Confused about quality of picture

carbonemt

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Hey guys. Im a little confused about the quality in picture I keep getting with my camera. Let me give you a little background.

There is a friend of mine that has a nikon setup. Its pretty nice but its not to far off from my gear so im trying to figure out if maybe its my settings? Lens? or im just not meant to take pictures haha. Here is my buddies picture of a Nisson Skyline:
gus.jpg


Here is a picture of my buddies Imported Civic Hatch:
DSC02049.jpg

I had to do a bit of photoshop to make it look better. Such as darkening and such. He doesnt photoshop.
I am using a Sony D-SLR A200 with a 55mm 3.5-5.6/18-70 Sony lens.
Could it be a lighting issue? All our photos in comparison look like this.
When he takes a picture, every little detail is at its fullest. I can barely get the light to reflect of the paint.
 

MLeeK

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you're using the wrong html tags. you need to use
and put the link between them
 

dxqcanada

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Lighting of the subject and angle of view make a big difference on the visual quality of an image.

In terms of camera/lens image quality ... you both have to shoot the same image ... then compare.
The Sony 18-70mm was not a great lens. I would suggest replacing it.
 
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carbonemt

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Which lens could you recommend me? I am still quite new to this.
 

photog4life

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DAMN those cars are sexy!
 
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carbonemt

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Thanks bro. We have some decent car setups out here since we are close to the race track.
 

photog4life

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sweet! i WISH i had more "cool" car to shoot... only car i ever got to shoot was a camaro that my sister had... but she got rid of it so i have no good cars... i still practice though
 
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carbonemt

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lol if u see one just ask the owner. Most people are pretty chill about it.
 

shuttervelocity

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sweet! i WISH i had more "cool" car to shoot... only car i ever got to shoot was a camaro that my sister had... but she got rid of it so i have no good cars... i still practice though
Just go to a car show. TONS of great cars and hot women showing them off as well. Win-Win. :)
 
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carbonemt

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Anyways, back to the topic. Any good lens suggestions for my sony?
 

MLeeK

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A wide angle f/2.8 like the Tamron 17-50 or 28-75 would be the ideal.
Your lighting is playing a big part here.
He may not use photoshop but he is post processing his images either in Nikon's raw software or something else where he can control the curve and contrast. That would eliminate your darkening and so forth in PS. What version of PhotoShop are you working with?
 

analog.universe

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The lens and RAW processing certainly play a role, but I think the lighting and composition are really what separate these images. Your buddy's shot is in an area with more lights, and he's closer to the ground and closer to the car.

When you do a shoot, first look for a place with enough light. When you're doing shiny objects, more light sources are generally better. Then, before you even set up the camera, walk around the car in all directions, watch the light play off the paint. Find an angle that makes the car look flattering, and that picks up a lot of reflections, and then set up your camera.

You're also shooting a black car at night, which is not the easiest thing to do... I saw a video about a guy who used a flash to "lightpaint" his car shots. He'd put the car in a really dark area, set up the camera, and leave the shutter up for a few minutes. While the shutter was open, he'd walk around the car with a softbox mounted to a flash, and manually fire the flash at the car dozens of times from different angles. This way he could put the reflections right where he wanted. If you don't have a flash and softbox, you might honestly have some luck with a white sheet and flashlight, could be fun to play around with.
 

DiskoJoe

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To get better pictures you would probably need to use a tripod and a longer exposure at night with the lens you are using. I thought your pic looked better then your friends.
 

KmH

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A wide angle f/2.8 like the Tamron 17-50 or 28-75 would be the ideal.
Your lighting is playing a big part here.
He may not use photoshop but he is post processing his images either in Nikon's raw software or something else where he can control the curve and contrast. That would eliminate your darkening and so forth in PS. What version of PhotoShop are you working with?
Or pre-processing by turning on the Nikon Active D-Lighting mode.

Doing photography well requires gaining a good understanding of several technical subjects.
http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/...-forum/267492-info-those-new-photography.html
How Do I Use My Digital SLR?...
 
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daarksun

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Shooting at night involves a steady hand to avoid blur. Check your AF points to know what area you are focusing on. Then depending on the lens the depth of field is going to determine how much focus there is. A say 2.0 Fstop will make most things in front and behind the focus point blurry. If you shoot at F11 to f22 then just about everything will be in focus. Night shots to shoot fast are about 2.0 to shoot fast and minimize your blur but it hurts if you want more in focus.

There are always options even with possible focus issues that your are not happy with. I messed around for a few minutes wiht the first image. The second image is to far from the car and the car being black loses to much detail in the dark.

Here's my processed image of your first shot. This was run through some topaz to bring out some additional sharpness then some denoise software to smooth rough areas. From the sharpening process it looks like your camera focus on the ground just in front of the car - the ground is very sharp, but the smoothing has also cleared up a good bit of the car and preserved a nice image overall. The topaz brings out the colors and details in the image.

gus-touchedup.jpg


The original image.

gus.jpg
 

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