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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 3:50 pm 
Hi all,

I was dying to spend some time with my new D40, albeit no such luck with three looming projects and a whole other deal of schoolwork. So I said: "Why not mix work and pleasure?" and took the camera to the campus today.

As I didn't have much time on my hands, the bulk of these shots are taken at high noon, not exactly the best time for shooting light buildings surrounded by big tress (at least with kit gear): You either get pitch-black shadows or blown-out highlights, and although I prefer to have the former, the metering on the D40 seems to prefer the latter :)

Also, please excuse the overall lack of creativity with the shots - I don't seem to have that "shooting eye" that gets a shot out of every opportunity, at least not yet. I just tried to shoot in a variety of places and settings, and my main objective here is to get some technical feedback. Tips, tricks and constructive criticism are also welcome :)

That said, here are the images:

First shot on campus, featuring the predominantly positioned clock tower.
Image
Aperture priority, 18 mm, f/8, 1/800 sec, ISO 200, EV -2/3

The "getting lots in focus" test: The tower, the Odeon, and a couple unwary people.
Image
Aperture priority, 18 mm, f/8, 1/800 sec, ISO 200, EV -2/3

Talk about rich brats - this parking lot belongs to a college.
Image
Aperture priority, 18 mm, f/16, 1/1600 sec, ISO 800, EV -2/3

The "battle against metering" test: Bump the EV too high and the building to the right gets washed out, keep it low and the hallway practically becomes invisible.
Image
Aperture priority, 18 mm, f/8, 1/80 sec, ISO 200, EV -5/3

The path between the main alley and the gymnasium, kind of a "walk in the woods" shot.
Image
Aperture priority, 18 mm, f/16, 1/40 sec, ISO 200, EV -2/3

The accidental "complete and total darkness" test: I took this shot inside the elevator at my place. I didn't intend to shoot in total darkness, but the lights went out just in time, and the AF-assist light kicked in, leading to... well, this. I also bumped into the alarm while trying to get the lights back on :lol:
Image
Aperture priority, 24 mm, f/5.6, 10/13 sec, ISO 800, EV -1
Vignetting added-on later.

You can see the rest - if you like - in my Flickr album.


Last edited by Hailstorm on Mon Feb 25, 2008 4:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 4:07 pm 
Hello Hailstorm,

Your photos are quite nice, even though not perfect :P Here's my opinion...

The second one is way better than the first one, probably because the latter is very cluttered and the lighting is unequal (especially on the stairs in the middle)...
The third one, IMO, is kind of pointless, as there is no special element or focus...

The 4th and 5th are really nice, even though the 5th one could have used a slightly higher exposure perhaps.

As for the 6th one, well it is quite neat, even though very classical :P

What are your thoughts on the D40 so far ?


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 4:16 pm 
Thanks for the input. I agree that the third one is rather pointless. I'd like to show the extent of the parking lot (which, by the way, is well beyond what's in focus here) but without a dedicated telephoto lens, or a chance to shoot atop that tower, I guess I can't get the desired effect.

The story behind the last one's actually more exciting than the photo itself, I believe - especially the run after accidentally activating the alarm :D

The D40 is a serious improvement over my trusty Coolpix, and I enjoy every single shot even if I can't really churn out superb compositions or botch the exposure. I'm still learning to set the correct parameters - and do it quickly, but it has been tremendous fun so far. When I have the chance, I'll take the camera to the little fishing town nearby, which I believe will yield much better shots.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 5:32 pm 
Hailstorm wrote:
Thanks for the input. I agree that the third one is rather pointless. I'd like to show the extent of the parking lot (which, by the way, is well beyond what's in focus here) but without a dedicated telephoto lens, or a chance to shoot atop that tower, I guess I can't get the desired effect.

The story behind the last one's actually more exciting than the photo itself, I believe - especially the run after accidentally activating the alarm :D

The D40 is a serious improvement over my trusty Coolpix, and I enjoy every single shot even if I can't really churn out superb compositions or botch the exposure. I'm still learning to set the correct parameters - and do it quickly, but it has been tremendous fun so far. When I have the chance, I'll take the camera to the little fishing town nearby, which I believe will yield much better shots.


the halway shot or the corridor shot was nice, and the shot of u in the mirro was also nice, as previously stated classic!

Great to see that you enjou the D40 so much, i got the D40x and love it. I m just an amature but i m getting to knw the camera better and better. I pretty mcuh take it along iwth me everywhere i go. Not next week tho i gotta fix my lens again. Did u get the 18-55mm with your camera? But u just gotta fire shots, post them here and these fellas will help your way into taking great pictures in the future!


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 9:11 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2005 3:32 pm
Posts: 9975
Location: Queenstown, New Zealand
Hi Hailstorm, it's always nice to see photos from a different place!

The thrid shot shows a couple of dust marks in the sky - you'll notice these at smaller apertures, especially f16 and f22.

They're easy to retouch out, but if theyr eally bother you, you might want to look into a blower - see our workshop here:

http://www.cameralabs.com/workshops/dsl ... age3.shtml

Gordon


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 1:59 am 
Hey Hailstorm,

glad to see you're now properly equipped :-) and great to see some shots from your neck of the woods!

I think most of those shots are quite lovely, technically and compositionally. You're also showing some good colors in he 3rd and 4th shot. Have you set it for color mode IIIa yet? (I'm guessing you have with the skies and the hallway).

For the first two: if you want a less "bleached out" look, you can adjust exposure on the fly, which is often better than post-processing.

The hallway-shot is quite dramatic :-)

Cheers :-)


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 8:42 am 
LahLahSr wrote:
H shot. Have you set it for color mode IIIa yet?


this sounds intresting, would u mind elaborating on this :D because its seems at some time i lack a bit of colour with my d40x


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 3:46 pm 
@LahLahSr: Yes, I've set my D40 to Color Mode IIIa, +1 Sharpness, +2 Contrast and Tone Compensation and +9 degrees for Hue Adjustment (really helps with the portraits, though I can't show you guys the results, as my g/f won't let me upload the shots :lol:)

On second thought, +2 Contrast could be the cause for the simultaneous occurence of blown-out highlights and pitch black shadows. I'll set it down to 0 and try again tomorrow, this time downtown. I'll probably post one for this month's assignment too (I refrain from calling it a contest for myself, at least with these composition skills :lol:)


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