Not Doing Something Right

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by User5, Jul 11, 2008.

  1. User5

    User5 TPF Noob!

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    Hey,
    I got my new camera for Christmas, and I have been barely able to use it yet. It is my first DSLR. These are some of my first real photos giving it a shot, and I really think I missed it, I'm not doing something right. I have talked to a few people, but you can never have enough feedback. I was disappointed in how soft they were (view it large), and they just weren't quite what I wanted to get, but I'm sure that's always the case. :p They definitely don't pop. Here are a set of them, in set Q:
    http://flickr.com/photos/57553949/sets/72157606060321919/

    Thank you in advance!

    P.S. All of the exif data should still be present.
     
  2. Hawaii Five-O

    Hawaii Five-O My alter-egos have been banned. :( Now I must be

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    You have a nice set of pictures there. You have a good eye for picking nice pictures. I f you want the colors to pop more though you can try taking pics at different times in the day. I have found that late afternoon early evening can produce rich colors and nice shadows.Also early morning makes rich colors too. Your pictures look like they were taken either late morning or mid afternoon when the atmosphere is naturally washed out. What dslr are you using?

    the colors in your firework shot pop pretty good I think. You could also try adjusting contrast and midtones in your other pics to make them richer too.
     
  3. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Unfortunately I can't view Flickr galleries from work - could you post one or two of them here? C677T makes some good points; as a general rule of thumb, your best shooting will when the sun is lower in the sky. Cloudy days are also good for certain situations. I
     
  4. User5

    User5 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks! Certainly, the light is critical. It was in mid afternoon, though I guess I'm not gonna not take photos during that period of time just because the light isn't perfect, but you do bring up a good point. The colors looked incredible through the viewfinder, but unfortunately that's not normally how nice it records lol. I am using a Canon XT with the basic kit lens and 75-300. This is the first time I've done fireworks with this camera as well, and unfortunately the show wasn't very good this year and it was short, so I wasn't able to get into much of a rhythm. Adding a bit of contrast does sound like a good idea.

    Tirediron, can you view direct URLs such as http://flickr.com/photos/blahblah.jpg ? And yes, having some clouds on a sunny blue day are great, especially with a polarizer, which I haven't gotten one of yet. They can add a lot of character and sometimes they really make the photo.

    Brandon
     
  5. User5

    User5 TPF Noob!

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    Here's a few embedded, and feel free to click the link above; bump!

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Zansho

    Zansho TPF Noob!

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    Here's my suggestion:

    You can use various filters on the front of the lens to help you bring out the colors more, and to help darken your sky, to bring out more blues.

    First one I'd recommend is a GOOD quality Circular Polarizer filter, it helps immensely with reflections and with helping your skies expose for a more deep blue.

    Second filter I'd recommend would be a Neutral Density filter. This will come in handy when you're shooting things like waterfalls, and the like - what this does is reduce the amount of light that enters the camera's lens - VERY useful for certain situations, and when you're shooting in broad daylight and need longer exposure times.

    The last filter I'd recommend is a Graduated filter. They typically come in several different types, but this has one half of the filter is darker than the other. VERY useful when you want to darken your sky, but keep your ground area properly exposed. This helps with you blowing out your highlights in the sky.

    One more thing. See that flare on the bottom left of your lake shot? That's a result of your lens being in the sun's path and creating a flare. Use a lens shade or shade your lens using your hand to prevent this from happening.

    Oh.. and get your sensor cleaned lol, I see a lot of sensor dust on your images.
     
  7. User5

    User5 TPF Noob!

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    Zansho, thanks a bunch for your reply and suggestions. I've been meaning to get a polarizer but I'm cheap and don't have a lot of money lol...what would probably be one of the cheapest CPs that are good quality ones?

    I remember that my teacher said he liked to use graduated neutral density filters when there is a bright sky. Is this what you're talking about when you talk about a graduated filter? And are these the same thing as just the regular ND filters but instead it covers the whole thing? Also, what would be some good brands that aren't too much money while still having good quality on these as well?

    When you say lens shade, do you mean just like one of those lens hoods? And I'm assuming it isn't very hard to just block it out with your hand, but I can't remember if I saw the flare in the viewfinder or not, though I'm sure I would've seen it on the screen even though it's pretty small.

    I actually didn't notice at all about the dust, could you point out where you see it? And is this just something I can do easily myself since it's just dust? I mean, I've barely used my camera at all...I should probably get a puffer too.
     
  8. macdsean

    macdsean TPF Noob!

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    Exposure is a problem in some of the first shots (overexposed). Secondly, I think you need some work on your composition. Often that comes with practice though (or reading a good book on the subject)
     
  9. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    +1 to everything Z said.

    BTW, you have some WICKED sensor dust on that cam. Look at the pics with the blue skies- you see occasional darker dots. That's dust on your sensor. If you haven't been using the cam that much I'm curious how you did that.

    Honestly, I think your compositions are really nice. I don't know what you think you're doing wrong, exactly, but it's minor if anything. A bit of work on exposure, filters, etc. and you'll be in really good shape.
     
  10. User5

    User5 TPF Noob!

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    Okay, thanks! And yeah, I need muchhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh work/experience. :p

    Manaheim, I finally noticed it in the first one I embedded; I can't believe I didn't notice that! I'll have to take a look at my sensor. My house can be dusty sometimes, so it probably happened while changing lenses. Personally I think my composition is okay, but it definitely could use some work; thanks for feeling it to be decent! Thanks for the comments, all, to have replied thus far. Hopefully I'll get some better shots in not TOOOOO long; it'll be good to get it out in a place where I'm by myself completely so I can just completely take my time with everything to get more of a feel for this camera and looking through the viewfinder as opposed to my P&S camera which the LCD tilts out almost any way you want it to, which I did love. Just to note, all of the photos out of set Q are older ones with my older cameras. (P&S) There are certainly a lot of great photos and photographers here to be inspired by. Also, could anybody recommend some good brands of polarizers and filters to buy that aren't really expensive?
     
  11. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I don't know what brands sell in the States, my filters are all "HAMA", and the first polariser I had (which I lost off the front of the lens in the middle of some really wild wilderness, never to be found again :( ...) cost me 99.-DM (back in D-Mark-times, before we got the Euro). The replacement polariser was something like €45.-. ND filters cost next to nothing. Since I still don't own any graduated filters, I don't know how much those would be...
     
  12. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The graduated ND filters I was looking at were ~$150ish US. I didn't do a ton of research though...

    ...that reminds me, I need to pickup a graduated ND filter. :lol:
     

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