My first time using a camera-Cat

Discussion in 'Critique Forum Archives' started by Inferknite, Oct 17, 2006.

  1. Inferknite

    Inferknite TPF Noob!

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    My dad bought me a point and shoot coolpix L3 camera. It's my first camera so I started shooting and taking pictures in colour. I realized right away that flash made most pictures ugly so I took that off.

    This is a picture that I took of my cat while shooting, I converted it to black and white and added a 'soft glow' special effect (I can't remeber the name of the program that did it)
    http://img254.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dscn0109ly7.jpg

    http://img254.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dscn0109ly7.jpg

    Now I've heard that taking black and white pictures digitally or converting them is a big no no in photography so I guess I messed up on that part. I really liked the angle I took it at but hate how the wall seems to end and parts of another backround can be seen.


    I'm really new to photography so any tips are appreciated, I'm looking forward to your feedback.

    *EDIT: oh man it seems half the picture wont show up on imageshack....
    *EDIT: okay got it working now :)
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum

    Who told you that? That's just plain crazy. Convert B&W all you want...we don't mind.

    You could easily crop the image closer to the cat to get rid of the distracting parts of the background. At least now you know...so in the future, you will know to watch the edges and the background before you snap the shot.
     
  3. Inferknite

    Inferknite TPF Noob!

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    thanks I'll try to crop it out. Any tips on producing decent images with a low end camera? My main concern is how blurry pictures come out whenever the cat is moving.

    I think it has to do with the shutter speed, which gets better the higher up you go?

    Thanks
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    A faster shutter speed will help you get sharper shots because there will less blur due to motion. Motion blur is caused by subject movement and camera movement...which is why tripods are so nice to have.

    The problem is that you can't just turn up the shutter speed...because you will be letting in less light. There are three things that determine the exposure...aperture, shutter speed and ISO. I you make the shutter faster, then you have to adjust the other settings to compensate.

    The trouble with that...is that your camera is probably already using the biggest aperture (lowest F number)...so the only thing left to try...is to turn up the ISO. However, when you turn up the ISO...you get digital noise in the images.

    Those are your limitations.

    What you can do...is to use light better. You already know that on-camera flash does not look good...so try to find other sources of light. It might just be a window...or maybe a lamp etc. Adding more light should allow you to use a faster shutter speed which will help with the blurriness.
     
  5. Inferknite

    Inferknite TPF Noob!

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    Thanks, I think on this camera I can't manually change settings. But the 'sports' setting usually gives me clear pictures with moving targets. Like you said though, it lets VERY little light in.

    I wish I could adjust these settings manually but unfourtently I'm stuck with the presets for now.
     
  6. xfloggingkylex

    xfloggingkylex TPF Noob!

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    you can always use a desk lamp or something of that nature to provide a little extra light into the scene. Also, even if you could change the ISO, since you have a P&S I wouldn't even try because P&S's tend to get VERY noisey with slight increases in ISO.
     
  7. Inferknite

    Inferknite TPF Noob!

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    Aside from the bacround appearing in the far left side any other comments?

    Although one of my favourites, what worried me is that the backround was too hectic. The lines were kind of out of whack, but I really liked Milo's(pronounced Mee-low :p) position.

    (Oh and I agree I found that using warm lamp lights just around the house helped the images immensly. Thanks for the tip!)
     
  8. xfloggingkylex

    xfloggingkylex TPF Noob!

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    I don't think there is a problem with the background, it is soft enough that compared to the contrast of Milo the background is hardly noticeable. Really just cropping a little off on the left side to remove that darker patch is all you need to do and you've got yourself a keeper. Such a great pose. How is it shooting cats? I have two yorkie puppies and they are spastic so very hard to shoot well.

    EDIT: since you are looking for more feedback, I did a quick touch up on your shot where I used curves to lighten Milo a little to give him(?) more detail. Layer masked to keep the background the same. if you'd like to see it let me know and I'll post it.
     
  9. Inferknite

    Inferknite TPF Noob!

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    Haha, yup it's most interesting to shoot animals. Milo never likes to stay still, not even for a moment, so when I saw that pose in the viewfinder i instantly took the shot.

    Yes, I'd be very interested in what you did to fix it up. I tried cropping off the dark patch but it looked kind of akward.
     
  10. xfloggingkylex

    xfloggingkylex TPF Noob!

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    [​IMG]

    This is just a quick thing that I whipped up while procrastinating from doing school work.
     
  11. Inferknite

    Inferknite TPF Noob!

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    Thank you very much, really brings out the lovley detail in his coat.
     
  12. jamespetts

    jamespetts TPF Noob!

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    I really rather like that photograph, and not just because I love cats - the lighting and composition both work very well. The biggest criticism that I have of it is that you have not included all of one of the cat's ears, but that is an easy mistake to make. If you are new to photography, you are definitely going the right way about it.
     

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