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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 4:09 pm 
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I took a few images this morning, and would like to know where I went wrong.

I shot in Av, increasing the aperture each time, daylight/sunlight WB preset and everything else on automatic, including full AF. Note, there is also an inexpensive UV filter on the end of the lens. 500D with 18-55mm IS kit lens.

I could post Exif, but I think the images will tell themselves for now. There are more if required?

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Last edited by Canon 500D on Sat Mar 12, 2011 2:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 4:45 pm 
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What do you think is wrong?

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 4:50 pm 
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The weather is slightly cloudy
The image isn't too sharp
The image is slightly bluey (perhaps down to the filter)

I would like some feedback. What do you think to the images? How could I improve them etc?

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 4:50 pm 
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Just a quick critique from me...Looks like it was a bit overcast, so you had some issues to deal with and weren't going to get the best looking skies anyway, but still all three shots are a bit overexposed, and the skies/highlights are fairly badly blown out. You had a very high contrast scene - and the exposure on the horse is fairly good, but could have been a wee bit darker to restore the blacks and contrast a bit more while bringing down the overexposed sky. Without knowing your EXIF, my feeling is that these probably could have withstood a -.7 on the EV, and would have gotten deeper blacks and better contrast while controlling the highlights a little better.

Also, in general, it feels a bit flat, colorwise. The greens could use some boost of color and contrast - levels adjustment on the photo in post processing, a color touch up, and saturation adjustment could go a long way towards improving these. You could also tune the picture settings within the camera to deliver JPG results that pop a bit more, and have a little more contrast.

The white balance possibly contributed to the color tone, but more likely the overexposure and default settings of the camera caused the flat appearance. The UV filter probably didn't affect this particular scene - they generally aren't necessary for most modern cameras and lenses, but also rarely make any adverse impact on photos in normal daylight - so if you like them on there, keep them. I'd remove any filters for night shots though, and be a little cautious shooting into or towards the sun as the filter can cause extra lens flare issues - use a lens hood if you've got one.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 5:01 pm 
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zackiedawg wrote:
Without knowing your EXIF


Photo 1 - F10 ~ 1/250 ~ ISO 1600 (automatic) ~ 42mm on the lens
Photo 2 - F10 ~ 1/250 ~ ISO 1600 (automatic) ~ 42mm on the lens
Photo 3 - F10 ~ 1/250 ~ ISO 1600 (automatic) ~ 42mm on the lens

zackiedawg wrote:
You could also tune the picture settings within the camera to deliver JPG results that pop a bit more, and have a little more contrast.


I shoot in the highest JPG setting.

zackiedawg wrote:
use a lens hood if you've got one


Yes, I use one and can't say I have noticed the difference really, but I have been using it for months.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 5:04 pm 
All I can really say is that the images are a bit crooked. Knowing it was an overcast day, I would have lowered the exposure by 1EV (in post) and used the "Cloudy" WB setting, but that depends on personal preference of course.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 5:18 pm 
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Boring light
Set your whitebalance to cloudy
Add some saturation

It won't turn it into a perfect picture but it will help

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 5:21 pm 
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Timmy wrote:
I would have lowered the exposure by 1EV (in post)


I think the needle was dead centre.

If so, are you suggesting that I under expose by one incriment?

Timmy wrote:
and used the "Cloudy" WB setting, but that depends on personal preference of course.


I think there is only one setting really for outdoor natural light, but can not remember off the top of my head.

Citruspers wrote:
Add some saturation


Post editing. I prefer to keep my images looking natural. The purpose of this thread was to rate direct images straight out the camera.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 5:30 pm 
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I have to say that I don't really like the framing. The horse is just in the middle, doing nothing. The sky is boring, the background is distracting. I'm not really sure where my focus should be in this photo. Given how distracting the background is (building on the left and...thing? on the right) and how boring the sky looks, I don't know why you chose that framing. Why not fill the frame with the horse, for example? I'm not really sure what's off to the right or left of the photo, but there are likely many different backgrounds to choose from.

No amount of changing settings or simple post processing will change a boring sky, but nothing forces you to include it in your photo in the first place.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 5:45 pm 
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I am not bothered so much about what is in the photo, but the focussing/technical side.

The Sky may be boring, it is not going on the front cover of a magazine :D

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Last edited by Canon 500D on Sat Mar 12, 2011 2:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 5:49 pm 
JPG at 1600 ISO ? Why would you do that ? Those are lost shots there :? And why shot at F10?? F/5.6 was enough,given the distance.

As for critique,well it doesn't respect the rule of thirds & the colors are very cold & unatractive. I don't really see any cropping options either.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 5:52 pm 
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Razvan wrote:
JPG at 1600 ISO ? Why would you do that ?


JPG is just the filetype, it bares no significance with the ISO setting.

Razvan wrote:
Those are lost shots there And why shot at F10?? F/5.6 was enough,given the distance.


I am new to manual photography, so I do not know the said distances.

Razvan wrote:
I don't really see any cropping options either.


Why is the forum so mad about post editing?

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 6:38 pm 
well since you paid 600$ for a camera,you can spend 1-2 minutes to tweek your files a bit,so you wouldn't end up with pictures looking cold & blah. :) and you also could read the manual for basic photography rules. (tell me Canon has that too,I never saw a Canon instructions manual)


Last edited by Razvan on Fri Feb 11, 2011 6:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 6:38 pm 
I think what the other posters are getting at that aside from a compositional angle (which is fixed in post processing) there are aspects such as your ISO settings and choice of formats that might be better suited at different levels. Post processing like fixing the colours etc. and cropping can add more interest and depth.

ISO should (from my limited experience and study) be lowered. I keep mine whenever possible at 200. Why? High ISO means higher noise (grainy shots). Shooting in RAW rather than JPEG also from much easier post editing which can greatly aid both the look and composition of a photo even if you like it ‘natural’ as you put it.

Your exposure settings are kinda high. F/10 seems kinda high, maybe try lowering it and see what you get. Playing with the white balance also helps, even if you want to keep it natural. Or even try using bracketing to see how exposure settings affect the same picture.

In terms of technical aspects, I would suggest taking a look at either of these books below. I’ve read or am reading both. They really help to explain technical terms in newbie terms. The Bryan Peterson one is small enough to travel with. The Scott Kelby books focus on both Nikon and Canon systems but also help to quickly learn about specific topics, shooting styles etc.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bryan-Petersons ... 850&sr=1-4

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Scott-Kelbys-Di ... 913&sr=1-1

Sorry this is long but hopefully it might help a bit, even if its from a newbie like me.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 7:04 pm 
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Canon 500D wrote:
I am not bothered so much about what is in the photo, but the focussing/technical side.

I'm sorry, but I don't know what you mean by this.

For example, consider the issue of focus. There isn't a "right" or "wrong" focus for a photo. You choose what you want to be in focus. Why did you choose f10? Did you think it important for the photo that the building in the background be in focus? I personally think it would have been a stronger image if you had
1) chosen a different background,
2) used a wider aperture (f4 or so) to isolate the horse and leave the background out of focus, and
3) lower the ISO.

On the other hand, if the sky were more interesting and you wanted, for example, cloud texture in sharp focus in the background, then f10 or even higher would be perfectly appropriate.

By the way, it is somewhat easier to remove noise from a RAW file than from a JPG, so the ISO choice can be affected by the file type. The "distances" refer to the nearest and farthest things in the image you want in focus. As for the forum being "mad about post editing", he was just suggesting cropping. The point is to make a compelling image, not to make a "correctly focused" or "correctly saturated" or "technically correct" photo. Those terms barely have meaning independent of the content of the photo.

But if you don't want feedback about the content of the photo or post processing options, perhaps you could be more clear about what sort of feedback you want?


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