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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 7:11 pm 
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Location: Boca Raton, FL, USA
By the way, my comments about adjusting the color, saturation, and contrast do not require post processing. When I mentioned your settings in camera, and you mentioned that you use the highest JPG setting, I think you midunderstood. Your camera somewhere has a color profile in the menu - often it's called something like 'picture style' - it will usually give you some preset choices like : normal, vivid, portrait, natural, landscape, etc. Each one of these settings has adjustments available within it - say you choose 'normal'...you can then go into this mode and adjust saturation from -3 to +3, contrast from -3 to +3, sharpness from -3 to +3, etc. You need to go through the initial tuning of the camera to choose the amounts of each of these modes that suit your personal taste.

This was also shot on a badly overcast day, also in JPEG mode, and also directly from camera with no post-processing:
Image

However, I used -.3 EV to underexpose in poor, overly bright light, and I've got my camera's contrast, color, and saturation tuned to deliver the look and feel I prefer, with a little 'pop' so it comes out a little sharper, nice colors, and deeper blacks. It doesn't have to be done in post processing, it's just a matter of learning how to set up your camera and how to adjust exposure in different conditions when the camera is wrong.

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Justin Miller
Sony DSLR-A580 / Sony 18-250mm / Minolta 50mm F1.7 / Sigma 30mm F1.4 / Tamron 10-24mm / Tamron 150-600mm / Tamron 90mm F2.8 macro / Minolta 300mm F4 APO
Sony A6000 / 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 / 55-210mm F4-6.3 / 10-18mm F4 / 35mm F1.8 / 16mm F2.8 / via manual adapter, lots of Pentax K mount, Konica K/AR mount, and Leica M mount manual lenses

Galleries:
http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 7:48 pm 
Canon 500D wrote:
I think the needle was dead centre.

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



I often find the technically correct images to be really bland. I suggested to do it in post because theres a technique called "Exposing to the right" (EttR) in which you deliberately overexpose an image to get a more rich tonal range and reduce noise in shadow areas.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 8:14 pm 
@zackiedawg

Great pic! Nice example :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 3:06 am 
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Location: Nova Scotia Canada
I think the best start on the photos would have been if the horse was back some coming into the photo but more impotantly hiding the trampoline.
The trampoline kills the photo for me because it is in focus or I can tell what it is.
It doesn't belong in a pic of a horse.
Second killer is the poor light,some days just aren't meant for taking certain types of pics,this pic and that light don't seem to work well together.

Be mindful of what else is in your pic :wink:

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 3:59 am 
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Location: North of the 49th parallel
.................


Last edited by WestCoast on Sat Mar 12, 2011 4:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 4:02 am 
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Location: UK
That is a Great image above of the bird.

There is a menu for the picture style, but I don't totally understand it, so I don't touch it. I don't change the exposure level (needle) either as I have not tried to before, but guess I shall.

I took a variety of photographs at different apertures, but Photobucket took a while to a while to upload them, so I just put the first three up, which were all taken at the same settings, unfortunately.

I guess I should try out a few more settings.

West Coast wrote:
I came up with this after about 3 minutes of some basic PP


The image appears to be compressed.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 4:32 am 
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Quote:
I guess I should try out a few more settings.


The beauty of digital and a delete button....:wink:

Quote:
The image appears to be compressed.


Not "compressed" but "cropped"...

"Sometimes cropping a picture can improve it dramatically.
Cropping can be used to:
* Enlarge the main subject
* Eliminate things that distract attention from the subject"

If you look at your pic #1 and imagine....
Image

Spin the horse around where it stands in the pic or back maybe in front of the shed some.
Wait for it to lift it's head up maybe....
Without the trampoline and the swingset back there I think that line of trees alone would have a great effect on the overall pic.
The empty grass/pasture would have also.
The house/shed doesn't matter much as it is obscured from view by the bush.

Thats just my thoughts of what could improve the pic for me mind you.

Play with those settings and see what they do.
Keep it fun.

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Pentax 18-55mm,Pentax 50-200mm,Sigma 17-70mm,Sigma 70-300mm, Sigma 50-500mm
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Last edited by kpr on Sat Feb 12, 2011 12:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 7:47 am 
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Location: UK
I would like advice on how to improve the focussing and exposure, as mentioned before.

The scene being boring does not have any impact on the technical side of things.

Can we try and focus on the exposure.

zackiedawg wrote:
This was also shot on a badly overcast day, also in JPEG mode, and also directly from camera with no post-processing


Could you post your exif for the photograph, and what camera/lens you used?

Did you photograph it hand held?

In the "Picture Style" menu, I have the following options
Standard
Portrait
Landscape
Neutral (My setting)
Faithful
Monochrome
User def 1
User def 2
User def 3

I gather that the "User def" ones are custom presets


Should I select one each time I shoot? I was not really aware of what they were for before.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 12:01 pm 
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I didn't read the entire article but I "think" this could help just a bit.

http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/composition.htm

Quote:
I would like advice on how to improve the focussing and exposure, as mentioned before.
The scene being boring does not have any impact on the technical side of things.


Correct.... it being "boring" (your word) doesn't have an impact on the technical side.
It does however on the overall side. IMO

I think your focussing is not an issue,perhaps camera shake is given it was an overcast day.
As for exposure try something other than "neutral" ...I'd say the camera nailed it.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 6:11 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:23 pm
Posts: 815
Location: Boca Raton, FL, USA
Quote:
Could you post your exif for the photograph, and what camera/lens you used?

Did you photograph it hand held?


Sure...the EXIF is intact on the photo if you download it, but to save you time, the basic shot EXIF is:

Date/Time 05-Nov-2010 14:08:01
Make Sony
Model DSLR-A550
Flash Used No
Focal Length 300 mm
Exposure Time 1/500 sec
Aperture f/4.5
ISO Equivalent 200
Exposure Bias -1/3
White Balance auto
Metering Mode center weighted (2)
JPEG Quality super fine
Exposure Program program (2)

The lens was a Minolta 300mm F4 APO. It was shot handheld while on vacation in Aruba. It was a very overcast, rainy day, so I used some bushes as the background to avoid the ugly white sky, and used a larger aperture to get nice blur of the background - especially useful since this was shot by the pool at a hotel, and I didn't want too much of the background to be distracting.

My camera works best for JPEGs when I set it to 'Vivid' mode - which is how mine is set up - I then adjusted the saturation to -1, contrast to 0, and sharpness to 0.

With your camera, try out some of those other modes you mentioned. Try landscape or normal. Usually, once you select one of these settings, you'll then see some other settings that can be adjusted inside each mode - like color, saturation, contrast, etc. With most cameras, you can either use the 'user settings' mode and choose all the settings yourself, or you can choose one of the preset modes and adjust the individual settings to suit your taste...the camera should remember and hold any settings changes you make in any of the picture style modes.

_________________
Justin Miller
Sony DSLR-A580 / Sony 18-250mm / Minolta 50mm F1.7 / Sigma 30mm F1.4 / Tamron 10-24mm / Tamron 150-600mm / Tamron 90mm F2.8 macro / Minolta 300mm F4 APO
Sony A6000 / 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 / 55-210mm F4-6.3 / 10-18mm F4 / 35mm F1.8 / 16mm F2.8 / via manual adapter, lots of Pentax K mount, Konica K/AR mount, and Leica M mount manual lenses

Galleries:
http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 6:37 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 4:07 am
Posts: 1012
Location: North of the 49th parallel
I prefer my custom settings a bit more aggressive, as this eliminates post processing the photo at a later time.
Also, different cameras process the photo differently so you have to find your “personal” preferences.

I jack my “vivid” all the way to +3 Saturation, and my Standard is –3 Saturation with +3 contrast/sharpness and D-R+.


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