1st photo shoot ever.


TPF Noob!
May 7, 2006
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alright so i bought an xg-m. last week. so i went out with it today. keep in mind i have almost no idea how to adjust the setting correctly and i don thave a manual. so im going to have to learn eventually. anway here are some of the pics.
















so i need tips on taking pictures as well as editing them. also could this low quality be attributed to bad film. it was free with the camera and some off brand. also could someone edit 1 or 2 of the pics so i can get an idea of what they should look like?
Hallo P-Unit, and welcome to ThePhotoForum.
These photos were moved from the Critique Forum to the General Gallery since the Critique Forum is for specified critique wanted for an individual photo, while some general critiquing or comments are given in this General Gallery.

My immediate comment is: these are too large, and I would like you to resize them to a web-friendly 640x480 pixels or so, else they do not even fit on my 19" screen.

Furthermore, two spaces between each picture makes viewing a lot easier than if one photo "flows into" the other, and when there are as many pics as these here, numbering them also helps the other members a lot to comment on them and "name" them by their number, ok?

I for my part like the first photo of this series best.
Happy "snapping" and even happier posting to here in the future ... you are off to quite a good start.
You're off to good start, getting out there and taking pics. Just a few general critiques (take em with a grain of salt, I ain't no Picasso ;))... It seems like it was a rather cloudy day out, probably not the best for taking pics, but sometimes it can't be helped. I'd suggest moving to well-lit areas, and staying out of the shade on days like that -- you'll come out with crisper-looking pics. Other than that, just work on keeping your subject in focus (nice bike, by the way). Keep shooting and good luck! Hope to see more of your pics around here soon! :)
thanks. got that taken care of. now why else arent these photos great?

mainly i want to deal with the clarity. everyone elses seem to be crystal clear...mine arent.

btw. the bike is mine. the two mustangs belong to my buddies
There could be several reasons for not having "perfect" pics. What camera settings were you using? What lens / settings? I am assuming these are scans of pictures or film (only XG-M I know of is the Minolta film 35mm film camera). Scans from places like Walmart have been known to be of lower quality.

No matter what. Congrats on the new to you camera. And you will get to know more as you practice. That's important, keep shooting.

And Welcome. :)
i am scanning the pictures i got developed at walmart. but the real pictures look "imperfect" too. i am using an xg-m on auto for now. with a soligor wide angle lens. i think i might buy another lens too.
In light of the fact that these are your first photos, and you originally posted them in the critique gallery, I'm going to be critical in a tough love kinda way, so bear with me.

The one photo I see here that is really up to par is number 12. The lines and point-of-view are interesting, the colors are good, and the lighting is even (if slightly flat).

My biggest piece of advice to you is to slow down. In a number of the photos, the composition is unintentionally crooked, and you've cut out parts of the photo that you probably didn't intend to. Get a tripod if you don't already have one. Double check each shot to make sure it's level (or buy a bubble level for your tripod). Don't worry about lighting just yet. You should really focus on composition and depth of field right now. Read up on aperture in the newbie guides. A wider aperture (f. number, such as f2.4 or something) will keep a particular object in focus, while blurring things around it. It will also let more light in. A narrower aperture (such as f.22) is more suitable for things like landscapes, and will let less light in, so you'll have to compensate by leaving the shutter open for a longer period of time or using a faster speed film.
Ok, another thing to think about is Walmart will adjust pictures to be what they think is best. So going by the pictures printed by them is not the best clue. Also the white cars are hard for the cameras metering. You can do a couple things. One is to bracket your photos. Bracketing would be say, take a picture at what the camera think is the correct exposure. Then you adjust the camera for say a 1/2 stop slower shutter and then a 1/2 faster shutter of the same pic (your camera may only do a full stop, I am not sure). Yes you waste 2/3rds of film. But it really is not that expensive. I bracket all the time with film. Another option is to get a grey card. Most decent photo stores should have one. Then you can meter the grey card before the picture. This is ok for things that you can obviously walk up too. And for the pictures under the bridge. Get a flash or some kind of reflector to add light to the subject. Or the background if thats what you want. Basically called fill flash.

You can ask Walmart to not adjust the prints. That will give somewhat better representation of the negatives. If you think you have really good pictures on film. Then I would recommend going to a better photo lab. I have never worked a Walmart photolab but at their price levels. They may run fluids or the line a little too much to make up for the lower profits.
Of course there is a trade off. The better labs charge a bit more. In my area they are almost 5x as much.

Also it deppends on the film you used. The higher the iso of the film the rougher / grainer it will look. It allows you to use faster shutter or slower aperature in dim light. But the trade off is less sharp of a picture. The lower the iso the finer the picture detail will be. Before you go spending money on equipment. Need to check up on some of the other variables.

Keep shooting. As you take more pictures you will start to get, for lack of better words "rythem".
First off, the clarity loss can be due to either high iso film (gets grainy) and/or wrong camera settings. Also Wal-Mart is not exactly the best place to get your pics done. Then, scanning takes out a lot of the quality, I know from experience.
What I'd recommend is, like Max said, to read up on it. Of course you'll learn most things you'll know from practice, but just a little background can be useful when you start.
Does your camera have a light meter? If so, then trust it, it's always helpful. However, with time you'll be able to figure out the right exposure by yourself.
The one thing with film photography is you have to know what does what. I mean how a variation in each parameter will affect the picture. Once you get it, it all becomes very clear.

Also, I've been having very frustrating experiences with a flatbed scanner. If you think you'll be doing a lot of photography in the future, consider getting a negative scanner. The image quality loss is very low and easily fixable with any editing software.

Now about the pictures. What was your film's iso? Looks like 200 to me, but I could be wrong.
They could definately use more detail in the shadows. You can get a higher iso film. 400 is considered all-purpose and I think it could work fine here. 800 would give way too much grain and you'll lose a lot of clarity.
Other thing you can do is use a larger aperture (which is designated by a smaller number... took me a while to get this when I was starting) or a slow shutter with a smaller aperture which should give nice contrast.
However, I should add that if you said you made the pics intentionnaly the way they are, i would've believed you because the colors give a very special touch and a sort of retro feel to them. #6 and #12 are very catchy with the lines. With some minor level adjustments on the computer, you should be able to get them to look fine.

So, all in all, for somebody who had no idea what they were doing, you did rather good.
Keep shooting, read up on it and you'll be getting great very soon.
again, try to get your negatives scanned instead of the prints.

good luck :thumbup:

ps: also I should add that most of this type of photography is done digitally, ususally in automatical mode :er:. Hence the clarity. So I give you a high-five for doing what you do. Film, esp in manual mode, is more challenging, but much more rewarding. so keep at it.
You're best off trying to learn the basics of exposure and composition before buying new kit (I wish I'd bothered to do research properly when starting out with SLRs, then I wouldn't have wasted good money on a bunch of crappy zooms or had so many rolls of poorly exposed film).

However, while learning there are two things I would suggest you buy. The first is a 50mm lens if you can get one, hopefully one of Minolta's own. Since pretty much all the ones for that lens mount will be second hand, it shouldn't be hard to find one going cheap. In my experience it's better to learn composition on a 50mm. Plus the Rokkors are great lenses. The second thing I'd suggest you get is a handheld light meter. A cheap one will be fine, and if while learning about exposure you wander around taking measurements with a light meter it'll make sense quicker than using the camera with the obvious temptation to set it all to auto. Apart from which, take incidental light readings using the cone on the meter and your photos are likely to come out much better exposed than with the camera's reflective meter - white cars will appear more white, etc.
thanks for the tips.. keep them coming

im mainly trying to get away from the more hazy/fuzzy look. i like the crystal clear pictures that show off the lines of the bike and such.

so basically, use like 400 iso to deal with the darker shadow issue+ slower shutter speed and/or larger aperature
Yes and no. Remember that with a wider aperture you'll have less depth of field, meaning you might have the bike in focus but the background blurred. Sometimes you'll want that effect, but not always. As for the ISO level, ISO 400 film does not in itself deal with the loss of detail in shadowed areas. What that film does is allow you to get more light (and therefore more detail) onto the film than you would using the same aperture and shutter speed with a slower film like ISO 100. The upshot of this is that with ISO 400 film you may not actually need a slower shutter speed or wider aperture. And given the quality of ISO 400 colour film now there's very little reason to use anything slower for this kind of photography.
so which is more important to change. the aperture. or the shutter speed. i would assume the aperture is more important in getting the shot i really want.
P-UNIT said:
so which is more important to change. the aperture. or the shutter speed. i would assume the aperture is more important in getting the shot i really want.
Both are related (and balance each other depending on the effect you're going for). If you set a wider aperture, you'll need a faster shutter and vice-versa. Since you're working mostly with still subjects, you don't really need a fast shutter, so you can set a smaller aperture. that way you'll also have a bigger depth of field.
But again, this depends on lighting conditions you're working with.
As somebody mentionned above, you can try fill flash too. I never tried it myself so i can't give any advice on that...

Oh, I actually didn't quite answer your question.
Both aperture and shutter speed are equally important. Aperture determines the amount of light your film will be exposed to and shutter sets the time of that exposure; So you have to find a balance if you want really objective lighting and if you want something darker or lighter, you can flick both parameters, but the effects will vary (ex: wider aperture will give less dof and a slower shutter will have a different effect, but overall, the picture will be lighter).
So no, you can't only concentrate on aperture in most cases.
But as I already said, your specific case here doesnt require special shutter settings, so the most interesting effects you can achieve will be related to aperture settings.

I hope this makes sense and gives any help... I'm better in practice than in theory
P-unit..your off to a really good start. I cant add much to what has been said, but just keep at it. Hang out here, and you will learn tons.
Welcome to the forum. !!!

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