New to Photography

Raley

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Well guys my name is Christopher, i am 28 years young and for some unknown reason i decided, you know what, i want to get into photography. So i rolled down to bestbuy and bought a nikon D5600 as it was suggested by a friend, downloaded lightroom, photoshop and off i went. I am 100% a complete novice and have zero experience with a camera, i dont even know if this is a good camera, but it seems to take decent photos and i enjoy it so it will do. I have been researching and reading everything photography the last two days, beginning to understand how shutter speed,f-stop and iso all work together to produce a clean photo and what each one does individually. Right away i knew i wanted to actually really do this so i have been using nothing but manual mode. Auto mode seems like cheating to me. I also enjoy streetbike riding as my main hobby and am enjoying combining both these hobbies, photos on that later!

Anyways enough blabbering, below is my first picture that i am actually happy with how it turned out (to an extent) and i would appreciate some constructive criticism. Remember i have only been at this 2 days and its been raining so i haven't even really got the chance to really get after it.

I dont like the top left of the photo, it looks..i dunno how to put it.. too sharp and just off. For the most part i really like the rest. It was a small stream of water running through my apartment complex and you can see it was picking up the oil deposited by all the cars.

(for some reason it wont let me upload the photo, it says Security error, please refresh and try again. So i left a link at the very bottom labeled "Water"...After you click it make sure to click "Load Full Resolution". Sorry for the inconvenience!)

Thank you for reading and for any criticism you may have!

water
 

Tropicalmemories

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Yes, your link works. The file size is 13Mb, it does not need to be so large for displaying on line.

Here it is as a reduced 900x900 file to display in the post.

Nice, almost abstract image.

water (1).jpg
 
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Raley

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Thank you for your help!
 

bulldurham

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Your exposure isn't too bad though I did open up your shadows a bit more. Just from a more close up look via Photoshop, it looks as if you bumped up your ISO a bit too high causing some unneeded grain, though this may also be from how you compressed the original file. Make sure you are shooting in RAW and editing in 16 bit.

As you can see on my edit, where I find the biggest issue is in your framing. The foreground blur isn't something that pushes the eye toward the focal point, so as I tell students, it's like writing a story; if whatever you use to push the plot forward isn't working, it has to go. Same goes with a photograph; that which does not move the eye to the focal point and then provide the eye with a nice, easy exit/re-entry, it as to go. Perhaps you have more image to work with and you can crop for a tighter framing. That all said, it's a good start.

cr.jpg
 

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.. i dont even know if this is a good camera, but it seems to take decent photos ..
That line is what is known as an "entry level" camera, and the low price is attractive to first time buyers. The engineers and sales directors at Nikon have paired that camera with one or two lenses that perform perfectly adequately. Use it for several years, and don't assume that you must "upgrade" to some other model before you begin to find certain shortcomings in your current kit.

Meanwhile, continue to learn about exposure, composition, and editing.

Oh, and have fun!
 

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Thanks for posting, my brother bought the D5100 model when it came out and is still using it. Often with the 35mm f/1.8DX lens that is a good addition to that camera. So I think your D5600 can safely handle your photography needs for a good number of years.

I expect what you really liked when you saw this water was the colors given by the oil, most of that seems to be in the lower right of the image. So the only point I would make is that this area of interest is not in sharp focus and my eye is pulled to the water drop next to the leaf in the upper right as it is in better focus than the oily area.

While you are using Manual exposure mode - what mode did you use to select the focus point in the image? I am usually a focus and recompose shooter, using the center focus point, or you can move the focus point to the area you want to focus on.

In your image I would only have foreground out-of-focus if it was something completely different from the subject - such as some weeds, grass, or a curb.

Finally, in LightRoom, make an Export preset for images you post to social media. I find that 640, 800 or 1200 on the long side and 80% quality generally gives a decent image resolution and very reasonable file size.
 

bulldurham

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You might also want to post your ISO, Shutter and Aperture along with the time of day and weather conditions so we might best help you with some direction.
 

PJM

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Welcome! I too am a relative newbie and have the D5600 with their 18-55 and 70-300 kit lenses. I’ve been having a great time with it. The kit does have limitations but as I learn those and learn what I like to photograph I’ll have a much better idea of what to get next when the time comes.

Nice photo for 2 days out. I look forward to seeing more. What caused the ripples?
 
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Raley

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Thank you everyone for the criticism and help. This seems like a nice community and im glad to be apart of it. I feel like i can learn alot here!

Someone mentioned something about focus. I have been using strictly manual focus. Should i be using auto focus? or is it just a preference? I like using manual focus cause i can tell it exactly what i want it to focus on.

Your exposure isn't too bad though I did open up your shadows a bit more. Just from a more close up look via Photoshop, it looks as if you bumped up your ISO a bit too high causing some unneeded grain, though this may also be from how you compressed the original file. Make sure you are shooting in RAW and editing in 16 bit.

As you can see on my edit, where I find the biggest issue is in your framing. The foreground blur isn't something that pushes the eye toward the focal point, so as I tell students, it's like writing a story; if whatever you use to push the plot forward isn't working, it has to go. Same goes with a photograph; that which does not move the eye to the focal point and then provide the eye with a nice, easy exit/re-entry, it as to go. Perhaps you have more image to work with and you can crop for a tighter framing. That all said, it's a good start.

View attachment 168793

I believe you are right about my iso being to high judging from the original image as its a little to bright/washed out. I believe i read somewhere that i want to keep my iso as low as i can get away with? Is that correct? I am shooting in RAW but how do i make sure im editing in 16bit and what exactly does that mean?

You might also want to post your ISO, Shutter and Aperture along with the time of day and weather conditions so we might best help you with some direction.
f/5.3, shutter speed is 1/500s, iso 2500, 48mm. Time of day was around 1pm with overcast and rain.

Welcome! I too am a relative newbie and have the D5600 with their 18-55 and 70-300 kit lenses. I’ve been having a great time with it. The kit does have limitations but as I learn those and learn what I like to photograph I’ll have a much better idea of what to get next when the time comes.


Nice photo for 2 days out. I look forward to seeing more. What caused the ripples?
Thank you and im glad you are enjoying photography as i am! Such a fascinating past time, being able to freeze a moment in time. The circle ripples are from rain drops and the other ripples is just the water running.
 
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bulldurham

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"f/5.3, shutter speed is 1/500s, iso 2500, 48mm. Time of day was around 1pm with overcast and rain."

5.3, 1/250 iso 1250 cuts the noise in half and still gets you what you want. I always use manual focus when shooting water or into windows but always be sure to focus on the subject in either case. If you were shooting the 18-55, you could have dropped the aperture to f/3.5 and ISO to 640 and kept your shutter at 500. It's just a game of robbing Peter to pay Paul and while you're robbing Peter, someone else is picking your pocket. I always go aperture first so I can determine what I want my audience to see, then shutter second and if I can't get there with the shutter, then I go to my ISO.
 

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I have been using strictly manual focus. Should i be using auto focus? or is it just a preference? I like using manual focus cause i can tell it exactly what i want it to focus on.
In case I missed your introduction thread; Welcome!

You have a camera that will find a good exposure and focus for you, but you choose to set the exposure and focus manually. Why?

You can set your camera to a one-area focus area, and move it around within the frame, depending on where you wish to focus. As long as that focus area has something to "grab onto", it will focus probably better than you can.

As to manual exposure, are you using the built-in exposure meter? (you should) But once again; why? I can understand your enthusiastic approach to learning about "..understand how shutter speed, f-stop and iso all work together to produce a clean photo and what each one does individually", but this seems like the hard way, and one that takes the fun and creativity out of it.
 
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Raley

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"f/5.3, shutter speed is 1/500s, iso 2500, 48mm. Time of day was around 1pm with overcast and rain."

5.3, 1/250 iso 1250 cuts the noise in half and still gets you what you want. I always use manual focus when shooting water or into windows but always be sure to focus on the subject in either case. If you were shooting the 18-55, you could have dropped the aperture to f/3.5 and ISO to 640 and kept your shutter at 500. It's just a game of robbing Peter to pay Paul and while you're robbing Peter, someone else is picking your pocket. I always go aperture first so I can determine what I want my audience to see, then shutter second and if I can't get there with the shutter, then I go to my ISO.

Once again thank you bulldurham for the informative criticism. As a rule i should always am to keep my iso as low as possible correct?

I have been using strictly manual focus. Should i be using auto focus? or is it just a preference? I like using manual focus cause i can tell it exactly what i want it to focus on.
In case I missed your introduction thread; Welcome!

You have a camera that will find a good exposure and focus for you, but you choose to set the exposure and focus manually. Why?

You can set your camera to a one-area focus area, and move it around within the frame, depending on where you wish to focus. As long as that focus area has something to "grab onto", it will focus probably better than you can.

As to manual exposure, are you using the built-in exposure meter? (you should) But once again; why? I can understand your enthusiastic approach to learning about "..understand how shutter speed, f-stop and iso all work together to produce a clean photo and what each one does individually", but this seems like the hard way, and one that takes the fun and creativity out of it.

I have since switched to auto focus and am experimenting with aperture priority. I dont know i guess i just felt like it was cheating. But i guess the jokes on me for spending all the money to use NONE of its features lol.
 

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