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Discussion Starter #1
Yep, I'm "one of those guys" who Santa brought a new camera. In the form of an after Christmas sale at the local camera store. I have no SLR experiance digital or otherwise. In fact my only film experiace was with an old B&W Poloroid land camera when I was like ten or eleven years old. I loved the instant gratification of the Poloroid but "film is expensive", said my father. So my photography hobby died young.:crying: I've had a couple P&S digitals, but as I've gotten older my hands have become less steady. I'm a carpenter not a brain surgeon. So I found those small cameras frustrating.
Anyhow, here are some shots I've taken while trying to learn how this new toy/tool works. Constructive criticism from the mainstayers in this section (and you know who you are) would be highly reguarded.


























Thank you for browsing. :hi:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
They all look awesome. Damn sure better than ill ever take
Thank you, hillbill. I think you maybe underestimating yourself, tho. My equipment is nothing special, strictly entry level. Kinda like the srt4 of cameras compared to the Lambos and Bugattis some true photographers shoot with. Imagination, I think, is more important than hardware. Then comes skill with said hardware. The former comes free of charge. The latter, well, I have the feeling I'm about to pay the price in the form of some harsh technical criticism, to hone my skills.
 

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I like the black and white 2nd from last. I would say practice tons. I like that cat. They are very easy subjects to practice on as well. Work on brighter exposures, fool around with post processing and interesting crops. Look at others work online or in books, find what you like and try to shoot similar shots. It can be a rewarding hobby.
 

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Well, to start off, how do you feel you are doing? What problems are you having?


My favorite shot out of the bunch would probably be the 2nd one. I like the idea of it, and I like the exposure of it... But I think it could have been executed better. Have the elephant being closer to the lens while keeping it wide angle and more in the rule of thirds position in the bottom right corner. That would have made it look like a big world around the small little elephant. If you can.. try the shot again.


With the Jack picture, I like the idea but the pepper is out of place. I think it could have used a more interesting background.


One thing I am glad to see is that you aren't shooting in P or in Auto mode. I like that you are using Aperture Priority or Manual.



*edit*
And as coolpix said... learn post processing. It is what makes a picture, try to not rely on it unless you have a set vision in your head of what you want.. but try not to take a picture and just be like ahh.. I can just fix that in photoshop.

I'm going to take your Jack and Coke picture and run it through some processing to show you what kind of a difference it can make.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I like the black and white 2nd from last. I would say practice tons. I like that cat. They are very easy subjects to practice on as well. Work on brighter exposures, fool around with post processing and interesting crops. Look at others work online or in books, find what you like and try to shoot similar shots. It can be a rewarding hobby.
I hear ya. There is nothing better than practice. Experience is everything.
Which cat? Zanzibar is the grey with the hourglass blaze on his nose and the other brown one is Speedy. As far as being easy subjects they might disagree. I like to shoot them because you can tell right away whether or not you have a good shot in the details given in their fur and features. I'll post some more.

Well, to start off, how do you feel you are doing? What problems are you having?

I feel good, well good enough to post and ask for criticism. Always looking to improve. The only problem I'm experiencing at the moment is "lens lust". Having only the 18-55mm kit lens I feel very restricted. I'm liking the 70-300mm VR and a "$99 50mm prime" that was mentioned on the last page of the Genpho sticky. The crazy bokeh backgrounds that were shown are very much to my tastes. How would a lens like this do in wide angle group shots, like a parking lot full of cars?

My favorite shot out of the bunch would probably be the 2nd one. I like the idea of it, and I like the exposure of it... But I think it could have been executed better. Have the elephant being closer to the lens while keeping it wide angle and more in the rule of thirds position in the bottom right corner. That would have made it look like a big world around the small little elephant. If you can.. try the shot again.

I can... And will. For some reason I'm drawn to that elephant. I originally chose it because of the detail in it would be easy to judge focus. Now I just like him alot.

With the Jack picture, I like the idea but the pepper is out of place. I think it could have used a more interesting background.


One thing I am glad to see is that you aren't shooting in P or in Auto mode. I like that you are using Aperture Priority or Manual.

No challenge in shooting auto.
*edit*
And as coolpix said... learn post processing. It is what makes a picture, try to not rely on it unless you have a set vision in your head of what you want.. but try not to take a picture and just be like ahh.. I can just fix that in photoshop.

I'm going to take your Jack and Coke picture and run it through some processing to show you what kind of a difference it can make.
Basically all I did was correct the white balance, add contrast, make it a little brighter, pulled some saturation but added some vibrance.

Is that all? Haha JK. To me it seems somehow overdone. But you're right, yours pops to life much better. The glass looks amazing. Makes mine look hazy and flat.
All done in Adobe Lightroom.[/QUOTE]





A shot and a crop of the elephant.



Speedy



Zanzibar

This next one is a shot I took blind out the window of my van at 75mph.



and my modest attempt at post processing. For now I'm using windows live :rofl:.



Thank you so, so much for the feedback. You guys are the best!
 

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Looks like you have a good start :thumbsup:

The white balance is off on a lot of your shots. Try messing around with the different WB modes in the camera if you dont have much experience with post processing yet. Otherwise its easily fixed most of the time with software.

As far as lenses, the 50mm 1.8 is pretty nice for the money. The bokeh can get ugly sometimes but for most shots it is great.

The 35mm 1.8 is also a good choice and will give you a wider field of view (the same view that a 50mm would get on a full frame camera).

If you are into wide angles a good DX wide angle lens can be anywhere from $500-800 depending what you get but they allow a lot of creativity.

The 70-300 VR is a great lens for the money.

If you like to use books this one is great:

Amazon.com: Complete Digital Photography (9781584507000): Ben Long: Books

It helped me a lot in explaining the relationship between aperture/shutter speed/ISO and lots of other things.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Looks like you have a good start :thumbsup:

Thanks.

The white balance is off on a lot of your shots. Try messing around with the different WB modes in the camera if you dont have much experience with post processing yet. Otherwise its easily fixed most of the time with software.

I try to be mindful of the WB settings and adjust them accordingly to my light conditions. Is there a proper method for "setting" the WB? You know, the take a frame of a white square. Should I be zoomed in only on the square and what sort of conditions am I looking for while setting WB?

As far as lenses, the 50mm 1.8 is pretty nice for the money. The bokeh can get ugly sometimes but for most shots it is great.

I can be somewhat singular in my tastes, I loved what I saw in the distortion that lens brought to some backgrounds.

The 35mm 1.8 is also a good choice and will give you a wider field of view (the same view that a 50mm would get on a full frame camera).

If you are into wide angles a good DX wide angle lens can be anywhere from $500-800 depending what you get but they allow a lot of creativity.

The 70-300 VR is a great lens for the money.

I think that will most likely be my next lens. It seems to be very versitile. For me versitility translates to bang for buck.
If you like to use books this one is great:

I do love a good read. So far I've only read "DSLR Cams & Photog for Dummies". It gave a great overview of settings, ISO, aperatue, S speed. I'll be looking into your suggestion as well.

Amazon.com: Complete Digital Photography (9781584507000): Ben Long: Books

It helped me a lot in explaining the relationship between aperture/shutter speed/ISO and lots of other things.
Well, the wife and I went out and grabbed PSE9. So now I can shoot and edit in raw like a big boy. Oh Boy, do I have some learning to do. My first take on PSE is that it's nothing simple. I shot tonight in NEF and was blown away by the control and detail that can be attained in this format. I was going to post one messing with low light, long exposure, and a MAP gas torch, but compuliteracy got the best of me at this hour. Something about jpeg conversion that I'll figure out tomarrow.

Thanks for the input.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
WWwwwaaaa(the sound of illumination)aaaaaaaaaa...

and the light goes on.

Just experiencing the joy of finding all my cameras setting menus. Talk about depth of field, I knew I was missing some important selections. I'm literaly a two year old when it comes to computers and the like.
 

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What I was saying with the elephant.. try something similar to this..



Its a wide angle shot, meaning you would have it at 18mm. Like in the first set of pictures you posted [2nd elephant picture].. Just move your camera closer to it but leave it at a wide angle. It will make the elephant bigger but also show that its small in relation to the background.
 

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What I was saying with the elephant.. try something similar to this..
Yea, I understand. Your example makes it much clearer tho. The elephant resides at my mothers house, just haven't been back there to try your suggestion yet. It is something I'm looking forward to improving.

Btw, Parkerman, I wanted to tell you your work is AMAZING! The wife and I have spent alot of time oogleing many of the shots you've shared here and on your own site.

Thank you for taking the time to help the peons.
 

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Yea, I understand. Your example makes it much clearer tho. The elephant resides at my mothers house, just haven't been back there to try your suggestion yet. It is something I'm looking forward to improving.

Btw, Parkerman, I wanted to tell you your work is AMAZING! The wife and I have spent alot of time oogleing many of the shots you've shared here and on your own site.

Thank you for taking the time to help the peons.


Thanks I really appreciate it man.



I will tell you the thing that will piss you off the most... It still happens to me. You are out taking pictures, you know what you want the outcome to be but you totally forget how to get it. My mind just goes blank sometimes and it kills me. Then later I will realize what I was doing wrong and its something so basic it drives me up the wall.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks I really appreciate it man.
:thumbsup:


I will tell you the thing that will piss you off the most... It still happens to me. You are out taking pictures, you know what you want the outcome to be but you totally forget how to get it. My mind just goes blank sometimes and it kills me. Then later I will realize what I was doing wrong and its something so basic it drives me up the wall.
I'm sure I'll get there one day. I still get excited when I get close to what I want. Small steps along the learning curve. It would be nice to look at a given situation and know how to set the camera to produce a determined result.

Hmm... That actually would have been my Sigma 24-70 2.8, since then though I've upgraded to the Nikon 24-70 2.8.

I was about to tell you it was my Nikon since it came out so well... haha.. but it wasn't.
Now you're just feeding the newbie gear nazi.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Finally got back out to my Mom's place to reshoot a couple in my Bejeweled Pachyderm series as Parker suggested.





Unbenounced to me my mother turned on the under cabinet lights in the kitchen and I caught an unwanted reflection in the window. :stab:
 
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