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Thread: These amazing images.. broader that post.

  1. #1

    These amazing images.. broader that post.

    Hi there,

    I need to admit here at the top that I am a green beginner to photography having just bought my first DLSR. Two actually, Ill come to that... I do however work professionally with video so understand the concepts of exposure, content and post production. I am hoping that photography will become part of the service I offer as a film maker.

    I have searched for a forum where I may be able to ask some questions to some very experienced and knowledgeable photographers - you! So here I am. Thank you in advance! I have two queries I'd like help with not specifically about post production and printing. The first not at all.

    First.. After weeks of reading and then re-reading on-line reviews about which was the right camera for me to buy I, some what like Don Quixote, lost my grip on reality and did something fairly stupid.

    No sooner had I decided on the right camera to buy, logged on and purchased it then a feeling of panic ensued and insisted Id made the wrong decision. I then, in a fervor indecision, and even before the first camera had arrived, went out and bought the other one too. Im an idiot. And I now own both a Nikon D200 and a D90.Sigh.
    I have been starting to get to grips with them both and trying to make yet another decision about which one to now sell. I'm noticing that the D90 seems to take much brighter, more colorful images. At the same exposure and with the same lens, shadows seem darker on the LCD of the D200 leaving less range in the photos. Due to lack of software I have not yet imported these images into my computer to compare them and am just using the LCDs from each camera. What Id like to know is am I just noticing the bigger brighter LCD screen on the D90 or are its images that much more zesty?

    To add confusion to this conundrum I have made the mistake of buying two AIS lenses which won't meter on the D90. So a decision to keep the D90 will also mean selling two nice AIS lenses - 28 f2.8 and 85 f2. Anyway if anyone here has a thoughts on what I'm noticing It'd be very much appreciated.

    Number 2 here it is; Browsing through Flickr I came across a fantastic photographer from Belgium called Filip Meutermans. He calls himself a "hobby photographer" and is also, like me, is using a D200 as well as a D700. He is getting, to my taste, some really incredible images, especially in his portraits. The detail, texture and contrast he is capturing in the faces of his subjects amazes me and I'd like to know how he is doing it. I have the same camera and the images I am managing to create don't even seem to imitate the level of detail and beauty he is getting.

    Is it the lens? Or the lighting? or is it in the post production? I'm sure its a mixture of all of these but can anyone, looking at this example portrait below see what he is doing to create this style?

    Example portrait here. I think this portrait is taken outside?
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/fotofil...7624254210064/


    He is also taking photos in very low light condition that capture similar levels of detail.
    Example here..
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/fotofil...in/photostream

    I cannot understand as my D200 seems to do very badly in low light.

    Id be fascinated to hear any analysis of the techniques Filip might be using. Thanks for the wonderful images Filip!

    And thanks for any help Cambridge in Color Forum.

    Cheers
    T

  2. #2
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: These amazing images.. broader that post.

    Quote Originally Posted by rbmrpc10 View Post
    Is it the lens? Or the lighting? or is it in the post production?
    Yes. What's it's not down to so much is the body.

    So, in terms of the dilemma you face and the question you ask, the issue is not so much about the quality you get from one body versus another. They are both capable of helping you produce either wonderful, average of poor images. It's the other factors that you mention, along with your skill levels, that will determine how good your work is.

    The work your refer to is not produced just by having good equipment or knowing what sliders to operate on post-processing software. That's about having a vision; a creative goal. And pursuing it. When you start to aim for work of that quality, then you have to appreciate that technical knowledge and skill and high-end gear are all serving just one purpose - They are supporting the artistic creativity, knowledge and skill of the artist. Learning that is the real skill.

    Which body do you sell? The one you don't like as much as the other. It's down to personal choice.

    EDIT: By the way - A very warm welcome to CiC. Very rude of me not to say that. That's a mighty heavy first question to come in with, which is wonderful. It's what CiC exists for.

    You've maybe seen that most of us tend to use our real names on here. It makes communication more friendly and CiC is that sort of site. Did you know you can go to Edit Profile and enter your proper name under 'Real Name'. Then it will appear underneath your Username in all your posts. You can also enter your location so that it does the same, just as in my details alongside this message. Then we all know where everyone is in the world.
    Last edited by Donald; 3rd October 2011 at 05:26 PM.

  3. #3

    Re: These amazing images.. broader that post.

    HI Donald, thanks for the reply and nice to meet you. My name is Tom.

    I'm sorry if my first post was a bit big/heavy. I think all the internet debate on this has whipped me up into a frothy state of camera neurosis.
    Though I do think that Filip is employing some interesting and beautiful technique that i'd love to understand.

    Thanks for the advice and also the welcome.

    Tom

  4. #4
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: These amazing images.. broader that post.

    Quote Originally Posted by rbmrpc10 View Post
    Though I do think that Filip is employing some interesting and beautiful technique that i'd love to understand.
    Tom

    Might like to have a look at this thread, and this thread. Unfortunately, in one of the threads, the images are no longer linked to the forum. But you can get some useful information and links.

  5. #5

    Re: These amazing images.. broader that post.

    Wonderful. Ill have a read.

    Thanks very much

  6. #6
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    Re: These amazing images.. broader that post.

    I suspect he may be using a post processing technique called High Dynamic Range or HDR. Someone who is more into post processing than me can probably give you more details on how it is done.

    Still doesn't affect the fact that the images are the end result of artistic vision; probably the most important aspect of photography.

    As for the quality difference between the two camera bodies, probably negligible as either can take great pictures or garbage much like a pen in my hand will never write War and Peace despite it having the capability.

    Good luck and welcome to the forum

  7. #7

    Re: These amazing images.. broader that post.

    Hi mate,

    Thanks for the info. I always thought HDR meant taking numerous identical photos, therefore impossible with a human portrait?

    I have to say, in terms of the cameras as much as I like the feeling of the big and heavy D200 Im noticing the D90 picks out detail where the D200's image is either blown out or to dark to see.

    Tom

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    Re: These amazing images.. broader that post.

    Quote Originally Posted by rbmrpc10 View Post
    Hi mate,

    Thanks for the info. I always thought HDR meant taking numerous identical photos, therefore impossible with a human portrait?

    I have to say, in terms of the cameras as much as I like the feeling of the big and heavy D200 Im noticing the D90 picks out detail where the D200's image is either blown out or to dark to see.

    Tom
    Quite the conundrum.
    If your last is true, sell them both and find a D300 or D300s.

    Seriously though look at images from both cameras on computer screen. The D200's 2.5" lcd in addition to being smaller is only 230k dots vs 920k on the D90. ViewNX2 is a free download from Nikon. http://www.nikonusa.com/Nikon-Produc...tTabs.Overview

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: These amazing images.. broader that post.

    Quote Originally Posted by rbmrpc10
    I have to say, in terms of the cameras as much as I like the feeling of the big and heavy D200 Im noticing the D90 picks out detail where the D200's image is either blown out or to dark to see.
    Hi Tom,

    I can't help feeling that with the same exposure of the exact same subject - in fact with 'all things being equal' as they say, you won't see that much difference between the D90 and D200, but I guess the D90 sensor being more recent, it could be better.

    Can't help feeling there's just too many variables at play to make a sound judgement.

    Have you managed to compare the pictures on a monitor yet?

    One last thing; welcome to the CiC forums from ....

  10. #10

    Re: These amazing images.. broader that post.

    Wonderful thanks guys.

    Yes a conundrum, but only one that can work out reasonably well - the ownership of a great camera. I just like to get stuck into these kinds of choices and I thought the story of my ridiculously indecisive behavior may have been a comical example of problematic a state of being other people might be abel to to relate to.

    Yes I have compared the images on my computer and I stick by my judgement of the D90 capturing detail in the darks and the lights that the D200 doesn't get. My white window still was blown out on the D200 image and not from the D90. Perhaps Im being picky. What do you shoot with Dave?

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    Re: These amazing images.. broader that post.

    I wouldnt give up on either camera until you have some experience in using them. Your first impressions may be wrong.

    Also, a comment on the link you provided: the dark shot with the sofa was at ISO 100, the photographer just lowered the exposure by -2/3 stops.

  12. #12

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    Re: These amazing images.. broader that post.

    Hi Tom,

    Something I've written a few times recently is that the camera is "just a little box at the end of a lens that lets the light in" - and I'm actually quite serious about that. In most cases today, the capabilities of just about ANY modern camera aren't the limiting factor in the quality of the finished photography.

    - Typically modern cameras have more and more megapixels, and yet we LITERALLY discard over 95% of these when down-sizing an image for online display

    - Typically modern cameras have around 12 stops of dynamic range, and yet we typically can't reproduce even 1/2 of that on our screens, let alone in prints.

    And on it goes.

    The truth is that in the vast majority of cases, there is no "right" or "wrong" camera for general shooting -- there is however a HUGE overlap between models. Differences in things like exposure and saturation are - in a word - ZERO; any variation between models is so easily fixed in post-processing (which is a necessary part of photography regardless) that any co-incidental quality differences don't even rate a "trivial".

    In reality, the things that will have a FAR FAR FAR FAR bigger influence on your work will be things like lenses - lighting - tripod - technique - planning (and more).

    Hope this helps!

  13. #13

    Re: These amazing images.. broader that post.

    Thanks Colin, sound advice Im sure.

    I'm thinking Ill keep hold of the D200. Much easier for me to sell on the D90 and I like the AIS lenses Ive got.

    Can always upgrade to a camera with a newer sensor in a year or two if I feel the need.

  14. #14

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    Re: These amazing images.. broader that post.

    Hi Tom,

    You're welcome - I'm sure you'll be just fine

  15. #15
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: These amazing images.. broader that post.

    Quote Originally Posted by rbmrpc10 View Post
    Yes I have compared the images on my computer and I stick by my judgement of the D90 capturing detail in the darks and the lights that the D200 doesn't get. My white window still was blown out on the D200 image and not from the D90. Perhaps Im being picky. What do you shoot with Dave?
    I shoot with a D5000, which has the exact same sensor as D90. It has a dynamic range extending feature called "Active D-lighting", which may be turned on (on your D90) and may explain the difference (if the D200 doesn't have it).

    Cheers,

  16. #16

    Re: These amazing images.. broader that post.

    Yes Dave I thought that feature might be contributing. It seems to save some of the detail in the highlights. Sadly the D200 doesn't have it.

    Much of the info I have read comparing the two seems to center around the D90s better performance at higher ISOs. It seems to me that the D200 needs to shoot at higher ISOs more often. For example I might be able to expose properly at 200 ISO with the D90 but the D200 needs to be at ISO 500 for example. Is that feasible? Or am I making mistakes/misreading?

    Thanks again for all the advice

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    Re: These amazing images.. broader that post.

    Not to confuse anything, are you shooting in jpeg or raw?
    As far as I'm aware ISO should be as low as you need to make the shot.

  18. #18

    Re: These amazing images.. broader that post.

    Ive been shooting Jpeg fine.

    Yes I o on the principal shoot with the lowest ISO possible but the D200 seems to need higher ISOs to expose the image properly. Is this possible?

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    Re: These amazing images.. broader that post.

    Quote Originally Posted by rbmrpc10 View Post
    I always thought HDR meant taking numerous identical photos
    It does (or as an alternative, using equipment such as graduated neutral density filters to compress the dynamic range of a scene into something that the camera can handle). Unfortunately, a LOT of people mis-associate a certain over-saturated / over-sharpened look with being an "HDR look", whereas in reality, it's really no more than an ultra tone mapped look. Often the two technologies are (mis)used together, but they're not the same.

  20. #20

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    Re: These amazing images.. broader that post.

    Quote Originally Posted by rbmrpc10 View Post
    Ive been shooting Jpeg fine.

    Yes I o on the principal shoot with the lowest ISO possible but the D200 seems to need higher ISOs to expose the image properly. Is this possible?
    Possible yes, but unlikely - and it's still a sign something "isn't quite right". Normally one would shoot in Av mode, where the camera will automatically adjust the shutterspeed to whatever is required for a given aperture -- ISO really doesn't come into it unless the requested shutterspeed is longer than the camera can handle (typically 30 seconds).

    I'm guessing that you've got some settings differences between the two cameras. It would be helpful if you could do a side-by-side comparison and then post the images here with EXIF data intact so we can take a look at what the basic settings were.

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