Group Shoot - Small World

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Re: Group Shoot - Small World

Postposted on Mon Oct 13, 2008 8:38 pm

Usacomp2k3 wrote:Is that natural lighting?


Yeah, I don't have a flash so I make do with what is available. Plus, I like the look of natural lighting.
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Re: Group Shoot - Small World

Postposted on Mon Oct 13, 2008 8:42 pm

CMRPhoto wrote:
Usacomp2k3 wrote:Is that natural lighting?

Yeah, I don't have a flash so I make do with what is available. Plus, I like the look of natural lighting.

That is quite amazing. The reason that I ask is that it looked like a shot with a bulb on the left of the frame pointing in. Still, quite impressive.
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Re: Group Shoot - Small World

Postposted on Wed Oct 15, 2008 6:52 pm

Image

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Image

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Combo of a couple recent walks. All of the EXIF data is available @ Flickr (just click the shot you're interested in). Feel free to fire back with constructive criticism!
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Re: Group Shoot - Small World

Postposted on Wed Oct 15, 2008 7:13 pm

CMRPhoto wrote:Here's a shot I took a little while ago.

Oh, and, uh, hello everyone--there are some really nice shots here.
Neat bee.
Alex wrote:Combo of a couple recent walks. All of the EXIF data is available @ Flickr (just click the shot you're interested in). Feel free to fire back with constructive criticism!

I'm a sucker for boldly colored single leaves, so the last one's a neat composition to me. Nice coloration. A tripod would have been nice to have to avoid cranking the ISO and NR up so much and preserve a bit more of the fine detail.

I didn't realize you'd started shooting Nikon. How do you like the 60 macro? (and which one do you have?)
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Re: Group Shoot - Small World

Postposted on Wed Oct 15, 2008 8:52 pm

Thanks Matt and UsaComp.

Alex, you have some nice shots there. I do agree with Matt, the last one is particularly nice. The second to last shot I also particularly like (the shadow in the front does distract, though).
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Re: Group Shoot - Small World

Postposted on Thu Oct 16, 2008 2:01 pm

Thanks for the comments guys! I started shooting Nikon about 8-10 months ago and have really enjoyed the cameras and lenses. One of my favorites is the Nikon 50mm f/1.8D prime. Very sharp, fast, and dirt cheap (around $100 for a super lens). The 60mm lens I'm using is the Nikon f/2.8D Micro. I've had a lot of fun shooting with it. It's fairly easy to produce nice macros with it. You do have to get up close and personal with it though, which makes skittish winged bugs harder to shoot, but certainly not impossible.

Matt, I agree, I should bring along a tripod for those types of shots. I have a cheap one that's falling apart. My birthday is Saturday, so I might have to treat myself to a decent tripod. :D

BTW, you guys are posting some nice shots, keep them coming! Fall is just starting to show here in the south, so I expect the next few weeks to be great for hiking and photography. This is my favorite season of the year to get outdoors.
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Re: Group Shoot - Small World

Postposted on Thu Oct 16, 2008 2:21 pm

Alex wrote:Thanks for the comments guys! I started shooting Nikon about 8-10 months ago and have really enjoyed the cameras and lenses.
Nikon ergonomics and lens quality/availability are quite nice.
Alex wrote:One of my favorites is the Nikon 50mm f/1.8D prime. Very sharp, fast, and dirt cheap (around $100 for a super lens).
Out of curiousity, do you find yours to be sharp wide open or near open? Mine takes a fair bit of stopping down to really hit its stride.
Alex wrote:The 60mm lens I'm using is the Nikon f/2.8D Micro. I've had a lot of fun shooting with it. It's fairly easy to produce nice macros with it. You do have to get up close and personal with it though, which makes skittish winged bugs harder to shoot, but certainly not impossible.
I was curious if you'd snagged the snazzy new AFS one. I do like the more extended working distance of my 100mm macro and the different perspective from close-up shooting with moderate wide angle glass or wider. Normal macros kind of fall in no-man's land for me (but one would have been handy last weekend, actually). I'd love to stumble upon a good deal on a 200 f/4 macro for even more working distance and the ever-welcome tripod collar. Probably the old MF nikkor.
Alex wrote:Matt, I agree, I should bring along a tripod for those types of shots. I have a cheap one that's falling apart. My birthday is Saturday, so I might have to treat myself to a decent tripod. :D
It's certainly a treat that pays off when you need it. Certainly not always useful, but when you've got the time to slow down and optimize a good tripod/head combo is worth its weight in gold (unfortunately that's not all that far removed from the cost).
Alex wrote:BTW, you guys are posting some nice shots, keep them coming! Fall is just starting to show here in the south, so I expect the next few weeks to be great for hiking and photography. This is my favorite season of the year to get outdoors.
Colors are starting to wrap up here. I figure I can get one more trip to the arboretum with my wife this weekend. Missed a lot of color due to being busy, unfortunately.
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Re: Group Shoot - Small World

Postposted on Thu Oct 16, 2008 11:38 pm

Image
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These were all taken in the past few days. There's still a fair amount of life in the foliage yet, courtesy of the mild west coast weather.
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Re: Group Shoot - Small World

Postposted on Fri Oct 17, 2008 1:17 am

mattsteg wrote:Out of curiousity, do you find yours to be sharp wide open or near open? Mine takes a fair bit of stopping down to really hit its stride.

It's sharp enough near open I suppose. I generally don't shoot it wide open. Where's the sweet spot for you?

Here's two shots @ f/1.8:

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Image
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Re: Group Shoot - Small World

Postposted on Fri Oct 17, 2008 2:10 pm

Don't know if you'd consider these macro, as they were taken with the lens that came with my Alpha D300. I'm behind the learning curve with macro. These were just taken on the auto setting. I've got some reading to do for macro shots.

Nothing great, but it's a (re)start.
Image
Image
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Re: Group Shoot - Small World

Postposted on Fri Oct 17, 2008 2:39 pm

Hoser wrote:Don't know if you'd consider these macro, as they were taken with the lens that came with my Alpha D300. I'm behind the learning curve with macro. These were just taken on the auto setting. I've got some reading to do for macro shots.
Your kit lens has a maximum reproduction ratio of 1:4, so it's never going to be a spectacular macro lens. Try dialling in some positive exposure compensation. It seems your camera is underexposing by 1/2 to 2/3 EV in this situation.
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Re: Group Shoot - Small World

Postposted on Fri Oct 17, 2008 2:56 pm

Hoser wrote:Don't know if you'd consider these macro, as they were taken with the lens that came with my Alpha D300. I'm behind the learning curve with macro. These were just taken on the auto setting. I've got some reading to do for macro shots.
They're certainly close enough for this thread. Anything that gets close enough to look at details you might not notice otherwise fits quite nicely. I like the leaf in the flowers.

Like crazybus suggested, these shots are a bit dark to me. The single simplest and most powerful image edit that I've ever used (and what does the bulk of the work in the 1-click "optimize" type buttons that don't go overboard) is adjusting white point and black point with levels (or in more advanced form, curves. or in a raw converter like lightroom or ACR, "exposure" and "blacks"). The feature's in just about any image editor, even very simple ones (like xnview, for example) and just pumps life into images that you often didn't quite know was missing. The general concept is really simple - you tell the program what it should think of as "white" and what it should think of as "white" and it adjusts the image to fit that. In other words, you can make your darkest parts dark, lightest parts light, and have more contrast and impact in between.

http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/levels.htm is a quick and decent article that goes into way more detail. A quick adjustment of the white point makes the yellow in those flowers have a lot more impact.

In the field, you can "chimp" (ooh ah ooh ah) on your LCD and adjust exposure compensation based on your histogram to accomplish much of the same thing.
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Re: Group Shoot - Small World

Postposted on Fri Oct 17, 2008 3:21 pm

In practice, I'll sometimes underexpose slightly on purpose, in addition to the negative exposure compensation I often need in matrix metering mode, if I know I'll likely be doing significant PP on a photo. My camera clips highlights quite severely, but conversely allows a fair amount of detail to be extracted from shadows. Underexposing gives me some latitude to play with the levels without risking immediate clipping on any individual colour channel. Of course, cameras vary as to their dynamic range and tone curves, so you need become familiar with your specific specific camera to get the most out of it. Shooting RAW will give you more headroom as well.
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Re: Group Shoot - Small World

Postposted on Fri Oct 17, 2008 3:31 pm

crazybus wrote:In practice, I'll sometimes underexpose slightly on purpose, in addition to the negative exposure compensation I often need in matrix metering mode, if I know I'll likely be doing significant PP on a photo. My camera clips highlights quite severely, but conversely allows a fair amount of detail to be extracted from shadows. Underexposing gives me some latitude to play with the levels without risking immediate clipping on any individual colour channel. Of course, cameras vary as to their dynamic range and tone curves, so you need become familiar with your specific specific camera to get the most out of it. Shooting RAW will give you more headroom as well.
I'll "underexpose" to protect highlights and bring back shadows on purpose plenty too. Heck, the new Nikons can do that automatically with auto-dlighting. Color histograms are a huge help in controlling channel clipping, and RAW is just nice to work with as well unless you need to deliver your shots straight out of camera or lack the computing power to process RAWs effectively. The whole time/effort thing has really been cut back by workflow programs like lightroom, aperture, etc.
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Re: Group Shoot - Small World

Postposted on Fri Oct 17, 2008 7:37 pm

mattsteg wrote:
crazybus wrote:In practice, I'll sometimes underexpose slightly on purpose, in addition to the negative exposure compensation I often need in matrix metering mode, if I know I'll likely be doing significant PP on a photo. My camera clips highlights quite severely, but conversely allows a fair amount of detail to be extracted from shadows. Underexposing gives me some latitude to play with the levels without risking immediate clipping on any individual colour channel. Of course, cameras vary as to their dynamic range and tone curves, so you need become familiar with your specific specific camera to get the most out of it. Shooting RAW will give you more headroom as well.
I'll "underexpose" to protect highlights and bring back shadows on purpose plenty too. Heck, the new Nikons can do that automatically with auto-dlighting. Color histograms are a huge help in controlling channel clipping, and RAW is just nice to work with as well unless you need to deliver your shots straight out of camera or lack the computing power to process RAWs effectively. The whole time/effort thing has really been cut back by workflow programs like lightroom, aperture, etc.

I really like the ADL feature. It does more than underexpose, it actually changes the response curve, opening up more dynamic range to be displayed. If I had a camera with it, I would leave it "on" at all times.

As far as RAW: when I shoot I generally don't come back with pictures I don't want to keep. I'm not about to putz around with every shot in RAW just to fix something that can be corrected by shooting better. (except for now, which I've tried correcting some huge dynamic range pictures, with mixed results. I want a camera with ADR. D90 or D700 please :D)
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Re: Group Shoot - Small World

Postposted on Fri Oct 17, 2008 8:38 pm

SpotTheCat wrote:
mattsteg wrote:
crazybus wrote:In practice, I'll sometimes underexpose slightly on purpose, in addition to the negative exposure compensation I often need in matrix metering mode, if I know I'll likely be doing significant PP on a photo. My camera clips highlights quite severely, but conversely allows a fair amount of detail to be extracted from shadows. Underexposing gives me some latitude to play with the levels without risking immediate clipping on any individual colour channel. Of course, cameras vary as to their dynamic range and tone curves, so you need become familiar with your specific specific camera to get the most out of it. Shooting RAW will give you more headroom as well.
I'll "underexpose" to protect highlights and bring back shadows on purpose plenty too. Heck, the new Nikons can do that automatically with auto-dlighting. Color histograms are a huge help in controlling channel clipping, and RAW is just nice to work with as well unless you need to deliver your shots straight out of camera or lack the computing power to process RAWs effectively. The whole time/effort thing has really been cut back by workflow programs like lightroom, aperture, etc.

I really like the ADL feature. It does more than underexpose, it actually changes the response curve, opening up more dynamic range to be displayed. If I had a camera with it, I would leave it "on" at all times.
I meant to be slightly more clear on that point and forgot to :oops: That's more or less what I meant by "bring back the shadows". If I was shooting jpeg I'd leave it on to some degree or other. I'd consider leaving it on for RAW, but it wouldn't really affect me more than biasing the meter to be a bit more conservative in that role, as I don't use nikon software to process my NEFs.
SpotTheCat wrote:As far as RAW: when I shoot I generally don't come back with pictures I don't want to keep. I'm not about to putz around with every shot in RAW just to fix something that can be corrected by shooting better. (except for now, which I've tried correcting some huge dynamic range pictures, with mixed results. I want a camera with ADR. D90 or D700 please :D)
Honestly, that old misperception about shooting RAW doesn't really apply much at all these days. Setting up reasonable defaults and making batch adjustments goes a long way (or if you prefer, use your manufacturer's software that lets you start at the in-camera rendition) towards getting rid of tedious putzing. It's not really about fixing things that could be corrected by shooting better, nor is it about putzing around with every shot. It's more about making the good better or the impossible possible, as trite as that may sound. It doesn't make getting what you do in-camera right less desirable. It's not just to prevent "oh crap, I screwed up my WB" or "crap I set my EV wrong" situations. If you're in that position, "you're doing it wrong". I'm not sure what RAW has to do with taking back pictures that you don't intend to keep either.
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Re: Group Shoot - Small World

Postposted on Tue Oct 21, 2008 9:11 pm

Image
Sigma 10-20 @ close focus on my D200. Fun to play with, gives an interesting perspective. Tough as all heck to get the focus where you want it though.
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Re: Group Shoot - Small World

Postposted on Tue Oct 21, 2008 11:21 pm

Is that wide open?
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Re: Group Shoot - Small World

Postposted on Wed Oct 22, 2008 7:21 am

SpotTheCat wrote:Is that wide open?

No that's at f/11.
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Re: Group Shoot - Small World

Postposted on Fri Oct 24, 2008 1:40 pm

I took this one the other day. I like the way the image is dark in the upper left and gets lighter to the right. I know Matt likes pics with a single leaf in them so I set this up for him.

Image

edit - click on the pic for the EXIF data.
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Re: Group Shoot - Small World

Postposted on Fri Oct 24, 2008 4:48 pm

Nice shot Hoser. How's that Sony treating you?
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Re: Group Shoot - Small World

Postposted on Fri Oct 24, 2008 4:53 pm

I like the shadows under the leaf. Is that pure natural lighting?
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Re: Group Shoot - Small World

Postposted on Fri Oct 24, 2008 8:59 pm

Alex wrote:Nice shot Hoser. How's that Sony treating you?

I like it. Still re-learning lots. I found this site helpful, and I picked up a few books from Chapters today. I just saw a D350 body on Craiglist this afternoon for $75. I really think I'll pick it up as long as it's legit. The extra 4MP would make things look better.

crazybus wrote:I like the shadows under the leaf. Is that pure natural lighting?

Yup. Click the photo for the shot info.
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Re: Group Shoot - Small World

Postposted on Fri Oct 24, 2008 11:07 pm

Hoser wrote:The extra 4MP would make things look better.

Don't jump on that bandwagon too quickly. I'm pretty sure you're smarter than that though. I'd say that Mattsteg didn't let his old 6MP camera limit his ability to take good pictures :wink:
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Re: Group Shoot - Small World

Postposted on Sat Oct 25, 2008 11:04 am

Hoser wrote:The extra 4MP would make things look better.

The only thing that helps with is bayer interpolation, and it can actually hurt you with ISO performance. I would actually like a new, cheap, 6mp nikon camera to come out. Instead of shrinking the pixels for a higher resolution I would rather have less noise at higher ISO.
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Re: Group Shoot - Small World

Postposted on Sat Oct 25, 2008 12:50 pm

The point is moot anyways. I called the guy this afternoon and he wouldn't tell me why he's selling it, he "had to sell it" is the way he put it. I'm not touching that with a 10 foot pole.
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