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 Post subject: New York May 2012
PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 9:08 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2012 1:30 pm
Posts: 141
Any comments are welcome. All of them were shot on Auto mode with my Nikon D60 and the 18-55 kit lens. Full EXIF information should be available for every photo.

Image
DSC_0196 by Cujo1976, on Flickr

Image
DSC_0259 by Cujo1976, on Flickr

Image
DSC_0310 by Cujo1976, on Flickr

Image
DSC_0338 by Cujo1976, on Flickr

Image
DSC_0699 by Cujo1976, on Flickr

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Camera: Nikon D60
Lenses: Nikon AF-S DX 18-55 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR, Nikon AF-S VR 70-300 f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED
Flash: Nikon SB-910
Tripod: Joby Gorillapod Focus with Ball Head X, Manfrotto 055CXPRO4 with Manfrotto MH054M0-Q5 ballhead


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 Post subject: Re: New York May 2012
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 5:26 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:02 am
Posts: 371
I like 2 the most.

Which bridge is on DSC_196?
Is DSC_259 from the top of the Empire State Building?


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 Post subject: Re: New York May 2012
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 5:52 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2011 2:42 am
Posts: 147
Location: Western Mojave
Wonderful Gotham snaps. Only commenting on the eye candy- these are great exposures. Real comments take a good deal longer- no time regrettably. Thank you for posting. I lived near there some time ago.

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 Post subject: Re: New York May 2012
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 8:19 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:57 am
Posts: 1551
Location: Winterpeg, Manisnowba, Canada
Excellent shots, the cloud or haze around the buildings on the first really adds some interest and depth. The second shot, with the city skyline against the blue sky and puffy white clouds, I'm particularly fond of, the business of the buildings below against the simple and bright sky contrast each other very nicely.

You noted that you shot them all in auto, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but at times it's a good idea to play around with other modes. For example, next time you're doing a night scene, switch the camera into manual mode and play with the settings (shutter speed, ISO, etc). A longer shutter speed can give you nice, smooth looking water or light trails, while a shorter shutter speed can be easier to hand hold or balance when you don't have a tri-pod.

If I had to critique something, I'd say that it would've been nice to see a bit more of the water on the last shot of Central park, and a little less sky. With the beautiful reflections from the city on the water, why not show a bit more of that as opposed to the sky, which is empty and has nothing interesting in it. Otherwise, a solid shot!

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Gear: 7 Nikon Nikkor AI-S and AF-S lenses, SB-700 flash, Nikon D7000, Nikon FM, variety of accessories

"There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs."
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 Post subject: Re: New York May 2012
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 2:57 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2012 1:30 pm
Posts: 141
Thank you all for your comments.

DCS_0196 is on top of the Brooklyn Bridge. The weather wasn't great and it was raining on and off.
You are correct lagnificent, DCS_0259 is on top of the Empire State Building.

Thank you for your comments MrCliff.

Hi Evan, thanks for the comments. I shot them in auto because I was meeting up with a friend in New York and didn't always have a lot of time to adjust all the settings and check which photo is the best one unfortunately.

Thanks for the critique I appreciate it. Next time I'll try to make sure that I have more of the lake in there.

Here is another one that shows the full reflection. Further zoomed out.

Edit: Forgot to say I didn't have my tripod with me so all photos were taken handheld.

Image
DSC_0700 by Cujo1976, on Flickr

ps: If anyone wants to see more travel photos they are all on my Facebook and are public viewable.

https://www.facebook.com/StijnVanwinckel/photos

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Camera: Nikon D60
Lenses: Nikon AF-S DX 18-55 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR, Nikon AF-S VR 70-300 f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED
Flash: Nikon SB-910
Tripod: Joby Gorillapod Focus with Ball Head X, Manfrotto 055CXPRO4 with Manfrotto MH054M0-Q5 ballhead


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 Post subject: Re: New York May 2012
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 7:40 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:57 am
Posts: 1551
Location: Winterpeg, Manisnowba, Canada
Cujo,

I did a quick edit in Photoshop of your picture. I've uploaded it if it's okay with you, but can remove it upon your request.

Image

I cropped it a bit to get rid of some unnecessary bits, and removed the airplane trail and the tree using the clone stamp tool. Finally, I darkened the highlights a little bit, just so that some of the light wasn't too overwhelming.

Hope this helps

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-Evan

Gear: 7 Nikon Nikkor AI-S and AF-S lenses, SB-700 flash, Nikon D7000, Nikon FM, variety of accessories

"There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs."
- Ansel Adams


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 Post subject: Re: New York May 2012
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 11:15 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2012 1:30 pm
Posts: 141
Wow Evan that looks a lot better now. I will really need to learn how to do some post processing of my photos.

Thanks for the upload, it is great to see what can be achieved with one of my photos. Leave it there please.

_________________
Camera: Nikon D60
Lenses: Nikon AF-S DX 18-55 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR, Nikon AF-S VR 70-300 f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED
Flash: Nikon SB-910
Tripod: Joby Gorillapod Focus with Ball Head X, Manfrotto 055CXPRO4 with Manfrotto MH054M0-Q5 ballhead


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 Post subject: Re: New York May 2012
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 6:01 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:57 am
Posts: 1551
Location: Winterpeg, Manisnowba, Canada
It's my pleasure :)

If you'd like to dive into the world of post processing and image manipulation, I'd recommend starting out with GIMP. It's free, open source, and there are quite a bit of plug ins available for it as well. It's not as full featured as Photoshop, but you can't complain for the price, and it does most of the basic functions.

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-Evan

Gear: 7 Nikon Nikkor AI-S and AF-S lenses, SB-700 flash, Nikon D7000, Nikon FM, variety of accessories

"There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs."
- Ansel Adams


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 Post subject: Re: New York May 2012
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 5:48 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2009 11:24 am
Posts: 1819
My feedback (I'm on a work laptop so I cannot see Exif data) - please don't take this personally as it is purely my point of view!

Shot 1 - an interesting viewpoint, but there's motion blur from hand holding. Also, the rail in the bottom right really detracts from the image. Leaning over the edge to take that out of frame may have helped. What would have helped further would be a tripod that allows you to lean the camera over the edge (for example my Manfrotto has a central column which can be angled). It's slight unnerving to have your precious photo equipment hanging over a ledge/rail, but a camera strap around your neck at the same time could be a form of protection from disaster. This would allow longer shutter speeds, blurring car lights, boats, water and clouds further.

Shot 2 - horizon in the middle of the frame goes completely against the rule of thirds, but it works here. The reason is because of the 'interesting' sky. Ideally, a graduated ND filter would help balance the exposure. Alternatively this could be done in post processing by either blending two exposures of the same image of using a ND filter plug in. We've all been up to the top of a high building to find the visibility isn't as great as we'd thought - increasing the contrast and clarity on the image in post may help here. Shooting wide (it looks like 18mm on DX here) with such a sweeping field of view can result in some distortion and the horizon's a little curved but that's not a problem really.

Shot 3 - watch your horizons. There's a 'drunken' tilt here which could do with straightening. Also, when you're aiming for symmetry, being slightly out of shape is extremely accentuated. For example here, if the flower bed in the bottom of the frame is planted symmetrically compared to the lawn and monument, then make sure that's spot on and centred in the frame. This would give the image more structure and strengthen the leading lines in the frame. With leading lines in frames, make sure they are strengthened further by not having distracting elements leading the viewer's eye back out of the image. In this case you have people walking towards you on each side of the lawn, and some are cut by the edge of the frame. It's up to you as the photographer if you want 100% reality, or to edit the image slightly, but removing the structures above the treeline in background right would strengthen the composition. Judging by the 'horizon' relative to the people heads in the image, it looks as if you were taking the shot from a standing position (?). If you've got a frame like this that you think will work well, then try shooting the hell out of it. Lying down to accentuate the height of the monument, kneeling to still keep more of the back ground in the shot - just try as much as you can (if you have the time) and see what you can come up with.

Shot 4 - this doesn't do much for me, I'm afraid. Yes, there are sunbeams, but everything else is compositionally wrong. Horizon - too close to the bottom edge of the frame. Tower - too close to the left of the frame. Stadium (?) - only partly in the frame. Foreground - nothing interesting going on. Everything is leading my eye out of the image. It looks as if you have the camera on Matrix Metering, and the camera has averaged out the exposure. If you have interesting skies, which is presumably why you took the shot, then try shooting them for future use in other pictures, where you may have a bland sky that you want to replace. So shoot the hell out if it with different exposures and focal lengths so you build up a library. Avoid the cardinal sin (ever watch the film JFK, where the image of Lee Harvey Oswald was "doctored" outside his house with his rifle) of blending skies with the light coming from the wrong direction compared to the foreground though!

Shot 5 - horizons again, plus camera blur from hand holding again. Tripod plus delayed timer/remote release and spirit level would assist greatly. Manual mode or Aperture Proprity with some negative exposure compensation would also help.


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 Post subject: Re: New York May 2012
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:27 am 
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Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2012 1:30 pm
Posts: 141
dubaiphil wrote:
My feedback (I'm on a work laptop so I cannot see Exif data) - please don't take this personally as it is purely my point of view!

Thanks for your comments dubaiphil, none are taken personal.

dubaiphil wrote:
Shot 1 - an interesting viewpoint, but there's motion blur from hand holding. Also, the rail in the bottom right really detracts from the image. Leaning over the edge to take that out of frame may have helped. What would have helped further would be a tripod that allows you to lean the camera over the edge (for example my Manfrotto has a central column which can be angled). It's slight unnerving to have your precious photo equipment hanging over a ledge/rail, but a camera strap around your neck at the same time could be a form of protection from disaster. This would allow longer shutter speeds, blurring car lights, boats, water and clouds further.

I know I need to buy a good travel tripod. the only one I have is a Hama star 42 for now. It a bit big and heavy to take with you when you are traveling. I was hanging over as much as I could/dared while still being stable to take the photo.

dubaiphil wrote:
Shot 2 - horizon in the middle of the frame goes completely against the rule of thirds, but it works here. The reason is because of the 'interesting' sky. Ideally, a graduated ND filter would help balance the exposure. Alternatively this could be done in post processing by either blending two exposures of the same image of using a ND filter plug in. We've all been up to the top of a high building to find the visibility isn't as great as we'd thought - increasing the contrast and clarity on the image in post may help here. Shooting wide (it looks like 18mm on DX here) with such a sweeping field of view can result in some distortion and the horizon's a little curved but that's not a problem really.

I will look into getting some filters and see if I can find something in post processing to make the photo better. You are right it was shot at 18mm with a DX camera.

dubaiphil wrote:
Shot 3 - watch your horizons. There's a 'drunken' tilt here which could do with straightening. Also, when you're aiming for symmetry, being slightly out of shape is extremely accentuated. For example here, if the flower bed in the bottom of the frame is planted symmetrically compared to the lawn and monument, then make sure that's spot on and centred in the frame. This would give the image more structure and strengthen the leading lines in the frame. With leading lines in frames, make sure they are strengthened further by not having distracting elements leading the viewer's eye back out of the image. In this case you have people walking towards you on each side of the lawn, and some are cut by the edge of the frame. It's up to you as the photographer if you want 100% reality, or to edit the image slightly, but removing the structures above the treeline in background right would strengthen the composition. Judging by the 'horizon' relative to the people heads in the image, it looks as if you were taking the shot from a standing position (?). If you've got a frame like this that you think will work well, then try shooting the hell out of it. Lying down to accentuate the height of the monument, kneeling to still keep more of the back ground in the shot - just try as much as you can (if you have the time) and see what you can come up with.

Thanks for the advice about trying different positions for the shot and I will definitely do that next time. And I will look for the symmetry and try to do a better job.

dubaiphil wrote:
Shot 4 - this doesn't do much for me, I'm afraid. Yes, there are sunbeams, but everything else is compositionally wrong. Horizon - too close to the bottom edge of the frame. Tower - too close to the left of the frame. Stadium (?) - only partly in the frame. Foreground - nothing interesting going on. Everything is leading my eye out of the image. It looks as if you have the camera on Matrix Metering, and the camera has averaged out the exposure. If you have interesting skies, which is presumably why you took the shot, then try shooting them for future use in other pictures, where you may have a bland sky that you want to replace. So shoot the hell out if it with different exposures and focal lengths so you build up a library. Avoid the cardinal sin (ever watch the film JFK, where the image of Lee Harvey Oswald was "doctored" outside his house with his rifle) of blending skies with the light coming from the wrong direction compared to the foreground though!

I did take this shot for the sky as I found it interesting with the sunbeams coming through the clouds like that. It didn't come out the way I wanted to and your tips will help me next time I shoot a sky so I'll know what to look for. So thanks for your advice it's greatly appreciated.

dubaiphil wrote:
Shot 5 - horizons again, plus camera blur from hand holding again. Tripod plus delayed timer/remote release and spirit level would assist greatly. Manual mode or Aperture Proprity with some negative exposure compensation would also help.

I will try the aperture priority with the negative exposure next time I take a night photo. Hopefully I'll also have a good tripod by then.

Thanks for all your comments they are greatly appreciated.

_________________
Camera: Nikon D60
Lenses: Nikon AF-S DX 18-55 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR, Nikon AF-S VR 70-300 f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED
Flash: Nikon SB-910
Tripod: Joby Gorillapod Focus with Ball Head X, Manfrotto 055CXPRO4 with Manfrotto MH054M0-Q5 ballhead


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 Post subject: Re: New York May 2012
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 5:17 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2011 2:36 pm
Posts: 37
Hey there!! Good for u for getting out there and shooting and posting up ur photos. My favorite is the cityscape pictures. Best way to learn is have other more experience people critique ur work. I was going through ur photos and had a few thoughts but dubaiphil said all the same stuff and saved me from having to type it all :D

I couple other things i noticed. First ill agree about the motion blur, its just too much and really the setting is a nice one to take a picture of, but with the motion blur the photo is ruined. Tripod is essential for nighttime shots with low light. As in other pics, the skyline at night is canted, its easy to fix afterwards but even easier to double check in the camera and get it right the first time. Alot of cameras have a grid u can overlay in the viewfinder which helps for positioning things in the rule of thirds areas as well as line up ur photos to be straight. Lastly for me at least that tree is very distracting in the nighttime skyline picture. It kind of gets in the way. Trees and other things make pleasing photos in foreground or framing subjects, but be careful they arent distracting like here. Once u get more used to this u will notice these things and having people critique is the best way to learn.

lastly do try and take advantage of the wonderful options in an SLR, ur wasting ur fine piece of machinery in auto mode :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: New York May 2012
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 10:05 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2012 1:30 pm
Posts: 141
Thanks for your comments gregv. A tripod is on my list of things to buy. I'm hoping I'll have it before my next big holiday. If not I will look at getting a gorillapod.

Unfortunately for me the D60 does not have gridlines to help you align the horizon and also makes it a bit more difficult to apply the rule of thirds.

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Camera: Nikon D60
Lenses: Nikon AF-S DX 18-55 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR, Nikon AF-S VR 70-300 f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED
Flash: Nikon SB-910
Tripod: Joby Gorillapod Focus with Ball Head X, Manfrotto 055CXPRO4 with Manfrotto MH054M0-Q5 ballhead


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