A Few Photographs

ImDrawingABlankImDrawingABlank Registered User
edited February 2007 in Artist's Corner
I want for a walk around my area today with my cousin and decided to give my digital camera a try to get some of the artistic urges inside me out and into some pictures. I used a Fujifilm A700 I recieved for christmas which up until now has only been used for snapshots, I've never used a point/shoot for art shots but having not taken any for nearly 6 months, I decided to forego the wait for a digital SLR. The first 3 pictures are just ones that I took of my cousin, the fourth is of a schoolyard near my house, while the last 2 I got him to hold the camera and described how I wanted the picture framed and took the role of subject myself. Please let me know what you think and how I might improve my pictures if needed. I shot all the pictures with the camera set on ISO100 to try and get the clearest shots I could, but without a tripod there was only so much I could do. I used Photoshop CS2 v9.02 to edit. I appologize if this does not deserve it's own thread and I will gladly have it locked and transfer my post to the appropriate place if desired. Thanks for any input.

All pictures are thumbnails to the fullsize, as well as all pictures were edited by myself.
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Again, thanks for looking as well as any comments. I only wish I had a DigitalSLR already, I'm not happy with the quality of some of the pictures.

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ImDrawingABlank on

Posts

  • ElEl Registered User
    edited January 2007
    Ohhhhh-kay.

    Right, firstly please take this as a personal opinion - I'm not a professional photographer, nor have I even had much time to experiment with the medium, but I do have two friends who have - plus something of a penchant for beautiful photos taken by other people.

    Yours didn't really strike me; featuring one person in an ostensibly contrived pose is a bit too family-album to be easily artistic or innovative. Some of the muted, cool colours are appealing; the fifth photo is emotive enough as to convey a sense of bleakness...but the focus, whilst sharp, is rather muddled, there's not much variation in the angle from which snap shots are taken, and they do come across as scenes anyone could have captured whilst wondering around outside.

    Perhaps it's because your process for taking the photos was very rehearsed - (you said you gave your friend specific instructions as to how he should photograph you,) so instead, how about starting on your own; take in cities and countryside alike and observe the architecture, the intricacies, the emotion - find something that amazes you or stirs you or stuns you...then get out your camera and try to capture what that is. :)

    Hope that helps and as I said, my thoughts are entirely subjective: it's just the way I responded to your images. :)

    El on
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  • bombardierbombardier Moderator mod
    edited January 2007
    You live in British Fucking Columbia and the best you could come up with was your probably toked up cousin standing around looking like a really classy dude. No no no no no.

    bombardier on
  • GrifterGrifter BermudaModerator mod
    edited January 2007
    A DSLR will not make you a better photographer.

    Grifter on
  • NucshNucsh Registered User
    edited January 2007
    While creating a thread isn't a bad thing, creating a thread for these is. We also have a photo thread, where you can get help and advice on shooting. I suggest you look it up, analyze other's work, and ask questions.

    You are nowhere near ready for a dSLR. Don't even bother thinking of it until you learn more about the hobby. Grifter is 100% right, dSLRs do not make good photographers. A lot of the people who shoot here don't even use dSLRs. You have to work with your skills with what you have, as well as have the right knowledge of the systems and techniques behind digital photography, before you should be able to justify dropping $800+ on a dSLR. Hell, I work with a Powershot SD450, and some of the things I shoot end up looking amazing (though I need to work on my editing a little more).
    El wrote:
    Perhaps it's because your process for taking the photos was very rehearsed - (you said you gave your friend specific instructions as to how he should photograph you,) so instead, how about starting on your own; take in cities and countryside alike and observe the architecture, the intricacies, the emotion - find something that amazes you or stirs you or stuns you...then get out your camera and try to capture what that is.

    I agree completely and want to reiterate what is bolded. While aesthetics is definitely part of photography, you need to go out and capture what is important to you, what moves you, what makes you think. Anything else is just a tree, or a fence, or a person on a rock.

    Nucsh on
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  • Toji SuzuharaToji Suzuhara Southern CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Your images honestly don't need to be 723 KB.

    Save them at a lower setting (use the save for web function in Photoshop) so people can actually load them before their patience runs out and they just close the window.

    Toji Suzuhara on
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  • PhonehandPhonehand Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    grifter81 wrote:
    A DSLR will not make you a better photographer.

    No but it makes technical things easier. My personal advice to all new photographers is to take a class. I may be a bit biased since I learned from film photography, but I think it is vital knowledge in understanding and appreciating the actual craft.
    Nucsh wrote:
    You are nowhere near ready for a dSLR. Don't even bother thinking of it until you learn more about the hobby. Grifter is 100% right, dSLRs do not make good photographers. A lot of the people who shoot here don't even use dSLRs. You have to work with your skills with what you have, as well as have the right knowledge of the systems and techniques behind digital photography, before you should be able to justify dropping $800+ on a dSLR. Hell, I work with a Powershot SD450, and some of the things I shoot end up looking amazing (though I need to work on my editing a little more).
    This is nonsense. If he wants to spend his money on a dSLR, I don't see the issue. You can't learn the technical aspects of photography from a point and shoot camera. While I don't particularly like the first three posted, I think the last three show a bit of an eye for composition. While they aren't expert work, they are at least interesting.

    You see, when you first take a photography class, they don't make you shoot point and shoot and study with what you have. At least they shouldn't. Basically, you aren't going to learn to shoot with an SLR unless you are using one.

    Phonehand on
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  • NucshNucsh Registered User
    edited January 2007
    Phonehand wrote:
    Nucsh wrote:
    You are nowhere near ready for a dSLR. Don't even bother thinking of it until you learn more about the hobby. Grifter is 100% right, dSLRs do not make good photographers. A lot of the people who shoot here don't even use dSLRs. You have to work with your skills with what you have, as well as have the right knowledge of the systems and techniques behind digital photography, before you should be able to justify dropping $800+ on a dSLR. Hell, I work with a Powershot SD450, and some of the things I shoot end up looking amazing (though I need to work on my editing a little more).
    This is nonsense. If he wants to spend his money on a dSLR, I don't see the issue. You can't learn the technical aspects of photography from a point and shoot camera. While I don't particularly like the first three posted, I think the last three show a bit of an eye for composition. While they aren't expert work, they are at least interesting.

    You see, when you first take a photography class, they don't make you shoot point and shoot and study with what you have. At least they shouldn't. Basically, you aren't going to learn to shoot with an SLR unless you are using one.

    Ok, I see where you're coming from.

    If you have the money and the time to go straight to learning a dSLR, go for it.

    But it's not something that I would've rushed to get a few months ago when I first discovered the hobby.

    Nucsh on
    [SIGPIC]GIANT ENEMY BEAR[/SIGPIC]
  • PhonehandPhonehand Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Nucsh wrote:
    Phonehand wrote:
    Nucsh wrote:
    You are nowhere near ready for a dSLR. Don't even bother thinking of it until you learn more about the hobby. Grifter is 100% right, dSLRs do not make good photographers. A lot of the people who shoot here don't even use dSLRs. You have to work with your skills with what you have, as well as have the right knowledge of the systems and techniques behind digital photography, before you should be able to justify dropping $800+ on a dSLR. Hell, I work with a Powershot SD450, and some of the things I shoot end up looking amazing (though I need to work on my editing a little more).
    This is nonsense. If he wants to spend his money on a dSLR, I don't see the issue. You can't learn the technical aspects of photography from a point and shoot camera. While I don't particularly like the first three posted, I think the last three show a bit of an eye for composition. While they aren't expert work, they are at least interesting.

    You see, when you first take a photography class, they don't make you shoot point and shoot and study with what you have. At least they shouldn't. Basically, you aren't going to learn to shoot with an SLR unless you are using one.

    Ok, I see where you're coming from.

    If you have the money and the time to go straight to learning a dSLR, go for it.

    But it's not something that I would've rushed to get a few months ago when I first discovered the hobby.
    From what he said, it sounds like he has some basic knowledge. I imagine photography has been something of interest to him in the past. But I would say, yes, if you are just getting into it, find an SLR. You can get a nice film SLR for under $100 these days. Or if you have the money, find a cheap and reliable dSLR like the Nikon D50. Either way it's an investment. One that can really only be justified by your motivation to learn. The problem with using a point and shoot is that you don't really have as much control over your composition. I suppose that digital has remedied this to an extent, but the point still stands.

    Phonehand on
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  • ImDrawingABlankImDrawingABlank Registered User
    edited January 2007
    Alright, not exactly the type of responses I was expecting to see. I tried coming here and being as polite as I possible could and I get generally asshole comments in return. I stated fairly cleary that I knew about the photo thread and that I would have this locked and moved if desired, thanks for your comments on this part though, you were real helpful. Even this forum's own mod has nothing better to contribute than to insult me by saying my choice of camera is far beyond my skill, again thanks. I prefer Digital SLR camera for their controllability, the excellent quality, greater control of lighting, shutter speeds, ISO's, depth of field, that I just cant get with a regular point and shoot camera. I've got a single semester of a high school intro to photography course behind me where I was taught basic composition using a Minolta K1000, everything else I know I try to learn from opinions on the pictures I take.

    Phonehand, and El, thank you for your input I appreciate it and I will do my best to listen to your advice. Everybody else, thank you for nothing. I'll take my questions elsewhere from now on.

    ImDrawingABlank on
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  • VirumVirum Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Don't be a baby.

    If you lurked before you posted, you'd have known that the AC is full of elitist assholes.

    Duh.

    Virum on
  • GrifterGrifter BermudaModerator mod
    edited January 2007
    Yes, posting pictures of your friend flipping the bird and smoking weed from a pipe are supposed to make us take you seriously as a photographer. Fuck right off with your pissy attitude.

    Grifter on
  • erisian popeerisian pope Registered User
    edited January 2007
    I think you can learn a lot about composition and post-production work with a point and shoot. It's true that you don't learn aperture, shutter speed, some nuances about focus, etc, but none of those are mandatory depending on what you are trying to accomplish. You can have all the skill in the world for selecting the ideal shutter speed and aperture and whatnot and even focussing and still fail to make a picture interesting.

    erisian pope on
  • ImDrawingABlankImDrawingABlank Registered User
    edited January 2007
    Ok, well those arent the only pictures I took. This version of the hate-rock is lacking the pissed off doper. Is it at all an improvement?

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    ImDrawingABlank on
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  • misosoupmisosoup Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    these all look like holiday snaps

    you should take a photo of yourself, blow it up, stick it on the ceiling above your bed, so that every morning you wake up, you can realise how much of an asshole you are. One day you'll realise that the people here are right, if your not willing to take peoples advice why are you here in the first place? This isn't deviant art

    misosoup on
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  • VirumVirum Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Ok, well those arent the only pictures I took. This version of the hate-rock is lacking the pissed off doper. Is it at all an improvement?

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    Still boring.

    Read this.

    Virum on
  • erisian popeerisian pope Registered User
    edited January 2007
    I am now sad at myself for posting actual thoughts on the topic of photography here after reading your first response in this thread, original poster. Don't be an asshole. People here are frank with opinions. If you don't want that and instead prefer to be coddled like a baby, then this may not be the ideal forum. If you are open to criticisms, however they are phrased, then read into them and take the nuggets of truth from them and learn and improve. If you can do that, then this is the place for you.

    Try critting your own work. You ask if the rock thingy is better. Tell us. Do you think it's better? What makes it a strong composition? Or, if it's not, why not? What is weak? Do you put this kind of thought into your pics?

    What are your goals as a photographer? Are you an artist making a statement? If so, how do these pics represent that? How could they do better? Or maybe you see yourself as a technician who takes ad photos that are all technically perfect. I don't know what your intention is, and your pics don't make it clear to me. So, figure it out and try to make it clear. Try to communicate your message or your self somehow.

    If you just want someone to say "oooh nice" and wank you off then prepare to be disappointed most of the time.

    erisian pope on
  • GafotoGafoto Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    your cousin flipped you off, he's too edgy for this board!

    Gafoto on
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  • Forbe!Forbe! Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    I SMOKE WEED
    420 AS HELL
    I SMOKE WEED
    420 AS HELL

    Seriously. Re-evaluate everything you've done here. Lurk more, also.

    Forbe! on
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  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    I actually rather like the idea of the second to last one but it's execution could use some work. High contrast pictures like that are not easy to pull off especially with a point and shoot. You may think it's cool to have a total shadow of the person but it needs a little detail on him. either tone down the extreme contrast of the light or use a bounceboard to fill in a backlit subject a little bit.

    nexuscrawler on
  • ElEl Registered User
    edited January 2007
    Drawing a Blank: Glad what I said was helpful. :) I post at quite a few art and comics forums and I was thinking you might want to try posting your work here: http://www.drawingboard.org/viewforum.php?f=12 - in general it has a much lighter atmosphere; doubtless you will still get criticism, but it's likely to be more tactful and constructive, which might suit you better at this point in developing your skills. ^________^ I'm not trying to insult you btw...it's simply that the PA Artist's Corner is definitely one of the harshest forums I've come across and I reckon you need thick skin in the manner of an armadillo's shell to sift through that and extract the underlying useful advice. ;) Which is definitely not suited to everyone.

    El on
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  • april__29april__29 Registered User
    edited January 2007
    grifter81 wrote:
    A DSLR will not make you a better photographer.

    word, some of my fav pictures ive taken have been on a falling apart old pentax 35mil slr and my mobile fone. i mean theyre hardly great equipment but as ive said to some of my friends who are all " well ive got cannons new model blah blah blah" it doesnt matter how expensive your equipment is it doesnt mean you have a good eye for photography, its not in the equipment its in the skill

    april__29 on
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  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    april__29 wrote:
    grifter81 wrote:
    A DSLR will not make you a better photographer.

    word, some of my fav pictures ive taken have been on a falling apart old pentax 35mil slr and my mobile fone. i mean theyre hardly great equipment but as ive said to some of my friends who are all " well ive got cannons new model blah blah blah" it doesnt matter how expensive your equipment is it doesnt mean you have a good eye for photography, its not in the equipment its in the skill

    I'm still getting used to my DSLR. My pitcures from my 20 year old minolta are much much better still.

    nexuscrawler on
  • PhonehandPhonehand Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    I prefer film for B&W

    Something about digital B&W just doesn't sit well with me

    Phonehand on
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  • PhonehandPhonehand Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Ok, well those arent the only pictures I took. This version of the hate-rock is lacking the pissed off doper. Is it at all an improvement?

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    I would say this is a definite improvement. It seems like it could have the start of a nice conceptual aspect. Also, does it say 'ROFL' on the log? >.>

    Phonehand on
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  • StaleghotiStaleghoti Registered User
    edited January 2007
    grifter81 wrote:
    A DSLR will not make you a better photographer.


    Also, lots of cameras have manual settings, so don't use that excuse when going to buy one.

    Staleghoti on
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  • AneurhythmiaAneurhythmia Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Staleghoti wrote:
    grifter81 wrote:
    A DSLR will not make you a better photographer.


    Also, lots of cameras have manual settings, so don't use that excuse when going to buy one.
    Yeah, but aperture settings don't mean a whole lot when they vary from pinhole to photon hole.
    Phonehand wrote:
    I prefer film for B&W

    Something about digital B&W just doesn't sit well with me
    Borrow CS3 from the internet. I think its b&w editing is leaps beyond CS2.

    Aneurhythmia on
  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Phonehand wrote:
    Ok, well those arent the only pictures I took. This version of the hate-rock is lacking the pissed off doper. Is it at all an improvement?

    dscf0673v2au2.th.jpg
    I would say this is a definite improvement. It seems like it could have the start of a nice conceptual aspect. Also, does it say 'ROFL' on the log? >.>

    The compostion is alright. I'd try to get that one again in the morning or evening on a sunnier day. Right now the light looks rather flat.

    nexuscrawler on
  • ImDrawingABlankImDrawingABlank Registered User
    edited January 2007
    I would like to appologize for how I responded yesterday. I had just gotten home from a horrible day at work and I wasn't in the greatest mood, I overreacted massively and im sorry. I really do appreciate the advice and as instructed I looked over the posts and did infact find all the advice intended. I have set a day with the only of my friends interested in photography to travel to nearby parks (Stanley Park for one) or wherever seems fit to try and get some better shots and practice. We are each going to be taking a 35mm Minolta K1000 SLR and our digital camera's, as well as a tripod each and a small flash. I can easily see now why my work was criticized, the subject matter is by no means artistic, although I will admit I did try on the foggy field shots. I will be trying for more shots such as the last one I posted in terms of style. The weather has been forcasted as being sunny so we're each taking appox. 40 shots of black and white ISO100 film, and 20 shots of colour ISO100.

    I hope that you can forgive me for how I acted, the advice really is helpful.

    A couple have other friends would like me to photograph their band for them (Nothing serious, just fun). I think this would be a perfect opportunity to get some practice shooting indoor shots. I have a few idea's in my head, I will be using primarily my Minolta K1000 with Black and white film. I plan on trying to get alot of high detail, high contrast pictures, almost as if each member is under his own spotlight (seperate pictuers). My other friend that is interested in photography will be bringing 2x1000w studio lights and all the necessary equipment to use them.

    The lighting im going to be trying to achieve is similiar to this, however composition/mood/subjects will be different of course, but that is the level of contrast ratio/tone range. What type of film would you suggest using for this? If you could also suggest a few techniques for using these lights in my photos that would be an amazing help. I will search what I can on the internet and try to find time to go and talk to my old photography teacher to ask some questions as well. This could be an awesome opportunity for me to gain some skills.

    On the note of my last picture, I did a little tinkering with a few settings and came up with this. Please ignore the border, I don't know why I felt like adding it. I also did a black&white conversion on the picture on the right and modified a few small things. It still features my doped up cousin I know, but it was the most fitting picture to practice with editing, and I actually quite like the way it looks now. Is it still terrible?
    dscf0673v4oc0.th.jpg dscf0658v2ih9.th.jpg

    ImDrawingABlank on
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  • GrifterGrifter BermudaModerator mod
    edited January 2007
    It'd help if I didn't have to scroll to view the whole pictures. They don't need to be that big in order for people to enjoy them. When posting things online you need to keep in mind the lowest common denominator at all times. I have a 1200x800 resolution screen on my laptop. I'm sure there's others with lower res than that as well. You should try to keep that in mind in the future.

    Grifter on
  • ImDrawingABlankImDrawingABlank Registered User
    edited January 2007
    I will change those pictures right now, I always forget that.

    ImDrawingABlank on
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  • erisian popeerisian pope Registered User
    edited January 2007
    I'm glad to see that you're choosing to be thick-skinned and willing to look critically at your work and make the effort.

    The best thing now in my opinion is to practice practice practice, and post what you do as you do it.

    Good luck!

    erisian pope on
  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    I would like to appologize for how I responded yesterday. I had just gotten home from a horrible day at work and I wasn't in the greatest mood, I overreacted massively and im sorry. I really do appreciate the advice and as instructed I looked over the posts and did infact find all the advice intended. I have set a day with the only of my friends interested in photography to travel to nearby parks (Stanley Park for one) or wherever seems fit to try and get some better shots and practice. We are each going to be taking a 35mm Minolta K1000 SLR and our digital camera's, as well as a tripod each and a small flash. I can easily see now why my work was criticized, the subject matter is by no means artistic, although I will admit I did try on the foggy field shots. I will be trying for more shots such as the last one I posted in terms of style. The weather has been forcasted as being sunny so we're each taking appox. 40 shots of black and white ISO100 film, and 20 shots of colour ISO100.

    I hope that you can forgive me for how I acted, the advice really is helpful.

    A couple have other friends would like me to photograph their band for them (Nothing serious, just fun). I think this would be a perfect opportunity to get some practice shooting indoor shots. I have a few idea's in my head, I will be using primarily my Minolta K1000 with Black and white film. I plan on trying to get alot of high detail, high contrast pictures, almost as if each member is under his own spotlight (seperate pictuers). My other friend that is interested in photography will be bringing 2x1000w studio lights and all the necessary equipment to use them.

    The lighting im going to be trying to achieve is similiar to this, however composition/mood/subjects will be different of course, but that is the level of contrast ratio/tone range. What type of film would you suggest using for this? If you could also suggest a few techniques for using these lights in my photos that would be an amazing help. I will search what I can on the internet and try to find time to go and talk to my old photography teacher to ask some questions as well. This could be an awesome opportunity for me to gain some skills.

    On the note of my last picture, I did a little tinkering with a few settings and came up with this. Please ignore the border, I don't know why I felt like adding it. I also did a black&white conversion on the picture on the right and modified a few small things. It still features my doped up cousin I know, but it was the most fitting picture to practice with editing, and I actually quite like the way it looks now. Is it still terrible?
    dscf0673v4oc0.th.jpg dscf0658v2ih9.th.jpg

    The photo you linked is pretty contrasty and grainy. For B&W stuff like that go with the gold standard in B&W films Tri-X 400. It's an older film(honesly that shot you linked probably used Tri-X in some form) but it got great range and nice looking, but obvious, grain. T Max 400 is newer and slightly less grainy but has a similar look

    whtaever you do do not use regualr B&W film you buy at a drugstore or something. Trix-X or T Max are the ay to go.

    nexuscrawler on
  • GafotoGafoto Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Phonehand wrote:
    I prefer film for B&W

    Something about digital B&W just doesn't sit well with me
    Borrow CS3 from the internet. I think its b&w editing is leaps beyond CS2.

    Oh yeah, CS3 > CS2 by a mile.

    I've really been enjoying the one touch touch up tool. No need to sample or anything, you can just get rid of bits of dust and so forth with one click. I likey very much.

    Gafoto on
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  • erisian popeerisian pope Registered User
    edited January 2007
    I need to remember to try CS3 out. CS2 was a fantastic improvement over PS7 or whatever predated the CS releases. I never really played with CS1 much. It's hard to imagine that there's much room for improvement left.

    erisian pope on
  • GrifterGrifter BermudaModerator mod
    edited January 2007
    Ok, I'm pretty sure this thread can be locked at this point and this can continue in the photo thread.

    Grifter on
  • ImDrawingABlankImDrawingABlank Registered User
    edited February 2007
    No problem, I'll update in that thread when I've finished taking all my shots this weekend.

    PS: Photoshop CS3 is awesome, I haven't had time to mess with all of the features yet but the interface improvements alone are a great change.

    EDIT: Oh, NexusCrawler, that photo I linked to was more for an example of the type of lighting/contrast ration im going for, I dont want a grainy picture.

    ImDrawingABlank on
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This discussion has been closed.