New guy

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Bryan Pietig, Aug 8, 2008.

  1. Bryan Pietig

    Bryan Pietig TPF Noob!

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    Alright guys, I want to take my photography to the next level. I live in amazing country with endless wildlife and landscape photo opportunities. I know the basics but have got by with cheaper cameras through college and recently bought a D60 w/ a Nikkor 70-300mm. I get the idea of using the manual settings and adjustments but have little experience. I have a lot of learning to do and need some advice. Here are a few pictures I took recently just with Automatic settings just for trial. Is there anything offhand you could suggest that would have made these better? Also, are many of the greatest and pro shots enhanced with software or should you be able to do most with the camera settings. Again, I have a lot of learning to do and figured I could get some advice here.

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  2. Chris Stegner

    Chris Stegner TPF Noob!

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    Nice stuff so far! It is beautiful country. I'd say if you're just starting to get "serious" one thing I'd say is to make sure and shoot RAW if your camera allows it. I used to shoot jpgs till someone told me to try RAW and I haven't gone back. Shots I used to trash are now some nice images.

    Good luck and just shoot a ton, hey it's digital, it's not like it costs to throw them in the trash if you don't like them.
     
  3. Donald Harvey

    Donald Harvey TPF Noob!

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    beautiful pictures buddy!

    I especially like the one with the deer. I bet that felt good after you snapped it and got the picture as good as you did!

    I had something similar to that once, I was out taking a hike and a deer just walked up to me about 10 feet away, it wasn't scared just kinda looked at me and kept eating, I took about 15 pictures of it only to loose them because my SD card messed up.

    Good pictures friend!
     
  4. Bryan Pietig

    Bryan Pietig TPF Noob!

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    Ya I didnt realize that about RAW right away but now I am aware of it. Those were half the pictures in one afternoon cruise. I cannot wait to capture some of the monster velvet bucks I have seen all summer.

    I will get heavy into waterfowl too. Is there anyone who has experience with birds have some advice? I tried a couple things with birds so far but I keep blurring.
     
  5. Crazydad

    Crazydad No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Nice pictures. While I am by no means an expert, I do have a couple of suggestions that might help.

    On 1, 2, 3, and 7 you don't want to center the subjects. The pictures tend to be more interesting if the subjects are off center. You'll hear "rule of thirds" a lot about dividing the frame in 3 and putting the subject on one of the lines.

    Also look at the background. The shot of the dog has a distracting area of sunlight on the top for example. here is what I mean. Take a look and see how the dog is now off center and the white on the top is gone.

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    For the outdoor shots (beautiful country!) I would suggest getting a circular polarized (CP) and neutral density (ND) filters. These will help the glare and the haze.

    You can also do a lot of stuff in Photoshop (or whatever program), but I find if you concentrate on getting the exposure and composition right first, then you shouldn't need to do too much editing.
     
  6. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    You probably are going to want to get off of Auto mode on your camera. The auto mode makes WAY too many decisions for you... even more than Program mode does. Program mode is ok for starters, but you'll probably want to work in at least aperature priority, and possibly manual on occasion.

    Look up and learn to understand depth of field, too... if you don't already, that is.

    Some of your pics are a bit under-saturated... 1 being a good example... the colors are just not there. Might be able to correct this in post processing, but it's likely at least in part the exposure you're choosing. There's a book "Understanding Exposure" that everyone recommends- you may want to pick that up.

    You might want to play with different metering such as spot, so you know your subject will be what your light meter is working off of.

    All of your pictures appear a touch soft- a bit of sharpening will help. Keep in mind your camera has an anti-aliasing filter over the sensor so, by and large, nearly every picture you take will need a touch of sharpening done to it. Your camera may have an option to turn up on-board sharpening, but I recommend doing it on your computer where you can see the results more easily. Sharpening can damage a picture in a fairly permanent way if overdone.

    The deer picture (which is really cool, btw) looks like it just missed the focus. That's a tough one because it didn't look like you had a ton of time to get that, but I might have manually focused to infinity on that shot to get as much as possible fairly sharp.

    I like the bird a lot- as Dad said, don't dead-center things all the time, and this guy probably wants a tighter crop so you can see more of the bird, less of the background and such.

    Looks like some good general potential there.
     

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