Dressage-ing around

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Eventer, Jun 14, 2010.

  1. Eventer

    Eventer TPF Noob!

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    Dressage winter series had begun here.
    A friend asked if I could get some photos of her young horse's dressage tests. Of course I said yes. after i finshed riding I got my camera and went back down to the arena. they day was horrible. the sand arena was pooling water so badley - luckly enough stopped raining just as she went in the ring! It was a bit hard photographing, Dressage douesnt come easy to K-Rad (the horse) hes still a baby at it, so I tried to get some good ones which made him look nice.
    anyway heres some of the photos, what do u think, I havent edited them - only cropped a couple perhaps. To me they seem a bit soft and washed out? am I doing anything wrong? settings i believe were ISO400, F4.5 - 5.6 and dunno about the shutter speed actually haha!

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    Then I edited one just "cause I could" :D :D (Valediction is K-rads showname)
    [​IMG]
     
  2. RobNZ

    RobNZ TPF Noob!

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    Technically they look pretty good to me for staight out of camera, a tiny bit of PP and your all set.

    Focus looks really good except for no.4, a bit further back than it should of been perhaps.

    Did a really quick PP job on No.2 if thats ok?

    [​IMG]

    Also cropped it a little tighter.

    [​IMG]

    Looks a little oversharpened once I saved to JPEG, but you get the idea.
     
  3. Eventer

    Eventer TPF Noob!

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    I like the crop but is the contrst too high on it now? I played around with that a bit but when ever i raise contrast I lose some detail, like on her Jacket. is that alright, or am i just paranoid about not wanting to change the original much? lol I edited the colour a bit on another one and i think its alright, so ill show you, and without comparing it to the original do you reakon its alight?

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Bitter Jeweler

    Bitter Jeweler Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Wow, the horse really pops in Rob's edit.
    Looks like the jacket retained plenty of detail.

    Eventer, push yourself with the PP a little further.
    Your pics are *slighty* flat, and just a little nudge can make a dramatic difference.
     
  5. Eventer

    Eventer TPF Noob!

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    I'm always scared ill wreck it completly with PP as I dont trust "what I think" looks good. Cause I dont think I fully know how they should look to be honest!
    ill edit a original and Ill try get it right
    :D
     
  6. Eventer

    Eventer TPF Noob!

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    [​IMG]
     
  7. RobNZ

    RobNZ TPF Noob!

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    One of the best ways to learn, find some shots by the pro's and try to emulate their look with your PP on your own shots.

    Here is how I do PP on a RAW shot after selecting it as a keeper cadidate of course.

    Step 1, look at the shot, and I mean really look at it, dont do anything, just evaluate it, is the main subject in focus, I check this by looking at it at 100%, if yes carry on, if not bin it, you cant fix OOF.

    Composition, is it missing something, or could it be cropped to improve the composition, do you have things growing out of other things etc.

    Getting it right in camera in the first place is best, so do try and consider that when taking the shot, harder to do at first because there is so much info whipping around in your head on just using your gear.

    It becomes easier with time and experience, learn by your own mistakes, you will be better off for it, trust me, as long as you learn something from each and every mistake.

    So now you have a potential keeper, now what?

    Does it need fixing? You almost always have to do some minor tweaking to get the best out of anyshot, especially if you shoot RAW, RAW lets you make all the final decisions instead of letting the camera guesstimate.

    Exposure is it correct?

    White balance, usually pretty damn close or may need some minor tweaks.

    I check for areas of under and over exposure and use a recovery slider if any adjustments need to be made.

    Black level, I usually bump this up while watching for exposure blow outs and shadow details.

    Contrast I have a little play around with, care here, because playing with some of these things can lead to throwing off your brightness etc, some things have a symbiotic relationship.

    Clarity, usually nudged up a little, or down if want to soften.

    Vibrance is almost always bumped up, I like colour!!

    I then go back over what I have done again to make sure I havent screwed something else up.

    I also closely check for any chromatic abberation and correct, high contrast areas, especially around the outer edges of the frame.

    I will usually sharpen a little at this point and check for noise and reduce if needed.

    Crop/straighten and your done unless you need to fine tune local areas instead of global.

    Piece of cake, ok sorry I actually do more than that, but I am a perfectionist so nothing is ever "good enough".


    PS: If you are working with RAW you cant ruin it, unless you actually delete it.

    If your working with a JPEG, right click on the image you want to edit and make a copy, rename it a copy so you know you can work the snot out of a copy without harming the original. Stuff up the copy, make another copy and start again.

    Sorry wasnt meant to be so long. Hope this helps more than it confuses :confused:
     
  8. Eventer

    Eventer TPF Noob!

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    Wow! now that was really helpful!
    Unfortunalty i dont actually have "Photoshop" though, i have Microsoft photo premuin, which ive pretty much mastered to achieve most the stuff photoshop can do! lol I tried GIMP but i just find t so confusing i ave up on it.
    So Should I always shoot in RAW? Ive only ever shot in RAW once, and it did confuse me a tad with the whole editing process. i find JPEGs easier to work with!
    on my photo editing programe I dont have a lot of the tools that photo shop has - Like its got "brightness" and "Contrast" (and those are the only things i can edit colour with - apart from an actual colour wheel changy thing ma-jig) but not things like "Clairty" which sucks, it has a sharpening tool, but all that does is make the photo noisy - Fail button. :lol:
    Also im pretty sure I cant edit "white balance" and black level. etc... dumb ae.
     
  9. RobNZ

    RobNZ TPF Noob!

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    Learn to use RAW, well worth the effort and is way more flexible than JPEG.

    Software I cant really help you, but Gimp would probably be your best bet as a free PP app I think. Again you need to learn how to use it, youtube is a good place to start.

    I am a visual learner, so that is why I recommend youtube and some of the tutorials are fantastic, because they actually show you physically how, why and where as such. Reading some of that stuff does my head in.

    Probably beacuse I am impatient and I want results NOW, lol.
     
  10. rocky_bablo

    rocky_bablo TPF Noob!

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    The last pic black & white is nice it has some life in it after edit process. it seems even raw and lifeless photos can be turned into nice full of lively photo. you have cropped the riders face. it would have been nice if the rider face is also included
     
  11. Bitter Jeweler

    Bitter Jeweler Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Eventer...Get started with GIMP.
    I know it seems overwhelming.
    Break it down.
    First learn how to crop and resize images.
    Then learn how to adjust contrast.
    ...sharpening.
    ...adjust exposure.
    ...adjust saturation.
    ...convert to black and white.

    Get familiar with all the basic PP work, then tackle more advanced things, one at a time.
    ...selection tools.
    ...cloning.
    ...masking.
    ...etc.

    Think of the software as a tool box, and you are learning each tool individually.
    You will find the tool box contains more tools than you will ever need.
    Hopefully breaking it down like that, will remove the frustration of looking at "all the tools" and not knowing where to begin.
     
  12. Eventer

    Eventer TPF Noob!

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    RobNZ im a visual learner too and i fond youtube great for that sort of thing, I looked up videos on there on how to use "photomatix" a while back, really helpful. ill definatly find one for GIMP.
    I think going from one photo editing program to another is hard!! ive played around in Gimp a little bit, but only making pretty pictures with the cool paintbrush tools!! - Thats about as far as my skills go at the moment!!
    ill make en effort to learn how to use GIMP properly :D
     

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