keh.com/onlinestore/home.aspx

    So you should consider getting an 35 mm SLR of some type NIKON or CANON
    - sounds like a digital SLR or medium/large format camera is out of
    your price range. I shoot exclusively ISO 100 slide and my A2 does
    great. I'm glad I didn't buy the pro version - like I really need to
    shoot 10 frames per second - my 6 frames per second is more than
    enough.

    A couple of your pics had good composition, but the lighting was weak.
    I think that was because you are shooting in the afternoon. Is that
    correct? The light is really harsh in the afternoon except during the
    winter. The only time I have sucessfully shot in the afternoon was when
    I was in the woods and my subject was a small waterfall that was being
    absolutely nailed by the sun. My comps were of the water, and rocks in
    the water just in front of the waterfall - a nice mix of blues on the
    surface of the shaded sections, and bright gold where the sun was shing
    on the mud in the water. All other attempts at afternoon shooting were
    horrible - washed out skies, bland colors, etc. Spend the day scouting
    compositions, but do your shooting at dusk or dawn.

    And consider getting a decent tripod.
     
    Kernix, May 16, 2006
    #7
  8. miktar

    Kernix Guest

    Dude, I just looked at the specs on your camera - it's not that bad -
    spend the next year or so learning photog and saving for a better
    camera.

    You have a few options here - the focusing options are Center Focus,
    Centerwide Focus, Side Focus, Center & Side Focus, and Left & Right
    Focus. For example, if you composed a shot so that your subject if left
    of center select the side focus to focus on the subject.

    Have you messed with your PASM Mode? (P)rogram / (A)perture-priority /
    (S)hutter-priority / (M)anual Mode? You can do a lot in that mode and
    you have total control in the Manual Mode. Plus in that modes(s) you
    have something called the Focus Zone feature:

    1. in PASM mode press the Menu botton,
    2. press the triangle up / triangle down button to highlight the Focus
    Zone you want,
    3. select either Multi-zone or Center Zone focusing - it looks like
    Mutli-zone is a form of evaluative metering and reads 3 different areas
    and takes the average - I'd say you want Center Focus.

    Good luck and buy a tripod and shoot at pay attention to the light
    levels/sources.
    Jim
     
    Kernix, May 16, 2006
    #8
  9. miktar

    lmelendez Guest

    I also agree about your eye is far better than the average joe taking
    pictures. I took a look at your pictures and I saw a few I liked.
    Getting a better camera would help, but reading a bit about photography
    will help too. Even though you cannot control a lot of things in your
    camera, there are a few things you can do to improve the quality of the
    pictures.

    Also, learn as much as you can about post processing your digital
    pictures. That experience will help you down the road as well.

    There is a lot of good information here... never be afraid to ask.

    Leo.
    http://www.bluejaygallery.com
     
    lmelendez, May 16, 2006
    #9
  10. miktar

    miktar Guest

    I can only shoot in the afternoon right now, due to work. As for KEH, I
    checked and it seems they don't ship to South Africa, so I can't use
    them.

    I'll try to get more shooting done at dawn, but currently, that would
    mean getting up at 6am. :p
     
    miktar, May 17, 2006
    #10
  11. miktar

    Kernix Guest

    Well, the bright sun really hurts. Do you have a circular polarizer.
    That might help a little - back lit shots or at most the sun at 90
    degrees of either shoulder. Also, try shooting in shadows - actually
    using shadows as a compositional subject is a great exercise.
     
    Kernix, May 17, 2006
    #11
  12. miktar

    dadiOH Guest

    Not to worry about the time of day. It is true that early or late light can
    be dramatic but that doesn't preclude making excellent photos at other times
    during the day.

    --

    dadiOH
    ____________________________

    dadiOH's dandies v3.06...
    ....a help file of info about MP3s, recording from
    LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that.
    Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico
     
    dadiOH, May 17, 2006
    #12
  13. miktar

    Kernix Guest

    Well, the washed out sky in pics 3 & 5 was a result of the time of day.


    You do have to worry about it - or more aptly put - you need to compose
    more carefully and get around the issue. The exception would be when
    shooting B+W film, or as mentioned, during the winter months.
     
    Kernix, May 17, 2006
    #13
  14. miktar

    dadiOH Guest

    I don't know which pix you consider to be 3 & 5 but did you ever consider
    that maybe he *wanted* a "washed out sky" to accentuate other forms?
    _______________
    I know that you spent a year in a portrait studio and therefore have an
    outstanding grasp of light but WTF difference does B&W film make?


    --

    dadiOH
    ____________________________

    dadiOH's dandies v3.06...
    ....a help file of info about MP3s, recording from
    LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that.
    Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico
     
    dadiOH, May 17, 2006
    #14
  15. miktar

    Kernix Guest

    Wow, wowo, wowo - what's with the agression - ease up.

    Why don't we ask him - did you want a washed out sky? I've never wanted
    one.

    What the **** dude? What, because I worked in a portrait studio - i
    don't know what I'm doing? With B+W you don't notice the color washout
    - it's a whole different way of capturing an image - you need to know
    the shades of gray that colors render in B+W - and the color washout
    with color film is much less evident that the shift in gray scale in
    B+W.

    Dude, relax - what the **** is with the anger. My god.
     
    Kernix, May 17, 2006
    #15
  16. miktar

    dadiOH Guest

    Not anger, irritation. I realize that many of those that frequent the group
    are relative beginners; still, some of the comments/suggestions are
    astounding. In this case in was your comment that, "Well, the washed out
    sky in pics 3 & 5 was a result of the time of day" inferring that would not
    have been the case early/late in the day. The sky can be washed out at
    *any* time of day...what matters is the exposure of it relative to the
    subject (light range one to the other).

    Another irritant was your dogmatic admonition, "All other attempts at
    afternoon shooting were
    horrible - washed out skies, bland colors, etc. Spend the day scouting
    compositions, but do your shooting at dusk or dawn". That may be your
    experience but if so it is due to your subject or your inability to cope or
    utilize, not the time of day itself. One can make perfectly wonderful
    photographs at any time of the day. Or night.


    --

    dadiOH
    ____________________________

    dadiOH's dandies v3.06...
    ....a help file of info about MP3s, recording from
    LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that.
    Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico
     
    dadiOH, May 18, 2006
    #16
  17. miktar

    Kernix Guest

    Whatever dude - you want to feel you're right - okay you're right - you
    know for certain that it was the exposure and not the time of day that
    was the cause of the washed out skies - and yes, washed out skies and
    bland colors are great to have in a photo - you definitely sound like
    you know what you're doing.

    And pay attention, I did mention I've had success shooting mid day -
    but after years of shooting I have had great comps runied by a bland
    sky - and if you want to beef up the skies then you have to underexpose
    - and that's not good if you lose details in your comp

    So I'm alone on this - funny how I've read in so many landscape
    articles how the photographer who only shoots at dusk but sleeps
    through dawn loses half the good light per day. Yes, you are right and
    the rest of us who feel otherwise.

    And your insistence that afternoon shooting is acceptable must involve
    closeups with flash/fill-flash or involve shooting in shadows. I like
    my $ and I don't like getting film developed and not having at least a
    10% ratio of KEEPERS - actually I want more or else I'm losing money.
    And I'm not about to shoot landscapes on color film with an
    uninteresting sky during the mid afternoon hours.

    But you're right, you're right, you're right - keep saying that to
    yourself - you are right and the rest of us are wrong.

    Jim
     
    Kernix, May 18, 2006
    #17
  18. miktar

    Kernix Guest

    I have ding dong - pay attention
    I have a lot of abstract night shots, a lot involving mult exposures,
    as well as 2 killer Hal-Bop shots perfectly composed.

    But you know more than me - you're way or the highway - yeah right!
     
    Kernix, May 18, 2006
    #18
  19. miktar

    dadiOH Guest

    <snip>

    Odd, what I read was, "The only time I have sucessfully shot in the
    afternoon was when
    I was in the woods and my subject was a small waterfall that was being
    absolutely nailed by the sun." and, "All other attempts at afternoon
    shooting were horrible - washed out skies, bland colors, etc."
    ___________________
    Not at all. It isn't hard to find photographs made mid-dayish with well
    saturated colors - including sky - and detail throughout. There are some
    at...
    http://www.brycecanyoncountry.com/photos-scenic.html
    Row 3, column 5 or row 5 column 1 for example.

    Lots more...
    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=scenic+photo
    __________________
    Whether or not the sky is uninteresting at that time of day depends upon
    several things including in which direction you are photographing. If that
    direction includes the zenith and the day is clear there is no reason for
    the sky to be other than a nice blue with normal exposure. If one wants
    even bluer, a polascreen will bump it nicely.
    ___________________
    No, just you. And you not necessarily always, just when you tell someone
    with obvious talent to confine his efforts to dawn/dusk.


    --

    dadiOH
    ____________________________

    dadiOH's dandies v3.06...
    ....a help file of info about MP3s, recording from
    LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that.
    Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico
     
    dadiOH, May 18, 2006
    #19
  20. miktar

    Kernix Guest

    Exactly - I'm not the only one who feels this way - you are saying that
    you are right and the rest of us are wrong.

    Plus your examples asshole are not even yours - how do you know if they
    weren't manipulated - and how do you know the time of day - oh, by the
    zenith of the sun - shut up you fuckin shithead.

    You're just a troll who has to start in with negativity.
     
    Kernix, May 18, 2006
    #20
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