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Thread: Working on Improving

  1. #1

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    Working on Improving

    Working on Improving
    Covered Bridge, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

    Working on Improving
    Masts Ahoy!

    Working on Improving
    After the Catch

    Working on Improving
    Steeple In The Sky


    I have been working on two issues: 1) Reducing noise; 2) Improving depth of field. I have just begun taking photography more serious (wait, that's not right, I am having a blast learning and experimenting, and just being out there taking pictures!), and I hope there has been improvement over my earlier posts.

    p.s. Geoff, I really look forward to your input.

  2. #2
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Working on Improving

    Warren

    I think #2 and #4 are the much better quality images in this set.

    I think #1 has got too much shadow and although it's obvious that the bridge is the main subject, it is a bit lost in the image. It's not really standing out. And the think strip of sky along the top is not contributing. So, I think that's a composition issue.

    I see the idea behind 3, but think it's too cluttered and had no clearly defined primary subject that catches the eye and provides the baseline from which we can then look round the rest of the image.

    #2 and #4, on the other hand, are good images, because they avoid many of the problems that #1 and #3 have.

    I think #2 is a very imaginative and creative composition. (I'd like to clone out that line cutting across the bottom-right corner). With some post-processing work you could build a lot more drama into that sky and really make the masts 'pop'.

    #4 is what I would call a classical image. Good strong, bold lines, shapes, tones and colour.

    In terms of the specific points you mention, I don't see noise as any problem in any of these images. But I am intrigued by some of you settings. Why, for example, did you feel you had to shoot #1 at 1/1000 at f5.6. at ISO 800? Even without a tripod I think you could have gone with a narrower aperture, reduced the shutter and still have reduced the ISO. With a tripod, which I would consider essential for a any of these shots, you could have been at ISO100 on all of them, f8, f11 or f16 and nice lazy shutter speed of around 1/15th, 1/20th or 1/30th.

    And as for DoF, again none of these presents a problem. But, just for information, I tend to think of f8 as the widest option available for most of the landscape stuff I do.

  3. #3

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    Re: Working on Improving

    I agree with what Donald has said, Warren.

    And in addition, I would say that I think your camera work is fine but you have been somewhat let down by your subjects.

    Initially, I thought the first photo was of a barn. There isn't really anything there that says 'bridge'. But sometimes you can't get that perfect angle. I often walk around a potential subject and have a little think; then just walk on past.

    On another day, the light might be different and it works really well.

    Recently, I had been thinking about photographing an old abandoned barn on a hill top so I returned when the sky was possibly suitable. And although I tried many angles, nothing worked. Even the three shots which I took got instantly ditched when I saw them on a computer screen.

    The second shot is a good idea but I would like to have a lot more contrast in a more interesting sky. Again, not really your fault you have done what you could.

    I think the third one could work with a rather substantial crop. I would crop the right side to leave just one stack of pots, and also cut the sky down by around half. If necessary, change the aspect ratio to 5 x 4 ratio.

    As an ex fisherman, I have been trying to work out how these pots actually work. Is that a 'soft eye' entrance towards the bottom or am I just seeing a bait bag there? The equipment which I used in the UK was quite different.

    And, as Donald remarked. The fourth shot worked well on all fronts.

  4. #4

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    Re: Working on Improving

    Thank you both for your input. I am seriously working on trying to get the technical aspect of photography down, and it truly is a lot of fun putting what I am reading into practice. I don't live close enough to any clubs or schools where I can get with other photographers, so I'm teaching myself thru the internet!

    As for the covered bridge, I'm waiting for warmer weather to actually wade out into the stream and get a picture facing down river, I think that will improve the subject matter.

    Geoff, to be honest with you, I have absolutely no idea how those crab pots work. The next time I'm down that way, I'll try and get a picture of the workings.

    Thank you again, and I look forward to posting more photos and receiving your input.

    Warren

  5. #5
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Working on Improving

    Quote Originally Posted by wegriffith3 View Post
    I have been working on two issues: 1) Reducing noise; 2) Improving depth of field. I have just begun taking photography more serious (wait, that's not right, I am having a blast learning and experimenting, and just being out there taking pictures!)
    Hi Warren,

    1) Not sure why you think there will be a problem - do not be too concerned by what you see at 100% while doing PP - as long as you didn't under expose and crop a lot, by the time an image has been downsized from say 4000px to say 1000-1500px, it will not be seen here.

    2) Short answer: Just use the correct aperture
    Long answer: Sometimes you want more DoF, so use a smaller hole/higher f number, other times less DoF (as might help with crab pots), so use a wider hole/lower f number - but I bet you knew that already

    Cheers,

  6. #6
    shreds's Avatar
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    Re: Working on Improving

    Warren,

    Hi and welcome. Looking at those shots, I get the feeling that some of your concerns are unfound and would tend to support Donald in his observations.

    I would suggest that you look here http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tut...-of-thirds.htm and consider the framing of the shot, try and ensure there is a definite subject that draws the eye, and consider the placing and balance of that object within the frame.

    Trying to include everything can be distracting.

    Also be careful with the cropping. A couple of the photos such as the masts and the bell tower leave me wanting to know what is below.

    Just my tu'pence worth.

  7. #7

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    Re: Working on Improving

    Thanks, Ian. That really laid it out in a way I could understand.

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