Helpful Posts Helpful Posts:  0
Results 1 to 17 of 17

Thread: New Here

  1. #1
    agaace's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    WA
    Posts
    183

    New Here

    Hi guys, my name is Agata and I'm hopelessly in love with photography
    I've had my lovely Canon 40D, my first ever DSLR, for 6 months now, so I'm an absolute beginner.. but the more I learn, the more tricks and techniques I read about, the more I get excited. And now I accidentally found this website.. wow, I love it when photography is explained in technical way, using physics and maths! Being an engineer myself, I prefer digits and equations rather than my doubtful sense of esthetics And this is the best site explaining visually many technical aspects and limitations of photography I've found!
    Now about me.. I'm Polish, currently living in Ireland, and moving to the USA within the next 2 months. I love traveling and being on the move - it gives me energy I need to live and to go on. Over the last 8 years I never spent in one place more than 2 years.. so I doubt I will ever be able to settle down in one place/city/country.. I wish I could see the whole wide world, because every place is so unique and beautiful - I could give all I have to someone who invented teleportation My big dream is to spend a few months in Africa and to go to Antarctica. My favorite subjects for photography are night/sunset city skylines, natural landscapes, people and wildlife.. well.. with my lens it's rather squirrels than bears and wolves
    Here are some of my favorite shots.. sorry for the quality - FB compression, I'm too lazy at the moment to upload the photos elsewhere.. but I will setup a gallery.. one day

    New Here

    New Here

    New Here

    New Here

    New Here

    Cheers!
    Agata
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 12th September 2009 at 06:53 AM.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    466

    Re: Introduce Yourself & Welcome Other Members (2)

    hello.....Agata.. I really liek your first photo it very pretty..

  3. #3

    Re: New Here

    Agata

    A very nice set. No1 confuses me a little since I was led to believe you should not use flash for landscapes (only kidding). It throws me as to where the light in the foreground is coming from. It makes an intriguing image.

    No2 is beautifully executed. A little perspective correction in the buildings to the far right of the image would take this to near perfection for me.

    The portraits are moody enough to make them excellent subjects for mono conversion and that may take attention away from the highlights in the female subject. The sharpness of the male subject adds to the strength but a little softening of the female subject may help the overall effect. I am also in two minds about the close cropping of the portraits. It works well with the female subject but the male subject seems too close to me.

    No5 is missing something...I am not sure what. I think perhaps the water needs more exposure. Colin may have a view on this.

    Good luck with your ambitions, you are certainly well equipped to record your travel

    Steve

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: New Here

    Quote Originally Posted by Wirefox View Post
    No5 is missing something...I am not sure what. I think perhaps the water needs more exposure. Colin may have a view on this.
    Hi Steve,

    Personally, I'm wondering if it would look better with the bottom "third" of the image cropped off altogether (ie lose all of the water), and crop off the black bar at the top as well - would give it a very panoramic look.

    Just my thoughts
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 14th September 2009 at 10:41 AM. Reason: It's "panoramic", not "manoramic" - Doh!

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: New Here

    PS: Hi Agata - back in my assembly language programming days I used to be able to do "Hello World!" in about 15 bytes! (my how times have changed eh)

  6. #6
    CNelson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    USA - California
    Posts
    731
    Real Name
    Chuck Nelson

    Re: New Here

    Hi Agata:

    Welcome and thanks for posting. I really like the images you posted. Your images have an aesthetic quality that indicate you can "see" beyond the technical aspects of photography. It is possible to be technically proficient but unable to translate that into consistently aesthetic images - that is not you. Your technical inclinations when combined with a good eye for lighting, color, subject and composition will serve you well. I am impressed that you have done well with a range of subject matters from landscapes to cityscapes to portraits. There are a number of people on this forum with that combination of technical and aesthetic skills and I also appreciate learning from them.

    Chuck

  7. #7

    Re: New Here

    Agata - welcome to this forum! You will get some great feedback from the members here!

    Your shots are lovely! I wish I could say my first cracks at photography were as good!

  8. #8
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Windsor, Berks, UK
    Posts
    16,295
    Real Name
    Dave Humphries :)

    Re: New Here

    Hi Agata,

    #1; I'm thinking the foreground 'light' that is messing with Steve's head is actually because the shot has been HDR'd in some way - I believe I am seeing some unnatural shading on the far hill tops that is the give-away

    #2; very nice shot, I would agree with Steve about the perspective correction required, looks like you have applied a starburst to the bridge lights in PP, I'd be interested to know how you've done that?

    #3; I'm gonna disagree with Steve on this one (he'll get over it ), I think the extra tight crop goes well with the 'sulky' feel of the pose.

    #4; Here I do agree, the girl's shoulder would benefit from a wipe over with a blur brush to soften it some.

    #5; I agree with Colin to an extent, I wouldn't have either of the top or bottom black borders on this, but I would leave the sea in.

    All 5 shots might benefit from an overall sharpen (except where I've said soften #4), applied after they were downsized for web. Or maybe this is another unfortunate feature of the hosting and jpg quality.

    Anyway, in summary, I put these beyond your self-imposed 'beginner' status, a good series and I agree with Chuck's comments about your skills.

    Hope that helps,

  9. #9
    agaace's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    WA
    Posts
    183

    Re: New Here

    Wow, thank you Kevin, Steve, Colin, Chuck, Susan and Dave for all the comments!!

    Well.. I had a point & shoot camera with manual settings for 8 months before I got this DSLR (so you can count my total experience as a camera owner as 14 months now). At that time I started traveling a bit and I took my camera absolutely everywhere with me. Then I also started learning Photoshop, more less a year ago, I opened it for the first time and was completely confused - didn't know how to do the simpliest tasks in it.. So I AM a beginner!

    Re Photo #1 - it is a blended exposure: 1 exposure for the sky and 1 for the foreground. I didn't use any HDR software, blended it manually with a layer mask. The dark ridge at the top of the mountains was the pain in the.. it's still a bit visible, but it was the reason why I attempted blending I think.. 5 times, and was never happy with the result. It was my first ever blended photo, so I probably got lost with the light. I just didn't want the foreground to be too dark, and wanted the overall picture to be light, colorful and dreamy. But apparently I didn't pay enough attention to the light I also heard there are special metering methods for blended exposures? I did it using my intuition.. maybe that's the source of my problem here?

    Re Photo #2 - I know there's the distortion :/ I just didn't figure out yet how to correct it in PP. The flare from the lights is absolutely real, no tricks or postprocessing here! It's the Sigma 20mm f/1.8 lens that creates this beautiful shape (even though overall I don't like this lens, I find it too soft).

    Re Photo #3 - I tried a wider view, but I didn't like it. I find the tight one more interesting.

    Re Photo #4 - I agree I might have exaggerated with sharpness here.. You know, I'm now at the stage "my photos have to be super sharp" I still need to learn when sharpness is good, and when it's not that essential.

    Re photo #5 - The border.. hmm, it's just kind of "framing", very relative to where the photo is displayed The water.. I must try to brighten it up. Cropping it out completely? Sounds interesting.. but won't it make the photo too "flat" and dull? I'd have to experiment with it. Thanks for the ideas!

    As to sharpness.. the photos were originally sharp, but here they are hosted on facebook, that resamples them and compresses :/

    Here's a new photo from me - I got myself a new lens yesterday, so tonight I went out to test it. Here's my test photo - Ha'penny Bridge in Dublin, this time hosted on a proper server:

    New Here

    (click on the photo to see a bigger 1200px version)

    Hope you like it

  10. #10
    agaace's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    WA
    Posts
    183

    Re: New Here

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    PS: Hi Agata - back in my assembly language programming days I used to be able to do "Hello World!" in about 15 bytes! (my how times have changed eh)
    Hi Colin! Wow, I learned assembly too, but now I'm using higher level languages, especially that I specialize in user interfaces. Besides now in the times of managed languages, C++ is considered as something incredibly low level
    I've seen your gallery.. B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L landscapes! Wish I could take as beautiful landscapes as you do!! I love the ultra panoramic format. Formats of photos is still something that makes me feel insecure so I try to stick to 3:2 and 16:9, I haven;t mastered playing with other formats yet. I see you also travel a lot.. so you live from shooting landscapes and they pay you to travel to all those amazing places? Lucky you! I wish I had a job like that..

  11. #11

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: New Here

    Quote Originally Posted by agaace View Post
    Hi Colin! Wow, I learned assembly too, but now I'm using higher level languages, especially that I specialize in user interfaces. Besides now in the times of managed languages, C++ is considered as something incredibly low level
    I've seen your gallery.. B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L landscapes! Wish I could take as beautiful landscapes as you do!! I see you also travel a lot.. so you live from shooting landscapes and they pay you to travel to all those amazing places? Lucky you! I wish I had a job like that..
    Hi Agata,

    I'm afraid that these modern language environments are too much for my poor old brain - great to see that there's a whole new younger generation that understands it though

    Unfortunately I don't get to travel too much; almost all of what's in my gallery is shot around Nelson, New Zealand (and it's greater surrounding regions) ... I'm sure you'll make it down this way on your "world touring schedule" sooner or later

    I don't know how to catagorise myself these days -- I make some $$$ from photography - some from printing (almost exclusively onto large-format canvas) - some from canvas mounting - and some (probably most) from the computer side of my business (installing / managing PCs and small networks) Trying not to let my head spin too fast in a world of File Servers - SQL Servers - Exchange Servers - Active Directory (oops, better stop - head starting to spin again)

    Couple of thoughts came to mind with your shots:

    With #1 - if your going to use a layer mask, keep in mind that it doesn't have to be a black/white mask - if you set the opacity of your brush to something low (or paint with the appropriate shade of gray) you can paint very delicately and achieve a more "gentle" transition as you mask one image to reveal another - and if you go too far, just transpose the black / white and touch it up

    Keep in mind also that after you've transitioned between the two you than need to take a look back and evaluate the local contrast -- things that may look out of place because they're too bright (or dark) in relation to other parts of the scene (eg how your fence has the "flashed look") - I usually do some dodging / burning to get that part looking right (just remember to work on the right layer if you haven't flattened it).

    With #2 - Distortion can often be addressed with Filter -> Distort -> Lens Correction (off memory - my copy is out of action at the moment while I upgrade platforms) (i7 Extreme Edition - 12GB RAM - Twin Raptors in Raid 0 - eat your heart out!). Distortion correction often results in the need to crop an image - so pays to shoot a bit wider to allow for it. Remember too that wide-angle lenses don't "cause" perspective distortion - they just allow you to get close enough to the subject so that it occurs.

    With #5 - do you mind if I show you what I mean?

  12. #12

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: New Here

    PS: I just re-read your last post and realised that I'd missed a couple of things ...

    First up, very nice bridge shot - I think you've got a good eye for composition (not fair not fair not fair!).

    Second up, don't be afraid to try other aspect ratios - the trick is to shoot wide and then just crop off whats not needed - it'll look a little weird through the viewfinder (you natural instinct will be to zoom in because you'll feel that your not capturing enough detail, but once you crop it on the PC then I think you'll like the look). As a rule with 2:1 and 3:1 aspect ratio shots have an "anchor" close to one end that's about 1/4 to 1/3 the total horizontal width (closer to 1/4 is usually better), and if you encapsulate the image in an asymetric boarder (like I do here) then you can make it look more panoramic whilst at the same time still having an overall image that isn't too wide for the height (ie it reduces the aspect ratio whilst framing the actual image).

    PPS: Be sure to enter the bridge shot in our monthly challenge - I'm sure that it'll do very well


    Hope this helps
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 14th September 2009 at 11:02 AM.

  13. #13

    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Bucharest,Romania
    Posts
    1,331

    Re: New Here

    Hi,
    Linguistical border make me to show my opinons about woman portaiture.Because of that
    I prefered to proccess "a little" one of your shots(15 min).It was no other hidden intention.
    Layers,paint bucket, clone and Gaussian blur were applied.
    Thank You for understanding!

    New Here
    Last edited by Radu Dinu Cordeanu; 7th January 2010 at 11:24 AM.

  14. #14
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Windsor, Berks, UK
    Posts
    16,295
    Real Name
    Dave Humphries :)

    Re: New Here

    Hi Agata,

    So, you've a new EF-S10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM lens eh?
    Pleased with it?

    I like the bridge shot too (and the bridge; it is nicely lit), glad you said where it was.

    About the closest I have ever got to Dublin was Belfast , so at least I was on the right lump of rock
    That was a work thing and I think I flew in and out within 24 hours
    I must "do" Ireland sometime.

    On the topic of bridges, Photo #2 in the original post, I am surprised you get that many starpoints with a lens! I'm used to 6 or 8 (-ish), which is what made me think it was a PP effect.

    Cheers,

  15. #15
    agaace's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    WA
    Posts
    183

    Re: New Here

    Thanks for all the advice Colin!
    Photo #1 - I did blending with a large soft brush (1600px wide and softest settings possible)
    Photo #5 - Sure, go ahead do what you want with my shot Sorry I don't have a bigger veersion at hand to give you.
    I'll definitely have to try different aspect ratios! With shooting wider and cropping I'm just always concerned if the final resolution will be big enough? If I won't get too soft image? If it will be big enough to use it for anything like printing?

    Thanks Radu for your suggestion! I just think I'd prefer to keep the mouth sharp. Originally this image was supposed to be very overexposed, so that only the outlines of the face would be visible.. but I still need to practice this technique more..

    Hey Dave! Yep, EFS 10-22 and I love it Dublin is not really that photogenic.. depends on what you like to shoot. I find the river and bridges the best part, I'm not really fond of shooting buildings. Other than that I love Irish countryside - lots of beautiful places. And I'm moving to the USA in the next few weeks, to the Seattle area in WA, which is full of national parks and beautiful landscapes, can't wait!

    I've been to Belfast too, and I liked it, especially the surroundings of the castle. And in the next 2-3 weeks I'm planning to visit Scotland, that will be my farewell to Europe. I'm now looking for people from Scotland/UK who'd like to meet up somewhere there and spend one Saturday shooting some landscapes together, and maybe exchange some tricks/experience over lunch or dinner.

    Manhattan Bridge in Photo #2 - I was surprised myself when I saw the photo. Maybe it's special lighting? Maybe it's the angle? Maybe I used some weird f-stop? I don't know, but I can't replicate the effect with my Canon 10-22 But the Sigma 20mm overall is not that great lens.. apart from these beautifully shaped flares, it's not that good - too soft for me.

    Thanks for all the comments and advice once again!

  16. #16

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: New Here

    Hi Agata,

    Here's what I mean with cropping in the #5 shot (not as great as it could have looked because the resolution was so low, and there are some severely blown highlights in it).

    New Here

    With shooting wider and cropping I'm just always concerned if the final resolution will be big enough? If I won't get too soft image? If it will be big enough to use it for anything like printing?
    The short answer is "just don't worry about it" - in practice it's just not an issue. If your shooting wide and then cropping top/bottom then your not changing your print resolution (your only changing the aspect ratio) - PLUS - if you work on a print resolution being somewhere in the 100 (min) to 180 (max, In my opinion) dpi range you'll be able to print images that look just fine up to "several feet wide" (I do it all the time).

    Hope this helps

  17. #17
    agaace's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    WA
    Posts
    183

    Re: New Here

    Wooow!! Now I know what you meant
    Thanks for all the info about printing!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •