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Thread: my fish

  1. #1

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    my fish

    don't have a clue what i'm doing with my camera yet (nikon d3000) so thought i'd post a few pics i took of my fish and see what you lot think i'm doing wrong or right.I'm going to do a college course that starts in January...any hint/tips/ info will be gratefully accepted

    my fish

    my fish

    my fish

    my fish

  2. #2
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: my fish

    Quote Originally Posted by GlasgowJim View Post
    don't have a clue what i'm doing with my camera yet ... any hint/tips/ info will be gratefully accepted
    Keep on doing what you're doing ... whatever it is! These are good.

    Wouldn't have thought that these were the easiest subjects in the world to compose. The first one is very good.

    All you've got to do is work out what you're doing and keep repeating it. And that's only half-joking. Think about what you did to get these images. How did you approach it? What settings had you got on the camera? What lights were where? You can learn as much from studying your own practice as you can from looking at the work of others. It's about learning what works ... and what doesn't.

  3. #3

    Re: my fish

    Quote Originally Posted by GlasgowJim View Post
    don't have a clue what i'm doing with my camera yet (nikon d3000)
    Well, you have come to the right place then, Jim, cos we don't know either!

    These are pretty good considering they were shot through glass. I presume you didn't get in the tank with them, being a stuntman? You must tell us about that.

    Welcome to the forum.

  4. #4
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: my fish

    Quote Originally Posted by GlasgowJim View Post
    don't have a clue what i'm doing with my camera yet (nikon d3000) so thought i'd post a few pics i took of my fish and see what you lot think i'm doing wrong or right.I'm going to do a college course that starts in January...any hint/tips/ info will be gratefully accepted

    my fish

    my fish

    my fish

    my fish
    What course will you be taking?

  5. #5
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: my fish

    Quote Originally Posted by GlasgowJim View Post
    don't have a clue what i'm doing with my camera yet (nikon d3000) so thought i'd post a few pics i took of my fish and see what you lot think i'm doing wrong or right.I'm going to do a college course that starts in January...any hint/tips/ info will be gratefully accepted

    my fish
    Hi Jim,

    I have done some of this in my time, so I'll see if I can help.

    #1 suffers the classic problem of too bright a background, it is natural to try to shoot when the fish is close to the glass - less water and easier to focus - unfortunately its camera side isn't then being illuminated by the central overhead tube in the aquirium's lid, but the backgorund is and when light coloured, it distracts.

    The answer is to exclude the bottom when composing the shot - get lower and shoot up slightly more, a lower seat for you use helpful here, try a footstool rather than a seat. Being comfortable is important - you need patience for this game!

    And/or; try to get some more frontal illumination - you can't really use flash or external lighting because that will illuminate the glass, reduce contrast, possibly add glare and highlight all the bits on the inside of the glass that got missed when scraping it

    The only other answer is to shoot the subject when they are further back from the glass, but that can make focusing and composing more difficult and clean water helps (I'm not saying yours isn't btw - it's just something best not done right after a cleaning session before it has settled).

    Or deal with it in PP.


    Quote Originally Posted by GlasgowJim View Post
    my fish

    my fish
    Looking at the next two, there are the same problems in different degrees due to exposure changes of subject vs background.

    #2 is quite nice, but you need to be more agressive with PP, 'burn' done, or clone out, those highlights behind fish on left, clone out odd spots on glass.

    If ever there's a case for selective sharpening, this is it - how?
    1) duplicate the layer
    2) turn off the top layer
    3) select and sharpen the 'behind' layer for the fish, you don't have to worry what it does to everything else
    4) turn the top layer on (so it all goes soft again)
    5) select the top layer
    6) choose the erase tool and 'rub out' the fish, revealing the sharper one behind
    7) when done, flatten image

    At step 6, it can help to turn off the sharp layer (behind), the erase starting at the middle of the fish and working outwards literlly erase ONLY the fish, don't go to far around it, then switch on the behind layer back on and up pops the sharp fish

    #3 has half a fishing leaving camera right

    Quote Originally Posted by GlasgowJim View Post
    my fish
    The last is pushing the limits (at full size) for sharpness, I think there's some motion blur there.

    For all the above PP, you will need something like Elements, also having a third party noise reduction programme will help a lot - I use (and adore) Neat Image to cope with the noise at 1600 iso and any brought up with under exposure PP corrections.

    Here's 10 minutes on #1 and your original:
    my fish
    my fish

    As you can see; PP can fix quite a lot!

    At step 3, I did three passes of USM sharpening
    60% 2px, 2th
    80%, 1px, 2th
    150%, 0.4px, 2th

    From a full size RAW original, other values would apply though

    I also adjusted the black and white points while I had a fish layer, which is primarily what makes the fish 'pop' more in my version.

    So, you had a good starting point with what you did - no bad mistakes there at all, just need to take it on from there ...

    Cheers,
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 5th November 2010 at 04:13 AM.

  6. #6

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    Re: my fish

    cheers people,this is exactly the kinda stuff i need to hear.

    this is the course i plan to do... http://www.glasgowmet.ac.uk/intermed...ow=description

    what would be my 1 must have item to get my wife to get me for Xmas??

  7. #7
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: my fish

    Quote Originally Posted by GlasgowJim View Post
    what would be my 1 must have item to get my wife to get me for Xmas??
    What have you got at the moment and what do you think you'll want to photograph?

    Then we'll tell you what you need ... and add in what we want so that she can buy that for us as well!

  8. #8

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    Re: my fish

    lens i have is an 18 - 55
    don't really know what i wanna photograph yet......but i like the idea of pet portraits and i like getting in close to things

    my camera is a nikon d3000

  9. #9
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: my fish

    Jim

    When you say "... getting in close" do you mean getting things that might be further away up close, or getting right in to bugs and beasties, etc? If the latter, then you're talking about a macro lens. I don't have any macro gear at all and whenever I think about it, I think big bucks. But the macro experts on here can tell you so much more about that.

    However, if it's the former, that might be more suited to where you are on the learning curve. What I'm thinking is more a 'general' purpose type lens that extends your range up above 55mm. I have, for example, one of Canon's 70-200, lenses. That opens up a whole lot more options.

    But ... the other option is to not be thinking about additional lenses at all. You have a decent lens already there and I'm a great believer in the fact that all of us should learn how to get the very best out of what we've got before we start moving on to the next thing.

    So ... to help you do that with what you've already got and if we're only allowed to have one item on the shopping list, then my suggestion would be a good tripod. You buy it (the tripod) and the head that sits on top to which you then mount the camera, separately. Get a good one now and it'll do you for years. Buy a cheap one now, and you'll be replacing it in a couple of years.

    Like anything else, you can go to the top of the tree and pay very big bucks. There are lots of makes. I use a Manfrotto, which is pretty popular amongst the 'enthusiastic amateur' classes. Click here for Manfrotto's UK site. There's a good feature that allows you to 'build' your selection by selecting a tripod and head. It tells you what weight of camera and lens each combination is suitable for.

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