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Thread: First Post - Beach Pics

  1. #1

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    First Post - Beach Pics

    I went for a walk today on the beach and took of these few pics with my recently purchased D5000 (with kit lens).

    I'm still trying to get used to a lot of the settings in the camera - and I am strictly avoiding the automatic modes and instead staying in aperture priority mode.

    I really liked the wooden fences along the beach and I tried to capture the details on some of those. There was also a piece of driftwood that was washed on the beach, but I struggled to get a decent picture of that as the light was too harsh - but that was the best (also tweaked in Photoshop)

    All criticism is more than welcome.....

    First Post - Beach Pics

    First Post - Beach Pics

    First Post - Beach Pics

    First Post - Beach Pics

  2. #2
    Crabbe's Avatar
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    Re: First Post - Beach Pics

    Looks like you're off to good start. Re: the pics IMO #1 all the post in focus the rest OK out; #2 all the fence in focus; #3 does nothing for me;#4 horizon horizontal unless there is a good reason why not. I like your idea of moving off auto. I'm sure you'll find it more interesting - -and sometimes frustrating. Keep up the good work.

  3. #3
    pwnage101's Avatar
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    Re: First Post - Beach Pics

    I don't know if you were going for mood, but the first image is way to pale for my liking.
    First Post - Beach Pics

    As for the third image, I get to thinking and wondering what could that object leaning against the poles in the back be. Looks to have a handle of some sort.

    Anyway, keep shooting and always keep an eye open. good work

  4. #4
    agaace's Avatar
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    Re: First Post - Beach Pics

    Good start! First days with the camera are always frustrating, don't give up!
    My best piece of advice, once you figure out all the camera functions, is to choose the photo subject carefully. There must be something you, the photographer, want to say with the image. Depending on the type of the photo, you may want to say different things. A portrait or a travel photo is great when it tells a story. Landscapes hardly tell any story, but they play with feelings and emotions. You compose them carefully, using light, shapes, textures, reflections, symmetries and patterns, and make them esthetic.
    Now, when you're photographing a wooden pole, you have to ask yourself this question: what is it you want to say? Is it some texture, shape, symmetry, reflection or pattern that you found interesting? Maybe it's some light effect or color contrast? Maybe you found the rust interesting and want to show how old this thing is? Whatever it is, you have to know what you want to show with an image, and compose around this thing, make the viewer's eyes get attracted to it. The viewer shouldn't have to guess what you wanted to show. It's pretty difficult at the beginning, I know, but don't worry, you'll get it with practice.

  5. #5
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    Re: First Post - Beach Pics

    Niall,

    Welcome to the group.
    Some advice,
    1. take photos at different times of the day, especially early morning and night time.
    2. Take multiple photographs of the same subject, change your position to the subject, change your camera settings (unless you are happy with results).
    3. Review your manual or field guide before going out to take photograhs and take along a notepad to record why you were inspired to take that particular shot or any other hints you might use at a later time.

    Have fun

  6. #6

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    Re: First Post - Beach Pics

    Thank you for the feedback - all very useful.

    @pwnage101 - I really like what you did with that photo. I was playing about with Photoshop for ages trying to bring out the colours of #1. How did you do that?

    Anyway - I'll keep snapping, and hopefully the technique will improve

  7. #7

    Re: First Post - Beach Pics

    Very nice start Niall. I like No2 best and can see what you are trying to do with the composition. A slightly different angle without the sky may have helped. As for increasing vibrancy etc levels and curves in PS or GIMP. The combination of these two tools will give the biggest step change in an image. I am not over keen on wildly tilting horizons (but then I have inner ear problems).

    Shadowman has provided good advise and although I am way too lazy to write things down it will help with the initial outings.

    Steve

    Whoops I forgot...dont be afraid to use fill flash with your close-ups in A-mode. You will be surprised how it can lift an image.

  8. #8
    pwnage101's Avatar
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    Re: First Post - Beach Pics

    Quote Originally Posted by niallc99 View Post
    @pwnage101 - I really like what you did with that photo. I was playing about with Photoshop for ages trying to bring out the colours of #1. How did you do that?
    -paste into photoshop, convert to 16 bit mode.
    -convert layer to smart object.
    -go to edit > adjustments > shadows/highlights; play around with these; radius about 80px; be subtle.
    -create a levels adjustment layer. clip whites and blacks. still too pale? clip more; don't be subtle; hold down alt to make sure you don't clip too much.
    -alter midtones in each channel of the levels layer. this is white balance, i made it slightly warmer.
    -create a curves layer and change blending mode to luminosity. add a subtle linear contrast, that's all it takes
    -create vibrance layer. pull both saturation and vibrance up to about 20; i'm not exactly too sure what i'm doing here
    -hold ctrl+alt+shift+E and make that layer a smart object.
    -apply Unsharp mask; radius about 20px, 30%, and 40% masking; this step is extremely experimental and it seems to have brought out detail in the wood without adding too much contrast
    -apply Unsharp mask; 0.7px, 30%, 0%

    NOW, starting with the first layer, alter each layer until the image looks right. I never get it right in the first pass. first pass is just to get an idea and provide grounding for the second pass.

    happy photoshopping!

    Oh, don't forget to convert back into 8 bit for jpeg. By the way, there is always a possibility of banding if you bypass ACR. Using ACR rather than photoshop would fix that, but that's your choice. If I see banding, I grab the blur tool before even thinking about using ACR. Don't take my advice religiously, people here tend to actually consider my ways taboo. ACR does a wonderful job at maintaining data because it processes the image in just one go, whereas each of my photoshop layers destroys data.
    Last edited by pwnage101; 5th April 2010 at 05:04 PM.

  9. #9

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    Re: First Post - Beach Pics

    Hi, Niall;

    I like 1 & 2, nice textures and lines. 3 & 4 don't grab me as much. I also had a thought for a different treatment of #1: to me, the attraction of the image is the textures in the wood and flakes from the wire - it's a nice, close shot, kind of gritty. So B&W seems a nice medium. I hope you don't mind us all playing with your photos.

    I converted to B&W using "auto" settings, then added a "levels" layer to darken it a bit. It might be worth a try with some of the others, as well, since they're in a similar mood.

    Cheers,
    Rick

    First Post - Beach Pics

  10. #10

    Re: First Post - Beach Pics

    Hi Niall

    I think Agata made some good comments in post #4. If you are shooting subjects like this you need to either have a dialogue in the shot, or it has to really concentrate on the visual strength through colour, texture, composition etc. I think that's what she said

    Here's one I did recently of some locked gates. See how I used the shallow DOF, colour, and contrast to give the effect? At the end of the day it's just a set of locked gates, and it didn't really look like this. There's also some dialogue there - why are the gates locked?

    keep practising and you will get there.

    dereliction_0010.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 5th April 2010 at 11:09 PM.

  11. #11

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    Re: First Post - Beach Pics

    Wow. Thanks again for the advice. In particular, some great advice from agaace - it has really got me thinking.

    I guess what I'm struggling with at the moment, is understanding why I'm drawn to taking a photograph of a particular object/scene. Is it the texture, the pattern, the shape etc? And I need to make sure that it is conveyed in the final photograph.

    Here are a few more from yesterday.

    First a black and white version (thanks Rick55):

    First Post - Beach Pics

    Secondly some Photoshop treatment (maybe overdone?) of another:

    First Post - Beach Pics

  12. #12

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    Re: First Post - Beach Pics

    Quote Originally Posted by niallc99 View Post
    Wow. Thanks again for the advice. In particular, some great advice from agaace - it has really got me thinking.

    I guess what I'm struggling with at the moment, is understanding why I'm drawn to taking a photograph of a particular object/scene. Is it the texture, the pattern, the shape etc? And I need to make sure that it is conveyed in the final photograph.
    Hi, Niall;

    You have some nice elements here again, and you're certainly thinking about the right things. I like #1 (no, I don't just like B&W ), but it seems that it could go farther in a couple of directions. If you have more frame available, and could expand to the right, the line of footsteps paralleling the fence would pull your eyes into houses on the hill and clouds, and might be a nice contrast. Alternatively, the piece of wire that's bent up, and its reflection, could be a focal point if you shot again for a shallower DOF, and maybe a tighter crop.

    I don't find the second one overdone, but the spot of color on the fence bothers me. It seems distracting, to me at least.

    I see the concept of the line of fence and line of wire: one way to get something different would be to get a little lower, so the line of wire comes from above.

    Cheers,
    Rick

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