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Thread: A new member learning to use the new camera

  1. #1

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    A new member learning to use the new camera

    EDIT - Post moved from New Member thread, where Dora had already introduced herself, so that more people would get to see it

    Hello again,
    Italy is a good place to start. You realize the importance of knowing how to use your camera. You could easily imagine that you'll be able to capture all those amazing landscapes or landmarks, but back home, from 1400 photos maybe I could pick a dozen that I really like.
    I resized few of them- ready to post
    A new member learning to use the new camera
    Last edited by Donald; 14th May 2011 at 07:49 AM.

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    Re: A new member learning to use the new camera

    Dora

    Before we all get in to sharing our thoughts and commenting on your images, it would be helpful to know how you rate your post-processing skills. I notice you saying that you have been re-sizing. So, you're obviously well on the way so far as pp is concerned.

    But it's pointless for us to start on about curves and levels and cloning and layers etc etc, if you haven't yet got into that bit of the learning curve.
    Last edited by Donald; 14th May 2011 at 01:23 PM.

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    Re: A new member learning to use the new camera

    Hi Donald,
    Thank you for creating this new thread. I have no knowledge about post- processing. I just opened the image in Picture Manager and resized from edit picture. So my glass is empty-please, show me where to start

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: A new member learning to use the new camera

    Quote Originally Posted by dulceza View Post
    So my glass is empty-please, show me where to start
    Dora
    On the basis of the EXIF data contained in your picture, I think you were shooting in full Auto mode, or was it in Aperture Priority (Av) (I was getting conflicting information from different EXIF readers on my browser. If in Av, well done. If in full Auto, the first thing is to get your self off that so you start to take control of what the camera does.

    I am guessing that you are shooting JPEGs, as opposed to RAW files. If that's right, I'd really urge you to read this CiC tutorial. The sooner you are able to start shooting RAW, the better. Then you're taking control of what your image is going to look like, rather than the camera. And it's when you start shooting RAW files that post-processing comes into play.

    There are many, many post processing software packages available. The Adobe range (Photoshop; Lightroom; Elements) are probably the most well known and are certainly the most widely used.

    But, with your camera, you got something from Canon called Digital Photo Professional (DPP). DPP is Canon's in-house post-processing software. And there are lots and lots of people who use this and nothing else. It is capable of doing a very good job. It's supporters will argue that it can produce anything as good as the expensive third party packages you can buy. And up to a point that's true. But it does have its limitations, but these only kick-in once you start getting to the more advanced-enthusiast stage.

    So, if you haven't done so, you should load that DPP disc you got onto your computer and then have a look at Canon's tutorials on how to use it (they are actually quite good). And that'll be you really started on creating your own images. Because, remember, setting up the shot clicking the shutter is only one stage in making an image. The next stage is in processing the image.

    Post-processing is the digital equivalent of processing your film with chemicals in the darkroom and then goes some of the way to making the print with an enlarger (except your making something, initially anyway, you'll view on a computer screen. And some people try to say that post-processing is 'cheating'. That is total rubbish. The great masters from the past spent hours and hours in the darkroom working on their negatives and prints. That's what you're now doing (or are about to do) on your computer. So, please don't let anyone tell you that you've got to get the final image straight from the camera. It just doesn't work that way.

    Here endeth the lesson!

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    Re: A new member learning to use the new camera

    If in full Auto, the first thing is to get your self off that
    I checked and my pictures are in AV mode(lesson one was to use the cell phone for auto mode)
    but for now I have to read the tutorial, to download the canon software and we'll see . I would really love to be able to post a better one.

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    Re: A new member learning to use the new camera

    If that photo is straight from the camera, Dora, it is quite good.

    Possibly just a little 'flat' in tone, which is where Donald's information will become useful. Just a tiny tweak to improve the brightness and contrast will make it perfect.

    I normally play around with the Curves adjustment for this. Although, initially, you may find that method a little strange to use it isn't as difficult as it appears.

    But like a lot of photo editing, there are several ways to achieve the same result.

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    Re: A new member learning to use the new camera

    Possibly just a little 'flat' in tone
    Thank you Geoff for the encouragement. Actually I was questioning myself about this "flat" tone - full spring, and no brightness on my landscapes

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    Re: A new member learning to use the new camera

    Hi Dora,

    Geoff mentioned that your image was possibly looking a little flat - and you wondered about this too. Well it looked fine to me - and I'm an expert in this kind of thing, so I checked it and ... yes, it's a little bit flat. Don't always believe people like me

    Just to give you a bit of background ...

    Normally, images will look flat if they don't use what we call the full tonal range of the image - ie in a "normal" image (if there is such a thing) there will be something that's black (at the low end of the tonal range), and something white (at the high end). When I say "black" and "white" I'm not referring to the colour per sec, just how bright the colour is - although once you force any colour to zero it becomes black, and if you force it to the max, it becomes white, but I digress!). But - even though you may have something black, and something white in the image, it still doesn't mean that it won't look flat; the "black" and "white" bits actually have to be large enough for the eyes to recognise them. It all sounds wery technical, but in reality one simply adjusts what we call the clipping points to make it look good - there's nothing particularly "mathematical" about it. In fact, on that point, despite all that we can mention about post processing, the bottom line is "if an adjustment makes the image look better then it's good, if it makes it look worse then it's bad", so don't be afraid to just move the sliders and experiment.

    I gave your image some minor tweks for you (hope you don't mind) - Normally to fix a flat image I start by raising what's called the "black clipping point" - this fixed your image - but - it was close, as some areas were starting to get too black when others weren't quite right - if this happens then it's better to use a curve (or sometimes a brightness adjustment) will fix it - anyway - I did that first. I checked the white-balance (so whites look white), but it was already fine. Other than that I boosted the colours slightly, and gave it a little sharpen (the image will get a bit soft when you down-size it). By the way, can I just say how great it was to have an image that wasn't down-sampled too much - often images here are too small to do a lot with some of the detail, but yours was great.

    Anyway - enough talking from me. Welcome to CiC

    A new member learning to use the new camera

    PS: Be sure to click on the image to see the big version

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    Re: A new member learning to use the new camera

    Thank you, Colin for this royal welcome. Am I lucky or what ? I started with a totally unplanned workshop in painting and now I'm learning about photography from dedicated people of CiC community, wow, "la vita e bella" when is all about light, perspective and ..clipping points

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    Re: A new member learning to use the new camera

    I love the shot, Dora!

    Colin, your comment about image size raises a question. How big should the image size be for posting? Mine are typically in the 100k range. Is this too small?

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    Re: A new member learning to use the new camera

    I liked what Colin did, but felt it was still a little lacking in contrast dynamics....so, I added two gradient layers: one to darken and make bluer the sky, and the other to give more depth to the bottom. On the bottom layer, I did some selective erasing at 36% opacity. I also removed the power lines which I found overly distracting with simple cloning.

    A new member learning to use the new camera

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    Re: A new member learning to use the new camera

    Frank, have a read of this information about posting photos. There is a lot of useful stuff there including recommended sizes etc.

    HELP THREAD: How can I post images here?

    But basically, for best results, keep images below 150 kb and under 700 pixels on the longest side. Anything over this will still work OK but will be automatically resized which can cause some softness if there is a substantial resize.

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    Re: A new member learning to use the new camera

    Thank you Geoff!

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    Re: A new member learning to use the new camera

    Dora, the others are giving you very good information on working with your photos. I' now going to discuss the psychology of vacation pictures.

    When you first return from a vacation to that dream spot, what you saw is still fresh in your mind. Many of the photographs you have taken will not show what you saw as well as you would like. Welcome to being normal. There are two things you need to do to turn the photographs into pictures.

    1. Let a little time pass before being too critical of your photographs. They represent what the camera saw of what you were looking at. After a bit of time, you will be better able to judge the photograph on its own merits.

    2. Use as little and as much post processing as you need to turn the photograph into a picture you like. The only time a camera will actually record what you saw is when taking a photojournalist's style picture. In that case, the color span, the depth of view, the contrast and the framing are not so important. A picture of a fireman with a hose on a ladder with flames about is not intended to be a shot of beauty. It is intended to be a shot of reality. A picture of ancient architecture, a beautiful teen-ager or a budding flower does not have to starkly reflect reality, but the beauty contained within the frame.

    If I'm making sense, then you are well on the way to being successful with photography. If not, give it some time and keep practicing. The picture you posted here shows that you have a pretty good "eye" already.

    Pops

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    Re: A new member learning to use the new camera

    "Turn the photographs into pictures" – I think you just showed me the way, the quintessence of my journey. It’s not a big philosophy for me- being successful mean have a reason to keep that picture, a way to bring back a vibe, an emotion. I like to think that I’m a good observer. HTH.
    The technical issues, the performance of my camera, are pretty much to discover

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