new to photography, need help

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by tonynitz, Dec 5, 2008.

  1. tonynitz

    tonynitz TPF Noob!

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    hi im pretty new to photography and it seem like no matter what i do none of my photos are getting any better. Are there any tips you can give about how to take a good photo, like what is good lighting, good exposure or contrast. What makes a good photo?
     
  2. Photog

    Photog TPF Noob!

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    We're gonna need some examples to tell you what you're doing wrong specifically.
     
  3. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Best thing is to post a few examples of your work for us to have a look at. Otherwise this is way to open ended a question to be answered - if we can get a look at what you have done already and also hear your thoughts on where the photos (in your opinion) have failed and succeded and we can go from there :)
    ps don't post more than about 5 photos - otherwise its way too many of people to properly take the time to comment on
     
  4. tonynitz

    tonynitz TPF Noob!

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    [​IMG]
    ok this for example, its to dark but if i set the exposure for any longer the lights will be whited-out and to bright. also the colors look a little funny.
     
  5. tonynitz

    tonynitz TPF Noob!

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    [​IMG]
    and on this on his skin tone looks funny and it was a blue sky day but its all washed out. plus i think its too destracting and your drawn away from the skater.
     
  6. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    For a late night shot it does not look too dark to me. Your problem is that you have a very wide range of light in that sight - from pure black to bright white - to get it all into one single shot is almost impossible with the camera, it just can't capture the whole dynamic range with a single shot.
    So you have to make choices - do you go arty and take a single exposure either under or overexposed to bring out the details in one area - you could underexpose and have dark areas contrasted with the properly lit ones.
    Or
    you could try taking bracketed shots (read you camera manual for this feature and how to activate it). Then in editing combine the shots into a tonemapped image (often called HDR) that way you get exposures where the shot has details in the darks well exposed, but the lights whited out - a shot abit like the one you have there and then a third shot with the lights well exposed and the blacks underexposed into darkness.
    Combined the images can be used to show the "correct" exposure for each of the different areas.
     
  7. Photog

    Photog TPF Noob!

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    That's not too bad IMO. I really like the composition, and it's not a bad thing if not everything is really bright.

    How long have you been shooting for? If it's anything less than a few months, this really isn't bad at all. I wouldn't suggest that a complete beginner should get into night photography straightaway.
     
  8. Photog

    Photog TPF Noob!

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    I haven't done a lot of shots of sports like this, but I'd say that you want to get as small a DOF as possible with a large aperture, and try to get as close to the action as possible.

    I reckon in general, to get a shot you like for this subject, it's gonna take a lot of misses.
     
  9. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    As an aside, are you reading? There are some very good introductory books out there (e.g. Understanding Exposure by Peterson) which can jump-start you.
     
  10. tonynitz

    tonynitz TPF Noob!

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    ive been shooting probably for about 6 months. but it just seems like nothing is getting better.
     
  11. tonynitz

    tonynitz TPF Noob!

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    yeah have a few books but they are more of how-to guide for my camera
     
  12. Big Mike

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

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    You have to realize that a camera can't capture what a human eye & brain sees. As a photographer, it helps if you can look at something and envision how the camera will see it, rather than how it looks to you.

    For example, in your night time shot. The difference in brightness between the light and dark areas...is a big difference. It exceeds the 'dynamic range' of your camera. If you choose to expose for the dark areas, the bright ones are blown out. If you expose for the bright areas, then the dark ones are lost in shadow. As the photographer, you need to choose which is more important, or find a compromise. Another option is to take multiple exposures at different levels...then either choose the best one or use software to combine the best parts of each exposure.

    Pretty much the same problem with the 2nd one. If you had exposed for a nice blue sky, the rest of the shot would have been too dark. If you expose for the subject, the sky gets blown out. Once you realize this limitation, you can learn to avoid and work around the problem.
     

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