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The Professional Photography and Photoshop Thread


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My advice, focus on what's important. If you're looking at something and you want to take a picture of it, ask yourself why. 9 times out of 10 it's not going to be the whole scene, it's going to be the look they're giving each other, or the way they are holding hands, or some other small gesture. So take a picture of that, don't be afraid to get in there and get the shot of what drew you in on the first place. If it's her smile and you took a full body shot, her smile is lost, it's 2% of the picture.

I like this quote

A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you, the less you know -- Diane Arbus

Edited by eugimon
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I know these are photos we are not used to looking at, but I wanted you guys to critique them. I took these at a wedding last Saturday for a co-worker who was getting married. There was one photo of her where I thought the bokeh was really nice so I thought I would share it and a few others. One of our staff photographers at work looked at the pictures and told me that I was making good use of the rule of thirds and that I had an eye; that made me feel good. Anywho, here are a few shots. Feel free to chime in on the good, bad, and ugly of it all. B))

doing a wedding already? nice job man i like em but the first one was kinda blurry. dont be afraid to shoot on high ISO's

just like this one (shot this i believe @ ISO 2000)

4508483073_1f6986c52a_o.jpg

also shot this with the razor sharp 70-200 F2.8 IS lens. :lol:

Edited by Vegas
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doing a wedding already? nice job man i like em but the first one was kinda blurry. dont be afraid to shoot on high ISO's

just like this one (shot this i believe @ ISO 2000)

4508483073_1f6986c52a_o.jpg

also shot this with the razor sharp 70-200 F2.8 IS lens. :lol:

oooh, high ISO in daylight, impressive. <_<:lol:

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oooh, high ISO in daylight, impressive. <_<:lol:

i took the pic at night time B)) and macrossman pls shoot raws instead of jpegs if you havent yet.

4508798545_27ff6ac3cd_o.jpg

Edited by Vegas
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My camera's, flash, tripod and two of my lenses.

07042010094.jpg

My new backpack.

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The 17-85 mm on the left won't be used anymore, so there's still some left space for a 17-40 mm f4.0 (or a future 14-24 mm f2.8 Canon might be developing as we speak!) and a 50 mm f1.4 that are on my wishlist along with some RRS equipment for taking good pano's.

Dante74 that appears to be some serious equipment you have there. I've been reading up on tripods and monopods and have heard good things about the Gitzo. What can you tell me that led to your getting one? What did it set you back with the ballhead, if you don't mind me asking?

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Well, steadying technique will help some but if your shutter speed is slow and your subjects are in motion (like at a wedding) then you're still going to get a soft focus. A fast lens will help and so will a flash.

That's not to to say soft focus or even blur is bad. You can use them to great effect, like to create a painterly effect, or to capture motion and energy.

Thanks for clearing that up eugimon. The 70-200 should help with some of this...counting down the days. :ph34r:

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The first and last pics have the most potential IMO. Very nice.

Here's my two cents.

The first pic is a little too soft.

The last pic can be improved in several ways.

  1. Use a larger aperture (lower F number) to isolate the two subjects from the background.
  2. Move to the left to make the lady's face visible
  3. Move closer or use a tele lens to make the shot a little more intimate.

Thanks Dante. The next wedding I shoot I'll be using the 70-200 so that should help with a couple of points, but I will definitely take those others as well. Thanks for the tips!

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I know these are photos we are not used to looking at, but I wanted you guys to critique them.

My 2 cents...

The first, I like. Not because it's a technical masterpiece -- others have highlighted the soft focus, but I think might be the person shaking his foot? Anyways, I like it because it tells a story. Composition is nice and lets the audience guess whether the subject is resting or waiting for the wedding. Builds an emotional bond/ understanding.

#2, works because of the bokeh. Composition isn't great because the framing seems to draw the eye to the hair instead of the eyes. It's somewhat like portraiture work, just in an informal setting, but the framing needs work. This image is saved because of the nice bokeh which isolated the subject.

#3, I can't see. The img tags are there but it's not loading.

#4, I don't like. What's the story? 2 person standing around. No bokeh to isolate, no story to relate. Sepia also doesn't quite work in this case -- b/w and sepia I find is a case of seeing the light and contrast. In this case while the left side of the picture had good contrast to isolate, the right ended up with insufficient, so it broke.

If I had a choice, I would prefer to back off with a long lens to capture both faces if possible, to see if we can grab any emotional content.

I say the above, but to be honest I personally have a problem bringing emotional content into the images I take. A lot of it has to do with mindset -- am I taking to chronicle something, or am I going for the mood? Most of the time I'm in "reporting" mode, so I can't quite see or seize the opportunity for that great emotional shot.

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First, read this article. It'll save you some money by making the right choice the first time around.

I opted for a Gitzo/Really Right Stuff setup because, from what I've read, they make the best support equipment in the world. They're not cheap, but you'll be set for live.

It took me nearly three months to find a tripod that matches my criteria and my budget. I do urban exploration photography, among others things, and I needed my tripod to be as compact and light as possible. The carbon tripods are way out of my budget so I got the Gitzo Basalt GT2941.

It has four leg sections instead of three but that means it's able to fold down to 56 cm which work great when I'm crawling around old abandoned buildings. With the ballhead attached it weighs exactly 2 kg.

The ballhead is made by Really Right Stuff. RRS ballheads are considered to be the best in the bussines (and the most expensive :wacko: ). a RRS ballhead would normally be out of my pricerange but I got a great deal from my local camerashop that I just couldn't ignore. Like with the tripod, I didn't get the top of the line ballhead which is the BH-55, instead I got the BH-40 which easily matches my criteria (and then some)

I paid €280 for the tripod on sale at a Dutch online retailer

I paid €161 for the RRS BH-40 ballhead at my local camera store (they have since brought the price up to €330)

I got the RRS B2-40 LR quick release clamp from the RRS online store for $105

And the plates to attach the camera/lens to the ballhead cost my around €55 each.

That's about €630. I shopped around for the same setup just last weeks to see if I could still get it for that price, but it would now set me back around €950.

I have to admit, I got a little carried away by spending that much mony on some stuff to keep my camera steady in dark environments. My initial budget was €500, but hey, you only live once right? B))

Dante74 that appears to be some serious equipment you have there. I've been reading up on tripods and monopods and have heard good things about the Gitzo. What can you tell me that led to your getting one? What did it set you back with the ballhead, if you don't mind me asking?
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I sure will. The 24-70 is incredibly sharp, I did have to apply some adjustment to the Auto Focusing though. Good thing the 5D has the lens specific micro-adjustment feature

looks like you got a sharp lens copy dante74. enjoy your new toys!
Edited by Dante74
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took out the cam for a quick shot of a small hobby deviation other than macross stuff

Doll1.jpg

who makes this? is this one of the ones from Yamato? I kind of like these but most of these dolls are so damn expensive. :(

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Yep the VMF50.. same doll as the minmay.. but different body sculpt. I actually got the Risa right before HLJ was no longer taking orders for them and was lucky to grab a Miki..the one in the picture if a Type B body with a custom head =) ..

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post-6173-1271980050_thumb.jpg + post-6173-1271979951_thumb.jpg =

P4222552_Qreaburst08.jpg

P4222559_Qreaburst04.jpg

in retrospect, i should've angled the shots so that none of missile hatches were directly visible. it kills the illusion. unfortunately, it was hard to see in a dark room.

might try this with the armored alto next time, then i might as well cut the fibers into more irregular lengths and use blu tac to distribute them better

Edited by Major Focker
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thanks eugimon.

playing with glow sticks:

P4232657_VF27shoot02.jpg

P4232670_VF27shoot01.jpg

painting with a laser level:

P4232667_VF27laser01.jpg

P4232666_VF27laser02.jpg

i think i've stumbled upon a limitation of my camera. the glowsticks are actually purple but the camera renders them as blue. tried various WB settings but they still come out blue. can't figure out why since the camera shoots purple flowers just fine, and until now i was actually very impressed with the color fidelity of this camera, very natural colors rather than the over saturation i've seen elsewhere .

appreciate any ideas on how to make the purple color come out correctly. thanks

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thanks eugimon.

playing with glow sticks:

i think i've stumbled upon a limitation of my camera. the glowsticks are actually purple but the camera renders them as blue. tried various WB settings but they still come out blue. can't figure out why since the camera shoots purple flowers just fine, and until now i was actually very impressed with the color fidelity of this camera, very natural colors rather than the over saturation i've seen elsewhere .

appreciate any ideas on how to make the purple color come out correctly. thanks

very nice

and thanks monster

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Got my AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G IF-ED but unable to upload pics. Decided against the VRII version and went with the first because a local guy was selling a brand new USA version on Craigslist. Can't wait to use this sweet piece of pro glass! :D

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Here's my new 11B shot in my home-made lightbox. Just starting out, so be gentle. I also plan to do a "How to Transform" video for the 11B, to add to my series on YouTube.

post-2265-1272158444_thumb.jpg

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Here's my new 11B shot in my home-made lightbox. Just starting out, so be gentle. I also plan to do a "How to Transform" video for the 11B, to add to my series on YouTube.

Man, I would love to see this video. My 11B has been stuck in battroid since I got it because I can't figure out how to get it back to fighter mode. Too many boxes to dig through to get to the manual... :wacko:

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  • 4 weeks later...

Not exactly Macross, but thought I'd make a bump to the thread. =P

Also took some pics of the Yamato Tomahawk recently, but haven't uploaded those yet. I really need to start taking some pics of my Valks. :wacko:

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post-1616-127421288873_thumb.jpg

post-1616-127421289521_thumb.jpg

Edited by Phalanix
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Not exactly Macross, but thought I'd make a bump to the thread. =P

Also took some pics of the Yamato Tomahawk recently, but haven't uploaded those yet. I really need to start taking some pics of my Valks. :wacko:

awesome shots! would you mind telling what lens did you used on those pics pls

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awesome shots! would you mind telling what lens did you used on those pics pls

Thanks!

For the cars, I used a 16-35mm f/2.8L and a 50mm f/1.4

The shot of Yoko and Canaan were with a 24-105mm f/4L

The Lineage II Elf was with a 100mm f/2.8 Macro

All shot with a 5D MKII <3

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Not exactly Macross, but thought I'd make a bump to the thread. =P

Also took some pics of the Yamato Tomahawk recently, but haven't uploaded those yet. I really need to start taking some pics of my Valks. :wacko:

Those pics are incredible!!!

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Thanks!

For the cars, I used a 16-35mm f/2.8L and a 50mm f/1.4

The shot of Yoko and Canaan were with a 24-105mm f/4L

The Lineage II Elf was with a 100mm f/2.8 Macro

All shot with a 5D MKII <3

:o very nice bro!!! we need more of those pics from you

some pics while playing with my new favorite lens...70-200 2.8 IS . its so bokehlicious lol

4609679769_3ef0c68f14.jpg

4614938376_5dbb3f1481.jpg

4614321055_188e4b7d24.jpg

and my newly calibrated 50 1.4

4583045147_bced3310ed.jpg

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Okay, after my (very) small bit of experience taking pictures for building up a model, I've realized that my little 6MP HP point-n-shoot isn't cutting it. The macro function is okay, but when you're taking pictures of something less than an inch long, and can't get closer than a foot or more.. yeah. Not working so well.

So, I'm weighing my options a bit. I honestly don't know if I would need anything as fancy as a DSLR, and even then, I don't want to spend a ton (under $500 would be great, but I might go over that for a good deal).

What I use my camera for now is mainly indoor work (close-ups of models and such), some outdoor photos at things like airshows of stationary aircraft, and the occasional picture or two of the skyline out my front door (desert sunsets and cloud formations make for some great windows wallpaper). Being sealed/weather-resistant shouldn't be too much of a concern.

I don't need a ton of fancy effects as long as I can get good pictures in relatively low light, but I know I'd have fun and experiment given the options.

Video isn't really a must, but it would also be nice to have, since I don't have anything that will take video currently.

Now, I read a review of the Canon EOS Rebel T2i 18MP that recommended it as an ideal full featured camera for a beginner, but it seems a bit fancier and pricier than I'd want to go (or even know how to use), at around $1k with a basic kit lens, plus any accessories.

That review though did lead me to a few others, including a Canon XS 10MP package on Amazon for $500 that includes a basic lens, carrying case, spare battery, and memory card. It's obviously older, and not as fancy, but I still think it would have plenty of features to keep me busy.

On the other hand, it also led me to a $400 bundle for a Canon Powershot 12MP that includes a case, 8gb card, set of 4 rechargeable batteries, and a mini-tripod. I'm assuming it's not a DSLR, but considering how little I know about what that means, if that camera would do what I want, it might not matter. I do also like the ability to use regular AA batteries if I run out of juice, but I don't know how they would compare to a battery pack in terms of lifetime. Oh, and it does 720p video, and it has an articulated screen as well, which might be handy for some types of aircraft pictures (reaching up for cockpit shots, into engines, etc).

Anyway, that Powershot deal is looking nice, but I figured I'd ask here first to see if anyone had any horror stories. ^_^

Really, I'm a fairly clueless beginner, and the thought of having multiple lenses seems like overkill for me (although it looks like the Powershot might be able to use them? I can't tell). Any recommendations anyone might have for a good beginning camera would be very much appreciated. :)

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I've got a T1i (500D over here) and love it! But you're right, it's not exactly convenient for carrying around in your pocket and can sometimes be a bit inconvenient for doing the "oh, I'd like to snap a quick shot of my model build and not have to set it up on a tripod" shots. However, most of my shots are done with that camera and very few are tripod'd (yes, I made up a word). The included kit lens (18-55mm) is actually pretty good for close up photos. I replaced mine with a step up 18-135mm and the quality is definitely better across the board, but it does sacrifice close up photos. For really close up stuff, I have to crop it - which works OK but has it's limits (15megapixels is good but stuff tends to get noisy the more you crop it to make stuff bigger).

That said, a fair few of my photos, I actually do on my little Canon Digital Ixis 55 (no idea what it's called in the states except that it's a digital Elph). It's 5 megapixels and has a really close macro focus distance. I don't have to crop that much and for my typical web uploads of 1280 x 960, 5mp is plenty. I haven't thoroughly checked out your powershot link yet but the thing to look at is minimum focus distance. If it's a few inches, you're usually set. Compare that to typical kit lenses on a dSLR and they're usually a foot or more. So you can see the advantage of having something that can focus up close.

I'm sure the rest of the guys will chime in but what you don't get with a small point and shoot is decent background blur for normal photos (you'll get some ok blur for up close "macro-setting" shots but when you're at normal distance, it's not usually that impressive). If you like that background blur, or to put it another way, the ability to isolate your subject from the rest of the photo, a dSLR is going to give you that and a point and shoot won't. Weigh that up and make a decision based on what you prefer.

By the way, the XS would be a great camera to get if you want to start cheaply. And you can always upgrade lenses later if you decide you want to broaden your horizons. Just my two cents!

EDIT

Just had a look at your powershot link and my friend has a camera very similar to that one (maybe the year before or something). In my opinion, it's not that much smaller than the "small" canon digital rebels and the picture quality isn't worth the slightly smaller size, in my opinion. Go down to a brick and mortar store and compare them to see if the size difference is a priority for you. The swivel screen is nice, as you've mentioned, so consider that as well.

Edited by mickyg
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