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I rock my 200mm to compensate for the [PHOTO]

needOpticneedOptic Registered User
edited July 2012 in Artist's Corner
In this thread, we post photos!

All photos are welcome, though most people post with the intention of receiving criticism so that they can become better photographers. Please do not spoiler your photos as that defeats the purpose of the thread.

For photography newbies:
What type of camera should I buy?
This can't be answered the same for every person. There's little difference in the photo quality between most major brands (Canon, Nikon, etc) so it comes down to price and personal preference. Make sure your camera lets you control settings like shutter speed, aperture, and ISO and preferably lets you capture images in RAW format. Other than that, get a bit of hands on time and see how the camera feels to you. Also remember that if you're buying an SLR, camera bodies come and go but lenses usually last while. For this reason it might be worth it to buy a cheaper body and spend a bit extra on some lenses.

Speaking of lenses, which ones should I buy?
Most kit lenses are a good starting place, though you'll begin to find them more limited once you're more comfortable with your camera. A good entry level prime lens for Canon cameras is this little guy. Other than that, you'll probably want to pick up a telezoom lens with a macro feature. This should get you set for a long while.

Any good books/sites I should read?
Lots of people recommend Understanding Exposure or the first Ansel Adams book. Don't bother buying any book that tells you how to use your specific camera model. All of that information can be found in your user's manual.

How do I become awesome at arting?
The best advice I can give is: keep taking pictures. That being said, don't just randomly point your camera at something and hit the shutter button. Stop for a moment to think about why you're taking this picture. What are you trying to show people? Is the current lighting/angle/etc going to help you show that? If so, proceed. If not, adjust your settings or body to capture it another way.

Resources/Tools:
Lightroom - Awesome software for managing your photo collection and editing RAW files.
LR Mogrify - Unfortunately Lightroom doesn't have a border option so use this tool. It also does watermarks and the like.
Canon Firmware Update - Unofficial firmware update that allows more options one some Canon cameras.
Strobist - Fantastic source on getting into off camera lighting. Don't be put off by initial complexities. It'll come.
Flickr - A free photo hosting site. Also has a pro option if you like. There's also a PA flickr group.
Phorumr - If you're using flickr and Firefox, this script auto generates the code you need to paste into the forum.
Photoshop Pyramid - Helps regulate your daily dose of Photoshop.
A DIY plexiglass frame - Nifty.
DIY Bokeh - A neat DIY to getting bokeh shapes.

There's also a great write up from Pope:
Spoiler:


Yay, new thread. Another night, another study - I'm trying to be as strict as Pope at this.

2 lights setup, but I edited out the kicker because I didn't need it. Had to fucking rub crisco oil all over my face to get the damn water to bead.
Silver umbrella to the right, 1/2 power...

4524383139_5abe04228a.jpg

Grifter on
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Posts

  • MustangMustang Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Yippee Ki-Yay mother fucker.

    Ahh John McLean, will you ever stop being quoted by douchebags?

  • KendeathwalkerKendeathwalker Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    mmmmmmmmm crisco oil.

    no that sounds pretty nasty. Ive always wondered how photographers got an effect like that- the more you know!

  • needOpticneedOptic Registered User
    edited April 2010
    Yeah... fun stuff, huh? My wife thinks I've lost it completely.

  • anableanable Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Thanks nO! Now I know how to make a Gatorade commercial.

  • ratrat Registered User
    edited April 2010
    Crit me please

    Silhouette in Marrakech
    4525252323_225da72995.jpg

    Monotone from Albufeira
    4525873698_4320f78a8c.jpg

    Watercolour of Lagos
    4525873660_421b2f6e33.jpg

    These are from my recent travels, trying to get photos that are more intersting than typical holiday snapshots

  • BladeXBladeX Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    nO, you look like you're in a gatorade ad.

  • needOpticneedOptic Registered User
    edited April 2010
    Rat - the only picture that is worth talking about is the Watercolor of Lagos - and it is a great fucking capture. You shoud should adjust the angle a little so the vertical of the building is vertical, but otherwise it is fantastic.

    The other two are very bland.

    BladeX - thanks mang, that's what I was going for.

  • erisian popeerisian pope Registered User
    edited April 2010
    needO - Very successful experiment. The lighting is gorgeous.

    Rat - First pic is a relatively cliche kind of shot, which isn't inherently bad. In your case the shot feels heavy on the right hand side (more tree-silhouettes on the right plus the interesting ones, the palms, all lean to the right, plus the clouds move from thin on the left to thick on the right) I am not sure if you could have improved the composition by moving to the right some or not, but balance is a good concept to keep in mind while composing an image. Second pic is pretty, but having the horizon down the middle in this case isn't very useful visually. The sky is plain and boring but the ocean is textured and interesting; giving them equal weight doesn't benefit the picture in my opinion (but here opinions will probably vary). I also am not sure if I feel benefit from the panorama; if this is a crop it might be cool to see it uncropped (specifically if the crop cut off more ocean from the bottom). Is the third one a photo of a painting or a reflection in a puddle? If its the second, it's quite successful. My favorite of the bunch.

    --

    needO (or a mod) - any chance of porting over the first post from the old thread? There's some good info in it for new photogs.

  • CommunistCowCommunistCow Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    needOptic wrote: »
    Yeah... fun stuff, huh? My wife thinks I've lost it completely.

    I did this too for another shoot a long time ago except we used olive oil. I would think that olive oil is easier to get off than crisco.
    500w hot light in a home made soft box off to camera left.

    torso%20crop.jpg

    No, I am not really communist. Yes, it is weird that I use this name.
  • ArdentMarauderArdentMarauder Registered User
    edited April 2010
    From here
    If you don't like using Photoshop, you might get a lot of enjoyment out of using a tool like Lightroom, which is focused more on basic photo improvements like noise reduction, white balance, clarity, shadows/highlights, and stuff like that. It's a great developing tool, and it's more for people like you (and me) who don't want to merge things together for surreal/unreal pictures.

    Thanks, I'll look into Lightroom after work today.

  • anableanable Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I've been painting a lot more than I've been photoing for the last couple of months so all I have to offer you is tree bark texture:
    4526315326_3a27b3f0fd.jpg

  • erisian popeerisian pope Registered User
    edited April 2010
    A couple pics for the new thread:

    4526327745_50da24db95.jpg
    for a larger copy, click image to go to its flickr page then click "all sizes"

    4526958838_8b334837aa.jpg
    for a larger copy, click image to go to its flickr page then click "all sizes"

  • SarksusSarksus Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    So let me try some crits!

    Rat, I think the palm trees are ruined by the vegetation on either side. I tried cropping it a few different ways and wasn't satisfied. If you could get the palm trees alone with ample space on either side and made the crop so that it accentuated the tallness of the trees it would look better.

    The boat is really difficult to see, it's swallowed up by the ocean. I think if you could make the boat more prominent in the photo it would look better. I like the position of the boat, with it to one side, but there's too much ocean and sky in the picture.

    I like the third one and there's not much else to say about it.

    pope, since I'm pretty experienced I don't know how DOF works in practice but is it possible to get more of the flower in focus while maintaining the blur in the background ? In the second picture the petal on the left, in the foreground, blurs towards the edge. The petals behind do as well but maybe that would cause more of the background to come into focus too?

  • JLM-AWPJLM-AWP Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Here's a photo of a katydid I snapped really quick one day on my porch. I loved the lighting, and it looks great for a photo shot with an iPhone (I know, I know). Mainly, I'm looking to turn this into a decent photo in terms of composition, but haven't been able to get a crop that does it justice. Any ideas?


    photoau.jpg

  • needOpticneedOptic Registered User
    edited April 2010
    Ok, I tried doing some strobist BS on the rooftop today but my umbrella was flying around, the tripod had one leg screwed up so I have only 2 from the other previous days to post...

    4527238370_9d2495555f.jpg

  • EggyToastEggyToast Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I think the 2nd shot would actually look better without the water. The high-sheen of your skin adds a lot of definition to the shadows, but the water looks more like you've got a breakout of bumpy warts rather than perspiring or wet.

    || Flickr — || PSN: EggyToast
  • SheriSheri Resident Fluffer My Living RoomRegistered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Postin' to get mah blue dot

    Gotta be able to find you jerks ;)

  • needOpticneedOptic Registered User
    edited April 2010
    Yeah, I don't particularly feel strong about this shot either.

  • mensch-o-maticmensch-o-matic Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I literally know nothing about gewd photography, but from a pedestrian standpoint, needoptic, those photos look kind of-melodramatic? Not saying drama is strictly bad for photos, but the fade into black comes off as a bit too harsh to me. Were you going for an athletic look?

  • anableanable Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    needOptic wrote: »
    Yeah, I don't particularly feel strong about this shot either.

    Really? I think it works for what you were doing. Good composition, lighting, exposure, etc. I actually like the sunglasses shot less. I'll agree with mensch that they're melodramatic, but I kinda figured that's what you were going for.

  • Jake!Jake! Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    nO: nice, but the droplets are almost too much. Not digging the second one at all, sorry!

    rat: love the last one, it's a step or two above the others you posted

    Madame Laycock band shots;

    4522843065_ef7d996af6_o.jpg

    4523477092_e875088af0_o.jpg

    4523477428_4eebc4d4e9_o.jpg

    The last of Scotland;

    4519354904_36f467fcaa_o.jpg

    4519354598_8b91daa905_o.jpg

    4519354314_3c445700a8_o.jpg

    Some shots from an exhibition opening last night;

    4527364345_e4a5942db8_o.jpg

    4527995418_09fd264c2e_o.jpg

    4527364517_c93dca736f_o.jpg

  • BladeXBladeX Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I literally know nothing about gewd photography, but from a pedestrian standpoint, needoptic, those photos look kind of-melodramatic? Not saying drama is strictly bad for photos, but the fade into black comes off as a bit too harsh to me. Were you going for an athletic look?

    If you're talking about the first one in the OP:
    BladeX wrote: »
    nO, you look like you're in a gatorade ad.
    needOptic wrote: »
    BladeX - thanks mang, that's what I was going for.

    Then, yes, yes he was.

    Spring is heeeerrreee! Maybe I can find something in this boring town to inspire me to take photos. Felt so blllaaahhh during the winter and on top of that my work blocked all the photo sites but flickr and I do most of my viewing of this thread at work!

  • needOpticneedOptic Registered User
    edited April 2010
    I didn't care for the second one either, took it out.

    Jake - the big daddy is cool :)
    Your other shots are very "painterly", i like.

  • anableanable Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
  • BladeXBladeX Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Man, I love that one too. I've been playing Fallout 3 a lot lately and it gives me the same sort of lonely wilderness road vibe I get in the game.. Just with a lot more colour then the drabness of the game.

  • saltinesssaltiness Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    anable wrote: »
    Jake! wrote: »

    4519354598_8b91daa905_o.jpg

    I'm loving the curves on this.

    I really like this shot too. The only thing that bugs me a little bit is the centered horizon but it doesn't break the picture.

    XBL: heavenkils
  • BladeXBladeX Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Wow, definitely one of the few times that this didn't bug me since I didn't even notice the centred horizon until you pointed it out!

  • saltinesssaltiness Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Another wine-related exercise:

    brokenbottle.jpg

    XBL: heavenkils
  • needOpticneedOptic Registered User
    edited April 2010
    salti -sweet! It seems almost floating

  • AneurhythmiaAneurhythmia Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I am hellof out of practice with this light alchemy nonsense. Do you kids still do monthly photo assignments or whatnot?

    1LRdqui.png
  • erisian popeerisian pope Registered User
    edited April 2010
    Annie! How are you? The monthly assignments died out due to lack of interest (even though I posted assignments, even I often didn't do them). Although Beavotron started a new-year's-resolution thread for a picture a day and I've been doing that. I think NeedOptic is doing a picture a day, too.

  • AneurhythmiaAneurhythmia Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    EP, good man. A photo a day might not be a bad idea. Strict regimens irk me, but I guess I have oodles of time while looking for work. How's life in... uh... Texas, right? Maybe?

    1LRdqui.png
  • erisian popeerisian pope Registered User
    edited April 2010
    Texas, yes. Life is grand. I have found that the discipline of the regimen has been kinda cool. It helped end a pretty decent slump. What kind of work are you lookin for? ("The paying kind, duh")

    EDIT: Here's a pic I took tonight (since this is a photo thread)

    4530078634_59c6bd71e5.jpg

  • CommunistCowCommunistCow Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    needOptic wrote: »
    Ok, I tried doing some strobist BS on the rooftop today but my umbrella was flying around, the tripod had one leg screwed up so I have only 2 from the other previous days to post...

    4527238370_9d2495555f.jpg

    I'm not a giant fan of this but I certainly understand your umbrella woes. I don't even try and shoot with umbrellas outside unless i have people standing there holding them. So I try and use small home made softboxes or grids which don't catch the wind as easily. Both of my umbrellas have damage to them from falling over in the wind even when I throw sand bags on them for extra weight.

    Salti: What was the setup like for that one? It looks pretty good.

    Jake: I want to comment on your photos but its really late and i shall do so at another time when I can give more time to the post.

    No, I am not really communist. Yes, it is weird that I use this name.
  • mensch-o-maticmensch-o-matic Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    anable wrote: »
    Jake! wrote: »

    4519354598_8b91daa905_o.jpg

    I'm loving the curves on this.

    I just noticed the meteor(?) in the background

    solid :^:

  • Jake!Jake! Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    cheers guys!

    pope: I'm not sure how I feel about how that is cropped, although I like everything else about the shot

    salti: I was wondering if anyone else would be bothered by that. I felt it was one of the few times a comp worked better with it. Also, like the butterfly in your wine bottle.

    mensch-o-matic: aeroplane
    Jake: I want to comment on your photos but its really late and i shall do so at another time when I can give more time to the post.

    I want to read your comments, but I shall do so when you have written them ;) . I'll be interested to see if your criticisms match my own.

  • erisian popeerisian pope Registered User
    edited April 2010
    I don't think it really counts as a centered horizon. There's like one point total where the actual visual horizon is vertically centered (at the middle of the pic) but since it's all hills the horizon moves away from the center in both directions from the middle. And there aren't any other horizontal lines at the vertical center of the image. It feels more fluidly balanced than, say, a seascape that has a centered horizon.

    PS - love the shot!

    @ Jake - cheers. I tried a few shots to get a better comp, but that was the best I could do at the time. I might try again with better light and my real tripod (not my semi-flimsy gorillapod). My wife bought me the plant on a whim - yay! It's an echevaria that tends toward the pink, possibly the "perle von nuremberg" species.

    @ Salti - that's a badass broken bottle, sir! Did you use a lightbox?

  • needOpticneedOptic Registered User
    edited April 2010
  • CommunistCowCommunistCow Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Jake! wrote: »
    nO: nice, but the droplets are almost too much. Not digging the second one at all, sorry!

    rat: love the last one, it's a step or two above the others you posted

    Madame Laycock band shots;
    Spoiler:

    The last of Scotland;
    Spoiler:

    Some shots from an exhibition opening last night;
    Spoiler:

    So the first set of photos with the band each individual has crazy costume/makeup but the background seems rather plain and mundane. This can work sometimes when you really make some juxtaposition like high fashion model in a broken down building, but here it just looks like you couldn't find a good enough location. Assuming the last person is actually the singer of the band then the pose for it is awesome and it really shows they are the singer when compared with the other two people. In the first photo the softbox refelction off the goggles is really distracting because you can't see the man's eye.

    The second set of photos from Scotland use really great leading lines in the first two photos. The first two work because of this and because they are so clean. The first one has the shore curved line leading right to the boat and the second one has both the road and the curved hills/mountians acting as leading lines. The third one on the other hand doesn't really have much interesting in it. The lake the person is overlooking doesn't look spectacular in any way. The foreground is cluttered with ugly shrubs.

    The third set I like the last two photos. The first photo is decent at documenting people coming into the exhibit but thats about as far as it goes. The second photo is awesome because of the color and the odd space. The last one has a really cool subject. It seems odd having the art piece in the middle and so much negative space but when playing with crops on it I couldn't seem to find a better crop because you lose leading lines if you cut off the left wall or the ceiling.

    No, I am not really communist. Yes, it is weird that I use this name.
  • saltinesssaltiness Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    A couple people asked what the light setup was for the broken bottle: It's on a 1/8" thick piece of translucent white plastic lit from below by a softbox.

    XBL: heavenkils
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