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Thread: First shot for critique from a D3000 gal

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    First shot for critique from a D3000 gal

    Hello Everyone: I hope I get this right the technology has raced ahead of me.

    I've been lurking around for a couple weeks now and am just amazed at the photos I've seen at this site. Very inspirational for a gal who just got back into her photography hobby.
    I've been away from this for awhile, but recently purchased a Nikon D3000 and have decided to give Digital a whirl.

    I'm learning a lot just by reading the posts here and elswhere on the net. I'd really like to get the best out of my shots. I've posted one from today and would like comments on how it could be improved. I hope the shooting information comes up with the picture, I'm not sure how to do all that stuff yet. Actually I'm quite amazed at the way the camera keeps track of everything and records it for you. Plus 1 for Digital, it's a very good learning tool.

    Anyway, I am rambling on. First Post... so many questions, so much to learn, not enough time.

    Anyway greetings to everyone, and I really love your photos.

    Scout
    First shot for critique from a D3000 gal
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 17th September 2009 at 06:44 AM. Reason: Trimmed out NX2 query

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    Re: Introduce Yourself & Welcome Other Members (2)

    a nice photo, only obvious thing i can think of is that it looks like it could do with stretching the contrast a little

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    Re: First shot for critique from a D3000 gal

    Hi ScoutR,

    Welcome to CiC - great to have you with us

    I've given your image a Photoshop 30-Second Makeover (TM!) for you ...

    - Increased the contrast

    - Increased the saturation (slightly)

    - Sharpen

    What do you think?

    First shot for critique from a D3000 gal

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    Re: First shot for critique from a D3000 gal

    amazing Colin.

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    Re: First shot for critique from a D3000 gal

    Hi scout, welcome to CiC. I think colin helped your photo out alot with his edit.
    A couple other things that will help are: getting your horizontal and virtical lines straight ; Having a clear cut subject...........is it the flowers-the reflection in the window-the railing in the front????? Once you deceide what the subject is, make shure it takes up a large portion of the frame.

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    Re: First shot for critique from a D3000 gal

    I've given your image a Photoshop 30-Second Makeover (TM!) for you ...
    Thanks Colin: What is TM? (Ten Minutes; Total Makeover; Trade Mark....??)

    - Increased the contrast

    - Increased the saturation (slightly)
    This is good. I like the way it brings out the golden colour on the back of the fence

    - Sharpen
    Yes: that works the flowers look much better now. Would have been much better if the focus in the original had been more on the flowers. I'm not sure if it was poor focus or camera shake, but your touchup helps it along nicely.

    What do you think?
    I like what you've done. Were all the adjustments done on the whole picture? If so I should be able to do that kind of thing (keyword = "Should" I still have some problems, mostly just fool around and try things out, but tend to crash my computer occasionaly )

    I'm really having trouble doing anything with specific areas. For instance, I would like to be able to sharpen the flowers, increase saturation (I think) on the inside of the fence, to show the golden highlights, but perhaps keep the softness of the rest of the pic. Is it difficult to do that with Lightshop (I'm thinking Lightshop would be a good place to start rather than the full Photoshop program) I'm finding local adjustments pretty difficult with Capture NX, but I have no experience whatsoever so it's a steep learning curve.

    I think I know how to use the Touchup tool now, so I will get rid of the white stain at the top left of the window. Maybe I can get rid of that cord at the right side too.

    By the way, I notice that some pics are posted with all the camera and shooting information (sorry I know there is a name for the data, but I can't remember right now) Is there a way to post pictures to automatically include that info, or do I have to cut and paste it into the post.

    Thanks again for your help. I'm going to try to work on the original and see if I can duplicate what you've done. I know this photo is not a work of art compared to what I've seen here. I kind of like it though, and thought it would be a good staring point. I might even go back and try to shoot if again with better focus and exposure a journey of a thousand miles....

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    Re: First shot for critique from a D3000 gal

    I think colin helped your photo out alot with his edit.
    I agree! I am going to experiment and try to duplicate what he has done. I don't have Photoshop, but I think I should be able to do it with the software that I have.
    If I have time I am going to go back and reshoot, and try to get a better original shot. Seems kind of silly, but I figure if I try to work out the bugs on one shot, it will help me in the future.

    A couple other things that will help are: getting your horizontal and virtical lines straight
    Hmmmm... You are absolutely right, and as I look through my other pics, this now jumps out at me. Many are quite crooked. . Good Grief! I've been very careless with this so far. Thanks for pointing it out. It's so obvious now... why didn't I notice

    Having a clear cut subject...........is it the flowers-the reflection in the window-the railing in the front????? Once you deceide what the subject is, make shure it takes up a large portion of the frame.
    In this case I just liked the way they all looked together, and the way the corners of the fence lined up with the corners of the window. I can see some possibilities for cropping though. I will try and see if I like the result.

    Anyway, a reshoot is in order. I am going to work on the one I have now to get the most I can out of it, but hope to get back and reshoot the same pic with better exposure focus and straight horizons. LOL that's not too much to work on - just all the main items. It's going to be a long journey I'm afraid.

    Thanks for your comments, Any help is appreciated. I hope to have some better photos to show for it in the future.

    Scout

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    Re: First shot for critique from a D3000 gal

    If I have time I am going to go back and reshoot, and try to get a better original shot. Seems kind of silly, but I figure if I try to work out the bugs on one shot, it will help me in the future.
    Oh no it doesn't. It's a brilliant way of learning, in my view.

    Thanks for your comments, Any help is appreciated.
    That, I'm sure you'll find, is where this site is wonderful. People are really dedicated to helping. I've been a recipient!

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    Re: First shot for critique from a D3000 gal

    Welcome, My name is jack, this forum has some of the most creative talent to pic from. Tell us something about you. Do you perfer to shoot indoors or outside. I perfer landscapes. some folks like to photogragh things around the home, Not me though
    Well, maybe a lucky snapshop of the pooch...The Flower arrarangement looks nice though Goodluck

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    Re: First shot for critique from a D3000 gal

    this forum has some of the most creative talent to pic from.
    Yes I agree. The thing that has kept me here, besides the amazing photos I see displayed is all the helpful and well thought out advice and tips.

    Tell us something about you. Do you perfer to shoot indoors or outside.
    Well... I just got back into photography about a month ago. Years ago photography was my main hobby, but I got away from it due to the expense, and I was never really that good at it. Back in those days, I was the family photographer. You know - the Kids, Sports, Christmas that kind of thing. I'm glad I did it though because, we now have some better than average photos of the kids when they were young and general documentation of family events. Not proffesional, but better than average.

    Now I just like to wander around and take pictures outdoors. At this point I always seem to end up shooting flowers. Even when I screw up the flowers still look nice to me. LOL I'll keep practicing on the flowers and other stuff that does not move too much until I get the hang of the camera.

    When I get over the flower thing, I want to get into everything except people and birds. Both are too difficult. The birds are too small, move too fast and are usually too far away, just the opposite with people, but I can really make them look bad sometimes.

    What I really want to shoot are landscapes, and low light/night/available light photos. I love the Cambridge Gallery collection on this site.

    I'll be watching for your photos. Thanks for the welcome.

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    Re: First shot for critique from a D3000 gal

    Quote Originally Posted by ScoutR View Post
    By the way, I notice that some pics are posted with all the camera and shooting information (sorry I know there is a name for the data, but I can't remember right now) Is there a way to post pictures to automatically include that info, or do I have to cut and paste it into the post.
    Hi Scout,

    Your picture still has the "EXIF" data embedded (some PP software deletes it ), you just need a convenient way of extracting it for the ease of those that don't know how to get it, so you can paste it as plain text under the image (as I do).

    This is what yours looks like:
    Exif IFD0

    * Camera Make = NIKON CORPORATION
    * Camera Model = NIKON D3000
    * Picture Orientation = normal (1)
    * X-Resolution = 300/1 ===> 300
    * Y-Resolution = 300/1 ===> 300
    * X/Y-Resolution Unit = inch (2)
    * Software / Firmware Version = Nikon Transfer 1.5 W
    * Last Modified Date/Time = 2009:09:16 16:03:57
    * Y/Cb/Cr Positioning (Subsampling) = centered / center of pixel array (1)

    Exif Sub IFD

    * Exposure Time (1 / Shutter Speed) = 1/100 second ===> 0.01 second
    * Lens F-Number / F-Stop = 8/1 ===> /8
    * Exposure Program = aperture priority (3)
    * ISO Speed Ratings = 200
    * Exif Version = 0221
    * Original Date/Time = 2009:09:16 14:10:25
    * Digitization Date/Time = 2009:09:16 14:10:25
    * Components Configuration = 0x01,0x02,0x03,0x00 / YCbCr
    * Exposure Bias (EV) = 0/6 ===> 0
    * Max Aperture Value (APEX) = 5/1 ===> 5
    Max Aperture = /5.66
    * Metering Mode = pattern / multi-segment (5)
    * Light Source / White Balance = unknown (0)
    * Flash = Flash did not fire
    * Focal Length = 55/1 mm ===> 55 mm

    User Comment Character Code = ASCII
    User Comment =
    * Last Modified Subsecond Time = 00
    * Original Subsecond Time = 00
    * Digitized Subsecond Time = 00
    * FlashPix Version = 0100
    * Colour Space = sRGB (1)
    * Image Width = 409 pixels
    * Image Height = 640 pixels
    * Image Sensing Method = one-chip color area sensor (2)
    * Image Source = digital still camera (DSC)
    * Scene Type = directly photographed image
    * Colour Filter Array (CFA) Geometric Pattern = 0x00,0x02,0x00,0x02,0x01,0x02,0x00,0x01
    * Custom Rendered = normal process (0)
    * Exposure Mode = auto exposure (0)
    * White Balance = auto (0)
    * Digital Zoom Ratio = 1/1 ===> 1
    * Focal Length in 35mm Film = 82
    * Scene Capture Type = standard (0)
    * Gain Control = n/a (0)
    * Contrast = normal (0)
    * Saturation = normal (0)
    * Sharpness = normal (0)
    * Subject Distance Range = unknown (0)
    There's a lot of boring stuff, I have highlighted the more useful bits.

    You can see it easily in Nikon View NX and write it down easier probably.

    So for this it would be shortened to; 1/100s @ f8, ISO200, 55mm on Nikon D3000 and possibly add the lens.

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    Re: First shot for critique from a D3000 gal

    Thanks Dave, you and everyone else who replied have been very helpful.

    Below is the final edit on my picture experiment. I did a major crop to narrow down the subject as suggested by Steve S and I tried without much success to duplicate the edits that were made by Colin. I'm afraid at this point i can only do the most basic adjustments using Quick Edit in View NX - the Capture program is not good for my mental stability right now and someone could get hurt, so I will leave it alone.

    Now I know this might not look like a big improvement, but I really have learned a lot from the feedback, and it's only a matter of time til I can apply what I'm learning - that's my plan anyway.

    Thanks again everyone. I'm back to work tomorrow, so I won't bother you for awhile.

    First shot for critique from a D3000 gal
    Last edited by ScoutR; 18th September 2009 at 03:44 AM. Reason: wrong picture hosting address

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    Re: First shot for critique from a D3000 gal

    Quote Originally Posted by ScoutR View Post
    Thanks Colin: What is TM? (Ten Minutes; Total Makeover; Trade Mark....??)
    Just my cheeky "Trade Mark" (I'm always doing them for people)

    I like what you've done. Were all the adjustments done on the whole picture? If so I should be able to do that kind of thing (keyword = "Should" I still have some problems, mostly just fool around and try things out, but tend to crash my computer occasionaly )
    Yes - all adjustments were global (aka "on the whole picture")


    I'm really having trouble doing anything with specific areas. For instance, I would like to be able to sharpen the flowers, increase saturation (I think) on the inside of the fence, to show the golden highlights, but perhaps keep the softness of the rest of the pic. Is it difficult to do that with Lightshop (I'm thinking Lightshop would be a good place to start rather than the full Photoshop program) I'm finding local adjustments pretty difficult with Capture NX, but I have no experience whatsoever so it's a steep learning curve.
    I haven't heard of "Lightshop" - your not meaning Lightroom by any chance are you? The problem that many face is that Photoshop is the gold-standard, but it's pretty expensive. There are certainly many other packages that can do all that most people need (some are even free), but the problem you'll face then is learning how to translate "Photoshop-speak" (the near "universal language" used for image correction) into the native commands of whatever package your using. My encouragement is to stick with Photoshop (or Photoshop Elements at a pinch), even if you end up with a slightly older version (say, CS2).

    Keep in mind too that learning the techniques is an investment in education - and like anything it takes time and practice. If you do go the Photoshop way then I can recommend several EXCELLENT books that will help you no end. You'll also need to learn to "think outside the box" a bit too - quick example - sharpening just the flowers would be quite time-consuming ... easy work-around is to sharpen EVERYTHING and then use the history brush to revert everything except the flowers back to their previous unsharpened state; quick and easy to do.

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    Re: First shot for critique from a D3000 gal

    I haven't heard of "Lightshop" - your not meaning Lightroom by any chance are you?
    Yes, Lightroom is what I am referring too. Sorry about that, I should know better than to trust my memory.

    The problem that many face is that Photoshop is the gold-standard, but it's pretty expensive.
    I'm not worried so much about the cost as I am ease of use, and whether or not I will ever use let alone master what it has to offer. I'd imagine it's like most things though, better and less expensive in the long run to get something that's been tried and tested right off the bat.

    The long cold Canadian Winter should give me plenty of time to practice. Let me know which books to look for, I will start keeping an eye open for them. Remember though they have to be geared to a complete novice. For instance, I not only need to learn how to use the software, I also need to understand what I am doing. If you know of anything with step by step instructions along with a lot of theory in laymans terms, that is what I would be looking for.

    As I said in a previous post, it's great to know the possibilities. This is a great site for seeing what people are doing and the best part is the explanations that go with the photos. For now I will keep taking pictures so I have something to work on this winter. I have a feeling I will have either LightROOM or Photoshop by then.

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    Re: First shot for critique from a D3000 gal

    Quote Originally Posted by ScoutR View Post
    Yes, Lightroom is what I am referring too. Sorry about that, I should know better than to trust my memory.
    No worries Lightroom ("LR") has certainly come a long way in a short time - especially great for those who need to edit a lot of images efficiently. Unfortunately, I don't use it as with my landscape shooting as I typically pick the best of the bunch and just work on it in Photoshop from there.

    I'm not worried so much about the cost as I am ease of use, and whether or not I will ever use let alone master what it has to offer. I'd imagine it's like most things though, better and less expensive in the long run to get something that's been tried and tested right off the bat.
    Yours is a very common view. I like to think of it as being like a well-stocked workshop though - nothing says that you have to use every tool on EVERY project; it's more a case of having the best tools available for your selection for ANY project. Would there be some tools that you'll never use? Absolutely - but - on the flip side, would there also often be advanced tools that are better at certain jobs than others that aren't available in other packages? Again, absolutely.

    To be honest, I think it's fair to say that in general the thing that holding most people back from producing stunning images is probably closer to 70% lack of optimum post-processing skill and only 30% lack of "capture" skills ... in my opinion (and I stress that it is just my opinion - others may well disagree). I've never seen the logic in people spending thousands on bodies and lenses, and then refuse to invest even a few hundred in the other half of the digital process (being quality post-processing software and some good books that will go a long way towards helping them to get the most out of it).

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