Helpful Posts Helpful Posts:  0
Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: Taking photography as a true learning experience...

  1. #1
    Raven312's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    15
    Real Name
    Miche (pronounced "Mike")

    Taking photography as a true learning experience...

    Hello all,

    I'm new to the community and to photography in general. I've used a point and shoot for years but was uninspired and didn't really try to learn anything. Now that's changed and I'm trying to learn the fine points of photography, foremost exposure and composition. I took over 400 shots today, came home and put them away for a few hours. When I went back to look at them, there was one that stood out at me and I'm not sure why. I would like your comments and critique, please. I would really love to learn how to make this shot better next time and plan for it rather than it happen by accident. Thank you!

    Taking photography as a true learning experience...

    Taken with Canon 30D, EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Shutter speed: 1/60; Aperture 4; Exposure Compensation +1/3; Focal Length 27mm (Program AE)
    Last edited by Raven312; 25th December 2010 at 11:19 PM. Reason: Added pic and specs

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Panama City, FL
    Posts
    3,542
    Real Name
    Chris

    Re: Taking photography as a true learning experience...

    We would love to give you a response, but first you must post the photo. Go to the FAQ page on the forum bar to see how to upload your images.

  3. #3
    Raven312's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    15
    Real Name
    Miche (pronounced "Mike")

    Re: Taking photography as a true learning experience...

    Thank you. I didn't do all the steps the first time!

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Panama City, FL
    Posts
    3,542
    Real Name
    Chris

    Re: Taking photography as a true learning experience...

    Do you have any post production programs such as Photoshop, Gimp or the like? A little crop to the right omitting the fire extinguisher (or clone it out), and a tilt clounter clockwise would help put the focus on the horse's attitude and take away the cocking of one's head to see it.
    This is a quick and dirty possiblity.

    Taking photography as a true learning experience...
    Last edited by MiniChris; 26th December 2010 at 02:05 AM.

  5. #5
    Raven312's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    15
    Real Name
    Miche (pronounced "Mike")

    Re: Taking photography as a true learning experience...

    I have the Canon software, which I have yet to work with. I also have Lightroom. Would either or both of those handle it easily enough? I've played with software only to crop or resize or auto-fix. I realize it's time to delve much deeper in that respect, too.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Panama City, FL
    Posts
    3,542
    Real Name
    Chris

    Re: Taking photography as a true learning experience...

    You should be able to do all this and a lot more in Lightroom. That is a program I got for Christmas but am waiting to load it into my new computer. I am a Nikon man in digital and a Canon guy in film...go figure.

  7. #7
    Raven312's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    15
    Real Name
    Miche (pronounced "Mike")

    Re: Taking photography as a true learning experience...

    LOL I just opened it in Lightroom and will spend the rest of the weekend getting acquainted. I do want to learn more about how to take a good shot in the first place. For the first time, I was aware of shadows, where the light was coming from and trying to tell a story with the picture. I just had difficulty getting my hands and eyes coordinated enough to make it all come together. I took several of the same shot, trying to be analytical yet stay in the moment. This is going to be an interesting journey. (And thank you so much for responding.)

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Panama City, FL
    Posts
    3,542
    Real Name
    Chris

    Re: Taking photography as a true learning experience...

    "This is going to be an interesting journey."

    We are all learners here. Even the guys and ladies putting out the super duper stuff are still learning - otherwise, why bother at all. I learn something new everyday on this forum and I think you'll find this is one of the best, if not the best forum of its kind anywhere in the world. Whoohoo to whomever came up with this idea.

  9. #9
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Windsor, Berks, UK
    Posts
    16,395
    Real Name
    Dave Humphries :)

    Re: Taking photography as a true learning experience...

    Quote Originally Posted by Raven312 View Post
    Hello all,

    I'm new to the community and to photography in general. I've used a point and shoot for years but was uninspired and didn't really try to learn anything. Now that's changed and I'm trying to learn the fine points of photography, foremost exposure and composition. I took over 400 shots today, came home and put them away for a few hours. When I went back to look at them, there was one that stood out at me and I'm not sure why. I would like your comments and critique, please. I would really love to learn how to make this shot better next time and plan for it rather than it happen by accident. Thank you!

    Taking photography as a true learning experience...

    Taken with Canon 30D, EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Shutter speed: 1/60; Aperture 4; Exposure Compensation +1/3; Focal Length 27mm (Program AE)
    Hi Raven,

    Welcome to the CiC forums from me, great to have you join us.

    The strong point of the image is, for me, the expression and depth of the horse from the tip of the nose to the rear quarters, which even in your version was all visible. The focus is just about right on the eye and although on camera flash is just about the worst possible light angle, for this shot, it work OK. Having taken a few pics in stables myself, and processed my wife's, I am amazed you don't have any dust particles caught in the flash light. Your exposure, and the Auto-Fix in Light Room, has done a pretty good job too. The bit of hay poking from lips adds character too

    I think Chris's advice is sound, I agree the extinguisher needs to go.

    Thanks for posting 'large', it gives me more pixels to play with and a better quality suggested edit.

    Taking photography as a true learning experience...

    What did I do?
    a) 'Transform > Distort' to straighten perspective on bars and stable's wooden framework, I deliberately retained the window for the depth it gives. I did this instead of the rotate Chris suggested as it fixes more in one go.
    b) Cloned out the fire extinguisher as cropping moves the subject too far to right of frame (although some cropping occurred with the transform anyway)
    c) Raised grey point in Levels to 1.2, to reveal a bit more inside stable of horse
    Local Contrast Enhancement with UnSharp Mask (USM); 20% 100px, 0 threshold
    d) Blurred the far wall and window (gently) to give a bit less Depth of Field (and blurred the red wire frame above head)
    e) Resized down to 700px
    f) Resharpened at reduced size using USM; 100%, 0.3px, 3 threshold

    I'm not sure how much of that is possible in Light Room 3, the cloning, Transform > Distort and even the small sharpening radius might not be possible, but I did it with Elements 8, not much more money than LR3.

    In terms of what could you do to improve at the time of shooting
    (NB these are generalisations and don't all apply to this image in particular);
    When there's time, always look around the edges of the viewfinder and imagine the finished article, then by careful small positioning adjustments of camera angle (to subject/scene) and framing, you'll be encouraged to;
    get straight on to subject
    include some things
    exclude other things (or position them so that cloning out can be done easier)

    Cheers,

  10. #10
    Raven312's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    15
    Real Name
    Miche (pronounced "Mike")

    Re: Taking photography as a true learning experience...

    Wow! Thank you very much! I'm going to invest in a copy of Elements (used to have an older copy but seldom used it) immediately. Actually, Chris was the one who transformed the pic and tried to advise me on how to do it in the future. I did try to imagine the finished article (this time! LOL) and moved several degrees and took about 7 different shots. It was an exercise in patience because he didn't always want to stick his head back out. I tried to get out of the way of the fire extinguisher (I did on some) but the lighting and focus seemed to be off from those positions when I did, so I took the chance and took the pic as was from where I was. This is really the first time when taking pics that I took the time to think about all those things at one time and I found that while in my head I thought I knew what to do, I couldn't get my hands, eyes, and brain coordinated - YET. That's why I'm here. I'm really glad I found you guys!

  11. #11
    djg05478's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    VT, USA
    Posts
    418
    Real Name
    Debbie

    Re: Taking photography as a true learning experience...

    Quote Originally Posted by Raven312 View Post
    Hello all,

    I'm new to the community and to photography in general. I've used a point and shoot for years but was uninspired and didn't really try to learn anything. Now that's changed and I'm trying to learn the fine points of photography, foremost exposure and composition. I took over 400 shots today, came home and put them away for a few hours. When I went back to look at them, there was one that stood out at me and I'm not sure why. I would like your comments and critique, please. I would really love to learn how to make this shot better next time and plan for it rather than it happen by accident. Thank you!

    Taking photography as a true learning experience...

    Taken with Canon 30D, EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Shutter speed: 1/60; Aperture 4; Exposure Compensation +1/3; Focal Length 27mm (Program AE)
    I've come back and looked at it a couple times. I like the composition; its got some good lines framing it in, and then there's a goofy/elegant horse face breaking the plane at a crazy angle and makes it interesting. Good capture on the eyeball.

  12. #12
    Raven312's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    15
    Real Name
    Miche (pronounced "Mike")

    Re: Taking photography as a true learning experience...

    Thank you, Debbie! This guy (and one other) really inspired me with his expression and friendliness. They are police horses so are used to having their pics taken but most of them turned away from the camera after one or two shots (can't blame them.) I walked past his stable and he poked his head out immediately. I had to wait for him to do it a few more times and took several shots, trying to capture what I saw in him the first time.

  13. #13
    djg05478's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    VT, USA
    Posts
    418
    Real Name
    Debbie

    Re: Taking photography as a true learning experience...

    Quote Originally Posted by Raven312 View Post
    Thank you, Debbie! This guy (and one other) really inspired me with his expression and friendliness..........I walked past his stable and he poked his head out immediately. I had to wait for him to do it a few more times and took several shots, trying to capture what I saw in him the first time.
    Truly a challenge trying to capture an animals personality with pixels

  14. #14
    CNelson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    USA - California
    Posts
    731
    Real Name
    Chuck Nelson

    Re: Taking photography as a true learning experience...

    Welcome. I think it's an interesting shot and I can see why it caught your eye. We have all probably seen a horse trying to mooch a treat or some such thing. It's amusing animal behavior and may can identify with that. The horse is probably fed through that opening and he knows that's where the goodies are. All that to say, there's a story built into the picture and that's a good thing.

    The point of interest isn't centered and you have instinctively or by design followed the rule of thirds...or close to it. It's a rule not a law but it seems to work well with this image. You've received some good technical advice so I'll leave it at that.

    Chuck

  15. #15
    Raven312's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    15
    Real Name
    Miche (pronounced "Mike")

    Re: Taking photography as a true learning experience...

    I am very glad I found you all. I will definitely keep at it!

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

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