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The Canon Thread - Page 148

post #2206 of 2631
Quote:
Originally Posted by hyogen View Post

Ah, I think I see what you did now for white balance.  use the little dropper tool and pick a spot on the photo. 

Don't just pick "a spot."  You have to choose a neutral.  What version of LR are you using?

post #2207 of 2631

 

post #2208 of 2631
Quote:
Originally Posted by leftnose View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by hyogen View Post

Ah, I think I see what you did now for white balance.  use the little dropper tool and pick a spot on the photo. 

Don't just pick "a spot."  You have to choose a neutral.  What version of LR are you using?

Hmm, i've been playing around with it, but not sure what you mean by "neutral".  I can see the preview screen as I hover my dropper around the picture, but haven't really figured out exactly what i'm looking for.  

 

I just got LR4 trial version.

 

 

here are a couple I took yesterday--some with the ridiculously cheap sigma 70-300mm which only cost me $110--is not even a prime, but got my prime bug started as soon as I realized how useful 70+mm could be even on our crop camera.
 
we juuuuust made the very last part of "golden hour"...the first time I've intentionally tried to go out at this time to take pics.  Unfortunately the tree line was really high
 
Also, a few of these were taken with my new beloved sigma 10-20.  :D  I can't remember which and I may have not gotten to uploading/processing those yet.
 
 

 

 
 

 

 

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does this last one make her look too much like a ghost?  my wife i mean.. :)  I desaturated it on purpose, but.. maybe too much?  I feel like my pics lately have been too saturated like typical "wedding photos", so I am going the opposite direction.  
 
here's one for sure from the 10-20

I could not get my cat to sit still...this last one needed a lot of sharpening :/

 

 
I think I"ve tried everything in Flickr... BBC code, html code, IMG URL,    [IMG] [/IMG]...  
 
I resorted to pasting the BBC code, copying the http://farm9.......jpg URL and pasting into the photo button on the editor.. is that the only way?  

Edited by hyogen - 8/26/12 at 3:13pm
post #2209 of 2631

My comments in red below

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by hyogen View Post

Hmm, i've been playing around with it, but not sure what you mean by "neutral".  I can see the preview screen as I hover my dropper around the picture, but haven't really figured out exactly what i'm looking for.  

 

A neutral is a color that has equal RGB values.  When you have the WB eyedropper selected and you're hovering over the image, you'll see a box just below the tool and it will show RGB values.  Pick a spot that has RGB within 1% or so of each other.

 

 

 

 

Nice, but your subject is underexposed.  I can't remember what camera you're using but you should be able to call up a histogram while you're photographing.  Take a few test shots when you have tricky lighting like (bright background and dark subject) this and you can dial in exposure compensation to brighten up your subject.  This is also where fill flash is extremely handy

 

 
 
 

 

Why did you cut off your wife's head?  Kind of distracting.  Your subject is the both of them, not just the cat.

 

 

 

does this last one make her look too much like a ghost?  my wife i mean.. :)  I desaturated it on purpose, but.. maybe too much?  I feel like my pics lately have been too saturated like typical "wedding photos", so I am going the opposite direction.  
 
What are you trying to show here?  What is the point of the photo?  Again, I'm going to sound harsh: if you don't know what a neutral is to be setting your WB, you shouldn't be messing with color saturation.  Baby steps!
 
 
here's one for sure from the 10-20

I could not get my cat to sit still...this last one needed a lot of sharpening :/

 

This is either camera shake or the cat's moving with too slow a shutter speed (probably the cat because the wall looks pretty sharp).  No amount of sharpening will fix this and it's a mis-use of the tool.  If a photo is technically deficient, Lightroom isn't the answer.  Furthermore, oversharpening a photo can make it look worse than not using the tool at all.  If you're still shooting JPG, forget about the sharpening tool; you should really only have to use with a RAW file which are generally dull because of the complete lack of in-camera processing.  Your camera will have already done the sharpening to the JPG.

 

Also, pay attention to straight lines in the frame, especially when they're near the edge of the frame.  The wall edge that is to the right of the cat should be straight up and down.

 

 

You have to use the little photo insert button to imbed images.  The software for this board doesn't support BBcode tags or other shortcuts.

 

If you're going to stick with LR4, buy this:
 

http://www.amazon.com/Adobe-Photoshop-Lightroom-Classroom-Book/dp/0321819578/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1346019429&sr=8-2&keywords=lightroom+4+classroom+in+a+book

 

LR is an extremely complicated program and you need to have an understanding of what all the tools can do.

 

Also, buy these:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Photographers-Eye-Composition-Design-Digital/dp/0240809343/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1346020132&sr=1-1&keywords=photographer%27s+eye

http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Exposure-3rd-Edition-Photographs/dp/0817439390/ref=pd_bxgy_b_text_z

 

The $75 or so spent on the three above books will do more to improve your photography than any lens will.  Trust me, I really understand the desire to buy another lens but you're not far enough along that your abilities surpass your gear.


Edited by leftnose - 8/26/12 at 4:39pm
post #2210 of 2631

In what way is the subject underexposed in the first pic?  I did desaturate it overall just for the style I was going for.

 

I cropped off the top of her head because wife didn't want me taking pics of her not wearing make-up -_-  Is there any other way I could have composed that photo (aside from telling the wife to look away) and not make it distracting?  

 

What do you mean what am I trying to show in the 3rd picture, Some friends liked the "motherly-ness" of my wife to the cat.  As far as white balance goes, I wonder how different it would have looked if I desaturated the colors after properly white balancing it?  

 

Shoot in RAW, got it.  I think I see what you mean about the sharpening a technically imperfect photo.  It really is very difficult to take a pic of the cat sitting still when I was so close up with my lens.  This was shot with the sigma 10-20mm.  I might have been closer than the minimum focusing distance also

 

I'll look into the books, but probably won't be selling any of my lenses so I can buy books -_-  There are lots of free resources, after all..  2 lenses are arriving within a week or so, which will be better than other lenses I've had so far...  I'm still impressed with the sigma 70-300mm f4-5.6 that I took the first 3 photos with.  Surprisingly nice bokeh, if you ask me.  Again, it's really hard talking sense into this gearhead....but at least I don't spoil myself with top of the line gear :)  I appreciate your input and time--it is important for me to master the technical aspects of photography. I do want to improve every aspect as time allows..really hard for me to find time away from studies right now  :(

 

What do you think about this one?  

 

and this one?  taken with 17-50 2.8 Did a little bit of softening in LR.  Also cropped it, I think to make it more level with the background if I recall correctly.  


Edited by hyogen - 8/28/12 at 10:51pm
post #2211 of 2631

I think what leftnose meant about underexposure in the first pic is that the cat is the primary subject, and is white... but is rendered more like grey-ish in that pic. Hence underexposed.

 

However, exposing for such scenes can be very tricky. There are basically 3 options in such situations:

 

1) Expose for the subject properly. If properly exposed, your cat would be white, but this will also horribly blow out the sky. This can be fine if you don't care about the sky, but in this pic the sky takes up a significant portion of the shot so this option may not be suitable for this particular scene.

 

2) Expose for the sky, and push the shadows in post. Lightroom has a fill light slider that's designed for such situations. You get a well-exposed sky, as well as a well-exposed subject. However, when pushing shadows you will also be increasing the noise in those regions, something that Canon sensors don't handle too well.

 

3) Expose for the sky, while using fill flash to expose for your subject. This could be the best option for this particular scene, but this can be tricky if you don't fully understand how to handle both variables (ambient light and flash) properly yet. Additionally, since this is taken during evening light, it may also be desirable to gel the flash to give it a warmer tone.

post #2212 of 2631

See below.  Mad Cow has correctly interpreted my comment and given you excellent advice.  One thing, though, he references a LR Fill Light slider.  This has been replaced by Shadows in LR4/PV2012.  To me, that slider and its counterpart, highlights, work like magic.  It's pretty amazing how much detail you can get back before you blow everything away with noise.  They work much better than Fill LIght/Recovery from LR3.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hyogen View Post

In what way is the subject underexposed in the first pic?  I did desaturate it overall just for the style I was going for.

 

Are you familiar with the actual dictionary definition of underexposed? It's not a subjective issue.  The only way for something to have been underexposed was if not enough light got to the sensor because of the selected exposure settings.  Because of your bright background, your camera will set a faster shutter speed than what the foreground requires thus not allowing enough light to reach the sensor to properly expose the foreground.  Madcow did an excellent job of explaining ways around this.

 

I cropped off the top of her head because wife didn't want me taking pics of her not wearing make-up -_-  Is there any other way I could have composed that photo (aside from telling the wife to look away) and not make it distracting?  

 

No, you already have a photo of your wife looking away and because of that limitation you should consider the photo a snapshot and not something that could be representative of your best work.  It's pretty tough to get good pictures of someone who doesn't want to be photographed (though take a look at Karsh's portrait of Churchill for a notable exception).

 

What do you mean what am I trying to show in the 3rd picture, Some friends liked the "motherly-ness" of my wife to the cat.  As far as white balance goes, I wonder how different it would have looked if I desaturated the colors after properly white balancing it?  

 

That's what I figured but that doesn't really come across in the photo.  I know it's the nature of your cat and the shape of its eyes but it looks scared.  I know it isn't scared but that's what it looks like.  That look plus the fact that it isn't clear what your wife is doing to the cat doesn't really portray a feeling of motherly-ness.  It loos like somthing is being done to the cat that it doesn't like.  Again, I KNOW this ISN'T the case but that is how it appears.  The lesson: feelings meant to be portrayed in a photograph don't necessarily come across as intended.

 

The WB of this photo is fine.  My point was that, based on your previous (and continued--see below) difficulties with setting a proper WB, you shouldn't be messing with color saturation.  If you can't "see" bad WB yet, you're not ready to mess with saturation to achieve different "looks."

 

Also, your wife's hair is in the cat's face.  That bugs me.  Others might not care.

 

Shoot in RAW, got it.  I think I see what you mean about the sharpening a technically imperfect photo.  It really is very difficult to take a pic of the cat sitting still when I was so close up with my lens.  This was shot with the sigma 10-20mm.  I might have been closer than the minimum focusing distance also

 

I want to know your thinking before I comment.  What's your goal in shooting such extreme closeups with an UWA?  What do you want to portray?

 

I'll look into the books, but probably won't be selling any of my lenses so I can buy books -_-  There are lots of free resources, after all..  2 lenses are arriving within a week or so, which will be better than other lenses I've had so far...  I'm still impressed with the sigma 70-300mm f4-5.6 that I took the first 3 photos with.  Surprisingly nice bokeh, if you ask me.  Again, it's really hard talking sense into this gearhead....but at least I don't spoil myself with top of the line gear :)  I appreciate your input and time--it is important for me to master the technical aspects of photography. I do want to improve every aspect as time allows..really hard for me to find time away from studies right now  :(

 

We've been going around in circles on this but I think we're getting to an impasse: STOP BUYING GEAR IF YOU WANT TO IMPROVE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY.  If you want to be a gear head and swap your stuff constantly; that's fine: whatever floats your boat.  But you're missing the forest for the trees.  If your knowledge of photography is deficient enough that you don't understand underexposure or white balance (see below), your skills just won't improve until you learn these most basic principles.  And concentrating on buying the next lens instead of reference material isn't the way to solve that problem.  If you are going to stick with LR4, at least buy that one book.  If you use LR without fully understanding it, you can actually do some real damage to your photos.  The other day, I thought I had accidentally deleted 20GB of photos that I needed.  Nope, it's just that LR4's import tool is ever so slightly different than LR3's and the photos were imported to a different spot than I expected and then the CF card was ejected by LR.  Big pucker factor for a minute there!  

 

I've had a lot of fairly in depth, formal photography training in both high school and college.  My father was a pretty serious photographer as well to the point that he was a student of Walker Evans.  He instilled into me the basics of photography from a very young age and I guess part of the reason why I'm an anti-gearhead is because I've always had good gear.  My first real camera was a "hand-me-down" Leica M2 from my father.  Pretty serious stuff for someone not even 10 years old!  And yet, I still find myself making the same stupid mistakes with my photos.  If you look through the photos on the facebook page I linked earlier, you'll see a common problem in the group shots from the closing ceremony: I consistently chop people off too high.  Part of this issue is that I'm fairly tall but I leave too much negative space above my subjects when it isn't necessary.  You can even see this from shots of people on a medal stand on top of a dais.  My head was probably level with the knees at best and yet, I left too much space above their heads.  So, whenever I see this bad habit coming back, I re-read some of my books on the basics.  Lately that's been Photographer's Eye.  My point: no matter how much you think you know, you can always improve something and having solid reference material is key in doing this.

 

Again, if all you want to do is be a gear head, that's fine, but don't expect your photography to greatly improve or for the tone of our--or maybe just my--comments to change.  If you really are serious about improving, buy the 30mm Sigma that you've talked about, stick it on your camera, and leave all your other lenses at home.

 

What do you think about this one?  

 

To be honest, I'm conflicted.  Technically, it's a great photo: nicely exposed with a good dynamic range, sharp, good depth of field, etc..  As far as composition, I wouldn't have chopped off your wife's arm.  I would have left just a bit of space below it.  Her hair is cut off on the left too.  Where I'm conflicted is blocking your wife's face with the cat.  I just don't know what I think about this.  I can make one more comment about this but I want to wait to hear what you have to say about close-ups with wide angles first.

 

and this one?  taken with 17-50 2.8 Did a little bit of softening in LR.  Also cropped it, I think to make it more level with the background if I recall correctly.  

 

Again your white balance is off.  Compare your wife's skin tone in this vs. the photo directly above.  Also, her arm is chopped off.  Always check the whole frame before taking the picture.  What bothers me is the roof.  Lots lots of textures and dissonant angles, especially the joint right above your wife's head.  This is a perfect example of when to use a bokeh monster like the 85 1.2L.  Open that lens up and blow the background away!  Ultimately, this is just a snapshot; a memento of a day spent doing whatever it was you were doing.  Don't get me wrong, I don't say snapshot in a pejorative manner.  Using a camera to document an event is its most basic purpose.  Not every photograph you take has to be fine art.

 

Do me a favor, next time you post a photo, you tell us why you think it is noteworthy.

post #2213 of 2631

haven't slept yet.  thanks for all the detailed comments, don't stress so much about the technicality at least for now.. And sorry if they're eye sores...!   I'll oblige if you'd rather not see my pics posted here until I have a good reason to share or can learn the ropes, either...no offense taken - don't have time to go through and respond to anything in depth, so I will be back in about a week and half :D 

post #2214 of 2631

Spent a day over at the in-laws. Went outside to feed mosquitoes and hunt bugs:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don't have a dedicated macro rig, these were all shot with the 5D2 and 100L lens at 1:1 with some cropping in post. The tinier bugs were cropped significantly (e.g. from 21mp down to 14-16mp, while the bigger ones like that last, weird-looking hopper was cropped down to approx 18mp).

post #2215 of 2631
Nice! What are you doing for lighting?
post #2216 of 2631
Quote:
Originally Posted by leftnose View Post

Nice! What are you doing for lighting?

Thanks, I used my old trusty 550EX with Lumiquest Softbox.

post #2217 of 2631

Is there another good compact Canon for video and audio recording other than PowerShot S100 ?

post #2218 of 2631

MC,

 

Since you asked about muzzle flash photos, this is what a shotgun fired during the day looks like at the moment of truth:

 

 

 

 

Not very dramatic!

post #2219 of 2631

 

Using manual focus and manual mode. My new car. cool.gif

post #2220 of 2631
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