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Thread: My First Few Pictures (C&C greatly appreciated)

  1. #1

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    My First Few Pictures (C&C greatly appreciated)

    Hi everyone,
    I am new to the forum and new to photography. I have been at this few a few weeks and thought I would share a my favorite pictures I've taken so far. I've only take about fifty pictures and most of them were just to help me figure out my new camera. I have a Cannon Rebel T3i (600D) with the kit 18-55mm lens and a Cannon EF-S 10-22mm wide-angle lens. The two pictures here were both taken with the 10-22, tripod and remote shutter release. I also used the live view mode for mirror lockup purposes. I included the images as-shot and after PP as to hopefully receive feedback on both processes.

    My First Few Pictures (C&C greatly appreciated)
    My First Few Pictures (C&C greatly appreciated)
    ISO 100
    f11
    25 sec
    22mm

    My First Few Pictures (C&C greatly appreciated)
    My First Few Pictures (C&C greatly appreciated)
    ISO 100
    f8
    271 sec
    10mm

    I didn't realize until I saw the pictures side by side that their compositions are incredibly similar

    I am a quick learner, especially when it comes to technical information, but I would like to be more comfortable and creative with my composition and subject matter. I realize that these things will take patience and practice but all C&C is greatly appreciated, so let me know if I'm on the right track.

    Thanks, Nate
    Last edited by CNU; 24th January 2012 at 09:20 PM. Reason: Pictures inserted incorrectly

  2. #2
    kdoc856's Avatar
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    Re: My First Few Pictures (C&C greatly appreciated)

    Nate,

    You have picked the right hobby, methinks. You appear to have a nice compositional eye, and not the least bit intimidated by PP. With all that free film you now have in hand, shoot just about anything and you'll slowly develop a real sense of what works and what doesnt. I see you've already discovered the Earth spins real fast (star trails). Keep shootin' and postin'. The folks here know just about everything and are the most gracious teachers you've ever had. Great start for you.

    Kevin

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    dje's Avatar
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    Re: My First Few Pictures (C&C greatly appreciated)

    Hi Nate and welcome.

    I think you're off to a good start too, both from a technical and compostional point of view.

    As far as your PP work, I prefer 1 over 2 and 3 over 4, for what it's worth ! You might consider cloning out those power lines in 3 and 4.

    As Kevin says, keep shooting to see what works and what doesn't. You can also benefit from other people's work in the same way.

    Dave

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    Re: My First Few Pictures (C&C greatly appreciated)

    Quote Originally Posted by dje View Post
    Hi Nate and welcome.

    I think you're off to a good start too, both from a technical and compostional point of view.

    As far as your PP work, I prefer 1 over 2 and 3 over 4, for what it's worth ! You might consider cloning out those power lines in 3 and 4.

    As Kevin says, keep shooting to see what works and what doesn't. You can also benefit from other people's work in the same way.

    Dave
    Well put Dave and I agree with your assessment of the best of the two sets and the cloning. Nice eye Nate. Keep shooting!

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    Re: My First Few Pictures (C&C greatly appreciated)

    Nice photos and good PP skills.
    There is one thing I have noticed in pic 1 - I can see a kind of halo around that triangular roof top - you might want to adjust that.

  6. #6
    William W's Avatar
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    Re: My First Few Pictures (C&C greatly appreciated)

    Quote Originally Posted by CNU View Post
    I am a quick learner, especially when it comes to technical information, but I would like to be more comfortable and creative with my composition and subject matter. I realize that these things will take patience and practice but all C&C is greatly appreciated, so let me know if I'm on the right track.

    I didn't realize, until I had compiled my response that others had already commented on some of the points I also noticed - but having made the diagrams, it seems a waste not to post them . . .


    In the composition of the second picture, the viewer's eye is stumped at two points - the bright light and the power lines -

    Think about what happens to the viewing eye - (it happens very quickly):

    My First Few Pictures (C&C greatly appreciated)

    The eye is lead in along the bridge into the scene (red curve) (Nice)

    Then the eye stops at the bright light (yellow) (OK) but perhaps stops too long – too invasive, maybe)

    Then the eye seeks out the remaining area of the image along the bridge edge (green)

    But the eye is stopped and is annoyed by the (nondescript) power lines (blue) interrupting the pleasant journey back to the start of the red line.

    ***

    I suggest to remove the power lines; and tone down the bright light; and perhaps put more emphasis on the texture of the sandstone to let the eye drool along the red line, a fraction longer . . .

    My First Few Pictures (C&C greatly appreciated)
    (Rough Indicative)

    . . . But think about these elements, when finding your viewpoint and then composing the shot.

    ***

    The Star Trails in this Photograph appear to be NOT within the main Subject Brief - so therefore they are annoying "streaky things" rather than adding any flavour - I suggest losing them - or bumping to ISO400 and pulling the Tv (Shutter Speed) to about 70s

    ***

    Also maybe (if you didn't) I suggest you bracket those type of shots (bracket the Tv) ± 1 stop.
    I would bet ½ a mars bar you are under exposed on the bridge shot (for really nice shadow detail).
    The highlights will hold with 1 more stop of exposure.
    The street light (yellow circle) is blown to the heavens anyway and one more stop isn’t going to effect a more noticeable burn, anyway.

    ***

    However IF you made that shot with a FILTER on your lens – then I bet the exposure IS O.K. and you have some VEILING FLARE and it is knocking about the MID TONE CONTRAST and shadow detail.

    So if you has a FILTER on that lens, whip it off, for those type of shots(**1).

    WW

    (**1)“those type of shots” = any one of - - - wide angle / zoom lens / long exposure / shooting into the light / bright lights on dark overall background / necessary to have shadow detail / backlighting / point light source in shot

  7. #7

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    Re: My First Few Pictures (C&C greatly appreciated)

    Thanks everyone for your encouragement and feedback. I will definitely keep shooting and now I have a few more things I know to watch out for.

  8. #8

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    Re: My First Few Pictures (C&C greatly appreciated)

    Hi Bill,
    Thanks for such detailed and specific feedback.
    Here is what I came up with...

    My First Few Pictures (C&C greatly appreciated)

    There is a little bit of a strange color shift around the light, but I guess that's what happens with such severe clipping. I tried to lighten up the rest of the bridge but couldn't get the yellows of the moss to stand out as much.

    I just have a couple of questions:

    By filter do you mean any filter or just ND filter? I had a UV filter (pretty much to protect the lens from scratching) don't normally take too many pictures in full daylight. Did that mute the mid tone contrast?

    When bracketing exposure, if I want a ± 1 stop, how can I calculate what exposure time I need. I know one f-stop doubles or halves the amount of light, so does this mean that I would need to double or halve the exposure time?

  9. #9
    William W's Avatar
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    Re: My First Few Pictures (C&C greatly appreciated)

    Quote Originally Posted by CNU View Post
    Thanks for such detailed and specific feedback.
    You are welcome.


    Quote Originally Posted by CNU View Post
    Here is what I came up with...
    OK. Good work.
    I do not wish to begin a C&C on purely your artistic interpretation vs. how I see it, save to say “yes” there is more DYNAMIC in this latest version.
    There is more INTEREST in the Sandstone.

    Quote Originally Posted by CNU View Post
    There is a little bit of a strange colour shift around the light, but I guess that's what happens with such severe clipping. I tried to lighten up the rest of the bridge but couldn't get the yellows of the moss to stand out as much.
    At the farther side of the Bridge, the purple Blue is annoying – that colour shift is exacerbated in PP in the original the shadows are a bit underexposed and also there is likely a different lighting source on that area of the bridge – if you have a look at my rough – notice I brought out a bit of the sandstone in that shadow area – I enhanced the RED saturation and also the YELLOW saturation. But I was interpreting the SANDSTONE to be a Subject exuding WARMTH on a LONELY NIGHT – your interpretation is of an OLD and LONELY Bridge being overcome with MOSS and some NEGLECT. Your interpretation is SAD, mine is HAPPY.

    Are they the EMOTIONS you wanted to convey to the VIEWER – or did you just wander into that interpretation from a technical basis like: “Oh I get what Bill wrote – I think I will make the sandstone stand out more – it had some moss on it that will look good”

    If you had a purpose for the PP which was predicated on an emotion you wished to convey, then that is the beginning of an artistic interpretation – which is what your question is all about.
    If on the other hand you read what I wrote and then translated that into a TECHNICAL application then that is NOT why I wrote, what I wrote to answer your question.

    I too am a very technical and highly analytical Photographer – I can just spend hours doing technical stuff and interpreting technical aspects of Photography – for example nailing the VEILING FLARE in your image, I actually LIKE doing that stuff – but I responded to your question, because I too had to “work at” being Artistic – and a long time ago I was told by one of my first teachers that I had no artistic talent whatsoever and would never be a Photographer’s a…hole, as he ripped up my first year assignment in front of the class . . . interestingly I spent a period of time believing that one is born either “artistic” or not . . . but that is not so: one is born with gifts and each of those gifts just requires different triggers in each of us to stimulate or unlock the talent.

    Perhaps you reading my idea suggesting that you have a purpose for the PP and to give the bridge human like characteristics, are the triggers you require to stimulate your artistic gift, such that occurs to YOU less difficult to recognize and exploit that talent you have?


    Quote Originally Posted by CNU View Post
    By filter do you mean any filter or just ND filter? I had a UV filter (pretty much to protect the lens from scratching) don't normally take too many pictures in full daylight. Did that mute the mid tone contrast?
    I meant any filter.
    I meant PARTICULARLY a UV Filter.
    Flare is Flare, but there are different types of Flare.
    The Flare I a concerned about is NOT that Streaking Line of Hexagons running for the point source of light across the scene – I am worried about a less noticed VEILING FLARE which is caused by random light rays bouncing around INSIDE the lens . . . banging the INSIDE of the FILTER and then bouncing and wandering back and then randomly hitting the sensor (or film).
    At the very least this type of FLARE reduces the MID TONE CONTRAST.
    At the very worst it covers the image with a WHITE MILKY CLOUD.
    This type of Flare at the subtle end (lack of mid tone contrast) often gets worse if the image is underexposed and then if in PP the exposure (or brightness) is increased, by unskilled hands.
    That’s why I am guessing, that you are a bit underexposed, also.

    Quote Originally Posted by CNU View Post
    When bracketing exposure, if I want a ± 1 stop, how can I calculate what exposure time I need. I know one f-stop doubles or halves the amount of light, so does this mean that I would need to double or halve the exposure time?
    Yes
    Your Bracket would have been:
    f/8 @ 270s @ ISO100 (what you think is the correct exposure)
    f/8 @ 540s @ ISO100 (+1)
    f/8 @ 135s @ ISO100 (-1)

    (Now I think that f/8 @ 540s @ ISO100 would have been closer to the most suitable exposure – so therefore, if we could have the time over again, using ISO 200 or ISO400 might have been better, perhaps.)

    ***

    Exposure Technical stuff in a nutshell – it is really simple and does not require any long division nor a calculator
    There are THREE exposure parameters:

    Shutter Speed – how much TIME do I let the light hit the Sensor or Film
    Long time = lots of exposure

    Aperture – how BIG is the HOLE I let the light pass through
    Big Hole = lots of exposure

    Sensitivity (ISO) – how easily STIMULATED is the Sensor or Film to the light
    Highly Sensitive (High ISO) = lots of exposure

    And these are all related – just exactly as you have stated.
    A good method to begin is to think one step at a time, this way:
    “I can move any TWO at once and keep the same exposure.”

    Open up one stop (Bigger Aperture) AND halve the exposure time (Shorter Time) = the same exposure.
    Open up one stop (Bigger Aperture) AND halve the ISO (Less Sensitive) = the same exposure.
    Double the Shutter Speed (Longer Time) AND halve the ISO (Less Sensitive) = the same exposure.
    Halve the Shutter Speed (Less Time) AND Double the ISO (More Sensitive) = the same exposure.
    Etc.

    Written:
    f/8 @ 1/200s @ ISO200 ≡ f/5.6 @ 1/100s @ ISO200 ≡ f/5.6 @ 1/200s @ ISO100
    Etc.


    Your Image:
    f8 @ 270s @ ISO100 ≡ f/8 @ 135s @ ISO200 ≡ f/8 @ 68s @ ISO400

    Hence my comment:
    The Star Trails in this Photograph appear to be NOT within the main Subject Brief - so therefore they are annoying "streaky things" rather than adding any flavour - I suggest losing them - or bumping to ISO400 and pulling the Tv (Shutter Speed) to about 70s

    WW

    PS gee I hope my numbers don’t have any typos as I haven’t had my coffee yet!

  10. #10

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    Re: My First Few Pictures (C&C greatly appreciated)

    Quote Originally Posted by William W View Post

    Are they the EMOTIONS you wanted to convey to the VIEWER – or did you just wander into that interpretation from a technical basis like: “Oh I get what Bill wrote – I think I will make the sandstone stand out more – it had some moss on it that will look good”
    Since I began, I have done a lot of reading and thinking, but nothing has puzzled and intrigued me more than that question. When I first read it, I was a little embarrassed because to be honest, all I had taken from your first reply was instructions on how to make the picture technically better. To answer the question, the purpose of my PP was to make the picture look better. The thing that really puzzled me though was how I defined better, and how stubbornly I was attached to that definition. For example when I looked at your rough, I saw changes to the power lines, light and stars, but I completely overlooked your interpretation of the scene.

    Quote Originally Posted by William W View Post
    I enhanced the RED saturation and also the YELLOW saturation. But I was interpreting the SANDSTONE to be a Subject exuding WARMTH on a LONELY NIGHT – your interpretation is of an OLD and LONELY Bridge being overcome with MOSS and some NEGLECT. Your interpretation is SAD, mine is HAPPY.
    I overlooked the difference in tone because I suppose I did have a vision and I probably had from the time I took the picture, I had just never really thought about it. It took me some time to figure out exactly what I was thinking, but after looking over other pictures I have taken, I noticed a theme of nature reclaiming man made objects. (Others included vines climbing a old chain link fence and a stream flowing through the ruins of a mill.) I realized its not the bridge I am trying to examine but instead the moss as an extension of the bridge's surroundings. I am showing nature as a force, not necessarily malevolent or benevolent, but instead wonderful and alien, hesitantly claiming the bridge like a child peeking his head over the kitchen counter reaching for a cookie or a cat playfully reaching into an aquarium. This could be why I was drawn to strange colors such as the electric purple and yellow instead of the warm and cold colors you had chosen.

    Of course I don't know how much of this I had really conceived when I took the shot or how much of it I made up in response to your "triggers," but regardless I have gained a new appreciation for my own picture. I feel like I have just stepped into a much bigger world of thinking. Its a little daunting but I'm excited.

    Thanks, Bill, for all your help. I really appreciate all the thought and effort that has gone into your replies. They have been much more stimulating than anything I expected to receive.

  11. #11
    William W's Avatar
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    Re: My First Few Pictures (C&C greatly appreciated)

    Very Good.
    I am very happy too.

    WW

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