First Winter Shots - C&C please!

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by florenceinitaly, Jan 8, 2010.

  1. florenceinitaly

    florenceinitaly TPF Noob!

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    Hi everyone!

    This is my first post in this forum, I am a newbie photographer who recently got her first dSLR and hoping to further my interest in photography!

    These are some winter shots I took of a field by my house, I am hoping for some reviews, comments, criticism for them. Anything positive/negative to say about composition, color, balance and exposure of these pics please share, as its the only way I'll learn haha

    Thanks :)

    p.s. is my white balance screwed up? Why do all the pictures look so blue??

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  2. Incognito

    Incognito TPF Noob!

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    They'e blue because your white balance is screwed up! lol... is it set on auto?

    I like the last one.
     
  3. florenceinitaly

    florenceinitaly TPF Noob!

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    lol yeah it's set on auto....what should it be set on then?

    When taking snow scenes...should I over or under expose a bit? I find that the snow just turns out to be a white blob with no details
     
  4. sly677

    sly677 TPF Noob!

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    Set your WB to daylight, cloudy or shade. If you're shooting RAW you can easily fix it afterwards.

    I believe that when shooting snow scenes you want to over expose by a stop or two because the snow will fool the meter and make your shot underexposed.

    I would say that the reason that the snow looks like a big white blob is because of the time of day and the quality of the light outside.

    Best thing is to go back out and try it.

    I like the last shot,

    Good luck.
     
  5. florenceinitaly

    florenceinitaly TPF Noob!

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    thanks! I will try different white balance options today (going to head back out this afternoon and try again)

    Could the composition of the pictures use any improvements? This is another area I want to learn more about...
     
  6. sly677

    sly677 TPF Noob!

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    Take whatever I say with a grain of salt as I'm fairly new at photography as well.

    Composition wise:

    1, maybe shoot from higher to get less sky (as it is very dull with no clouds) choose a different time of the day (golden hour) where the sun could enhance the texture (footprints) of the snow.

    2, I find that its too busy, too many braches that we can't really see the point of interest.

    3, point of interest may be to close to the edge and to up front, not enough DOF. I dont know where to look, if i look at the focus point its all I see and it's uninteresting, if I look at the distance it's out of focus due to shallow DOF.

    4, nothing really interesting in the image, try closer to get more details

    5, try putting the horizon either 1/3 rd from the top or bottom depending if you want to capture the details in the snow or the colours in the sky.

    6, I like it, theres nothing I see that I would change. I would be interested to see the shot with a wide angle to get a bit more of a panoramic shot.

    Like I said it's my opinion but take it lightly, hope it helps a little go out again and show us what you get.
     
  7. florenceinitaly

    florenceinitaly TPF Noob!

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    thanks for your comments, that's exactly the kind of thing I need...another set of eyes to look at the pictures and tell me what can be improved!

    For the 4th shot, I saw these little grassy-like plants by the snow, I thought their thin/fragile looking stems looked interesting in the frigid winter, but I can't quite capture that kind of look in the picture. Are the little out of focus plants in the snow on the right of the picture distracting to this idea?
     
  8. sly677

    sly677 TPF Noob!

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    I think it does distract, I would try and get a very close/tight shot of the stems maybe with a relatively shallow DOF to isolate but not too shallow so you can still get a sense of the background, and get down to the plants level. I don't know if that could work...but I'm sure it's worth trying if you're out again.
     
  9. florenceinitaly

    florenceinitaly TPF Noob!

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    So I went back out, to another park by my house, and decided to try again holding these comments in mind...looking for more places to improve please :)

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    Is this picture underexposed? I find the clouds really interesting that day so i wanted to capture that, but in metering for that the bushes/plants became too dark. But when I set to a higher exposure, the clouds became all washed out.. :thumbdown:

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    I have seen pictures before where people can set a long enough shutter speed to capture the MOVEMENT of the clouds...but at such a bright sunny day my shutter speed couldn't be lower than 1/250...so how do people do that? Can you use neutral density filters to block out some of the light?

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    I was trying to capture the strange twist in this tree's branch

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    I wonder what the Japanese characters say on the girl's face!
     
  10. sly677

    sly677 TPF Noob!

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    Well done, the WB is a very good improvement. The exposure seems much better. Do you do any post processing (photoshop, element...)?

    I find the 1st shot a little uninteresting, maybe a little underexposed but it is tough to balance the brightness of the sky.

    I like the 2nd shot :thumbup:, the light gives texture to the snow, interesting shadows.

    The 3rd one looks a little washed out, to get the cloud's movement you would need a ND filter like you said, I think you can also do it with a polarizer, or chose a different time of day.

    4. I like it and I'd be curious to see in BW, I would also try to incorporate a little bit of the ground to help "ground" the tree.

    5. Try getting a little higher and shooting down.

    Keep it up.
     
  11. florenceinitaly

    florenceinitaly TPF Noob!

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    hi! Thanks again for your comments, they are much appreciated! All the pictures are unedited...just straight out of the camera (mostly because I don't know my way around PS well enough to do anything really "wow")

    About the first shot, how do people balance the exposure so as to capture the details on the ground still without over-exposing the clouds? I've heard of taking the 2 shots and then putting them together in PS...but is this very difficult to do? What could I add/do to the first shot to make it more interesting to look at?

    And about shot #5 - do you think the white snow on the log takes up too much of the picture in the bottom right of the frame (big blob of white space)?

    Here is shot #4 in B&W, what do you think?

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  12. sly677

    sly677 TPF Noob!

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    Some people use a graduated ND filter I believe, you can do things in like burn and dodge (ie: in Photoshop) to try and bring them closer. Also HDR like you said but I have never tried it so I can't tell you how hard or easy it is, I'm sure if you search the forum you can find something on it.

    Like I said earlier I'm just throwing ideas at you, I by far don't have all the answers and some of what I may say might not work.

    So to add to your shot try and keep it simple, you could try and shoot from above and work with the patterns of the ice. Get down low and shoot through the plants (work with lines). Maybe work with the texture of the snow and ice.

    No I think it's the background that is the issue here.

    4. I still think you need some ground in there.
     

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