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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2008 5:45 pm 
Hello eveyone,

I am completely new to photography and have been experimenting with my Canon 450D + kit lens which I bought last week. Prior to this, I have only used compact cameras on auto mode to take a handful of shots on holidays etc.

Before buying my camera, I read a lot of review sites and browsed various forums, including this one to decide which camera to buy and also to gain a little theoretic knowledge on photography. That being said, My actual photography/Photoshop experience is 0 so please take it easy on me! :)

Anyway, I went for a walk in London last night with my camera and tripod and took a few hundred shots, here are just a few of them.


p.s. I'm the 2000th member of this website! Do I get a prize? :D

34mm, ISO 800, f/4.5, 1/4sec.

Interesting contrast between old and new style architecture in London.

How could I avoid (or at least minimise) the ray of light on the right hand side which is coming from a street light? Would I use a filter? The sky also looks a little noisy to me...

No post processing.

Same as above but with saturation lowered. Not sure which one I like better...

23mm, ISO 200, f/7.1, 4 Sec.

I really like this one. I like the composition (correct term?) and the murky, brown looking sky.
It's a shame this shot came out so blurry. This is because at the moment I only have a very cheap tripod (£10 ebay) and it was very windy on Westminster Bridge, from where I took the shot. I will be back to capture this same shot when it's a little less windy!

18mm, ISO500(auto), f/3.5, 1/25 sec.
I was going for a retro(ish), 1950's American(ish) kind of style, if you know what I mean, with the post processing here... Not too sure if I succeeded, but I was happy with the outcome nevertheless. What do you guys thing? Good image or overdone?

18mm, ISO 800, f/3.5, 1/6 sec. Obviously some post-processing too.

I really like this one... opinions?

As I said, my experience is 0 and I have a lot to learn so thanks in advanced for any constructive feedback you have.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 12:29 pm 
Hello Maiwand!

Welcome to the Camera Labs forums. (This is your prize btw, along with all other members :wink: )

Don't fear that your photographic experience is 0 - you have started well, with a great DSLR, and already have some experience!

About that ray of light, it could be minimised/non-existent if there was a lens hood. Those are pretty cheap so make sure you get a decent one. Alternatively, you could hold up your hand near the front of the lens, not blocking the field of view but minimising the light streaking in from the street light. Also, a lens hood kind of 'protects' the lens.

Seeing that you kind of like landscapes(at night as well), it might be wise to invest in a better tripod. (Probably consider a gorillapod if you don't mind attaching to railings - but I haven't used one before so I won't say much)

Regarding the first shot, I'm not having any guarantees but from what I see so far from your third shot(with the ferris wheel) would you like to try showing the grandeur of both buildings?

The fourth shot - could you have made use of some assymmetrical composition?

Now for the last shot, not sure if you use layer masking or history brushing but I think the contrast(by means of exposure etc) could be improved? Now I'm not insulting you but when I first saw the pic I didn't realise the background was B/W. That technique(whatever its called) is supposed to give a better contrast, but it needs brighter colours.

Sorry if I was too long winded, but I was just putting in my $0.02.

SnS 8)

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 12:41 pm 
Welcome Mate,

Nope no prize for beeing 2000th you just get camerlabs cred :)

Now lets take a look at these photos :

Image 1: How come the building in the back is tilted and the other one isnt? Is that they way it is, looks kinda of odd! The "Processed" version looks better to my eyes, not so sure about that frame tho, way to big and i m stuck focusing on it, instead of it making me draw to the image. Srry. As far as composition goes: Its good solid, nothing wrong with that.

Image 2 (the wheel): This is my fav, shot out of all of them But i would have waited for that thing to move (if it does so at night) that would have given the picture some motion which is very attractive to me, also i would have put the wheel a bite more to the center so it follows the Rule of Thirds and brought up the horizon a bit. Go back and grab this shot at sunset and try to go with a bit of longer shutter speed, to give the sky some motion should work great!

Image 3: I cant really tell if it selective coloring, but i m guessing its so, composition works IMO.

Image 4: Nice picture but too dark, i like these English telephone booth shots, but i would have gone and tried to make it different some how, placing the booth to the side and having some cars drive by it to add some motion, that the advantages of shooting at night!

Hope that helps out, but dont let me put you of shooting, i m just sharing what i think and i hope you can understand that this is just my opinion on the subject! Thanks for sharing the images mate, and i m looking forward to seeing some more!

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 1:15 pm 
Welcome to the forum.

You've got some very easily recognised locations in your images...the first two are the Cruciform Building and the University College Hospital in the background just off Gower Street.

On the whole there's promise from your images, but a lack of finesse at the moment. There are small things in each image that detract the eye from the main focus, such as the streetlamp glare in 1 and 2, the instability in 3, the overblown sky in 4, and the underexposed shot in 5. There's a lot of creativity available with the 450D (and any DSLR for that) - to illustrate this point perhaps a longer exposure time to collect light trails and to brighten the K6 (London Phonebooth).

I look forward to seeing you progress with your new camera over the coming months.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2008 10:15 pm 

Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 10:24 pm
Posts: 179
Location: Beavercreek Ohio, USA
Great photos. I like the darkness of the phone booth. I also find it amazing that you even attempted to set up a tripod on Westminster bridge. It is always too crowded when I am there. Keep up the good work.

Canon XTi
Canon EF 50mm
Canon EFS 18-55mm
Canon EF 75-300
Canon Speedlite 430EX Flash
Manfrotto 190XPROB Tripod
Manfrotto 804RC2 Head

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2008 11:20 pm 
4 and 5th shots are very nice along with the 3rd.. 4th is my favorite its perfect.. great shot there.. also when your shooting with a tripod no sense using a high ISO shoot at 100 iso and use long exposures.. reduces noise and gives your photo a better look.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2008 9:50 am 
Welcome to the forum Maiwand! Dunno if you realised but we've been counting down your arrival in the Off-Topic section. :)

I think the third image is great but watch for reflections in the first and second image.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2008 9:54 pm 
Hi Everyone,

Thanks you all for the comments/critisisms.

Most of you commented that that the telephone picture is too dark. The actual photo was much brighter however, I photoshopped it to give it that dark look. I was going for a wierd SinCity meets Blade Runner kind of look! I know you have to learnthe rules before you can break them but I made this image dark intentionally.

Another comment was regarding using lower ISO when using a tripod. The only shot here where I used a tripod was on the 3rd shot of the London Eye (Wheel) and you'll notice I opted for an ISO of 200 there. All other shots were hand held and in Aperture Prioroty mode hence the higher ISO.

With regards to the other shots (1,2,4,5) I didn't really think about them or spend more than 2 seconds compsing them. I was walking down the street just taking random shots and then when looking at them on my PC I thought "I could do something with that.."

Anyhow, Thanks again for all your comments. I look forward to sharing some more of my photos with you guys (and girls) in the future.

I didn't know my arrival will be so anticipated! I'll have to hunt down that thread and say hello to everyone! :)

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